What to Look For in a Pre-Workout: 6 Ingredients to Look for (And What to Avoid)

What to Look For in a Pre-Workout: 6 Ingredients to Look for (And What to Avoid)

Can’t seem to capture the energy you need for your workouts? 

Are you worried that your lack of energy will cause drawbacks to your progress?

Athletes and bodybuilders have a solution for that – pre-workout supplements. 

You’ve no doubt tried one before to give you an extra kick during your workouts. 

But you’ve heard some concerning things about different pre-workouts…

Some have questionable ingredients, artificial flavoring, or even way too much caffeine.

And you want to make sure that whatever pre-workout you use isn’t going to hurt you without you even knowing it.

This is an important decision–which is why we’re going to do a deep dive into the best ingredients for pre-workouts. 

In this article, we’ll clear up the air to help you make the best choice for your body and overall health goals.

Before We Dive In…Should You Even Use Pre-Workouts?

This is a valid question–and one that many people find themselves asking after discovering the alarming ingredients used in pre-workouts they’ve used before.

In short, you can benefit from using an all-natural pre-workout in moderation if it increases the amount and intensity of your workouts.

Whether or not you should use a pre-workout supplement comes down to two things:

1. Your overall health goals.

Many people simply don’t have the energy to exercise. They work 9-to-5 jobs and they are spent when they get home from work, they don’t want to wake up at 5 am to exercise before work, and as a result, they hardly exercise at all.

Pre-workout is a solution to this problem.

It not only gives you the energy to work out, but also helps you work out harder at the gym. 

So, if you find yourself not exercising as much or as hard as you would like, pre-workouts are a fantastic tool.

The main consideration at this point is making sure you aren’t damaging your health with bad ingredients.

Which leads to…

2. What pre-workout you use (hint: all-natural is the way to go)

A ton of pre-workouts have really harmful ingredients…

DMMA - a harmful stimulant that is often called a “natural stimulant”.

Yohimbe - originally designed for erectile dysfunction, this increases blood pressure and is regulated by the FDA even though some pre-workouts still include it.

Artificial coloring - artificial dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, etc.) have been linked to an increase in cancer risk.

Excessive caffeine - many pre-workouts include more caffeine than the FDA recommends.

The list goes on and on.

Taking just any old pre-workout can have damaging long-term effects. That’s why you need to go with a natural pre-workout–like the one we provide at Legacy Performance.

What to Look for in a Pre-Workout: 6 Best Ingredients

Your body and goals are different. So if you’re considering a pre-workout, it is important to determine the contents of a pre-workout that will cater to your needs.

Here is a list of the 6 best ingredients to look for in a pre-workout:

Caffeine (but not too much)

Caffeine is one of the most common pre-workout stimulants that help with your energy. It’s great in moderation–and the average pre-workout has 150mg to 300mg of it in its blend. But be sure to avoid pre-workout supplements with high doses of caffeine (on the higher end of the range above) because it can lead to harmful side effects like irregular heartbeat and a rise in blood pressure.


BCAA, which stands for branched-chain amino acids, is a popular term in the fitness and nutrition industry.

BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids can’t be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet. BCAAs make up approximately 35% of essential amino acids in muscle proteins, and they play an essential role in muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of building muscle tissue.

BCAAs are essential for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. They also play a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels and supporting immune function. Moreover, BCAAs can be oxidized in the muscles to produce energy during exercise and other physical activities.


Unlike BCAAs, Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid naturally produced by the body. It is a building block of carnosine, a dipeptide that is found in muscles. Unlike other amino acids, Beta-Alanine does not participate in the synthesis of proteins. Instead, it helps to produce carnosine, which is responsible for buffering hydrogen ions that are produced during exercise.

Beta-alanine is a popular ingredient in many pre-workout supplements and is known for its ability to improve endurance and power output.


Like Beta-Alanine, Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid, which means that it is produced naturally by the body. 

Citrulline works by increasing the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow through them. This increased blood flow can help to improve athletic performance and reduce muscle soreness. It can also help to improve cardiovascular health by improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

Beet Root Powder

Beetroot powder is a finely ground and deep red powder derived from dried beetroot. It is a natural source of vital nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The consumption of this powder has been associated with a myriad of health benefits.

This powder is reputed for its ability to enhance athletic performance, which can be attributed to its high nitrate content. Nitrate undergoes conversion to nitric oxide in the body, a physiological process that leads to the relaxation of blood vessels, an increase in blood flow, and a decline in the amount of oxygen required during exercise. This phenomenon culminates in improved endurance, reduced fatigue, and overall superior performance.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is a natural compound made of choline. It is a precursor for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in cognitive functions like learning, memory, and attention.

Additionally, Alpha GPC has been proven to boost the production of growth hormone, which can optimize athletic performance and aid in the recovery process after physical activity. 

Alpha GPC is commonly acquired as a dietary supplement and is frequently employed to bolster cognitive function and athletic performance.

How to Get the Best Results From Your Pre-Workout

Once you have chosen your pre-workout product, it is crucial to take it correctly for optimal results. 

Here are some tips on how to take pre-workout for best results:


Most pre-workouts have recommended intake timing, like the products recommended above. However, the general rule is to take your pre-workout supplement 30-45 minutes before your workout to allow the ingredients to be absorbed by your body. Taking a pre-workout too early or too late can affect its effectiveness.


Follow the recommended dosage on the label of your pre-workout supplement. Taking more than the recommended dosage can cause adverse effects such as jitteriness, nausea, and headaches.

If it’s your first time using a pre-workout, consume half of the recommended serving to assess your level of tolerance to the pre-workout and to avoid any negative feedback that it may cause. It is better to add more next time, than to overdose on your first intake.

Go With an All-Natural Pre-Workout

You should always consult a medical professional when looking for advice on whether to take any supplement.

But if you want to reap the benefits of pre-workout without dealing with many of the scary downsides, choose an all-natural supplement.

Natural pre-workouts are free from artificial coloring and many harmful chemicals and ingredients that are present in most mainstream pre-workout powders.

That’s exactly what we provide here at Legacy Performance.

Our all-natural pre-workout uses premium ingredients without ANY artificial flavors, sweeteners, or dyes. And that means you get clean energy to boost your performance without the jitters and the crash.

You can try our proprietary blend and unlock a 15% off discount code by clicking here.