Pre-workout supplements have become a popular product category as more people get serious about their training and look for ways to boost their workout intensity, their performance and their results.

To meet this demand, the supplement shelves at your local Dis-Chem carry an extensive range of pre-workout products from leading supplement brands, with different formulations available to meet your specific needs and preferences.

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A quick pick-me-up

Whether you’re looking for a lift after a long day at work or need some extra energy to power through a gruelling workout, pre-workouts typically contain energy-boosting and metabolism-enhancing ingredients in the form of stimulants – typically caffeine.

These ingredients give you that buzz as they stimulate your nervous system for a mental and physical boost before training, which is why you feel more alert, awake and full of energy.

They may also increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure and body temperature, depending on the type of stimulant used.

However, some people are sensitive to these effects. Others may already take a stimulant-based fat burner and, as such, do not want to double-dose on these potent ingredients as this can disrupt your sleep and overstimulate your nervous and endocrine (hormone) systems.

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Stimulant-free energy

Supplement manufacturers now create various stimulant-free (stim-free) products, which are formulated without caffeine and other common compounds used to raise your metabolism.

Instead, they contain a potent blend of active substances, including scientifically-researched and patented ingredients like GlycerSize™, and substances like citrulline malate (or L-citrulline), L-arginine and grape seed extract that promote vasodilation by producing more nitric oxide.

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Boost blood flow

This effect helps to get more blood to working muscles, which increases muscle pumps and enhances endurance and power by delivering more performance-enhancing ingredients contained in pre-workouts, like glucose, creatine, N-acetyl-L-cysteine and Betaine Anhydrous.

Other common performance-enhancing ingredient include amino acids.

For example, glycine helps to enhance peak power production and reduce lactate build-up during repeated, high-intensity exercise when taken up to 90 minutes before training, according to one study.

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A brain boost

And taurine, L-tyrosine and L-theanine help to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and GABA, which reduce stress and are linked with enhanced mood. These amino acids also improve energy production, along with B-vitamins.

And many stim-free products now contain powerful nootropics such as Alpha GPC and Huperzine A to enhance alertness, focus and concentration for that mental edge during workouts.

Without the impact on your nervous system, you can use stim-free pre-workout products in the late afternoon or early evening to maximise your workout intensity, without jeopardising your sleep quality or experiencing any jitters.

And stim-free products are the ideal option for those who use pre-workout regularly and want to cycle their use of stimulant-based products.