If you are looking for the best pre-workout, you are at the right place. Over the years, I have reviewed lots of pre-workout supplements here on muscles.zone. Note that only part of these are reviews based on personal experience, while the majority of them are based on supplement facts. We see new pre-workout supplements hit the market, almost daily and because of this, it’s simply impossible for me to test them all. However, it is still possible to get a good idea of what to expect based on supplement facts.
With that being said, what is the best pre-workout supplement on the market? Unfortunately, there is no single correct answer to this question. There are lots of angels to take into consideration, but in this post, I will do my very best to provide a detailed answer which hopefully can get you in the right direction of finding the best pre-workout supplement – for you.
Currently, of all the PWO’s I have tested, I think PreSeriesBULK Pre-Workout (my review) from Transparent Labs is the number one best pre-workout. You can purchase it here directly from their site. Pre Jym (my review) is another very popular choice, loved by readers of both bodybuilding.com and supplementreviews.com. MesoMorph (my review) from APS and SP250 (my review) from Gaspari are also solid options! You can purchase MesoMorph here Read more about these energy boosting supplements below, along with other solid alternatives here and SP250 here.
What is the Best Pre-Workout – For You?
Before I continue to the details of this question, keep in mind that there are lots of different type of pre-workout supplements. Years ago, this would have been an easy question to answer, simply because the amount of pre-workout supplements sold, was very limited. This is not the case today. Today, you can get pre-workout supplements as pills and powder, with and without stimulants, with prop. blends and without, cheap and expensive, with and without creatine, etc. The list goes on and on. There are lots of options, and before you can determine what the best pre-workout supplement is, you need to consider what you are looking for.
Key Questions to Ask Yourself
Although there are many aspects that should be taken into consideration when trying to determine what the best pre-workout supplement is, I think the below-listed questions are especially important. Try to answer these questions, before you make your first pre-workout purchase.
When do you usually workout?
This is important because lots of pre-workout supplements are stuffed with stimulants. So if you usually hit the gym in the evening, you should probably be looking for stimulant free pre-workout supplements. Taking a lot of stimulants in the evening can make it very difficult to fall asleep.
Pre-Workout Pill or Powder
Normally I prefer my pre-workout in form of powder, but if you workout in the evening, a shake might equate to late night bathroom visits. For the younger crowd, this isn’t an issue but it tends to become one, with age. Another aspect to keep in mind is that a pill version is likely to kick in harder compared to a shake, since a shake is consumed over a small period of time. With a pill you get everything at once. Finally, it can be difficult to cramp everything inside a pill meaning that you often get small dosages or a very large pill.
With or without Creatine
Do you already supplement with creatine, then there is probably no point in paying more for pre-workout supplements containing creatine. First of all, the dosing of creatine in pre-workout supplements tend to be low (too low for it to have any proper impact) and secondly, they tend to use “designer creatine” over creatine monohydrate, with no scientific studies to back the claims. Some people might also prefer to avoid creatine altogether if say you are looking to drop weight. If you want more information on creatine and all the modern creatine monohydrate alternatives, you can read more about it in this post: Creatine.
Supplement Facts – 100% Disclosed or Prop. Blends
Is it important to you, that you know exactly what you get and how much you get? Then you need to go for supplements with 100% disclosed supplement facts. Unfortunately, lots of companies still hide the supplement facts behind prop. blends. Personally, I prefer to see everything disclosed, but wanting to test new and novel pre-workout supplements makes this a challenge. You can read more about the use of prop. blends here.
Energy, Pump or Focus – or a combination?
This is probably the most central question you can ask yourself, before getting a pre-workout supplement. What exactly do you need and expect from a PWO? Pre-Workout supplements tend to be split into one of the following four categories (although we do see more and more Niche based Pre-workout supplements);
- A combination of them
Personally, I prefer to get a mix of all elements and luckily for me, this is how most preworkout supplements have been developed. There are however, a number of alternatives that solely focus on one of the three above mentioned aspects.
DMAA, DMBA, DMHA & Eria Jarensis Extract
Top rated pre-workout supplements tend to contain one of these four substances: DMAA, DMBA, DMHA or Eria Jarensis Extract. You need to make up your mind if you are ready to take this route. These substances will give you a heavy energy and focus boost; some love it but some will surely find this too heavy on the stim side of things. Also keep in mind that these substances are grey zone stuff, with regards to legality. There is also lack of scientific studies, so we don’t really know much about any potential side-effects from long-term use.
