As we approach the halfway point of the year, it is apparent that many people are emerging from their pandemic-induced stupor to get back into high gear for both their work lives and their athletic activities. This shouldn’t be a surprise; in addition to the strong desire to get back in mingle with people once again, it turns out that one of the best ways to mitigate the stress of the workday is through exercise.
To this end, sales of pre-workout supplements have shot up. Their ability to safely improve both endurance, stamina and post workout recovery is much-needed and appreciated. All of this is in keeping with the recent trend (when compared to the previous generations) of people realizing that physical activity is an absolute must for quality of life – both physical and mental. All of this is part of what we were for two as a three-pronged attack on sedentary lifestyles:
- Changing your diet to become more complete is essential
- Increasing physical activity that elevates your heart rate – basically, exercise
- Many people are adding vitamins and supplements to their daily routine
One of the best things about working out is that virtually anyone can do it – whether young, old, or even those with a disability that is not inhibited by their physician. No matter which one of these describes you, you should always consult a doctor before you begin a specific exercise regimen. For those who are cleared to do so, you can start taking a look at pre-workout supplements engaging their ingredients to see which one is optimal for you.
In particular, pre-workouts are excellent, providing you with the energy you need to conduct an intensive exercise routine or athletic event. You will find that even if you work a full shift, the pre-workout will provide you with the energy to conduct your exercise activities afterwards (or sometimes beforehand, if you’re one of those early risers gets to the gym in the a.m.). This is especially important because one of the chief reasons that people give for not being able to work out is due to the demands of the job. The pre-workout will flood your system with the energy necessary to perform at least an hour of post-employment exercise. Many of the ingredients contained in pre-workout capsules or powders provide both physical and mental energy so that you don’t lose focus.
If you’re like most people, then you undoubtedly had those dog-days when all you want to do after work is go home. The pre-workouts can flood your system with the energy to help you reach your fitness goals – and as such, is beneficial whether you workout at a public team, or make use of a home gym or equivalent. Due to the rising popularity and sheer demand, you can find some truly impressive and high-quality supplements on the market – and you can buy these at your local supermarket, grocery stores, nutrition health food stores or even online at Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
Because so many people are opting to try various pre-workout supplements to help us launch their daily work stresses and enhance their endurance and stamina for both their jobs and their workouts, the manufacturers have responded by flooding the market with pre-workouts comprised of a variety of different, effective substances. We will get into some choice products a little bit later on in this review. You will be familiar with many of the ingredients; include branched-chain amino acids, natural stimulants such as caffeine, and muscle building substances that are created naturally by your body like creatine and beta alanine. Because of the sheer plenitude of options, you can pretty much pick and choose the ingredients you want – there is virtually certain to be a product that matches your list precisely.
If you do a little bit of research on the ingredients that most pre-workout supplements contain – in this article is certainly a good start – then you’ll find that they have many desirable attributes: some ingredients are geared towards rapid post workout muscle recovery, others are very helpful with providing your muscles with explosive energy for activity during the workout, and still others can even reduce the post workout fatigue. The latter, especially, is useful for those who may work extra-long hours and really need an extra jolt. Creatine, for example, is known to bolster the rapid growth of extra muscle mass. This is particularly useful if you are geared towards bodybuilding. Still other ones really help with burning fat, which is an attribute from which virtually anyone can benefit. A little known fact is that excess fat adversely affects your endurance.
At this point we come to a potential problem: due to the sheer plenitude of supplements on the market, it can be difficult for the average consumer to decide which one to pick. It’s helpful to begin with a baseline of requirements that includes your particular circumstances as well as your goals; but you might still need help navigating the product field. This is exacerbated by the fact that the popularity of workout supplements of late has caused many new manufacturers to spring up and start offering their own variations of what’s already on the market – all with the typical attractive marketing practices.
