Nothing beats a gym session than one fueled by a pre-workout supplement.
When it comes to smashing out another high-rep, muscle-pounding set, or cranking out another minute on a maxed out treadmill, this is your true gym buddy.
If you’re here because you know the way forward is adding a high-quality pre workout to your supplement stack, but don’t know whether pills or powder is the way forward, you’re in the right place.
Because as serious lifters, we live and breathe this stuff.
What is a Pre Workout?
Imagine ripping the lid from a supplement. And the split second you popped the cap you unleashed all hell.
Flames burst all around you, you’re surrounded by the deafening screams of lost souls, the sounds of clashing swords and fire-breathing dragons roar around you.
Pretty cool, huh?
Now imagine taking that product, mixing it with water and using it’s fury and energy to make even the hardest workout your bitch.
That’s a pre workout right there.
But seriously, what’s a pre workout do?
Based around core ingredients such as caffeine, cognitive enhancers and natural nutrients that cause cell-splitting muscle pumps, a pre workout supplement explodes your workouts to a whole new level.
- More energy – grind out more reps with heavier weights
- Dialed in focus – relentless motivation and a never give up attitude
- Better muscle pumps – rip your summer t-shirts to shreds with vascularity usually reserved for that first carb-heavy refeed
- Smash tiredness in the face – extend your time to fatigue, boost your endurance and eliminate post-workout energy crashes
You can get pre workout supplements in either powder, gel or pill form.
And while manufacturers always claim that their own version of this powerful supplement is best, that’s often not the case.
Here’s what we think…
How does pre workout powder work?
Pre workout powders are crystalline compounds that mix fully with water.
You sometimes see the word anhydrous next to ingredients – it basically means ‘without water’.
They enter your body quickly and for that reason absorb within 20-30 minutes. There’s no lag in how quickly it kicks in because the effects are as quick as you’ll ever experience.
There’s nothing worse than your pre workout not kicking in until half way through your heavy leg day.
Within a short space of time you’re feeling ready to bend barbells and do your thing in the free weights area. Even from that first rep you’ll feel energized, pumped and ready to make today the best workout yet.
Pre workout powders mix to a consistency just like water or a sports drink too. They’re not grainy or hard to mix like creatine powder is.
There’s no lumpy consistency or frothy top to deal with either.
And because of the way that these powders are structured, it leaves plenty of room to add in some flavors too.
To be honest, some are pretty goddamn awful, but we’re big fans of fruit-blast. It just tastes the most natural (lemon and limeade are the worst things you’ll put in your mouth though).
You’ve also got flexibility with pre workout powders.
If your tolerance is low then you can opt for a single serving and still get the benefits you deserve. If you’re a caffeinated monster who lives off black coffee but needs an explosive kick start, you can double, or even triple scoop.
In summary, pre workout powders ramp up your workout quality by:
- Absorbing quickly into your bloodstream so you’re ready to punish your dumbbells right away
- It’s easy to adjust your dose and double up if you need to
- It’s easy to take and blends without issues
- Full to the top with good-quality, natural ingredients
There aren’t really any disadvantages to powdered pre workout supplements.
They can be a bit more expensive – but most quality stuff is. If you want a well-dosed, effective supplement you’ll have to pay for it.
But you know yourself, it’s worth it when it comes to making gains.. not claims.
Pre workout pills – are they any good?
The first thing you might think about when you see a pre workout pill is the time you went to the doctors because of that protein-induced constipation and he shoved a giant suppository up your ass.
They’re that big.
They look exactly the same.
Pre workout pills contain the same or similar ingredients to powders, although not in as high quantities.
Pills are often high in caffeine but under-dosed in important nutrients such as L-theanine, citrulline malate or L-carnitine. Without these important components, pre workout is just a strong caffeine hit with no focus energy, pump or wider benefits.
Pre workout pills can be harder to judge exactly how many you should take to begin with too.
Before you know it you’re needing 4, 5 or 6 of them to get the same feeling you get from a double scooped powder.
Sometimes they kick in within 30 minutes, but mostly they deliver a time-delayed response leaving you scratching your head during the warm up, not knowing if or when it’ll take effect.
On the plus side, they’re easy to transport in your gym bag and in theory don’t require water or mixing.
Note: It might say you don’t need to take them with water on the label, but in the real world, workout pills can make you real thirsty – because of their sheer size you’ll find them hard to take without a gallon of water.
Summary – pre workout pills just don’t make the cut:
- Can be hard to take in comparison to powder
- Are often under-dosed in ingredients other than caffeine
- You’ll need to take them with a ton of water
Pre Workout Powder Vs Pills – Which is The Better Option?
It’s a clear and resounding win for pre workout powder.
Pills are absolutely light years behind a well-flavored, easy-to-mix powder that kicks in quickly and offers more than just a hit of caffeine.