What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?


Quick Answer

The right selection of whole foods in a balanced diet provides most of the energy the body needs to fuel a workout, according to Muscle & Fitness magazine; however, foods alone do not supply the body with increased nitric oxide, prime the nervous system or boost the muscle fibers to contract harder. Muscle & Fitness recommends six types of supplementation for use in a pre-workout supplement plan.

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Full Answer

The first category of supplements is nutrients in the form of a shake before heading for the gym. The shakes should contain about 25 to 50 grams of protein, depending on body weight, according to Muscle & Fitness. The shake should include the same amount of carbs as protein.

Three pre-workout supplements help boost short-term strength: creatinine, beta-alanine and a Tibetan fungus called cordyceps. Some manufacturers combine all three into one supplement. Anhydrous caffeine and branched-chain amino acids are energy boosters that allow an athlete to work harder for longer. Pump boosters help muscle tissues to recover and grow after a workout. Pump supplements include arginine, citrulline and agmatine sulfate.

Fat burners include raspberry ketones, capsicum and green coffee bean extract. Lastly, Muscle & Fitness recommends tyrosine, choline and phenylethylamine as part of a pre-workout supplement plan to help boost brain activity, which helps to increase focus.

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