Supplement Manufacture Reputation
You should always check up on the history of the supplement manufacturers who’s brand you are looking to purchase. There have been lots of cases throughout the years with various supplement manufacturers not telling the truth. The first (and probably most recent) that comes to mind is Craze from Driven Sports. When Craze was discontinued, Driven Sports released a new Pre-workout named Frenzy. Based on the whole Craze story, I would be very leery giving frenzy a go. There are more stories like this, so make sure to check up on the background before you purchase any supplements.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some pre-workout supplements. Below, you will find my personal take on the best pre-workout along with ratings from other sites. Keep in mind that all of these rankings change over time as we continue to see new supplements, more reviews and changed opinions. Here goes:
Best Pre Workout – My Personal Favorite
https://widerun.com/preseries-bulk-pre-workout-from-transparent-labs-review/I actually discovered this new pre-workout supplement just a couple of months ago, and this immediately became my absolute favorite pre workout. The name of this supplement is PreSeries BULK Pre-Workout and the company behind it is TransparentLabs. It comes with 100% disclosed supplement facts, and substances at clinically proven dosages. It is a high-powered energy, focus and pump enhancing preworkout, with no DMAA, DMBA, DMHA or Eria Jarensis Extract. The taste is delicious; it mixes perfectly and it works wonders! Another posetive aspect is that there is no creatine in PreSeriesBULK Pre-workout. The flipside is the price which is in the higher end of the range. If price isnt an issue, you should give this pre-workout a go. It’s nothing short of amazing. You can read my full review here
Best Selling Pre-Workout on Bodybuilding.com
Over at bodybuilding.com, the top rated pre-workout supplement based on sales is Pre Jym from Jym Supplement Science. This is another top notch pre-workout supplement, and just like PreSeriesBULK, Pre JYM also comes with completely transparent supplement facts and clinically proven dosages. There is also no DMAA, DMBA, DMHA or Eria Jarensis Extract in Pre JYM which is a plus in my book. Pre-JYM is a pump and energy based preworkout that also contains Creatine Hydrochloride. The price for a jar of Pre Jym is also in the higher end of the range, but you get what you pay for; a top notch, tried and tested preworkout supplement, currently listed as a best seller on bodybuilding.com. You can read my full review, here.
Bodybuilding.com also allows us to sort based on highest rating, but this list doesn’t give a true reflection of this, in that a supplement with one review of 10 ranks higher than a supplement with a rank of 9.9 based on 100 reviews. As an example, Pre-Gro Max from iSatori is currently ranking number one based on one review with a rating of 10, whereas MuscleBuilder from MuscleTech is further down on the list with a rank of 9.8 based on 114 reviews.
The complete top 10 list from bodybuilding.com reads the following:
- 1: JYM PRE JYM
- 2: CELLUCOR C4
- 3: EVLUTION NUTRITION ENGN
- 4: COBRA LABS THE CURSE
- 5: MUSCLEPHARM ASSAULT
- 6: KAGED MUSCLE PRE-KAGED
- 7: PRO SUPPS MR. HYDE
- 8: GAT NITRAFLEX
- 9: BSN N.O.-XPLODE
- 10: OPTIMUM NUTRITION GOLD STANDARD PRE-WORKOUT
Best Pre-Workout on SupplementReviews.com
SupplementReviews.com is probably the largest and most popular site for supplement reviews, and in my opinion, more trustworthy than bodybuilding.com. The reviews you will find here are much more detailed. Note that on supplementreviews.com, we have pre-workout ratings based on:
Pre-Workout (a combination of all three)
Best Rated Pre-Workout on SupplementReviews.com
Overall, as the best pre-workout, we have Pre Jym, just like on bodybuilding.com. This is also the best rated preworkout in the stimulant category. This should be proof enough – Pre Jym is a very solid choice, if you are looking for the brilliant preworkout supplement.
Best Rated Pump Pre-Workout on SupplementReviews.com
In the pump based category, the highest ranked Preworkout is Noxivol from CTD Sports. This is definitely a pump based preworkout with no stimulants, and a solid choice for those of you doing evening workouts. You can read my full review of Noxivol here.
Best Rated Stimulant Free Pre-Workout on SupplementReviews.com
Finally, we have the Stimulant Free Pre-Workout category, with the highest rated supplement being Muscle Up from AP Athletics. This is actually the first time I have seen this preworkout, so you won’t find any review here on muscles.zone (for now). From a quick look the supplement facts on Muscle Up, it contains a combination of Pump and focus (enhanced cognition) enhancing substances, along with some creatine and betaine. This is partially based on a prop. blend. It contains L-Theanine which is my new personal favorite substance. It does, however, seem to work much better with caffeine, which is not used in Muscle Up. I am not a fan of the creatine nor the prop. blend, but besides from this, it looks like an interesting stimulant free pre-workout.
The complete list of the top ten best pre workout supplements looks like this:
- 1: Pre Jym (Jym)
- 2: Fully Loaded AMPlified Energy Edition (LGI Supplements)
- 3: Pre Gro (iSatori)
- 4: Pumped Raw (Muscle Feast)
- 5: ION – Multi-Phase Pre-Workout (Performix)
- 6: Yeah Buddy (Ronnie Coleman Signature Series)
- 7: Fully Loaded (LGI Supplements)
- 8: Razor 8 Blast Powder (AllMax)
- 9: Pre-Kaged (Kaged Muscle)
- 10: Ritual (ANS Performance)
Best Rated Pre-Workout on labdoor.com
Another site I really like is labdoor.com. They run very thorough tests of different supplements. With actual lab tests, they compare details stated on supplement facts vs. what is actually found in the product. They rate pre-workouts based on the following criteria;
One thing to keep in mind with labdoor, is that the quality of the tests is high, but the amount of different supplements tested is low (compared to the two mentioned above, at least). They continue to add more and more supplements, but for the time being, they have only tested a fraction of what has been reviewed on bodybuilding.com and supplementreviews.com.
