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Review the Top 21 Best Pre-Workout Supplements to Buy in 2022

Did you know a pre-workout supplement can help optimize your workout performance?

While some supplements can improve your energy level, others assist with muscle growth. Some boost muscular endurance and pump, while others support fat burning through thermogenesis. And, then, there are some pre-workout formulas that can do all of the above.

So, how to choose a pre-workout supplement? Which supplement will deliver on its promises? Read on to know about the leading pre-workout supplements for this year, as shortlisted by our editorial team.

The Leading 21 Pre-Workout Supplements in 2022:

Our team went through numerous reviews, assessed dozens of lab reports, reached out to supplement manufacturers, and even personally tested some of the leading pre-workout supplements – all of which allowed them to come up with the below list:

XWERKS Ignite: A unique blend of clinically proven nutrients that makes it one of the best pre-workout supplements
Pre-Lab Pro: The best pre-workout supplement ever produced by this brand
CrazyBulk Intensive Pre-Train: A new, supercharged pre-workout formula
TestoPrime: To enhance your workout intensity, it boosts your testosterone production
Cellucor Pre-Workout Powder: A pre-workout supplement with NFC certification enhances energy, performance, and training
Cellucor C4 Extreme: Pre-workout supplement that can boost performance for beginners
Transparent Labs Preseries Bulk Pre-Workout: Pre-workout supplements that are high quality and effective
Blackwolf Pre-Workout: Highly recognized and best pre-workout brand
Ladder Pre Workout: Make you feel stronger for longer
4 Gauge: The best pre-workout that delivers big results with proven components
Onnit Total Strength Performance: A strength and performance formula which is clinically tested for results
Powher Pre-Workout: Best pre-workout supplement for women
NSP Nutrition Energize Pre-Workout: Promotes muscle building and gain with Muscle-Building Trifecta
IdealFit IdealLean Pre-Workout: Supplement designed to take women’s workouts to the next level
Bauer Nutrition BRF Pre-Workout: Boost your energy when you are working out intensely with this natural energy booster
Legion Pulse: The strongest pre-workout formula boosts energy levels with natural nitric oxide during workouts
Beast Sports Beast Mode Black: You’ll experience legendary results from its explosive energy
Alani Nu Pre-Workout: Best energy and endurance supplement with natural and artificial flavors
Huge Supplements Wrecked: Among the strongest pre-workout supplements
Huge Supplements Wrecked Extreme: Combining proven ingredients to enhance energy, focus, and power
Huge Supplements Wrecked Stim-Free: A potent and stimulant-free pre-workout solution

Let us now explore each of the above supplements in greater detail:

XWERKS Ignite:

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Product Description
Core Ingredients:The strongest pre-workout has DMAE, L-tyrosine, vitamin B12, Natural caffeine, Rhodiola Rosea, vitamin B6, and CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine
Quantity:30 servings per container
Serving Size:One scoop
Assurance:100% money-back guarantee
Price: $49 Shop Here

Ignite is another tried-and-tested workout supplement and can be purchased in orange, green apple, blue raspberry, and watermelon flavors. The best pre-workout supplement is prepared using a unique formula that will not only boost performance but also create a smoothing nootropic effect on those who use it.

Rather than using a stimulant rush to provide your body with short-lived energy boosts, Ignite’s stimulant-free pre-workout formula delivers refreshing, smooth, and sustainable energy, thereby preventing a later crash.

Pre Lab Pro:

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Product Description
Core Ingredients:Some vital elements included in this stimulant-free pre-workout supplement are beetroot powder (used for nitric oxide), Setria (a performance blend for extra nitric oxide power), natural caffeine (for optimizing performance), as well as L-theanine (for greater mental clarity)
Quantity:20 servings per container
Serving Size:One scoop (30g)
Assurance:30-day money-back guarantee
Price: $59 Shop Here

Boasting a next-generation formula, the Pre Lab Pro offers a delightful berry flavor. The all-round pre-workout designed for supporting your workout also helps you achieve your weight loss goals.

As per the makers, the best pre-workout formula will improve strength, stamina, speed, recovery, cardio, endurance, and anabolism. In addition, it contains unique ingredients that are not found in other supplements, including nootropics, as well as a range of other ingredients that support the homeostasis of the body.

Another reason to support Pre Lab Pro is that it utilizes dosages and ingredients that are proven across the industry.

CrazyBulk Intensive Pre-Train:

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Product Description
Core Ingredients:Intensive Pre-Train comprises EnXtra – a caffeine booster. In addition, the supplement consists of the ashwagandha KSM-66 extract – something which you will not find in any other supplement on this list
Quantity:20 servings per container
Serving Size:One scoop
Assurance:60-day money-back guarantee
Price: $57.99 Shop Here

Along with powerful pre-workout formulas, the CrazyBulk intensive pre-train supplement is known for using legalized alternatives to steroids. The formula offers lasting energy, reduced muscle fatigue, and high training intensity amidst a number of other meaningful workout benefits. It also promotes weight loss results.

