Choosing the Best Pre-Workout Supplement
Narrowing down the best pre-workout supplements can be a real minefield because there is so much variation between brands in terms of purity, ingredients used, and the actual dosages of those ingredients that are provided.
Below you’ll find that we’ve done the research for you and as a result, we selected the top 10 best pre-workout supplements.
What to Look For in a Good Pre-Workout Product
- Brand quality and the reputation it has
- Quality of production
- Pricing weighed against serving amount per container
- User reviews, complaints and general feedback on various online stores
- Flavor, taste, texture
- Ingredient list and quantity+
These supplements have been shown to be the best pre-workouts based on user reviews and value for money so you should easily be able to determine which one is going to be best for you based on exactly what you’re looking for.
These are all great products and whichever one you choose will do the trick, but obviously, the better ranked they are, the better value you will get.
Choosing a pre-workout supplement should be based on your individual goals and budget. Though there are literally hundreds of products available in the market, there are ways to find the best products easily when you have enough information about the available brands.
- Look for different reviews that come from experienced lifters and learn from the information they provide about the product and their experience using it.
- Look for products that are in the bestseller’s lists of reputed websites (hint: you’re in the right place!). This is a good indication that people are repeatedly buying the product and it’s not based on marketing tactics.
- Assess the cost of a product and comparing with other products and always look at the cost per serving.
Pre-Workout Supplements Compared
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#1 – Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK
PreSeries BULK is exactly what the supplement industry has been waiting for. With 20 highly effective ingredients, Transparent Labs has created the ultimate pre-workout designed to increase pump, endurance, focus, and performance. With its potent testosterone complex, PreSeries BULK is the most exceptional pre-workout for serious bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness lovers looking to gain lean mass.
It was developed for a specific purpose – to be the most exceptional “bulking” pre-workout supplement available. This one is a fairly new product on the market created by a company called Transparent Labs. However it has been getting great feedback from users and as the company name implies, there are no secret formulas or ingredients, just simple and effective blends.
- It contains zero colored dyes.
- 6 g of Citrulline Maleate
- 4 g of Beta-Alanine
- 4 g of BCAA 2:1:1
- 100% label transparency (no proprietary blends)
- Science-backed ingredients
- Clinically-effective dosages
- Zero artificial sweeteners, food dyes, or harmful additives
- 6g of Citrulline Malate per serving
- 4g of Beta-Alanine and BCAAs per serving
- 30 full servings per tub
- Monthly subscription available (save 10% every month)
#2 – 4 Gauge Pre-Workout
Presented in a shotgun bottle, 4 Gauge delivers explosive boosts in strength, endurance, focus and muscle pumps – all key benefits to help you achieve the dream physique you’ve always wanted, faster than normal.
After taking a serving of 4 Gauge, you’ll experience the intense drive to smash your workout within 20 minutes. You’ll feel more pumped than ever before – with blood rushing to your biceps as you curl weights and feeling your skin tighten more after every rep.
Ever get tired or drop the weight towards the end of your session? 4 Gauge offers stable energy boosts, without the crash – so you perform at your best until you leave the gym, helping you make more progress towards getting those rock-hard abs and body.
- Shred Fat or Build Muscle – Reach your fitness goals quicker, whether it’s packing on muscle or getting abs.
- Intense Muscle Pumps – Experience skin-splitting pumps with an optimal 6,000mg Citrulline Malate in 4 Gauge
- Explosive Strength & Endurance – Train harder for longer, making more progress on your fitness goals.
- Laser Focus – Stay concentrated on your gym session to make the most of every rep and set.
- Enhanced Energy Levels – Feel motivated to smash a workout, even after a long day at work.
- No artificial sweeteners or flavors – 4 Gauge only contains 100% natural ingredients that’re safe from side effects.
- Manufactured in cGMP & FDA Certified Facilities – 4 Gauge is created under strict regulations, making sure you get the best quality product everytime.
- Low Calorie – With only 5kcal servings, 4 Gauge helps you keep your body fat levels at a minimum.
- Quick Worldwide Shipping – Delivered from both the USA and UK, you’ll be sure to receive your order, wherever you are in the world.
4 Gauge contains scientifically-backed nutrients with full transparency – so you know exactly what you’re getting.
The creatine monohydrate & caffeine ensures you experience enhanced strength & endurance – allowing you to train harder for longer and make more progress on your fitness goals.
Optimally dosed citrulline malate and beetroot extract results in skin-splitting muscle pumps that’ll make you look and feel unbeatable in the gym. Not only that, the L-Theanine forms a ‘smart-caffeine’ inside 4 Gauge, helping you stay focused on your fitness goals at all times.
