Something happens when you start noticing successful results with intermittent fasting (IF)...
You start to excessively micromanage your diet down to the micronutrient degree to ensure that you keep noticing positive results with intermittent fasting.
In other words, you get a little obsessed.
However, the downside to this sort of obsession is the rising self-doubt surrounding other healthy habits and fitness strategies that have previously worked just fine.
You start to wonder if, for example, eating certain vegetables interferes with your fasting results...
...or if you should discontinue taking certain health supplements for fear of disrupting your fasting metabolism.
You forget that the whole point of intermittent fasting isn’t to just succeed at fasting but to improve your health.
Though the metabolic benefits are complex and wide-ranging, don’t make intermittent fasting more complicated than it needs to be.
With that in mind, asking whether or not a pre-workout supplement breaks your fast isn’t as important as asking, “Does a pre-workout assist intermittent fasting in helping me achieve my health and fitness goals?”
The answer to this is, yes, with the Best Pre-Workout for Intermittent Fasting, you may take your intermittent fasting results to the next level.
And in this article, we not only explain how to get better IF results with a pre-workout but also what you should look for in an IF-friendly pre-workout stack…
…And, okay, sure: we also provide a detailed list of a few natural pre-workout ingredients that you can take without breaking your fast.
The Beginner’s Guide on Fasting with a Pre-Workout
Let’s start here: What is a pre-workout supplement?
A pre-workout supplement is a supplement taken prior to working out. That's the short answer.
Below is a more complete answer.
A pre-workout is a performance enhancement supplement taken immediately prior to working out.
They are designed to improve various measures of exercise performance, including:
- Energy and Endurance
- Strength and Stamina
- N.O.-Boosted Muscle Pumps
- Stress Resistance
- Mental Focus and Intensity
Pre-workouts are special supplements designed to stimulate a workout-ready physiology for maximum performance on both aerobic and anaerobic exercise activities.
Likewise, intermittent fasting is a dieting strategy designed to supercharge your metabolic faculties to be more efficient at burning fat and building new muscle, making intermittent fasting and pre-workout supplementation a potentially synergistic combination.
So long as pre-workout supplements don’t interfere with the metabolic benefits of intermittent fasting, as many people fear they do.
But do they?
Before answering that, let's answer the question below.
Is It Okay to Exercise While Fasting?
Is it better to exercise in a fasted state or a well-fed state?
In other words, should you eat prior to working out or hit the gym on an empty stomach?
Well, it depends.
If you’re trying to burn MORE fat in LESS time, certainly fasted training, or fasted cardio, may help.
The theory behind fasted cardio that has taken the fitness community by storm lately is this: without food fuel readily available to convert to energy, the body resorts to stored fat for energy fuel.
This isn’t an unfounded theory. There is research that validates fasted cardio as an effective, efficient fat-burning strategy:
One study on the effects of fasted vs fed-state exercise on performance and post-exercise metabolism observed heightened fatty acid metabolism under fasting conditions, suggesting of “potential beneficial metabolic adaptations that fasted exercise may induce in peripheral tissues.”
However, in that same study, pre-working feeding was found to bolster prolonged aerobic performance, suggesting that a well-fed exercise may have an endurance advantage over the fasting exerciser.
Fasted cardio may improve metabolic energy expenditure and fat loss rates, yet research suggests this comes at the cost of exercise endurance and intensity.
Because prolonged absence of food intake reduces circulating blood sugar (glucose) levels, muscle glycogen levels drop, encouraging the body to rely more on fat to fuel your workout activity.
Yet, conversely, heightened glycogen levels correlate with heightened muscle endurance.
Likewise, glucose fuels willpower, or self-control, which is a core psychological factor in engaging and sustaining a high-intensity workout in the first place.
What this means then is that while, yes, exercising on an empty stomach is an effective fat-burning strategy, it also requires a significant amount of additional willpower to overcome the physiological and psychological barriers that come with low circulating glucose levels.
Which is why having fasting-friendly workout supplements is practically a necessity when it comes to exercise and intermittent fasting.
Why You Should Take a Pre-Workout While Fasting
First of all, whether fasting or not, if you’re working out, you should be taking a pre-workout supplement.
Granted, if you haven’t been taking a pre-workout all this time, there’s likely a good reason for it: many pre-workout supplements are full of artificial crap.
And much of that artificial crap may actually interfere with your intermittent fasting metabolism—not to mention many other aspects of your health and fitness.
However, a natural, effective pre-workout supplement, one that uses only all-natural ergogenics without any artificial additives, is worth the investment while intermittent fasting for a few reasons:
- Pre-workouts replenish muscle ATP cell energy for an additional boost on muscle strength, stamina, and endurance.
- Antioxidant and acid buffering pre-workout supplements help reduce the negative “endurance-killing” consequences of fasted training.