Using CrazyBulk will allow you to increase your energy levels, benefit from laser-sharp concentration, delay or lower mental and physical fatigue, and nail your workouts.

So, if you are looking for a reputable and best pre-workout supplement that will not force you to break the bank, you should certainly consider CrazyBulk’s Intensive Pre-Train.

TestoPrime:

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Product Description
Core Ingredients:KSM Ashwagandha, D-Aspartic Acid, Panax Ginseng, Fenugreek, and others
Quantity:120 capsules per container
Serving Size:Four capsules before breakfast
Assurance:Lifetime money-back guarantee
Price: $59.99 Shop Here

TestoPrime is one of the most trending workout supplements on the internet. Promoted to be a pre-workout formula as well as a natural testosterone booster, TestoPrime makes use of natural ingredients that target hormones and catalyze protein synthesis.

As per the makers, TestoPrime’s best pre-workout formula boosts mental and physical energy, improves protein synthesis, increases motivation, and helps get rid of any unwanted fat.

Unlike any of the other pre-workout supplements on this list, TestoPrime is specifically targeted towards people looking to increase their testosterone production. The supplement promises to halt problems associated with reduced testosterone in males, thereby producing greater results within and beyond the gym.

Cellucor C4 Extreme:

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Product Description
Core Ingredients:Consisting of creatine, arginine, caffeine, and beta-alanine, the Cellucor C4 Extreme is one of the highest-rated supplements that you will be able to find. In addition, compared to the Original, the Extreme offers an extra 200mg caffeine and 2g beta-alanine in every serving – in other words, an increase of 25%
Quantity:30 servings per container
Serving Size:1 level scoop
Assurance:Unavailable
Price: $34.99 Shop Here

The Cellucor pre-workout powder is available in two distinct versions: the Cellucor C4 Original and the Cellucor C4 Extreme. For those looking to maximize energy and endurance, the latter version might be the better choice.

Both versions of cellucor pre-workout powder are available in unique flavors, such as icy-blue razz, fruit punch, and strawberry margarita. The Extreme version offers all the benefits associated with its original counterpart but at higher intensities. In addition, since Extreme does not contain any calories or sugar, it will not affect your weight or mess up the balance of macronutrients.

It helps to know that Cellucor is a company that has been around for a long time and has been creating the best pre-workout formulas for over two decades.

Transparent Labs Pre-Workout:

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Product Description
Products list:Below are the six pre-workout supplements created by Transparent Labs:
  • Preseries Bulk Pre-Workout
  • Preseries HowToBeast (H2B) Bulk
  • Preseries Jesse James West Bulk
  • Preseries Lean Pre-Workout
  • Preseries Stim-Booster
  • PreSeries Stim-Free Pre-Workout
  • Quantity:30 to 60 pre-workout servings per container
    Serving Size:One Scoop
    Assurance:Unavailable
    Price: $40+ Shop Here

    Much like Cellucor, Transparent Labs happens to be another established name in the pre-workout supplement space. The company develops various types of bodybuilding and workout supplements that are targeted towards different fitness and health goals.

    Currently, Transparent Labs offers six different kinds of best pre-workout powders. Some of these are designed to help with weight loss, while others provide energy boosts. Some have been tailor-made for people who want to bulk up. Some of these contain stimulants, while other types are free of them.

    They come in Blue Raspberry, Sour Grape, Green Apple, and Strawberry Lemonade.

    Blackwolf Pre-Workout:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:Black wolf includes 2000 mg of betaine, 3000 mg of creatine, Huperzine – 10mg (Fruit Punch Only), 6000 mg L-citrulline, 1000 mg of L-arginine, 3200 mg of beta-alanine, 5mg DMAE – 150mg (Fruit Punch Only), 600 mg of L-tyrosine, and others
    Quantity:22 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop
    Assurance:Unavailable
    Price: $45 Shop Here

    Even though this best pre-workout powder does not have the kind of brand recognition associated with some of the other items on this list, the company makes use of proven ingredients, delightful flavors, and premium packaging for all of its pre-workout supplements.

    MuscleClub – a supplement company based in the UK – is the parent company for Blackwolf. Even though the brand possesses decades of experience within the supplement industry, Blackwolf itself is a relatively new company.

    The powerful pre-workout supplements are available in three delicious flavors: fruit punch, blue raspberry, and green apple. In addition, based on your preferences, you can either opt for the caffeinated version or go for the caffeine-free type.

    This could become your favorite pre-workout supplement.

    Ladder Pre Workout:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:The Ladder Pre Workout is available in tropical fruit and lemonade and contains: Caffeine (100 mg), Theanine (250 mg), Beta-alanine (3 g), and Citicoline (500 mg)
    Quantity:30 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop
    Assurance:30-day money-back guarantee
    Price: $56 Shop Here

    The Ladder Pre Workout is a product of a company founded by Lebron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger. After exploring the supplement market and ending up disappointed, the duo decided to launch its own lineup of best pre-workout powder solutions.

    The supplement is also NSF Certified for Sport and is one of the very few items on this list to brag that distinction. Every batch of the product is tested to ensure the quality and purity, as well as the accuracy of the label. Preferred pre-workout supplements that are NSF Certified for Sport are particularly beneficial for athletes, and this certification is only granted to the very best supplements.

