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

Creatine

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

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:

References

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.

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 179,065
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 75,992
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 588,674
Load More

Resources

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

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,252,646
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,192
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,172
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,872
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,117,437

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy vs. Whey Protein

3 Tips on Choosing the Best Post-Workout Creatine

3 Tips on Choosing the Best Post-Workout Creatine

3 Supplements to Boost On-Ice Performance

3 Supplements to Boost On-Ice Performance

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

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

This Just In: Boost Your Workout With Peppermint

This Just In: Boost Your Workout With Peppermint

The Positive Side Effects of Creatine (Besides Building Muscle)

The Positive Side Effects of Creatine (Besides Building Muscle)

Workout Supplements: Do You Really Need Them?

Workout Supplements: Do You Really Need Them?

HGH Use Among Teens on the Rise, According to Survey

HGH Use Among Teens on the Rise, According to Survey

Blueberry Supplements: Better Than Actual Blueberries?

Blueberry Supplements: Better Than Actual Blueberries?

The Powerful Health Benefits of Turmeric

The Powerful Health Benefits of Turmeric

Demystifying Popular Smoothie Boosters

Demystifying Popular Smoothie Boosters

3 Reasons Why You Should Take a Fish Oil Supplement

3 Reasons Why You Should Take a Fish Oil Supplement

Why Creatine Is the Best Sports Supplement

Why Creatine Is the Best Sports Supplement

The 5 Essential Sports Supplements

The 5 Essential Sports Supplements

Use Sodium Bicarbonate to Get More Out of Creatine

Use Sodium Bicarbonate to Get More Out of Creatine

2 Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

2 Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

4 Best Supplements for Football Players

4 Best Supplements for Football Players

Creatine Supplements: Benefits, Concerns, Types and Dosage

Creatine Supplements: Benefits, Concerns, Types and Dosage

The Truth About Muscle-Enhancing Supplements

The Truth About Muscle-Enhancing Supplements

Make Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium

Make Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium

Do Athletes Need Zinc Supplements?

Do Athletes Need Zinc Supplements?

The Best Time to Consume Creatine

The Best Time to Consume Creatine

EXOS Launches New Line of Supplements

EXOS Launches New Line of Supplements

7 Fiber Supplements: More Than Just For Weight Loss

7 Fiber Supplements: More Than Just For Weight Loss

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

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

Why You Need Vitamin D in Your Diet

Why You Need Vitamin D in Your Diet

5 Rules You Must Know Before Taking a Fish Oil Supplement

5 Rules You Must Know Before Taking a Fish Oil Supplement

Iodine: An Overlooked Essential Mineral for Female Athletes

Iodine: An Overlooked Essential Mineral for Female Athletes

7 Rules That Would End PED Use in Baseball Immediately

7 Rules That Would End PED Use in Baseball Immediately

The Best Post-Workout Supplements and Nutrition

The Best Post-Workout Supplements and Nutrition

Should I Take Creatine?

Should I Take Creatine?

ZMA: Is This Mysterious Supplement Right for You?

ZMA: Is This Mysterious Supplement Right for You?

Fuel for Thought: Gels, Bloks and Beans

Fuel for Thought: Gels, Bloks and Beans

Should You Be Taking BCAAs?

Should You Be Taking BCAAs?

How to Select a Healthy Protein Bar

How to Select a Healthy Protein Bar

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

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

The 6 Most Promising Weight-Loss Supplements

The 6 Most Promising Weight-Loss Supplements

6 Supplements That Power Quality Workouts

6 Supplements That Power Quality Workouts

Can Baking Soda Improve Your Training Gains?

Can Baking Soda Improve Your Training Gains?

7 Sketchy Marketing Phrases Used By Supplement Companies

7 Sketchy Marketing Phrases Used By Supplement Companies

Ask the Experts: Is Caffeine Safe for Athletes?

Ask the Experts: Is Caffeine Safe for Athletes?

4 Creatine Myths Exposed

4 Creatine Myths Exposed

The One Thing You Need to Do to Build Muscle

The One Thing You Need to Do to Build Muscle

4 Muscle-Building Supplements That Don't Work

4 Muscle-Building Supplements That Don't Work

DHEA Supplements: Should You Take Them?

DHEA Supplements: Should You Take Them?

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

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

YardBarker