Pre Workout

What To Know

PWO Terms


Common Ingredients

The Right PWO 4 U

PWO Terms


Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet with regard to improving anyone’s athletic performance. Nutrition is an important part of many sports training regimens, being popular in strength sports (such as weightlifting and bodybuilding) and endurance sports (e.g. cyclingrunningswimmingrowing). Sports nutrition focuses its studies on the type, as well as the number of fluids and food taken by an athlete. In addition, it deals with the consumption of nutrients such as vitaminsmineralssupplements, and organic substances that include carbohydratesproteins, and fats.


These are products (dietary supplements) that are specifically designed to help support your workout efforts by increasing your energy, mental focus, endurance, and boosting muscle recovery.


Stimulants refer to a wide variety of compounds that can boost mood, increase one’s ability to focus, and improve vigor and sociability. Some stimulants have ergogenic effects, meaning they can enhance performance. 


(Without Getting Too Scientific).  As it relates to biology, simply put, anabolic is a state where your body is preserving or building muscle.


You guessed it…Catabolic is the opposite of anabolic.  When your body is in a catabolic state, your body is breaking-down muscle to sustain or survive.


The maximum time the body, or a specific muscle group can exert force or perform physical activity.

Compared to stamina, force does not have to be at maximum as the goal for endurance is to maximize time. While stamina is key for sprinting events, endurance is required for marathons as an individual has to push the body to run for a very long time and distance.


The maximum time the body, or a specific muscle group is able to exert maximum or near maximum force for a certain physical activity.

One example that will be echoed throughout this article is running. Stamina is the total time the body is able to sprint – that is running at the fastest pace an individual is capable of.

Benefits of PWOs


PWOs are designed to help eliminate the factors that contribute to fatigue.  The most common ways PWOs eliminate these factors are:

(1)  By Increasing Your Time To Exhaustion

(2)  Preserving Glycogen (Glycogen is used as a source of Metabolic Fuel For Your Muscles)

(3)  Delaying Perceptions of Fatigue

(4)  Reducing Pain/Discomfort Associated with Physical Activity

(5)  Preserving Calcium Ions (Calcium Ions are Required For Muscle Contraction)


Some ingredients commonly found in PWOs are used to help improve muscle strength.  Like boosting endurance, there are multiple ways that this happens:

(1)  Preservation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).  ATP is used as a “shuttle service” that is primarily responsible for delivering energy to places inside of the cells where energy consumption is taking place

(2)  Reduction of Fatigue – When you can go longer, lift more, and increase your intensity – this results in increased endurance and muscle building


Why do you need “improved focus” when you’re in the gym or on the road putting in the work, it’s not like you’re in a classroom or meeting. 

Most PWOs include ingredients that will help improve focus for one reason:  as you perform physical activity (aerobic or anaerobic), your body will deplete its choline stores. 

Why does Choline matter when I’m working out?  Choline is vital for several reasons:

(1)   Primarily:  Choline helps to regulate memory, mood, muscle control

(2)  Choline supports communication with muscle fibers and promotes muscle recovery following repetitive motion, resulting in better overall output

(3)  Choline Has Also been shown to improve stamina through its activity at a cellular level

In summary, when you’re hitting it hard, you’re depleting your Choline stores, leading to loss of focus and diminished muscle function.  This is why many PWOs have ingredients that help to keep you focused.



By “lean muscle gains” we don’t mean you’re going to blow up like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Phil Heath.  We mean that most PWOs have ingredients that are known to help you build better-quality muscle, recover more efficiently, and also help reduce body fat.  

Common Ingredients Found in PWOs











Many PWOs will have multiple B Vitamins.  The following are the most common:

B3 (Niacin) –  Niacin helps convert our food into energy and helps us use proteins and fats more efficiently.  In addition, Niacin has been shown to help keep your skin, hair, and nervous system healthy.

B6 (Pyridoxine) – Pyridoxine has been shown to help boost immune function, creating neurotransmitters (including serotonin and dopamine), creating hemoglobin (part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen) 

B9 (Folic Acid) – Folic Acid is required for the production of red and white blood cells in bone marrow, producing DNA and RNA

B12 (Cobalamin) – B12 is vital for nerve health, and the production of red blood cells and is also necessary for energy production


Choline is considered an essential nutrient because it is required for normal body function and health.  Your liver can produce small amounts, so most Choline must be obtained through diet.

Choline impacts liver function, healthy brain development, muscle movement, the nervous system, and metabolism.


