The 10 Most Common Pre Workout Ingredients Found in Supplements

When you think of pre-workout supplements, you probably think of either a pre-powdered liquid mixture, or the powder itself, and the consumer chooses to mix said powder in usually water, fruit drink/juice, or milk. Either way, the purpose of the pre-workout is to essentially super charge your body with copious but safe amounts of natural ingredients and proprietary blends.

As you can discern by the name, the general method is to use the powder before your workout so that you can benefit from the enhancements to your coming workout performance. Millions have sworn by the effectiveness of pre-workouts in helping them take their exercise sessions to the next level. Due to the extremely high demand, there are many different varieties that have popped up on the consumer marketplace. You can pretty much get any concoction of ingredients that you choose.

Because of the stunning popularity of pre-workout supplements, there has inevitably arisen a spate of unscrupulous manufacturers that will often exaggerate what their concoction of ingredients can do for your workout. This was the primary motivation for us to compile this article of pre-workout ingredients that are backed by science. In fact, we’ve got a solid 10 of them so that you have plenty of options from which to choose. All of the options in our list are evidence-based, and so without further ado – here are two handfuls of the most trustworthy pre-workout ingredients.

10 Popular Pre-Workout Ingredients Backed by Science

1. Beta Anhydrous

Unless you’re a researcher, you likely never heard of this particular pre-workout ingredient – but it is the chief (for our pre-workout purposes anyway) component of beetroot. More specifically, Beta Anhydrous is actually a molecule and, despite how little-known it is, can actually be found in quite a few pre-workout supplements due to its utility.

Additionally, you should know that Beta Anhydrous is a natural ingredient that’s found in foods such as seafood, certain wines, breakfast cereals, spinach and of course beets. Even more importantly, your body produces some naturally.

Why Is It Useful

Beta Anhydrous is useful, it enhances athletic performance primarily by helping the body to metabolize homocysteine – which is a chemical that regulates the optimal functioning of your brain, blood, bones, heart, eyes and many other voluntary and involuntary muscles.

Reasons That Beta Anhydrous Is a Top Ingredient:

  • Beta Anhydrous can result in increased power output
  • It is known to enhance muscular endurance
  • It is hydrophilic in that it preferentially attracts water and shuttles it into muscle cells
  • It can improve both the size of your bench press and the number of repetitions you can perform
  • Beta Anhydrous can ultimately result in an improved body composition

Since your body produces Beta Anhydrous naturally, it turns out that scientific measurements sure you lose a lot through sweat – particularly in intense workout sessions. As such, a pre-workout supplement containing it can be very beneficial to take both before and/or after a workout.

2. Spectrum of B Vitamins

A nearly complete spectrum of B vitamins is almost a requirement to be considered a complete, holistic pre-workout supplement. This spectrum will include vitamins B12, vitamin B6, niacin and others. If you’re familiar with such things, then you notice immediately that niacin is plentiful in spaghetti – that high octane carbohydrate favored by serious runners.

Why Are B Vitamins Useful?

Symbol: they provide loads of energy to help power through you virtually any workout. Indeed, B vitamins are absolutely essential in your metabolism as well as long-term energy stores – which is why products containing them are used liberally by marathon runners and explosive athletes. They also help you manage your cholesterol levels even while fueling your workouts and giving your muscles that sleek, well-defined appearance favored by bodybuilders.

What Makes B Vitamins a Top Ingredient:

  • Vitamin B12, in particular, is known to participate in the synthesis of DNA
  • Vitamin B6 is very active in the metabolic region that presides over physical exercise
  • B Vitamins are also essential in helping red blood cells form properly

3. L-Citrulline

L-Citrulline is essentially the architect of the very important molecule known as nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels for the purposes of moving blood throughout the body more easily. L-Citrulline is classified as an amino acid, and can be just as useful in another dimension when it changes to L-arginine at the end of its nitric oxide production lifecycle.

The Function of L-Citrulline as a Top Ingredient

  • Improved flow of blood that your notice during exercise
  • An ability to work out longer due to increased endurance
  • Facilitates the movement of nutrients and oxygen to muscle sites
  • L-Citrulline helps with energy production

4. Taurine

Another one of the most common ingredients of ineffective pre-workout supplements is taurine, where you will often find it paired with the stimulant caffeine. Although it is responsible for several names, the most prominent is its function as a brain booster. Not only does taurine help to assuage inflammation in the cells of the brain, it also reduces the free radical and oxidation stress on the body. Taurine also facilitates blood flow and functions in the reparation of muscles from the breakdown induced by intense exercise.

