Scoop of pre-workout powder

What is pre-workout? Everything you need to know

8 min read


18 Mar 2024

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  1. What is pre-workout?
  2. What’s in pre-workout
  3. >What does pre-workout do
  4. The benefits of pre-workout
  5. When should you take pre-workout
  6. Should I take pre-workout
  7. What are the best pre-workouts?
  8. Why Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train

What is pre-workout?

Pre-workout is the term applied to any pre-workout supplement in pill or powder form.

The formula is specifically designed to fuel your workout performance, boost energy levels, sharpen focus, and level up muscular endurance during high-intensity workouts. 

Pre-workout supplements are all about bringing fire to your workouts as opposed to your recovery—which is often the job of protein powders.

To give you that extra edge, you’re meant to take pre-workout supplements before hitting the gym—it's all in the name! 

Coupled with a solid workout routine, you’re set to hit your fitness goals faster and harder.

What’s in pre-workout?

Pre-workout supplements are a balanced mix of goodies that give your workouts a serious boost. 

But where does that boost come from? 

Some formulas are jam-packed with caffeine, added sugar or artificial sweeteners for a short burst of energy (and taste), while others are enriched with electrolytes or creatine to help improve endurance and support post-workout recovery. 

While the ingredients vary, what they all share in common is that they work as a team to improve physical performance and give your body the fill of nutrients it needs to succeed.

The most common ingredients found in pre-workouts are…

  • Caffeine. A natural stimulant that helps to increase energy levels and improve focus — a frequently occurring ingredient.
  • Beta-alanine. An amino acid that has been shown to enhance muscular endurance by reducing muscle fatigue.
  • Creatine. A substance that increases muscle power and strength, boosts endurance, and promotes muscle growth.
  • Citrulline malate. An amino acid that helps to improve blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Amino acids. The building blocks of protein, which are essential for muscle growth and recovery.
  • Taurine. An amino acid that supports cardiovascular health and helps to improve exercise performance.
  • Nitric Oxide boosters. These help to increase blood flow and improve the delivery of nutrient-rich oxygen and other nutrients to muscles during workouts.

You can also buy non-caffeine stimulant-free pre-workout formulas, which tend to contain beta-alanine, citrulline malate, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), creatine, and vitamins that bring the buzz.

There are also vegan formulas which have the same effect as non-vegan pre-workouts. 

These pre-workout powerhouses often have a great nutritional profile, too and act as an impressive nutrition top-up if you’re not hitting all your macros with food.

What does pre-workout do?

Man drinking pre-workout

So we know they are designed to transform your workout performancebut how exactly?

Pre-workout supplements are like a secret weapon that prepares your body for the ultimate training experience. 

But really, it’s their ingredients and their blend that create the effects. 

Let's start off with everyone's favourite buzz generator: caffeine! This stimulant is a straight-up stimulant powerhouse, firing up your nervous system and unleashing a tidal wave of energy.

And we can’t forget the muscle-building master, creatine

This wonder molecule boosts your strength and powers up your muscles like never before. 

And, of course, those muscle-building building blocks, the amino acids. These, especially the mighty BCAAs, fuel your muscles, zap away fatigue, and kickstart recovery like nobody's business. 

To top it all off, pre-workout supplements often come loaded with fancy extras. 

Things like beta-alanine fight off fatigue and help you push through those gruelling workouts. They even improve blood flow to your pumped-up muscles.

A pre-workout plays a strong role in your athletic performance, but the ingredients are the true performers. 

The benefits of pre-workout

So, what are the real benefits of a good pre-workout supplement? And what kind of exercise and mental performance can you expect after taking them? 

Let’s check out the main pros. 

Athletic performance

Achieve new levels of aerobic output and unleash explosive power to fuel your dreams of a chiselled physique. 


Ready to crush every rep and every session? With a pre-workout boost of endurance, you can take on even the toughest workouts with extra bounce in your step.

Muscle recovery

Speed up muscle recovery, reduce soreness, and bounce back faster to hit the gym with renewed strength.

As we know, the formulas usually contain ingredients like BCAAs, creatine, and citrulline malate, which are proven to improve muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.

These ingredients aid in replenishing energy stores, promote protein synthesis (the key to repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue post-workout), and reduce inflammation, allowing for faster recovery. 

Plus, certain ingredients like nitrates can enhance blood flow to the muscles, bolstering the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste products in the process. 

The result? Epic muscle recovery.

Ultimately, this colossal combo enables you to bounce back to the gym quickly with renewed strength.