We’re here to potentially save you from analysis paralysis in this regard. This comprehensive article is intended to shuttle you through the world of pre-workout supplements with a sure hand: to this end, we have compiled a list of a handful of the tried-and-true options that have produced guaranteed results for many athletes and casual exercisers. Below are the reviews of our top six. In taking a look at these, you’ll find out the top seven evaluation criteria that we apply to each one to see how they measure up:
- Value vs. Price
- Reputation of the Manufacturing Company
- List of Artificial Ingredients
- Product Transparency
Every single option that we’ve listed here has been tried and evaluated by our experts. The intention was to provide some transparency about the efficacy of the available options on the market, as well as help the novice navigate the huge store of pre-workout options. It is our sincere hope that our analyses measure up, and that you truly benefit in the way that you desire to from the one you pick from our list. Check the ingredients carefully to make sure that they actually suit your intended fitness goals and objectives, as well as mesh with your everyday life. For example, you may want to go low on stimulants such as caffeine if you workout in the late evening. The same supplements that contain this can be very good for you and help you to achieve your goals if you workout earlier in the day.
Although many pre-workout supplements contain similar ingredients, you may find that some are more effective than others. Much like our analysts, they sometimes got different results from the ones they tried at different times in the day. It is unlikely that any single supplement would adhere to a one-size-fits-all requirement. It’s even better if you have a workout partner and the two of you can alternate supplements to see which one suits you best. And now, on to the review!
Reviewed: The 5 Best Pre Workout Supplements We Tested
We finally got into the section that you were waiting for. Below you will find the promised handful of pre-workout supplements that went through our rigorous and committed testing process that lasted a few months for each – that way, there would be no mistaking the results, as well as how long they were able to sustain our athletes. Because there are six of them, you don’t have to feel committed to the one that you start out with – experimentation is all a part of the process. Here’s a list of the pre-workouts that are the subject of this review:
- PreLab Pro
- Transparent Labs
- Crazy Nutrition Intensive
- STEEL Pre
XWERKS is a company that has produced one of the flat-out best pre-workout supplements available to the public: the eponymous name is XWERKS Ignite. It definitely belongs in a list of top six, and it is able to maintain its lofty reputation on the popularity ladder because of the lack of side effects that are attendant with the benefits – this means the stimulants will cause you to be jittery, for starters.
XWERKS Ignite is able to accomplish this with a proprietary formula that insures you do not experience a post-workout energy crash, as is often the case with many other supplements that are out there. The energy that their powder provides is sustainable, while still providing enough power to get you through an intense exercise routine. The best part of the energy it provides is that it slowly wears off, and thus lets you down easily. Additionally, it prioritizes the shuttling of nitric oxide through your system.
So, you might wonder – what is the effect of nitric oxide on the human body? Basically, even if you are in the midst of a serious workout, nature cocci will ensure that you don’t run out of energy halfway through. It is an excellent alternative to caffeine, especially for those who workout later on in the day and cannot afford for the caffeinated stimulant to adversely affect their sleep patterns. XWERKS Ignite actually has a host of ingredients that are beneficial to your workout:
- BCAA L-tyrosine
- Rhodiola rosea
- Vitamins B6 and B12
- Some caffeine
The above listed ingredients are tailor-made to stave off both mental and physical fatigue during and after an intense workout. You can read more about the ways in which the ingredients interact on the XWERKS website. The Ignite powder, when used in conjunction with a workout plan, will increase muscle mass, help your body recover faster, elevate your endurance and provide you with more power (explosive energy) then just about any other supplement that we’ve encountered on the market.
As far as the price comparison is concerned, XWERKS Ignite pre-workout powder will set you back $49.00 for a container with 30 servings inside. You can also acquire it for less money if you buy in bulk, to the tune of a subscription program that will ship it to you over a time frame spanning between 50 – 90 days and recompense you 5% of the product price per container (that would be $46.55 per 30 servings). For those of you who lack a bit of variety, XWERKS Ignite comes in four vibrant flavors:
- Green Apple
- Blue Raspberry
The following reviews have not been conducted in any particular order. Let’s start with PreLab Pro from the manufacturer of the same name. A quick website search shows that PreLab Pro markets itself as a serious workout supplement that is geared towards improving both strength and stamina during your exercise routine – in fact, it boasts that it can maximize these essential attributes. Clearly, PreLab Pro is geared towards the high intensity athlete, but can be used by anyone of age.
