Best Keto Pre-Workout Ingredients Based on Science

Keto pre-workout supplements are taking a big turn this decade, due to ongoing research supporting the benefits of ketogenic diets and exogenous ketones. The right keto pre-workout ingredients have the capability to increase stamina, enhance focus, support weight loss, speed recovery, and ramp up nitric oxide synthesis (thereby promoting better blood flow).

Some keto pre-workout products consist of stimulants for providing a sense of energy before you exercise, while some are non-stimulant formulas for people who don’t tolerate ingredients like caffeine. Unfortunately, things like proprietary blends make it hard for many people to grasp exactly which keto pre-workout ingredients are efficacious and which are basically bunk as a sugar pill.

For instance, many supplement brands load their keto pre-workout blend with useless ingredients in paltry doses; they also often incorporate unnecessary stimulants that may inhibit your body’s response to adrenaline and ultimately cause constant fatigue.

The good news is you found this article, which is going to weed through the nonsense and hype to unveil which keto pre-workout ingredients are truly best (based on science). At BioKeto, we are continuously looking for the best keto-friendly supplements to provide you with maximal results.

Read on to learn all about the five best keto pre-workout ingredients backed by science and why they deserve a spot in your supplement pantry.

Caffeine

Caffeine, or 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, is a well-known central nervous system (CNS) stimulant for increasing energy, mental acuity, and weight loss throughout your exercise bouts.[1] Moreover, caffeine encourages the burning of adipose tissue stores while you exercise, resulting in greater weight loss.

Caffeine is also superb for enhancing muscular contractile force production; assisting focus and psychological function; increasing thermogenesis.[2]

Research likewise recommends that caffeine and creatine monohydrate have strong synergy, especially when consumed pre-workout.[3]

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine is the world’s most validated sports supplement for enhancing muscle growth and strength gains.[4] When you exercise, your muscles are continuously burning through and replenishing ATP so they can contract. Creatine assists in keeping muscle cells replete with energy (ATP), particularly while intensely training, thus hastening recovery.

Creatine enables you to create a greater overload on your skeletal muscles, resulting in more strength gains, muscle hypertrophy, and better performance, gradually.

Many supplements contain generic creatine monohydrate which is typically contaminated and impotent. We recommend looking for the trademarked creatine monohydrate Creapure®, which is guaranteed fresh and free from adulterants.

Exogenous Ketones (BHB Salts)

Where to begin with exogenous ketones…

The benefits of BHB salts are numerous, largely because they help your body enter ketosis promptly after use. In fact, even if you don’t follow a ketogenic diet, BHB salts are a beneficial pre-workout ingredient. Taking BHB salts before a workout will provide your body with necessary ketones to enhance your energy and cognitive function while you hit the weights, cardio, or playing field.

Even better, by using BHB salts before exercising, your body will be in ketosis and have more propensity to burn body fat (especially if you’re on a ketogenic diet).

Glycerol

Glycerol is a fat-like compound with distinct actions in the human body. Research has revealed that glycerol gets rapidly soaked up by muscles and this effect increases considerably throughout physical activity.[5] When you consume glycerol, it is quickly digested and elevates fluid concentrations in your body (specifically intracellular fluids).

Due to your body keeping a proportion of the concentration of cellular fluids, drinking liquids with glycerol creates a more favorable environment for hydration and absorption of other keto pre-workout ingredients.

In addition, glycerol promotes the transport of nutrients to working muscle tissue and amplifies the “pump” from weight training, making this keto pre-workout ingredient an absolute must for dedicated gym-goers.

HydroMax® is a trademarked high-purity glycerol that we recommend. It’s typical for many pre-workout products to use a cheaper kind of glycerol – glycerol monostearate. GMS only delivers 3 to 11% glycerol (making it rather worthless for performance improvement).

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid which your body uses to synthesize carnosine; it is terrific for reducing fatigue and boosting muscular endurance. Different from alpha-alanine – a genetically-encoded amino acid that’s abundant in numerous biochemicals – beta-alanine isn’t a part of any pertinent enzymatic or protein synthetic pathways.

