What is a Pre Workout Powder? – All The Information!

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If you are in search of the answer to, “what is a pre-workout power”, you have come to the right place! Within this article, I will answer that question with everything you need to know!

In order to do this properly, there will be 3 sections within this article that focus on different aspects of what a pre-workout powder actually is. I have listed them below:

  1. What Does a Pre Workout Do?
  2. Do Pre Workouts Actually Work?
  3. Should You Purchase a Pre Workout?

What Does a Pre Workout Do?

Pre-workouts have gotten a bad rap in the industry due to the over-hyped marketing claims that many companies use to push unworthy products on their customers. While this does occur, and you certainly should be aware of it, some pre-workouts actually have benefits for your training sessions. What exactly are these benefits?

A pre-workout supplement is a mix of ingredients; typically found in powder form, that yield performance benefits during training sessions. The powder is mixed with water and to be drank 15-30 minutes before a training session (on average). What are these ingredients and what do they do?

A quality pre-workout supplement has key ingredients within it that have proven benefits. The primary ingredient is one that just about everyone has heard of before. That is… you guessed it, caffeine! Caffeine has been shown to provide performance benefits via increased alertness in doses between 3 and 6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This dosage is something to look at when purchasing a pre-workout.

Another ingredient is creatine, which is the most well researched and proven supplement there is. It has performance benefits; pre-workouts often contain it for this reason. Creatine helps our muscles replenish ATP energy and retains water which aids in performance. Between 3 and 5 grams of creatine per day has been shown to be effective, so look for this dosage in your pre-workout.

Another primary ingredient within pre-workouts is beta-alanine. This helps to lower acidity levels/buildup in our muscles, which can help us squeak out an extra rep or two. This ingredient can cause a tingly feeling in the face, however, it is a normal side effect. Between 2 and 5 grams of beta-alanine has been shown to be an effective dosage.

The last primary ingredient within pre-workouts is Citrulline (commonly implemented with malic acid to form citrulline malate). Since Citrulline malate is the most used, let’s talk about that! The recommended dosage of this ingredient is between 6 and 8 grams. Try to find a ratio of 2:1 (Citrulline to Malic acid). What does Citrulline do? The main benefit of Citrulline is it is a vasodilator that opens up the blood flow to your muscles. This, in turn, helps with achieving a pump.

Does Pre-Workout Actually Work:

The short answer is yes. However, there is certainly context that needs to be said for this. Not all pre-workouts are effective. Many of them are over-hyped, under-dosed, or both. The fitness industry gets a bad rap when it comes to this, because… well it does happen! Unfortunately, this tends to tarnish the reputation of quality pre-workouts along with it.

There certainly are pre-workouts that are worth your money if the performance benefits mean enough to you. There are 3 things I would suggest looking into to get an idea as to if a particular pre-workout is quality or not.

The first is to see if it features the ingredients and dosages that I have listed above. While there are exceptions to this based on your goals and preferences, it is a good guideline.

Secondly, be wary of bold marketing claims on the bottles. This is typically a tell-tale sign that a pre-workout is not of quality. An example of an overhyped statement would be something like “all day energy”. No pre-workout supplement will give you all-day energy. That is not what a pre-workout does.

Lastly, be careful with purchasing abnormally priced pre-workouts. Unless there is a big sale on, a $20.00 pre-workout likely won’t be worth your money from a lack of quality standpoint. Just the same as a $100.00 pre-workout will not be worth your money from a… well who the heck pays $100.00 for a 30 scoop pre-workout?!

Should You Purchase a Pre Workout?

The best way to answer this question would be to start with who shouldn’t use a pre-workout.

To start, those who have health issues that a pre-workout may conflict with. Those who are looking into taking a pre-workout should look at the label and see who it is meant for. Since this product does change how you feel via specific ingredients within it, I would suggest anyone looking into a pre-workout to consult with their doctor.

I would suggest beginner trainees steer away from using these products. You should lay a foundation of technique, then build a foundation of strength from there. You are already primed to make insane gains when starting out, so I would not suggest using a pre-workout when there is no need to use one.

Anyone who has been said to be safe based on the label and has been cleared by their doctors are those who I would suggest using a pre-workout from a safety standpoint.

From a goal-oriented standpoint, those looking for a boost with their training to increase performance and therefore results are individuals who could benefit from a pre-workout.

Wrapping Up:

All in all, a quality pre-workout contains ingredients that actually work, in dosages that have been proven to be effective. They don’t make false marketing claims, and the effects of the product help increase performance in the gym or give you a little extra boost when tired… prioritize sleep though!

What are your thoughts on pre-workout supplements after reading this article? Thank you so much for reading, I truly do appreciate it! As always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!


Does pre-workout sound like it could be beneficial for you? Check out my review on my current favourite one!

JYM PreWorkout Review

Until Next Time,

Kohl Johnson

Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.

Support is much appreciated if you benefited from this:

Kohl Johnson

I am a 16-year-old fitness fanatic! I have learned nothing but quality training and nutrition information from the utmost well-respected individuals in the field. Now, my only focus is to share this knowledge with you for your benefit, in the most honest way possible. We are all in this together! LET'S GO!

2 Responses

  1. Great article. I have never tried a pre-workout powder before. I have heard lots of good things and some bad things so never really got around to trying it. Now I know what to look for so you never know. I might give it a go knowing what to look for and see if I notice any difference. In the past I have used creatine which is one of the ingredients and had fantastic results. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi there, I am glad that you enjoyed the article! Creatine certainly is beneficial! I am sure you will find pre-workout to be quite beneficial as well!

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