Some of the attributes claimed by PreLab Pro is that their powder will flood your body with energy, enhancers stamina as well as the power that your muscles can produce, increase your strength for slow, heavy lifts and it will also reduce your post workout recovery time so that you can get back in the gym for another high-intensity workout quickly. As such, this pre-workout is clearly optimal for bodybuilders and weightlifters. Using this will provide your body with the ability to leave everything at the gym – but not suffer for it unduly once you get home.
PreLab Pro is also one of those supplements that is heavily backed by scientific research studies, as elucidated by the following ingredients:
- Caffeine in its natural form
- Beetroot powder
- The amino acid L-theanine
- Setria performance blend (trademarked)
PreLab Pro also promotes the powder as both affordable and fast-acting. That is to say, some users have reported a big difference the very first time they used it in their workouts. As you can imagine, this provides a lot of extra confidence going into the gym and additionally experiencing the markedly faster recovery phase afterward.
When using this, you realize that the days of you putting off a gym session because you’re tired from work are over with. PreLab Pro elevates the energy level significantly, which also means you will go harder in the gym for greater effects. The benefits will be undeniable in most cases. Now, is it actually affordable?
PreLab Pro comes in a black and silver container with 20 servings at a price of $59.00. As is usually the case with such things, you can opt to buy it in bulk and save a lot of money – the particular deal note is to purchase 3 containers, and obtain 1 container for free for a total of 4 containers at a price of $177.00. You are effectively saving slightly over $15 per container with the buy-in-bulk deal. As mentioned earlier, it is taken in powder form where you can mix it with water, fruit juice or milk as a single serving. 8 ounces of fluid. There’s also a 30-day moneyback guarantee by which the company stands resolutely. And yes, they honor this to the letter.
The next item on our list to review is none other than the well-regarded and eponymous pre-workout supplement manufactured by TestoPrime. This outfit is actually very well known by fitness experts, and this particular pre-workout formula was first created to aid low-testosterone men in reclaiming their intense workout objectives. As you most certainly deduced from the previous statement, their powder also elevates your testosterone levels.
What are some of the benefits of this attribute? As most people know, testosterone is the mostly male hormone that is responsible for our larger and denser bones, and prodigious muscle mass when compared to the average woman. TestoPrime will thus lead to increased mean muscle due to the elevation of testosterone levels; this will have added effects such as providing mental energy as well as physical, accelerate the burning of fat, and encourage greater synthesis of proteins in the body.
Also, one of the best things that we like about TestoPrime is the fact that it is one of the few pre-workout supplements that lack stimulants. This is important because it means you can reliably use it late into the day without worrying about the substance negatively affecting your sleep schedule. The positive effects that it confers stacks up well against any of the other options on this list. Here are the primary ingredients:
- Vitamin D
- D-Aspartic Acid
- Black Pepper Extract
- Pomegranate Extract
- Garlic Extract
- Green Tea Extract
- Vitamin B5 and B6
- Panax Ginseng
You may not be familiar with all of these ingredients, but we can assure you that all of the work in conjunction to elevate the attributes that are responsible for better gym sessions and workouts. The results will vary since not all people are created the same; most people experience the results quickly, whereas there may be a delay for others. Basically, if you are an avid athlete or a casual exerciser, you can find some benefit from TestoPrime pre-workout supplement.
Insofar as any side effects are concerned, they generally aren’t on. TestoPrime has an exceptional amino acid profile and thus will provide all the support necessary for serious workout sessions. It encourages fat loss, too.
We close out the review of this substance with an assessment of the price versus value. A single bottle of TestoPrime contains a 30-day supply of 120 capsules at a price point of $59.99. As is usually the case with these pre-workouts, you can get a deal by buying them in bulk: a two month supply will get you an extra month for free, or if you really go all in and by a three month supply you will get an additional three months for free.
