Your shopping cart is empty.

Which Pre-Workout Should I Take?

If you have a set gym regimen, you probably already know the importance of protein powder as an imperative part for attaining the necessary nutrients you need pre- and post-workout. That lays out the framework for bettering your workout performance if you're determined to achieve specific goals, whether it is gaining mass, boosting your sporting capabilities or losing weight. What you need to get there is a pre-workout.

Photo credit: dsplinux

Pre-workouts can be intimidating to venture into, but they're worth the added step. Take them half an hour prior to your workout, and reap the benefits of improved focus, as well as increased nutrient delivery to your muscles. Before getting suckered into flashy labels and marketing ploys, you should bear in mind that a good pre-workout should encompass the following ingredients:

CAFFEINE

Caffeine is a psychoactive supplement that stimulates by giving you energy to workout harder. It lowers your perceived rate of exertion, and utilises fatty acids from your fat cells as fuel, allowing your body to increase fat burning rates.

Recommended product: Optimum Nutrition's Essential Amino Energy Cafe Series ($35) is a coffee-flavoured boost of energy and alertness from green coffee extracts, as well as an increase of muscle recovery potential. Just take four scoops pre-workout for a 200mg boost of caffeine, or lower the dose if you're working out in the evening and worry about caffeine affecting your sleep. BPI Sports Pump HD ($55) is a great caffeine-free alternative.

BETA-ALANINE

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that combats fatigue, through increasing carnosine levels in your muscle cells. Carnosine blocks the build-up of substances that causes muscular fatigue, allowing you to train longer. Take 2g to 5g before your workout to reap maximum effects.

Recommended product: Cellucor C4 Pre Workout ($49) delivers a hefty 1500mg punch of beta-alanine, effectively reducing lactic acid accumulation during your workout. It also helps boost your stamina, working well for atheletes who want to improve their endurance.

BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAs)

As a combination of leucine, isoleucine and valine amino acids, BCAAs help build mass by preventing muscle tissue being broken down, atop boosting amino acid levels in your blood for improved protein synthesis. Ideally, you should take 5g before your workout, and 20g throughout the course of the day. For a more detailed breakdown of the benefits of BCAAs, see this article.

Recommended product: Lush Protein BCAAs ($26) come in tablet form for easy consumption pre- and post-workout. If you prefer it in powder form, try the Lush Protein BCAA powder ($49).

CREATINE MONOHYDRATE

If you are focused on lifting big, and lifting heavy, creatine is one to look out for in your pre-workout mix. Take 5g pre-workout, and feel your body saturated with an energy pump that allows you to achieve full beast mode. For a more detailed breakdown on what creatine can do for you, see this article.

Recommended product: Platinum Labs Defcon 1 2nd Strike ($49) is an award-winning pre-workout supplement packed with creatine, and it also comes with a dose of Vitamin B6, which keeps your metabolism steady and reduces the post-workout crash.

RELATED: For more pre-workout supplements, check out our store!