3 Essential Ingredients You Need in a Pre Workout

When it comes to having an amazing gym session, everything has to be perfect; you want high energy, maximum focus, and aggressive muscle pumps – and to get there, a lot of guys use pre workouts.

But choosing one is a lot easier said than done.

Since the recent explosion of products in the fitness industry, it’s a struggle to find which supplements work, and which don’t.

Until now.

We’ve been keeping our eye on the market, and done the research to find out the best nutrients you can hope to find in a pre workout. In this short guide we’ll run you through which ingredients your pre workout needs for:

  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Power
  • Muscle Pumps

You’ll find out the science behind why the work, and how much you need from each to get the best results.

This is what you need to know:

#1 Caffeine

You can’t put together a good pre workout without caffeine. It’s the best natural stimulant you’re ever going to find on the market.

Having this component in your stack is a sure-thing if you’re after:

  • Energy – You’ll feel more alert and motivated during sessions. (study)
  • Power – Push harder in the gym and lift more weight. (study)
  • Focus – Shut out the rest of the world and zero-in on your set. (study)
  • Endurance – Go for longer, and get more done. (study)

It’s a great choice for any serious gym junkie – but how does it work, and how much do you need to get to that sweet spot of unstoppable?

Here’s the low-down on this nutrient:

How does Caffeine Work?

Caffeine works by binding to adenosine receptors in your brain. Adenosine is a natural chemical in your brain that promotes relaxation and sedation – essentially what makes you sleepy.

With caffeine taking it’s place, your brain isn’t getting that supply adenosine that promotes fatigue – keeping your energy levels up and making sure you stay in that higher state of focus.

This also extends to both your strenght and stamina, with caffeine strengthening your central nervous system’s connection to your muscles. This allows you to exert more power, and perform for longer.

How much should you be taking?

If you take too much caffeine, you can risk getting side effects. These include jitters, headaches, nausea, and don’t even get us started on what happens if you take it just before you go to bed.

You want to get a buzz, but you still want to play it safe. For the best results we recommend aiming between 150 – 300mg. This is the equivalent to around 2 – 3 cups of strong coffee, more than enough to get you in the zone without causing problems.

#2 L-Theanine

If you’re big on caffeine, L-Theanine is for you. It’s one of the only amino acids that actually works with the stimulant to give you a more focused and clearer experience.

Caffeine can be quite intense when you take it – especially when you take a lot of it. What L-Theanine does is curb the negative effects that come with that, and delivers pin-point focus.

Some of the benefits that L-Theanine provides include:

  • Relaxation
  • Calmness
  • Better Sleep
  • Longer Focus and Attention
  • Directs energy from caffeine

How does L-Theanine work?

It works by promoting the relaxation and feel good hormones in your body, without promoting fatigue. Essentially, you’ll have more GABA, serotonin and dopamine flowing throughout your system.

This is all through how the amino acid increases your Alpha Brain Waves – this is where it gets technical, if you want to learn more, we recommend AwesomeNootropics.com‘s write up – it’s pretty in depth.

How much should you be taking?

For the best results, especially when stacking with caffeine, we recommend taking 50 – 200mg of L-Theanine.

#3 Citrulline Malate

When it comes to pre workouts, a big thing that everyone overlooks are muscle pumps. You can hype yourself up with caffeine, but if you haven’t got a good vasodilator in your stack you’re not going to get that unreal feeling that takes your gym session to the next level.

And from our research, Citrulline Malate is your best bet.

From using citrulline, you can expect:

  • Great Muscle Pumps
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Enhanced blood flow

How does Citrulline Malate work?

Extracted from watermelons, citrulline malate is great for improving overall blood flow.

It works by ramping up your body’s supply of nitric oxide – this is the key to dilating your blood vessels and getting a lot more blood pumping through at a time. This is what gives you serious muscle pumps.

After absorbing L-Citrulline, your body converts in the liver into L-Arginine, this is a precursor to nitric oxide, and where you’re going to get those enormous pumps.

A lot of pre workouts claim that L-Arginine is all you need to supplement for muscle pumps – however, studies have shown that when supplemented directly, L-Arginine isn’t absorbed properly by your body. Using L-Citrulline bypasses this problem, it’s absorbed and then converted, giving you the desired effect.

How much should you be taking?

A lot. Pre workouts sell you short a lot on the Citrulline usually include around 500 – 2000mg. That sounds like a lot, but for an effective citrulline serving – it’s way of the mark.

For the best results you need to be stacking that stuff high. Studies have shown you get the best results when you start looking at the 6 – 8g range. This kind of level will pump you up, and give you the lifting experience of a lifetime.

Wrapping up

In closing, if you’re looking for the best pre workout stack on the market, or if you’re making your own, caffeine, L-theanine and Critulline Malate are absolute must-haves.

We recommend you want to put the most focus on getting enough Citrulline. It’s under-dosed in so many products, but taken in the right amount, the muscle pumps you’ll get are unreal – and once you combine with caffeine and L-theanine, you’ll be absolutely unstoppable.