What Makes Taurine a Top Ingredient?

  • Taurine is very safe, because it is actually produced by your body
  • You can also find taurine in common healthy proteins derived from lean beef, poultry such as chicken and quail, and many forms of seafood
  • Taurine gives you the ability to work out for longer at higher levels – basically it promotes endurance

Because it is often paired with the stimulant caffeine, the best time to take pre-workout supplements containing taurine is before a workout and not so much afterwards. You should take it anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour for your gym session; you can also take it up to thrice in one day – usually with a meal. This way you keep a constant stream of this essential ingredient in your body.

5. Beta Alanine

This may arguably be the most common ingredients in any pre-workout supplement worth the name. Beta-alanine, although it is classified as a nonessential amino acid, is undoubtedly a boon to any workout regimen. Everyone from professional athletes to social media savvy fitness enthusiasts swear by Beta-alanine for the effects it has on both performance and overall health. Check for its presence on any pre-workout powder or drink you choose.

Why Is Beta-alanine a Top Ingredient?

  • Supplementing with beta-alanine is excellent at stifling the production of lactic acid in your muscles – this stops your muscles from fatiguing to quickly
  • Beta-alanine increases the so-called carnosine levels in the muscles which improves endurance
  • Medical research studies show they group of participants taking Beta-alanine improved their bench press and felt less tired afterwards

As you can see, Beta-alanine is useful for all aspects of your exercise routine. Particularly effective is the reduction in muscle fatigue through the production of carnosine, which staves off lactic acid production. For best results, take your pre-workout supplement containing Beta-alanine anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes prior to your workout session. You will notice that as it pervades your system, it’ll take up to about two hours for the prodigious effect to finally start wearing off.

6. Acetyl L-Carnitine

Don’t be put off by the long chemical name, Acetyl L-Carnitine is simply a stronger variant of L-carnitine; you can get it both from your daily diet and pre-workout supplements where it is listed in the ingredients. The function of Acetyl L-Carnitine is to bolster the energy production of your cellular mitochondria, which is then funneled into your muscles making them more capable of power and endurance.

Acetyl L-Carnitine is one of those especially-talented ingredients that continues to function post workout. Specifically, it helps to bolster brain function as well as manage the effects of muscle damage after weightlifting or any other type of resistance training. Basically, although your body is undergoing the transformative process on the molecular level, Acetyl L-Carnitine dampens the feeling of that muscle damage by reducing oxidative stress symptoms.

Why Is Acetyl L-Carnitine One of the Top Ingredients?

  • Acetyl L-Carnitine is known to be effective in the treatment of cancer, kidney and liver disease, contributes to the overall improvement of heart health, and generally dampens the negative effects of fatigue
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine is a “cleanup” ingredient; it carries away cellular waste products and thus optimizes cell function
  • Numerous athletes report performance boosts when using it, and it facilitates superior growth of muscle and muscle recovery
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine has shown beneficial application to Alzheimer’s disease, depression, infertility in men and sciatica – among other things

To optimize your use of Acetyl L-Carnitine, try to intake it perhaps half an hour before your workout, or even as soon as you wake up in the morning. The body absorbs it rapidly when taken in liquid form.

7. Creatine Monohydrate

Anyone who works out even a little bit certainly heard of creatine and the positive effects it has on improving muscular function. Creatine monohydrate just so happens to be the most common type of creatine supplements on the market; simply put, it’s just creatine plus water. The amino acids that go into making up creatine are glycine, methionine and arginine.

The reason why creatine is such a prized ingredient in workout supplements is because it serves as a source of energy; because it is hydrophilic, it attracts water into your muscle cells to make them bigger and more capable of performing sustained work. As a result of the natural lubrication of the water molecules attached to creatine monohydrate, you have experienced significantly less muscle tightness, dehydration and cramping of the muscles during the workout and afterwards. When working especially hard, the above are common to athletes who don’t have enough creatine (which is actually produced naturally by the human body) in their muscle cells.

