What Does Pre-Workout Do? | Benefits and Effects

Home » Blog » What Does Pre-Workout Do? | Benefits and Effects

Pre-workout supplements are one of the most popular supplements among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. These products contain a blend of ingredients designed to help you maximize your workout performance, giving you the energy and focus needed to get the most out of each session. Whether you’re looking for an edge during competition or just want to take your gym sessions up a notch, pre-workouts may be what you need. Read on to learn more about what does pre-workout do and its potential effects!

What Are Pre Workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are a type of dietary supplement that provide various ingredients intended to help maximize performance during physical activity.

They commonly contain caffeine and other stimulants, as well as various vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Pre-workouts are used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts in order to give them an added boost of energy for their workouts, allowing them to push themselves harder and longer.

What Does Pre Workout Do?

The primary goal of pre-workouts is to give you an edge during physical activity. They provide a combination of ingredients designed to help increase various metrics that will aid your performance.

Some of the effects pre-workout supplements may include:

Increased Energy Levels – Pre-workouts can help give you an extra boost of energy during physical activity, allowing you to push yourself harder and longer. This is mainly the doing of stimulants such as caffeine.

Improved Focus – Many pre-workouts contain ingredients such as L-Tyrosine that are intended to help improve your focus and concentration during physical activity. This allows you to stay on task and get the most out of each session.

Enhanced Endurance – Ingredients like L-citrulline are often included to help promote better endurance, allowing you to extend your physical performance and push yourself further.

Ingredients Found In Pre-Workouts and Their Effects


One of the biggest benefits of pre-workout supplements is that they give you a boost of energy. This is largely due to caffeine and why most pre-workout products can’t go without it.

It’s one of the most popular ingredients for a good reason. It has been scientifically proven to significantly enhance performance in untrained and trained individuals; in aerobic and anaerobic activities.

Caffeine works by blocking the adenosine receptors in the brain. This can result in increased alertness and an increase in dopamine levels.


Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that’s been the subject of numerous studies on its effects on exercise performance.

Research has shown that supplementing with Beta-Alanine can improve exercise performance, primarily in activities of moderate duration (1-4min)

The biggest problems with beta-alanine supplementation are the potential side effects and the fact that you need to supplement with it daily in order to see a significant increase in performance.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are essential for many bodily functions including muscle growth and repair.

The idea is that when you exercise, your muscles undergo stress and microtrauma, which can cause muscle damage and inflammation.

Consuming adequate amounts of certain amino acids, such as leucine, could then help to promote muscle protein synthesis and repair (which would lead to an increase in muscle mass), thereby indirectly improving exercise performance and reducing muscle soreness.

Notice how I phrased that last sentence. Consuming adequate amounts of amino acids could also mean that you are getting your amino acids from the protein in your diet.

The problem in supplementing with BCAAs is that without the other essential amino acids, all of the necessary building blocks to make new proteins are not available for maximal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.

This means that it’s better to just consume protein through your diet and not look for supplements that include BCAAs.


Creatine is an amino acid that plays a critical role in the body’s energy production, specifically ATP, giving you that extra strength and endurance during high-intensity exercise, therefore improving your performance.

Since it allows for more work essentially, creatine has also been shown to be an effective way to increase muscle mass.

It is produced naturally by the body and can also be found in certain foods such as fish and red meat.

Creatine supplementation has been studied extensively for its effects on exercise performance and has been found to have a positive effect on anaerobic activities such as sprinting and weightlifting.

Since during endurance exercise, our body produces energy through the breakdown of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats, supplementing with it may not be as beneficial.

However, if you are looking to increase your performance in activities that require power and strength then supplementing with creatine could help to give you an edge.


Supposedly one of the biggest benefits of taking pre-workout supplements is the increased blood flow or the pump that everyone is so desperately chasing.

L-citrulline or Citrulline Malate (L-citrulline + Malic Acid) is one of the best pre-workout ingredients for achieving that.

L-citrulline is an amino acid that is known to improve blood flow and circulation by improving nitric oxide levels in the blood.

Nitric oxide (NO) is a vasodilator, meaning it helps to relax and widen blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow and oxygen delivery to working muscles. This improved blood flow can lead to increased endurance, power output, and bigger muscle pumps during exercise.

It has even been found to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness by up to 40% at 24 and 48 hours after the exercise session.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Pre-workout supplements are a great way to maximize your performance during physical activity, but there are potential risks and side effects that come with taking them.