    4 Gauge:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:The best pre-workout supplement claims to contain L-citrulline (6,000 mg), Caffeine (150 mg), L-theanine (200 mg), Rhodiola Rosea (100 mg)Also, the significant amount of beet will allow your blood vessels to widen and improve blood flow
    Quantity:20 servings per container
    Serving Size:Two scoops (14g)
    Assurance:Unavailable
    Price: $45 Shop Here

    This pre-workout promises the highest level of exercise performance, minus the jitters. The product is packaged into a shotgun shell-like container and will make you feel better, look bigger, and boost your concentration without any energy crashes. In addition, with a mere five calories in each serving, 4 Gauge will not affect your weight loss goals.

    4 Gauge is named as such because it is a 4-in-1 formula designed to improve energy, strength, focus, and even muscle pumps. The idea is that, just like a shotgun will not be able to find anything more explosive than a 4-gauge shell, you will not find anything better than this best pre-workout solution to boost your workouts.

    Onnit Total Strength + Performance:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:Every scoop of this stimulant-free pre-workout formula consists of a considerable dose of DAA, BCAAs, plant and herbal extracts, and numerous other ingredients that will help you make the most of every workout
    Quantity:30 servings per container
    Serving Size:Two scoops (10.8g)
    Assurance:90-day money-back guarantee
    Price: $69 Shop Here

    A highly reputable supplement company throughout the world, Onnit’s Total Strength + Performance pre-workout continues to attract high ratings.

    Even though the sole strawberry flavor of this best pre-workout does not attract stellar reviews, its caffeine-free ingredient blend can boost energy and performance in various ways.

    If you are looking for a big serving size, large scoop, along with proven ingredients and noticeable benefits, you will not go wrong with Onnit’s diverse pre-workout formula (as long as you can look beyond the flavor).

    Powher Pre-Workout:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:The best pre-workout for women contains various unique ingredients, such as EnXtra, a product created from a ginger family plant that helps amplify the impact of caffeine. Other vital elements include vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, and, of course, caffeine
    Quantity:25 Servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop (10g)
    Assurance:90-day money-back guarantee
    Price: $45 Shop Here

    Only two products on this list are targeted specifically towards females, and Powher pre-workout is one of them. Even though women are free to take pretty much any pre-workout supplement, Powher claims that its female-centric approach will allow women to exploit an ‘unfair advantage.’

    This supplement is perfect for those who want a bunch of proven ingredients but do not want the strong dosages that come with most other supplement formulas. Since Powher pre-workout contains lower quantities of ingredients, it has been able to carve out a unique market niche.

    NSP Nutrition Energize Pre-Workout:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:Creatine, Citrulline, DMAE, L-tyrosine, Choline, and L-theanine
    Quantity:30 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop 7.75g
    Assurance:100% satisfaction guarantee
    Price: $36 Shop Here

    This pre-workout NSP Nutrition is available in multiple exciting flavors, including lemonade fresh, tropical sunrise, and grape blast.

    A single scoop of Energize can engage more muscles, boost your muscle gains, attain bigger muscle pumps, reduce brain fog, enhance work capacity, and help you remain mentally focused.

    At a mere $36 a tub, Energize happens to be one of the most affordable pre-workout options on this list. The supplement formula comprises various ingredients that can improve mental and physical performance.

    IdealFit IdealLean Pre-Workout:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:Available in a blue raspberry flavor, the one serving of the supplement contains: Citrulline (3,000 mg), Beta-alanine (1,500 mg), Betaine (1,500 mg), and others
    Quantity:30 servings
    Serving Size:One scoop (13.57g)
    Assurance:100% risk-free guarantee
    Price: $25.99 Shop Here

    This is the other pre-workout on this list that is targeted towards females. Available at just $26 for a tub, the IdealLean pre-workout formula is a decent option for anyone wanting to boost their workout performances.

    Although IdealLean is a product targeted towards women, unlike Powher, it does not cut back on its dosages. As a result, the IdealLean supplement is packed with power and benefits and is backed by numerous positive reviews shared by women over the internet.

    Bauer Nutrition BRF Pre-Workout:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:The essential ingredients present in Bauer Nutrition BRF include Vitamin C, Whey protein isolate, Clarinol CLA, and natural caffeine
    Quantity:15 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop (30g)
    Assurance:60-day money-back guarantee
    Price: $26.99 Shop Here

    This best pre-workout and energy booster makes use of natural ingredients and, with a price of $27 for a 30-serving tub, is an extremely cost-effective option. The formula promises to boost energy levels, enhance workout intensity, boost mental focus, and elevate your endurance levels. It contains whey protein isolate, which is pure.

    Even though most of the ingredients are common to other pre-workout supplements on this list, unique elements such as Clarinol CLA – which is a patented product that will help your body get rid of more calories – serve to boost the formula’s overall effectiveness.

    The Bauer Nutrition BRF Pre-Workout is also called ‘Battle Ready Fuel’ and is an excellent option for anyone looking to get ready for a battle in the gym.

