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Pre- Workout stimulants alternatives

Updated on January 8, 2015

Pre-Workout Supplements


For decades now, pre- workout supplements have been used by athletes and bodybuilders due to their ability to instantaneously improve physical and mental performance. Through their interaction with the central nervous system, these supplements tend to improve motivation, mental alertness as well as muscular endurance and strength. As a result, they have become some of the most popular bestselling categories in the supplement market.

Pre-workout stimulants

By definition, stimulants achieve their purpose by increasing functions of the nervous system.

Although a majority of supplements and stimulants are caffeine- based, there are a good number of other popular pre- workout supplements, which include;


Theobromine, like caffeine falls in a class of organic compounds referred to as Xanthine. It is also naturally found in cocoa beans.

Theobromine is also included in pre- workout supplements such as Nitramine for the purposes of elongating energy received from caffeine since it has a longer half- life as compared to caffeine.

Safety and side effects

In clinical trials, up to 1000 mg of this compound have been used without any harm. Some of the most common side effects of Theobromine may include stomach upsets, which are mild. Being a smooth muscle relaxant, excess amount of the stimulant can also be harmful.


Citrulline Malate is a form of the amino acid Citrulline. This compound is often included n pre- workout supplements to provide energy to muscles and promote endurance among athletes (both aerobic and anaerobic athletes). Over the years, the amino acid has become one of the most popular ingredients in a majority of the pre- workout supplements as well as other products that promise bigger muscles pumps in the course of working out.

Moreover, Citrulline malate has been shown to help in reducing muscular soreness during workouts, and thus enhancing better recovery. This helps athletes function in a higher level.

Side effects

Citrulline has been associated with a few side effects that include stomach discomfort. However, side effects of the compound are far less common.

Beta- alanine

This non- essential beta amino acid has been shown to provide caffeine like responses.

It provides an acute stimulant response making it a good candidate as a pre- workout stimulant. Its benefits lie in its ability to raise the concentrations of Carnosine - increasing Carnosine concentrations by up to 58 percent in about four weeks.

For athletes seeking a boost in short to medium duration high intensity muscle performance, beta- alanine has been shown to be a more consistent stimulant as compared to the others. Particularly, it has been shown to be to enhance exercises that last longer than 60 seconds.

Since it is aimed at raising the concentrations of Carnosine in muscles over time, consuming beta- alanine supplements each day (consistently) is more important than the time of day it is consumed.

Side effects

In some cases, beta- alanine has been shown to cause burning, itching or a flushed feeling on the ears or scalp. With doses above 800 mg, beta alanine has also been shown to cause parethesis (moderate to severe) that may last between 60 to 90 minutes.


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