Pre-Workout Supplements – An Introduction

ANS Performance Ritual - Our Top Rated Pre Workout

Everything You Need to Know to Get Started with Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre Workout Supplements generalize a class of nutritional supplements that are generally safe and effective performance-enhancers that are taken before working out. These supplements generally contain naturally-occurring amino acids (typically some form of arginine) that drive nitric oxide gas into your muscles, giving your muscles a fuller, stronger, and “pumped” sensation.

This nitric oxide action widens your blood vessels (also known as vasodilation), which also helps your body drive more nutrients into your muscles. Not only that, but the “pump” and strength increases, along with the energy that these NO supplements provide makes exercising and working out downright fun.

Listing of ALL Pre Workout Supplements on this Site



There really isn’t too much of a dispute over what the most popular pre-workout supplement is on the market right now. Jack3d (pronounced Jacked but also known as Jack 3D) from USPLabs has won over more users in the …

White Flood


White Flood is the amazingly delicious, high-energy pre workout supplement from Controlled Labs that will get you amped for your workout like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

This product has been out for a while, but has recently been …

SuperPump 250


SuperPump 250 is the explosive, pump-bursting pre-workout supplement from Gaspari Nutrition that has been helping weightlifters have rock solid pumps since 2005.

Update – 06/21/2011 – Bad news! SuperPump 250 is getting phased out and discontinued! We’ll try to …

Blood Rush Pump


Blood Rush Pump is a pre-workout nitric oxide supplement from the crafty pros at Muscle Gauge Nutrition. This product is meant to perform just like SuperPump 250, but with far less unnecessary ingredients inside.

With Blood Rush Pump, you’re …

Massive Growth


Massive Growth is a new pre-workout supplement from Muscle Gauge Nutrition. This product is a solid challenger to Jack3d from USPLabs, which you know that we absolutely love – so we love Massive Growth too.

Massive Growth Benefits

Massive …

Animal RAGE – The Latest Rage in Pre-Workout Supplements


Animal Rage is the new, long-awaited pre-workout supplement from the Animal Team at Universal Nutrition – the same guys who brought us Animal Pak for the past 25 years. After extensive beta testing and flavor tweaking, Team Animal finally …

Animal Rage Pills


Animal Rage Pills are the newest, hottest pre workout supplement, and have taken the industry by storm because of the outstanding results that they produce.

Animal Rage Pills were launched by Team Animal at Universal Nutrition. These are the …

NO Xplode


Anyone that’s lifted a heavy weight knows what NO Xplode is. BSN’s version of a nitric oxide producing supplement has consistently performed over the years as a top notch pre workout supplement.

Update! NO-Xplode Discontinued! It is getting phased …


ONE MORE REP is What Separates You From Everybody Else

Ever Have a Workout Where Absolutely Nothing Could Get You Going?

I used to have those, and they’re not fun.

Table of Contents

Price Comparisons (See Best-Priced…

Cellucor C4 Extreme


Finally – a PERFECT combination of energy AND pumps!

What makes a great pre-workout supplement is the combination of increased mental focus and clarity, a force output booster with strong pumps, and a strong vasodilator (widening of the veins…

Optimum Nutrition Essential AmiNO Energy


Essential AmiN.O. Energy is a bit different than most products on this site. This product is primarily an amino acid product (mainly consisting of Branched-Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, as well as glutamine), but also contains a bit of …

Muscle Pharm Assault


Muscle Pharm Assault is an NO supplement that’s recently been reformulated and is CRUSHING the reviews all over the net. Anything that can stay over 9.0 at is worthy of everyone’s attention – especially after over 1000 Muscle …

APS Mesomorph


APS Mesomorph is an *extremely* potent and effective pre-workout supplement that increases energy and endurance levels allowing for a more productive workout. APS Mesomorph sets itself apart from most other pre-workout supplements by using the full recommended dose of…

SuperPump MAX


SuperPump MAX is the new ridiculously strong and potent pre-workout supplement brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition – which is obviously the same guys who created SuperPump 250 – a nitric oxide supplement that absolutely devastated the market with …

BodyStrong Body Surge


BodyStrong Body Surge is here! More and more people are discovering the value and effectiveness of Body Surge, which is a pre-workout supplement formula that is a knockout in two aspects – product quality and price. Body Surge, which …



Update 2012.01.11 – Vasotropin is Now Shipping! Click Here to get it from the Cheapest Store – It’s only available here so far!

