The Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements for Bodybuilding

The Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements for Bodybuilding

8 min read


21 Sep 2023

Hack Beast Mode

  1. What are pre-workout supplements?
  2. What are the benefits of pre-workout for bodybuilding?
  3. When to take pre-workout.
  4. Pre-workout side effects.
  5. How to choose a pre-workout

Getting into the zone and being ready to kick some ass in the gym is how we’d all like to be when we approach a workout—but some days are easier than others.

Yes, some people tackle every workout the same way and seem to be ‘on’ all the time, ready to do the job.

But, often, we don’t feel as fired up for some workouts as others. We could be heading to the gym after a stressful day or feel drained and lack the energy to go at it full blast.

Sometimes, you just need a boost. Not just when we lack energy and motivation, but also when we want to hit the workout full-on from the word ‘go.’ This is where dietary supplements can help, in particular, pre-workout products.

If you’re a gym regular, you’ll no doubt have heard of them. Bodybuilders use them to fuel their workout so that they can give it 100% from the first rep. People use them to improve their workouts, boost athletic performance, enhance muscle growth, and raise their fitness to new levels.

So, if you’re new to pre-workout supplements, let’s delve deeper into why they are so popular and why so many bodybuilders feel that they are an essential part of their pre-exercise intake.

Are they safe, how much difference will they make, and when should you take them?

Let’s find out.

What are pre-workout supplements?

Woman drinks pre workout supplement

Pre-workouts are supplements packed with premium ingredients and designed to prepare your body for increased power and strength performance. They can boost your energy levels, enabling you to power through your workout with some intensity and improve muscle strength.

Pre-workouts give you the boost you need to fire through that intense workout and give it your all. They are designed to help your body develop and improve over time. Pre-workouts are usually powdered, ready to mix with water before a session or as a pill.

Not all pre-workouts contain the same ingredients, and it’s best to check to see exactly what your formula contains before pressing the ‘buy’ button. Your pre-workout ingredients should be all-natural to avoid any unpleasant side effects.

What are the benefits of pre-workout for bodybuilding?

If you’re looking to add a pre-workout to your supplement cabinet, it’s essential to make sure it’s right for you. It may surprise you that some come with multiple benefits as part of their ingredient-boosted package. When shopping for a pre-workout, ensure it’s an all-rounder and will do the job with bonuses.

More energy

A decent pre-workout will give you a rapid energy boost, which will have the right ingredients to get you revved up and ready, even when you’re tired.

Going into the gym with little energy isn’t going to see you through your workout or help you progress in any way. A pre-workout will give you the power to see you through your session.

Taking your pre-workout around 30 to 60 minutes before your workout will allow energy to kick in when you need it the most. This will enable you to go all out in your session and achieve the best gains possible.

Better focus during your workouts

Working out

When choosing a pre-workout, try to ensure that it will enable you to focus better during your session. Certain ingredients, such as L-arginine, are great, not just for energy, but to improve your mental concentration and alertness.

Staying focused, even for the short part of your session, will be a significant boost to your workout and gains as it’s likely to lead to better quality reps.

Bigger gains

Over the long term, pre-workouts will help you build muscle mass and promote more significant gains.

A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition shows that pre-workout supplements may create bigger muscle gains when combined with a regular high-intensity exercise routine and a balanced diet.

It’s not just about the here and now—it’s about what each session will bring to the table next time in the form of more reps, more sets and heavier weights as it helps you to increase your strength and endurance.

Improved circulation

Some pre-workouts are designed to improve blood flow and oxygen circulation, which helps to increase your endurance and your ability to sustain a more punishing session.

A better supply of oxygen to your system means you can keep going for longer, which means bigger gains all around. Pre-workouts that boost nitric oxide production should be at the top of your priority list as this has been proven to improve your cardiovascular function and dilate your blood vessels.

Supplements containing L-Arginine have been shown to significantly enhance blood flow and supply of oxygen to the body. This means more powerful workouts and bigger gains.

A faster recovery

Pre-workouts that boost nitric oxide production are also great at helping you recover from a workout more quickly.

Muscle soreness, particularly DOMS and muscle fatigue, can delay recovery and your next session. The good news is that a decent pre-workout can help repair your muscles quicker and minimize downtime.

Working harder means putting additional stress on your muscles and muscle fibers, so taking a pre-workout to speed up the recovery process is a good idea.

