Pre workouts come in more shapes and sizes than the people who use them. Some offer a clean, calm focus and subtle yet hulking strength, like Superwoman. Others work a bit like Leatherface, clambering into your skull and swinging a chainsaw around. Giving you a violent and uncomfortable buzz and terrible energy crash as he cuts his way out the back and waits until his next attack.
Movie references aside, there are clear differences between pre workouts and the experience they offer. One easy way of figuring out if a pre workout is going to make you feel like a cracked out gym girl, or future Ms Olympia, is to take a look at the ingredients.
What are you looking for?
Natural ingredients. That are derived from a natural source.
We’re going to use a classic analogy here;
Imagine your body is a car. And let’s say, to keep the environmental activists happy, that this car is an electric one. To keep this car running and to keep it performing at it’s best it’s going to need electricity.
If someone came along and drilled a hole in the side of that car and pumped it full of diesel it’d break. Obviously.
Think of your body as an electric car. You don’t want it pumped full of stuff that does harm to it. You certainly don’t want to break during a workout.
Now that awkward and slightly weird analogy is over let’s take a look at what you should be looking for when it comes to a natural pre workout.
Best Natural Pre Workout Ingredients
So you know you need to buy natural. As an electric car nothing else will do. Sorry, as a human being nothing else will do.
But the mindfuck is that among all the side effect free natural ingredients there’s a load of crappy ingredients that won’t really offer much of a benefit and could instead just give you a heap of unwanted side effects,
Cutting through this monumental powder pile of bullshit can be both time consuming and expensive. The amount of pre workout powders you’d have to buy would put you in the same league as Pablo Escabar. Just with pre workouts and not narcotics.
As a group of guys who love to lift though, we have a team of people who’ve tried and tested a ton of pre workouts ingredients and formulas.
Here’s what we’ve found works best:
Caffeine is essential in any pre workout. It’s a naturally occurring central nervous stimulant, that can both give you a good source of energy, but also help boost metabolism and improve focus.
The only risks with caffeine are if supplements contain too much of it. In which case you will end up with some uncomfortable and unwanted side effects. Jitters, energy crashes and even headaches and nausea.
Look for around 150mg in a single serving. Anything over this can turn a workout into a nightmare.
L-Citrulline is essential if you want to experience increased blood flow to your muscles during exercise. We all know what Arnold said about muscle pumps, and if you want to find out every time you hit the iron, then make sure you have upwards of 3000mg of this amino acid in your pre workout.
It’s naturally derived from watermelons, so there’s no reason to worry about any adverse side effects either. It works by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in your blood.
This increases vascularity and blood flow which means you won’t just get a pump, but also have more nutrients being delivered to muscles.
This is another amino acid. Think of L-Theanine as the calm and collected partner to caffeine.
Whilst L-Theanine is technically a stimulant, it provides a clear and calming effect too. So if you have a good balance of caffeine and l-theanine, you end up with what’s known as ‘smart caffeine’.
With the right amount of l-theanine in a pre workout, you’ll be able to focus and push harder than ever before. And it’ll also reduce unwanted side effects.
L-Theanine is also a naturally occurring part of tea leaves. Making it perfect for any natural pre workout.
Natural Pre Workout Ingredients to Avoid
Remember we spoke about the shit ingredients that won’t really have any effect on your performance and are instead just the product of clever marketing, biased studies and ancient witch doctor practices?
Well here are the three big ones that are just a waste of time when it comes to pre workouts:
L-Arginine is touted as something that can help with muscle pumps and increase no2 levels. And whilst L-Citrulline is converted to L-Arginine in the liver, when you supplement L-arginine it is broken down straight away by the stomach.
So it doesn’t actually get chance to be used to help improve performance as well as a high dose of l-citrulline.
Synephrine (Bitter orange extract)
Synephrine is commonly touted as a stimulant and fat burner. The risks associated with it are high though. It has similaraties to banned substance ephedrene which can cause adverse side effects when supplemented.
What’s worse is that this ingredient, although natural, can interact negatively with caffeine and make you feel pretty shit. Avoid.
Beta alanine is an amino acid that can improve endurance if you are training weights. Whats the issue?
Beta alanine can cause that horrendous skin tearing side effect known as paresthesia. This is very annoying and distracting and can actually ruin a workout if it comes on too strong.
Better alternatives for improving muscular endurance are out there, creatine being a major one.
Additives in Natural Pre Workouts
So you’ve found a supplement that won’t break your electric car….or break you. Well as well as naturally occurring and effective ingredients you should be cautious of nasty flavourings and food additives.
To find a true natural pre workout you want to be looking for natural sweeteners and colourings.
Artificial colours and flavours can have a negative impact on your health and overall results from training. Plus can add an excess of calories to any pre workout blend.
The Best Natural Pre Workout: 4 Gauge
When it comes to a top of the range natural pre workout there simply isn’t anything that can beat 4 Gauge.
It comes miles ahead of Pre Jym, Grenade and others when it comes to delivering a low calorie and completely natural pre workout experience.
4 Gauge delivers an unbeatable muscle pump and also clean, level amount of energy that won’t see you gurning through your workout then fainting at the inevitable energy crash afterwards.
4 Gauges Effects:
- Skin splitting muscle pumps
- Rapid increase in performance
- Clean focused energy
- ZERO side effects
For the best natural pre workout the will give you the best workout of your life, head over to 4Gauge to see more testimonials, a full ingredients breakdown, and more.
Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself this high quality safe and natural pre workout.