    Legion Pulse:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:The essential ingredients in this pre-workout supplement are Citrulline (8 g), Betaine (2.5 g), Alpha GPC (150 mg), L-theanine (350 mg), Caffeine (350 mg), and beta-alanine
    Quantity:21 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop (15g )
    Assurance:100% money-back guarantee
    Price: $29.72 Shop Here

    With a 4.3-star rating across 10,000 Amazon reviews, the Legion Pulse is one of the highest-rated pre-workout formulas on the platform. At a price of $30, this supplement is another one that gives you excellent value for money (it has a massive serving size as well – 23.76 grams). In addition, containing science-supported dosages and all-natural pre-workout ingredients, the Legion Pulse can definitely help you maximize your workout gains.

    Manufactured in the United States, the caffeinated version of the Pulse contains a surprisingly strong caffeine dosage (350 mg of caffeine for every 15 g serving). So, if you want caffeine intake to be a mainstay in your pre-workout supplement, you should certainly consider purchasing the Pulse Pre-Workout supplement.

    Beat Sports Beast Mode Black:

    image 4
    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:Beast Mode black contains Beta-alanine (1,600 mg) and Taurine (500 mg)
    Quantity:30 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop (8g)
    Assurance:60-day money-back guarantee
    Price: $39.99 Shop Here

    This best pre-workout formula is an extreme one and is targeted towards people who are looking for substantial, high-end ingredient dosages. Daily intake of the supplement will make your nitric oxide hit the roof and allow you to maximize the benefit from each rep in the gym and burn fat.

    As per the company, the ‘Black’ version of the Beast Mode contains 380% stronger doses than the regular version of the supplement. This stronger dose translates to more muscle, more miles to boost energy levels and offer more fat burnt.

    Although the ingredients might not be very different from the ones used in other top pre-workout supplements on this list, the Beast Mode Black certainly has one of the largest doses of caffeine, at 400 mg in each serving.

    Alani Nu Pre-Workout:

    image 2
    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:With every 10g scoop, you get, Citrulline (6 g), Beta-alanine (1.6 g), L-tyrosine (500 mg), and L-theanine (200 mg)
    Quantity:30 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop (10g)
    Assurance:Unavailable
    Price: $39.99 Shop Here

    This pre-workout is well-rated and well-known and contains more flavor than most other supplements. In addition, the L-theanine content helps keep the jitters, as well as any post-workout energy crashes, in check.

    While many other workout supplements focus on the number of ingredients, Alani Nu’s supplement is more about using fewer ingredients in significant amounts.

    Prepared without gimmicks and fillers and bragging more than 90% 5-star ratings, the Alani Nu Pre-Workout punches well above its weight.

    Huge Supplements Wrecked:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:L-Citrulline (9,000 mg), Beta-alanine (3,200 mg), Betaine Anhydrous (2,000 mg), L-tyrosine (1,000 mg), Caffeine (250 mg), Himalayan Pink Salt, Theobromine, Lion’s mane mushroom, and Inositol
    Quantity:25 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop (21.1g)
    Assurance:Unavailable
    Price: $44.95 Shop Here

    The company’s pre-workout solution is available in four distinct flavors, including peach rings, rainbow burst, bomb popsicle, and raspberry mojito. At $44.95 for 25 servings, Wrecked happens to be one of the more expensive choices on this list. However, the supplement’s 18 high-quality ingredients, delivered at potent dosages, compensate for the higher price.

    All in all, what makes Wrecked stand out as a good pre-workout supplement is its highly potent ingredient dosages. Even though the price is on the higher side, the high concentration and dosage mean that you will still get relatively good value for your bucks.

    Huge Supplements Wrecked Extreme:

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    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:A close look at the ingredients label will reveal that the dosages for most of the ingredients are actually smaller compared to the dosages for the original Wrecked. At 15.90 grams, even the scoop size is smaller, which means that you consume even more of the formula’s active ingredients. The caffeine dose, meanwhile, is the same (250 mg)
    Quantity:20 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop (15.9g)
    Assurance:Unavailable
    Price: $59.95 Shop Here

    The most potent of all Huge pre-workout supplements, the Wrecked Extreme feeds off the success enjoyed by the company’s original formula. As we mentioned, the original Wrecked version already brags highly potent ingredients and dosages. Wrecked Extreme, however, claims to take everything up another notch or two.

    On the whole, while the Extreme version of Wrecked promises higher ingredient dosages, it fails to deliver on this promise. This means that you are actually better off going with the original version of the supplement, which delivers stronger pre-workout benefits at a considerably lower price.

    Huge Supplements Wrecked Stim-Free:

    image 10
    Product Description
    Core Ingredients:Every massive 31-gram scoop delivers L-Citrulline (8 g), Glycerpump (3 g), and Beetroot extract (2 g)
    Quantity:25 servings per container
    Serving Size:One scoop
    Assurance:Unavailable
    Price: $54.95 Shop Here

    If you want to derive every one of the benefits available in the other Wrecked versions but without any caffeine, the Stim-Free version has you covered. This version makes use of the same ingredients as those in the Original and Extreme versions but steers clear of any stimulants such as caffeine.

