Skip to main content
​The Complete Guide to Pre-Workout: What Does It Do And Is It Right For You?

​The Complete Guide to Pre-Workout: What Does It Do And Is It Right For You?

Posted by Leonard Shemtob on Dec 13, 2023

Ever dream of crushing your workout with an extra surge of energy and focus? Pre-workout supplements can be the key to unlocking your inner athlete. Pre-workout is a dietary supplement that's typically taken 30-45 minutes before exercise. But with so many different brands and types available, it can be confusing to know where to start.

Worry not! This article is here to help you learn everything you need to know about pre-workouts. Additionally, we'll delve into some of the best pre-workout options available, helping you make informed choices to enhance your workout experience.

Get ready to explore the science behind pre-workout, discover the best options available, and learn how to use them safely and effectively. So, let's embark on this journey together and unleash the hidden athlete within you!

Short Summary

Introduction to Pre-Workouts: Discover the world of pre-workout supplements designed to provide an energy boost and enhance performance during workouts.

Understanding the Science: Gain comprehensive insights into the science behind pre-workouts, unraveling the mysteries of how they work and what ingredients contribute to their effectiveness.

Top Picks Unveiled: Explore some of the best pre-workout choices, empowering readers to make informed decisions tailored to their fitness goals.

Ready to Ignite Your Workout? Try Our Top-Recommended Pre-Workout: Kickstart your fitness journey with confidence by choosing our expert-recommended pre-workout, Wild Thing by Assault Labs.

Seeking more tailored options? Explore Our Complete Collection of Pre-Workouts: Delve into our comprehensive collection of pre-workouts to find the perfect match for your unique fitness requirements. Your ideal workout companion is just a click away!

Quick Picks: Pre-Workouts

Wild Thing by Assault Labs – Our Top Choice

Seismic Surge by Hard Rock Supplements – Runner-Up

Oracle by Olympus Labs – Honorable Mention

What are Pre Workout Supplements?

Pre-workouts are dietary supplements designed to enhance physical performance during exercise. They are intended to be consumed before engaging in physical exercise or workouts. These supplements mostly contain a combination of ingredients such as Caffeine, Beta-Alanine, Creatine, Nitric Oxide Boosters, and other amino acids. These ingredients in pre-workouts aim to boost energy levels, increase alertness, improve focus, pump up your muscles, and enhance endurance.

Pre-workouts are used by individuals looking to increase energy levels, focus, and overall athletic performance. Users often take them to feel more energized, focused, and capable of pushing themselves harder during their workout sessions.

What Do Pre-Workouts Do? Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are crafted to give you an extra edge during your exercise routine. They contain a mix of ingredients that work together to enhance various aspects of your workout. 

Let's break down what pre-workouts do and how they can benefit your fitness journey:

Energy Boost: One of the main perks is the instant energy surge. Many Pre-workout supplements contain ingredients like caffeine that can wake up your body and mind, making you feel more alert and ready to tackle your workout.

Improved Focus: Pre-workouts can help sharpen your focus, keeping you in the zone and getting the most out of your exercises.

Improved Endurance: Pre-workouts may help delay fatigue, allowing you to push through those last few reps or run that extra mile.

Better Blood Flow: Some ingredients in pre-workouts, like nitric oxide boosters, may help improve blood circulation. This can result in better nutrient delivery to your muscles, potentially aiding performance and recovery.

Faster Recovery: Some pre-workouts include ingredients that support muscle recovery. This means less soreness after your workout so that you can return to the gym sooner.

Improved Muscle Strength: Pre-workouts play a key role in boosting muscle strength, enabling you to tackle heavier weights and more demanding exercises in your workout routine.

Common Ingredients in Pre-Workouts


One of the most well-known ingredients in pre-workouts is caffeine. It is a stimulant that can help boost alertness, reduce the perception of effort, and improve overall exercise performance. It wakes your body and mind, giving you the energy to crush your workout.