Beta-Alanine Itch

The most common of all the pre-workout side effects is the beta-alanine itch, also known as acute paresthesia.

If taken in high enough doses, beta-alanine can cause a tingling sensation on the skin and even mild itching.

This side effect is not dangerous and usually dissipates within an hour or so, but it’s still something to be aware of as it can disturb you and ruin your workout.

The reaction depends largely on the individual, so you’ll have to experiment to know how it is for you.

Caffeine Overdose

The most hazardous risk linked to pre-workout supplements is the possibility of overdosing on caffeine.

Caffeine, while effective in boosting energy levels and focus, can cause adverse side effects if taken in excessive amounts.

Symptoms of a caffeine overdose include nausea, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and jitters.

Being mindful and conscious about the amount of caffeine you are taking should keep you out trouble.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition reports that 3-6mg/kg body mass is enough to have an effect on performance. Taking more has been associated with a high incidence of side effects without an additional performance boost.


Pre-workouts often act as diuretics, meaning that they can cause dehydration if not taken with adequate water. Dehydration can cause a variety of symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, and most certainly a decrease in performance.

Interactions with Medications

Additionally, pre-workout supplements may interact with medications that are already in your system and can cause adverse reactions. This is why it’s important to consult a doctor before taking any pre-workout supplement if you are on any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

How to Choose a Pre-Workout

Deciding between a good and a bad option

Pre-workout supplements are a great way to maximize your performance during physical activity, but it’s important to choose the right supplement. Be sure to read the label and check the ingredients before purchasing any pre-workout product.

Reading The Label

If you already have some knowledge about pre-workouts and their ingredients, then the easiest way would be to read the label and look for 2 things.

  • The Caffeine Content
  • Other quality ingredients and their dosages

Consulting a Doctor or a Trainer

If you don’t have enough knowledge about pre-workouts or what ingredients to look out for, then it would be best to consult a doctor or a trainer.

They can provide you with the necessary advice and guidance on what pre-workout supplement would be most suitable for your needs and what ingredients you should be looking out for.

Trying a sample

The final way would be to try a sample. Many companies have small sample packages that you can order or that come with a bigger purchase. This is a great way to try out what works best for you without having to commit to a full-sized purchase.


Pre-workout supplements are a great way to maximize your performance during physical activity.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with them.

Be sure to read the label and choose a pre-workout supplement that contains quality ingredients.

Additionally, it’s best to consult a doctor or trainer for advice on what product would be most suitable for you.

Finally, if you have the time and energy, try out samples before committing to a full-sized purchase to find out which pre you like the most.

By following the tips I’ve listed in this article you can be sure that:

  • You’re not getting any adverse effects from taking pre-workout.
  • You’re getting the most bang for your buck.
  • You have an amazing workout every time!

Please consider sharing this article if you found it helpful!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main purpose of pre-workout?

The main purpose of pre-workout supplements is to enhance physical performance and increase your energy levels during exercise.

They are designed to provide a boost of energy, improve focus and endurance, and enhance muscle pumps.

Do I really need a pre-workout?

The question of whether or not you need a pre-workout supplement depends on your individual fitness goals and routine.

If you are looking for a boost of energy, improved focus and endurance, and enhanced muscle pumps during your workout, then pre-workout supplements may be beneficial.

What are the effects of pre-workout?

The effects of pre-workout supplements can vary depending on the ingredients used in the formula.

Common ingredients include caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, and nitric oxide boosters. These ingredients can help to improve focus, increase energy, and enhance muscle pumps.

What is the cons of pre-workout?

There are some cons associated with pre-workout supplements. They can cause jitteriness and anxiety, especially in people who are sensitive to ingredients like caffeine and beta-alanine.

They can also lead to a crash after the workout, and can cause stomach discomfort or upset if taken on an empty stomach.

How long does pre-workout last?

The duration of pre-workout supplements vary, depending on the ingredients and the dosage used.

Typically, the effects of a pre-workout supplement can last for several hours, with peak effects occurring within 30 minutes to an hour after consumption.

Is pre-workout risky?

Pre-workout supplements can be risky if not taken as directed or if you have any pre-existing medical condition.

If you’re unsure, contact a healthcare professional before taking a pre-workout supplement.

Some ingredients can interact with medications or exacerbate certain medical conditions.

Additionally, it’s important to carefully read the label and know the ingredients and their potential side effects before consuming any supplement.

Similar Posts