L-Citrulline is a NON-ESSENTIAL amino acid, as your body produces it.  Your body will convert L-Citrulline to L-Arginine.  L-Arginine has been shown to help improve blood flow (which can help transport oxygen and nutrients more efficiently).  

The benefits associated with L-Citrulline are:

  • Increased Exercise Capacity
  • Increased Blood Flow
  • Decreased Blood Pressure
  • Improved Cardiac Function
  • Improved Immune Function

Creatine is the most widely studied ingredient associated with sports nutrition.  Creatine has been included in PWOs since the beginning and comes in several different forms.  We will cover CREATINE in more detail in another article.  For now, we will focus on the benefits associated with Creatine Monohydrate.  Those benefits are:

  • Helps Muscle Cells Produce More Energy
  • Helps to Build Lean Muscle Mass
  • Improves High-Intensity Exercise Performance
  • Speeds Muscle Growth
  • May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
  • Improves Brain Function
  • Reduces Fatigue



It is an essential component for the production of several important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells communicate and influence mood. Tyrosine also helps produce melanin, the pigment responsible for hair and skin color.


DMAE (also known as dimethylaminoethanol) is a compound sometimes used to increase the production of acetylcholine, boost athletic performance, and elevate mood.


L-theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green and black tea and some mushrooms.  The benefits of L-Theanine are numerous; the following are some of the more common benefits:

  • Stress & Anxiety Reduction
  • Increased Ability to Focus
  • Better Immunity
  • May Help With Blood Pressure Management
  • May Help With Elevating Mood

Caffeine, the most widely studied stimulant, has been a staple in PWOs since their inception.  Like creatine, Caffeine comes in many forms, where the most common form being CAFFEINE ANHYDROUS.  As this form is the most common, for the purposes of this article, we will discuss this form.

Caffeine Anhydrous is produced by harvesting the seeds and leaves of coffee plants.  Once harvested, the caffeine is then extracted and dehydrated (which is what “anhydrous” means = dehydrated). 

Caffeine Anhydrous is a potent stimulant that is used in PWOs to help the consumer stimulate their Central Nervous System, which has been shown to help increase their ability to perform physical activities for longer periods and with more intensity. 

Caffeine has also been shown to enhance the effects of:

  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Glutamate
  • Adrenaline 

No, this isn’t used to season or spice up your PWO (LOL).  Black Pepper has significant research data that suggests a strong link that Black Pepper Extract improves the overall absorption rate of nutrients.

Many PWO brands include Black Pepper Extract in their products so that consumers can absorb the ingredients in the PWO more effectively. 

Choosing The Right PWO 4 U


Know how much caffeine there is in your PWO.  More than that, know how much is in each serving.  PWOs commonly range from 100mg to 420mg per serving of caffeine.  

If you don’t know how much caffeine your body is used to, here is a caffeine comparison chart <<< CLICK HERE >>>

Know what your body is used to before you decide on your PWO.  You may purchase a PWO that has 420mg of Caffeine and tell yourself, “I’ll just cut the dose in half” – bad logic because the other ingredients will be cut in half, and most likely, they will no longer be efficacious doses for you to realize any benefits.  

Find a PWO that has an adequate amount of Caffeine that will help push you through tough workouts.


Are you allergic to anything?  Do you have any sensitivities to certain ingredients?  Do a deep dive into the ingredients listed on the supplement facts panel, and……make sure that you’re looking at the “other ingredients” as well.  If you identify anything you don’t do well with, continue looking for the right product – it may take some work, but there is a perfect PWO for you.

The 8 Allergens Recognized By The FDA




Let’s be real….if it tastes terrible, you will most likely not use the PWO!!

However, if you LOVE-LOVE-LOVE how it tastes, you will look forward to taking your PWO!!  Make sure you find a PWO you love, don’t settle and don’t force yourself to choke it down.

There are hundreds of awesome flavors out there, most PWOs are going to be flavors that are fruity, refreshing, and light.  You don’t want to go into a workout with a “Meatloaf” flavored PWO – OMG how gross would that be?


What are your goals when you’re in the gym?  Burning fat, gaining muscle, effective recovery, endurance…..?

Find ingredients that support you!  Find the PWO that has ingredients that are made for your specific goals.  

There are tons and tons of PWOs on the market, and many of them are specifically formulated to help you achieve the desired objective.  Almost all PWOs will give you a high caffeine boost, but others may have additional ingredients that have been shown to help with fat loss, increasing endurance, or building lean muscle.  

Do your homework and find the PWO that is RIGHT 4 U

pre-workout powder, PRE Caribbean Chill, All Women Nutrition
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Pre Watermelon Ice, Pre Workout Formula For Women, All Women Nutrition