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What is the ingredient you should look for in Pre-workout?

What is the ingredient you should look for in Pre-workout?

Well, first things first.

What is a Pre-workout?
Pre-workout is a dietary supplement to consume by athletes, weightlifters, bodybuilder or fitness enthusiasm before start their workout program. Preworkout is used to increase endurance, energy, strength, power and focus during an intense workout. Pre-workout supplements contain a variety of ingredients such as caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate and many more which we are going to examine.

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Why do we use Pre-workout?
Pre-workout, if taken in proper doses, can be a great option not only to boost energy and strength. But they are extremely important to assist you with your concentration and focus. Imagine you are tire or mentally fatigue after your work or class. You will not be able to get a good workout and will be wasting your time in the gym. Proteinlab Malaysia would suggest you use a pre-workout to get your workout completed for a short period of time rather than wasting a workout session pressing on your cellphone or easily get distracted.

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Here are some of the common Ingredient that is in a Pre-workout

1) Citrulline Malate

Citrulline Malate is an amino acid that is produced naturally in the body. This increase the body's levels of beneficial exercise performance. 

  • Increase blood flow. One of the effects of Citrulline Malate is to increase the blood flow into the body tissue. Taking Citrulline Malate can significantly reduce muscle soreness in the days after exercise. One of the studies showed that cyclists biked about 12% longer before exhaustion when taking Citrulline Malate. 
  • It Reduces Blood Pressure. Citrulline supplements may decrease blood pressure, particularly in people with high blood pressure. A few years ago, a research group put this to the test using a high-intensity cycling protocol, after participants had consumed either CM or placebo for the previous week. In this case, CM increased the distance covered in a given time, improved capacity for oxidative metabolism, and lowered arterial blood pressure. So, if your goal is to enhance the endurance performance, a CM supplement might be worth a try.
  • Produce Strength. Citrulline Malate produce extra strength in order for the main benefit of it is to increase nitric oxide levels, which can also improve blood flow to muscles. 

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2) Beta-Alanine

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Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that helps fight muscle fatigue. Taking beta-alanine as a supplement increases its concentration in the body & may improve exercise performance. In muscle cells, beta-alanine is combined with the amino acid histidine to create carnosine. Carnosine buffers lactic acid build-up slowing the onset of fatigue.

This is how carnosine acts during exercise:

  • Glucose breaks down. Glycolysis is the breakdown of glucose, which is the main source of fuel during high-intensity exercise.
  • Lactate is produced: As you exercise, your muscles break glucose down into lactic acid. This is converted into lactate, which produces hydrogen ions (H+).
  • Muscles become more acidic: The hydrogen ions reduce the pH level in your muscles, making them more acidic.
  • Fatigue sets in. Muscle acidity blocks glucose breakdown and reduces your muscles' ability to contract. This causes fatigue 
  • Carnosine buffer. Carnosine serves as a buffer against the acid, reducing the acidity in muscles during high-intensity exercise 

3) Caffeine

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Caffeine is a natural molecule found in coffee, tea and other foods and beverages. It stimulates certain parts of the brain to increase alertness and make you feel less tired. Caffeine can improve memory, decrease fatigue, improve your mental functioning, study after study suggests. It can improve your short-term memory and speed up your reaction times.

  • Enhance Brain Performances. Caffeine affects adenosine receptors in the brain. Coffee also contains polyphenol antioxidants, and these, too, act on various pathways. Studies have suggested that drinking coffee may help enhance some thinking skills and slow the mental decline that comes with age. In Japan, researchers have shown that caffeine increases memory. Also, a newer study out of Johns Hopkins University showed that a 200 mg caffeine pill helped boost memory consolidation. A good dose of caffeine after a learning session may help boost long-term memory.
  • Burn Fats. Caffeine is in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement — and there is a reason for it. It’s one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning. Caffeine is capable of reducing fatty liver in those with non-alcohol related fatty liver disease.
  • Drastically Improve Physical Performance. Caffeine increases epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in your blood. It is the fight-or-flight hormone, which prepares your body for intense physical exertion. Caffeine can improve physical performance during endurance exercise. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) recognize that caffeine can increase endurance performance, endurance capacity, and reduction in perceived exertion.
  • Lower the Risk of Multiple Diseases & Sickness. Caffeine can help reduces Kidney Stones. Study shows that those who consumed Caffeine from any source had less Kidney Stone due to the effects of the Caffeine makes the urine much more diluted. It also lowers your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, currently affecting millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or a reduced ability to secrete insulin. According to a large review of 18 studies in a total of 457,922 people, each daily cup of coffee was associated with a 7% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Caffeine may prevent Skin Cancer. A new study out of Rutgers University found that caffeine prevented skin cancer in hairless mice. Another study showed that caffeinated coffee drinkers have less risk of developing melanoma. Some scientists have suggested that caffeine may guard against certain skin cancers. One team found that caffeine applied directly to the skin of mice helped prevent damaging ultraviolet (UV) light from causing skin cancer.