Update 2011.12.14 – We’ve just received updates on Vasotropin! See the new information and pictures below!…

Plasma Jet Discontinued


Update, 2012.01 – Vasotropin, the successor to PlasmaJet, has been released and is now shipping! The reviews are RAVE – take it with carbs!

Plasma Jet is a pre-workout supplement that was designed to be used by bodybuilders, but …

SuperPump 250 Discontinued


Was SuperPump 250 Discontinued? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. But there are two pieces of good news: first, the team over at Price Comparison Engine has promised to keep their listings up to date to make sure that you…

SNS Agmatine


SNS Agmatine is a brand new pre-workout pump product that is unlike ANYTHING we’ve ever seen. This stuff absolutely demolishes AAKG and even the new arginine nitrate products! SNS Agmatine is based upon Agmatine (the main ingredient is really …

NO Xplode 2.0


BSN NO Xplode 2 is out! NO-Xplode was the original pre-workout supplement, but over the course of time, popular products such as Jack3d overtook its position. In response, BSN has created NO-Xplode v2.0 – But does it match up?…

NO3 Chrome


Update! The NO3 Chrome Free Trial is Here!

We are happy to announce that you can now get a free trial (pay shipping only) of NO3 Chrome! This is an exclusive offer from Cellucor, and you’ll be able to …



iForce Nutrition now has a new product – Hemavol – which is a highly effective pre-workout plasma volumizer supplement that has zero stimulants, but contains a nutritious dose of agmatine sulfate, glycerol monostearate, and norvaline and citrulline malate. All …



When it comes to bodybuilding, professional weightlifters and bodybuilders need all the help that they can get to grow muscles and boost their workout sessions. Controlled Labs GlycerGrow is one such product that has been designed to help bulk …

NaNO Vapor


NaNO Vapor is a newly-reformulated muscle building supplement formulated by MuscleTech. It’s been around forever, but now the new Hardcore Pro Series is out with better taste, a few new ingredients, and a few less carbs.

It seeks to …



It is important to always look great and feel great, wherever you are and whatever you do. With this in mind, you need to get the best product that could help you build your body and a product that …

M5 Extreme


If you want to make the most out of every workout, but do it YOUR way, you need to look at a pre-workout supplement like Cellucor M5 Extreme. This product is specifically designed to address the bodybuilding / muscle-building …



NeuroCore is a supplement that has been designed as a pre-workout and weight loss formula that is meant to get you focused! We are huge fans of the rhodiola that has been put into Neurocore and completely stoked with …

Cellucor NO Extreme


If you think working out is tiring, boring, or you simply can’t get focused in the gym, then it’s time to try a nitric oxide supplement that gets you focused and in the zone! NO Extreme from Cellucor is…



If you’re looking for a pre-workout supplement that has the ingredients it takes to boost your testosterone levels, then you need to look at Bullnox from Betancourt nutrition! Those who try to build a great body through unconventional methods …

Anadraulic State GT


Anadraulic State GT is an excellent pre-workout supplement catered towards men who look for intensity and want to elevate their testosterone and growth hormone levels.
Anadraulic State GT – Walk the Walk

Bodybuilding is important because it makes you …

Cytosport Fast Twitch


There are two types of muscle fibers that you need to know of if you desire to get down and serious with body building. The first type is the slow twitch muscle, Type 1 Muscle Fibers. These fibers have …



Note: This is about the NON-Concentrate version of Hemo-Rage, also known as Hemo Rage black. If you’re interested in the newer, zero-carb, concentrated version, see this HEMO-RAGE page.

