What Is In A Pre Workout Powder – The “Must Have” Ingredients

Pre Workout Powders have become extremely popular in recent years, and for good reason.   They are relatively inexpensive, packed with naturally occurring nutrients, are a safe alternative, and they increase athletic performance.  But exactly what is in a pre workout powder?

The benefits of an effective pre workout include an incredible energy boost, providing muscle endurance, and keeping muscles from fatiguing.

Pre workout ingredients are scientifically formulated to work in combination to give the best possible performance results when exercising.  Of course, not all supplements are created equally, but we will review the top ingredients that you should look for and explain how they work.


How Does Pre Workout Work

What Is In A Pre Workout Powder - man taking protein powderA pre workout powder is a powerful motivator that not only gives you a powerful jolt of energy but also increases strength and endurance.

They contain very simple, yet effective ingredients.  The Caffeine does the energizing while the Amino acid proteins work on muscle performance.

After approximately 25-35 minutes, the pre workout ingredients are absorbed into your bloodstream and you will begin to feel the full effects.

At this point, the Caffeine runs through your entire body and brain, giving you energy and motivation to tear it up.  This stimulant makes you more efficient and focused, therefore getting a more intense workout.

Nitric Oxide is a very essential nutrient that is produced by the Amino Acid proteins contained in pre workouts.  This works to increase vascularization.  More blood flow brings larger amounts of oxygen, nutrients, and hydration to your muscle tissue at a faster rate.

This results in less muscle fatigue and greater endurance.  You will also recover to 100% much quicker between exercises.

Other Aminos work to clear out lactic acid and other waste products the muscles put out during exercise.  This also enables you to stay strong and it increases muscle endurance.

If you have any further questions or comments on how does pre workout work, please leave a message at the bottom.


What Are The Benefits Of A Pre Workout

Pre workouts are popular with both athletes and weekend warriors.  They work best with anaerobic exercises such as Crossfit, running, cycling and weightlifting.

Besides moving faster, smarter and harder, there are many other benefits to taking a pre workout with exercise.  The length of time as well as the level of intensity increases.  This brings you better muscle gains and helps to achieve your goals faster.

Pre workout supplements even work to better your cardiovascular health and also promote weight loss and fat burn.


  • What Is In A Pre Workout supplement - woman loading barbellProvides greater strength
  • Improves time before muscle failure and provides longer endurance
  • Draws fluid to muscles making them have a greater appearance
  • Boosts adrenaline helping the breakdown of fat cells
  • Enhances physical performance
  • Gives a less perceived amount of effort
  • Enhances the blood flow for quicker recovery
  • Boosts power for a longer and harder workout
  • Uses energy to burn fat cells first rather than carbs
  • Improves focus and motivation


What is In a Pre Workout Powder

Most of the ingredients in a pre workout are naturally found in your body.  These ingredients are scientifically formulated to produce the best results for increased exercise performance.

Quality pre workout ingredients increase the body’s potential so you can reach your goals quicker and more easily.  Of course, some hard work must be done on your end as well.

The components to a pre workout along with their quantities are listed in the “Supplemental Facts” box.  They will vary slightly from one product to the next, so be sure to look for these key ingredients when searching for the best pre workout powder.

Be cautious when you see a “proprietary blend” or an “explosive energy blend” since these will not provide individual ingredient quantities.


What Is In A Pre Workout Powder -mice acting crazy on CaffeineThis is naturally derived, as well as the most effective legal stimulant available.  Caffeine accounts for the majority of your energy, focus, and motivation in a pre workout.

Many times it will be listed as Anhydrous Caffeine.  This is simply a dehydrated form of Caffeine.  The quantity of Caffeine in a pre workout can range from 150mg to almost 400mg.

You will want to keep this quantity in mind, especially if you are Caffeine Intolerant.  400mg can equal as much as 5 cups of coffee, so be cautious since this is as much as the recommended daily allowance.

Caffeine is also one of the thermogenic ingredients in a pre workout.  It will raise your metabolism and body temperature to burn fat at a higher level.

What Is In A Pre Workout Powder - amino acid groupBeta Alanine

This is one of the most important Amino Acids in a pre workout.  Beta Alanine is key for improving athletic performance, exercise capacity and building lean muscle mass.

It also synthesizes into L-Carnitine which rids your muscles of acid buildup.  Beta Alanine is the ingredient that gives you that harmless head tingle.

Nitric Oxide

Look for L-Citrulline and L-Arginine.  These Aminos enhance the chemical process that creates more Nitric Oxide for endurance.  Look for a larger quantity such as 5000mg or more.

Nitric Oxide is what vascularizes your cardiovascular system to bring all of the nutrients to your muscles.  This helps to continuously recharge muscle tissue and keep you strong throughout the workout.

