There’s no question using a bodybuilding pre-workout can dramatically improve your training sessions. Using the best pre-workout means increased energy, focus, endurance, performance, and pumps. You’ll drive through your workout with enhanced motivation. This will improve your mental connection to the weights.
Not only that, you’ll hit more reps and push the limits of your strength. Did we mention the insane pumps? If you want to discover the benefits of pre-workout, you better read this article before your next trip to the gym!
What’s In Pre-Workout
The most popular ingredients in the best pre-workouts include different forms of caffeine anhydrous, l-citrulline, beta-alanine, betaine, and alpha-GPC, and creatine monohydrate. Several other ingredients should be in a pre-workout, but these are the most popular and effective. The best pre-workout supplements should also provide a fully transparent formula and use clinical doses of effective ingredients.
6 Benefits Of Pre-Workout
While we’ll cover these in more detail, here’s a quick look at the benefits of pre-workout:
- Increased Energy & Focus - This is one of the main effects of pre-workout. Depending on the amount of caffeine and any other stimulants, the energy can be explosive.
- Elevated Focus - Of course, many energy ingredients also increase focus. The best pre-workout should include several focus ingredients. These work together to create a mindset that helps you laser focus on the task at hand.
- Increased Motivation - The best bodybuilding pre-workout does more besides elevating focus. It will also enhance your motivation to train by stimulating your mind-muscle connection.
- Great Pumps - For many, the pump is what training’s all about. What’s better than looking in the mirror at a pumped monster looking back? There are two kinds of pumps, nitric oxide and water-based. The best pre-workout pushes both.
- Extended Endurance - There should be ingredients that slow fatigue and extend endurance. If you can get a couple more reps at the end of your set, you can stimulate a little more growth.
- Enhanced Strength & Power - Some users want to push strength gains every time they train. A great way to do that is by consistently adding weight to the bar. The best bodybuilding pre-workout helps you reach your strength goals.
Does A Pre-Workout Stimulate Muscle Growth?
A pre-workout encourages muscle growth indirectly. It does this by allowing you to train at maximum intensity. This means you’re capable to train harder and endure longer than you could without a pre-workout. This also means you’re able to handle more weight. Adding weight to the bar over time means more muscle. After all, size will follow strength.
Best Ingredients For Pre Workout
The best ingredients for a bodybuilding pre-workout should cover your training needs. You’ll need ingredients for energy, mental enhancement, pumps, endurance, and improved performance. The best pre-workout should not emphasize one effect at the expense of another. The best pre-workout should be a comprehensive, balanced formula.
Here’s a look at the best ingredients for a pre-workout:
Caffeine and Other Stimulants
No doubt caffeine is the most popular energy compound on the planet. If you want good energy in the gym, caffeine is the way to go. It also increases alertness and focus.
The best pre-workout will include different forms of caffeine. Another good addition is theanine. This ingredient helps smooth out any harsh effects caused by caffeine.
Elevated focus works synergistically with energy. The best bodybuilding pre-workout includes two powerful focus enhancers: choline and tyrosine. Some include more than one form of choline. This provides the best cognitive effects of pre-workout.
Every pre-workout should contain at least one nitric oxide boosting ingredient. These ingredients increase blood flow and stimulate a good pump. They also increase nutrient delivery to the muscles and carry out toxins. There are several good pump ingredients, including agmatine sulfate, citrulline, nitrosigine, and S7.
