It’s fair to say that there is a lot of conflicting information about caffeine out there. While a lot of people swear by it, and many believe they couldn’t get through the day without at least a little of it, caffeine also comes with a long list of potentially harmful side-effects.
In this article we are going to discuss some of the dangers of relying on caffeine as the cornerstone stimulant in your pre-workout supplement and talk about a compelling alternative – Performance Lab® SPORT Pre-Workout, our favorite caffeine-free option.
Side Effects of Caffeine
You’re probably safe if you limit yourself to a couple of coffees in the morning. The generally agreed ‘safe’ dose is 400mg per day (equivalent to 4 cups of brewed coffee). Some people, however, will struggle with even that amount.
However, if you are using a pre-workout supplement that contains caffeine, be warned: many of them contain at least 400mg of the stuff (and occasionally other, even more dangerous stimulants). If, like many, you work out in the afternoon or evening, you should definitely avoid caffeine-based pre-workout supplements.
Taking that much caffeine late in the day is likely to leave you jittering away long into the night. Prolonged use could easily result in many of the symptoms mentioned above, or worse. Perhaps you have avoided using pre-workouts in the past for exactly this reason?
Introducing Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout Supplements
Hope is not lost, though. Fortunately, there are pre-workout supplements available that do not contain caffeine. These are perfectly safe to use later in the day, and the one we are going to look at here provides a much more powerful, effective and natural boost to your workout than caffeine.
This means you can get maximum results from your workouts without any unwanted side-effects that could be detrimental to your overall health.
Performance Lab® SPORT Pre-Workout
The Performance Lab® range of supplements is quite unique in that the company behind it, Opti-Nutra, is committed to providing top quality nutrition and performance supplements backed by the latest scientific innovations, but never at the expense of their customers health and wellbeing.
This means that all their formulas are;
- Caffeine & stimulant FREE
- Synthetic additive FREE
- GMP Certified
- Gluten & Soy FREE
- 100% Natural
- Vegan Friendly
- Banned Substance FREE (obviously!)
Opti-Nutra will not include potentially harmful ingredients in their products, so when you take a Performance Lab® product, you know you are getting the optimal balance of nutrition without any risk to your overall wellbeing.
If you are wondering how they’re able to achieve all this – don’t worry, we have it covered!
Let’s start by taking a look at the list of ingredients in their Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout.
Creatine (Creapure® pH10) (1250mg)
Kicking the formula off with a bang is creatine – one of the most reliable pre-workout boosters in the world, and arguably the most scientifically proven supplement of them all.
Creatine allows your muscles to work harder and longer by supporting the production of the molecule that is responsible for muscular energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
When your muscles work, they break down ATP into ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to produce energy. Creatine converts ADP back to ATP, meaning the molecule can be used again and again to continue producing energy.
The effect of this is that you can do more reps and more sets thanks to the extra energy available for your muscles to use. Creatine also helps to prevent muscles from breaking down, so you retain more of your gains over the long term!
The great thing about creatine is that it’s natural, with no stimulating properties at all. It is found in most meats and fish but also eggs and dairy products, and of the creatine that is already in your body, about 95% of it will be stored in your muscles.
There is a reason why creatine is among the most popular supplements worldwide – it works. Not just by fueling your tank, but also by acting as a cognitive enhancer.
Creapure® is the market leader in pure, high quality creatine. Their product is absorbed fast with exceptional bioavailability, meaning that every last drop is utilized in your body.
Setria® Performance Blend 2200mg
The partnership with Creapure® for the creatine element of SPORT Pre-Workout shows that Performance Lab® is commitment to quality, and we see it again in their decision to include this proprietary blend too.
As your muscles work, they require more oxygenated blood to flow to them. If this doesn’t happen, they run out of juice, regardless of how much creatine is stored in them. This is what Setria® Performance Blend does – boosts your nitric oxide (NO) levels to sustain intense muscular activity.
It also helps recovery from exercise by maintaining NO levels and therefore strong blood flow to the muscles.
Setria® Performance Blend is a combination of Setria® Glutathione and L-Citrulline. These ingredients perform different, but equally important functions to ensure maximum benefit for your workout.
The first has proven antioxidant properties that protect your cells against oxidative damage caused by intense exercise – so you recover faster and are less at risk of getting injured. The second performs two key functions, supporting NO production and enabling creatine absorption.
Like creatine, both the ingredients of Setria®® Performance Blend are natural and stimulant-free, but powerful pre-workout boosters.
Further proof, if it were needed, of the commitment from Performance Lab® to forging quality partnerships. CarnoSyn® is produced by Natural Alternatives International, a global company with a strong reputation for producing top-quality, natural supplements.
CarnoSyn® is a form of the beta-alanine carnosine. ‘The Alpha of The Betas’ according to their website, and the science certainly seems to back that claim up. In fact, together with a creatine supplement, carnosine has been shown to dramatically improve athletic performance over just four weeks of use.
Carnosine helps to delay the onset of fatigue by preventing lactic acid from building up and protects muscle tissue from damage. While the first two ingredients in Performance Lab® SPORT Pre-Workout boost your performance capacity, CarnoSyn® helps to ensure against injury during very intense workout sessions.
Himalayan Pink Salt (350mg)
Mineral-rich and super beneficial to overall health, Himalayan Pink Salt is a long way from regular, high sodium table salt. Its primary function in a pre-workout context is to replace electrolytes that are lost as you sweat during exercise.
Hydration is a fundamental element of exercise performance and it becomes even more important the harder you work.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract (100mg)
This extract is standardized for 95% proanthocyanidins, also sometimes known as tannins. These tannins contain more antioxidants, providing further protection for your muscles as you tear it up in the gym.
The other huge benefit, and the reason why this extract works so well as part of the SPORT Pre-Workout formula, is that tannins have been proven to boost NO production.
The final element of the formula, good old iron, provides two key benefits that make it an excellent addition to any pre-workout supplement.
Iron helps to ensure that your red blood cells carry as much oxygen as possible through your bloodstream. This means that you will stave off fatigue and continue pumping more of the other sort of iron for longer.
Additionally, iron helps to break down carbohydrates to optimize your body’s natural energy production process.
The Formula for Success
So, we’ve seen how the ingredients in Performance Lab® SPORT Pre-Workout can help to produce a natural, and much safer and more sustainable, boost than caffeine-based pre-workouts, but how does it all work together?
There are three processes going on in your body after you take SPORT Pre-Workout;
- Creapure creatine enters your muscles and is used to produce more energy from them than would be possible otherwise. This process is supported by the L-citrulline in Setria® Performance Blend and the carnosine from CarnoSyn®.
- Nitric oxide levels are raised, meaning that more oxygen can be transported around the body to feed your muscles and keep them working. This happens mostly as a result of the Setria® Performance Blend, but also the pine bark extract and iron support this activity.
- Your muscles are also kept hydrated and protected thanks to the CarnoSyn®, Himalayan Pink Salt and Iron. Risk of injury is reduced and time to recover from exercise improves.
If you work out after work or in the evenings, then caffeine is something you should avoid at all costs. The amount contained in most pre-workouts might benefit your performance over the short term, but it’s not sustainable.
For something with minimal risk, that won’t produce unwanted or even perhaps dangerous side effects, we recommend Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout.
In fact, the Performance Lab range is pretty darn impressive. For maximum nutritional benefit you could use SPORT alongside Whole-Food Multi, their multivitamin supplement, to ensure that you are getting the right vitamins and minerals to sustain your new and improved workout regime!