This article will discuss how pre-workouts can help you gain weight and lean muscle mass.
Most pre-workouts are marketed with a promise to increase muscle growth, and the gym-enthusiasts dreaming to achieve the aggressive, heavy-weight looks find them luring.
But does science supports these claims about the effectiveness of pre-workouts as well? We’re about to find out.
Pre-workouts with ingredients like creatine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and BCAA are found to improve endurance and energy metabolism in muscles that can eventually help you gain weight.
For this read, I’ve compiled some research-backed facts to justify how the combination of multiple energy and endurance-boosting ingredients in the pre-workouts lead to weight gain.
Keep reading to find out the details.
Table of Contents
How does pre-workout work?
So let’s start with the basics.
Pre-workouts are a mix of nutrients that help increase endurance, strength, fatigue resistance, and energy levels during exercise.
These supplements are designed to be ingested an hour or so before starting a workout session, so the contents could easily get dissolved in blood and muscles.
Compounds like citrulline, ß-alanine, and creatine in pre-workouts improve energy metabolism and composition of muscles fibers, leading to enhanced protein synthesis.
Moreover, you are likely to perform intensive exercises for longer periods due to these supplements, resulting in faster and bulkier muscle growth.
Does pre-workout make you bloated?
While discussing if pre-workouts can cause weight gain, we’re often asked this question. So here’s a precise answer to it:
Yes, it might.
Most of them include caffeine, which is responsible for boosting energy levels, but it also causes digestive hypersensitivity in some people.
Especially if ingested in a higher amount, it is likely to result in heartburn and bloating in caffeine-insensitive individuals.
This justifies why some consumers report digestive issues, nausea, and bloating after using pre-workouts.
Does c4 cause weight gain?
In short, “yes” C4 can help you gain weight as its contents induce significant growth in lean tissues. This product potentially shows better results than its competitors as it contains both creatine and beta-alanine.
A randomized controlled trial conducted in 2006 also revealed that the highest increment in lean body mass and strength is seen when ß-alanine and creatine are supplemented together.
Moreover, Arginine α-Ketoglutarate and folic acid present in it also helps sustain the muscular weight as ketoglutarate is known to prevent protein degradation and loss of lean mass while folic acid improves blood flow in skeletal muscles to maintain a consistent supply of nutrients for muscle fibers.
Does pre-workout make you hungry?
In simple words, “no” because the ingredients included in pre-workouts do not induce hunger by themselves.
But they are likely to motivate you for long, intensive training; as a result, you will burn more calories and will have the natural urge to eat in order to compensate for the lost energy.
Best pre-workout for weight gain
To help you in the quest for the right workout to gain weight, I have listed the 5 best products with a quick review of their ingredients;
- Intensive Pre train from Crazy Nutrition
- NITRO SURGE from Jacked Factory
- BULK from Transparent labs
- Pre kaged from Kaged Muscle
- Ignite from XWERKS
Crazy Nutrition’s Pre-train contains a blend of 19 nature-based ingredients, including a good proportion of L-citrulline, betaine anhydrous, beta-alanine, taurine, and arginine.
According to the research, L-citrulline improves blood circulation through myofibers; as a result, they perform better and grow faster.
Furthermore, citrulline is associated with a malate compound in a 2:1 ratio; this component tends to minimize weight loss due to muscle degradation, as a scientific study reports its efficacy against injuries and fatigue after intensive gym sessions.
As this supplement is also loaded with beta-alanine, it can help your muscles combat tiredness caused due to strenuous workouts.
Research shows that beta-alanine increases the level of muscle carnosine which maintains the pH as a buffer and reduces lactic acid build-up; resultantly, you can perform long hours in the gym without soreness and cramps in your muscles.
Moreover, it acts to delay neuromuscular fatigue during tough exercises.
Betaine is another compound that makes intensive Pre Train the right option for gaining lean muscles.
According to research, anhydrous betaine has been reported to increase stamina and help to perform several repetitions during resistance training.
And so the list of ingredients that directly or indirectly help you gain healthy weight and lean muscle goes on….
Crazy nutrition also provides a caffeine-free option for individuals who experience allergic reactions due to stimulants.
This variant is also useful for night sessions as it would not interfere with the sleep cycle.
It comes in three different flavors for $39.99 per jar (20 servings) from the Crazy Nutrition online store.
- A blend of 19 natural ingredients.
- Improves fatigue resistance.
- Do not cause jitters.
- Lacks flavor variety
Nitrosurge from the jacked factory is a pre-workout focused on improving body composition over time. The brand claims to provide strength, endurance, and powerful pumps.
The main ingredients in its formulation are L-citrulline, beta-alanine, caffeine, betaine, and theanine.
Nitrosurge contains 3g of citrulline in each 8g serving. Thus, it offers a high tendency to boost nitric oxide production.
And a boost in NO levels improves blood flow by causing the dilation of blood vessels. As a result, the supply of oxygen and other nutrients to muscle tissues becomes tougher and pumped.
