Best Pre-Workouts for Basketball Players
Basketball is a tough, intense, grueling, and adrenaline rushing sport. It requires both focus and sustained stamina for full-court, offensive and defensive excellence. And with the sport required sustained intensity, many basketball players turn to pre-workouts and other supplements to help enhance their game.
However, with a plethora of pre-workout and supplements available on the market, it can be difficult to identify which one is the best for your particular use case. That is why, below, we are going to review the best pre-workouts for basketball players which you can purchase and enjoy immediately.
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What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?
Pre-workouts have, in recent years, grown in popularity. Due to their touted benefits, the pre-workout market is expected to grow to a whopping $13.98 billion in 2020. Pre-workout supplements, or simply pre-workouts, are a multi-ingredient dietary formula designed to boost both energy and athletic performance.
Pre-workout supplements are typically powdered substance which are mixed in with water or a smoothie and drunk before the start of an exercise.
Although there are a plethora of pre-workout supplements available on the market, there is little consistency in the formulas from one brand to the next. However, many pre-workout supplements contain a blend of amino acids, B vitamins, caffeine, creatine, and artificial sweeteners.
Although the market share of pre-workouts is continuing to increase, there has been little research done on their effectiveness. However, one study did find that certain ingredients and vitamins within some pre-workouts may benefit athletic performance.
As the market for pre-workouts continues to grow, a number of illicit and low-quality pre-workout brands have emerged. To protect both yourself and your health from these pre-workout brands, we always recommend opting for pre-workout supplements which have reputable sources and have been certified by the NSF.
While no pre-workout supplement has been certified by the FDA, many have been certified by the NSF. The NSF is an independent organization that ensures strict quality control and verifies that the company you are purchasing from complies with the standards and procedures imposed by the NSF.
Similarly, an NSF certification is not a one-time event. NSF certifications require multiple on-site inspections of manufacturing facilities and regular re-testing of products to ensure that they continue to meet the high standards required to maintain certification.
When you are looking to purchase a pre-workout supplement, we highly encourage and recommend always opting for one that is NSF certified. If a pre-workout supplement is NSF certified, it will be marked as “NSF Certified” or “NSF Listed”.
Essential Ingredients in a Pre-Workout Supplement
While there haven’t been many studies completed on pre-workout supplements, there are a number of ingredients which have been shown to increase athletic performance. Below are a few ingredients which have been shown to increase athletic focus, performance, and output.
- Caffeine – caffeine is one of the most frequently used ingredients in pre-workouts. Caffeine has been heavily tested and has been shown to increase both energy and focus. As one of the most popular stimulants, caffeine may also improve mental alertness, memory, exercise performance, and fat burning.
- Nitric Oxide Precursors – nitric oxide is a compound that is naturally produced in your body and helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. Nitric oxide may also decrease muscle soreness and boost exercise performance. In pre-workout supplements, nitric oxide is often included as L-arginine, L-citrulline, and other sources of dietary nitrates.
- Creatine – creatine is a chemical compound that is also naturally produced in your body. Stored in the skeletal muscle, creatine plays a major role in energy production and muscular strength.
Are Pre-Workout Supplements Safe?
Overall, pre-workout supplements are generally safe for consumption. However, it is always important to peruse and research the ingredient list of any pre-workout supplement to ensure the ingredients used are legal for your particular use case and do not contain excess amounts of any one ingredient.
Similarly, as mentioned above, you should also ensure that any pre-workout supplement you purchase is certified by the NSF. Doing so will not only ensure strict quality controls but will also ensure that any pre-workout supplement you purchase has been reviewed by an independent third party.
Although pre-workout supplements are generally safe, they aren’t without some risk. Before beginning a regimen with a pre-workout supplement, it is best to speak with your doctor or a healthcare professional. Some downsides to pre-workout supplements include not only an excess intake of caffeine but also the addition of artificial sugars and sweeteners.
Do NBA Players Take Pre-Workout Supplements?
NBA players are often looking for substances which will help increase their athletic performance on the court. As such, many NBA players have come out and stated that they do take pre-workout supplements before a game or practice session.
