What is a pre-workout?

What is a pre-workout?

You can sometimes hear the term 'pre-workout' among avid athletes. According to them, it gives an energy boost before training, so that you can continue even longer and harder. Nowadays there are many different brands that offer pre-workout supplements, but what exactly is it, and how do you know if it is something for you? We will elaborate on this further below.

What is pre workout?

Pre-workouts are nutritional supplements that aim to get the most out of every session at the gym. It is a food composition that is usually powdered, which can be made into a shake with some water, milk or fruit juice. The packaging often contains a measuring spoon, with which you can easily remove a 'scoop', or a dosage. The name 'pre-workout' actually says enough about the use. You take this supplement before the workout. This gives you more energy during the training, so that you can get the most out of it.

Why use a pre-workout?

In principle, anyone who wants to get the most out of their physical training can use and experience the benefits of a pre-workout supplement. In particular, avid athletes who do anaerobic training, such as strength training, cardio or sprints, will benefit from that boost of energy that a pre-workout provides. Especially after a day's work, if you don't have enough energy left to enter the gym, a pre-workout can give you the necessary energy to motivate you again to hit the ground running.

What ingredients are in a pre-workout?

Despite the widespread choice between many different brands of pre-workouts, the composition often consists of the same ingredients. Below we will discuss a number of common substances that provide the energy-generating effect of a pre-workout supplement.


One of the most common ingredients in pre-workout supplements is caffeine. Most people are therefore familiar with the powerful effect of this substance. It is therefore frequently used to wake up (or stay) and to give energy. It has also been shown to improve muscle strength and endurance. Caffeine widens the blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the muscles. It is helpful to be aware of this ingredient, especially if you plan to use it at night.


BCAAs are branched chain amino acids. These are also often taken before a workout and act as building blocks of muscle tissue. They help to prevent muscle damage and muscle breakdown, and stimulate muscle building.

Vitamin B

A number of B vitamins are also usually found in the ingredient list of pre-workouts. Specifically, the vitamins niacin and B12 are an important part of the composition, because they play a crucial role in metabolism and energy management.


This more well-known substance is also usually added to pre-workouts, partly because it is an essential substance to provide the muscles with energy. During explosive training, the body uses creatine to supply energy to the muscles.

When do you take a pre-workout?

In most cases, caffeine is the main ingredient, and it takes about half an hour for this substance to start working in the body. The best time to take a pre-workout is therefore 30 to 60 minutes before you start your training.

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