03/05/2017 - 21:21

Pre-workout shakes

When you want to have a serious training session it is important that you are focused and have sufficient energy to get through a demanding workout. This is easier said than done. There are days when your energy level is simply lower and days when you are easily distracted. In the worst-case scenario you have to cope with both these problems at the same time. You could certainly use a pre-workout drink on those days, but in fact this applies to every training session. A pre-workout helps you always get the most out of your workout.

As the name implies, you drink it before you start training. The ingredients help you prepare your body for all the effort it has to make. Moreover, it gives you an energy boost and promotes your concentration, so that you can work even harder and more intensively. In other words, pre-workout drinks are indispensable for the serious power athlete!


A pre-workout generally contains amino acids, creatine and caffeine, usually supplemented with other substances. The most common ingredients are:

  • Beta-alanine

Beta-alaline is a non-essential amino acid that gradually increases the concentration of carnosine in your muscles. Carnosine neutralises lactic acid. This is the substance that acidifies your muscles when you use them at a high intensity. Carnosine delays this acidification so that you can continue training for longer.

  • Citrulline Malate

Citrulline is an organic compound that was first discovered in watermelon in 1930. It is a substance that serves as a precursor to the synthesis of the semi-essential amino acid arginine. It means that the liver can convert citrulline into arginine. And arginine causes the blood vessels to dilate, which means more oxygen can be transported to the muscles. Malate is the salt form of malic acid and slows down the production of lactic acid in the muscles. Adding malate to citrulline increases its effectiveness. The advantages of citrulline malate include improved aerobic endurance, increased muscle endurance, increased muscle strength and less muscle pain after training.

  • Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic compound that occurs naturally in the body. It is an intermediate product in the supply of energy for muscle and nerve cells. Creatine increases the amount of creatine phosphate in your muscles by approximately 20 percent. In practice this means that you can increase your maximum strength during one repetition by five percent and your stamina by 14 percent. This equates to being able to perform an average of five extra repetitions. 

 Pre-workout shakes

  • Caffeine

These substances have a somewhat similar effect.

We know that caffeine wakes you up, but it also offers other benefits. You become more alert, your reaction times are quicker, you burn more fat, you feel less hungry, it increases your pain threshold and you feel better. Now you might think that it's a good idea to drink lots and lots of coffee, but that's not entirely true. First, you would need to drink so much coffee that it would be coming out of your ears. And your stomach wouldn't be too happy (and neither would your ears). Secondly, you never know exactly how much caffeine you consume in your coffee, so effective dosing is very difficult. Averages have been defined, but they are never 100 percent accurate. An espresso would contain approximately 75 mg of caffeine.

To achieve a fat burning effect you need to take 200 mg or slightly more caffeine. It is generally accepted that you will not experience any problems if you keep the dose below 600 mg a day. For the best result take 3 mg of caffeine per kilo of body weight, 30 to 60 minutes before your workout. It is also recommended that you do not ingest any, or barely any, caffeine the rest of the day since you will not have a lot more benefit due to habituation. 

  • Guarana

Guarana is the seed of a creeper from Brazil and has been used there as a natural energy supplement for centuries. It contains almost twice as much caffeine as coffee. Guarana offers a number of extra benefits: it speeds up digestion, suppresses the appetite, produces energy, reduces pain, increases concentration and has blood-thinning properties. 

  • Theobromine

Theobromine belongs to the caffeine family, but comes from the cocoa tree. It is also found in chocolate. This amount is safe for people, but can be deadly for cats and dogs because they break theobromine down more slowly. Theobromine stimulates the nervous system, water balance, heart muscles and smooth muscle tissue. It has a stimulating effect and increases physical activity. 

  • Taurine

Taurine is a sulphuric organic acid that occurs naturally in the body in large quantities and plays a major role, for example, in the cardiovascular system, muscle development and the nervous system. Taurine is a non-essential foodstuff because adults can synthesise it from the amino acid l-cysteine. It was originally isolated from ox bile, hence its name.

Taurine is used in stressful situations when rapid action is necessary. It gives your nervous system a boost so that you can react faster. When you take it before training you can push yourself more. You also tire less easily and your condition improves slightly. Combined with caffeine it improves your concentration. 

Added sugar

There are lots of types of pre-workout shakes and they generally include the ingredients mentioned above. There are also differences. For example they do not all contain creatine. However the greatest difference is whether or not they contain added sugar. There is something to be said for adding sugar and/or dextrose (grape sugar) because it quickly provides you with extra energy. However, most of the other ingredients do this too. A sweetener such as sucralose is also an option. This is a substance that is made from sugar, is 600 times sweeter, but does not contain any calories (because, in contrast to sugar, your body doesn't break it down). There are also shakes that contain both sugar and sweeteners. 