    Instead of pumping your body with stimulants, Huge Supplements stress the importance of natural ingredients that deliver natural energy without artificial sweeteners and stimulants.

    If you are looking for a caffeine-free option that delivers solid power and can look past the ‘Huge’ scoop size, the Stim-Free version of Wrecked could well be the ideal supplement for you.

    Now that you have gone through each of our top-rated supplements, and know what they have to offer, let us summarize the strengths and essential takeaways for those products:

    Criteria for Ranking the Top Pre-Workout Supplements:

    While every pre-workout solution will claim to help you maximize your workout benefits, not every supplement is the same.

    Our team considered the following factors to come up with the above list:

    Scientifically-backed dosages and ingredients:

    Every supplement contains different ingredients, depending upon the goals that it wants to facilitate. Our aim was to prioritize the supplements that contained scientifically-backed ingredients in scientifically-backed dosages. A lot of blends contain the appropriate ingredients but in the wrong amounts, making them the worst pre-workout supplements. Similarly, some supplements make use of proprietary formulas to conceal the weak dosages, while others stress the substantial dosages in order to divert attention away from the lack of ingredients.

    Promoted benefits:

    It is not uncommon for companies to go over the top while advertising their supplements’ benefits. Some might even claim that you will turn into the Hulk within days of consuming their product, while others might assert that you will be able to shed more than 30lbs in a single day. Naturally, such benefits are exaggerated, and while preparing the list, we steered clear of companies that resorted to puffery.

    Testing, safety, and health:

    Pre-workouts, particularly those prepared by companies that lack reputation or recognition, can prove dangerous. The highest quality supplements are those that have been certified by the NSF, as this distinction is only provided to products that demonstrate the utmost levels of testing and quality. We also made sure to consider pre-workouts that were tested and supported by third-party lab tests.

    Formulated by professionals such as doctors, dieticians, or naturopaths:

    If one workout was developed by a team of marketers, while another was designed by a medical advisory board, which one would you go for?

    Texture and flavor:

    A lot of pre-workouts are supposed to be taken with water, which means that you will get a taste of the actual formula. For this reason, taste was another important factor in our rankings of best pre-workouts. We not only obtained taste-related reviews but, whenever possible, also tested the pre-workouts ourselves. Since certain supplements mix and dissolve well than others, the texture and the ability to mix were also considered.

    Artificial ingredients:

    The modern-day consumer is increasingly cautious with what he puts inside his body. Hence, we favored pre-workouts that were free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, or any other ingredients. While some pre-workouts contain natural flavors and ingredients, others resort to synthetic chemicals – we believe that the former is the better way to go.

    Ingredient sources and manufacturer reputation:

    There are manufacturers who use industry-standard techniques, seek advice from medical professionals, and disclose the sources of their ingredients. Other pre-workouts try to conceal as much of their manufacturing details as possible. There are pre-workouts that are preceded by years – if not decades – of reputation. On the other hand, there are companies of pre-workouts that are relatively new, with little to no credibility. We factored in the sources of ingredients as well as the reputation of the manufacturers themselves.

    Value, cost, and price:

    There are people willing to spend over $100 for their pre-workouts, while others are willing to dish out no more than $10 or $20. There is no problem with either, and, for this reason, we tried to include pre-workouts that could cater to consumers with different preferences and budgets. However, the one thing that we did not compromise on was the value of money. If you purchase the right pre-workout supplement at a budget price, you should get the right kind of value at that price. If you are paying a premium for pre-workouts, you deserve premium quality.

    Serving size and scoop:

    Our list comprises popular pre-workout supplements with varying scoop sizes, ranging from 5 grams right up to 31 grams. If you only focus on the price-per-serving ratio, you might make the wrong decision. Therefore, we considered both serving size as well as the scoop and favoring pre-workouts that offered greater potency in dosages and ingredients.

    Who Can Benefit from a Pre-Workout Supplement?

    Essentially, anyone who engages in any kind of workout can benefit from pre-workouts.

    Pre-workouts are often associated with bodybuilders. While bodybuilders certainly swear by their pre-workouts in order to enhance muscle development, endurance, and stamina, bodybuilders are not the only people who use these pre-workouts. For instance, people who participate in sports tend to use a pre-workout supplement before every game, while those who engage in running take a scoop before each run.

    All in all, the following groups of people can reap the benefits of a pre-workout:

    • Athletes
    • Cyclists
    • Runners
    • People looking to reduce fat or weight
    • People looking to perform intense workouts
    • Weekend warriors

    Whether you want to gain muscle mass or lower your fat levels, pre-workouts can help you derive greater benefit from every kind of workout.

    The Science behind Pre-Workout Supplements:

    Plenty of scientific evidence backs the benefits of pre-workouts.

    For instance, there are studies revealing that a pre-workout supplement can enhance mental and physical performance in a number of ways. Plenty of placebo-controlled studies and peer-reviewed research support these assertions.

