With so many pre-workout supplements to choose from, it’s hard to figure out which one is the best for your health and fitness goals. Some pre-workout supplements are marketed specifically for men, women, weight loss, and or providing more energy. The fact of the matter is, there are no pre-workout supplements specifically better for men or women. Pre-workout is going to affect you in a similar way, no matter your gender. However, what does matter are the specific ingredients and the respected doses of those ingredients. We’re going to talk about the best pre workout supplements according to dose, ingredients, and effectiveness to help you crush your fitness goals and improve your athletic performance.
Before we discuss the best pre workout supplements, we need to address the biggest issues with the majority of pre workout supplements and their efficacy.
Most Pre-Workout Supplements Are Underdosed
The overwhelming majority of pre-workout supplements are under-dosed and only add a fraction of the actual ingredients you need to help improve your athletic performance.
Research is conducted to determine how much of each ingredient you need to enhance your performance, and if you don’t have enough of those ingredients, then guess what, your athletic performance will not get any better.
Most Pre-Workout Supplements Use Proprietary Blends
When you look at the back of a supplement label have you ever noticed a list of ingredients, but with no listed dosage of each one? A proprietary blend in a supplement is when there’s a list of ingredients that don’t show you how much of each ingredient is in the product. Instead, the ingredients are listed as a blend.
Manufacturer’s claim that they use blends to protect their formulations and intellectual property when in fact, blends are only used to cut on manufacturing costs. How do I know? Because I own a supplement company. Adding a small dose of beta-alanine at 1g instead of 5g per serving, costs a whole lot less, than actually giving you the 5g in a single serving. When you read the back of a label and see that it has proven ingredients your first thought is usually, “wow this seems like a great product.” But, in reality, if those ingredients are in a blend, then chances are, that pre-workout supplement is only sprinkled with those ingredients and does not contain enough to produce a performance benefit.
RELATED ARTICLE What Is A Proprietary Blend In Supplements?
Most Pre-Workout Supplements Don’t Contain Proven Ingredients
Commonly used pre-workout ingredients such as Beta-Alanine, Citrulline Malate, and typical amino acids like carnitine, leucine, and betaine , are used in a majority of pre-workout supplements, because they work. Several pre-workout supplements however, use ingredients that are new to the market, with no clinically proven evidence to back their marketing claims to produce an ergogenic benefit.
The Best Pre-Workout Supplement
The best pre workout supplements are clinically dosed, provide full transparency and are made with proven ingredients.
Swolverine’s PRE is without a doubt the best pre-workout supplement. Are we bias, of course, but let me explain to you why it’s the best pre-workout.
1. Clinically Dosed & Proven Ingredients
The ingredients used in Swolverine’s PRE workout are as follows:
- BETA-ALANINE (CARNOSYN) 3.2g
- CITRULLINE MALATE 5g
- BETAINE ANHYDROUS 2.5g
- L-CARNITINE 1.5g
- L-TAURINE 1.2g
- COCONUT WATER POWDER 1g
- ELEUTHERO ROOT EXTRACT (SIBERIAN GINSENG) 1g
- POMEGRANATE 500mg
All the ingredients used in this formula, have been proven time and time again through clinical research. That’s why ingredients such as beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and betaine are used so often in the best pre-workout supplements.
When you work out, your body relies on glucose for energy, which results in the production of lactic acid increasing muscle acidity. This lactic acid build-up eventually causes muscle fatigue and a loss of muscle power. Beta-alanine is a lactic acid buffer and combines with the amino acid l-histidine, creating a di-peptide called carnosine. Carnosine has been proven to reduce muscle acidity and delay muscle increasing your exercise performance and workout volume, by allowing you more time to exhaustion.
Numerous studies have shown that supplementing with CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine improves muscle carnosine concentrations to help delay muscle fatigue and counteract the build-up of lactic acid. A study published in the Journal of Medical & Science In Sports & Exercise examined the effects of muscle carnosine content and endurance cycling capacity after 24 weeks of supplementation in cyclists. The study showed that supplementing with CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine increased muscle carnosine content and improved high-intensity cycling capacity at every time-interval [R, R].
Swolverine’s PRE contains 3.2g of Carnosyn Beta-Alanine per serving, which according to CarnoSyn is the clinically effective dose. Beta-alanine requires a loading phase. Studies show that athletes with a larger saturation or accumulation of muscle carnosine content who loaded at least 90 grams of beta-alanine over 28 days saw marked improvement in performance. Those with a greater intake of 179 grams over the same period significantly amplified their results
According to CarnoSyn®, you're starting dose should be at least 3.2g per day for a minimum of four weeks to improve muscle carnosine content
Citrulline Malate is easily one of the best pre-workout ingredients of all time. The goal of any sports performance supplement is to improve overall athletic performance by focusing one on one specific performance improvement. Citrulline Malate is unique in the fact, that it’s proven to help in not just one, but all aspects of your training performance.
Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid that helps promote the natural release of nitric oxide (NO). NO is a vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels, which opens the flood gates for more oxygen and blood flow to be transported to your muscle tissue. This is why L-citrulline or other known NO boosters such as L-arginine and beet juice, are marketed for their infamous “pump”. Extracted from apples, malate is a derivative of malic acid and contributes to the sour taste of fruits. When these two constituents are combined, they create Citrulline Malate. Studies have shown that Malate is the active key ingredient, that contributes to added performance benefits of Citrulline Malate, as opposed to L-citrulline alone.
Citrulline malate also improves several other aspects of your performance, through additional mechanisms, enhancing amino acid utilization, increasing ATP generation, as well as facilitating muscle protein synthesis, which all contributes to better endurance capacity, more peak power, and increased strength and muscle growth.
Swolverine’s PRE contains 5g per serving, which is the clinical dose according to proven scientific research.
Several studies have found that betaine anhydrous may improve changes in body composition and muscular performance, offering ergogenic benefits during resistance training protocols.
Betaine participates in the methylation of homocysteine to form methionine. Methionine is critical in the synthesis of creatine. Therefore a proposed mechanism of betaine, is its ability to improve strength and power, by increasing creatine availability and enhancing muscle protein synthesis [R].
A study conducted by the Department of Health and Exercise Science at The College Of New Jersey, examined the effects and efficacy of betaine supplementation on muscle endurance, power, and the rate of fatigue in healthy males.
Twenty-four subjects were randomly assigned to either a betaine or placebo group, with a daily supplement protocol for two weeks. At two weeks, the number of reps performed, and peak power was significantly greater in the betaine group as opposed to placebo. Therefore, the study concluded that betaine supplementation may improve muscular endurance and increase rep volume [R].
Betaine has also been found to improve body composition, making it an effective pre-workout supplement and ingredient for weight loss.
A study published in the Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, investigated the effects of betaine supplementation on body composition and performance in female collegiate athletes. 23 healthy female subjects, participated in a resistance training program and were assigned to either betaine or placebo group. Each group completed 3 sets of 6–7 exercises per day performed to momentary muscular failure. Training was divided into two lower and one upper body training sessions per week performed on non-consecutive days for 8 weeks, and weekly volume load was used to analyze work capacity.
The study found statistically significant results for changes in lean mass, muscle size, and performance indicators such as vertical jump, squat, and bench. The study also found a significant reduction in body fat percentage and fat free mass. Therefore, betaine supplementation may enhance reductions in body fat without effecting losses in strength [R]. Underlying mechanisms responsible for changes in body
Often thought of as an amino acid, l-carnitine is actually a vitamin like, and amino-acid like compound that is formed from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Carnitine is related to the B-Vitamins and was referred to as vitamin BT when it was first discovered.
The main function of l-carnitine is the transport of long chain fatty acids, into the mitochondrial matrix for oxidation and conversion to energy. L-carnitine also plays an imperative role in the regulation of metabolic signaling pathways involved in muscle protein balance, proteolysis and muscle protein synthesis, making it one of the best pre-workout ingredients for weight loss.
Research suggests that L-carnitine has several beneficial effects on physical performance, demonstrating an increase in maximal oxygen uptake, and higher power output. Studies have also shown that L-carnitine supplementation may improve exercise recovery, by alleviating muscle injury, and reducing markers of cellular damage. Studies in older adults have shown positive impacts on physical and mental fatigue and that L-carnitine can lead to an increase in muscle mass and decrease in body weight.
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that in times of severe physical demand, taurine can be depleted. High endurance training will cause a rapid decline in Taurine levels, therefore it's important to replenish Taurine, to maintain maximal muscle function and muscle contraction.
75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and don’t drink enough water [R]. Dehydration can cause chronic fatigue, prolong exercise recovery, and impair cognitive performance. Hydration is one of coconut water’s most well-known benefits. Coconut water is 94% water and loaded electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Siberian ginseng is an adaptogenic herb that offers several benefits promoting the body’s resistance to stress. Studies have shown that eleuthero acts as a stimulant and may boost energy levels, reduce fatigue, and enhance exercise performance increasing nervous system function.
So why put Siberian Ginseng into a pre-workout supplement? Evidence suggests that Siberian Ginseng may enhance athletic performance, boost energy levels, and improve stress and anxiety.