This is an arginine metabolite that indirectly increases levels of nitric oxide. It does this by inhibiting enzymes that shut down nitric oxide production. (1)
This amino acid converts into arginine in the body. Citrulline absorbs better than arginine. For this reason, it increases levels of nitric oxide more effectively than arginine. (2)
This branded ingredient bonds arginine to silicon. This helps arginine absorb better. Once absorbed, it stimulates nitric oxide production. Nitrosigine is fast-acting and promotes good pumps up to 6 hours after ingesting it. (3)
This is a trademarked complex that consists of 7 herbal ingredients. They are green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, turmeric, tart cherry, blueberry, broccoli, and kale. These ingredients work synergistically to increase the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide. (4)
This is an osmolyte like creatine, betaine, and taurine. Of course, that means it pulls water into the muscle cells and promotes hydration. There are several forms but patented Hydromax glycerol is the best. (8)
Power & Performance
Creatine is manufactured from three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. It’s also a component of the ATP system of cellular energy. This is the primary energy system used by the body to power workouts. Creatine is also the original cell volumizer because it pulls water into the muscles. (5, 6)
It’s common to think of pumps in terms of nitric oxide. However, the best pre-workout combines osmolytes with nitric oxide boosters. That's where betaine comes in. Like creatine, betaine pulls water into your muscles. This promotes water-based pumps. Besides pumps, betaine also supports power and strength. (7)
This endurance ingredient blocks the build-up of lactic acid and slows fatigue. Beta-Alanine does this indirectly by increasing the body’s levels of carnosine. Some users complain about the short-term, harmless tingling and itching effect this compound causes. In response, many companies under-dose it. That’s never the answer. If you want full effects, it’s important to use the clinical dose. It allows you to knock out more reps.
If you want the benefits, you have to learn how to deal with the harmless side effects. They go away quickly but drinking 8oz of water helps speed the relief.
This is also an osmolyte. However, it’s well-known for its cognitive support. (9)
What Does Pre Workout Do
The effects of pre-workout include increased energy, elevated focus, and improved concentration. It also promotes greater pumps, reduced fatigue, improved endurance, and better strength and performance. The benefits of pre-workout are vast when used properly and with adequate training. An effective pre-workout can elevate your training and help produce long-term results.
The best pre-workouts contain powerful ingredient matrixes to promote different aspects of training. These matrixes should reveal how much of each ingredient is included and be built around Energy, Focus, Muscle-Building, and Endurance.
Hands down, the best bodybuilding pre-workout available is MRI Performance Black Powder. This powerful formula is a six-complex, fully disclosed bodybuilding pre-workout.
The Operation Muscle Feed Matrix
This complex is full of ingredients to support muscle growth and strength. It consists of creatine monohydrate, Creatine MagnaPower, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, and betaine anhydrous. This is the endurance, strength, and power blend. Additionally, as noted, creatine and betaine are cell volumizers.
The Performance Fuel Matrix
This consists of taurine and agmatine sulfate. Taurine is common in energy drinks and more recently in pre-workouts. It enhances mental performance, but it’s also another osmolyte. Yep, you guessed it, more support for greater pumps.
It doesn't stop there. Black Powder contains the nitric oxide booster agmatine. As you can see, it has a good pump complex, but it’s mostly cell volumizers. You can stack it with NO2 Black for a complete nitric oxide boosting formula. NO2 Black also contains Hydromax Glycerol, another effective water-based pump enhancer.
The Lock & Load Focus Matrix
This aspect of the pre-workout is a focus/cognitive complex consisting of two forms of choline, tyrosine and theanine. Do you want to talk about elevated focus and an enhanced mind-muscle connection? This is the complex that’ll get it done. (10, 11, 12, 13)
Speaking of energy, what would a pre-workout be without it?
The Rapid Fire Energy Matrix
Black Powder has three forms of caffeine for extended energy. (14) They are:
- Caffeine Anhydrous - This is caffeine with the moisture removed. This makes the caffeine more concentrated.
- Dicaffeine Malate - This trademarked version is a combination of 75% caffeine and 25% malic acid. This allows the caffeine to be absorbed slowly. This reduces the chances of jitters and a “crash” effect.
- Caffeine Citrate - This is a fast-acting form of caffeine.
There’s fast-acting caffeine for immediate energy and gradual release for extended energy. This prevents side effects like the jitters and crash. Not to mention, the addition of theanine takes the edge off caffeine. This complex also includes elevATP for improved cellular energy. Creatine is also involved in the ATP energy system. So, Black Powder increases energy in two ways.
Black Powder also contains activated charcoal to act as a detox. Finally, there’s Bioperine black pepper to improve the absorption of the entire formula.
Why consider any other pre-workout when you can buy Black Powder? Don’t forget to stack it with NO2 Black for the ultimate workout experience.
When To Take Pre Workout
Pre-Workout should be taken prior to a workout, typically 30 minutes before training or working out. Consuming pre-workout within the appropriate window will help ensure the effectiveness of the supplement and create the greatest impact on your workout. Also, always follow the label directions regarding dosing.
