How to choose a pre-workout supplement

How to choose a pre-workout supplement

When it comes to pre-workout supplements, it is impossible to follow a one-size-fits-all approach. If you want to experience the benefits of a pre-workout supplement, you need to make sure that you are using the right supplement for your specific goals. With so many products to choose from, how do you know which pre-workout supplement will work for you? It is quite simple: determine what your fitness goals, training schedule, workout style, lifestyle and diet are and choose a pre-workout supplement that will enhance these preferences.

Caffeine vs. caffeine-free vs. stimulant-free pre-workout supplements

Most pre-workout supplements contain a combination of ingredients, some with caffeine and others without caffeine and/or stimulants. The type of pre-workout supplement that you choose, will be dependent on what you want to achieve with each session. 

Caffeine pre-workout supplements

Pre-workout supplements that contain caffeine can improve your training by reducing the perception of fatigue and providing enhanced energy. Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant, which means that once it has been ingested, it will provide your body with increased energy. Caffeine pre-workout supplements are ideal when you want to get the most out of your training session by boosting your energy and alertness, which can especially be helpful when you train in the mornings or during the day.

USN’s caffeine pre-workout supplements: Combat Games

Caffeine-free pre-workout supplements

If you are sensitive to caffeine or if you tend to exercise in the late afternoons or evenings, caffeine pre-workout supplements might not be the best option for you. Caffeine-free pre-workouts will not affect your sleep patterns and can therefore be taken any time of the day. A caffeine-free pre-workout will not make you feel jittery and nauseous, making it the perfect supplement for individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.

USN’s caffeine-free pre-workout supplementsXTS Pump Capsules

Stimulant-free pre-workout supplements

It is important to note that caffeine-free does not necessarily mean stimulant-free. Stimulant-free pre-workout supplements are known to increase power, endurance and pumps by increasing nitric oxide—opens up blood vessels and expands muscle delivery—within the body.

USN’s stimulant-free pre-workout supplementsQhush Super Pump – Stim-Free

Capsule vs. powder pre-workout supplements

Another important factor to consider when choosing a pre-workout is the format of the supplement—do you prefer pre-workout supplements that are in powder or capsule format?

Powder format

Pre-workout supplements that are in powder format are crystalline compounds that mix well with water. What makes a pre-workout supplement that is in powder format ideal? It usually comes in different flavours, it can usually be mixed to a water-like consistency, and it absorbs quickly into the bloodstream—within 20 to 30 minutes after consumed.

USN’s powder pre-workout supplements: XTS Black

Capsule format

If you are rushed before a training session, you might consider using pre-workout supplements that are in capsule format. These pre-workouts usually have similar ingredients than supplements that are in powder format, but in smaller quantities. What makes a pre-workout supplement that is in capsule format different? It is convenient to ingest while following a fast-paced life, it is small enough to carry in your pocket, it requires no planning (i.e. not having to bring a bottle and water to your training session), and it is tasteless—especially for individuals who are sensitive to different aftertastes.

USN’s capsule pre-workout supplements: XTS Pump

Thermogenic pre-workout supplements

If your goal is to lose weight and burn fat, thermogenic pre-workout supplements can be added to your health and fitness routine. Known for its ability to produce heat, thermogenic supplements can accelerate your metabolism and encourage your body to burn calories, while also providing energy. 

USN’s thermogenic pre-workout supplements: B4 Burn Sherbet Extreme

Pump vs. performance pre-workout supplements

Whether you want to bulk and gain muscle mass or enhance your performance, your fitness goals will ultimately determine the type of pre-workout supplements that you use.

Pump pre-workout supplements

To gain muscle mass, you will have to push your body and muscles during exercise, resulting in microscopic tears to individual muscle fibres. In response, your muscle fibres will repair themselves, ultimately resulting in stronger muscles. Muscle building pre-workout supplements are known to increase nitric oxide production in the body, resulting in blood vessels dilating and increasing blood flow to working muscles. When choosing pump pre-workout supplements, it is important to evaluate whether there are enough calories and carbohydrates that will help you to train harder, lift heavier and ultimately gain more muscle mass.

USN’s pump pre-workout supplements: XTS Pump N.O.

Performance pre-workout supplements

Whether you are training for an ultra-marathon, mountain bike race or swimming competition, it is crucial to ensure that you refuel your body with the necessary nutrients during endurance activities.  Starting an endurance race without enough glycogen stores will affect your performance, making it difficult to reach your goals. The correct pre-workout supplement can result in more energy and mental focus.