Muscle growth

Muscular man lifting kettlebell weight

Pre-workouts with creatine will boost your gains and fuel your strength. 


Well, creatine gives a helping hand to our body's energy system during exercise by providing an extra phosphate group to a molecule called ADP, which helps it turn back into ATP, a form of energy that our muscles use. 

This means that with creatine, we have more energy available to push harder and perform better during workouts.


Pre-workout can elevate your mental clarity and sharpen your focus. 

The formulas are designed to give you an extra edge, not just physically but mentally, too. 

They often contain key ingredients like caffeine and other stimulants that can rev up your central nervous system and help improve alertness, concentration, and boost your overall focus like a laser beam.

Feel good

Pre-workouts can also include brain-boosting components like tyrosine, which supports the production of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter that boosts your drive.

Want to stay fully engaged in the zone of your work? Active ingredients like L-arginine toss fatigue out of the window and make your awareness razor-sharp.

Better nutrient delivery

Enhance your muscle pumps and nutrient delivery with the dynamic duo of citrulline and arginine in your pre-workout.

Ignite vasodilation, widen your blood vessels, and supercharge blood flow to your hardworking muscles. 

Provide essential nutrients to your muscles, boost performance, and turbocharge your recovery for unbeatable results.

It’s also true that they can help deliver vital vitamins, minerals and nutrition your body needs that you may not be getting from your food. 

When should you take pre-workout?

People working out together

It’s the biggest question of all, right? Let’s cut straight to the chase with some hard science.

The best time to have your pre-workout is around 30 to 60 minutes before exercise.


Well, this particular timing allows for the ingredients to be absorbed and take effect by the time you hit the gym. 

You’ve got to remember most pre-workouts have caffeine in them, which typically reaches peak levels in your bloodstream around 30 to 60 minutes after consumption—and this is when you hit your peak.

But also bear in mind, due to the dosage of caffeine in it (often more than 150mg), the stronger the dosage, the longer the effects will take to wear off.

Remember that caffeine stimulates the brain and body and might disrupt your sleep if you take the pre-workout too close to bedtime.

Should I take pre-workout?

When deciding whether to add pre-workouts to your routine, it's essential to assess a few key factors. 

Whether you’re a weight lifter or a cardio enthusiast, rest assured, pre-workout can benefit both camps. 

Studies have shown that pre-workouts are especially effective when combined with HIIT sessions. 

The results suggest an improvement in VO2 max, lean body mass and fat loss.

Packed with ingredients like caffeine and creatine, it has the potential to enhance energy levels and performance, helping you make the most of your workouts, whatever sports you do.

But, you’ve also got to exercise caution. 

Some people may be sensitive to the effects of caffeine or have underlying health conditions that could be impacted by pre-workout supplements. 

A pre-workout is convenient and easy to use, providing a quick and efficient way to get essential nutrients before a workout. 

These supplements can be especially helpful if you have a busy schedule and need an easy way to fuel your body before heading to the gym and hitting your macros.

It’s true that many of them contain blends specifically formulated to target your individual fitness goals, like improving endurance, increasing strength, or boosting energy levels. 

By choosing a blend with ingredients tailored to your needs, you can optimise your nutrition to support your fitness goals.

What are the best pre-workouts?

Pre-workout powder

The best pre-workout supplements should include a combination of ingredients that provide energy, improve focus, enhance endurance, and support muscle recovery. 

But there are a few other things to consider, too.


Pre-workout prices tend to vary depending on the brand, size, and quality of ingredients. 

While there are more affordable options, you’ve gotta consider the overall value and effectiveness of the product rather than just the price tag. 

It may be worth investing in a higher-quality pre-workout if it aligns with your specific goals. 

Natural ingredients

Many people prefer pre-workouts that include natural ingredients as they care about their exercise performance as well as what goes into their bodies.

These options are typically free from artificial colours, sweeteners, and flavours. They’re usually derived from plants, fruits, or other natural sources, too. 

A pre-workout made with natural ingredients generally has a lower risk of side effects compared to synthetic or artificial ingredients commonly found in some pre-workout supplements. 

And for those with allergies and sensitivities, natural ingredients are the best choice, too. 

Why Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train?

If you want a pre-workout that athletes use to achieve their best performance, every time, go for the INTENSIVE PRE-TRAIN formula.

Crafted with a unique blend of 13 powerhouse natural ingredients, it’s the best way to hit those workout highs without cramps, digestive issues or jitters. 

At Crazy Nutrition, we leave the fillers, additives and garbage at the door.

Go for premium nutrition, explosive strength, determination and intense focus with just one scoop. 

Trust us, you won’t look back.