They can help to reduce body fat

lean physique

More energy means more fat-burning, so a bonus of the pre-workout supplement is that it can help reduce body fat.

Building a more muscular physique is excellent, but the reward is that you’ll naturally reduce your body fat. The more energy you have, the greater the burn. Boom.

When to take pre-workout

Taking your pre-workout at the right time is critical to getting the maximum benefit from it to ensure it’s boosting energy at the right time.

Generally, it’s advised that you take it around 20 to 30 minutes before exercise to make sure it’s in your system and active. You should focus on a set period of up to two months where you have a workout plan and can use your pre-workout regularly without your body becoming tolerant to it.

You should limit your supplements to those workouts where you need that extra boost and not for ‘easy’ days. That way, you’ll gain the most benefit from it. It’s also advisable to avoid taking the pre-workout too late in the day as you may find it difficult to sleep at night as it could still be in your system.

Everyone’s tolerance is different, and the effect will last longer for some than others, so it’s very much a case of what works best for you. Be sensible if you want to get the most out of your pre-workout.

Pre-workout side effects

It’s not a case of one-size-fits-all. Some folk don’t get along with a pre-workout supplement. Whether you experience side effects will depend on the ingredients, which will differ from brand to brand.

They may affect your sleep patterns

If your product contains a lot of caffeine, you might be restless when you try to sleep at night. Caffeine might also be disagreeable if you have certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Too much caffeine can also cause nausea and headaches if you’re sensitive to it, and you’ll need to be careful if you’re a coffee drinker in case you’re adding more caffeine to an already loaded system.

They may cause digestive issues

Again, this depends on the ingredients, but sodium bicarbonate and caffeine (again) are the two main culprits. Sodium bicarbonate (salt) only causes real issues if the dose is over 0.4g, which is rare.

The other thing to watch is the amount of water intake you have when taking the pre-workout. Whether you’re taking it in powder form or as a pill, take plenty of water with it so it’s nicely diluted. If it’s too concentrated, it may cause stomach upsets. Not good for a successful workout.

They can cause headaches

Headache from supplements

Again, this all depends on your tolerance to the ingredients, but caffeine is once again the main culprit as it can make you restless, lead to poor sleep quality and raise your heart rate.

Citrulline is another ingredient to steer clear of if you can. It’s often found in pre-workout formulas to help increase blood flow to your muscles.

It can do the job, but many people find it leaves them feeling lightheaded or a headache an hour or so afterward. Citrulline wouldn’t be an ingredient we’d look for, but if you do, try to stay below the recommended dose of 6g.

How to Choose a Pre-Workout

The ingredients are the most important thing you should look out for when choosing a pre-workout.

They should be natural ingredients and ones that are right for you. Pre-workout supplements should be able to do the job for you over some time. Read the labels carefully to ensure no added ‘nasties.’


Natural ingredients such as L-arginine and calcium are perfect for blood flow, boosting athletic performance and reducing recovery time. There are also a few reported side effects from these ingredients.

Many pre-workout supplements Try to avoid caffeine-loaded pre-workouts as there are too many negatives that may end up outweighing the positives. If you’re in doubt, always consult a health professional for any concerns or questions about pre-workout supplementation.

Big boosts

Taking pre-workout supplements will give you an added ‘push’ to your exercise performance.

Pre-workouts are a huge boost to anyone’s workout regimen, and if you take them consistently at the right times, you’ll find they have a significant impact on your gym performance. They can also make you feel more confident about going into workouts, which will positively affect your intense workouts.

The right supplements can also help you focus better on your activity, too, and a better quality of reps and sets will mean more extensive results.

Tip: Try to pinpoint a period in your training schedule where you can use a pre-workout to enhance your performance, such as two months before a competition and use it for those particularly tough sessions.

Level up your gains with Nitric-Max

Man prepares pre-workout drink

Nitric-Max is a pre-workout formula designed to boost athletic performance, energy, focus and performance.

This epic pre-workout supplement uses natural ingredients, including calcium and l-arginine, to help raise your nitric oxide levels to improve blood flow and oxygen circulation during workouts.

It’s a supplement with no side effects, used by bodybuilders all year round to enhance their focus, performance and muscle size. Nitric-Max will give you heightened energy, endurance, rapid recovery rates, and mind-blowing pumps. Epic.

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