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Best Pre-Workout Supplements Reviewed – Guide & Top 10 Considerations for 2017

There is nothing better than consuming one of the best pre-workout supplements and going into the gym already pumped up and full of energy, ready to go. Otherwise, it can be frustrating trying to workout while feeling unfocused, sluggish, and tired.

We reviewed the top pre-workouts for you:

Our official pre-workout supplements guide located towards the bottom of this post will help you to maximize performance in the gym as well as the results afterward. Take a look at the proven and top rated products below.

Many include caffeine or tyrosine to assist in staying focused during a workout. Creatine and taurine help provide increased muscle strength and an increased ability to build muscle.

Other supplement ingredients, such as BCAAs, whey protein and high quality carbohydrates, help with increasing endurance and improving workout results and muscle growth.

Not sure what you’re looking for? Jump to: Beginners Guide to Pre-Workout Supplements

Highest Rated Pre-Workout Supplements

The following 10 top pre-workout supplements include many of these nutrients and much more for the optimized workout experience.

#1 – PreSeries BULK Pre-Workout

Best Pre Workout Supplement Preseries Bulk Pre Workout

Highlights

Strong Doses of BCAA’s
 Includes Caffeine and Taurine for Energy Boosts
Six Full Grams of Citruline Malate
Available in Blue Raspberry and Green Apple
Nothing Proprietary: All Ingredients are Labeled 

Key Factors

A supplement in the Transparent Labs PreSeries of products, BULK Pre-workout contains heaping doses of the amino acids that matter. This includes 4000 mg of branched chain amino acids in every scoop, in addition to another 4000 of Beta Alanine, and 2500 mg of BetaPure.

Stimulants are in potent doses as well, with a hard-hitting 1300 mg of taurine and 180 mg of caffeine. Once you get past the most popular additions, the rest of the blend is filled with high-quality amino acids like L-Norvaline, and Bioperine to aid absorption of the blend, among others.

Who Makes It?

Transparent Labs prides itself on listing exactly what is in its products, and does not use proprietary blends to hide their dosages. Their wide range of products are grouped into Protein Series, Strength Series, and others, and their website provides useful suggestions for how to stack various supplements.

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

TL_BULK_BlueRaspberry_Ingredients

Bottom Line

Nothing is wasted in this honest and highly-potent pre-workout blend from Transparent Labs. There’s no mystery in the labeling, and there’s no doubt that BULK Pre-workout contains all the right ingredients to give you a noticeable boost, and help you bulk up with lean muscle.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
transparent-labs-logo$49.00 More Info

#2 – Cellucor C4 Extreme

Cellucor C4 Extreme

Highlights

Contains creatine to help promote energy and fight muscular fatigue
Stacks well with stimulant free products such as P6 Black, P6 Extreme, and Alpha Amino.
Not for use for anyone under the age of 18.
Flavors include Icy Blue Razz, Strawberry Margarita, Pink Lemonade, Orange Dreamsicle, and more. 

Bottom Line

With a new, enhanced formula, Cellucor C4 Extreme gives users that extra edge they need to help them reach their fitness goals. C4’s new formula now includes TeaCor, a breakthrough ingredient that improves energy levels.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$36.43 More Info

#3 – Pro Supps Mr. Hyde

Pro Supps Mr. Hyde

Highlights

Supports enhanced focus, muscular strength, and power.
Helps users achieve their maximum performance.
Has a top-notch energy blend for maximum receptor sensitivity.
Contains caffeine, and not recommended to take less than four hours before bedtime.
Flavors include Blue Raz, Watermelon, Orange Burst, Mango, and Cherry Bomb. 

Bottom Line

Pro Supps Mr. Hyde is designed to be the best pre-workout on the market today. It contains the amino acid leucine, proprietary stimulant blends, and the innovative pump agent agmatine sulfate. Marketed as the “most extreme and effective” pre-workout, Mr. Hyde aims to help users shatter their weight-training plateaus.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$24.23 More Info

#4 – Betancourt Bullnox Androrush

Betancourt Bullnox Androrush

Highlights

Aims to improve users’ workout
Contains L-Arginine to help with blood flood and quick muscle recovery
Does not contain sugar
Not for use for those under the age of 18
Flavors include Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Lemonade, and Grape. 

Bottom Line

Betancourt Bullnox Androrush claims to be the first pre-workout nitric oxide to give users a testosterone boosting blend that’s promoted to enhance aggression and the pump during a workout.

Bullnox Androrush has a unique formula that combines N-Acetyl Tyrosine, Glucuronolactone, Caffeine Anhydrous, and Theobromine to give users the ultimate sustained energy rush with a lowered risk of crashing.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Bodybuilding.com Logo$29.96 More Info

#5 – ENGN Pre Workout by Evlution Nutrition

Engn Pre Workout By Evlution Nutrition

Highlights

Direct blend with no fillers
Contains essential amino acids to support muscle growth
Supports mental focus and concentration during training
Not for use for those under the age of 18
Flavors include Watermelon, Blue Raz, Fruit Punch, Green Apple, and Orange Dream. 