Next up we have the pre-workout supplement powder that once again carries the name of its manufacture: Transparent Labs. If you ask around the athletics industry, their reputation is unquestionable; no matter what generation, their products always pass the test and you can depend on their high-quality supplements working as claimed. The Transparent Labs product is especially variegated, meaning that they have six formulas from which to choose to meet your needs. This is a sharp departure from the usual all-in-one formulas that are touted by other supplement manufacturers. You can pick from the following:
- Transparent Labs Preseries Lean
- Transparent Labs Preseries Bulk
- Transparent Lab Preseries Stim-Free
- Transparent Lab Preseries Stim-Booster
- Transparent Labs Preseries Jesse James West
- Transparent Labs Preseries HowToBeast
No matter which one you choose, you can be assured that the ingredients work together to promote increased muscle mass and to elevate your energy and power levels during your workout. The muscles themselves grow in the post workout recovery period when they heal and grow back stronger to prepare for your next workout.
In the next subsection we will list the ingredients contained in Transparent Labs pre-workout powder product. On the actual label, everything is made much easier with the included dosages to obtain the desired results. Depending on your body constitution and commitment to an exercise regimen, you will experience muscle mass increases, weight loss (specifically fat loss), and improved levels of energy.
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin B6 and B12
Because of the plenitude of power options provided by Transparent Labs, you can find the specific formula that is tailor-made to help you accomplish your fitness goals. As for the price versus value, a single container of 30 servings will run you $49.99. Transparent Labs goes even further by offering several different flavors:
- Orange flavor
- Tropical Punch flavor
- Sour Grape flavor
- Blue Raspberry flavor
- Strawberry Lemonade flavor
- Green Apple flavor
We round out this review with an excellent 60-day moneyback guarantee that they dutifully stand by. The recommended dosages are about one serving per day, meaning that this will last you well over one month if you use it as directed. Of course, you need rest days, so you will not be working out every day.
There are quite a few options for pre-workout supplements on this list, however, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t try Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train Pre-Train powder. Although it does not have quite the longevity of the other companies on this list (having started in 2013), the ingredients contained therein undoubtedly enhance your workouts. Additionally, because it lacks the characteristic giant dose of caffeine that’s often used as a stimulant by other pre-workouts, you want an experience that discombobulates and generates energy – as if you’ve had 3 cups of morning coffee. Since there is no post-consumption crash, your energy will be done after your workout has concluded.
One of the things that we like about Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train powder is that it helps our concentration and focus during a weightlifting or running section. Much like some of the newer supplements on the market, it speeds up your blood flow to get the essential oxygen to the necessary muscle sites. This in turn will lead to significantly-attenuated muscle fatigue post workout, which also means you will be able to get back into the gym sooner to accomplish your long-term fitness goals. As you might’ve expected, Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train is highly sought after by professional athletes. Let’s take a look at the primary ingredients:
- BCAA L-arginine
- KSM-66 Ashwagandha
- Citrulline malate
- Betaine anhydrous
- Vitamin C
- EnXtra Caffeine Booster (trademark)
Of special interest to you bodybuilders and weightlifters, Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train powder also contains the whey protein that is essential to packing on muscle mass. In conjunction with this comes the branched chain amino acid profile that minimizes or even eliminates muscle cramping from the workout. You can even choose between three flavors; one of which – the Green Apple – does not have the trademark caffeine booster.
- Green Apple (no EnXtra Caffeine Booster)
- Blue Raspberry
- Fruit Punch
Now we have the price comparison section, and we think you’ll especially like the cost savings available with Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train powder. Every one of the vibrantly yellow containers contains 20 scoops, and will cost you $39.99. Subscription programs are all the rage these days, and they offer one which will enact savings to the tune of $31.99 per container. You can have them delivered as often as you like.
This simply-named pre-workout supplement is one of the best on the market, and as such is gathering some serious steam. You can expect it to infuse your system with the focus and vibrant energy that leads to elevated endurance for your workouts. It is made for both women and men as an alternative to the high-intensity pre-workouts that keep you feeling jittery long after your workout is finished. As such, PRE is marketed as an intermediate stimulant; providing laser focus and sustained moderate energy that doesn’t leave you drained in the post workout crash.