As NBA players are expected to perform at high levels day-in and day-out, they are constantly looking for ways to increase their performance and athletic abilities. Pre-workout supplements are one such way that NBA players can increase their athletic performance with little to no side effects to their overall game or health.
In fact, LeBron James, one of the most prolific and talented basketball players to play the game, started his own line of pre-workout supplements, dubbed LADDER Sport Pre-Workout.
Both delicious and effective, LADDER Sport Pre-Workout was started with the backing of LeBron James and his trainer, Mike Mancias, after James began feeling cramping pain after Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals. Due to the discomfort James felt during the game, he set out to create his own line of pre-workout supplements that would help increase his athletic performance and avoid cramping and other injuries.
Can Basketball Players Take Pre-Workout Supplements?
Currently, neither the NBA, NCAA, WNBA, or any other major basketball league disallows the use of pre-workout supplements. As such, NBA players are allowed to take pre-workout supplements before a game or a practice session. However, you should research your own league’s rules and ensure that pre-workout supplement use is allowed.
For NBA players specifically, below is the entire list of currently banned substances. NBA players are subject to random blood tests from the league to confirm that they have not taken any of these substances and are often extremely careful to not break those rules.
- Androsta-1,4,6-triene-3,17-dione (also called androstatrienedione or ATD)
- Androstene-3,6,17-trione (also called 6-OXO or 4-AT)
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
- Desoxymethyltestosterone (DMT)
- Ephedra (also called Ma Huang, Bishop’s Tea and Chi Powder)
- Erythropoietin (EPO)
- Formestane (also called 4-hydroxyandrostenedione)
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
- Human Growth Hormone
- Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)
- 17a-methyl-3b, 17b-dihydroxy-5a-androstane
- 17a-methyl-3a, 17b-dihydroxy-5a-androstane
- 17a-methyl-3b, 17b-dihydroxyandrost-4-ene
- Nandrolone (also called 19-nortestosterone)
- Norpseudoephedrine (also called cathine)
- Oxabolone (also called 4-hydroxy-19-nortestosterone)
- Phenylpropanolamine (PPA)
- Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG)
- Ethacrynic Acid
- Hydro flumethiazide
Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Basketball Players
C4 Ripped Sport Pre-Workout Powder
C4 Ripped Sport Pre-Workout Powder is one of the best pre-workout supplements available on the market. NSF Certified, C4 Ripped comes in a variety of different flavors, including fruit punch, arctic snow, strawberry lemonade, and blue raspberry.
C4 Ripped Sport Pre-Workout is formulated with a variety of fat burning ingredients, including CLA and dyglofit to help you train harder and support your body’s ability to burn fat. It is also formulated with carnosyn beta-alanine, a premium clinically studied ingredient, which has been shown to support muscle endurance and fight fatigue while working out or playing basketball.
Proven4 Pre-Workout Supplement
Proven4’s Pre-Workout Supplement is another great pre-workout option for basketball players. Also NSF Certified, Proven4 is allowed for use in all major sports leagues. And with flavors ranging from blue raspberry to cherry limeade, you’ll be able to find a flavor that works for you.
Designed to provide you with all the strength and stamina you need for the big game, Proven4 is a clean, independently backed pre-workout supplement that gives you the edge you need to perform at your peak. With a mix of beta alanine, creatine monohydrate, arginine, L-tyrosine, and vitamins B-6 and B-12, you have a powerful cocktail of ingredients to take your game to the next level.
Redcon1 Total War Pre-Workout Supplement
Off the bat we’re going to admit that Redcon1’s Total War Pre-Workout Supplement is not NSF certified. However, we have used this pre-workout supplement previously and have found it optimal for our needs and during a particularly strenuous and difficult game.
Coming in a sour gummy flavor, Redcon1’s Total War Pre-Workout Supplement is jam-packed with beta-alanine, caffeine, citrulline malate, and nitric oxide. This ingredient list is nearly guaranteed to give you thee boost you need while on the court and will have you chasing down every loose ball.
Although not NSF certified, Redcon1 is independently tested by a third-party, ensuring that each pack is free of banned substances. And with a powerful combination of stimulants and focus factors, Total War is an all-in-one pre-workout supplement that will give you the focus, energy, and intensity needed for basketball.