With that being said, the best rated pre-workout supplement on labdoor is Pulse from Legion. This is a pump and heavy based stimulant pre-workout formula with a whopping 350 mg of caffeine (and the same amount of L-Theanine). This is a bit too much for my personal taste, but combined with L-Theanine, it might not give you as must jittery as you could expect. With that being said, the 350 mg L-Theanine is also a high level, compared to what we usually see in other pre-workout supplements. The supplement facts are fully disclosed, substances are used at clinically proven dosages and Labdoor believes this is your best choice when it comes to pre-workout supplements. It does, however, come with a heavy price tag.
The complete top 10 list of the best PWO’s from Labdoor reads the following:
- 1: Legion Puls
- 2: Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-Workout
- 3: Vintage Blast
- 4: Citadel Nutrition Tier 1
- 5: Sheer Strength Pre-Workout
- 6: MyProtein MyPre Pre-Workout
- 7: Evlution Nutrition ENGN
- 8: Top Secret Nutrition Pump Igniter
- 9: Ubervita ROCT Workout Ignitor
- 10: Six Star Pro Nutrition Pre-Workout N.O. Fury
Best Pre-workout According to The PricePlow Team
The guys over at priceplow have tested and reviewed a wide range of different preworkout supplements, and done so in a detailed manner you won’t see anywhere else on the web. The list is up to date and split into the following different categories;
- High-Energy Pre Workouts with DMAA: APS Mesomorph
- High-Energy Pre Workouts without 1,3: Gaspari Nutrition SP250
- Focus Pre Workouts with DMAA: APS Mesomorph
- Best pre workout supplements for focus without 1,3: Myokem Nitramine
- VALUE-based Pre Workout Supplements: Top Secret Nutrition Pump Igniter
- Best PUMP Pre Workouts: NutraBio PRE-Extreme
- Caffeine <= 200mg: Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK
- 200mg < Caffeine < 300mg: Magnum Nutraceuticals LIMITLESS
- Caffeine >= 300mg: APS Mesomorph
- The Best Pre Workout Pills (with stims)
- – Energy Pills with DMAA: Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Stimerex Hardcore
- – Energy Pills without DMAA: Magnum Nutraceuticals Rocket Science
- Best RTD (Ready-to-Drink) Pre Workout Bottles: Pro Supps Mr. Hyde RTD
- Stimulant Free:
- – Stimulant-Free Pre Workout Pump Powders: USPLabs MaxREPS
- – Stimulant-Free Focus Powders: Transparent Labs PreSeries STIM-FREE
- – Stimulant-Free Pre Workout Powder DEALS: 360CUT 360PUMP
- – Stimulant-Free Pre Workout Pills: Olympus Labs Hydro3
They also have a top 10 list of the best pre-workout supplements that currently contains the following:
- 10: Jacked Factory ALTIUS / Momentum Catalyst
- 9: ANS RITUAL
- 8: Off the Chain by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals
- 7: Muscle Elements PreCre
- 6: Myokem Nitramine
- 5: Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK
- 4: Magnum Nutraceuticals LIMITLESS
- 3: NutraBio Pre-Extreme
- 2: Olympus Labs CONQU3R Unleashed
- 1: APS Mesomorph
A massive list with something for everyone! I won’t go into details with all the different preworkouts here as you can read the whole thing in right here. The short version is, they have MesoMorph from APS listed as the number one best pre-workout supplement. If you don’t mind the DMAA and prop. blend and enjoy a high powered energy supplement, this is for you. You can read my full review here.
Top Rated Pre-Workout – bestworkoutsupplementsblog.com
The guys over at BestWorkoutSupplementBlog.com also posted a top 10 list of what they think are the best pre-workout supplements on the market. The number one best rated pre-workout according to them is, PreSeriesBULK Pre-Workout from TransparentLabs; the very same supplement I have listed as the best-rated PWO here on muscles.zone as well. Below is the complete top ten as posted over at BestWorkoutSupplementsBlog.com:
- 10: Arnold Iron Pump
- 9: Pro Supps Mr. Hyde Pre-Workout Supplement
- 8: Cellucor C4 Extreme
- 7: Cellucor C4 Neuro (New)
- 6: Isatori Pre-Gro – Muscle Growth PWO
- 5: Musclepharm Wreckage
- 4: Musclepharm Assault
- 3: JYM- Pre Jym Pre Workout
- 2: Betancourt Bullnox (B-NOX) Pre Workout Powder
- 1: Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK – The Worlds Best Pre Workout
You can read the full post right here.
This sums up the list for now. I do however, plan on updating this on a regular basis when new pre-workout supplements enter any of the above mentioned top ten lists.
Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts. What is your favorite pre-workout supplement? Do you think something is missing from the list, then let me know and I will get started on a user-generated top ten list of the best pre-workout supplements.