A study conducted by the University Of Iowa, conducted a randomized controlled trial, to evaluate the effects of Siberian Ginseng on chronic fatigue. 96 subjects were randomized into two groups, with 2-month follow up. Study results indicated that fatigue severity and duration were significantly reduced within the test group as compared to the control [R].
Perhaps the most intriguing ingredient in Swolverine’s pre-workout supplement is pomegranate. Pomegranates are one of the healthiest and most powerful fruits on earth. Pomegranates contain a litany of beneficial bioactive plant compounds that contribute to its super fruit status, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants. Numerous studies have proven the health benefits associated with pomegranates especially their anti-inflammatory effects and benefits on heart health. Two of the compounds responsible for many of the health benefits are punicalagins, which account for more than 50% of pomegranates antioxidant effects and have also been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea [R], as well as anthocyanins, antioxidants that belong to a flavonoid family, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects [R, R].
Research has shown that nitrates in addition to polyphenols may be responsible for increased blood flow and vasodilation. A study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, investigated the effects of polyphenols on vasodilation, blood flow, and exercise performance. 19 active participants participated in a regular exercise program with the same protocols for at least two months prior to the study. Participants did not consume any additional pharmaceuticals or supplements that could potentially confound the results. Results indicated that 1000 mg of pomegranate extract 30 minutes prior to exercise significantly enhanced blood flow, delayed the onset of fatigue, and increased exercise efficiency [R].
This study shows that pomegranates, like beets, may be beneficial to increase nitric oxide production and exercise performance.
RELATED ARTICLE 11 Studies That Prove Pomegranates Benefit Athletic Performance
Pomegranates have also been shown to benefit natural testosterone levels.
A cross sectional study examined the effects of pomegranate juice on testosterone levels and mood. The study concluded that after two weeks, consumption of pomegranate pure juice significantly increased salivary testosterone levels by an average of 24% in addition to having positive effects on blood pressure, mood, and anxiety [R].
2. Transparent Label
Most pre-workout supplements use proprietary blends, and do not disclose how much of each ingredient they use. Without knowing what the dose is in your supplement, you are most likely not getting enough of those ingredients to produce an ergogenic or performance benefit. Plainly put, you won’t recover faster, build more muscle, strength, or enhance your endurance. You need bigger doses to achieve your goals.
3. Clean Ingredients
Additionally, Swolverine’s pre-workout supplement is made with nutrient dense and clean ingredients, and is Vegan, NON-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free, free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, and coloring.
Pre-Workout Supplement Benefits
1. Improved Athletic Performance
Unlike any other product, Swolverine’s PRE combines high-quality sports performance nutrition and potent antioxidant-rich superfoods, in one truly effective formula. Together Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Carnitine, Pomegranate, Betaine, and Ginseng can optimize performance outcomes, by increasing strength, optimizing endurance, and improving recovery times.
Most pre-workouts contain blends, ingredients you’ve never heard of, and are loaded with caffeine.Swolverine’s PRE-WORKOUT is proprietary blend-free, clinically dosed, and made with all-natural vegan ingredients, setting the new standard in sports performance and how you train.
2. Increased Strength
Research suggests that PRE ingredients, Citrulline Malate, Pomegranate, and Betaine can improve greater gains in strength through the natural release of nitric oxide and by stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Additionally, studies show that Beta-Alanine delays muscle fatigue and increases workout volume, leading to greater gains in strength.
3. Better Recovery
Pomegranates and Betaine contain antioxidant-rich plant compounds, phenolic acids, and nitrates that may help reduce inflammation, and improve workout recovery by reducing muscle soreness. Studies show that pomegranates may reduce delayed onset muscle soreness by 13.4%. Citrulline malate has also been proven to increase blood flow, thereby reducing soreness and optimizing workout recovery.
4. Optimized Endurance
Beta-Alanine and L-Carnitine, help delay muscle fatigue and improve time to exhaustion, by buffering lactic acid. Swolverine’s PRE also contains Pomegranate, Betaine, and Citrulline Malate, which are all proven to stimulate nitric oxide production, increase blood flow, and maximal oxygen uptake. Together, these ingredients combined, provide not only an amazing pump but can greatly improve endurance and training capacity.
Ready To Take Your Workout To The Next Level?
Swolverine's Mango Lemonade Pre-Workout is a proprietary blend-free and clinically-dosed pre-workout formula, that combines high-quality sports nutrition, and potent antioxidant-rich superfoods. This natural pre-workout powder is made with proven ingredients, Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, L-Carnitine, and nutrient-dense superfoods such as Pomegranate, Betaine Anhydrous, Coconut Water, and Ginseng. Swolverine’s Pre-workout is proven to help you train harder and maximize your performance.