This amino acid can help reduce lactic acid accumulation in muscles during exercise. This reduction may delay the onset of muscle fatigue and enhance endurance, allowing you to push through intense workouts with less discomfort.

[Related] Unlock the Benefits of Pre-Workout with Beta-Alanine


It is included in most pre-workout supplements. Creatine helps in the production of ATP, the primary energy source for muscle contractions. Supplementing with creatine may improve strength, energy, power, and muscle recovery.

Nitric Oxide Boosters

Ingredients like citrulline and arginine are known as nitric oxide boosters. They support the dilation of blood vessels, increasing blood flow to working muscles. Improved blood flow may enhance nutrient delivery and oxygen supply, leading to better endurance and a more significant "pump" during workouts.

[Related] L-Citrulline vs Citrulline Malate: Which is the Better Nitric Oxide Booster?

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs in pre-workout supplements may support muscle recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and preserve lean muscle mass during intense training sessions. It contains three essential amino acids: leucine, valine, and isoleucine.

[Related] Amino Acid Powders: Top 10 BCAAs for Muscle Growth

Should You Take a Pre-Workout Supplement?

First things first: Pre-workout isn't magic. It's a mix of ingredients like caffeine, creatine, and various vitamins that can increase energy levels, strength, focus, pumps, and muscle recovery.

The decision to take a pre-workout is a personal one and depends on various factors. Let's explore some considerations that may help you decide whether incorporating a pre-workout into your fitness routine is the right choice for you.

Fitness Goals: If your goal is to boost energy, improve focus, and push through challenging workouts, a pre-workout supplement can be highly beneficial.

Tolerance to Stimulants: Pre-workouts often contain stimulants like caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine or prefer to limit your intake, you may want to choose a pre-workout with lower caffeine content or explore stimulant-free options.

Listen to Your Body: Everyone's body reacts differently. Pay attention if you try a pre-workout and it doesn't feel right. It's crucial to choose what works best for you.

Time of Workouts: If you exercise in the evening, be mindful of the timing of your pre-workout intake. Some individuals may experience difficulty sleeping if they consume pre-workouts containing stimulants too close to bedtime.

Health Considerations: Consult with a healthcare expert or nutritionist, especially if you have underlying health conditions, are using medications, or are pregnant. They can provide guidance on whether pre-workout supplements are suitable for you.

Nutritional Gaps: Evaluate your overall diet. If you can't meet your nutritional needs through food alone, a pre-workout supplement with added vitamins, minerals, or amino acids may help fill the gaps.

Remember: You are the superhero of your fitness journey. Pre-workout can be a helpful tool, but it's not essential. Pre-workout supplements aren't a must for everyone. Some people prefer natural energy sources like a healthy snack or good sleep. It's all about what works best for you and your fitness routine. Listen to your body, experiment wisely, and focus on what fuels your fitness in the long run.

Bonus tip: A balanced diet and proper sleep are always the best pre-workout fuel. Don't neglect them!

Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workouts can fuel your workouts with a big boost of energy and focus, but like any powerful tool, it's important to understand the potential downsides. Here's a simple rundown of the most common side effects:

Jitters and Restlessness: Some pre-workouts contain high doses of caffeine or other stimulants, which may lead to feelings of jitteriness and restlessness. If you're sensitive to caffeine, starting with a lower dose or choosing a stimulant-free option may help.

Insomnia: Due to the stimulant content, taking pre-workout supplements close to bedtime may interfere with sleep. It's advisable to time your pre-workout intake at least a few hours before your planned bedtime to avoid insomnia.

Digestive Issues: Some ingredients, like beta-alanine, can cause a tingling sensation (known as paraesthesia). It's harmless but might be uncomfortable for some. Additionally, certain formulations might lead to digestive discomfort.

Headache: Headaches might occur because of dehydration or sensitivity to certain ingredients.

