Category Archives: Key Ingredients Information

A closer look at the key ingredients found within most pre-workout supplements, and the different parts they play.

What Makes A Great Pre-Workout Supplement?

People who work out usually reach a critical time when they are no longer making any progress. This is the time when most people stop their regular workout routines because they can’t see any results. This is where pre-workout supplements come in handy. If you want to attain your fitness goals quickly, then you should consider using supplements. However, it is advisable to choose supplements with ingredients that can enhance muscle growth and boost your energy. According to most bodybuilders, there is no single supplement that works for everyone, but great supplements usually consist of some specific ingredients. Here are some ingredients that should be in a great pre-workout supplement:
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Citrulline vs Arginine Pre-Workout

arginine-pre-workoutThe supplementary industry is developing at a rapid pace these days. Each company is trying to outdo its competitors by coming up with more effective and strong pre-workout formulations. There are two famous compounds that companies utilize which are arginine and citrulline.

Arginine Pre-Workout

It is an amino acid considered by many experts as essential due to its properties. It may or may not be supplemented externally depending on your development and health status. For example pre-term infants lack the mechanism to produce it internally and as such require an exogenous source. This compound can be found naturally in many types of food we eat e.g. seafood, meat and in seeds and nuts. It can also be administered orally as a supplement. However, it has one great disadvantage; it is subject to systematic elimination from bacteria in the stomach and the arginase enzyme in the liver and gut. Therefore a small percentage is utilized by nitric oxide sythase enzyme to produce nitric oxide.

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What Are Electrolytes, And Do Pre-Workout Supplements Have Any? Here Are 3 That Do

Though a fair-sized number of pre-workout supplements do have an electrolyte blend of some sort (blend meaning not only sodium), this can’t be said for all of them. While replenishing electrolytes is important for any exercise, they can be especially important for the types that involve a lot of running. This can ring even more true if you’re exercising outdoors on a hot summer day when your body is dropping electrolytes quickly. For bodybuilder’s that are working out in a nice, cool air-conditioned gym, the need isn’t quite as dire.

What Are Electrolytes Anyways?

In a sense, electrolytes are similar to the motor oil you put into your car. It’s not what powers your vehicle, but it does keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. What we refer to as electrolytes are magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphate, bicarbonate, chloride, and sulfate. The four main ones that help maintain our body’s fluids are potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. All of these minerals are what we call “ionic” which simply means that they are capable of carrying electrical energy throughout the body for proper functioning. When we exercise our bodies, we lose some of these minerals through our sweat.

Why Are They Important For Running and Sports?

If you’re electrolytes are not properly balanced before a game or a run, there’s a good chance that you’ll experience faster muscle fatigue and more cramping than your used to. This can be anywhere from leg cramps, to side and stomach stitches as well. A few other common symptoms are nausea, dark-colored urine, decreased frequency of urinating, bad breath with a dry mouth, dry skin, dizziness, muscle spasms and more. Not something you really want to be trifling with. The two easiest symptoms to let you know of an imbalance are the frequency of bathroom breaks, and the color of your urine when you go in there. An average, healthy adult should have a light yellow hue to their urine and be visiting the washroom between 5-7 times daily.

When we sweat, we are mainly losing sodium and potassium. Potassium plays a part in allowing nutrients and fluids to move across your cells membranes, which in turn permits them to carry on with their normal functions such as contracting your muscles. So without the proper amounts, your cells have a hard time generating strong enough impulses to control any muscle contractions whatsoever. When the body begins cramping, it;s trying to communicate to you that your electrolyte stores are running close to empty. Kind of like the your check engine coming on in your cars dash. Something is going on, and needs to be taken care of.

Something To Be Mentioned On Sodium

Consuming sodium, and sodium alone will not be sufficient in helping your body balance itself out. Sodium by itself causes water retention and can result in some less than desirable results like swelling of the feet or hands. When taken alone, sodium can actually trigger a different response in the body which neutralizes the hormonal detection system and interrupts the bodies regulation processes. It should always be consumed with other member of the electrolytes family for best results.

3 Pre-Workout Options That Have An Electrolyte Blend:

With a bit better understanding of what electrolytes are, and what they actually do; we can look at a few different options for pre-workout supplements that actually contain them. A lot of pre-workouts contain just sodium, but these few I’m about to share have an actual blend that your body can appreciate and find useful. If you’re already paying for and using a pre-workout supplement, then why not reward your body with some extra minerals for it’s hard work? Lets take a look:

3 Pre-Workout Supplements With Electrolyte Blends Included:

Assault


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MusclePharm Assault

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  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphate
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Gaspari SuperPump

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  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
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Force Factor BodyRush

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  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium

I hope you have found this useful, thank your for reading. Please share if you liked it 🙂 – Mark

The Importance of Cycling Your Pre-Workout Supplement

Why Cycle A Pre-Workout Supplement?

