2 Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

September 18, 2013

Must See Nutrition Videos

With so many brands and choices of pre-workout supplements available, figuring out which products are actually safe and worth your money can be difficult. Here are two of the better supplements on the market.

Safe Pre-Workout Supplements


The International Society of Sports Nutrition says that creatine monohydrate is the most effective nutritional supplement for increasing lean body mass and anaerobic capacity.

Creatine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. When taken as a supplement, it improves explosive power during short bursts of activity such as sprinting. Five grams of creatine per day is a safe dose that works well for most people. Maintain adequate hydration while supplementing. It may take a few weeks before you see noticeable benefits, so be patient.

Read more about creatine:


Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that increases the amount of carnosine in your muscle cells. Carnosine is a protein building block that helps buffer the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles in response to intense training. The increase in lactic acid is what produces the familiar "burn" feeling as you near the end of a tough set.

Supplementing with beta-alanine enhances muscular endurance, allowing you to push out one or two extra reps during your lifting sets. It is most effective in the eight-to-15-rep range or for periods of exercise lasting one to four minutes. The benefits are minor, but they can impact your training.

The standard dosage for beta-alanine is between 2 and 5 grams daily. Initially, you might feel tingling in your face and limbs after larger doses. This sensation is known as paresthesia and it is a completely harmless side effect. Over time (a minimum of two weeks), your carnosine stores will increase, and the tingling sensation should subside.

Creatine and beta-alanine complement each other well; you can add both to your pre-workout drink.

RELATED: The Best Pre-Workout Supplements

Read more about beta-alanine:


1. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Page 8, "Effects of Supplementation on Exercise Performance and Training Adaptations." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048496/.

2. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Page 3, "Background." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048496/.

3. Laboratory of Applied Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. "Role of beta-alanine supplmentation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20479615.

- Steven Trolio is a personal trainer certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is currently a student at Cleveland State University.
- Steven Trolio is a personal trainer certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is currently a student at Cleveland State University.
Must See
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 37,055,677
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 25,405,430
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,204,573

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 68,738
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 8,003
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 131,367
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,758
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,255
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,676
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,782
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,460

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Powder Hour: Is It Time to Add Protein Powder to Your Diet?

4 Muscle-Building Supplements That Don't Work

Do Athletes Need Zinc Supplements?

The Truth About Muscle-Enhancing Supplements

DHEA Supplements: Should You Take Them?

Demystifying Popular Smoothie Boosters

The Powerful Health Benefits of Turmeric

How to Select a Healthy Protein Bar

L.A. Galaxy's Safe Supplementation for Soccer Players

7 Sketchy Marketing Phrases Used By Supplement Companies

The Best Time to Consume Creatine

7 Rules That Would End PED Use in Baseball Immediately

6 Supplements That Power Quality Workouts

The Positive Side Effects of Creatine (Besides Building Muscle)

Ask the Experts: Is Caffeine Safe for Athletes?

3 Reasons Why You Should Take a Fish Oil Supplement

The 6 Most Promising Weight-Loss Supplements

4 Creatine Myths Exposed

Should You Be Taking BCAAs?

Should I Take Creatine?

Why Creatine Is the Best Sports Supplement

Soy vs. Whey Protein

Why You Can't Ignore Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition

This Just In: Boost Your Workout With Peppermint

Creatine Supplements: Benefits, Concerns, Types and Dosage

EXOS Launches New Line of Supplements

Why You Need Vitamin D in Your Diet

5 Rules You Must Know Before Taking a Fish Oil Supplement

Use Sodium Bicarbonate to Get More Out of Creatine

Can Baking Soda Improve Your Training Gains?

ZMA: Is This Mysterious Supplement Right for You?

Iodine: An Overlooked Essential Mineral for Female Athletes

Workout Supplements: Do You Really Need Them?

3 Tips on Choosing the Best Post-Workout Creatine

The One Thing You Need to Do to Build Muscle

4 Best Supplements for Football Players

The Best Post-Workout Supplements and Nutrition

Fuel for Thought: Gels, Bloks and Beans

What's Missing From the Female Athlete's Diet, Part 2: Iron

7 Fiber Supplements: More Than Just For Weight Loss

HGH Use Among Teens on the Rise, According to Survey

Blueberry Supplements: Better Than Actual Blueberries?

2 Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

Make Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium

3 Supplements to Boost On-Ice Performance

The 5 Essential Sports Supplements