Pre-workout is an incredible tool to use to help keep you amped up and ready to complete your workout; however, there are some that just don’t do the trick, causing disaster in your workout routine. For those that are workout fiends, but whose minds aren’t always on board, it’s highly suggested you invest in a fantastic pre-workout to keep the intensity of your workout going strong. In this article, we’ll talk about the factors you should consider before buying pre-workout, as well as tips for choosing the best pre-workout.

Now let’s take a look at some of the best pre workout supplements in 2018.

The Best Pre Workout Supplement 2018 Reviews

Pre-KagedBCAAs, Creatine HCI, L-citrulline
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-workoutL-citrulline, Beta Alanine
Cellucor C4Nitric Oxide, Creatine
Alpha GX7Citrulline, Beta Alanine
Legion PulseBeta Alanine
Vintage BlastNitric Oxide
ENGN ShredL-carnitine, Coleus Extract, Yohimbe, Capsimax
Pre-JymBeetroot Extract, Beta Alanine, Citrulline Malate, Creatine HCI
GAT NitraflexTestosterone Enhancing Effects
BSN EndorushNO3-T, Creatine Nitrate, Magnesium, Beta Alanine
NitrosurgeBeta Alanine, L-Citrulline, Betaine Anhydrous, Nitrous Oxide
ENGNNitric Oxide, Betaine Anhydrous, Agmatine Sulfate


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First on our list is a product from Kaged Muscle, and is made for those that want to maximize their focus, energy, and want the most intensity out of their experience. Want to supercharge your adrenaline? Make sure to use this product, which has 638 grams of creatine HCL, as well as L-citrulline. When coupled up together, this powder ensures that you’re going to boost your endurance to train even harder than before, as well as have some B12 within your pre-workout supplement.

The Advantages of the Product

  • L-citrulline ensures an increased blood flow, and ensures muscle pumps that are powerful because of the increase in your vascular blood flow
  • BCAA’s are rapidly dissolving – allows for faster mixing; 2:1:1 blend ratio
  • Highly absorbable thanks to the concentrated creatine HCL for increased muscle support

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Scoop size may feel/be too big for some
  • Might not work for everyone – very pre-workout is subjective to the user


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Next on our list is a fantastic product from Optimum Nutrition. In this large, 30-serving container, you’ll get a pre-workout that’s ready to amp you with caffeine, beta-alanine, and creatine. The flavor of this product is green apple, and the specifics of this product include: 175mg of naturally sourced caffeine, 1.5g of beta-alanine, and 3g of creatine. When you have naturally sourced ingredients, you won’t get amped up on a fake energy, causing you to not actually benefit from the product. Thankfully, you won’t have to deal with this, and you’ll be able to take the recipe that the pros use.

The Advantages of the Product

  • 1.5g of L-citrulline malate
  • Formula provides you with true strength, and is free of banned substances
  • Naturally sourced ingredients for the most real experience
  • Comes with beta-alanine in the recipe to ensure intramuscular buffering
  • Also has astraGIN and acetyl-L-carnitine HCI for a powerful formula

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Doesn’t work for everyone as specified
  • Might not be the flavor of your choice
  • Not as strong as others


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We have a product from Cellucor next on our list, and this product is one you’ll want to get your hands on now, as it’s being discontinued shortly after. Coming in an icy blue razz flavor, with the entire package coming jam-packed with 30 servings. If you want something that only takes small servings, but is jam-packed with premium ingredients, this may be the product for you.

The Advantages of the Product

  • Not your typical green apple or strawberry flavoring
  • Great for both men and women, doesn’t matter what your training level is
  • Premium ingredients like nitric oxide, creatine & more to help your workouts stay amped

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Once this product is sold, it’s gone – it’s been discontinued
  • Icy blue razz is a very acquired taste – literally; may not be your cup of tea (or pre-workout, we should say)
  • Not a larger scooper for this product
  • Product can make you itchier than other pre-workout products will


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This watermelon flavored pre-workout supplement is one that sells well. Thanks to over 3,000 honest reviews, we’re able to conclude that this is one of the better tasting watermelon products on the market, while amplifying your workout game. There are 30 servings within this container, as normal, and is one of the most powerful recipes on the market. Featuring 1500mg of citrulline, beta alanine, and others, you’ll have a huge boost within your workouts, and you won’t feel exhausted instantly. Immediate strength is coupled with this pre-workout supplement, and it will give you increased focus.

The Advantages of the Product

  • You’ll have better focus with this product
  • Better drive with this product, not exhausted as soon as you take
  • Work harder and increase the intensity of your workouts (safely) with this product

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Naturally, not all pre-workouts work for everyone
  • Only comes in watermelon for this product, but brand may sell other flavors


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Let’s say you’re looking for an all-natural product that’s going to boost your endurance, this highly praised product is one you should look towards. While it’s slightly more expensive than others, the quality of this product is supreme. The recipe of this pre-workout supplement is composed of many ingredients, including beta-alanine, but is free of creatine. The beta alanine inclusion helps improve the endurance of those that use.

