Want to get the most from your exercise routine? Our quick guide to supplements that you may want to try before your workouts will help you find what’s right for you. By Christine Bailey.

Pre-workout supplements are incredibly popular, but what can they really do for you? The buzz many people feel after taking a pre-workout supplement is often down to the addition of stimulants and sugar. Check ingredients carefully as caffeine is often added and the content can vary significantly. Too much caffeine can make some people jittery and can interfere with sleep particularly if taken later in the day. If you want to try a pre-workout supplement here are some nutrients to look out for…


One of the cheapest ways to get that energy boost. Many supplements will contain caffeine and/or green tea extracts.


Beta-alanine is an amino acid that can help reduce exercise-induced fatigue, improve aerobic capacity and overall performance

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline is an amino acid that improves muscle endurance, relieves muscle soreness, and improves aerobic performance.

Beetroots and Betaine

Betaine is a compound found in plants including beetroot that improves muscle endurance and power. Beetroot juice is a popular pre workout supplement. Beetroot is rich in nitrates which increases nitric oxide (NO) concentrations in the body promoting vasodilation and blood flow. Studies have shown beetroot juice supplementation can improve power output, endurance and performance. The amino acid L Arginine is a similar nitric oxide booster often included in pre-workout formulas.


Theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green tea that reduces the effects of mental and physical stress. It has been shown to improve alertness, focus and concentration.

B vitamins

A popular addition to pre-workout formulas. B vitamins play a role in energy production and may reduce fatigue.