#3 – Betancourt Bullnox Androrush
Smashing its way into 3rd place on our pre-workout supplement rankings is this frankly amazing formulation that includes a dizzying array of advanced ingredients to send your performance into the stratosphere.
Bullnox Androrush is one of the few formulas of its kind built with an ideal structure that is designed to give you optimal results and keep you energized longer.
This is a highly purified and proprietary blend of physique and performance supporting ingredients which has been tested and certified by Betancourt Nutrition’s own manufacturing laboratory and considered reliable. Each ingredient has been selected on the basis of its potential to promote energy boosting. New Bullnox Androrush whips up a NOX-carrying “Androrush” that protects and strengthens your pumps to sufficient degrees.
- Immediate androgenic stimulation
- The anabolic potency of your pumps: Bigger pumps.
- Extended increases in arginine and NO levels due to vasodilation blood flows like a raging river providing more nutrients to reach he muscles
- Available in eight awesome flavours
- Also available as a delicious chewy candy
- Contains a whopping six ingredients to promote nitric oxide production
- Caffeine, two Cocoa extracts, and Guarana for ultimate mental clarity
- Zinc and Tribulus Terrestris extract to promote testosterone production
- Includes black pepper extract to facilitate ingredient absorption
#4 – C4 50X
C4 50X is a pre-workout supplement made for your special body demands, drive, and commitment to your workout routine. Cellucor has been in the supplement game for a long time now and is especially know for it’s pre-workout supplements. This is a new formula of their classic C4 product, which has always gotten high praise from athletes and average users alike.
C4 50X contains Alpha Amino and COR-Performance Whey for recovery, and NO3 Chrome for pumps in order to give complete strength in one go.
- The next step for those who want to level up and achieve more and more in workout
- Low-cost supplements
- Premium quality
- Lasting energy
- Available in six mouth-watering flavours
- Includes vitamin C to control cortisol production
- One of the best priced pre-workouts available
- Contains Arginine for skin-splitting pumps
- Includes Creatine for maximal cell swelling and anabolic signalling
- Also includes Niacin to stimulate the central nervous system for intense training
#5 – Pro Supps Mr. Hyde
Pro Supps Mr. Hyde is a pre-workout amplifier of energy that take your workout sessions to the next level and leave you pumped up and ready for more. I like the name of this product, it really represents the feeling you get of turning into your own personal Mr. Hyde full of energy, power, strength and endurance.
With this pre-workout supplement flowing through your system you be sure to unleash the beast within, and it’s L-leucine content also provides some great insurance against any muscle breakdown that might occur during your intense training sessions.
- Powerful complex of thermogenic simple compounds
- Effective dose of creatine Hydrochloride in each serving
- Potent caffeine blend for providing maximum energy
- Agmatine sulfate for muscle-swelling pumps and nutrient transport
- Enough servings for 40 workout days
- Available in eight mind-blowing flavours
- Provides the BCAA L-leucine to stimulate muscle protein synthesis
- Includes a massive dose of caffeine to transform you into Mr. Hyde
- Citrulline promotes nitric oxide production for insane pumps
- Beta Alanine increases pH levels to reduce lactic acid in the muscles
#6 – ENGN Pre Workout by Evlution Nutrition
ENGN Pre Workout by Evlution Nutrition is an intense Pre-Workout Powder for more energy, power, and focus. This formula was created with athletes in mind. It is developed to keep your energy levels at their peak for as long as possible during high intensity activity.
This top pre-workout formula includes the ingenious Mind-to-Muscle Matrix Proprietary Blend, which kick starts your motivation, reduces lactic acid, enhances pumps, and generally gets you really kick some serious ass.
ENGN pre workout supplements give you the pinpoint focus, positive mental status, drive, muscle strength, pumps and unmatched energy for the absolute best workouts.
- Niacin (as niacinamide) 35 mg
- Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl) 2 mg
- Folic Acid 800 mcg
- Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) 25 mcg
- Beta-Alanine (as Carnosyn) 1,600 mg
- Creatine Complex 2,000mg
- ENGN Mind-to-Muscle Matrix 2,013mg
- Include Niacin and Magnesium to stimulate the nervous system
- Two types of Creatine are included to promote intra-cellular ATP production
- Includes Caffeine and Choline Bitartrate to send your mental focus through the roof
- Provides a host of essential vitamins and minerals
- Very well-suited as a women’s pre-workout
Citric Acid, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Sucralose, Silica, FD&C Blue #1
#7 – Rich Piana’s 5% Nutrition Kill It
When it comes to your pre-workout, you won’t want another product that is overloaded with stimulants. Instead you want a product that will power you through your workouts. Enter Rich Piana’s 5% Nutrition Kill It. Rich Piana is a professional bodybuilder who knows his stuff when it comes to supplements and working out, so you know he put a lot of thought into this formula.
