Are Pre-Workout Supplements Right For You?

Get the nutritional facts on three of the most popular pre-workout supplements: G Series Prime Chews, Cytomax Drink Sticks, Clif Shot Bloks Energy Shoes.

Clif Shot Bloks

Need extra fuel in your tank to power your workout? Several supplements say they can help, but one size doesn't fit all.

What's right for you—if anything is right for you at all—depends on your goals, body type and medical history, according to Jim White, RD and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"Real food should provide enough energy for your workouts," White says. "But if an athlete lacks energy or feels as if they need an additional boost, a supplement protocol may help."

If you're supplement shopping, pay attention to labels. An endurance athlete who logs lots of long runs may want chews or drinks with simple carbs for quick energy. But sodium levels may be even more important for athletes who are heavy sweaters and may need salt during extended exercise sessions.

All athletes should be aware that some supplements include ingredients like caffeine, which can affect your heart.

RELATED: The Best Pre-Workout Supplements

Here are three pre-workout supplement options, along with a breakdown of what's inside them. But before you take any of them, listen to White's advice.

"Don't be sold by a storeowner—a lot of times they're looking to push product," White says. "Get advice from a registered dietician or your physician first."

G Series Prime Chews

Gatorade's tasty chews combine simple carbs with B vitamins that help turn those carbs into fuel. Bonus: cramp-fighting electrolytes.

Calories: 100
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 100mg
Carbs: 25g
Protein: 0g

Cytomax Sports Performance Drink Stick Packs

A nice on-the-go option, this powder provides carbs and a proprietary mix designed to buffer lactic acid production.

Calories: 90
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 120mg
Carbs: 22g
Protein: 0g

Clif Shot Bloks Energy Chews

Running vegans rejoice: Clif Shots are organically sourced, vegan-friendly, and include caffeine for an extra pick-me-up. Non-caffeinated versions also available.

Calories: 100
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 70mg
Carbs: 24g
Protein: 0g

RELATED: 2 Safe Pre-Workout Supplements


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PROTEIN | PRE-WORKOUT NUTRITION | WORKOUTS | NUTRITION | RUNNING | VITAMINS | POWER | ENERGY | EXERCISE | SPORTS | HEART | SUPPLEMENT | PHYSICIAN | B VITAMINS