Choosing Your Pre Workout

Whether you’re a regular at the gym or simply want to level up your training before a big event, taking a pre workout supplement is a popular method of maximising your efforts and supporting your recovery. There are a few different factors that you should take into account when choosing a pre workout, from your training schedule, to your diet, and the type of pre workout supplement that is most convenient for you. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to choose a good pre workout supplement

What is pre workout?

Before we get started on how to choose a good pre workout, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for. Pre workout is a supplement taken around 30 to 60 minutes before exercise to boost your energy levels and accelerate your performance. 

Pre workout supplements are available in a variety of forms, including capsules, ready-made drinks (RTDs)  and energy chews, but the most common type of pre workout is a pre workout powder which can be mixed with water. Pre workout supplements contain fast-acting ingredients to fuel your muscles, support your brain and cardiovascular system, while helping you focus with laser-beam clarity.

Why use a pre workout?

In an ideal world, every training session would feel amazing. You’d be fired up, focused, with boundless energy to attack every rep of every set. But in reality, it’s never that simple. You may feel drained after a long day at work, a poor night’s sleep, or the distraction of a long to-do list. Many factors can impact your training session, including poor nutrition and feeling depleted of energy. 

For those days when you’re not firing on all cylinders and your workout demands 100%  – that’s when you need a pre workout to give you a much-needed boost.

How to choose a good pre workout

When choosing your pre workout, don’t buy the first pre workout you see. It’s important to choose one that suits your training goals, your lifestyle, and your diet plan. When deciding what pre workout you should get, consider the following:

If you’re looking to lose weight

You’re going to be taking this supplement regularly, according to your workout regime, so just like any multi vitamin or mineral, it’s important to choose a pre workout that suits you. If your training goal is ultimately to lose weight, choose a low-calorie pre-workout that contains minimal carbohydrates. Look for ingredients like BCAAs or EAAs (amino acids, the building blocks of protein), electrolytes, and elements that support your fat loss efforts (yerba mate, CLA, green tea extract, Bioperine).

It’s also common to incorporate a lean protein powder into your diet plan, helping to keep cravings at bay and fuel your workout.

If you train in the evening

Pre workout supplements typically contain caffeine to give you a dose of energy exactly when you need it. However, if you train in the evening, you should avoid taking a caffeinated pre workout after 5pm. It’s smart to choose a caffeine-free workout if you train close to bedtime to avoid disrupting your sleep routine. BCAAs and creatine are good choices for a pre workout or intra workout drink that won’t keep you awake.

If you want to gain muscle

If gaining muscle is your goal, there are many pre workouts on the market that will give you the calories and carbohydrates you need to train hard, lift heavy and put on muscle. 

The benefits of creatine monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is one of the most widely researched sports performance supplements in the world. It is a naturally occurring compound found in muscle tissue and major organs.

There are lots of reasons to take creatine as part of your pre workout stack, particularly if you do weight training, HIIT, or any sports that involve short bursts of high intensity work. Creatine is thought to support strength gain, help increase muscle mass, and boost recovery from training. (1)

Creatine monohydrate can be combined with your pre workout if you’re looking to combine the benefits of the two. Look for a pre workout that contains creatine, or add a pure creatine monohydrate supplement to your own pre workout. Alternatively, just take 5g creatine in water once a day. PhD Creatine is pure micronized creatine with nothing added and no flavouring, so you can add it to any drink!

What is Burn Powder?

PhD Burn Powder is our fat burning, performance enhancing pre workout that also happens to taste great thanks to two flavour creations (Lemon Sherbert or Sour Apple). We’ve added optimal doses of fat burning ingredients Acetyl L Carnitine, Yerba Mate, and CLA in a synergistic formula that targets fat as a fuel source for your workouts.

It also contains BCAA and L Glutamine to protect muscle tissue as you do your morning cardio, train hard, or tackle a tough HIIT session.


What is Charge Powder?

PhD Charge Powder is our all in one pre workout, targeting your brain and body, boosting energy, focus, and performance with active cognitive enhancing nootropics. This pre workout also gives you creatine and BCAAs for extra muscle support.

Stand out ingredients are L Citrulline and L Arginine to get more nutrients into your muscles, Beta Alanine to help you push through long sets, and a powerful nootropic blend to support mental focus.

Our Charge Powder comes in four incredible flavours.


When and how to use your pre workout supplement

After choosing your pre workout, it’s important to know when and how to use it. If a traditional pre workout powder is your supplement of choice, simply mix with cold water and drink around 20 – 30 minutes before your training session. Then get ready to experience your most energised, focused and effective training session yet!

Nicola is a specialist freelance copywriter for the fitness industry @thefitwriter