There's more to a good pre-workout formula than just a pile of caffeine and some fruit flavors.
And that ALSO doesn't mean that it should be a "kitchen sink" formula that includes every single thing that might be useful for getting ready for a workout.
I recently tested out a new pre-workout formula from "OpenFit" called "OpenFit Fuel" to see how effective it is.
What's In It?
Here's a picture of the back of the bottle, with the ingredients list. As you can see, it's not a giant list of ingredients, which I personally am quite happy about.
You're actually getting an effective dose of the active ingredients. I've seen way too many formulas that have a small serving size with 40 ingredients on the back...you know you're not getting proven-effective doses when you have a list like that.
The active ingredients are straightforward and proven effective.
1. Branched-Chain Amino Acids
In my experience, BCAA's are best taken to be available intra-workout (to improve muscular performance and endurance), so taking them before training means they're available during the session itself, which is when they'll do the most good. Taking BCAA's at any other time doesn't really have that much of an impact on your results. BCAAs can help spare muscle tissue during hard workouts (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15173434/)
This is a well-researched amino acid that has the potential to increase your performance during your workouts.
It does this by combining with histidine (which found in plentiful quantities in the muscles) to form carnosine. Carnosine reduces lactic acid accumulation in your muscles during exercise, which leads to improved athletic performance (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4501114/)
3. Caffeine (Low Dose)
Caffeine is useful for taking in a pre-workout not only for its brain and nervous system stimulating effects but for its effects on exercise performance as well by helping your body use free fatty acids for energy and sparing glycoegn (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1616022/)
The dosage in a serving of OpenFit Fuel is enough to give you the performance effects without overtsimulating your nervous system.
Does It Work?
It definitely DOES work.
You'll notice a different in your performance and endurance when you take OpenFit Fuel. I certainly did.
I've taken each of these ingredients on their own and in formulas. I like this simple combo a lot...it is certainly effective.
The taste is something that may take a bit of getting used to. I found it a little bit sour (that's the citric acid talking), but overall quite pleasant and easy to drink. I actually found it a nice change from over-sweetened pre-workout formulas that try to drown out everything with artificial sweeteners.
The only other ingredient that I think could make this formula better would be the addition of L-Citrulline. Cirtulline is excellent for increasing arginine levels in the blood stream, which then increase NO (nitric oxide) levels, helping improve blood flow and circulation.
That being said, citrulline can be purchased separately and added to the mix very easily, in whatever quantities you like.
Overall, I like OpenFit Fuel.
If you're interested in a pre-workout supplement that has proven-effective ingredients and doesn't overcrank your nervous system, this is absolutely worth testing out.
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