So you’ve decided to start using a pre-workout supplement. Congratulations, you’re taking the next step toward igniting your training sessions and improving your athletic performance! Though, you most likely know by now that not all supplements are created equal.

The problem with most pre-workout supplements is that they contain the right ingredients but at excessive concentrations. Take those convenience store pre-workout energy drinks and supplements, for example. Most of them are packed with simple carbs (i.e. sugar) and caffeine. While carbohydrates can fuel your workout, massive amounts of carbs cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to a corresponding low blood sugar crash. Additionally, they block your body’s ability to burn fat stores – not a desirable effect if your goal is to lose weight.

The same goes for caffeine; in moderate amounts caffeine can help you to push through an intense workout. However, many pre-workout supplements contain too much caffeine, which can leave you feeling jittery, nervous, or even nauseous – not the formula for a successful workout.