- Nitric oxide (N.O.) boosting pre-workouts may further improve muscle performance by increasing circulation and, thus, delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle tissue.
In other words, pre-workout supplements may help prime muscle performance via non-glucose pathways that protect exercise endurance without breaking the fast.
By combining a pre-workout with fasted training, you can burn MORE fat in LESS time while SAVING your workout performance from the endurance-diminishing aspects of fasting.
That sounds very much like a win-win-win.
The Fitness Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Combined with exercise, intermittent fasting may have profoundly positive effects on exercise health and performance.
To name just a few fitness advantages of intermittent fasting, research has linked the following health benefits to fasting:
- Increased growth hormone secretion with exercise.
- Encouraged reliance on fat metabolism with resistance training.
- Better regulation of inflammatory response pathways.
- Improved insulin sensitivity.
- Enhanced neuroplasticity and cognitive health.
And more. Especially given the direct and indirect systems that overlap with these health systems.
Sustained by a healthy, whole-food diet and exercise, intermittent fasting may help keep the mind sharp and the body primed for high levels of daily productivity.
Here’s a Tip: Exercise in the Morning
Of course, to fast is to remain in a state of heightened stress and discomfort.
Eating is a form of comfort, after all. Hence why we “stress” eat when the going gets rough.
With that in mind, exercising first thing in the morning seems to be the best way to go.
Morning exercise appears to limit the daily discomforts of fasting, while also limiting your daily energy intake in general:
As one study has demonstrated, fasted training in the morning not only increases fat oxidation (fat burning) during exercise but also decreases 24-hour energy (food) intake, as the body remains primed to burn fat for energy throughout the remainder of the day. Based on these findings, the study’s researchers concluded that “Completing exercise in the morning in the fasted state may have implications for weight management.”
What to Look for in a Pre-Workout for Fasted Training
Not all pre-workout supplements are equal.
Some pre-workout stacks are better than others, and only one pre-workout supplement is the best.
With that in mind, the Best Pre-Workout for Intermittent Fasting improve your fasted training results by boosting:
Natural ATP Muscle Energy
There are typically two ways that pre-workout supplements increase energy: (1) with stimulants (namely caffeine), and (2) with creatine, an organic precursor to ATP energy production.
Because stimulants tend to feel really good, many cheap, inferior pre-workout supplement stacks tend to over-prioritize the stimulatory pathway to boosting energy, often as a strategy to mask the otherwise ineffective qualities of their formulas.
Natural, effective pre-workout supplements, on the other hand, toss the stimulants for creatine, a reliable and well-researched ergogenic that supports training intensity, muscle growth, and recovery by:[13,14]
- Recharging ATP energy molecules required to power muscle fibers during high-intensity exercise and repair worn-out muscle tissue after exercise.
- Stimulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), an anabolic protein that triggers the growth and development of lean muscle mass.
- Buffering the formation of lactic acid buildup within muscle tissue, thereby extending time of muscle performance until failure.
Given that creatine gradually builds up in muscle tissue, supplementing creatine on a daily basis may help mitigate the muscle-draining effects of fasted training over time.
Best Creatine for Intermittent Fasting: Creapure® pH10
Creapure® pH10 is highly potent and bioavailable creatine form that more readily absorbs into muscle tissue to deliver its ATP energy enhancement benefits.
Typically served in excessively high dosages, creatine often comes with GI discomforting side effects, such as bloating and stomach upset.
However, by cranking up the potency, Creapure® works in smaller dosages, saving you the gut ache while delivering the same ATP energy boosting benefits.
Nitric Oxide (N.O.) Production
Second only to perhaps creatine, the most popular and important pre-workout supplements are nitric oxide (N.O.) boosters, given the importance of N.O. to facilitating vasodilation.
By relaxing the smooth muscle of blood vessels, N.O. helps increase circulation, thus promoting the sacred “muscle pump” desired by bodybuilders and aerobic.
Aesthetically, the muscle pump looks great; however, practically speaking, the muscle pump also signals that adequate oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to muscle tissue.
For a long time, L-arginine was viewed as the best N.O. booster, given that this amino acid is a direct precursor to nitric oxide production.
However, orally supplemented L-arginine fails to sufficiently bypass digestion in the liver, which is why many exercisers have turned to L-citrulline, the precursor to L-arginine.
By bypassing digestion in the liver, L-citrulline supplements have a better survival rate than L-arginine. Once in the body, L-citrulline converts to L-arginine, which in turns promotes nitric oxide production for enhanced “muscle pump” activity.
As such, L-citrulline is easily the superior N.O. booster for enhanced muscle strength and endurance.