How many scoops do you need in your pre-workout supplement? Two? …

Juggernaut Supplement


Nowadays, looking healthy is just as important as feeling healthy, that’s why it is really important to make the most out of everything you do, from workouts to exercise routines, and even during cool down. One thing that you …

Super Charge Xtreme


The world people live in nowadays is fast-paced, so everything should be done in the least amount of time possible. While this is achievable in many aspects of life, this is something that poses a challenge to those who …

MRI Black Powder


MRI Black Powder is the first ever nitric oxide pre-training matrix that makes use of NOS Up-regulating whey Actinos2, which is delivered through the revolutionary Instant Release Technology. When introduced, it was one of the biggest breakthroughs in the …

Omega Sports Ultima


When it comes to working and developing a well-built body, most people find it hard to focus on doing the same thing over and over again. This is a big hurdle to go over because your body can’t really …



MuscleTech has done it again! This time, they’ve released NanoStim, a new nitric oxide pre workout supplement that is different from most other products on this site because it contains no arginine!

While we love arginine, the L-Citrulline that …

Athletic Xtreme SuperSize


Athletic Xtreme SuperSize is a pre-workout supplement that utilizes the science of nutrition to help you push the boundaries of the human body. The scientifically engineered nutrition supplements are clinically proven safe and effective for all people who are …

Driven Sports CRAZE


Update: DS just brought home the victory – CRAZE has won the 2012 Best New Supplement on!! Congrats Driven Sports – You guys deserved this one!

If you are looking for a pre-workout supplement to fuel your performance …

Ultra Reps


Ultra Reps, by Athletic Xtreme, is an awesome new stimulant-free pre workout supplement drink that increases both reps and endurance. It is able to do this by lowering the amount of burn you feel at the end of each …



Note: This is for Hemo Rage Black Ultra Concentrate, the newer version that has zero carbs and more energy. If you’re interested in the older version with carbs, see Hemo Rage Black.

Hemo Rage Ultra Concentrate by Nutrex is …

NO 370


Introducing a new pre-workout nitric oxide product that is also hailed as the ultimate record breaker, NO 370. This is the only pre-workout Nitric Oxide supplement that contains two powerful active elements: Astragin and Actagin, which is very important …

Muscle Pharm Hybrid NO


We’ve just received word that MusclePharm, famous for their aggressive UFC advertising and the current top pre workout supplement, Muscle Pharm Assault, is coming out with a nitric oxide supplement named Hybrid NO to help round out their line …



Barthel Unleashed is an all new pre workout supplement that is guaranteed to push you through the most intense workouts that you can dream up. It doesn’t boast a hidden proprietary blend or any other marketing hype. Everything in …

SAN Fierce


There are so many nitric oxide supplements in the market today that even those who are used to purchasing and using these may find themselves confused when it comes to choosing which of these is the best product for …



BETA-CRET is a new nitric oxide supplement from Promera Health. It supports phosocreatine concentration in muscles, buffers lactic acid build-up during strenuous exercise, promotes focus and concentration during training, supports energy levels without crashing and helps hydrate muscles.

Promera …

MTS Nutrition Clash


Update – August 9, 2013 – MTS Clash is out! Read the latest and compare prices at

There have been hushed whispers about a new product from the MTS Nutrition camp over the past few weeks. Apparently, the …

Muscle Pharm Assault Reviews


In short: It’s now #1 for a reason! This amazing, relatively new nitric oxide supplement is a bulker’s DREAM – amazing flavor, incredible creatine mix, and phenomenal pumps with clean energy.

Muscle Pharm Assault Reviews placed this brand as …

NO Xplode Side Effects


Fitness and body building enthusiasts are surely familiar with BSN NO Xplode, the popular pre-workout / nitric oxide supplement that started this entire revolution. NO Xplode helps fitness enthusiasts bulk up more and have that extra strength and muscular …

USP Labs TESTpowder – Anabolic Supp Now in Beta Testing!


