Pre And Post Workout Supplements: What To Look For To Make Sure You Choose The Right One

Pre and post workout Supplements are everywhere and everyone seems to have a suggestion as to which one is the best one, as oppose to looking at most popular brands, focus on ingredients. If you are starting a high-intensity training program and want to focus on building muscle, then adding pre and post-workout supplements can help to improve how your body reacts to the training you are doing.

There is more to taking supplements than just grabbing the first one you see, off the shelf. It is important to look for pre and post workout supplementation that is going to work for your specific work out program to help your body adequately prepare for the workout and also help your body recover afterwards.

If your focus is to build muscle then you are going to want to focus on finding the perfect combination of workout program and supplement routine.

When it comes to working out and building muscle there are two key components: a good workout program and good nutrition. Nutrition includes the food you eat, and supplements you take. It has been proven that supplements can increase your strength and power in a workout when the right amounts and types are taken. It is a good idea to take both pre and post workout supplementation to build muscle, but what should be included in your pre and post-workout supplements and when should it be taken?

Pre-Workout Supplements

These supplements should be taken up to anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour prior to your training. Before your workout it is important to set your body up properly for a workout. So with a pre-workout you’ll be setting up your body to perform well.

A good pre-workout supplement should contain the following ingredients to prepare your body for your workout.


Caffeine is a stimulant that is quickly absorbed by the body and moves quickly to the brain.  When caffeine is taken it blocks the affects of adenosine, which is what makes us feel relaxed and leaves the brain full of adrenaline, giving you energy for your workout. Caffeine reduces feelings of exhaustion which is why it is recommended you take it before your work out. Research has also shown that caffeine helps with recovery and affects how you perceive muscle soreness.

Creatine Hydrochloride:

When creatine is taken it is stored in the skeletal muscle, providing high-energy creatine phosphate. By taking a supplement with creatine in it, you increase the levels of creatine in your body, and this provides your muscles with extra substrates. These extra substrates are important for the production of ATP which the body uses for muscle contraction. Creatine is important when you are doing high-intensity training as it allows you to lift heavier weights for a longer period of time, as well as it reduces your recovery time between each set.


This ingredient is found in most pre-workout supplements because it prevents muscle fatigue. It does also help produce energy by increasing the rate of phosphocreatine and ATP production. Research has also proven that when citrulline is taken before a workout it fights fatigue and decreases muscle pain during your workout. Just make sure your pre-workout has it.


Beta-Alanine boosts muscle carnosine and this in turn increases the energy and endurance of muscles. This means that when you take a supplement with beta-alanine you will be able to push even harder during your workout.


Protein synthesis is particularly important when you are trying to build muscle and betaine can helps with this. Studies have been conducted that show that betaine improves muscle output during high-intensity workouts. The Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition published a paper that showed that a group of men who received betaine supplements for 6 weeks all had improved muscle size and work capacity when compared with a group who took placebos.

Post-Workout Supplementation

When you have completed a high-intensity workout you are tired, and your body is desperate for nourishment. It is crucial that you give it the right kind of nourishment so that it can recover and repair muscle.  You should take your post-workout supplement immediately after your workout.

When looking for a good post-workout supplement, look for ones that contain the following ingredients.

Whey Protein Isolate:

This ingredient is perfect for recovery. It is absorbed pretty quickly which means that it will raise amino acids and keep them raised for hours, which is ideal after a workout. Whey protein will also increase your blood insulin, and this is good for getting glycogen and nutrients into your tired muscles quickly.

Creatine HCI:

It is suggested you take creatine with whey protein isolate and proteolytic enzymes. When these are taken together your body will be able to absorb the creatine quickly and this will assist with your recovery.


This can be used in both pre and post workout supplementation. When taken after a workout it is absorbed quickly and promotes muscles protein synthesis. Muscle Protein synthesis, meaning it will help your muscles absorb whatever amount of protein your ingesting post-workout quicker.

So those are the ingredients you want in your pre and post-workout supplements. Whatever brand you choose just pick ones with these ingredients. You can usually find pre-workout and post-workout drinks at a nutritional stores, smoothie bar at the gym or sometimes in vending machines