    A study, which became part of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, revealed that pre-workout supplements served as ‘ergogenic aids’ for any active individual. In other words, pre-workouts can serve to enhance gym performance.

    Other studies back the mental benefits associated with these supplements. Over 50% of pre-workouts available today contain caffeine – one of the most common mental boosters on offer. A study from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease proved that caffeine resulted in improved concentration, mood, and arousal. So, if you are struggling with maintaining concentration during your workout sessions, pre-workouts might well be of assistance.

    Alongside mental benefits, caffeine also has a range of physical advantages. This particular study revealed that caffeine enhanced intense exercise-related endurance, allowing participants to perform for greater time periods and at higher levels.

    In addition, caffeine is associated with greater fat burning. A study conducted in 1995 showed that caffeine boosted the expenditure of energy by 11%. In other words, if you use caffeine before your cardio, you could enhance the effectiveness of your session by around 11% and, as a result, achieve your weight-loss objectives in a quicker and easier manner.

    Citrulline (also called ‘L-Citrulline) is another ingredient common to a lot of pre-workout supplements. According to one study, citrulline can increase bench press repetitions by up to 53%. Yet another study showed that cyclists who took citrulline were able to cover a 12% greater distance.

    Creatine, of course, is one of the most well-known pre-workout supplement ingredients – and, indeed, for very good reason. According to studies, creatine can have a significant positive impact on athletic performance. During high-intensity or strength training, creatine helps to boost muscle cell production. Hence, if you are looking to increase your strength gains or attain lean muscle, consider using creatine.

    Taurine is another ingredient commonly found in these supplements. According to a study conducted in 2004, taurine can keep oxidative stress from making its way into the muscle cells. A different study performed on cyclists showed similar benefits, revealing that taurine helped to get rid of any waste products developed by the muscle cells during cycling, thereby keeping the muscles protected against oxidative stress. Yet another study, conducted in 2010, showed that using a 1660 mg taurine supplement catalyzed fat burning by a rate of 16%, while a 2013 study revealed that taurine can considerably lower muscle soreness and damage associated with exercise.

    BCAAs (branch-chain amino acids), meanwhile, develop the building blocks required by protein, thereby increasing the production of protein in our bodies. Since our bodies find the synthesizing of muscle cells easier, this amino acid can help boost our bodies’ post-exercise reparation. Using BCAAs supplements after, before, or during workouts can lower damage and soreness and simultaneously speed up recovery. BCAAs are particularly important since amino acids cannot be produced by our bodies on their own. A study conducted in 1997 revealed that a BCAA supplement could lower fatigue by around 5%. Another similar study revealed that BCAAs could increase exhaustion resistance by approximately 17% and even assist with fat burning.

    Certain pre-workout supplements have CDP choline or other nootropic ingredients. CDP choline can help enhance attention and workout, which means that it is beneficial for people who find themselves wandering around the gym or turning to their phones after each set.

    L-theanine is another important pre-workout supplement ingredient and can cancel out the adverse or negative effects of caffeine. If high caffeine doses cause anxiety or jitters, then you could counter this effect with a good quality L-theanine supplement. According to a study, a combination of L-theanine and caffeine helped boost attention, focus, and mood, which makes L-theanine an excellent ingredient for workout supplements.

    Many of the most effective ingredients in pre-workout supplements are found naturally. Beetroot extract, for instance, can help boost the levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO then serves to relax the blood vessels, reducing your high blood pressure. Although your body can produce NO on its own, beetroot can enhance this production. According to this study, people who use beetroot extract have lower blood flow compared to those who do not. Several other studies have discovered the role of beetroot in increasing endurance and performance.

    Yet another natural ingredient used in pre-workout supplements is yohimbine. This ingredient is extracted from a unique African plant and can help boost blood flow and energy. According to a study conducted in 2006, yohimbine can promote fat loss. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in many pre-workout supplements, diet pills, and fat burners.

    Side-Effects Associated with Pre-Workout Supplements:

    Pre-workout supplements can lead to side effects, especially in people who are not tolerant to stimulants such as caffeine.

    Having said that, in general, healthy adults can safely use pre-workout supplements as long as they are sticking to the standard doses. However, if you exceed your dose beyond the standard (or if you use a supplement not created by a reputable company), you are more likely to suffer the side effects.

    Some of those side-effects include:

    • Headaches
    • Vomiting or nausea
    • Digestive problems (such as diarrhea or constipation)
    • Tolerance buildup
    • Anxiety, jitters, or poor sleep

    In severe cases, pre-workout supplements can cause liver or kidney damage or other serious health issues. Thankfully, such cases are extremely rare.

    Certain ingredients are associated with greater side effects, such as creatine, magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, and caffeine – all of which can lead to digestive problems.

    Beta-alanine can cause temporary irritation of the skin, particularly when taken in greater doses. People often develop itching or tingling upon using beta-alanine. However, these effects of beta-alanine are not harmful and are expected to subside in an hour or two.

    Why Should You Avoid Poor-Quality Pre-Workout Supplements?