One of the most important things to know about when taking pre-workout supplements is how to “Cycle” them. If you’re reading this I bet you can still remember the first time you took one, and there’s a good chance you were bouncing around the gym with a seemingly endless energy and focus. You felt motivated, happy, and invincible. What happened next? One day, it just didn’t feel quite the same right? You took your regular one scoop, and waited…but didn’t feel anything. So you decide to double, or even triple up. Next thing you know, no amount of pre-workout is helping you anymore, it even makes you feel more tired than before!

Man asleep at work, probably from adrenal exhaustion.



An ever increasing number of people find themselves in this position, and it can be nothing short of confusing. How is this making me feel more tired than I would without taking it? My point with this article isn’t to tell you to stop using pre-workout supplements; I personally love them! What I am here to do is help you understand why you’re getting burnt out, and how to get past it by making a few smart decisions. This will help you to keep your pace at the gym, and be able to benefit from pre-workouts for years to come.

So Why Are You Crashing?

Nearly all pre-workout supplements contain a pretty big dose of caffeine along with some other stimulants like Yohimbe extract and others. The recently removed 1 3 dimethylamylamine (DMAA) ingredient was also a big factor in producing the crash we’re talking about, but it has been banned nowadays. Basically, when you consume stimulants, it sends a message to your brain to release adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream. These are both produced by the adrenal glands. In a sense, you can think of those as two little fuel tanks for our bodies (one is located on each kidney).

When you start taking an ever increasing amount of caffeine, you start to make these glands work harder and harder, but they can only provide so much fuel each day. So, by consistently stressing these glands with consistent caffeine intake, it doesn’t give the body enough time to replenish those fuel tanks. So how do you keep them topped up?

By “Cycling” Your Pre-Workout Supplement!


man lifting weights with pre-workout supplement

If you can restrict yourself to taking your pre-workout supplement for fairly short cycles of between 4-6 weeks, followed by 1-2 weeks of very low stimulant consumption – this will allow your adrenal glands to fully recuperate and get your routine back on track. During this week, you’ll need to stay strong, which I know can be tough. This means no fat burners, energy drinks, pre-workout supplements, party drugs, or anything with caffeine. Some people, myself included, like to take advantage of stimulant free pre-workout supplements here as well. This can lead to some withdrawal symptoms like headaches, anxiety, and low energy levels, but trust me it will be worth it in the end. It will be just like the first time you used your pre-workout, all over again.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find it useful. If you have any further questions, please leave me a comment below! – Mark

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Any More Than A Mix Of Caffeine And Creatine?

Over the past years, there are two types of supplements that have received great media coverage and have been subjected to intense debate: pre-workout supplements and weight loss supplements. Pre-workout supplements are said to be nothing more than a mix of caffeine and creatine – while this may be true for the first types of supplements, the modern ones are far more complex and they are designed to benefit the athlete or bodybuilder in more than just one way. Here you will find out more about these supplements and how they help millions of men and women worldwide:


The Myth

In a nutshell, the myth regarding pre-workout supplement states that these nutritive products contain only a plain mix of creatine and caffeine, a mix that is designed solely to pump the muscles without delivering any actual benefit. On the other hand, the myth also states that creatine is a steroid that has devastating effects on the body in the long run – this is completely false, as creatine is a natural compound that ensures the proper energy delivering to the muscle cells. Creatine is safe and natural when the recommended dose is not exceeded.

The same myth involves that caffeine can give birth to a serious addiction that needs to be fueled more and more often. While it is true that excessive caffeine intake can indeed give you an addiction, this is not the case with pre-workout supplements.


Debunking The Myth

Pre-workout supplements are way more than creatine and caffeine – they contain a blend of potent ingredients that aim to decrease the muscle breakdown rate, to increase the delivery of nutrients to body cells and muscles, to improve your ability to focus, to boost your energy and to allow you to perform stronger lifts. Caffeine and creatine alone could not possibly help you do all these tasks – this is where additional compounds step in (such as Taurine, Tyrosine, BCAA, L-Citruline, Beta Alanine, Glutamine, Nitric Oxide Boosters, Thermogenics or whey protein) and provide a wealth of health benefits.

Every compound has its benefits: while whey protein is quickly digested and it supports muscle growth, creatine is designed to decrease the muscle breakdown, to provide extra energy and to allow your muscles to recover quicker. Nitric oxide, on the other hand, increases the delivery of oxygen to your muscle tissue, while caffeine makes you stay focused throughout your workout.

Logically speaking, caffeine and creatine alone would only give you extra energy, speed up the muscle recovery process and boost your ability to focus. This is far from being enough for a professional bodybuilder or an athlete that exercises on a regular basis, thus the compounds mentioned above have been added to boost the properties of the pre-workout supplement.


The Bottom Line

In conclusion, there are many different pre-workout supplements on the market and you must choose the best one for you. One thing is for sure, though: even though these supplements may have one main ingredient (such as caffeine, whey protein or NO Boosters), there are several other compounds besides that particular ingredient!