Your Go-To Guide for Picking A Pre-Workout

On the days we wake up feeling well rested, motivated, and all guns blazing ready to take on the day with full force, smashing a workout is a no-brainer. But on how many days is this the reality? And how many days does work wear us down, other commitments get in the way, or our nutrition take a back seat in favour of convenience? Not only can this discourage you from hitting the gym altogether, but if you do get there, you might not feel as though you’re hitting your peak potential.

This is where a high-quality pre-workout comes into play.

But as with many things, not all pre-workouts are made equal. In fact, choosing the wrong pre-workout can have adverse effects that further stand in the way of reaching your goals. That’s why we’ve pulled together this all-in-one guide to choosing a top-notch pre-workout to fuel peak performance for each and every workout.


The Basics: What, When, Why

What: If you’re new to pre-workout, we’ll start from the beginning. This is a supplement that comes in a variety of forms, most commonly powder, that is consumed before your workout. Whilst the pre-workout itself doesn’t burn more calories or accelerate muscle growth, it’s formulated to help your body cope with more intense physical exertion, which can then speed up your progress.

When: It’s recommended to consume pre-workout 30-60 minutes before exercise. In saying this, many formulas contain caffeine, which can disrupt your sleep if you hit the gym in the evenings. It’s recommended to avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before going to bed.

Why: The key benefits associated with consuming this supplement before exercising include:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved exercise endurance and performance
  • Better focus and mental clarity
  • Accelerated recovery
  • Improved blood flow and muscle pump
  • Improved strength and power output

If pre-workout isn’t already a part of your supplement cycle, then this could be the key to breaking out of a plateau in your results and taking your fitness to a whole new level. However, doing your due diligence to select the best pre-workout for you and your fitness goals is important to reap the benefits.



Is pre-workout safe?

The short answer is yes, when taken responsibly according to the recommended dosage and guidelines, just like any other supplement. However, an important factor to consider is your individual sensitivity to the effects. Some common side effects of pre-workout can include jitters, anxiety and an upset stomach. 

Starting with a low dosage can help you monitor your body’s reactions, as well as checking the ingredient transparency on the nutritional label. If you can’t pronounce any ingredients or there’s vague phrasing around the formulations (e.g.: ‘propietary blends’), consider an alternative product where you can easily trace the benefits of each component.

If you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, are taking medications, or have any concerns, consult your doctor for advice.


Key pre-workout ingredients to look for


Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that plays a key role in energy production during short bursts of high-intensity exercise. Supplementation with creatine has been shown to increase muscle strength, power, and lean muscle mass, making it a popular ingredient.



A very familiar stimulant that gets most of us through the day! Used in pre-workout, caffeine is very effective in its ability to enhance energy levels, focus, and alertness. It can also help improve endurance and performance by reducing perceived exertion and delaying fatigue.



Citrulline Malate

An amino acid compound that helps increase nitric oxide production, leading to improved blood flow. This can enhance muscle pump, nutrient delivery, and oxygen uptake during workouts, ultimately supporting endurance and performance.




An amino acid that helps increase muscle carnosine levels, which can buffer lactic acid buildup during exercise. This can help to delay muscle fatigue and thereby improve endurance, particularly during high-intensity activities.




This natural ingredient is found in tea and can be a substitute for caffeine to improve focus.



Our new and improved Altered State contains each of these ingredients and more, broken down into three blends for pump, energy, and nootropics for all-around maximal impact.



Choosing a pre-workout that aligns with your goals


Not only do you want to analyse the ingredient panel for transparency and proven efficacy of each component, but you’ll also want to ensure that the formula you select will align with your goals. 


If your goal is to lose weight…

Then you’ll want to monitor the carbs, sugar and calories in your pre-workout and keep these numbers low.


If your goal is to build muscle…

Look for ingredients that maximise your muscle power such as creatine, citrulline malate, and amino acids.


If your goal is to increase your endurance…

Common ingredients such beta-alanine and citrulline malate help to delay muscle fatigue, allowing you to train harder for longer.



Working towards more than one fitness goal? Altered State contains a unique profile of three matrix blends to fuel endurance, energy and focus, with only 11 calories and 1.3 grams of sugar per serving to boot. This makes it a powerful and versatile option for anyone from pre-workout beginners to seasoned consumers.


In conclusion…

The moral of the story, as with most supplementation, is that putting some time and research into choosing a pre-workout that works for your goals and your body can reap outstanding results for your exercise performance and results. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up to elevate your energy, improve your endurance and boost your output, then a powerful pre-workout could be the key you’re looking for.