    Selecting the right supplement is crucial, as the wrong one might not serve you any benefit at all. For instance, this study revealed that certain pre-workout supplements do not offer any advantage whatsoever. In fact, a few of these supplements ended up increasing heart rate and blood flow.

    Proprietary formulas can create greater side effects. A study revealed that manufacturers made use of proprietary formulas when trying to conceal unlabeled ingredients. Proprietary labels merely list down the overall formula dose but do not provide the breakdown for the dosages of the ingredients. This means that there is no way for you to find out the precise amount of each ingredient that you consume (not to mention that manufacturers can easily conceal any shady elements). During the past, various manufacturers ended up being caught while adding amphetamines, pre-hormones, and various other dangerous ingredients to pre-workout supplements.

    The FDA is taking firm action against such shady companies. OxyElite and Jack3d, for example, were amongst the leaders of the market prior to their ban. There was reliable research that linked these companies’ supplements to liver damage. As a result, the FDA ended up pulling these products from the shelves and pressed charges against the common manufacturer, USP Labs.

    Therefore, it is vital that you do your research before picking a pre-workout supplement.

    Recommended Pre-Workout Supplement Dosages:

    Generally, people consume a single serving of their pre-workout supplement, around 30 minutes to an hour before their workout is scheduled to begin. This is also the recommended dosage and time mentioned on the supplements.

    However, it is not common for people to begin with half a serving, particularly if the supplement is high-powered. For instance, if you are not used to caffeine, you could start with 0.5 scoops or serving before working your way up to a full serving.

    It is particularly important to be attentive to caffeine when deciding on your supplement dose. Caffeine, in moderate amounts, can cause various health problems, while in extremely high doses, it can even prove fatal. According to a Food and Chemical Toxicology study, adults should not take more than 400 mg of caffeine in a single day. Several high-powered supplements contain this much – or nearly this much – caffeine.

    Other doses, backed by scientific studies, include:

    • Betaine (from 1.25 grams to 2.5 grams)
    • L-theanine (to be taken in a 0.5:1 ratio alongside caffeine)
    • BCAAs (10 grams prior to the workout and 10 grams post-workout)
    • L-ornithine (from 2 grams to 3 grams in a day)

    FAQs:

    As you discovered, the best pre-workouts can go a long way in boosting your physical and mental performance. In the final section of this guide, we will be answering the most common and essential questions related to pre-workout supplements:

    What do pre-workout supplements do?

    Ans) Pre-workout supplements can enhance your mental and physical performance prior to a workout. Every supplement works in a unique way – for instance, some help increase endurance and stamina, others support muscle development. Some types of supplements contain high levels of stimulants such as caffeine in order to increase energy and arousal.

    Are pre-workouts safe?

    When consumed within regular doses, pre-workout supplements can usually be taken safely by healthy adults. However, it is essential not to exceed the recommended dosages specified on your supplement label. In addition, if you suffer from a medical condition or take any medication, it is best to consult your doctor prior to starting pre-workouts.

    What do pre-workouts contain?

    There are many different ingredients found in pre-workouts. Some of the most common of those ingredients are creatine, caffeine, amino acids, protein, and B-vitamins.

    What does the term ‘pump’ mean in bodybuilding?

    The pump is a word used to describe muscular energy and endurance during workouts. A lot of pre-workouts can ‘increase the intensity of pumps.’ These types of supplements are best suited for people who want to prolong or intensify their workouts.

    How do pre-workouts boost mental energy?

    Pre-workouts can enhance focus and cognition and make use of minerals, vitamins, and even herbal extracts to achieve this purpose.

    What does a pre-workout supplement taste like?

    Usually, pre-workouts come in fruity flavors. Since you are supposed to use water to mix these supplements, you can expect a taste similar to that of Gatorade. Having said that, different supplements are available in different flavors.

    How to take pre-workout supplements?

    As mentioned above, you are supposed to use water to mix the supplement powder. Depending upon the supplement you choose, you might be able to mix it with a beverage.

    Can pre-workouts lead to kidney failure?

    Using excess amounts of pre-workout supplements can lead to increased blood pressure, dehydration, and kidney failure. Most pre-workout supplements contain diuretics such as creatine and caffeine, and using these substances in high quantities can cause serious adverse effects on your health. To avoid such side effects, make sure to stick to the maximum recommended supplement dose.

    Are BCAA supplements considered pre-workouts?

    BCAA supplement can be considered a pre-workout formula. These pre-workouts deliver the muscle-development components that our bodies require in order to strengthen during, before, and after workouts. A lot of people use these supplements in order to aid muscle growth.

    Can pre-workouts help lose weight?

    Yes. The thermogenic ingredients present in many pre-workouts help burn more fat, which, in turn, allow you to shed a greater number of calories during each workout. In addition, caffeine, a common ingredient in pre-workouts, also has fat-burning properties.

    Can you take pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach?

    While you can consume pre-workout supplements without eating anything, you are likely to experience greater side and main effects. For instance, caffeine, on an empty stomach, is likely to make its way to the bloodstream more quickly, thereby causing more significant side effects.

    Are pre-workout supplements legal?

