Pre workouts are undoubtedly a popular product category. However, with all the various types out there, it can be confusing which ones to get. This is especially true these days with all the ways pre workouts can be delivered into the body. We’ll take a quick look at the three major types of pre workout supplements as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Pre Workout Powders
Pre workouts are most common in today’s market place in powder form. Simply take a scoop, dissolve it in water, then slam it down before a workout. There are quite a few advantages of taking a pre workout this way. First of all, being powdered and dissolved allows the ingredients to be absorbed faster, meaning it can take effect quite rapidly. Secondly, there is really no limit to the number of ingredients you can pack into a powder. Manufacturers can ensure their customers get high doses of ingredients, simply by increasing the serving size. This is especially helpful for ingredients like creatine and BCAAs where you need around 5 g for an effective dose.
The most common complaint about powdered pre workouts is that they are not the most convenient form. Because you need to prepare them in a shaker or cup, it does require some effort. Secondly, taste is also a fairly important attribute for some. To make their products drinkable, powdered pre workouts also need to be flavoured. To be honest, this is quite often hit and miss, with some products being notoriously nasty. However, when manufacturers get it right, they can be downright tasty.
Pre Workout Tablets & Pills.
Pre workouts in tablet and pill form, although available, are somewhat rarer than their powdered cousins. The biggest advantage for pill form pre workouts is that you can just simply swallow one, without the need to mix it up. However, the major disadvantage to pill form pre workouts is that it does limit the amount of ingredients you can fit into a single pill. This is the reason why pill form pre workouts general focus on improving pump, instead of trying to provide an all-in-one product with multiple benefits. Imagine trying to fit 10 to 20 g of ingredients into pills. You would have to swallow an absurd amount.
Pre Workout Gels
Gels are extremely popular for endurance athletes because of their convenience. Simply tear one open during a run or ride, and suck out the gooey contents without the need to pop pills or make up shakes. The problem with gels though, is that not every ingredient lends itself to be gelled. Although caffeinated gels are common, you do not typically find as rich of a variety of pre workout gels as you do powders. In addition, the packaging for gels is expensive, and adds to the cost of each serve.