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- Best flavors: Legion Pulse
- Best value: BPN Endopump
- Best vegan: Do Vitamins Pure Pump
- Best natural flavors: Pre-Kaged by Kaged Muscle
- Best stim-free: PEScience High Volume
In general, pre-workout supplements provide specific compounds and nutrients that serve to enhance your workout results.
These range from stimulants for improved energy levels to other agents that improve blood flow to working muscles, which are also referred to as pump products.
The products on this list were selected based on the following criteria:
- proper dosing of active ingredients
- third-party testing
Here are the 6 best pre-workouts for pump.
Pump products use a combination of ingredients that increase nitric oxide production in the body, which can dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to working muscles.
In theory, this can translate to increased exercise performance.
While some research on the efficacy of these ingredients exists, more research is required to determine the long-term effects of pump products on sports performance.
Some supplement companies choose to have their products tested by an outside laboratory to ensure that they’re void of contaminants and banned substances.
This is referred to as third-party testing.
Its best practice to purchase supplements that have been third-party tested, as these laboratories provide an unbiased assessment, helping you avoid exposure to potentially harmful or banned substances, especially if you’re a drug-tested athlete.
These third-party testing labs also ensure that the labeling aligns with the actual product.
While Healthline tries to only recommend third-party-tested products, there aren’t many on the market for pre-workout supplements.
If third-party testing is unavailable for a product you’re interested in, research the company to see whether it provides other measures of quality assurance.
Legion Pulse provides a unique blend of pump-producing ingredients, which includes L-citrulline and betaine in research-backed doses of 8 grams and 2.5 grams, respectively.
This pre-workout is available either with or without caffeine, allowing users who are caffeine sensitive to skip it, while still yielding the other benefits.
The caffeinated version also contains L-theanine, which may help reduce the jittery feeling some experience upon consuming caffeine (
In addition, Pulse is third-party tested by Labdoor and ranked number one in the company’s pre-workout category.
As a bonus, Pulse contains alpha-GPC, a known brain enhancer to keep you mentally engaged during workouts (
With 11 flavors to choose from, Pulse provides the most flavors of all the pump products reviewed here.
Bare Performance Nutrition’s Endopump is a pre-workout pump enhancer designed to increase nitric oxide production. In turn, this may increase blood and oxygen flow to working muscles.
The active ingredients include L-citrulline, betaine nitrate, and hydrolyzed casein tripeptides.
Betaine nitrate is simply betaine paired with a nitrate molecule to provide additional pump benefits, though no data suggests this form is better.
Meanwhile, hydrolyzed casein tripeptides are said to increase blood flow to muscles, though high quality human data is lacking.
What’s more, Endopump is third-party tested by the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG).
With three flavors to choose from, Endopump provides some variety, ensuring you don’t get tired of the taste.
Do Vitamins Pure Pump provides two science-based pump ingredients, including L-citrulline and L-arginine, as well as several other well-studied pre-workout ingredients, such as creatine, beta-alanine, and L-carnitine.
This pre-workout also contains 200 mg of caffeine sourced from green tea leaf extract, adding an extra energy boost to help you power through your workouts.
What’s more, this pre-workout is certified vegan, making it a suitable option for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
To preserve purity, Pure Pump comes unflavored and can be added to your drink of choice.
Lastly, Pure Pump is third-party tested by Labdoor, ensuring safety and purity.
Best natural flavors
Pre-Kaged contains a blend of common pre-workout ingredients aimed to enhance your focus, pump, and stamina in the gym.
These include 6.5 grams of L- citrulline, 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, 2.5 grams of betaine anhydrous, 1.5 grams of creatine HCL, and 274 mg of caffeine.
Betaine anhydrous is the pure form of betaine with anhydrous meaning without water.
Creatine is a well-studied sports supplement that has been shown to increase high intensity exercise performance (
Creatine HCL is creatine bound by hydrochloric acid in an effort to improve its absorption, although data on its superiority is lacking.
Plus, this supplement is third-party verified by Informed Choice, making it a viable option for those who must adhere to strict supplement protocols.
With seven flavors to choose from, Pre-Kaged will keep your taste buds satisfied.
PEScience’s High Volume is a stimulant-free pump product that includes well-researched ingredients known to increase nitric oxide levels and blood flow to muscles.
The main pump ingredients include 4 grams of L-citrulline and 2 grams of arginine nitrate.
L-citrulline serves as a precursor to arginine. As such, when these ingredients are combined, they equal the 6–8-gram science-based dose (
In addition to these classic pump ingredients, it also contains agmatine sulfate, which is a metabolite of arginine that may improve cognition, though human data is lacking (7,
While High Volume’s ingredients come from high quality sources, it’s not third-party tested. Thus, it may not be the best option for certain athletes.
That said, it’s manufactured in a current Good Manufacturing Process (cGMP) facility, meaning it meets the minimum manufacturing standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (
High Volume comes in seven flavors, providing a different taste experience each time you open a new container.
With endless pre-workouts on the market, it can be a daunting task to choose the one that’s best for you.
First, decide if you prefer a pre-workout with or without caffeine, as some brands make two versions.
Next, determine whether the ingredients are present in the proper ratios by referring to the chart above.
Lastly, check the label to see whether the product is third-party tested, which ensures that it’s free of contaminants and banned substances.
Another indicator of quality is whether the product is manufactured in a cGMP-approved facility, which means that it follows standards established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Two other potential factors you may consider are cost per serving and available flavors, though this depends on your budget and taste preferences.
While pre-workouts are generally safe for most people, some populations should exhibit caution to avoid potential adverse effects.
Pre-workouts commonly carry a warning label stating that the product should only be consumed by healthy individuals 18 years old and older.
This is mainly due to their high caffeine content, though caffeine-free options are available.
Some populations for which they may not be suitable include children under the age of 18, those with heart conditions, people who are sensitive to caffeine, and those who are pregnant or nursing.
Keep in mind that there’s little information on the long-term effects of using pump products. They’re meant to be used short term.
Also, always consult your healthcare provider before beginning a new supplement routine.
Pump-focused pre-workout supplements contain a blend of ingredients meant to stimulate increased blood and oxygen flow to working muscles during exercise.
The main ingredients to look for include L-citrulline, arginine, and betaine in research-backed doses of 6–8 grams, 3–6 grams, and 2.5 grams, respectively.
When choosing a pre-workout, it’s best to find one that’s third-party tested, as this ensures the product is void of contaminants and banned substances.
Lastly, it’s important to exhibit caution when taking pre-workouts, as some populations may experience adverse reactions, such as children under 18 and those with heart conditions.