After completing very successful beta-test, USP Labs once again redefines the very limits of pre-workout supplementation as they unleash The Alpha Activator: TestPowder. TestPowder is essentially a pre-workout product loaded with testosterone boosters that pack the body with substantial …

Muscle Pharm Assault Ingredients


Assault by Muscle Pharm is a carb-based pre-workout supplement that promises to help you get the most out of your workout! Its a supplement that helps you overload your muscles, thereby helping you break down the muscle fibers, and …

Labrada Stim Force


The Labrada Stim Force preworkout supplement is a phenomenal “concentrate” nitric oxide supplement made by Labrada Nutrition. It promises to be the next generation supplement that provides very powerful central nervous system (CNS) stimulants along with very effective amounts …

NO Xplode Reviews


Building your body is a serious feat. Sure, eating properly and religiously hitting the gym for weight training will give you great results, and will help you keep the body you want, but sometimes those are not enough. Sometimes, …

NO Xplode Ingredients


Many have already tried using nitric oxide and their response was generally favorable. There is no questioning then that millions have started ordering for this supplement hoping to answer their body’s cry for curves and shapes. Nitric oxide products …

Muscle Pharm Assault Review


Healthy and strapped muscles, low bodyfat, and unwavering strength are not something acquired overnight. These intrinsic physical attributes are achieved through perseverance and hard work. Apart from constant efforts and discipline, utilization of an effective yet safe product is …



What is NO2? In sports nutrition, it could mean:

The nitric oxide pre-workout brands from MRI: NO2 Red and NO2 Black.
Informally, a generic term for nitric oxide supplements in the sense that some people refer to a class…



It’s finally here!  Created by four-time Mr. Olympia champion Jay Cutler, for future champions like YOU.  Jay Cutler has created one of the most exciting supplements to hit the supplement market. Under the company Alpha Helix, Jay Cutler promises …

Jack3d Micro


Looking for a change? USPLabs breaks out another great product, the Jack3d Micro! Now you don’t have to worry about your pumps weakening as you cycle off stimulants, Jack3d Micro comes packed with awesome stuff!

The latest pre-workout drink …

EXT Sports GO


Brand new sports supplement company EXT Sports unleashes one of the most exciting pre-workout supplements to hit the market. The newest pre-workout supplement, EXT Sports GO brings back the focus of supplements for building muscle instead of the new …

Vasotropin Blister Packs


Vasotropin breaks the nitric oxide barriers with several new ingredients that don’t contain arginine! The creators, Gaspari Nutrition, gives their loyal consumers a choice between Vasotropin blister packs or tablets in a bottle. You get 120 tablets in a …

Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre Workout


If you want your pre-workout supplement to be built on fire and not just flash, then Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre is perfectly formulated for you. Using only active ingredients that are proven to perform safely and effectively, Platinum Pre …



CTD Labs lives up to its reputation for bringing cutting edge products to the table with their new pre-workout supplement: Noxipro. After completing a series of successful clinical trials, CTD Labs has unleashed its Extreme Energizing Pre-Workout Formula to …

My F3 Nutrition ANNIHILATE Review


Hey guys, it’s Mike over at Price Comparison Engine. I was plugging away on Twitter when the guys over at @F3Nutrition and I started chatting and they shipped me a T-Shirt and some samples.

Since I’m in my “out …

F3 Nutrition Annihilate


F3 Nutrition Annihilate is the newest pre workout supplement that just gives you results. No magic tricks with stimulants — F3 Nutrition gives all you really need for an awesome workout that actually works.

Update: I like this stuff …

Driven Sports Craze Review


Recipient of the Supplement of the Year Award, Driven Sports has without a doubt produced a revolutionary pre-workout product in Craze. A masterful result that embodies Driven Sports’ commitment to the human body, Craze is indeed among the …

GAT NitraFlex


German American Technologies has created a pump monster with NitraFlex Hyperemia and Testosterone Enhancing PWD. Not only is it formulated with active ingredients that doses your body with incredible muscle pumps, laser-sharp focus, unlimited energy, and long-lasting endurance, NitraFlex …

SAN Fierce Domination


SAN Fierce Domination is ultimately the most complete PRE & POST PERFORMANCE supplement on the market yet! Scientifically Advanced Nutrition (SAN) has been in the supplement industry for more than a decade with top supplements and thousands of satisfied …

D-Stunner by Betancourt Nutrition


A refreshing new concentrated pre workout supplement, D-Stunner from Betancourt Nutrition features a new innovative blend of ingredients that will blast you away without the crash normally associated with stim PWOs!

