BPN Endopump, Do Vitamins Pure Pump, and Legion Pulse pre-workout supplements for pumpShare on Pinterest
Product Review, Protein, workout

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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.

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.

The top three ingredients found in pump-focused pre-workouts, as well their researched doses, are as follows (1, 2, 3):

IngredientDose
L-citrulline6–8 grams
L-arginine3–6 grams
betaine2.5 grams

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.

It’s 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.

The products on this list were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Proper dosing of active ingredients. We looked for pre-workouts with research-backed doses of L-citrulline, L-arginine, and betaine.
  • Third-party testing. Whenever possible, we’ve included products that are third-party tested for quality.
  • Price. We included a range of options to suit a variety of budgets.
  • Customer reviews. We scoured reviews to learn how customers feel about each product’s flavors and effectiveness.
  • Taste. We looked for pre-workouts that come in multiple well-liked flavors so you can find your favorite or switch things up.
  • Vetting. The pre-workout supplements on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Here are the five best pre-workouts for pump.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable for many people, whereas two dollar signs indicate a higher price range for many people.

Generally, prices range from $1.36–$2.25 per serving, or $34.99–$44.99 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under or at $1.50 per serving
  • $$ = over $1.50 per serving

Best for energy and focus

Legion Pulse

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: L-citrulline-malate, betaine, beta-alanine, L-theanine, alpha-GPC, caffeine (caffeine-free versions of some flavors are also available)
  • Flavors: Grape, Blood Orange, Apple Cider, Arctic Blast, Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Tropical Punch

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.

Several flavors of this pre-workout are 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 improve focus and reduce the jittery feeling some experience upon consuming caffeine (4).

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, which may enhance cognitive performance, to keep you mentally engaged during workouts (5).

Users report feeling mentally focused and full of energy during workouts without the jitteriness often experienced with some pre-workouts.

With eight flavors to choose from, Pulse provides the most flavors of all the pump products reviewed here.

Pros

  • extensive flavor selection
  • research-backed and properly dosed ingredients
  • third-party tested
  • no proprietary blends

Cons

  • more expensive than other options
  • some users report slight bitterness

Best tasting

BPN Endopump

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: L-citrulline, betaine nitrate, hydrolyzed casein tripeptides
  • Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Blackberry Lemonade, Sour Watermelon

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, but high quality human data is lacking.

This product is stimulant-free. so it’s a good option for those looking for a pump-enhancing product without the energy jolt.

Users report an excellent taste and noticeably increased blood flow to muscles during intense workouts.

What’s more, Endopump is third-party tested by the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) and verified by Informed Choice.

Endopump is available in three different flavors.

Pros

  • no proprietary blends
  • stimulant-free
  • third-party tested

Cons

  • doses of active ingredients are low compared with other products

Best vegan

Do Vitamins Pure Pump

  • Price: $
  • Key ingredients: L-citrulline, L-arginine, creatine, beta-alanine, L-carnitine, caffeine
  • Flavors: Unflavored, Lemon

Do Vitamins Pure Pump provides two common pump ingredients, 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.

Pure Pump is certified vegan, making it a suitable option for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

It’s also third-party tested by Labdoor to ensure safety and purity.

Pure Pump comes in two flavors: unflavored and lemon. Reviewers appreciate the fact that the unflavored version can be added to a drink of choice.

Pros

  • budget-friendly
  • includes a number of research-backed ingredients
  • no proprietary blends

Cons

  • only available in two flavors
  • active ingredients are slightly under-dosed based on available research

Best natural flavors

Pre-Kaged by Kaged Muscle

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: L-citrulline, betaine, beta-alanine, creatine, caffeine
  • Flavors: Berry Blast, Fruit Punch, Grape, Krisp Apple, Orange Krush, Pink Lemonade, Cherry Bomb

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. (The term anhydrous means it doesn’t contain any water.)

Creatine is a well-studied sports supplement that has been shown to increase high intensity exercise performance (6). Creatine HCL is creatine bound by hydrochloric acid in an effort to improve its absorption, although data on its superiority is lacking.

Pre-Kaged also includes powdered coconut water and a blend of antioxidants that may aid with hydration and recovery, but more research is needed.

Plus, this supplement is third-party verified by Informed Choice, making it a viable option for those who must adhere to strict supplement protocols.

The majority of reviews give Pre-Kaged 5-star ratings, and it’s well-liked in the fitness community.

With seven flavors to choose from, Pre-Kaged makes it easier to switch things up if you get tired of one of the flavors.

Pros

  • good flavor selection
  • includes other ingredients like coconut water and antioxidants that may help with hydration and recovery
  • most active ingredients are properly dosed

Cons

  • more expensive than other options
  • more research is needed to confirm the benefits of the added coconut water and antioxidants

Best stim-free

PEScience High Volume

  • Price: $$
  • Key ingredients: L-citrulline, arginine nitrate
  • Flavors: Blue Frost, Cotton Candy, Melon Berry Twist, Paradise Cooler, Raspberry Lemonade, Sour Green Apple, Sour Peach Candy, Strawberry Kiwi

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 (1).

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, 8).

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) (9).

High Volume has over 1,300 5-star Amazon reviews, and users report a feeling of improved muscle-fullness and contraction during workouts.

This pre-workout comes in eight flavors.

For those who want a stimulant-containing pre-workout, PEScience makes a similar product that contains caffeine.

Pros

  • caffeine-free for people who prefer a stim-free option
  • wide flavor selection to choose from

Cons

  • not third-party tested
  • only 18 servings per 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.

Useful supplement shopping guides

Check out these two articles to help make supplement shopping a breeze:

Price per servingKey ingredientsFlavorsThird-party tested
Legion Pulse$$• L-citrulline-malate, betaine, beta-alanine, L-theanine
• caffeine or caffeine-free
8yes
BPN Endopump$• L-citrulline, betaine nitrate, hydrolyzed casein tripeptides
• caffeine-free
3yes
Do Vitamins Pure Pump$• L-citrulline, L-arginine, creatine, beta-alanine, L-carnitine
• caffeine
2yes
Pre-Kaged by Kaged Muscle$$• L-citrulline, betaine, beta-alanine, creatine
• caffeine
7yes
PEScience High Volume$$• L-citrulline, arginine nitrate, agmatine sulfate
• caffeine-free
8no

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.

Does pre-workout make a difference?

Pre-workout supplements may help you get a little more out of your workouts, but they are most effective when combined with good nutrition, sleep, and exercise habits.

Before even considering taking a pre-workout, make sure other important aspects of your health are optimized. Even then, pre-workouts will most likely only have a minimal impact on your results.

Should you take pre-workout every day?

Traditionally, pre-workouts are designed to be taken on workout days to enhance adaptations from training. Therefore, it’s recommended you only consume them on days when you’ll be working out.

If you train most days of the week, you may only want to take a pre-workout before your most intense training sessions for an added energy boost.

What happens if you take pre-workout but don’t work out?

If your pre-workout contains caffeine and you take it but don’t work out afterward, you may feel quite restless or jittery.

Many pre-workouts contain around 200 mg of caffeine, which is about the same as what you’d get from drinking two cups of strong coffee.

While there would likely be no acute health effects, taking pre-workout without working out would be considered “off-label” use. Most manufacturers and experts do not recommend doing this.

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.