Labdoor Tests 45 Best-Selling Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-Workout Supplements

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA – December 1, 2015 – Labdoor, the supplement testing and rating service, announces that their new Pre-Workout Rankings are now published online and ready to help consumers find the highest quality pre-workout supplements on the market.

Interest in pre-workout supplements has grown as a result of greater focus on nutrition timing to enhance exercise training, performance, and recovery. Quite commonly, athletes believe that energy supplementation before exercise training will improve focus, reaction time, and power, and there seems to be some scientific reasoning to back it up. Caffeine, creatine, and beta-alanine, all common ingredients in pre-workout supplements, have been found to enhance specific workouts, whether in focus, muscle contractility, power output, or delayed fatigue.

Pre-workout supplements almost always contain a mixture of ingredients that individually, may benefit exercise performance. According to marketing claims, though, the unique combination of these ingredients makes some products more effective than others, even though for the most part, this is unsubstantiated in research. In addition to unfounded claims, inaccurate product labels and a limited pool of research about pre-workout ingredients still stand in the way of consumers making smart product choices.

Labdoor tested 45 best-selling pre-workout supplements in the US using 419 analytical chemistry assays to measure amounts of active and inactive ingredients and determine whether products had harmful levels of heavy metals. Key active ingredients analyzed include creatine, beta-alanine, L-tyrosine, L-arginine, caffeine, and taurine. Products whose manufacturers were previously cited by the FDA for using illicit stimulants were also screened for illicit stimulants.

Most of the tested products cited “proprietary blends” without specified quantities of active ingredients, failing to provide transparency for harmful quantities of ingredients or levels of ingredients that were too little to even be effective. Caffeine content in particular was excessive. In research, caffeine was found to improve exercise performance by reducing perceived effort and increasing muscle cell contractility. While 200 mg of caffeine is completely adequate for a 150 lb. individual, 5 products that did not specify caffeine content exceeded 300 mg of caffeine per serving, about 4 times the caffeine in an average cup of coffee. One product had more than 400 mg of caffeine, the FDA’s upper threshold for safe caffeine intake in one day for healthy adults. On the contrary, of the 45 products tested, 26 products with creatine, 23 products with tyrosine, and all 24 products with arginine had too little of these ingredients for them to be beneficial. Only 2 products, Legion Pulse Pre-Workout Drink and Six Star Pro Nutrition Pre-Workout N.O. Fury, met recommended effective doses for all of their claimed active ingredients. Even when a label specified ingredient quantities, actual amounts ranged from being 81.2% less to 89.0% more than its respective label claim.

Undisclosed risky additives were also an issue for this batch of products. 39 of 45 tested products contained potentially harmful ingredients including artificial sweeteners and colors and cancer-causing preservatives. One product, Train CriticalFX (beverage), also recorded detectable levels of BMPEA (beta-methylphenethylamine), an illegal sports supplement additive cited by physicians and the FDA for having extreme cardiovascular risks.

This new report from Labdoor is designed to help consumers find safe and effective pre-workout supplements. Labdoor publishes the data about each product’s key active ingredients and potential contaminants on its website. “Quality” and “Value” rankings are also available for viewers to sort through and select products that interest them.

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