Pre-workout shakes

Pre-workout drinks by SynTech

The SynTech range includes three excellent pre-workouts, every single one contains ingredients that complement each other. We will briefly discuss them here so that you can easily make an informed choice.

  • Aestr-X

Aestr-X is  a powerful pre-workout powder specially formulated without creatine or carbohydrates. There are athletes that do not want any creatine in their pre-workout, because, for example, they already take it separately. It does contain sucralose, but no sugar.

The ingredients are: Beta-Alanine, L-Arginine Alpha-ketoglutarate, L-Citrulline Malate, flavouring, L-Tyrosine, Paullinia Cupana (Guarana), anti-caking agent (Silicon dioxide), acidity regulator (Citric acid), Taurine, colouring (Beta-Carotene), Inositol, sweetener (Sucralose) and Piper Nigrum (black pepper). 

Pre-workout shakes

  • SynTsize Pump

SynTsize Pump is the very latest generation pre-workout powder. SynTsize Pump contains high doses of ingredients and two gram BCAAs per serving. It contains both dextrose and sucralose.

The ingredients are: Dextrose, L-Arginine Alfa-ketoglutarate, Crea-Trona™ Double-Buffered Creatine, Beta-Alanine, L-Citrulline Malate, Taurine, L-Leucine, L-Tyrosine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine, Paullinia Cupana (Guarana), Theobroma Cacao (Theobroma), flavouring, sweetener (Sucralose), colouring (Quinoline Yellow WS) and food acid (Sodium citrate, Potassium bicarbonate).

Pre-workout shakes

  • SynOxy Boost

SynOxy Boost is a highly concentrated pre-workout powder for intensive workouts. SynOxy Boost contains a combination of Citrulline Malate and Vinitrox™. This combination provides an optimal effect. It doesn't contain sugar, just sucralose.

The ingredients are: Creatine Monohydrate, L-Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Paullinia Cupana Kunth (Guarana), colouring (Calcium Carbonate), Vinitrox™ (Malus Pumila Mill., Vitis Vinifera L.) (sulphur dioxide, sulphite), food acid (Sodium citrate), flavouring (Exotic Fruits), acidity regulator (Potassium Bicarbonate), anti-caking agent (Silicon Dioxide) and sweetener (Sucralose).

Pre-workout shakes

Supplements for endurance sports

There are also supplements for endurance athletes to take prior to training, although they are not always called pre-workout supplements per se. They also mainly consist of plant extracts. An example is:

  • Enduro Pro

Enduro Pro is a synergetic mix of plant extracts of the highest possible quality and purity, specially developed for endurance athletes. 

The ingredients are: Lepidium Meyenii Walp (Maca), capsule (Gelatine), Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha), Paullinia Cupana Kunth (Guarana), Vitis Vinifera L. (Powergrape® grape extract), Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root), Cola Nitida (Kola nut), Maca extract, Panax Ginseng C.A. Meyer (Red Ginseng), Coenzyme Q10, thickening agent (Microcrystalline Cellulose), bulking agent (Magnesium stearate) and anti-caking agent (Silicon dioxide). 

Pre-workout shakes

Making your own pre-workouts

Now that you know what ingredients a pre-workout contains, you could, of course, compose your own drink. You could purchase all the ingredients separately and mix them yourself. However, only attempt this if the idea of accurately weighing all kinds of powders appeals to you (you will also need a suitable weighing scale). The advantage is that you can decide whether you want to add sugar or sweetener. You automatically leave out colouring and flavouring. This also applies to an anti-caking agent, though in practice this is more of a disadvantage.

You decide on the doses of the ingredients you want to add, though this may also be a downside for lots of people. The advantage of the products named above is that the ingredients have already been mixed in a proportion that has been properly devised by someone who has an understanding of these things. Nevertheless, if you want to do it yourself, it is certainly possible. 


Gerelateerde producten: 

Aestr-X is een krachtige pre-workout  die speciaal zonder creatine en koolhydraten werd samengestel... More info

34,90 €
SynTsize Pump

SynTsize Pump is een all-in-one pre-workout product van de nieuwste generatie. ... More info

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SynOxy Boost

SynOxy Boost is a highly concentrated pre-workout product which boosts explosive force, increases mu... More info

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Enduro Pro

Enduro Pro is een synergetische mix van plantenextracten van de allerhoogste kwaliteit en zuiverheid... More info

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