Nitrosurge also promises to increase muscular endurance and resistance against fatigue and injuries due to the presence of beta-alanine and betaine anhydrous.
To enhance mental focus during training, it includes theanine and caffeine. Research shows that cognitive focus is improved when L-theanine is supplemented in combination with caffeine.
(Caffeine anhydrous is an energy-inducing compound; it mimics the effects of neurotransmitters that keep you alert and focused.)
But as thorns come along with roses, this instant energy booster may cause jitters, anxiety, or nauseous feelings in some people while also disturbing sleep.
Jacked factory offers a large number of flavors to choose from and a budget-friendly retail price.
It is available on their website and comes with a price tag of $39.9 for the jar of 20 servings.
- Reasonable price.
- Improves focus.
- Boosts NO production.
- Variety of flavors available.
- Lacks creatine.
- Artificial flavors included.
As its name suggests, BULK is a supplement formulated especially for gaining weight and achieving a bulkier body.
Its ingredient list contains powerful compounds that aid in muscular growth like Citrulline Malate, beta-alanine, betaine anhydrous, taurine, and branched-chain amino acids.
Therefore, it has the potential to improve stamina and reduce recovery time as a study has shown that citrulline upregulates growth and stamina in skeletal muscles.
Moreover, scientific evidence suggests that malate molecule prevents muscular damage due to intensive physical activity.
Moreover, BCAAs, especially L-leucine, have a regulatory and nutritive effect on muscle growth and fat metabolism.
Research shows that these fundamental amino acids activate cellular energy pathways, induce protein synthesis and promote the regeneration of mitochondria (cellular units for energy production).
The addition of Vitamins (D3, B6, B12) and trace minerals (Zn, Na, K, B) provides reasonable compensation for the energy loss during workouts.
It is available for purchase at the transparent labs’ website at $49.99 for a pack of 30 servings.
- No propriety blend.
- 8 fruity flavors.
- Many growth-promoting ingredients.
- May cause jitters in caffeine-sensitive people
Like most pre-workouts, L-citrulline is the key ingredient in the Kaged muscle supplement. It can help you get a hulking, vascular look as it may improve oxygen kinetics and blood flow through muscles which speeds up the growth of tissues.
It also contains a good amount of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine).
These protein molecules may enhance lean muscle tissues, fat metabolism, and endurance.
Research reported that BCAA supplementation during resistance exercises not only tends to reduce muscle damage associated with vigorous training but also promotes recovery from the damage.
Among these branched-chain compounds, leucine is the most abundant. Studies have related it with energy metabolism for protein synthesis and inhibition of protein degradation.
It usually affects muscular metabolism by increasing glucose uptake, mitochondrial biogenesis, and oxidation of fatty acids to CO2 and water.
Its strength and power matrix is a combination of betaine, beta-alanine, and creatine HCL.
From scientific evidence we know that betaine has a synergic relationship with anabolic agents thus, it will help you gain weight by building up lean mass. Similarly, The duo of beta-alanine and creatine is scientifically proven to increase the strength and lean mass of muscles
Its 20-servings pack comes for $39.9 from the official website of Kaged.
- High dose of BCAA.
- Boost energy and focus.
- Available in 6 flavors.
- Highly caffeinated.
Xwerks Ignite provides a blend of various muscle growth-promoting substances. Along with L-citrulline malate, L-tyrosine, and Carosyn beta-alanine, it also includes extracts from organic substances like Rhodiola roots and BioPerine from black pepper.
Its supplementation tends to increase weight as its constituents are known to delay fiber degradation and promote growth factors in muscles.
Evidence from the research shows that citrulline malate enhances the expression of growth coactivator (PGC-1α) in skeletal muscles, making them bulkier and stronger.
Other key components, tyrosine, and CarnoSyn ß-alanine can also prove helpful in weight accrual as research indicates improvements in endurance and body mass due to beta-alanine dosage.
Likewise, tyrosine is found to increase physical stamina and muscular tolerance in heat, resultantly delaying the degradation process.
Last but not least, Bioperine powder from black pepper fruit in it optimizes the absorption of other nutrients in the blood and allows the supplement to perform better.
It is available in four flavors on the XWERK website; a 30-servings container costs $49, which is a bit expensive for its nutrient contents.
- Contains nootropics.
- Provides a good pump.
- Increase endurance.
- A bit pricey.
- Lacks creatine and BCAA.
Wrap up on Pre workout and weight gain
All in all, Yes, pre-workouts can help you gain weight and lean muscle.
Over and over again studies have shown that effective supplementation of elements like betaine, creatine, BCAAs, etc promote the influx of oxygen and nutrients to tissues, resulting in increased muscle size and strength.
Some of these activate anabolic pathways or enhance the expression of growth factors, speeding up protein synthesis and structural build-up.
Moreover, they are found to delay the process of muscle breakdown, allowing you to push for longer and harder in the gym.
So, if your pre-workout contains these elements, you’re highly likely to reach your desired weight goal in no time!