You may be wondering, what is a non-stim pre workout. Aren’t pre workout supplements supposed to give you more energy and the get-up-and-go to get into the gym and workout harder? That is true, for some pre workout supplements, but not at all. Non-stim pre workout supplements are made to improve performance indicators, such as strength, endurance, and overall athletic performance. There not meant to jack you up and give you loads of energy, like traditional pre workout products. We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of non-stim pre workout supplements and more information so you can know exactly what you’re getting and why.
What Are Non-Stim Pre-Workout Supplements
Traditionally, the expectation is that pre workout supplements are used and made to give you more energy before you hit the gym. It’s that little extra push, to help you lift heavier and increase the workout volume and provide more motivation to get in a quick sweat session. Although that’s true for most pre workout supplements, that is not the case with non-stim, or simulant free pre workout supplements.
Non-stim pre workout supplements, are specifically made to help your performance. They include ingredients that can improve strength, enhance endurance capacity, delay muscle fatigue, improve power output, and build more muscle mass. That’s the goal of a non-stim pre workout.
Most pre workout supplements contain caffeine, a widely used and common stimulant. Stimulants increase central nervous system activity through their interaction with various neurotransmitter systems—including norepinephrine and dopamine. Stimulants are used to increase focus, alertness, and energy, among other effects.
Non-Stim Vs Stim Pre-Workout Supplements
Stim and non-stim pre workout supplements are both made to improve overall performance, whether that be strength, endurance, muscle mass, or improvements in cognitive performance. Pre workout supplements achieve this through specific etiologies, such as facilitating the release of nitric oxide, buffering lactic acid, increasing muscle protein synthesis, and improving cognitive function.
The biggest difference between stim vs non-stim pre-workouts, is simply the energy or hype factor from more perceived energy.
If you’re a heavy consumer of caffeine, pre-workouts with stimulants, will not have the same effect as opposed to someone who does not regularly ingest caffeine. Pre-workout with stim, can be a great option for someone who is looking to increase overall energy and motivation in the gym.
Non-stim pre-workout supplements are a great option for someone who may be sensitive to caffeine, who works out later in the day, or for someone who doesn’t necessarily need their heart rate jacked through the roof. When you’re enduring a grueling high-intensity workout, filled with multiple sets of box jumps, stringed together with heavy high-intensity barbell work, the last thing you need is your heart rate any higher than it already is.
Common Stim Free Pre Workout Supplement Ingredients
Both stim and non-stim pre workout supplements will have the same ingredients. The only difference being of course that non-stim pre workout will have no caffeine or other ingredients which may increase central nervous system activity.
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring or non-essential amino-acid, specifically classified as a beta-amino acid. It’s produced naturally in the liver and can be obtained through dietary sources such as chicken, meat, and fish. Beta-alanine facilitates the synthesis of muscle carnosine concentration in the body, which acts as a lactic acid buffer and delays the onset of muscle fatigue, loss of power, and time to failure.
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Often found as an active key ingredient in a majority of pre-workout supplements, L-Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid that helps promote the natural release of nitric oxide (NO). NO is a vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels, which opens the flood gates for more oxygen and blood flow to be transported to your muscle tissue. This is why L-citrulline or other known NO boosters such as L-arginine and beet juice, are marketed for their infamous “pump”. Extracted from apples, malate is a derivative of malic acid and contributes to the sour taste of fruits. When these two constituents are combined, they create Citrulline Malate. Studies have shown that Malate is the active key ingredient, that contributes to added performance benefits of Citrulline Malate, as opposed to L-citrulline alone.
Citrulline Malate naturally promotes the production of nitric oxide (NO), which supports greater endurance, muscle force, power, and delays muscle fatigue. This L-Citrulline Malate powder helps promote strength, improve endurance, and optimize muscle recovery.
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Betaine anhydrous (trimethylglycine) is an organic osmolyte first isolated from sugar beets, but found in many foods, including spinach, beets, and whole grains. It’s a naturally occurring byproduct of sugar beet refinement, derived from the cessation of choline. Betaine is composed of the amino acid glycine, with three additional methyl groups, hence the name trimethylglycine. Several studies have found that betaine anhydrous may improve changes in body composition and muscular performance, offering ergogenic benefits during resistance training protocols.
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Creatine is a naturally occurring molecule within the human body. Creatine is synthesized primarily in the liver from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine and obtained from eating foods such as red meat and fish. Creatine is stored within the skeletal muscles as phosphocreatine and used for energy during high-intensity training or quick burst movements. Consistently one of the most popular ergogenic aids, studies have indicated that creatine supplementation increases muscle creatine and phosphocreatine levels approximately 15-40% within skeletal muscle tissue which enhances anaerobic training capacity and improves performance outcomes [R].
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Non-Stim Pre-Workout: Takeaway
If you’re looking for a supplement to help you build strength, increase muscle mass, and improve athletic performance, without loads of caffeine, then you should consider supplementing your performance with a non-stim pre-workout. When purchasing any pre workout, stim or non-stim, ensure the ingredients used have clinically research and that the dosage is evidence-based to provide better performance outcomes. Most pre-workout products are under-dosed meaning they do not provide enough of the proven ingredients you need to make a difference in your training.