by Tony Gjokaj August 30, 2021 4 min read

Many new-to-fitness people get intimidated by pre-workouts.

Some are concerned about the ingredients, what happens after they use them, and if they're safe or not.

So in this post, we are going to explore everything about pre-workouts.

Let's dive in! 



What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Pre-Workouts are supplements formulated with ingredients designed to enhance workout performance. Most pre-workouts will contain ingredients like Beta-Alanine, Citrulline, Caffeine, and other things.

Pre-Workouts are ideally taken before your workout, typically about 15-30 minutes before.

I personally prefer to take mine during my warm up sets just so that the Beta-Alanine "face tingling" sensation kicks in (more on this later). 

    Ultimately, pre-workouts are designed to enhance energy, performance, and more.

    Benefits of Using Pre-Workouts

    There are a variety of benefits of Pre-Workouts.

    The following are the three main goals that pre-workouts want to accomplish:

    • Increases Energy. Pre-workouts typically contain caffeine or other ingredients that provided extended energy for the entire session.
    • Enhances Focus. Caffeine and other brain-boosting components are used to enhance focus and concentration.
    • Improves Workout Performance. You'll typically notice differences in exercise performance with ingredients like Creatine and Citrulline.

    Common Pre-Workout Ingredients

    The following are some of the main ingredients for pre-workouts.


    Our favorite.

    Caffeine helps with managing fatigue, improving energy levels, and also increasing power output.

    While some people can handle caffeine very well, 200mg of caffeine before a workout is perfect for mental focus and physical performance.


    Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is found in most foods we consume. It is the precursor to carnosine, which aids in fighting fatigue.

    According to various studies, Beta-Alanine aids in improving muscular endurance, extending the time to fatigue. Some people also report that it allows them to get one to two extra reps in their workouts.

    If you've supplemented with a pre-workout before, you know that some can make your face and fingers tingle. This is an effect caused by beta-alanine known as paresthesia. There is nothing bad about this feeling, it just means that Beta-Alanine is working.

    The recommended dose for Beta-Alanine is around 2-5g.


      L-Citrulline is an amino acid that improves nitric oxide metabolism. This means it aids in exercise performance.

      According to one study, citrulline has been shown to improve anaerobic performance and muscle soreness relief, reducing fatigue.

      Citrulline is one of our preferred pre-workout ingredients because of its absorption. Compared to L-Arginine, citrulline is a better absorbing as it turns into l-arginine in the kidneys.

      For sports performance, it is recommended to take 3-8g of Citrulline.

      Creatine Monohydrate

      Creatine is a molecule that our body produces as a result of amino acids (broken down from protein consumption). It has been shown to improve muscle strength, power output, and recovery.

      How Creatine works is that it rapidly produces energy for intense exercise, improving exercise performance in the gym.

      It is the most studied supplement in the industry, with 5g of Creatine Monohydrate being an efficacious dose.

      While creatine is popular in some pre-workouts, I prefer to use creatine after my workout sessions.

      What About Arginine?

      Arginine is one of the more popularly known pre-workout ingredients, as it is directly produced in the body from food. Based on research, people on average get about 5g of L-Arginine from food daily.

      While L-Arginine is found in some pump products, it hasn't produced reliable evidence that it directly aids in workout performance. The reason for this is that ingesting L-Arginine directly has a poor absorption.

      L-Arginine may have it's merits in consumption if you don't get enough in your body, but since most foods typically contain it, you might not necessarily need it.

      Are Pre-Workouts Safe?

      It's always important to read the labels and use pre-workouts as intended. You should ALWAYS read the warning labels and never go above the recommended serving.

      Pre-workouts are also typically intended for those 18 years of age and older who don't have pre-existing medical conditions.

      Always speak with your doctor or physician about supplement use.

      With that being said, we want to help you consider some of the ingredients in pre-workouts.

      A Warning With Caffeine

      When it comes to pre-workouts, you should monitor your daily caffeine intake.

      Pre-Workouts typically contain 200-300mg of caffeine per serving.

      On average, most people can experience performance benefits with about 300-400mg of caffeine daily. Beyond that, some may experience detrimental effects like anxiety, irregular heartbeats, and more.

      It is very important that you know how much caffeine you consume daily before adding a pre-workout to your regiment.

      Other Things to Consider

      Here are a few recommendations to consider when buying supplements:

      • Avoid products with "steroid-like" names.
      • Avoid proprietary blends. Focus on products with a few main ingredients. 
      • View WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) for prohibited substances.
      These are all factors we take into consideration when making and formulating our supplements.

        What Is the Best Pre-Workout For Me?

        Before you get to picking a solid pre-workout, make sure you get your exercise and nutrition in check. This will help augment the performance of your pre-workout.

        When you get that down, then you can explore the world of Pre-Workouts.

        At Reforged, we have one pre-workout designed for mental and physical performance. Our Nootropic Pre-Workout, Catalyst, was designed as a powerful well-rounded pre-workout for anyone that lifts weights or high-intensity endurance workouts.

        If you prefer a focus-based drink instead, you can consider our nootropic energy powder, Impulse.Impulse was designed for sustained mental focus for any scenario, whether it's exercise or work. It is also great supplement to start with before you get into our pre-workout.

        With our products, we focus on a few factors: Quality, Safety, Simplicity, and Full Transparency. We take pride in having a few ingredients that are efficaciously and safely dosed for your comfort. Adding to that, our labels are fully transparent, which makes it easier to educate our Reforged Legion about each ingredient.

        If you have any questions, feel free to email us at, or direct message us on Instagram.

        Until next time, Reforged Warrior!

        Tony Gjokaj
        Tony Gjokaj

        Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.

        Also in Reforge Yourself

        Exercise For Mood & Anxiety Brief Book Review
        Exercise For Mood & Anxiety Brief Book Review

        by Tony Gjokaj January 18, 2022 3 min read

        A few months back, I listened to a podcast with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who was talking about the importance of exercise and depression.

        As I own a fitness brand dedicated to helping people exercise out of depression, I was instantly drawn into the title of the episode.

        In it, the speaker mentioned his book.

        I picked it up.

        I read it.

        And it was SUPER INFORMATIVE.

        I wanted to share it with you all today because I am rereading it for a second time.

        Read More
        7 Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Mental Health In 2022
        7 Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Mental Health In 2022

        by Tony Gjokaj January 10, 2022 5 min read

        As we continue our way into 2022, one thing that can set us back from reaching our goals are our habits.

        Some of us have habits that help facilitate all aspects of our health: mental, physical, and even existential.

        Other habits can forestall or neglect those aspects of our health.

        So in this post, we are going to go over 7 bad habits that can affect your mental health this year.

        Let's dive in!

        Read More
        5 Reasons Why Most People Fail Their New Years Resolutions
        5 Reasons Why Most People Fail Their New Years Resolutions

        by Tony Gjokaj January 03, 2022 5 min read

        Welcome to 2022.

        A new year of possibilities and opportunities.

        A new year of improving our mental health and wellbeing.

        We all want to make some big changes in our lives and are completely excited about it... but sometimes, it's only a matter of time until some setback happens.

        And some of us quit when it gets tough.

        Do you ever wonder why some of our New Years Resolutions fail?

        There are a few reasons.

        In this post, we are going to cover 5 reasons why most people fail their New Years Resolutions.

        Let's dive in!

        Read More