Praised by bodybuilders around the world, Kill It by Rich Piana’s 5% Nutrition is absolutely certain to provide you with the extra 5% that you need to kill it from the second you first set foot in the gym.
- Vitamin B3 – 30 mg
- Magnesium – 72 mg
- Sodium – 24 mg
- Potassium – 42 mg
- Creatine Blend – 1,500 mg
- Magnesium Creatine Chelate – 900 mgs
- Tri-Creatine Malate, Creatine Pyruvate
- NO/Endruance Blend – 7,450 mg
- Tri-Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Taurine, Agmatine Sulfate, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Creatinol-O-Phosphate, Caffeine (250mg), L-Norvaline, Rhodia Rosea Extract
- Energy to power boost your workout
- Extreme, insane pump
- Attack the weights endurance
- Laser sharp focus is provided
- Includes three types of creatine to boost ATP levels in your muscle cells
- Lights a fire under your butt with 250 mg of caffeine
- Promotes vasodilation to deliver nutrient-rich blood where it is needed most
- Contains a host of essential vitamins and minerals for optimal performance
- Available in for fruity flavours
#8 – BPI Sports 1.M.R Vortex
1MR VORTEX features 3 exclusive new compounds that will enhance the effectiveness of your workouts dramatically which becomes apparent. Vortex will introduce you to that level of workout intensity which you’ve never experienced before. As the name suggests, this bad boy will push you to get just one more rep on all your exercises.
Rather than relying on the same old ingredients as every other pre-workout, BPI Sports have instead focused their attention on a slightly more interesting list of compounds which are sure to take your performance in the gym to new heights.
- Niacin – 20 mg
- Full Speed Vortex Matrix – 1,705 mg
- Indigofera pulchra
- White leadwort
- Designed to help you squeeze out one more rep on your most challenging sets
- Includes glycerol for the ultimate in muscle cell hydration
- Includes the B vitamin Niacin to prime your nervous system for serious performance
- Yohimbe promotes fat mobilisation and increased blood flow
- Available in four tempting flavours
#9 – Jym Pre-Jym
Jym Pre-Jym offers a scientifically advanced, all-in-one formula for better workouts with their pre-workout supplement. It was created by Dr. Jim Stoppani, a certified PHD in physiology. You know you’re getting a solid blend with a name like that behind it.
Pre JYM includes 13 ingredients that work in harmony to prepare the body for intense workouts, making it the most complete pre-workout supplement available containing the best ingredients in the exact doses and proportion.
- 6 grams of citrulline malate to promote better muscle endurance and bigger muscle pumps.
- 6 grams of BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio best for blunting muscle fatigue, boosting muscle performance, and increasing muscle growth.
- 2 grams of creatine HCL for greater strength, endurance, and muscle growth.
- 2 grams of CarnoSyn beta-alanine to boost muscle power, strength, endurance, and muscle growth.
- 5 grams of betaine for greater power and strength during workouts.
- 600 milligrams of N-acetyl L-cysteine to blunt muscle fatigue and keep you training stronger, longer.
- 500 milligrams of betavulgaris L.(beet) extract to provide real nitric oxide donors for bigger pumps and better energy.
- 300 milligrams of caffeine to boost alertness and drive, increase muscle strength and endurance, during workouts for greater training intensity.
- 300 milligrams of AlphaSize alpha-GPC for better drive, focus, and strength in the gym.
- 50 micrograms of huperzine A to increase mental focus and establish a stronger mind-muscle connection.
- 5 milligrams of BioPerine to enhance absorption of the active ingredients in Pre JYM for even better results.
- Provides essential amino acids to stimulate muscle protein synthesis
- Includes Citrulline Malate to increase your pumps and vascularity
- Black pepper extract is included to enhance absorption
- Includes creatine to increase intra-cellular ATP production
- Available in the Cherry Limeade and Raspberry Lemonade flavours
#10 – Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout
Optimum Nutrition is, without a doubt, the most trusted brand in the industry. Gold Standard Pre-Workout is made by using premium ingredients like naturally sourced caffeine from coffee bean and tea for extreme energy, focus and alertness. This formula is fairly new and is ON’s first try at a pre-workout supplement, and they don’t come short. Optimum Nutrition certainly hold the Gold Standard when it comes to whey protein powder, and while there are arguably better options there is no denying that this is a very good pre-workout supplement.