What Is In A Pre Workout Powder - BCAAs in shakerBCAA’s

These are the Branch Chain Amino Acids which include Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.  This is a special group of Amino Acids that help to synthesize proteins in the muscles.

The benefits of these Aminos include less muscle fatigue, faster recovery between sets and better protein absorption.


Not all pre workouts contain Creatine, but I think they should.  Creatine is one of the most studied and proven compounds known to improve muscle strength and athletic performance.  It is also a key component in muscle recovery.

Pre workout powders that contain Creatine don’t usually contain the clinical dosage.  Many athletes take this product along with their pre workout as a separate supplement because it is so effective.

Vitamins and Minerals

Some pre workouts may supply these added nutrients but it isn’t critical.  We use these nutrients at a much faster rate when we exercise, so it’s a good idea to have them too help recharge our system.

They sometimes contain B Vitamins because they are known to provide natural energy.  These include B6, B12, Niacin, and Folic Acid.

There may also be added minerals such as sodium and potassium that work as electrolytes to help with hydration.

Non-Essential Ingredients

It is common to see other ingredients such as citric acid and malic acid that work as natural preservatives or flavor enhancers.  Traditional pre workouts will also contain artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.

Sucralose is the most popular and widely used sweetener within traditional supplements.  Sucralose is a zero-calorie product that is made from sugar.

The next section will talk about options to get away from using pre workouts containing chemicals and artificial ingredients.


Check out the Best Pre Workout Supplements


Healthier Pre Workout Options

Pre workout blends all have the same goal in common.  This is to energize, motivate and strengthen exercise performance.  However, there are different options available depending on your dietary preferences.

What Is In A Pre Workout supplement - Animated man with open mouth and tongueTraditional Pre Workouts

These are usually the strongest, most popular and the most intense category of pre workouts.  However, they will contain artificial flavors, colors, and sugars.

Athough pre workouts in this category may get you the most jacked, some prefer more natural options.  Using traditional pre workouts can be easily justified since you will only be taking a couple of small scoops a week.

All Natural Pre Workouts

This is a step up because they do not include any artificial ingredients.  However, many of these natural pre workouts are just as strong as the traditional ones.

The advantage to All Natural Pre Workouts is that you don’t have to worry about chemicals such as artificial dyes.   The sugars are more naturally derived from sugar.  Many people stay away from artificial flavors because they can be made from inedible ingredients such as paper pulp or petroleum.

What Is In A Pre Workout supplement - USDA organic logoOrganic Pre Workouts

The ingredients in these are the purest and highest quality as they have to meet the requirements of the USDA Organic Agency.

Not only are Organic pre workouts “All Natural”, but they don’t contain any chemicals, man made fertilizers or any synthetic ingredients.  Any products from livestock must eat organic feed.

Vegan Pre Workouts

These are known by some to be the healthiest type of supplement.  Vegan Pre Workouts are made without the use of any animal or dairy products.  Because they don’t contain any animal products, they tend to be lower in Amino Acids, but they are still effective.

These plant based pre workouts don’t contain any artificial ingredients, but they are not necessarily Organic.  I do have some recommendations for those that are both at Organic Vegan Pre Workout Supplements.

What Is In A Pre Workout supplement - caffeine free signCaffeine Free Pre Workouts

For those that are Caffeine intolerant, there are some excellent Caffeine Free Pre WorkoutsCaffeine gives many of us the jitters, anxiety and can affect sleep.

These pre workouts make up for the absence of Caffeine by bumping up the quantities of other key ingredients.

Creatine Pre Workouts – With or Without

Lastly, pre workouts are available with extra Creatine or in Creatine FreeCreatine is an incredible muscle performance compound that is also proven to build muscle.  However, it can give some people mild bloating and weight gain.

It is a safe product and there are no negative health problems associated with this supplement.


Check out the Healthiest Pre Workout Supplements


What Is In A Pre Workout Powder Conclusion

What Is In A Pre Workout supplement Powder - me drinking a pre workoutPre workouts are made of simple, effective ingredients such as Caffeine and Amino Acids.  The Amino Acid proteins are naturally found in the body making them safe compounds.

The pre workout combinations and quantities for Aminos and Caffeine are scientifically formulated to provide the best exercise performance.

This supplement works in different ways to energize and increase muscle endurance.  There are also tons of other benefits.  Many athletes, cross-fitters, weightlifters and runners swear by these benefits and use pre workouts on a regular basis.

If you are concerned about artificial ingredients in your diet, I recommend looking into All Natural, Organic or Vegan pre workouts.

If you have any other questions or comments in regards to what is in a pre workout powder or about exercise supplements in general, please leave a message below and I will respond.


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