Pre-Workout From All Natural to Possibly Spiked?!? Heres what you need to know

Theres so many pre-work out products on the market so how does one know which to buy and what is going into their body? The answer isn’t always clear so I’ve broken down some basics on pre-workout ingredients and a few brands I’ve tried.

**The most important fact that I will state throughout this entry is regarding supplementation, and most studies done on human performance nutrition is that the margin of increase in performance, muscle growth, and endurance generally ranges from 1-10% max. It tends to sit somewhere around 2-6% ***

What does the mean for you? For an average fitness enthusiast or even an above average everyday “athlete” It means you can go about your usually every day activities and save your money on pre-workouts & supplements. Spend your mental energy on your workouts and your money on a new pair of kicks.

What does it mean for a competitive athlete? I could be the difference between 1st place and 2nd place, 2nd and 10th place. Or not placing at all. At a competitive level 1% can make a big difference whether it be muscle mass, strength or endurance. And that is why hours of lab studies, books, classes & thesis are created around human performance nutrition and supplements.

With that said lets get into the world of Pre-Workouts

So many companies put out pre-workouts. Why? Because it is cheap to make. They can throw some caffeine and other cheap ingredients into a mix add some artificial flavor and BOOM you feel like a million bucks for about an hour during your workout. You may even feel like your about to lose your mind if you take too much.


Hands down the best all natural pre workout you can take is COFFEE! about 3-6mg max per day (about 2-3 cups from DD or Starbucks)

Pros- completely natural, cheap, lab test show increases in muscle endurance, acute increased metabolic rate and some strength improvements

Cons- anything over 6mg shows no benefits and can show negative side effects. The results are very minimal and inconsistent in testing , doesn’t include other ingredients such as Beta-Alanine.

SIDE NOTE- what is Beta Alanine-  In a basic nut shell , it is an amino acid that help buffers the PH in your muscles resulting in less fatigue and more endurance.

Pros – In lab tests it has shown results assisting type 2 fast twitch muscles to prevent fatigue. Many coaches and performance nutritionists are a huge fan of this product

Cons- causing tingling in your body and in excess can cause paralysis (major excess)


Vega- Sport Sugar Free Energizer  $49.99  IMG_8743

Vegan, gluten free

Energy from-  GreenTea(Caffeine), Panax Ginseng , Rhodiola and Tumeric

Pros- can come in individual packets, all natural, not jittery

Cons- if used with cold water it doesn’t mix very well, doesn’t have beta  alanine

Pro-tip use room temperature water to mix product well. It will taste like iced tea. Cold water doesn’t mix as well

amino-energy-storeOptimum Nutrition- Amino Energy $19.99

Energy – Caffeine from Green Tea & Green Coffee Bean

Pros- Loaded with Amino Acids (BCAAS), doesn’t make you jittery, great for any time of the day ( I can take this after 5pm and still sleep at night)

Cons- loaded with “other” ingredients I try not to consume such as soy lecithin, gum blend, and artificial flavors

C4 – Cellucor $39.99Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 11.59.08 AM

Enegry – Caffeine from Velvet Bean and “Patent Blend” also has Creatine Nitrate 1g and Beta Alanine 1.6 grams

Pros- Beta Alanine, tastes decent , easy to find in most stores and even Costco

Cons- Theres no studies that showing any evidence of benefits from Creatine Nitrate, lots of added ingredients

scilabs-terminal-shock-bSci-Labs Thermal Shock $49.99

This is the real deal pre-workout. Loaded with creatine (in too many forms) Beta alanine and some proprietary mix of insanity this stuff will keep you up all night and if you take too much the 1st few times possibly stop your workout. With that said – some people live for this feeling.And if you do this is your product

I wanted to grind my teeth till I had a jaw ache, didn’t sleep and had to stop mid workout to bring my heart rate down. Ive tried It a few times in different doses to make sure I wasn’t crazy.

Energy from – Herbal caffeine, B1, B6, B3, Bitter orange, Halostchine

Pros- You will feel like the incredible hulk

Cons- You may be on some unknown stimulant and not sleep for a few nights