In the last few years, pre-workout supplements have become nearly as popular among gym-goers as protein. But just like protein supplements—and like athletes—not every pre-workout product is the same, nor is every pre-workout product suitable for every athlete. Each one has different ingredients in different doses with different intended effects, and might be suited to different types of athletes with different goals.
Whether you're looking to set a new PR, get a few more reps, or just get the most out of your cardio, a good pre-workout can be your ally.
In the following guide, we'll talk about how to choose the right pre-workout for you, and how to get the most from it. Educate yourself, and feel confident that your pre-workout will help you reach your fitness goals!
Pre-workouts can be divided into two groups: those with stimulants, and those without. The stimulants pretty much always include caffeine, in widely varying doses, but may include other stimulants including yohimbine, theacrine (Teacrine as the most common), guarana, and many others. Many supplement companies have developed stimulant-free pre-workouts for those who are sensitive to caffeine, simply don't want it, or who exercise close to bedtime.
If you're looking for a pre-workout that will make you feel amped up and ready for action, you'll find no shortage of them out there. However, if that's exactly what you don't want, you still have choices. And many pre-workouts fall in the middle, with no more caffeine than a cup of tea or coffee.