If you want to know whether or not the serving size of a pre workout matters, then you want to read this article.
For better or worse, a large portion of success comes down to marketing. Be it technology, restaurants, or supplements, how successful something is depends largely on how it’s advertised and how those advertisements are received by the consumer.
In theory, you could have the greatest invention the world has ever seen, but if you don’t have the right message to carry its purpose to the public, you might as well have never invented it in the first place.
What does any of this have to do with supplements?
With the rampant increase and popularity in fitness and healthy living, you won’t get too far in your car or on the internet before you’re bombarded left and right by ads for all kinds of supplements.
One of the features frequently emphasized in these advertisements centers on the serving size or “scoop size” of a particular product.
You read that right, supplement companies are touting the size of their scooper as evidence of the superiority of their product….not the ingredients it contains or the dosages used, but the size of the freaking scooper that probably costs two pennies at most.
And, in case you hadn’t noticed among the hundreds of supplement ads you encounter weekly, there’s a bit of an arms race among supplement companies vying for the “illustrious” title of “largest serving” of pre workout.
With the debut of each new pre workout, there come bigger, badder scoops all enveloped in the savvy advertising lingo to make you think that bigger is most certainly better.
And, given the general line of thinking with many fitness buffs that “more is better”, the uninformed consumer is duped into buying what may potentially be a worthless supplement.
That brings us to the topic of today’s article:
Does Size Matter, or rather Does Scoop Size Matter? Particularly in regards to pre workout serving sizes.
The answer to that question may surprise you.
So, Does Size Matter?
The honest truth is that it might, but maybe not as much as you think.
Follow along with us as we explain.
Serving Size Calculation 101
Before we get into the minutiae regarding whether scoop size really determines the efficacy of a pre workout, let’s cover some basics.
The serving size listed in the Supplement Facts panel on the back of your pre workout tub is the sum of all the active ingredients plus flavoring agents, sweeteners, added colors, and additives, such as silicon dioxide.
Therefore, the more ingredients a product has, and the more of each individual ingredient included, will lead to a bigger scoop size.
But, none of that speaks to the actual quality of the ingredients.
A given pre workout could have:
5 grams of L-Arginine
5 grams of inosine
5 grams L-Glutamine
5 grams of BCAA
Technically, this product should be great, it has over 20 grams of active ingredients. And, to the uninformed consumer, this seems like a great thing.
But, here’s the catch, outside of caffeine, none of those ingredients are going to do much to enhance your performance in the gym.
Let’s take a look at another example, we’ll call this one Big Poppa’s Xtreme Pump Juice 9000:
Citrulline Malate -- 3 grams
Beta Alanine -- 3 grams
Arginine AKG -- 2 grams
Creatine -- 2 grams
Betaine -- 1 gram
Nitrosigine -- 500mg
Tyrosine -- 500mg
Choline Bitartrate -- 500mg
Beet Root -- 500mg
Caffeine -- 300mg
Hordenine -- 50mg
TeaCrine -- 50mg
Dynamine -- 50mg
BioPerine -- 10mg
Again, we’ve got a product that has a relatively big serving size (>13g), not including flavorings, sweeteners, etc.
But again, while there are many different ingredients and a fairly large scoop size, the majority of ingredients are underdosed and/or ineffective.
Now, the average consumer walking into a mom and pop supplement shop most likely won’t realize these products are underdosed due to sheer lack of knowledge about the ingredients used in pre workout supplements and their research-backed dosages. But, as a consumer it’s your job to know what you are putting into your body, which is why we create detailed guides for the ingredients in our products, including creatine, citrulline, Dynamine, and choline, among others.
We do this to help educate you so that you can decide for yourself whether a pre workout is worth your hard-earned dollars and not have to rely on the slick advertising jargon of supplement ads.
So, where does this leave us with scoop size and the quality of a pre workout?
The Truth About Pre Workout Serving Sizes
The truth is that the serving size of a pre workout can be a factor in determining the quality and effectiveness of it, but it is not the only fact to be considered when deciding if you should purchase a product or not.
The above examples serve as proof that size isn’t everything, nor is diversity of ingredients.
Case in point, Vasogorge Black.
Vasogorge Black contains only 3 active ingredients in GlycerPump, VASO6, and L-Norvaline. And if you were going by the “more is better” mantra, you would think that Vasogorge Black wouldn’t be that effective as a pre workout.
But as we’ve stated several times already, size isn’t everything.
While Vasogorge Black may only contain 3 ingredients, each is dosed properly, which translates to increased efficacy, and better muscle pumps. Sometimes simple trumps complicated, it all boils down to two key factors:
Does the product include ingredients proven effective in research to support the advertised purpose of the product?
If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, “are those ingredients dosed at the proper amount?”
If you can answer yes to both of those questions, then you can feel pretty confident that the supplement you are purchasing will work as advertised.
If, however, when reading the supplement facts panel you encounter a product with a massive serving size including a laundry list of not so effective ingredients including, but not limited to:
Creatine Ethyl Ester
You’d be be served to leave it alone and continue your search for a product that uses clinically-verified ingredients at their full research-backed dosages.
Finding a top quality pre workout has never been easier, and there’s no shortage of great products on the market. But, that doesn’t mean that all pre workouts are great, or even worth your money.
Remember to read product labels carefully. See what ingredients are included, see what dosages of those ingredients the product provides per serving, and judge for yourself if the product is worth consideration.
If you’re unsure about a particular ingredient, research it.
Remember, knowledge is power, and the more you know about supplements the more informed decision you can make when going to purchase your next tub of pre workout.
And if you’re looking for a premium-quality option to satisfy your pre workout needs, we offer a full arsenal of well-dosed pre workouts to fit any training scenario in:
While serving size does matter when considering the quality of a pre workout, it’s not the only fact by which you should make your decision. Determining whether or not to purchase a pre workout depends on a number of factors including scoop size, ingredients, dosages, cost, and personal preference.
Use this knowledge to make more informed purchasing decisions and never waste another dollar on overhyped, underdosed products.