Pre workouts come in all shapes and sizes. These supplements offer the ability to get the most out of your workout by increasing the potential of each training session. Quicker and greater results are prevalent with proper training and diet. The enhanced performance traits provided by a pre workout come in many different forms.

->Increased Energy

  • ->Resistance to Muscle Fatigue

  • ->Increased Muscle Endurance

  • ->Increase Muscle Recovery

  • ->Mental Alertness

  • ->Focus

  • ->Tingling

  • ->Vascularity
  • ->Pumps

  • ->Boost Immune System
  • ->Muscle Growth Promotion

  • ->Promote Protein Synthesis

  • ->Burn Fat

  • ->Suppress Hunger

Each of these feelings can be derived back to a specific ingredient found within the supplement.  You must determine the traits that coincide best with your goal.  This goal can include gaining muscle mass, losing fat, lean muscle development, or cardio improvement.

Key Trait Preferences

Muscle Growth

  • Pump

  • Muscle Growth Promotion


  • Increased Muscle Endurance

  • Burn Fat

Shared Traits

  • Increased Energy

  • Increase Muscle Recovery

  • Focus

Muscle Growth Promotion

I use this term instead of muscle growth because even the best pre workout supplement cannot cause your muscles to grow by themselves.  There are other factors involved like diet and exercise.  Creatine is an ingredient present in most pre workouts that helps increase the size of your muscles through water retention but exercise is still mandatory.


A common goal for weight lifters alike is to achieve adequate pump.  Pump is a feeling we have when conditions are ideal for the most muscle growth to take place.  This state can be obtained not only through the aid of a pre workout supplement but with a proper workout routine. What lifters refer to as pump is actually called Hyperemia.

As muscles contract blood vessels open up, increasing blood flow and oxygen in those muscles.  With proper training and the right diet this increase of blood flow and oxygen can help promote muscle build up. The increased blood vessels and capillaries feed muscles with oxygen and nutrients.  This blood flow also helps relieve lactic acid that builds up in the muscle, allowing for increased muscle endurance.  During strenuous muscle contraction blood flow is believed to be increased by up to 4 times.

Without Hyperemia your muscles could fail due to lack of oxygen.  You would not be able to produce enough energy to maximize the efficiency of your workout as lactic acid builds up in your muscles.

Optimize Results

Layne NortonOnce we gain an understanding of what pre workouts do we can properly assess how well they work.  If the supplement’s purpose is to increase energy, focus, and pump and we complain because we don’t look like Layne Norton…We are not properly evaluating the effects of the pre workout with a realistic expected outcome.

Perhaps your goal is to gain muscle or lose weight with the help of a pre workout supplement. There is a lot more to achieving these goals than even the best pre workout supplement can encompass.  When is comes to gaining muscle other factors like diet, lifting routine, rest, and other daily activities come into play.  

  • If you take a pre workout, don’t workout properly, and have a poor diet you most likely won’t see the results you were hoping for.  

  • If you have a great workout plan but don’t eat enough and run over 10 miles a day (Overtrain) the muscle gained at the gym will be burned as fuel.

To asses if a dietary supplement works it should be judged based off of its ability to meet its expected purposes.  Now we can run into a problem when using this method because not everyone has the same level of reaction to certain ingredients.

For example:

If one person drinks a lot of caffeinated products like coffee or soda, a caffeine based pre workout would affect them differently than someone who never consumes any caffeinated products.  This difference can result in unnoticeable effects or a need for a high dosage to obtain the desired effect.

4 Things that  affect pre workout performance:

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