What is D-Stunner?

Featuring a new mix of …

OxyELITE Pro – The New DMAA-Free Formula is Released!


USP Labs‘ reformulated OxyELITE Pro is officially available in the market!

Having won’s “Best Fat Loss Supplement” award, OxyELITE Pro is arguably the most popular and the most effective commercial thermogenic fat burner out there. In fact, OxyELITE …

Neogenix Bodyforge


Neogenix BodyForge is a nitric oxide stimulating, athletic performance enhancing ergogenic aid that is designed to help individuals prolong and improve their workouts. This is accomplished through a plethora of well-studied ingredients. We’re going to examine the main components …

The Curse Pre Workout by Cobra Labs


Cobra Labs enters the pre workout supplement market with a curiously named product, “The Curse”. It’s not sure if it’s a premonition or something, some people might find the package thrilling with the creepy skull with glowing eyes.


MAN Body Octane High Voltage


MAN has erupted on the supplement scene as of late with cutting-edge products like Game Day, Nolvadren XT, and High Voltage Body Octane. Let’s take a closer look at Body Octane, what’s in it, and what reviewers have to …

Cellucor C4 vs. Muscle Pharm Assault


So you’re looking for a new pre workout supplement. Maybe you’ve never taken one before, or maybe you’ve taken hundreds. In this article, we’ll discuss an in-depth comparison between two of the top pre workouts right now; Cellucor’s C4 …

Coming Soon: Giant Sports Giant Pump


Not much is known, but rumor has it that the experts over at Giant Sports have a stimulant-free pre workout supplement that will take nitric oxide boosting to the next level. They aim to make it both powerful and …

Giant Sports Metabolic BioShock


Giant Sports, the company best known for their Delicious Protein, has completely outdone themselves (and the rest of the market) with a pre workout supplement that’s in a class of its own!

That pre workout is Metabolic BioShock, and …

Some people simply call it “Nitric Oxide”, while but another term is nitric oxide supplements. However, the proper term is “Pre-Workout Supplements”. You may also see the acronym PWS. The ironic thing is that these supplements don’t actually physically contain any nitric oxide in them in the first place! They simply boost your body’s ability to create and drive this precious gas molecule into your blood and muscle tissue, helping to initiate muscle growth and nutrient delivery.

So What is Nitric Oxide and Why Do I Want it in My Muscles?

How Nitric Oxide Works

How Nitric Oxide Works

Nitric Oxide is a very stable molecule made of one nitrogen atom bonded with one oxygen atom, giving it the chemical name NO. Nitric Oxide is produced when the amino acid L-arginine gets converted into L-citruline by a group of enzymes known as Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS). Some actions of the endocrine system are triggered by nitric oxide and boost muscle growth.

The bodybuilding community was first to accept the usage of nitric oxide boosters. In the form of pre-workout supplements, they have been successful in providing an extra edge while working out. Improved blood flow initiates better transportation of the nutrients throughout the body. This then facilitates better delivery of nutrients into the muscle cells. The usage of nitric oxide supplements as anti-inflammatory agents is known to improve recovery time and reduce soreness too.

The human body produces its own NO gas and cannot live without it. However, our bodily mechanisms are not capable of producing sufficient amounts of nitric oxide to achieve optimal competitive fitness levels. Nitric oxide production also decreases with age.

