4 Vital Ingredients To Have In Your Pre-Workout Supplement!

I'll cut straight to the chase with this. There are a plethora of pre-workout supplements on the market but not all contain the 'money ingredients', the key components that make pre-workout supplements the big players they are in the industry today. So here are my top 4 ingredients that I firmly believe are integral to a good pre-workout experience.


1.) Agmatine

In no particular order, first on the list is Agmatine. This molecule is now one of the most heavily researched supplement ingredients around. A derivative of L-arginine (produced via the removal of the carboxylic acid group), Agmatine is showing great promise in neurotransmission and muscle excitability.

Agmatine may increase your focus and muscle endurance through its ability to act on cathecholamines such as Epinephrine, Norepinephrine and Dopamine. Animal studies also show that Agmatine enhances insulin production, which considering insulin is one of the most anabolic hormones in the body may well increase muscle growth potential.


2.) L-arginine 

This conditionally essential amino acid is key to the synthesis (production) of Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide, or NO as it’s commonly known is proven to vasodilate i.e. widen the blood vessels so that more blood can get to your working muscles. The improved blood flow also directly increases oxygen delivery to your muscle and brain, and where blood and oxygen goes…energy usually follows!


3.) Citrulline Malate

Citrulline Malate is known to reduce fatigue and improve endurance during exercise. It works collaboratively with L-arginine and is actually converted to L-arginine after ingestion. Citrulline Malate is gradually becoming more favourable than L-arginine itself due to its ability to increase plasma levels of L-arginine and L-ornithine over time.

The current consensus of opinion is that performance enhancement is better when L-arginine and Citrulline Malate are combined.


4.) Beta-alanine

The brilliant Beta-alanine is a must have in any pre-workout for its ability to improve performance via a slightly different mechanism to all of the above. Beta-alanine is known as a buffer, much like a sponge that goes around the body mopping up Hydrogen ions, a by-product of exercise that triggers that nasty burn in your muscles!

Like Agmatine, Beta-alanine is also a neurotransmitter that can increase muscle excitability and focus. You may already be familiar with the tingling effect beta-alanine can cause in your extremities such as your ears, hands, feet and sometimes your arms and legs. This is known as paraesthesia and is proof that beta-alanine is doing its job!

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Examine.com, (2016). Agmatine. Retrieved 11th Feb, 2016, from http://examine.com/supplements/agmatine/

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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