Protein & Fitness

Pre-workout Supplements: Definition, Types, Benefits and Side Effects

Pre-workout Supplements: Definition, Types, Benefits and Side Effects - GNC India

Pre-workout supplements usually also known as “pre-workouts” are considered to be dietary formulas to boost energy and athletic performance. They are most commonly available in powdered or tablet form and should be taken before the exercise to improve your stamina.

Types of Pre-workouts Formula


The most common pre-workout ingredients often found in almost all pre-workout supplements. Guarana is a common natural supplement containing caffeine. Guarana has a high concentration of caffeine and is derived from the seeds of a South American tree. It may be responsible for mental alertness, memory, improved exercise performance, and fat burning.

In one of the studies, it was observed that pre-workout supplement, taken prior to exercise; a caffeine-containing pre-workout dietary supplement may improve anaerobic power performance.


Creatine is a compound in the body that provides support for immediate energy production during exercise. It helps muscles make and circulate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy fuel for quick intense activity of short duration, like lifting weights or sprinting. Creatine Monohydrate is the active form of creatine.

Related Blog: Creatine: Definition and Science-Based Benefits

Nitric Oxide:

Nitric Oxide is the compound in our body that is naturally produced in our body. It helps to relax our blood vessels and improve blood flow. It can also stimulate the release of hormones like growth hormones and insulin. Some of the compounds that your body used to create nitric oxide are many times consumed as a pre-workout supplement or included in as a multi mix pre-workout supplement. L-Arginine and L-Carnitine are commonly used and have shown to improve athletic performance by boosting oxygen and helping nutrient transport to your muscles.

Are there any side effects of pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements that contain artificial sugars or excess of caffeine to give you an energy rush may not be the right supplement for you. These pre-workouts aren’t completely risk-free.

Although, sugar-free or sugar alcohol may enhance the flavor without adding any calories, but prolonged use may have detrimental effects on your body.

Similarly, check the nutritional label for the caffeine content, excess of caffeine may cause intestinal problems and may cause jitters.

Is a multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement better than the single ingredient?

In recent years, a lot of buzzes is created around multi-ingredients pre-workout supplements commonly known as MIPS. These supplements typically consist of caffeine, creatine, amino acids, and nitric oxide precursors. These ingredients when taken together may elicit a synergistic effect on acute exercise performance and subsequent training adaptations compared to single ingredients alone. As far as safety is concerned with these supplements, studies conclude that short term supplementation is safe in healthy consumers.

Many people consume pre-workout supplements for a longer period of time and therefore, further research is needed to determine the effects of chronic MIPS consumption on performance enhancement.

Should you take a pre-workout supplement?

To optimize your energy levels, mainly one needs to focus on adequate hydration, sleep, and diet. This will not only help to improve your muscle mass but also the recovery.

But, if you feel you lack that energy and you facing this issue post taking care of the above 3 important things, then you may go for the pre-workout supplement.

Consult your dietician before consuming the pre-workout supplement and make sure to always check the ingredients and their proportions provided per serving.

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