    As long as they are permitted by the regulatory authorities, pre-workout supplements are fully legal. There are certain supplements that have ended up getting a ban. For instance, Jack3D, which was one of the leaders of the pre-workout supplement market for over a decade, was banned owing to the health risks that it posed. Also, authorities have prohibited supplements that contained epinephrine since the substance increased the risk of heart attacks. Today, however, all high-quality supplements only contain dosages and ingredients approved by the FDA, rendering them legal and safe.

    When should you take a pre-workout supplement?

    As the name suggests, pre-workout supplements should generally be taken prior to a workout. Some people take it around 30 minutes to one hour before a workout, while others use it just before starting their exercises.

    Can you take a pre-workout supplement at night?

    Since these supplements have caffeine in them, taking them during the night can affect your sleep. So, if you use a supplement that contains stimulants, you should avoid taking it late in the day.

    Is it normal to feel tingling or itching after taking a pre-workout supplement?

    Certain people do report an itch or tingling sensation upon taking supplements. These sensations are most often caused by the presence of beta-alanine. However, sometimes, such sensations could indicate a health issue, which is why, if they do not subside, it is best to reach out to a doctor.

    Which ingredients are best for pre-workout supplements?

    Top-quality pre-workout products include Taurine, BCAA, beta-alanine, B-vitamins, as well as components that can help increase NO (such as citrulline, arginine, and even natural ingredients like beetroot extract).

    What is beta-alanine?

    Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is known to increase the physical and mental performance of athletes by decreasing fatigue. Beta-alanine is also used as a dietary supplement and works by increasing carnosine levels in muscle cells, which in turn increases the buffering capacity of muscles during high-intensity exercise.

    Some benefits of beta-alanine are:

    • Increased muscle strength and power
    • Improved athletic performance
    • Reduced fatigue and mental stress during exercise
    Which pre-workout ingredients need to be avoided?

    There are supplements that contain stimulants in excessive amounts. According to health experts, no more than 400 mg of caffeine should be taken in a single day. Several supplements have as much – or nearly as much – caffeine. Since you consume all this caffeine at once rather than in smaller doses throughout your day, you might have a more severe effect. Certain poor-quality supplements also contain prohibited ingredients such as epinephrine. Make sure to purchase your supplement from a reliable manufacturer and go through the label to ensure that the product does not contain any banned or undesirable substances.

    What is the amount of caffeine present in my pre-workout supplement?

    Every reputable supplement manufacturer will reveal the amount of caffeine present in the product. A pre-workout supplement can contain varying amounts of caffeine, ranging from 40 mg right up to 400 mg. For perspective, a single, medium-sized coffee cup contains around 90 to 130 mg of caffeine.

    How long do pre-workout supplements last?

    Since caffeine’s half-life spans from four to seven hours, you can expect to feel the impact of pre-workout products for up to several hours after you have completed your workout. In general, the effects of a pre-workout supplement peak between one to four hours of consumption.

    Do pre-workout supplements have any side effects?

    Yes, pre-workout supplements can have side effects, some of the most common of which are: interrupted sleep, anxiety, jitters, digestive problems, cardiovascular problems, and nausea. Generally, as long as you are a healthy adult and taking the standard dose of your supplement, you are unlikely to experience any side effects.

    Can I combine pre-workout supplements with other supplements?

    Yes, you can do this. However, you need to make sure that you are not exceeding the nitrate threshold or taking stimulants beyond the recommended amounts. If, for example, your supplement does not contain B-vitamins, then you can complement it with a good-quality B-supplement.

    What is meant by ‘proprietary blends’?

    Proprietary blends are formulas that deliberately conceal the specific dosages. Since it is proprietary, the manufacturer has the right to conceal the particular formula. While many manufacturers are transparent about their dosages and ingredients, others are not.

    Do pre-workouts really work?

    Numerous studies have backed the advertised benefits associated with pre-workout supplements. BCAAs, creatine, L-citrulline, L-arginine, caffeine, and various other ingredients have all proven to boost workouts. The efficacy of all these proven pre-workout ingredients has been verified through placebo-controlled, double-blind trials that have been published in reputable journals.

    What does Nitric Oxide do?

    Nitric Oxide is a compound that is naturally produced by our bodies. It helps to relax our blood vessels and assists with blood flow. Many pre-workout supplements contain beetroot extract and other substances that help enhance the production of nitric oxide. Beetroot contains nitrite – a nitric oxide precursor – in substantial amounts. According to studies, beetroot can help increase the quantity of NO in our bodies.

    Final Word:

    With more variety than ever, selecting a pre-workout solution is no walk in the park. In addition, while every supplement will promise improved gains and energy, not all of them will deliver on this promise.

    There are supplements that contain tried-and-tested ingredients at greater dosages, and there are supplements that aim to pump you up with stimulants like caffeine.

    To wrap up, pre-workout supplements can offer numerous advantages, including faster weight loss, greater muscle building, better endurance, and improved focus. Shop our top pre workout pick here.

    RELATED:Best HGH Supplements

    Affiliate Disclosure:

    The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.

    Disclaimer:

    Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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