Carnosine is an essential dipeptide (containing beta-alanine and histidine) found in muscle tissue; its synthesis is drastically inhibited without the available beta-alanine. Therefore, by increasing levels of muscle carnosine, beta-alanine supplements confer advantages to individuals who wish to enhance both aerobic and anaerobic output.[6]

Carnosine is vital for retaining optimum pH in muscles during exercise. A drop in muscle pH creates a more acidic environment, lowering their ability to contract efficiently. By picking up hydrogen ions, carnosine helps maintain a less acidic environment and for that reason increases your capability to work harder for longer.

Some individuals figure they need to simply consume pure carnosine rather than beta-alanine; however, this is impudent because carnosine rapidly breaks down into histidine and beta-alanine as part of the digestive process. Oral beta-alanine, on the other hand, readily transports into muscle tissue to re-synthesize carnosine.[8]

Research has actually demonstrated that supplemental beta-alanine can increase muscle carnosine upwards of 58% and 80% after four and ten weeks, respectively.[7] Hence, beta-alanine is the amino acid that affects intramuscular carnosine levels the most.

Wrap-up

Supplements are constantly improving, so it’s prudent to explore new ingredients when there’s potential merit. However, keep in mind that veritable keto pre-workout ingredients will always remain. Keto pre-workout ingredients like exogenous ketones are reputable because they are founded on research and empirical evidence science; the “bro” in the gym and anecdotal evidence you read about on a forum only go so far.

Also, be wary that keto pre-workout supplements containing tons of ingredients aren’t  necessarily going to convert to better performance. If a product contains loads of worthless ingredients, then it’s still useless in the grand scheme of things.

We recommend you stick with the five powerhouse keto pre-workout ingredients from this article (in proper doses). Never sacrifice spending a little extra on the right ingredients if it concerns your wellness and performance.

More Readings:

Best Exogenous Ketone Supplements

What Are Ketones? | Everything you need to know

References

  1.  Woolf K, Bidwell WK, Carlson AG. (2008). The effect of caffeine as an ergogenic aid in anaerobic exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, Aug;18(4):412-29.
  2.  Beck TW, Housh TJ, Malek MH, Mielke M, Hendrix R. (2008). The acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement on bench press strength and time to running exhaustion. J Strength Cond Res. Sep;22(5):1654-8.
  3.  Vanakoski, J., Kosunen, V., Meririnne, E., & Seppälä, T. (1998). Creatine and caffeine in anaerobic and aerobic exercise: effects on physical performance and pharmacokinetic considerations. International journal of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, 36(5), 258-262.
  4.  Buford TW, et al. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 
  5.  Hall, G. V., Sacchetti, M., Rådegran, G., & Saltin, B. (2002). Human skeletal muscle fatty acid and glycerol metabolism during rest, exercise and recovery. The Journal of physiology, 543(3), 1047-1058.
  6.  Hill, C., Harris, R., Kim, H., Harris, B., Sale, C., Boobis, L., Kim, C. and Wise, J. (2007) ‘Influence of Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Carnosine Concentrations and High Intensity Cycling Capacity’, Amino Acids, 32(2), 225-233.
  7.  Baguet A, Koppo K, Pottier A, Derave W. Beta-alanine supplementation reduces acidosis but not oxygen uptake response during high-intensity cycling exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Feb;108(3):495-503.
  8. Artioli GG, Gualano B, Smith A, Stout J, Lancha AH Jr. Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun;42(6):1162-73.
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Elliot received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and has been a freelance writer specializing in nutritional and health sciences for the past 5 years. He is thoroughly passionate about exercise, nutrition, and dietary supplementation, especially how they play a role in human health, longevity, and performance. In his free time you can most likely find him lifting weights at the gym or out hiking through the mountains of Colorado. He will also host the upcoming BioKeto podcast. You can connect with him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/elliot.reimers) and Instagram (@eazy_ell)

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