Pre-workout supplements are marketed to improve your performance, but certain ingredients can have a negative effect on your training. This handout tells you how to read a label and identify ingredients to watch out for. 

If you would like a copy of this infographic, please use the links below to:

  • download a PDF of the handout below.
  • order print copies of the handout on the Health Information Products e-Catalog.
  • download or order a printed version of the poster on the Health Information Products e-Catalog. 


Updated 5 June 2020

Alternative Text

Pre-workout supplements

Watch for stimulants.

Read the label.

Stimulants are intended to rev you up, but too much can negatively affect your training and performance.

Prohibited ingredients: This product contains 1,3-dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, which is prohibited for use byt Military Service Members.

Blends: Can you tell how much of each ingredient is in the product? This product contains a “proprietary blend” (also might be called a “matrix” or “complex”).

Caffeine: May contain 300 mg or more per serving (or an unknoen amount in a proprietary blend). Consider all sources of caffeine (foods, beverages, and dietary supplements). Do not exceed 600 mg caffeine per day to avoid adverse effects such as racing heart, altered heart rhythms, insomnia, increased blood pressure, jitters, GI upset, and chest pain.

Stimulants: The product contains multipel stimulants (in red) that together could compromise mission readiness due to ngative health effects (see Caffeine above). Insomnia from stimulants can adversely impact performance and sleep.

Third-party certification: Look for evidence of third-party certification or verification, such as one of these seals: BSCG Certified Drug Free, Informed-Sport Trusted by sport, NSF Certified Sport, and USP Verified.

Dietary supplement container with Supplement Facts panel displaying amounts per serving and % Daily Values for niacin (50 mg and 250%), vitamin B12 (500 mcg and 8333%), sodium (60 mg and 3%), potassium (50 mg and 1%), an “Amino Blend” with 6 grams amino acids (daily value not established), and an “Extreme Energy & Focus Blend” (7,000 mg, daily value not established) with: caffeine anhydrous (in red), taurine, 1,3-dimethylamylamine (in red), theanine, yohimbe (in red), Citrus aurantium (supplying synephrine [in red]), 2-amino-6 methylheptane (in red), alpha-glycerophosphocholine, higenamine (in red), huperzine A (Hyperzia serrata), and black pepper extract.

Operation Supplement Safety /

Logo: USU Uniformed Services University and CHAMP Consortium for Health and Military Performance

Pre-workout Supplements
Downloadable File