Bottom Line

ENGN Pre Workout by Evlution Nutrition is designed to get all athletes – runners, bodybuilders, extreme sports athletes, etc. – to their maximum energy and focus levels.

It contains key ingredients that support cognitive function, blood flow, and energy, and works to improve endurance and aid in recovery after a workout is over.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$32.99 More Info

#6 – Rich Piana’s 5% Nutrition Kill It

Nutrition Kill Itby Rich Piana 5 Percent

Highlights

Aims to help users train harder and stay strong longer
Aids in blood flow to help hardworking muscles heal faster
Stimulates muscle growth
Provides users with intense focus
Contains caffeine, so not recommended within four hours of bedtime 

Bottom Line

Designed to help users work out at a higher intensity for a longer period of time, Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Kill It increases energy and elevates levels of mental alertness.

Kill It contains ingredients such as agmatine sulfate to increase blood flow, build up muscles and prevent muscle fatigue, and N-acetyl L-tyrosine to enhance focus.

Take one serving with 12-14 ounces of water either during or after exercising for the top post workouts results, including better endurance and faster recovery time.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$32.95 More Info

#7 – Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout

Highlights

Is an Informed-Choice certified sports nutrition formula
Made with all natural, banned-substance free ingredients
Supports focus, energy, and endurance
Ingredients include L-Citrulline Malata, AstraGIN, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCI
Flavors include Blueberry Lemonade, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Pineapple, and Green Apple 

Bottom Line

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout releases energy, enhances endurance, and amplifies focus to help users get to the top of their game. Made entirely from banned-substance free ingredients.

Gold Standard’s powder places a focus on caffeine drawn from natural sources, as well as Beta-Alanine to support the intramuscular buffering system to help train longer and harder.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$27.28 More Info

#8 – Jym Pre-Jym

Jym Pre Workout

Highlights

Contains no proprietary blends
Informed-Choice certified and Informed-Sport certified formula
Contains 6g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) to stimulate muscle growth
Helps boost energy
Improves endurance and aids in recovery 

Bottom Line

Jym Pre-Jym is one of the top pre-workout supplements out there. Created as an alternative to supplements containing proprietary blends, Jym Pre-Jym boasts 13 hand-picked ingredients included in full doses to give users an overall improved workout.

Filled with ingredients such as beta-alanine, citrulline malate, amino acids, creatine-HCL, and more, this pre-workout powder aids in muscle endurance, enhances energy and strength, and helps with muscle protein synthesis.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Bodybuilding.com Logo$68.97 $36.43 More Info

#9 – BPI Sports 1.M.R Vortex

Bpi Sports 1.m.r Vortex

Highlights

Supports increased focus and strength
Provides unstoppable energy
Enhances endurance
Use only on training days
Not for use by anyone under the age of 18 

Bottom Line

BPI Sports 1.M.R Vortex is a pre-workout supplement that is engineered with three unique new ingredients that are aimed to enhance and intensify users’ workouts.

One serving taken 15-30 minutes before a workout promotes increased strength, better focus, and more energy. 1.M.R Vortex even comes in several different, great tasting and unique flavors such as Blueberry Lemon Ice, Snow Cone, Fruit Punch, and Sour Watermelon.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$59.99 $36.43 More Info

#10 – BSN No Xplode 3.0

Bsn No Xplode 3.0

Highlights

Helps users achieve a higher workout intensity.
Supports increased energy and endurance.
Supports greater mental focus.
Helps support increased muscular strength.
Flavors include Blue Raz, Fruit Punch, Watermelon, Grape, and Green Apple. 

Bottom Line

BSN recently released No Xplode 3.0, the updated, more concentrated formula for No Xplode that has been re-engineered to give users that final push to take them past previous limits.

No Xplode 3.0 is designed to provide explosive energy, increased mental focus, enhanced performance, and maximum endurance. No Xplode’s superior new formula even has a better-than-ever taste that’s highly mixable.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$52.24 $33.95 More Info

BONUS ENTRY – ANARCHY by MuscleTech

Anarchy By Muscletech

Highlights

Available in 5 different tasty flavors
Ultra-extreme focus and energy
Enhances power, muscle size and strength
Science backed ingredient formulation
Inlcudes 200mg of Choline Bitartrate
Includes 380mg of Caffeine
3.2g of Beta-Alanine 

Bottom Line

Do not let the fact that Anarchy is a bonus on this list fool you, this supreme pre-workout did not get nominated for the The 2015 Bodybuilding.com Supplement Award out of thin air. There’s a lot of science behind it all.

Formulated as a result of scientific studies of their patented Nitrosigine® and HydroMax™ glycerol, this monster of a pre-workout truly does “unleash anarchy™”.

One scoop of this supplement and you will be overcome with explosive energy, focus, and intensity to tackle the toughest of workouts.

