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If you want to pump up your workouts to give yourself an edge, you may be considering pre-workout supplement options. If you aren’t sure where to start your search or are feeling overwhelmed by an abundance of choices, we’ve got your back.
To help you make an informed decision, we read up on what customers had to say about some of the best pre-workout supplement products on the market, scanned ingredient labels, and considered the reputation of the company.
A bit of trial and error may be necessary as you choose which supplements work best for your individual preferences and workout goals, but the following options are a fantastic place to start.
- $ = between $10 to $15
- $$ = between $15 to $20
- $$$ = $20 and up
Key features: This product is composed of pure creatine monohydrate, which easily blends into a drink for fast absorption. It may help to boost your strength and energy levels, which helps to yield muscular gains. Plus, it may alleviate muscle soreness post-workout. Customers reported that it helped them to break beyond their plateaus.
Considerations: Some users described feeling bloated, anxious, or unable to sleep after taking this product. Itchy skin and digestive issues were also mentioned by a few consumers.
Key features: Free of creatine and sugar, this powder claims to give you the energy boost to push yourself physically and cut excess fat. It contains caffeine, CLA, and citrulline malate, which may work together to give you explosive strength and support lean muscle growth. Its beta-alanine content may cause you to experience a tingling sensation, but customers report that they don’t feel jittery or bloated.
Considerations: This product isn’t ideal for people with dairy or digestive sensitivities. Some consumers report that they find the taste unpleasant, so plan on mixing it with a flavorful beverage if you have a sensitive palate.
Key features: This supplement contains BCAA amino acids, caffeine, and L-citrulline. Ideal for challenging workouts, it claims to improve your strength, endurance, and focus. It may help to speed up your recovery time, so you’ll feel less sore afterward. It’s an excellent choice for people who want to do a fasted workout or extend an intermittent fasting period.
Considerations: This product may cause you to feel lightheaded, and one customer reported that they experienced gas and bloating. Make sure you’re not exceeding the daily recommended dose for caffeine if you have other caffeinated beverages throughout the day.
Key features: Boasting excellent value for money, this product claims to bring your energy up and boosts concentration levels. You may be able to push yourself to do a few more reps or sets when weightlifting. It also may help to delay muscle fatigue and prevent muscle soreness. Free of flavor, you can use it on its own or add it to your pre-workout blend.
Considerations: You’ll feel it working and may experience an itchy or tingly sensation on your skin and ears, though some people find this feeling irritating or uncomfortable. If you live in a humid climate, add a few silica gel packets to the canister to prevent clumping.
Key features: If you want a supplement that will give you more stamina for an intense cardio or weightlifting workout, this product is an excellent option. It’s designed to energize your workouts, prevent muscle fatigue, and improve recovery time. Some users report it increases vascularity and endurance.
Considerations: Some consumers report stomach cramps and abdominal discomfort after taking this product. Though it’s listed as unflavored, the sour taste powder makes it ideal to mix into water or fruit beverages, but it won’t go unnoticed in a drink such as coffee.
Key features: This supplement comes in capsule form, which is handy when you’re on the go and looking to improve your endurance. It claims to give you an energy boost during workouts, while helping you to stay hydrated and balancing your electrolyte levels. Plus, it may help to support a speedy recovery.
Considerations: Pay attention to how your stomach reacts when you take this product since it can cause intestinal discomfort. Use a lower dose if this occurs.
Key features: This vegan BCAA supplement is packed with natural ingredients that claim to support your workout and improve recovery time. This supplement may help to reduce stress and cravings, especially if you tend to eat a lot when you’re feeling strained or anxious. This product is ideal for you if you want to do a fasted workout or lengthen your intermittent fast.
Considerations: It’s free of the artificial sweetener sucralose, and customers report a delicious taste. But it does contain stevia, which may not strike your fancy. Some users report an unpleasant, chalky taste.
Key features: Available in convenient capsule form, this product contains organic beetroot powder and black pepper. These ingredients may help to boost your performance, reduce fatigue, and normalize blood pressure levels. It’s an excellent choice when you’re feeling too tired to work out and need a bit of a boost. Users report that it provides energy without the dreaded crash.
Considerations: A few consumers reported digestive issues after taking this supplement. Start with a small dose if you have a sensitive stomach.
Price ranges can vary depending on the amount of product, dosage, and ingredients. Prepare to pay more for products labeled as organic or non-toxic, but understand you’ll be getting a product that is more natural and high-quality.
Read the ingredients label carefully, especially if you have any allergies or health concerns. If you’re buying a propriety blend, find a company that discloses the exact amounts of each ingredient.
Buy from a trusted brand
Buy from a brand you trust that’s available to answer any questions and provide specific information. A good company will be transparent in everything they do and will disclose all information readily. A reputable brand will use a third-party company to test their product and include the logo of this service on the bottle.
Choose a company that is fully transparent with all of their practices. Beware of any brand that promises unrealistic or exaggerated results. Find out where the product is manufactured since regulations and banned ingredients may vary between different countries.
Read reviews and get recs
Read product reviews on a few different sites to get a feel for the product. Create a balanced view after considering the highest and lowest rankings. Or get an expert opinion from your doctor or a fitness professional. They can give you a personalized recommendation based on your needs and goals.
Pre-workout supplements are usually safe for most people, but there are some safety considerations to keep in mind. Ingredients are the most important thing to consider, especially those that may interact with medications. Watch out for artificial sweeteners, excess caffeine, or other ingredients that may cause negative side effects.
Certain supplements may cause you to feel lightheaded, jittery, or anxious.
Additional side effects include:
- high blood pressure
- abdominal discomfort
- water retention
- mild reactions such as skin tingling or flushing
When you start taking a new supplement, begin with a small dosage and gradually increase the amount. Drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated. Use a journal to carefully note any side effects or reactions.
Keep in mind that pre-workout supplements can give you a boost of energy, but make sure you’re not using it in place of a healthy diet and lifestyle, which is the best way to support your workout plan.
Pre-workout supplements are a great way to increase your fitness, performance, and energy levels. Think about your nutritional needs and fitness goals as you narrow down your options.
Pay attention to the ingredient list and buy from a trustworthy, reputable brand that conducts third-party testing and is fully transparent in all of their practices.
Don’t rely on a supplement to take you through your workout or use it to push yourself beyond your limits. Couple a high-quality product with a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and adequate hydration. Give yourself time to recover between workouts and take time off when necessary.
Talk to your doctor before taking a pre-workout supplement if you are new to fitness or have any medical concerns.