- 175 mg of Caffeine from Natural Sources
- 1.5 g of Carnosyn Beta-Alanine
- 3 g of Creapure Creatine Monohydrate
- 1.5 g of L-Citrulline Malate
- 375 mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCI
- 250 mg of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine
- 25 mg of AstraGIN
- Plus Vitamin D, B Vitamins and Citrus Bioflavnoids
- Provide extreme Energy & Focus in your workout
- Huge Pumps and energy boosts during your workout
- Available in five fantastic flavours
- Includes Beta Alanine to reduce lactic acid accumulation
- L-Citrulline Malate is included to boost endogenous nitric oxide levels
- Provides a range of essential vitamins and minerals
- A potent source of creatine to facilitate muscle cell hydration
- Includes a hearty dose of caffeine to promote mental focus and concentration
Extra Entry – ANARCHY by MuscleTech
Anarchy is a unique pre-workout that combines scientifically studied doses of patented Nitrosigine and HydroMax glycerol. Anarchy is created by Muscletech, a highly trusted name in the supplement industry. You can be assured that this is on of the best pre workouts on the market today.
- Provide ultra-extreme energy and focus
- Enhances muscle strength and power.
- Allows you to power through your gym sessions.
- Nitrosigine 750 mg
- HydroMax glycerol 500 mg
- Beta-alanine 6 g
- Caffeine 190 mg
Pre-Workout Supplements Guide
Before trotting off to gym after taking your pre-workout nutrition, think about this: Do you really need a million magic ingredients for your body to perform at its best? Let’s analyze some of the items on our pre-workout nutrients checklist.
What Is a Pre Workout Supplement?
You can learn a lot about something from it’s name. This is no exception. A pre workout is simply that, a supplement you take before you workout or engage in intense physical activity.
The best pre workout supplements are going to provide you with a boost of energy that is brought on by nitric oxide ingredients. Along with that energy boost, you’ll also be provided with longer endurance and if you’re lifting weights you’ll get what is known as a “pump”. A pump is that feeling you get when blood rushes to your muscles and it feels like they grew 2 inches and you can take on the world.
Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements
Using a pre-workout supplement can be a great way of enhancing your energy levels and mental focus, enhancing pumps, improving recovery, and even things like boosting your endurance and reducing lactic acid. The best pre workout is going to give you amazing pumps and energy while you destroy the weight room or whatever physical activity it is you find yourself doing after you drink it.
The actual benefits you reap from any given supplement will depend on which one you choose because there are a lot of different ingredients available.
One example of this is caffeine; not everyone likes to take high doses of caffeine because they are either particularly sensitive to stimulants or would rather enjoy a nice strong cup of coffee before training.
A good pre-workout supplement can take your training to a higher level, boost strength and increase the endurance of the skeletal muscle. On the other hand, a poorly chosen pre-workout supplement will waste your time and money.
How beneficial they are depends on the specific ingredient. An awareness of the science-tested benefits of each ingredient can help to increase muscle strength, muscle size, speed of workout, accelerate fat loss, and reduce fatigue.
Are They Dangerous?
Well they are not designed to be dangerous or to hurt you. However, they are a strong stimulant. If you are sensitive to stimulant then it’s probably best to avoid pre workout products. The thing is, everyone is different and has a different medical history so your best option, and one we always recommend, is to speak with your doctor first before taking any pre workout supplement.
Some guy told me a pre workout supplement is a steroid…
Well that guy is dumb! And he should feel bad! Pre workout supplements are not steroids nor are they ever advertised as such. The fitness world is just full of weird rumors and tons of nonsense. Just gotta weed through it and stay logical and always keep learning!
Do Pre-Workout Supplements Really Work?
Some people might go in with expectations that are too high, they might consider a pre-workout as some magic drug that will help them bench press 200lbs more than they did yesterday. Well this is silly and if you expect that, then you’re always going to leave disappointed.
Tolerance to Pre-Workout Supplements
That being said, tolerance is a real thing. You will eventually get used to the stimulation and your body will not feel the effects as much. Taking 2-4 weeks off after every month of using pre workout is recommended. Not only is it going to help keep the product effective, it’ll save you money in the long run.
Always speak with a medical professional or doctor before taking any supplements. Always read the product label for instructions and directions.
Taking Pre-Workout Supplements
Well as the name suggests, you should take it before your workouts and the amount you take is going to depend on your tolerance level.
Here are a few basic guidelines to help you get started:
- Try to take it on an empty stomach, this will prevent dilution and enhance effects of the product
- If you’re a beginner stick to 1 scoop for about a week or two, this will prevent you from staying up all night! Once you build tolerance, add another scoop. We do not recommend anything more than 2 scoops. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LABEL INSTRUCTIONS and consult a doctor before using any products mentioned on this site.
- Take your pre workout 25-45 mins BEFORE heading to the gym, this will give it time to kick in and you’ll get better results and more energy. You don’t want it kicking in too late and wasting it.
- Try to limit the amount you take if you’re taking it close to bedtime, because IT WILL keep you awake, especially if you’re a beginner and haven’t built up a tolerance yet.