Best L-Citrulline for Intermittent Fasting: Kyowa Quality® L-Citrulline
Kyowa Quality® L-Citrulline is an ultra-pure L-citrulline form manufactured by using a proprietary plant-based fermentation process.
As an exceptionally pure and clean brand of L-citrulline, Kyowa Quality® L-Citrulline is one of the best N.O.boosters—if not the best—for natural exercise performance enhancement.
By naturally promoting blood flow to hard-working muscles, L-citrulline may help overcome the muscle-draining conditions of fasting for a longer, better workout.
Lactic Acid Buffers
You know that burning sensation that builds up in your muscle tissues once you’ve reached the higher reps of a set? That’s lactic acid.
As we perform strenuous exercise, we breathe faster to meet the heightened oxygen demands of our tired muscles. Progress in aerobic exercise is essentially measured by the oxygen demands of our muscles per physical output. As we increase our aerobic fitness, we require less oxygen to perform the same levels of output.
When energy output exceeds oxygen input, lactic acid builds up in the body as a response to the anaerobic (non-oxygen) production of energy.
The heightened acidity in muscle tissues brought by lactic acid buildup not only provides a burning sensation but may also have a catabolic (breakdown) effect on muscle growth.
This mainly explains the popularity of supplementing beta-alanine, a precursor to the dipeptide molecule carnosine that seems to act as a muscle-alkalizing pH regulator against muscle-damaging lactic acid buildup.
Highly concentrated in fast-twitch muscle fibers, carnosine seems to be particularly effective at increasing muscle power during high-intensity anaerobic exercise, such as weightlifting and sprinting. As such, beta-alanine is a powerful tool for intermittent fasters whose workouts entail high levels of anaerobic activity.
Best Beta-Alanine for Intermittent Fasting: CarnoSyn®
The only patented beta-alanine on the market backed by clinical research, CarnoSyn® is the go-to beta-alanine brand for pre-workout exercise performance enhancement.
With over 55 studies having been performed on CarnoSyn®, this is by far one of the most trusted beta-alanine ingredients among both supplement manufacturers and customers. It’s also the only beta-alanine with New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) status and a self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, making CarnoSyn® one of the best pre-workout supplements overall for a natural and safe boost on fitness and performance.
Best Pre-Workout for Intermittent Fasting:
Performance Lab® Pre
Performance Lab® Pre is a safe, natural, and well-tolerated pre-workout formula that supports healthy long-term training without breaking your daily fast.
Performance Lab® Pre boosts exercise performance and intermittent fasting results by:
- Sparking muscle-priming ATP energy with highly bioavailable creatine for enhanced aerobic and anaerobic exercise activity.
- Boosting and sustaining N.O. activity with the Setria® Performance Blend, a patented combination of premium L-citrulline and L-glutathione.
- Prolonging exercise endurance by buffering lactic acid buildup in muscle tissue and protecting against workout-related oxidative stress.
- Replenishing electrolytes lost to sweating with a trace mineral-rich addition of Himalayan pink salts, a natural electrolyte source.
Performance Lab® Pre primes muscle performance and metabolic energy expenditure with a fasting-friendly stack of all-natural, zero-calorie ergogenic aids.
Performance Lab® Pre Supplement Facts
- Sodium (from Himalayan Pink Salt), 140 mg
- NutriGenesis® Iron+, 5 mg
Setria® Performance Blend, 2,200 mg
- L-Citrulline (Kyowa Quality®)
- L-Glutathione (Setria®)
- Creapure® pH10 (83% Creatine), 1250 mg
- CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, 800 mg
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract (95% proanthocyanidins), 100 mg
- Himalayan Pink Salt, 350 mg
Performance Lab® Pre Quick Analysis
Performance Lab® Pre promotes exercise performance without any stimulants, synthetics, or banned substances.
As a completely all-natural pre-workout stack, Performance Lab® Pre is a truly healthy health supplement through-and-through, unlike many of the synthetically enhanced, artificially sweetened pre-workout powders on the market.
This is partly thanks to Pre’s uniquely powder-free formula design.
Instead of layering its formula in hefty amounts of artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and thickening agents to make for a palatable powder, Performance Lab® Pre encapsulates its all-natural formula in plant-based NutriCaps®.
NutriCaps® are a patented, prebiotic-infused capsule constructed out of fermented tapioca, or pullulan. These capsules are 100% non-GMO, vegan-friendly, eco-friendly, gluten-free, and synthetic-free.
No doubt, one of the most annoying aspects of maintaining a successful intermittent fasting regimen is having to micro-analyze Supplement Facts labels in search of shady additives and unnatural compounds that may impair your fasting results and digestive health.
By delivering its formula in these clean capsules—and nothing else—Performance Lab® Pre maximizes both the efficacy and safety of its formula, ensuring that what you get is not only an effective pre-workout stack but a fasting-friendly one, too.