The Reasons Why Creatine Monohydrate Is a Top Ingredient

  • It is often micronized, which means it mixes perfectly with drink and can be taken just before a workout, or even during
  • It provides the muscles with extra energy that can be sustained throughout intense workouts
  • You can take it several times a day because it’s so safe and is produced naturally
  • Despite all the new variations of supplement ingredients, creatine monohydrate is a standard that has not yet been surpassed in terms of effectiveness

8. BCAAs – Branched Chain Amino Acids

The primary difference between your run-of-the-mill amino acids and branched chain amino acids is that the latter are changed almost completely into energy used directly by your muscles. BCAAs include isoleucine, leucine and valine and are counted as essential amino acids. They are excellent also for post workout muscle recovery, and you can get good amounts from meat and dairy products.

One of the best reasons to take branched chain amino acids and a supplement is because of their ability to stifle catabolism – which is basically the process through which muscle eats itself if it doesn’t have access to enough protein to keep on recovering and growing. When you’re getting enough BCAAs in your diet, you’ll also notice that your intense workouts lead to fewer instances of muscle soreness, as well as significantly-attenuated muscle soreness in those instances.

What Makes BCAAs a Top Ingredients for Pre-Workouts?

  • Primarily, branched chain amino acids are readily available and serve as a rapid source of fuel
  • BCAAs also help with muscle recovery and stave off the breakdown of muscle protein during and afterwards
  • They also provide you with superior stamina and endurance when taken before a workout

Due to the specific nature of the benefits conferred by branched chain amino acids, it is best to take them about 15 minutes prior to a workout session.

9. Choline

There are quite a few different kinds of choline; we will use the name given here as a collective summation – but for your information, there’s alpha-GPC, there is also CDP-choline, and lastly choline bitartrate. For the greatest effectiveness in pre-workout supplements, you will find both alpha-GPC and CDP-choline being mixed together due to the transference ability of the combination in getting the active nutrients to the brain and muscles through the blood.

There have been numerous peer-reviewed studies done on choline; the net net of it is that it confers positive effects to how your brain functions as it pertains to both types of memory (visual and verbal), executive function, how will you learn verbally, your mood and your attention span. Choline is even shown to be effective for serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. On the physical side, it confers benefits to athletic performance and your metabolism.

Why Choline Is a Top Ingredient?

  • Increases mental focus
  • Is known to improve serious mental diseases that affect memory
  • Helps attention span
  • Improves metabolism

10. Caffeine and Theanine

You’re already familiar with the function of caffeine as a stimulant; this section is specifically about L-Theanine. Usually, you’ll find that most pre-workout supplements use both caffeine and L-Theanine together for a superior synergy.

Insofar as natural sources are concerned, you can find L-Theanine in black and green teas, as well as in certain mushrooms that are safe to eat (obviously). Just like the function of the aforementioned smooth tease, L-Theanine is known to reduce your stress levels and elevate your mental function – two attributes that are extremely beneficial both during the workout and afterwards. The combination of L-Theanine with caffeine is known to boost the already positive effects such that now you’ve got better focus, awareness, and elevated energy levels.

What Makes L-Theanine an Excellent Top Ingredient?

  • Medical studies show that L-Theanine improves your focus and calmness
  • When combined with caffeine, it is known as “smart caffeine”, because it synergizes the alertness and energy induced by caffeine and helps make you more productive
  • L-Theanine is also known to take the jittery edge often induced by caffeine

The fact that it has such a positive effect on stress-reduction translates easily to your gym sessions: your physical and mental endurance will be improved as a result.

Article Conclusion

One of the things that you’ve learned from this article is just how much things have changed: back in the day, if you are looking to get the most out of your workout insofar as preparation was concerned – then you would simply be told to drink a lot of water, eat a banana or two prior to your workout, and generally maintain a healthy diet.

There’s nothing wrong with the above, of course, it’s just that these days you got many more options. Furthermore, a pre-workout supplement is a lot more convenient when time is an issue. The right supplements have been scientifically proven to practically maximize your abilities and ramp up your energy levels to tackle very intense workouts. You can expect to not only operate at a higher level, but for considerably longer. This is precisely the combination that you need to break through plateaus and reach your desired fitness goals expeditiously.

The 10 pre-workout ingredients above all possess scientific medical research papers backing the claims made in this article. You can expect various benefits from certain combinations and from certain ingredients by themselves: that is improved venial and arterial blood flow, muscle strengthening, increasing mental focus, improved ability to burn fat and more. There has never been a time when things are so readily available and effective (as long as you get the right ones). We wish you the best of luck in your fitness goals and are fully confident that any of the pre-workout supplements listed here can help you.

ALSO READ:Top 12 Best Creatine Monohydrate Supplements That Really Work

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