Pre-Workout Supplements and Bodybuilding

Those who wish to achieve their goal body compositions know that there is no magic pill. We will never claim that here. You cannot take any of the products recommended on this site and get lean, muscular, and ripped, no matter what anybody tells you. However, with a serious workout regime and proper diet, these supplements will definitely help you along your way. It is the goal of this website to help you out with that.

Pre-Workout Supplements: Common Ingredients

Most pre workout supplements contain some form or a mixture of the following ingredients: Arginine, Creatine, Caffeine and other stimulants, Branched Chain Amino Acids, Essential Amino Acids, Beta Alanine, Carbohydrates, and possibly glycerin for an added pump. Each of these is explained below:

L-Arginine Structure


  • Arginine (and its variations):

    Arginine is the true workhorse of any nitric oxide supplement. This is what truly boosts NO production, and helps drive the other accompanying supplements into your muscle fibers. L-Arginine is base amino acid that is primarily involved in the creation of NO, but the most popular form of this is AAKG, or Arginine Alpha Ketogluterate. This component is used more frequently because it is the most bio-available form of arginine and is involved in processes that lead to muscular expansion. You may also see supplements that contain L-Arginine in its original form, but AAKG has been shown to be superior in terms of digestion and usage..

    Arginine’s pumps are temporary, and you will not get the vasodilation for very long (perhaps 90 to 120 minutes). However, this is just enough time to make for some longer-lasting gains thanks to your harder workout along with the driving of the following supplements into your muscles and bloodstream:

  • Creatine:

    Creatine is a molecule that is naturally found in muscle tissue and meat. Creatine supplements are proven safe and effective for long-term use, and time and time again, their usage has been shown to increase both muscle size and strength in rigorous studies, without detrimental side effects.

    Creatine monohydrate is the most common form of creatine, and is the most proven in studies and in the field. Additionally, creatine monohydrate powder is no longer expensive and purity levels are extremely high, giving it an advantage over other forms of creatine.

    Other forms of creatine that may be in your pre-workout supplements include creatine ethyl-esther (which tastes like licking a 9V battery and is less effective), creatine magnesium chelate, and kre-alkalyn. When it comes to creatine supplements, good old creatine monohydrate is all that’s needed. The rest is marketing fluff about new substances that just don’t have as much research behind them.

    As mentioned above, the arginine in pre workout supplements helps drive the creatine into your muscle fibers, allowing your body to grow and get a vicious pump when working out. This makes for a potent 1-2 punch.

  • Caffeine and other Stimulants:

    Most people are aware of the fact that caffeine boosts cognitive performance, but the great news is that it’s been shown to also improve workout performance in terms of workload and endurance. Nearly every pre-workout supplement contains caffeine (which you might also see on the label as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, trimethylxanthine, methyltheobromine [aside: don’t be fooled by these names, it’s just a supplement company trying to sound fancy and different]). Stimulants increase your heart rate and metabolism, boosting fat-burn while working out, while also making your workout more fun.

    Caffeine works in boosting energy and focus, no doubt. However, it’s important not to consume too much caffeine in a day. Most studies on safety show that the average person can safely tolerate 400mg of caffeine a day (this depends on your tolerance and size, however). Most pre-workout supplements contain around 200mg of caffeine in a full serving, but this widely varies from product to product. It’s important not to take too many other caffeine sources (such as coffee) if using a pre-workout supplement.

    Jack3d Pre Workout Supplement

    Jack3d Pre Workout Supplement

    Beyond caffeine, other popular stimulants are guarana, yerba mate, green tea extract, yohimbine, theobromine, and a new, popular supplement called 1,3 dimethylamylamine, which is extracted from the geranium plant. This stimulant provides a long-lasting, smoother high than caffeine, and helps prevent the caffeine “crash” that occurs after taking nitric oxide supplements that contain only large amounts of caffeine. 1,3 dimethylamylamine, also known as geranamine, greatly increases focus in the gym and is even used as a study aid. It is made popular by Jack3d, Jack3d, one of the top products on our Best Pre-Workout Supplement flow chart.