One that may quickly optimize your exercise and metabolic performance on a daily, long-term basis without fear of side effects or any other digestive issues. Pre provides only clean, green performance boosts for a lean, mean body composition.
Best Pre-Workout for Intermittent Fasting: Conclusion
Performance Lab® Pre is the Best Pre-Workout for Intermittent Fasting
The overarching goal of combining intermittent fasting and pre-workout supplements isn’t simply to sustain your fast but to improve your overall health and fitness.
Fortunately, Performance Lab® Pre does both.
With this innovative beast-mode-in-a-bottle formula design, SPORT Pre packs a powerful punch without the messy, artificial powder. For intermittent fasting purposes, the switch from powder to pills is ideal: the potent, pinpoint precision of SPORT Pre’s capsules quickly primes muscle performance without breaking your fast.
Artificial additives, sweeteners, preservatives, and thickening agents must be avoided to maximize your intermittent fasting results.
Even if you’re not committed to an intermittent fasting regimen, avoiding artificial additives and synthetic compounds in your workout supplements is a smart move. Which is partly the reason why Performance Lab® Pre isn’t only the best pre-workout for intermittent fasting but the best pre-workout period.
All-natural ingredients encapsulated in all-natural capsules. There’s nothing in this formula that your body dislikes. In fact, there’s much here that will make your body happy, and you can experience that bodily “happiness” in the forms of bigger muscle pumps and healthier strength gains with just your first serving of this stack.
Taken daily, Performance Lab® Pre may help you sculpt your physique to a more metabolically primed lean, mean, fat-burning machine.
So long as you remember to do your daily workout daily too, of course.
Ultimate Workout Stack for Intermittent Fasting
Priming muscle performance is one aspect of IF-related performance enhancement. However, there are plenty more workout supplements you can stack to further improve your exercise performance without disrupting your intermittent fasting results. In fact, these stacks may even work synergistically with fasted training.
To create the Ultimate Workout Stack for Intermittent Fasting, stack Performance Lab® SPORT Pre with the following fasting-friendly fitness supplements:
Performance Lab® SPORT Fat Burner
100% stimulant-free fat burner formula designed to burn more fat and preserve more muscle while exercising on an empty stomach.
Performance Lab® SPORT Fat Burner is much more than a fat burner. A good fat burner burns fat, but the best fat burners burn fat while sparing muscle tissue against the protein-damaging effects of fasted training. With a mix of thermogenic fat burners and natural muscle-sparing compounds, SPORT Fat Burner works synergistically with intermittent fasting to enhance your exercise endurance and improve your overall body composition. And it does this without using any harmful, risky stimulants or synthetic ingredients.
- Supplement Facts: NutriGenesis® GTF Chromium+, Forslean® (Coleus forskohlii) (root), HMB (β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate), Capsimax® Cayenne Pepper Extract (Capsicum annuum) (fruit) (2% capsaicinoids), BioPerine® Black Pepper Extract (Piper nigrum) (fruit) (95% piperine)
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® SPORT Fat Burner
Performance Lab® SPORT BCAA
Muscle-optimized 2:1:1 ratio of L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine, the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) required to build new muscle tissue and protect against catabolic muscle loss.
Some sports nutrition enthusiasts recommend BCAAs while intermitting fasting, others do not. However, research suggests that BCAAs may help improve your body’s protein-to-fat ratio when combined with a keto-active lifestyle, making them powerful tools to use with fasted training. By supplying a muscle-optimized 2:1:1 ratio of L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine, Performance Lab® SPORT BCAA offers a more natural, yet highly bioavailable, supply of BCAAs that may more efficiently and quickly absorb into muscle tissue for on-the-spot muscle recovery and repair.
- Supplement Facts: Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine+ (Ajipure® and NutriGenesis®), L-Isoleucine+ (Ajipure® and NutriGenesis®), L-Valine+ (Ajipure® and NutriGenesis®)
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® SPORT BCAA
Performance Lab® MCT
The world’s cleanest MCT oil supplying a brain-fueling, keto-active mix of C8 (caprylic acid) + C10 (capric acid) MCTs derived from 100% organic coconuts.
For intermittent fasting, fasted training, or any variant of the keto diet, MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil is a must-have supplement. As the best MCT oil for intermittent fasting, Performance Lab® MCT supplies the two most effective MCTs (C8 + C10) for promoting nutritional ketosis and optimizing mitochondrial ATP energy expenditure. Combined with exercise and intermittent fasting, MCTs can significantly enhance your fat-burning and energy expenditure potential. Additionally, these beneficial fats may help you curb your appetite cravings for greater weight management control and brainpower.
- Supplement Facts: C8/C10 MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil from 100% Organic Coconuts
To get the best deal on Performance Lab® MCT
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