4) Creatine

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Creatine is a molecule found in your cells. It's also a well known dietary supplement. Research has shown that it can safely increase muscle mass, strength and exercise performance. It is most likely because creatine is an essential part of any energy production. If you want to increase muscular strength, creatine is probably the first supplement you should consider. A recommended dose starts with 20 grams per day, which are split into multiple servings during a short loading phase when you begin taking the supplement and systems inside your cells.

  • Helps muscle cells produce energy. Creatine is extremely effective for both short & long term on muscle cells. It assists many different people, including sedentary individuals, older adults, and elite athletes. Creatine supplements increase your phosphocreatine stores, allowing you to produce more Phosphocreatine aids the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy to fuel your muscles during high-intensity exercise.
  •  It Supports many functions on Muscles. Creatine is a popular and effective supplement for adding muscle mass. Creatine supplements can increase the water content of your muscles. It is known as cell volumization and can quickly increase muscle size. Creatine can also improve strength, power, and high-intensity exercise performance. Creatine also helps maintain strength and training performance while increasing muscle mass during intense over-training.
  •  Improves High-Intensity Exercise Performance. Creatine's direct role in ATP production means it can drastically improve high-intensity exercise performance
    Creatine improves numerous factors, including :

    - Strength
    - Ballistic power
    - Sprint ability
    - Muscle endurance
    - Resistance to fatigue
    - Muscle mass
    - Recovery
    - Brain performance
  • Speeds Up Muscle Growth. Creatine is the world's most effective supplement for adding muscle mass. Taking it for as few as 5–7 days has been shown to significantly increase lean body weight and muscle size. This initial rise is caused by increased water content in your muscles. Over the long term, it also aids in muscle fiber growth by signaling key biological pathways and boosting gym performance.

  • May Lower Blood Sugar Levels And Fight Diabetes. Research suggests that creatine supplements may lower blood sugar levels by increasing the function of GLUT4, a transporter molecule that brings blood sugar into your muscles. A 12-week study examined how creatine affects blood sugar levels after a high-carb meal. People who combined creatine and exercise were better at controlling blood sugar levels than those who only exercised.

  • Can Improve Brain Function. Creatine plays an important role in brain health and function. Research demonstrates that your brain requires a significant amount of ATP when performing difficult tasks. Supplements can increase phosphocreatine stores in your brain to help it produce more ATP. Creatine may also aid brain function by increasing dopamine levels and mitochondria function.

  • May Reduce Fatigue and Tiredness. Creatine supplements may also reduce fatigue and tiredness.
    Creatine can reduce symptoms of fatigue and tiredness by providing your brain with additional energy and increasing dopamine levels.

  • Safe and Easy to Use. Along with creatine’s diverse benefits, it is also one of the cheapest and safest supplements available. It's been researched for more than 200 years, and numerous studies support its safety for long-term use. Clinical trials lasting up to five years report no adverse effects in healthy individuals
    At the end of the day, creatine is an effective supplement with powerful benefits for both athletic performance and health.
    It may boost brain function, fight certain neurological diseases, improve exercise performance, and accelerate muscle growth.

5)DMAE

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DMAE is a short form of "Dimethylethanolamine". DMAE is a compound that is known as a mind health compound. DMAE helps elevate mood, improve memory and learning things quicker. It also increases intelligence and physical energy and extends the life span. Some people believe DMAE may help enhance mood and improve depression. 

