It doesn’t matter if you frequent the gym or work out at home; you might have heard about pre-workout supplements from friends, athletes, trainers, or advertisements. These supplements improve your fitness and provide the energy you need to push through challenging workouts.

This study aimed to examine the effects of a multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement (MIPS) on mental and physical performance.

There has been evidence that multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements (MIPS) improve mental and physical performance and are commonly marketed as “pre-workout supplements.” MIPS contain caffeine as their primary ingredient but have several other elements. 

In active females, it has been shown that acute ingestion of MIPS improved factors such as focus, anaerobic capacity, and upper-body muscular endurance after high-intensity exercise. 

In addition to improving time to exhaustion and subjective measures of energy, fatigue, and focus, energy drinks have also been demonstrated to improve performance before training. 

In a study comparing a CAF-containing energy drink with a placebo, those who consumed it had fewer false starts during psychomotor vigilance tests (PVT), suggesting it elicited some improvements in the PVT.

Several other ingredients found in MIPS may also enhance mental and physical performance [for example, tyrosine, theanine, citrulline, and alpha-glycerophosphocholine]. In addition, creatine supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive functioning and act as a neuroprotective supplement [higher levels of creatine reduced brain and spinal cord injury after planned traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Methodology

Fourteen exercise-trained men and women volunteered for this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Subjects visited the lab twice a week for testing. Before beginning, the data collection, the Institutional Review Board at Keiser University approved all procedures involving human subjects by the Declaration of Helsinki. 

The experts used a multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance device (InBody 270) on the participants to assess their body composition on their first visit to the laboratory (body mass, fat mass, lean body mass, body fat percentage, and total body water in liters).

According to the current study, MIPS consumption improved sustained attention (i.e., mean reaction time on the PVT) as well as perceived fatigue (perception of feeling tired) and vigor (perception of feeling energetic); however, vertical jump performance did not improve.

Several other ingredients potentially play a role in an ergogenic effect, such as L-citrulline, tyrosine, and alpha-GPC, standard components of energy drinks and MIPS.

Results Of The Study

The acute consumption of MIPS significantly improved sustained attention, vigor, and fatigue. However, it is still being determined if a single ingredient (e.g., CAF) contributed to this improvement or if it resulted from a combination of elements (i.e., CAF, theanine, alpha-GPC, L-tyrosine, etc.). 

Since multiple ingredients are present in the MIPS, it is impossible to determine which ingredient(s) contributed the most to the ergogenic effect. However, CAF is the only ingredient in all MIPS; thus, it behooves future researchers to include a CAF-only positive control. 

However, as shown in the current investigation, MIPS may enhance performance in tasks (e.g., driving) or sports (e.g., baseball) requiring sustained attention.

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