Why a Pre-Workout Drink can Take Your Fitness to the Next Level
Not feeling up for your workout? Boosters or pre-workout drinks can help you power through. Read on and learn what to look out for in a pre-workout drink, their key ingredients, and some pro tips.
Why Pre-Workout Drinks?
If you’re feeling low energy or somehow glued to the couch, pre-workout drinks can increase your energy levels and turn your mood around to get you to the gym feeling motivated and strong.
Just drink it in: that tingling under your skin like you feel before a race, muscles that want to put in some work and the motivation to do it all. Okay, so you have to work on your mindset a little too, but the best pre-workout drinks get your body feeling ready to go.
Depending on their ingredients, they help pump you up and focus, which is just the right thing for an intense workout session to give you an efficiency boost.
Here, we present the most important criteria for pre-workout boosters, explain some basic ingredients, and note what you should look out for when using pre-workout drinks. We’ll also introduce our Energy Aminos better.
Which amino acids belong in a pre-workout drink?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and thus tissue, such as muscles, skin, and even hair. Each one has different benefits and effects on your training goals. Make very sure your pre-workout supplement has the following:
The essential BCAAs
BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids, belong in every good pre-workout supplement. These go by the names of leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAAs belong to the essential amino acids because the body cannot produce them itself, so they must be supplied with food. They’re an important energy source for your body. Foods rich in BCAAs include peanuts, eggs, and quinoa. In order to provide your body with as many nutrients as possible throughout the day, and cover your amino needs, it’s important to have a balanced diet.
L-Citrulline and L-Arginine
L-Citrulline and its precursor arginine are non-essential amino acids that are both often found in pre-workout drinks.
L-arginine is produced by the body itself, making it a non-essential amino acid, but it’s found mainly in animal sources. Vegans can find L-arginine sourced from plants, as in our Energy Aminos or L-arginine capsules.
Beta-alanine is the substance in pre-workout drinks that makes some athletes’ skin tingle.
In order to fully benefit from the effects of beta-alanine, you need to get the right amount. For competitive athletes, a targeted supplementation in consultation with a coach is useful. Our foodspring nutritionists are also happy to help.
What to look for in a pre-workout supplement or drink
In addition to the ingredients used, the quality of the ingredients in your pre-workout supplement is also important. You can easily check for the following three criteria with a quick look at the ingredients list.
Caffeine, but the good stuff, please.
Caffeine pushes you into workout mode. Even if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, it’ll get you back on track. The caffeine in classic energy drinks usually comes from taurine. That’s not a bad thing per se, but it’s also not necessary. Taurine is found in meat, fish, and milk and is also produced when the amino acids cysteine and methionine are broken down in the body.
Herbal caffeine from guarana extract has just as much power, but goes through fewer manufacturing steps in the lab than taurine, and has long been prized as an energy booster by the indigenous Guarani people to whom it owes its name. Why change a good thing?
Real words instead of E-numbers
E-numbers are uniform designations for additives approved in Europe, which are basically harmless. Some of them, however, are suspected of being harmful in larger quantities.
Most pre-workout supplements of high quality will have real words on them instead of E-numbers. That helps you see what’s in your pre-workout supplement at a glance without having to spend a lot of time researching which E-number stands for which additive.
The more natural, the better
Let’s face it: pre-workout drinks are never purely natural. They can’t be, and they don’t want to be. But some pre-workout drinks are full of artificial flavors, additives, and dyes. And that doesn’t have to be! When checking the ingredient list, make sure you know if there are natural or artificial flavors in there and what the source for any colors or dyes used is.
What can Energy Aminos do?
No half measures here! Our Energy Aminos definitely deserve a place on the list of best pre-workout drinks.
Powered by aminos, not sugar
Unlike many other pre-workout drinks, ours don’t use sugar, and instead include an amino acid kick from L-citrulline, L-leucine, and L-arginine. So, you benefit first and foremost from the full spectrum of amino acids and secondly from the additional energy kick from sugar in the form of corn dextrin.
Our foodspring Energy Aminos are relatively low in sugar. Beta-alanine also assists your cells for your upcoming workout.
