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What Is Pre-Workout | When To Take It & Benefits

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Pre-workout shakes and supplements set you up for an effective and successful workout, and some might argue that they’re just as essential to your gym bag as your post-workout protein shake.

Whether you’re no stranger to supplements or you’ve only just signed up to a gym, this guide to pre-workout might be just what you need to take your training to the next level.

What is pre-workout?

Pre-workouts provide energy to push you further,1,2 along with nutrients to help to protect your muscles as you’re using them.3

Scientific research has shown that pre-workout formulas improve athletic performance. When taking them, many people find that they’re more focused and alert, and experience less fatigue as they challenge themselves.2,4,5


When to take pre-workout?

You should take pre-workout around 30 minutes before you’re going to begin exercising,2 as this gives your body a chance to take in the nutrients and put them to use effectively. If taken too early, the effects might have already worn off by the time you begin your workout.

Pre-workout is most effective on an empty stomach. This makes them ideal for a morning workout, but if you’re exercising later in the day you can just time your meals for a couple of hours before you’re due at the gym.


Does more pre-workout equal a better workout?

The right amount of pre-workout equals a better workout. You should never take more than the recommended dose as each blend has been researched to be most effective when instructions are followed correctly.


Are all pre-workouts the same?

No, we’ve got a whole range of pre-workout shakes and supplements designed to have different effects, or work slightly differently — you should find the best one for your individual fitness goals and lifestyle.

Whether you’re looking to build mass and need a high-calorie shake that fuels your weight session, or you’re trying to cut and want low-calorie fuel for your cardio workout, there’s a blend for you.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a quick guide to pre-workout supplements worth giving a go:

THE Pre-Workout+

A sure-fire way to start strong, THE Pre-Workout+ fuses clinically studied, performance-enhancing ingredients with our exclusive PhaseTech™ caffeine delivery system — giving you a dual-phased hit of energy you need to see superior results.7

We’ve fine-tuned this hard-hitting formula to deliver on three points:

  • Vasodilation — for increased blood flow to the muscles
  • Focus and energy — we’ve included ingredients like alpha-GPC and huperzine-A for their increase on neurological focus8,9
  • Nutrient absorption — with ingredients such as AstraGin®, we can help your body improve amino acid absorption10

Pre-Workout Blend

Our Pre-Workout Blend is packed with a whole host of widely researched ingredients — including taurine, beta alanine, essential vitamins, and caffeine to take your training to the next level.7

Caffeine has been proven to help you stay alert and focused, helping you to stay on track from start to finish and get the most from your workout.7


BCAA Drink

Forget about the coffee — get a can of our refreshing BCAA Drink on the go instead. Packed with amino acids, B vitamins and 180mg of caffeine, it provides the perfect pick me up.

Plus, it’s zero sugar, zero carb, and comes in delicious fruity flavours.


Should I take pre-workout instead of a protein shake?

Before training, pre-workout shakes or supplements are specifically designed to fuel your body so that you can get the most from your training. However, this isn’t as a replacement of your protein shake after you’ve worked out, as this aids your recovery and muscle building.

Combine the two either side of your workout to achieve the best results.


Take Home Message

Pre-workout supplements should be high on your priority list to get the most from your training and see superior results. With a powerful mix of scientifically proven ingredients, pre-workout sees you push further and break barriers – the ideal formula to get you firing on all cylinders.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
  1. Del Coso J, et al. Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: a repeated measures designJ Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2012)
  2. Conway KJ, Orr R, Stannard SR. Effect of a divided caffeine dose on endurance cycling performance, postexercise urinary caffeine concentration, and plasma paraxanthine. J Appl Physiol. (2003)
  3. Sureda A, et al. L-citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. (2010)
  4. Sweeney KM, et al. The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on power performance during repeated sprint activityJ Strength Cond Res. (2010)
  5. Sale C, et al. Effect of β-alanine plus sodium bicarbonate on high-intensity cycling capacity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2011)
  6. Bailey, Stephen J., Paul G. Winyard, Anni Vanhatalo, Jamie R. Blackwell, Fred J. DiMenna, Daryl P. Wilkerson, and Andrew M. Jones. Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 109, no. 5 (2010): 1394-1403.
  7. Graham, T., Rush, J. and Soeren, M. (1994). Caffeine and Exercise: Metabolism and Performance.Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 19(2), pp.111-138.
  8. Zhang, H. and Tang, X. (2006). Neuroprotective effects of huperzine A: new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseaseTrends in Pharmacological Sciences, 27(12), pp.619-625.
  9. Parker, A., Byars, A., Purpura, M. and Jager, R. (2015). The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agilityJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1).
  10. AstraGin; NuLivScience; “Clinically Demonstrated to Significantly Increase the Absorption of Amino Acids, Peptides, Vitamins, and Other Nutrients in Intestinal Cells to enhance the Nutritional Value of Targeted functional Foods and Supplements

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Jennifer Blow

Jennifer Blow

Editor & Qualified Nutritionist

Jennifer Blow is our UKVRN Registered Associate Nutritionist – the UK’s register of competent and qualified nutrition professionals. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutritional Science and a Master’s of Science by Research in Nutrition, and now specialises in the use of sports supplements for health and fitness, underpinned by evidence-based research.

Jennifer has been quoted or mentioned as a nutritionist in major online publications including Vogue, Elle, and Grazia, for her expertise in nutritional science for exercise and healthy living.

Her experience spans from working with the NHS on dietary intervention trials, to specific scientific research into omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and also the effect of fast foods on health, which she has presented at the annual Nutrition Society Conference. Jennifer is involved in many continuing professional development events to ensure her practise remains at the highest level. Find out more about Jennifer’s experience here.

In her spare time, Jennifer loves hill walking and cycling, and in her posts you’ll see that she loves proving healthy eating doesn’t mean a lifetime of hunger.

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