Allergic Reactions: Some pre-workouts contain various ingredients, and individuals may be allergic to certain components. It's crucial to check the product's ingredient list before ordering a new pre-workout supplement and discontinuing use if you experience any allergic reactions.

Overstimulation: Using too much or combining pre-workouts with other stimulants can lead to overstimulation, causing increased heart rate, anxiety, or a crash post-workout.

Top 3 Pre-Workout Supplements

1- Wild Thing by Assault Labs

Wild Thing by Assault Labs

Wild Thing is the number 1 ranked pre-workout of Assault Labs. This exceptional pre-workout stands out in the market for its powerful blend of creatine, amino acids, nootropics, and other essential nutrients. With a variety of flavors to choose from, Wild Thing promises to deliver explosive workouts.

Featuring cutting-edge nootropics, Wild Thing sharpens your focus, locks you into your workout, and unleashes energy like never before. Experience next-level vascularity and pumps with this pre-workout supplement.

Wild Thing's caffeine blend is truly unique, featuring patented ZumXR® & Infinergy® along with two other caffeine forms. This blend provides an immediate jolt of energy at the start and a sustained release throughout your entire workout, ensuring you stay fueled and focused.

Key Benefits:

  • Increases energy
  • Improves your focus
  • Helps enhance your strength during a workout
  • Boosts your muscle pump endurance
  • Reduces muscle fatigue and increases muscle control
  • Speeds up your muscle recovery
  • Helps improve your overall mood
  • Increases cognitive function

Key Ingredients:

  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Choline Bitartrate
  • L-Citrulline Malate
  • Beta-Alanine
  • L-Taurine
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Creatine Anhydrous
  • Alpha GPC
  • Agmatine Sulfate
  • L-Glutamine
  • L-Theanine
  • L-Norvaline
  • Theobromine
  • Bitter Orange Extract
  • Cocoa Extract
  • Thinkamine
  • Toothed Clubmoss (Huperzine A)
  • Caffeine Anhydrous
  • Caffeine Citrate
  • ZumXR
  • Infinergy

Customer Reviews: Wild Thing by Assault Labs

5-stars.pngWild Thing

“Good flavor and great energy boost.”

-Paige T.

5-stars.pngIts explosive alright

“It was something different, and different can be either good, or bad. This is definitely a good different. Slight tingling, nothing unbearable, and great pumps, good for an arm and/or back chest day”

-eric c.

5-stars.pngBest Pre Workout

“Been taking it for years great product”

-John C.

2- Seismic Surge by Hard Rock Supplements

Seismic Surge by Hard Rock Supplements

Hard Rock Supplements is revolutionizing the industry yet again with the groundbreaking pre-workout Seismic Surge. Tailored for the fitness elites, this innovative formulation harnesses the latest advancements in strength, stamina, and stimulant science. It propels the human body beyond its limits, unlocking its untapped 6th gear.

Key Benefits:

  • Boosts energy levels
  • Amplifies muscle pumps
  • Improves muscle endurance
  • Elevates mood
  • Enhances concentration and focus
  • Accelerates metabolism
  • Heightens workout strength
  • Helps accelerate muscle recovery

Key Ingredients:

  • Beta-Alanine
  • L-Arginine Alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG)
  • Agmatine Sulfate
  • Caffeine Anhydrous
  • Juglans Regia Extract
  • L-Theanine
  • Theobromine
  • Yohimbe HCL
  • Alpha Yohimbe

Customer Reviews: Seismic Surge by Hard Rock Supplements

5-stars.pngGreat Products

“I have been using all Hardrock Supplements for over 10 years and their phenomenal.”

-John C.

5-stars.pngGreat Product

“Seismic Surge best pre workout I have taking in last 30 years.”


3- Oracle by Olympus Labs

Oracle by Olympus Labs

Introducing Oracle, the game-changing pre-workout by Olympus Labs. With a groundbreaking formula featuring genistein, a potent MAOI, and ligustrazine phosphate, Oracle delivers unparalleled levels of focus, endurance, pump, and energy.