The beauty of this is that you can always simply add a scoop to your drink if you want that elevated action for an especially intense workout. If you’re looking to exceed any recent plateaus in your workout regimen, then PRE is the way to go. It is backed by science and the results of several medical trials and is reliably marketed to improve the following:
- Maximum Potency
- Vibrant Focus and Energy
- Maximize Efficiency in Workouts
- Burst through Plateaus
- Elevated Endurance
Customer reviews show that the Blue Sky PRE option is one of the most flavorful pre-workout supplements that they’ve ever imbibed. The price is competitive, too, at $30.00 per container – which comes in black and a vibrant gold. There are 30 servings per container.
An Assessment of Pre Workout Supplement Ingredients
Although most pre-workout supplements possess similar ingredients, the differences between their overall content can mean a lot depending on your desired goals. For example, caffeine is a popular ingredient and is used as a stimulant; however, it’s not always the best one for those who consistently workout in the evening after work. As such, it might be better to grab a pre-workout powder that has a non-caffeinated stimulant that won’t adversely affect your sleep schedule.
In the following, we aim to provide you with a topical but informative understanding of some of the most common ingredients in the pre-workouts listed above. Be sure to read the labels yourself so you can take an account of the full spectrum of ingredients, nonetheless. And now we get to the ingredients – all of which are scientifically-backed:
As stated earlier, caffeine is a very common ingredient that is employed in pre-workout powders for its capacity to stimulate your body in several ways. In particular, it is known to improve your memory, elevate your mental alertness and provide you with extra energy to power through workout or exercise routine. It’s when you check the medical research literature, you even find some studies which show that caffeine can also help burn body fat. It’s an excellent stimulant; however, depending on the dosage in the particular pre-workout supplement you choose, you may want to restrict your usage to moderate amounts if you workout in the late afternoon to early evening.
If you workout regularly, then you’ve almost certainly heard of nitric oxide. It is a naturally-occurring chemical compound that your body actually produces in small quantities; its purpose is to make your blood vessels more pliable, which then encourages blood flow. When nitric oxide is included in pre-workout supplements, it will elevate the oxygen to nutrients that are deposited into your muscles via blood flow.
Specifically, these are called nitric oxide precursors added to pre-workouts. Some of the actual substances that increase the production of nitric oxide include L-arginine, L-citrulline and beetroot juice. The end result of taking these will be a noticeably increased muscular performance. For four disclosures, one of the ingredients mentioned above – L-arginine-gets broken down by your stomach juices and does not actually make it into your bloodstream; hence, although it does increase the presence of nitric oxide in your system, it will not improve your workout immediately. The positive benefits come later. In the case of L-citrulline, however, it improves it right away.
Another very common ingredient in the best pre-workout supplements is the branched chain amino acid known as beta-alanine. The chief attribute that it confers is the prevention of lactic acid – which, as you well know, is the acid responsible for inducing fatigue in your muscles. This has awesome effects: now you can workout for longer, continually taxing the muscles so that they grow back stronger and more powerful during your post workout rest phase. One of the “side effects” of beta-alanine’s activity is the sensation of tingling in your muscles; this is not at all harmful so there’s no need to worry about it. If the tingling is significant, then you simply decrease the amount of pre-workout that you use that contains beta-alanine.
All-in-all, you will find a variety of ingredients that are not listed here. Take care, in particular, of the denotation “proprietary blend”; this often entails that there are very small doses of useful ingredients contained. The doses are often so small as to be largely irrelevant – but companies will put them there anyway to make their products seem more robust than the competition. You can’t go wrong with the pre-workout supplements on this list; try them on for size to see which one works best for you.
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely substitutes for sound medical or financial advice from a licensed healthcare provider or certified financial advisor. Make sure to consult with a professional physician or financial consultant before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed as the statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA, or Health Canada approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and do not provide any kind of get-rich money scheme. Reviewer is not responsible for pricing inaccuracies. Check product sales page for final prices.