Preworkout supplements are more popular than ever among fitness enthusiasts today. People have been looking for a little extra boost ever since training began. These supplements have evolved from coffee or caffeine pills into the advanced combinations found on the market today. Pre-workouts claim to provide energy, focus, strength, and stamina. Companies are constantly testing, tweaking, and releasing new formulas to meet these goals.
Preworkout Supplements: Benefits
Preworkouts contain several key ingredients intended to maximize your results in the gym. Most of the popular offerings use caffeine as a base ingredient. Caffeine is effective at increasing focus, energy, and power. It has been used for decades and has a pretty safe track record.
Preworkouts often contain some variation of arginine or citrulline malate. These ingredients are intended to increase blood flow to your muscles. This may increase the feeling of a "pump" while weight-training. This not only feels nice but also increases your strength, since your muscles have more blood and oxygen to work with.
Other common ingredients found in preworkouts are beta alanine, creatine, glutamine, and electrolytes. All of these components are intended to increase your energy and longevity in the gym. These help ensure that you get a quality workout without getting tired too quickly.
Preworkout Supplements: Side Effects
Preworkout supplements provide many benefits to the trainee, but there may also be a few side effects to be aware of. Insomnia or sleep disturbances may occur due to the stimulants in the products. This can be avoided by not taking the supplements late in the afternoon. Those with a high tolerance to caffeine may not have any issues using the products late in the day.
Preworkouts containing beta-alanine may produce a tingling sensation on the skin. These are referred to as the beta-alanine or "BA tingles" in fitness circles. This side effect is harmless but may be uncomfortable for some individuals. Others may actually enjoy and welcome this side effect as a signal that the preworkout has kicked in, and it is time to train.
Some preworkouts may contain ingredients that are not fully approved for tested competitions. Craze by Driven Sports is one example of a product that contained banned ingredients and was eventually removed from the market. Avoiding banned ingredients is easier if you stick to trusted brands with a solid history.
NO-Xplode 2.0 vs SuperPump MAX
BSN NO-Xplode and Gaspari SuperPump are pioneers in the preworkout supplement market. Each company has a massive following and has utilized user feedback and scientific findings to optimize the formulas in their latest offerings: NO-Xplode 2.0 and SuperPump MAX. Which one is better?
BSN NO-Xplode 2.0
Focus L-Tyrosine, Taurine, Glucuronolactone, Methylxanthine (Caffeine), L-Tyrosine-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, MCT's (Medium Chain Triglycerides), Lesser Periwinkle (Whole Plant) (95% Vinpocetine, 98% Vincamine, 98% Vinburnine)
Strength Modified Glucose Polymers (Maltodextrin), Beta-Alanine (CarnoSyn®), Di-Creatine-Malic Acid Interfusion, Betaine HCL, Sodium Bicarbonate, Creatine-Sodium Phosphate Matrix, Creatinol-O-Phosphate, Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL, Malic Acid, Glycocyamine, Guanidino Propionic Acid, Cinnamon Extract (Bark) (Cinnulin PF®), Ketoisocaproate Potassium, Creatine-Alpha-Aminobutyric Acid Matrix (Creatine AAB™)
Pumps L-Arginine-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, L-Citrulline-Malic Acid Interfusion, L-Citrulline-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, L-Histidine-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), Gynostemma (Leaves & Stem) (90% Gypenosides)
Hydration Di-Calcium Phosphate, Di-Potassium Phosphate, Di-Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Glycerophosphate, Magnesium Glycerophosphate, Glycerol Stearate
Focus L-Tyrosine, Caffeine, Glucuronolactone
Strength Creatine Monohydrate (1.3g), Magnesium Creatine Chelate (Creatine Magna Power™)
Pumps L-Citrulline (2g), L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (Carnipure™), L-Ornithine L-Aspartate
Hydration Taurine, Calcium Glycerophosphate, Sodium Glycerphosphate, Di-Magnesium Malate, Di-Potassium Phosphate, L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine (Sustamine™)
BCAAs L-Leucine (2g), L-Isoleucine, L-Valine
A novice supplement user may look at the ingredients above and conclude that NO-Xplode 2.0 is superior, since it has more ingredients. Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple, but many people are fooled by a long list of ingredients. Please note that neither company fully discloses the exact amounts of every ingredient, but Gaspari does provide some transparency by mentioning the amount of creatine (1.3g), l-citrulline (2g), and l-leucine (2g). Without full disclosure, it is impossible to know if you are even getting an active dose of the stated ingredients.
Both products utilize caffeine, L-Tyrosine, and glucoronolactone in their focus blends. Creatine is the base for the strength blends, with Gaspari SuperPump MAX using the tried and tested creatine monohydrate, versus BSN NO-Xplode 2.0's use of a combination of unknown amounts of different types of creatines. Citrulline is used in each product for pumps, and the hydration blends are nearly identical. Gaspari SuperPump MAX has one big advantage in that it contains an active dose of BCAAs while BSN NO-Xplode 2.0 contains no BCAAs.
Gaspari SuperPump MAX is probably the better choice due to its disclosure of key active ingredients and inclusion of BCAAs which increase protein synthesis and decrease protein breakdown. BCAAs have a direct impact on the muscle-building process while most of the other ingredients in these products are more about allowing you to push harder in the gym. NO-Xplode 2.0 contains more ingredients but it is questionable whether things like periwinkle plant, cinnamon bark, and gynostemma will even have any effect on your workout. In this case, less is probably more.
Advantage: SuperPump MAX
Preworkout Supplements: Conclusion
Preworkout supplements provide many benefits to trainees looking to build muscle. These supplements are intended to increase your drive in the gym, leading to bigger and better workouts. A greater effort will lead to greater results. Some preworkouts like Gaspari SuperPump MAX even include BCAAs which have a direct impact on the muscle-building process. Gain more by taking a quality natural multivitamin, NAC, glutamine, and also following a good bulking diet and training routine.