Should You Eat Before Taking A Pre Workout
You should eat a small meal a couple of hours before taking your pre-workout. This should be based on how well you digest your food. You want your meal to be fully digested. This meal should consist of a carb source and a protein source. It can be yogurt with a banana or other fruit. It can be a nutrition bar and a protein shake. This meal provides your body with carbs for energy. It also provides protein to help keep you in an anabolic environment.
Are Pre Workouts Safe
Yes, pre-workouts are safe as long as you follow the label directions. If you take it as directed, the side effects are minimal. If you choose to abuse your pre-workout, you will experience more side effects. Here are three common side effects you might expect from improper use or timing when consuming a pre-workout:
Many pre-workouts, Black Powder included, contain caffeine. In Black Powder’s case, there’s 300mg. It’s logical to assume you shouldn’t take it at night if you want to sleep. If you can’t work out until after dinner, don’t use a high caffeine product. Instead, try a pump enhancer like NO2 Black. Do you want the effects of pre-workout? Then the best time to take it is in the earlier part of the day.
Itching & Tingles
This is a harmless side effect caused by the clinical dose of Carnosyn Beta-Alanine. It’s not a big deal, it will go away. Drinking water will help. This sensation is a good thing because when this effect kicks in, you know it’s getting near time to train.
Some pre-workouts may cause gastric discomfort in some users. One solution is to drink more water with your pre-workout. Still, in some cases, you may have to consider a lower-dose product.
How To Use The Ultimate Pre-Workout Stack
You already know the best pre-workout stack is Black Powder and NO2 Black. How should you take this explosive combination for the best results? Let’s find out.
Black Powder - Use only on your training days. Black Powder features flexible dosing:
- If you’re a beginner - Take 1 scoop 15-30 minutes before your training session.
- Advanced users - Take 2 scoops 15-30 minutes before your training session.
NO2 Black - Use every day, on training days, you can mix this with Black Powder.
- If you weigh under 200lbs - Mix 1 scoop with Black Powder in 8-12oz cold water.
- If you weigh over 200lbs - Mix 2 scoops with Black Powder in 10-12oz cold water.
If mixing NO2 Black with Black Powder you’ll need more water. You can adjust the water to your desired amount. You can take NO2 Black twice per day on training days and off-days. If you do this, separate your doses by approximately 6 hours.
The Benefits Of Pre-Workout - The Bottom Line?
It’s clear. MRI Performance Black Powder, the best bodybuilding pre-workout, is the ultimate performance booster. As we have seen, the effects of pre-workout include energy, pumps, focus, strength, and endurance. Black Powder does all of this, and the dosing is adjustable. That’s one of the best things about it. You can adjust it to your experience level and your goals.
The other great thing about Black Powder is that you will not see any prop blends. There’s no hiding behind a hidden formula. It’s all there, fully disclosed. You see exactly what you’re getting. The same is true with Black Powder’s ultimate partner, NO2 Black. No underdosed prop blends, just well-dosed, effective ingredients. Are you ready to go to the gym yet? Take your pre-workout and let’s train!
Benefits Of Pre-Workout References:
- Haulică I, et al. Preliminary research on possible relationship of NO with agmatine at the vascular level. Rom J Physiol. (1999). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11068606
- Figueroa, A., Wong, A., Jaime, S. J., & Gonzales, J. U. (2017, January). Influence of L-citrulline and watermelon supplementation on vascular function and exercise performance. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27749691
- Nemzer BV;Centner C;Zdzieblik D;Fink B;Hunter JM;König D;. (n.d.). Oxidative Stress or Redox Signalling - New Insights Into the Effects of a Proprietary Multifunctional Botanical Dietary Supplement. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29110555/
- Casey, A., & Greenhaff, P. L. (2000). Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance?. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 72(2 Suppl), 607S–17S. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/72.2.607S
- Dumoulin, J. C., van Wissen, L. C., Menheere, P. P., Michiels, A. H., Geraedts, J. P., & Evers, J. L. (1997). Taurine acts as an osmolyte in human and mouse oocytes and embryos. Biology of reproduction, 56(3), 739–744. https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod56.3.739
- Choline - PubMed Central (PMC). (n.d.). Retrieved fromhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518394/
- Tyrosine | C9H11NO3 - PubChem (nih.gov)