  • Enhance athletic performance. Anecdotal evidence claims DMAE may help improve athletic ability when coupled with other vitamins and supplements.
  • Reduce wrinkles and firm sagging skin. A randomized, clinical study reported found that a facial gel containing 3 percent DMAE was beneficial for reducing fine lines around the eyes and on the forehead when used for 16 weeks. The study also found it improved lip shape and fullness as well as the overall appearance of ageing skin. A small Trusted study Source done on humans and mice suggested DMAE may hydrate the skin and improve skin appearance.
  • Reduce hyperactivity. Studies on children done during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s found evidence that DMAE helped reduce hyperactivity, calmed children, and helped them focus in school. No recent studies have been done to support or deny these findings.
  • Support better mood. Some people believe DMAE may help enhance mood and improve depression. A small study done on people who had ageing-related cognitive decline found that DMAE reduced depression, anxiety, and irritability. It also found that DMAE helped increase motivation and initiative.
  • Support memory. A small amount of anecdotal evidence indicates that DMAE may reduce memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but there are no studies to support this claim.


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The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consist of three important molecules: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids are found in high quantities in many protein-containing foods, particularly animal products. 

  • Muscle Growth. The high-quality protein found in dairy, eggs & meat provides sufficient BCAAs to support muscle growth as it also contains all of the other amino acids your body needs. Some studies also show that BCAA supplements may be effective at increasing muscle mass, especially if they contain a higher proportion of leucine than isoleucine and valine. When you have done a workout, it is the BCAAs's job to increase the break downed muscles and replenish them. 
  • Lessens the Muscle's Soreness and Fatigue. This soreness is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which develops 12 to 24 hours after exercise and can last up to 72 hours. When taken regularly an amount of intake of BCAAs, BCAAs have indeed shown to decrease muscle damage, which may help reduce the length and severity of DOMS. In some cases, those given BCAAs also performed up to 20% better when they repeated the same strength-training tests 24–48 hours later. Studies in human participants report up to 15% less fatigue in those given BCAAs during exercise. 
  • Enhance Weight Loss. BCAAs may help prevent weight gain and enhance fat loss. Observational studies report that those consuming an average of 15 grams of BCAAs from their diet each day may have up to 30% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese than those consuming an average of 12 grams per day. If you're attempting to lose weight, BCAAs may help your body get rid of unwanted fat more effectively.
  •  Lower Blood Sugar Levels. Leucine and isoleucine are the reason to increase insulin secretion and cause your muscles to take in more sugar from your blood, thereby decreasing your blood sugar levels. One recent study gave participants 12.5 grams of BCAAs three times per day. In 10 participants, the blood sugar levels lessened.
  • Benefits people with Liver Disease. BCAAs may help reduce complications linked to liver failure. Supplementing with BCAAs, especially before exercise, do speed up recovery time. BCAAs is also beneficial to people who are suffering from the disease. Several studies have shown that taking BCAA supplements may offer protection against liver cancer in people with liver cirrhosis. A  recent review of studies in patients undergoing liver surgery reported that BCAA-enriched solutions do help improve liver function, reduce the risk of complications and decrease the duration of hospital stay.
  • Vegans can take it too. BCAAs are like the switch which tell your body to start building muscle and stop using your muscles as an energy source, thus making them very important amino acid block of anyone which wish to stay lean and healthy. By adding a dietary supplement BCAA into a vegetarian diet with the meal can make the vegetable protein complete, able to be utilized and absorb by your body better.

Here are some of the products we recommend in a chart :

BrandsMaxler NRG Max Malaysia.JPGshaboom-pump.jpgLevroPump Malaysia.JPGF2 Pure Force.jpegScitec Hot Blood.pngC4.pngON-Amino Energy_white bG_Watermelon Splash 30 Serv.jpgNo Xplode Malaysia.jpeg
L-Citrulline Malate per scoop
8 g3 g1500 mg1000 mg--Hidden in proprietary blend-Hidden in proprietary blend
Beta-Alanine3.2 g2.5 g4000 mg1000 mg4.5 g1.6 gHidden in proprietary blend
Hidden in proprietary blend
Caffeine350 mg400 mg200 mg90 mg100 mg150 mg100 mgHidden in proprietary blend
Creatine2.9 g1500 mg--4500 mg1 g-Hidden in proprietary blend


In conclusion:
All in all, my final word of advice regarding pre-workout would be:
If you are strength/power athletes, choose the one which has high Citrulline Malate such as Maxler NRG Max. However, for pre-workout that to be used on endurance sports such as basketball, football, marathon and such. I would suggest the one which has higher beta-alanine with not extremely level of caffeine (moderate level work best) such as Levro pump (NRG Max work in this case as well).



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