VendorPrice ComparisonLink
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment$45.49 $36.43 More Info

Beginners Guide to Pre-Workout Supplements


What are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Great question, let’s jump right into it.

Pre-workouts are dietary supplements you take prior to beginning your workout or exercise routine, typically in powder form, but they also come in pills, pre-made drinks, and pre-workout bars.[6]

What’s in a Pre-Workout?

They are composed of ingredients that collectively are designed to provide you with energy and endurance.[7]

Top pre-workouts will contain nutrients that help increase power, strength, and also help the user with cranking up muscle growth in their body, while burning fat in the process.

Why Do People Take Pre-Workouts?

We take them prior to working out in hope of pushing our body to the next level during the workout. Whatever that workout may be, running, fighting, training, rowing, football practice, basketball, soccer, etc. These dietary supplements are designed to give you that energy boost we all need to reach the next level.

Jason Machowsky, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and Performance Specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, put it well in a recent discussion on dietary supplements such as pre-workouts, “the thing I tell people is that supplement use is the last two to three percent of performance.”[8]

Who Are Pre-Workouts For?

Pre-workouts are for athletes, and fitness enthusiasts in general, who strive to reach that next goal, that next level; boosting your intensity, delaying fatigue, helping fight that after-work slump, that before-work feeling, or just to finish that dreaded last mile of a lengthy run.

How Do We Pick The Best Pre-Workout Supplements?

In a nutshell, we try to keep it real. When we rank and line these supplements up, our goal is that of informing our visitors about the best options available for their fitness goals.

We depend on the experience of our visitors to a great extent as well. Our rankings are a reflection of the experiences, reviews, and opinions held by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts such as yourself.[3][4]

We encourage you to keep commenting and sending your reviews in to us. If you do not agree with something, shoot us a comment below and let us know.

We are Not New to Bodybuilding

We are Not New to Bodybuilding

We see the past the hype, most of our team has spent at least three decades on this planet and has been in the bodybuilding industry for a while; we’ve been sold all kinds of products over the years, tested most, and seen all the marketing gimmicks that come and go (some of which never leave!).

Needless to say then, we are results oriented! When we put a product on our top 10 pre-workouts listing, it means that the ingredients in its composition have proven themselves of great value to fitness enthusiasts and deserve to be shared on the best supplements list.

Our Focus on Label Transparency

Our Focus on Label Transparency

For the most part, and we try not to deviate from this if there is no solid reason for it; we put preference on supplements that are fully transparent with their supplement facts and don’t hide ingredients from consumers.

Fortunately, this is a trend that the best supplement companies have started to follow. Thank goodness! No more nonsense like withholding information from those trying to figure out what exactly their body is in-taking.

This is also the reason we decided to go above and beyond the normal top 10 supplements lineup and amped this buyers guide to pre-workouts (if we can call it that) with the ingredients you’ll come across in most if not all pre-workouts.

When we first started out we had no idea what anything on the supplement facts label on the back of the tubs meant, it may have well been written in a foreign language; so we understand, and included the common pre-workout ingredients section for your reference!

No Scams and No-Nonsense Approach

No Scams and No-Nonsense Approach

If you’re a first time visitor, here is who we are and what we’re all about. Basically, we are a very fitness enthusiastic bunch, passionate about bodybuilding and bettering ourselves; getting physically and mentally stronger.

Most of the companies on this list we’ve dealt with over the years, used their products, switched to their competitors, switched back, etc. All in a continuous search for the best pre-workout supplement that worked best for each of us. This didn’t mean we all settled on the same one.

One thing we have never been fans of are scams. Companies who use this approach as their get rich quick scheme, or whatever their belief is, have essentially been blacklisted by us, and by the market for that matter.

Supplement companies that use the scam tactic usually get dealt with once the scam is exposed, but unfortunately sometimes that takes longer than one would hope for.[5] The pre-workout supplements on this list have been scam-checked and we would never knowingly list a pre-workout scam in our lineup.

We work a lot and earn our money the hard way, as you probably do as well. Our recommendations are therefore something we would not be ashamed of recommending to our friends and family in honesty and truth; our goal is not to part you with your money without providing you valuable information on the avaiable supplements out there.

We Do Not Get Commissions from Supplement Brands

We Do Not Get Commissions from Supplement Brands

In the spirit of true transparency, we do not receive a kick back from the brands on this list! We do our job, of impartially reviewing and ranking the pre-workout supplements and referring you to a retailer (mainly Amazon, ’cause they have the best deals) with the best pre-workout deal we could find.

We never ask for your personally identifiable information either, at most we’ll ask and encourage you to sign up for our email newsletter, which we never use for spam and only send fitness related stuff we ourselves would want in our inbox. Such as supplement deals you wouldn’t want to miss, major industry changes, free giveaways announcements, and fun contests.

Helpful Sources

Helpful Sources

Here are some helpful sources for picking a good pre-workout supplement

Bodybuilding.com – Best Pre-Workouts

Examine.com – Supplements examined

Reddit.com/r/supplements