At the core of Oracle lies the innovative Pr3 Technology, known as "The Golden Ratio." This dynamic blend comprises three key ingredients at maximum dosing, working in synergy to provide an extraordinary pump experience that beta testers have hailed as "the pinnacle of pumps." Oracle also boasts "The Golden Focus/Euphoria/Drive Ratio" and "The Golden Energy Ratio," ensuring peak mental alertness, euphoria, drive, and sustained energy without the drawbacks of post-workout crashes.

Key benefits:

  • Increases energy
  • Improves your muscle pumps and endurance
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Reduces muscle fatigue
  • Increases nitric oxide production
  • Supports cognitive function
  • Promotes mood and focus

Key ingredients:

  • Ligustrazine Phosphate
  • S7™
  • Eria Jarensis Extract
  • Genistein
  • Enxtra®
  • Kannaease™
  • Xtenergy™, Infinergy™ & Caffeine Anhydrous

Customer Reviews: Oracle by Olympus Labs

5-stars.pngAbsolutely love

“This pre workout is absolutely amazing. It doesn’t give any jitters but gives you a boost to make you want to workout and enough energy to sustain a good workout. I love that I don’t get nauseated taking it. I have notice more endurance while doing CrossFit workouts as well.”

-Stephanie S.

5-stars.pngoh yea!

“very good, lots of energy, was able to do more reps on all my sets and felt great doing it too. recovery was quicker too and taste was light and nice. Im an oracle guy now lol”

-Richie M.

5-stars.pngamazing focus

“its a great product and focus is good during workout, just one thing keep yourself hydrated as it dries your throat a lot, but great endurance and focus good pump as well.”



In conclusion, pre-workout supplements provide that extra boost of energy and focus needed to conquer your workouts. But remember, while pre-workouts can be a game-changer, they're not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your fitness journey is unique, and the choice to incorporate pre-workouts depends on your goals, preferences, and individual response to ingredients.

And let's not forget, pre-workouts aren't the only path to success. A balanced diet, proper sleep, and attentive listening to your body remain the fundamental pillars of a thriving fitness routine.

By following these tips and focusing on your overall health and well-being, you can make pre-workouts a valuable addition to your fitness regime and reach your full potential.

Written and Sponsored by Leonard Shemtob

Leonard Shemtob is President of Strong Supplements. Leonard has been in the supplement space for over 20 years, specializing in fitness supplements and nutrition. Leonard appears on many podcasts, written over 100 articles about supplements and has studied nutrition, supplementation and bodybuilding. 

Leonard's articles have been published in many top publications around the web. Leonard enjoys weight training, playing basketball and yoga, and also enjoys hiking. In his free time he studies and works on improving himself. For more detailed information, visit his official blog.

Pre-Workout FAQs

Consider factors such as your fitness goals, tolerance to stimulants, and preferences. Look for transparent ingredient lists, start with lower caffeine content if you're sensitive, and choose reputable brands. If in doubt, consult a healthcare expert or nutritionist for personalized advice.
Pre-workouts are crafted to boost energy levels, improve focus, and enhance overall exercise performance.
It's advisable to take a pre-workout 30-45 minutes before exercising. This allows the supplement to be absorbed, providing the desired effects during your workout. Avoid taking pre-workouts too close to bedtime to prevent potential sleep disturbances.
The decision to use a pre-workout depends on the individual preferences, fitness goals, and sensitivity to stimulants. If your goal is to boost energy, focus, and push through challenging workouts, a pre-workout might be beneficial. However, it's not a necessity, and some individuals prefer natural energy sources like a balanced diet and proper sleep.
When used as directed, pre-workouts are generally safe. However, individuals should be mindful of their sensitivity to caffeine and other ingredients. It's recommended to consult with a healthcare specialist, especially if there are underlying health conditions.

Related Articles

Read More About Pre-Workout

View more