  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

    Branched-Chain Amino Acids are the three naturally-occurring amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. They are the building blocks of protein, which is then the building block of your muscles. They have been shown to increase workout endurance and performance, especially during long-distance events. They reduce muscle fatigue (while working out or racing) as well as reduce soreness once the workout is over.

    Modern BCAA - Best BCAAs on the Market!

    Modern BCAA – Best BCAAs on the Market!

    BCAAs are great to take when fasting, and before, during, and after workouts. When BCAAs are in your bloodstream, they help reduce muscle-breakdown when you haven’t eaten enough, are doing cardio, or are working out very hard. During these times, your body and brain need the three branched-chain amino acids, and if it’s not readily available in your bloodstream, it will get them by stripping them from your muscles – something you don’t want to happen!

    If your pre-workout supplement does not contain any BCAAs, consider mixing in 10g of Modern BCAA, which is an incredible product that you can get unflavored to work in with your pre-workout supplement.

  • Essential Amino Acids

    Essential Amino Acids, or EAAs, are amino acids that your body does not naturally produce and must be supplemented. They help promote protein synthesis, thus helping build muscle, and are often found in nitric oxide supplements. If not, they can be added to your pre-workout drink, or you can drink them during your workout along with BCAAs as well.

  • Beta Alanine

    Beta alanine is yet another amino acid that has become extremely popular in the bodybuilding and endurance sports community. This is the pre-cursor to the compound carnosine. Carnosine is in your muscle tissue, and it helps expel ammonia and lactic acid from your tissues when working out. When you run out of carnosine, you start getting very tired, sore, and the lactic acid build-up prevents you from working any more. With more beta alanine, your body produces more carnosine, which in turn helps your muscles take out the trash.

    Beta alanine has been proven to reduce fatigue and increase endurance in this manner. A common side effect is that it may temporarily make your skin tingle a bit, but this is not an unsafe reaction. If your pre-workout supplement makes your skin flush or tingle, it’s probably the beta alanine kicking in. Not everyone gets this reaction though, so it’s not necessary for the beta alanine to work.

  • Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates of some form, often as sugar or maltodextrin, are often added to pre-workout supplements to help with taste and to create an insulin response. When working out, having an insulin spike could be a good thing because it will cause your body to store the nutrients that are accompanying the carbohydrates – which includes the creatine and amino acids.

    Carbohydrates in Pre-Workout Supplements

    Do we need Carbs in Pre-Workout Supplements?

    However, sugar and maltodextrin (also labeled as glucose polymers) also yield fat storage through this insulin spike, and will block fat-burning until they are burned off. We are often working out so that we can reduce fat, not increase it, and this is why 4 out of the 5 featured supplements on this site do not contain any carbohydrates. You can always add your own preferred carbohydrate if you like, but we find that sugar and maltodextrin are two high-glycemic, fat-storing carbs that bring counter-intuitive effects to what we’re going after.

  • Glycerin (or glycerol / glycerine)

    Glycerin is in some nitric oxide supplements (such as SuperPump MAX), and it gives an additional pump. The US FDA considers glycerin a carbohydrate, and while it’s about as sweet as sugar, it has a lower glycemic index, which means spikes insulin less, leading to less fat-storage. Glycerine’s effectiveness seems to vary from person to person – some swear by it, while others don’t get much of an effect. It is definitely worth a shot.

  • Vitamins and Minerals

    Vitamins and minerals are essential to countless processes in your body, as you’re well aware. The B vitamins are often considered the “energy” vitamins, as they are used in many of the processes involving energy production.

    One popular mineral in some pre-workout supplements is magnesium, but it’s important to note that too much of this substance can lead to loose bowels, and you may wish to stay away from supplements that contain too much of it unless you want your squats to get interrupted by a bathroom break. Nobody wants THAT from their pre workout shake!

    Other Nitric Oxide Benefits

    NO aids the body in healthy blood circulation and is also capable of regulating many other significant functions of human body. For instance, it helps in controlling blood pressure. Not surprisingly, men are drawn towards using nitric oxide boosters because of the fact that they can have a great impact on erectile dysfunction. Wider blood vessels to the penis provide more pathways for a harder erection.

