When it comes to bodybuilding, not just any pre workout will do. There are two types of pre workouts, the first type is packed full of caffeine, and under-dosed with sports nutrition ingredients, while the others are clinically dosed and made to improve performance, build more strength, and add more muscle mass. We’re going to talk about the best pre workout supplements according to dose, ingredients, and effectiveness to help you build the body you want and crush your aesthetic goals.
Before we talk about the best pre workout for bodybuilding, we need to address the biggest issues with the majority of pre workout supplements and what you should look for when choosing the best pre workout.
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, you won’t get the results you want.
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? That’s what we call a proprietary blend.
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.
Blends are used to cut on manufacturing costs. Adding a smalerl dose of beta-alanine at 1g instead of 5g per serving, will ultimately help the manufacturer or brand save money. 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 if those ingredients are listed under a blend, chances are your pre-workout supplement is only sprinkled with the ingredients you need to build more muscle mass.
RELATED ARTICLE What Is A Proprietary Blend In Supplements?
Most Pre-Workout Supplements Don’t Contain Proven Ingredients
Most pre workout supplements use common pre-workout ingredients such as Beta-Alanine, Citrulline Malate, and amino acids like carnitine, creatine, HMB, and betaine because they work. You’ll also notice that some pre workouts will use trademarked ingredients, you may have never heard of with no clinically proven evidence to back their marketing claims. This is what we call “hype” marketing. New ingredients are enticing and we always want the latest and greatest, no matter if it’s the newest release of the Oura ring, iPhone, or supplement. But buyer beware, new ingredients do not need any scientific evidence for them to come to market.
Best Pre-Workout Supplement For Bodybuilding
The best pre workout supplements for bodybuilding are clinically dosed, provide full transparency and are made with proven ingredients, with evidence based outcomes.
Swolverine’s PRE is without a doubt the best pre-workout supplement for bodybuilding Are we bias, of course, but let me explain to you why it’s the best pre-workout.
Clinically Dosed & Proven Ingredients
The ingredients used in Swolverine’s PRE workout are as follows:
- CITRULLINE MALATE5g
- BETA-ALANINE (CARNOSYN)2g
- BETAINE ANHYDROUS5g
- COCONUT WATER POWDER1g
- ELEUTHERO ROOT EXTRACT (SIBERIAN GINSENG)1g
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 and workout volume. 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
More workout volume, will translate to more reps, more sets, and guess what, more muscle mass, which is exactly what you need as a bodybuilder.
Citrulline Malate is easily one of the best pre-workout ingredients of all time, especially for bodybuilding.
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. Therefore 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 ingredients 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 shown that Citrulline Malate can improve strength, workout volume, and recovery.
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.
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.
The more physical stress you put your body under, the more hydration you will need for optimal muscle function, contraction, and size. With added coconut water or electrolytes to your pre workout, you’re efficiently hydrating while also building size and strength.
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 decrease 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].
A relatively new and extremely effective pre workout ingredient for bodybuilding – pomegranate. Pomegranates are one of the healthiest and most powerful fruits on earth. Pomegranates contain a host of beneficial bioactive plant compounds that contribute to its super fruit status, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants. Numerous studies have shown that pomegranates have 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.
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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].
Therefore, pomegranates in a pre workout, can help improve testosterone levels, increase strength, enhance blood flow, and optimize recovery. Easily one of the best pre workout ingredients for bodybuilding.
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.
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 And Muscle
Research suggests that the ingredients found in Swolverine's PRE, 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 and muscle mass.
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. More Volume
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, increasing workout volume, and improving gains in strength and size.
Best Bodybuilding Pre Workout: Takeaway
When you're looking into purchasing a pre workout for bodybuilding, there are a few key factors to remember, so you get the best performance outcome. First, make sure the preworkout is proprietary blend free and made with proven ingredients. Caffeine, stimulants, or not, if it has proven ingredients that are clinically dosed, and does not contain added sugars, or filler ingredients, then it's probably worth the buy. The less and more basic the "other ingredients" the better. Remember, cheaper products are cheap for a reason. Under-dosed supplements, are literally a waste of money. If you do not get enough of the proven ingredients you need, it will not have any benefit on your training, so you might as well save your money. If you want a pre workout that is going to help you get stronger, lift heavier, and build more muscle mass, then don't be cheap, and spend the money. Otherwise, don't expect any results. Now, go get yourself some Swolverine PRE and start building that physique.
Looking For The Best Pre Workout For Bodybuilding?
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We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.