Protein rich thanks to BCAAs
In addition to those amino acids, Energy Aminos provide you with 6039mg of BCAAs per serving in the proven 3:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine. BCAAs are basic building blocks of proteins, and proteins contribute to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass – all to support your fitness goals.
Guarana and pepper extract
One serving of Energy Aminos = 171mg of caffeine. That means: distractions off, workout on. The natural caffeine in Energy Aminos comes from the South American guarana plant, which has always been considered an energy booster. Piperine from pepper extract heats you up before the workout.
A blast of vitamins tailored to your training
This includes vitamins C, B3, and B12, which round off the spectrum of action of our Energy Aminos. Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system, vitamin C, B3 and B12 contribute to a normal energy metabolism, and last but not least, vitamin C and B3 reduce feelings of fatigue.
Clean ingredients instead of chemicals
Natural flavors and color from jasmine extract, beetroot powder, and chlorophyll, and pure taste from natural flavors: Our Energy Aminos might just be the cleanest, best pre-workout product you can get. Available in lemon, iced tea, apple, and passion fruit. Naturally lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Why pre-workout drinks improve your exercise performance and what to look for
Pre-workout drinks are the perfect supplement that might just improve exercise performance and focus. Before you get started and take your workout to the next level, think about the following three tips for using pre-workout drinks.
Timing makes an impact
Depending on your individual metabolism and eating habits, it will take caffeine about 30-60 minutes to enter your bloodstream. That’s why we recommend drinking your Energy Aminos about 20 minutes before your workout. This way, you’ll be at 120% after your warm-up.
Of course, the timing also applies the other way around. The effect of caffeine usually lasts 4-6 hours. That is: having Energy Aminos at 8pm and trying to get to sleep by 11 could be difficult.
Restful sleep is important and essential for you to achieve your fitness goals. You can train as hard as you want, but if you don’t sleep and don’t take recovery time, you won’t make any progress. Need a hand? We’ve got 8 tips to help you sleep well.
Our tip for a hard workout and a gentle snooze:
Plan so that you have at least 3 hours between the end of your workout and your bedtime. Immediately after a workout, your sympathetic nervous system is active, which suppresses your body’s ability to fall asleep. Caffeine residue in the bloodstream can amplify this effect. People sensitive to caffeine and poor sleepers should play it safe by scheduling 4-5 hours between the end of your workout and your bedtime.
Caffeine is great – in moderation
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increases alertness, and can reduce feelings of muscle fatigue so you can fully concentrate on your workout performance.
But if you’ve practically got coffee on an IV drip, keep an eye on your daily caffeine limit. Don’t exceed 200 mg of caffeine per serving and 400 mg of caffeine per day. According to the European Food Safety Authority, these amounts of caffeine are perfectly safe for healthy adults.
One serving of Energy Aminos has 171mg of caffeine. How much caffeine your coffee has depends on how you brew it, and on average, you can expect it’s somewhere between 80 – 100mg of caffeine per cup. As a guideline, one serving of Energy Aminos and 1-2 cups of coffee per day is perfectly acceptable.
Take a break if you need it
Giving yourself an extra dose of energy is great. But if you really don’t feel like working out, ask yourself why. Have you slept too little? Or have you been working out too much and exhausting yourself? Do you need a mental or physical break? Take it. Is it just your inner couch potato that’s getting the better of you? Put it to rest.
Answer this question honestly and give yourself a break when you need it. Good, full recovery, and enough time to hit the ground running next time are essential to your training success. And remember, sometimes admitting exhaustion and staying home shows more strength and discipline than pushing yourself to the gym.
- Pre-workout drinks contain caffeine, sugar, and amino acids. They can help you take your workout to the next level.
- Reach for high-quality drinks. Our pre-workout drink contains herbal caffeine, no artificial flavors or colors, and provides you with additional vitamins.
- Always keep an eye on your daily caffeine limit.
Sources for this article
We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- EFSA: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/de/topics/topic/caffeine (04.09.2021).
- VO (EU) 432/2012