    There are many more ingredients commonly found on the market, and we encourage you to understand each and every one of them before taking a product. There are also many other pages on this site containing information, such as what we believe is the Best Pre-Workout Supplement and you should also beware of Nitric Oxide Scams. Feel free to Contact Us with any questions or suggestions and we’ll update this page accordingly.


Leave a comment
  1. Daniel 27. Oct, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    ive been taking c4 extreme for a while now and wanted to see if i could push my self further if took 2 and a half scoops instead of just 2.. i tried it and i felt this heat go up the back of my neck and then my scalp was iching/burning, i had more energy and did push my self alot further.. other than the side effects i had from taking 2 n a half scoops, i dont see it killing me but wanted your opinion on it..

    • Admin 27. Oct, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      You’re getting into uncharted territory there. The label says take 1-2 scoops, but then goes on to say you should take 3 max in a 24-hour period… so you’re kind of pushing things.

      If you’re simply not getting any energy from the stimulants, it might be due time that you cycled off of them for a month and tried a stimulant-free pre workout.

      If you’re simply going for extra pumps, adding something like 2 agmatine caps can get the extra pump without the danger of too many nitrates from overloading C4. Lots of stacking options are presented at (take the stim-free route and stay away from nitrate-based products if already on C4… or dose them very small)

      • Daniel 31. Oct, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

        Hmm.. ok.. yeah i was trying it cause i want a bigger energy burst than what i usually get. ill cycle off and use my bodys natural energy for now.

  2. Daniel 03. Nov, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    I back here to ask what are the dangers of overloading on nitric oxide? (I googled it many times and never found an answere.)

    • Admin 03. Nov, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      This is because you aren’t asking a specific enough question. “Overloading on nitric oxide” is far too vague of and really doesn’t make sense. As this doc explains, you’re not ingesting nitric oxide at all – it is merely a gas produced by other amino acids/compounds you take in supplements (ie arginine, agmatine, citrulline, etc..)

      What specifically are you taking? What are you trying to do? What are your goals?

      If you’re still taking C4 Extreme, then no, you should not overdose beyond what they recommend. It’s heavy in stimulants, but more importantly, its nitrates are not to be messed around with. You can feel free to add some cheap AAKG powder or agmatine to get a bit more. The AAKG page has a side effects tab where they show some studies on what the max dosage is. AAKG is safe unless you get to like 9g per day. At that point, you might get gas or stomach distress, but that’s way more than the average person takes.

      Your diet is most important. Check out the diet linked on the right side of this page – it’s legit.

  3. Daniel 17. Nov, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    what i ment by overloading on nitric was if i take more than three scoops of c4extreme in a 24 hour period will it mess up my body like heart problems or make a weird chemical imbalance that will screw me over permanently?

    • Admin 21. Nov, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      Don’t do it if the label says no. Nitrates and stimulants shouldn’t be toyed with.

  4. matt 08. Dec, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    huh… hes been taking 3 scoops? i think ill take 3 scoops or try 4 scoops. as long as it doesnt kill me ill be good with that

  5. Mike Singh 29. Feb, 2012 at 2:53 pm #


    I’ve been using BSN No Xplode and also tried Doriyan Yates Nox Pump, I take as instructed 45 minutes before my workout but I seem to feel the “Buzz” hours after my workout. Why does this take so long to kick in? Also should I take it on an empty stomach?

    Thank you

    • Admin 03. Mar, 2012 at 3:31 am #

      Everyone’s tolerance and metabolism is different. I love empty stomach workouts when dieting down (in these cases I take BCAAs during my workout) and that will have them hit you faster. If taken on a full stomach, especially if you have some slower digesting fats in there, it can definitely slow things down. It’s all about testing and dialing into your diet and body as you get healthier and more connected to how your body reacts. It takes time to see what works bet for you so change things up and see if the changes are worth keeping. The free diet plan on the right side of this page can no doubt help

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