The Advantages of the Product

  • This product is actually naturally sweetened and flavored – safe fruit punch concoction
  • Larger servings in this product, allowing you to get a ton without harming your body
  • Comes in a delicious fruit punch flavor
  • Used to boost endurance and energy

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Cost per serving is a little higher – fewer servings, as well, with only 21 in this container
  • Product is creatine-free, for those wondering, which may be good or bad depending on your style


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Do you want something that takes muscle formation back to the good ‘ole days? Forget all those news chemicals and dive into the first two-stage pre-workout supplement by Old School Lab’s. An Amazon Choice and well-priced for what you get, this well-created product is going to hype up even the un-hyperbole. Featuring 305 grams of powder in the blueberry lemonade flavor, you’ll get pumps of elevated No2 levels when you use this product, and it’s third-party tested for ultimate safety! Can be used for intense bodybuilding or another athletic event. Great for those that want something that won’t make them dependent off of the product. There are no proprietary blends within this product, either!

The Advantages of the Product

  • Third party tested to ensure safety
  • Created with only premium ingredients
  • Two-stage pre-workout supplement for the most precise regimen
  • For both men and women
  • Non-habit forming

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • There many not be people interested in a two-stage pre-workout supplement


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Manufactured by Evlution, this ENGN Shred pre-workout supplement powder is great for those that want to both lose weight and gain some muscles. For the price, you get a great number of servings – the standard, actually, and you’ll be able to focus much better, while having explosive energy and making use of an intense fat burner. Key ingredients include l-carnitine, coleus extract, Yohimbe bark extract, capsimax, and others. Known as a mind-to-muscle product, you’ll be able to focus, and your body will respond well to the workout.

The Advantages of the Product

  • A thermogenic fat burner
  • Great for both energizing, muscle building, and weight loss
  • 30 servings per container
  • Cheaper than others for a 30 serving container
  • Cherry limeade flavoring

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Not everyone will like this flavor
  • Not everyone will have a successful workout from this product


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Next on our list is a product from the JYM Supplement Science manufacturer, and is one that’s higher in price but well worth the purchase. Featuring beetroot extract, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and creatine HCI, in a rich refreshing melon flavor, you’ll be able to amp up your workouts without sacrificing taste.

The Advantages of the Product

  • Has beetroot extract
  • Branched-chain amino acids included for a source of energy that’s direct and amplifies your workout
  • Performance-enhancing ingredients like creatine HCI, and even beta-alanine, muscle fueling has never been easier!
  • Amplifies your stamina
  • Natural colors and sweeteners, nothing fake to irritate the body or disrupt the workout process

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Might not be the flavor of your choosing, but others are available
  • You might not like the beetroot extract, and some are allergic


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With this clinically tested product, you’ll be able to amplify your natural testosterone and have a much better workout than other products have let you have. When you amplify the natural substances or hormones within your body, you immediately have a much better workout, as it’s your body running and not artificial ingredients. Tested to ensure that you’re going to be able to bench press at least 5 to 10lbs more than you normally would within 2 weeks. Great for hyperemia enhancements, as well as testosterone.

The Advantages of the Product

  • Comes in a fruit-punch flavor
  • 300 grams in this container for a great price, cheaper than others
  • Testosterone enhancing for those that want something directed directly towards them
  • Creatine-free product, no bloating or water retention when consuming this product

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Marketed mainly towards males as a testosterone enhancing product – not directly for women, but can be used for women who body build and have a higher level of testosterone


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Some pre-workouts contain great amounts of creatine. If you want at least 3 grams of creatine in each one of your pre-workout scoops, then you’ll want to take a look at this BSN endorush product from BSN. This also features 300mg of caffeine in the entire product, and features a 4.5g pump of exclusive ingredient blend. This blend includes 3g of velox, a pump technology that’s patented by the brand. You’ll also see an ingredient list of 1g of No3-T, creatine nitrate, and 500m of calcium glycerophosphate, and magnesium.

The Advantages of the Product

  • Much lower price for the standard number of services within this product
  • Great watermelon flavor for those that want a basic flavor
  • Has creatine in this product (both natural and anhydrous, 300mg)
  • Features 1.6 grams of beta-alanine
  • Around 3 grams of creatine in every single scoop from this product!

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • Not everyone’s cup of tea
  • Some may want a different flavor – comes in banana, as well


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Next on our list is another great product from Jacked Factory, and is the nitrosurge product that provides an endless amount of energy, more strength than you’ve ever had before, and even intense pumps with better focus. A nitric oxide booster and an energy powder, you’ll be able to taste this cherry limeaide all the way to the end of a victorious workout. For a great price, you’ll receive 30 servings and laser focus.

The Advantages of the Product

  • 3.2g of beta-alanine
  • 4g of l-citrulline
  • 2.5g of betaine anhydrous for better muscle growth, powerful pumps, laser focus

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • These aforementioned amounts are per 2 scoops, not one like you would think


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Another product from Evlution, we couldn’t exclude this well-working pre-workout supplement. This product features endurance-filled ingredients such as betaine anhydrous, agmatine sulfate, and more. Supporting a better mood and focus, you’ll have better cognitive function, as well when using this product. You’ll also be able to delay fatigue and exhaustion mid-workout with this product, and it can wait until after you’re done getting the ultimate pump in. Dramatically increase the success of your workouts when using a pre-workout supplement as such.

The Advantages of the Product

  • Pikatropin-free, top nitric oxide pre-workout
  • Intense and increased energy, focus, and power
  • Supports cognitive function better than other pre-workouts on the market

The Disadvantages of the Product

  • This flavor is blue razz, but comes in other flavors, too – taste is personal preference
  • May not work the best for everyone

Tips for Choosing the Best Pre-Workout Supplement for Your Needs

Of course, there are a ton of other ingredients that you should look into for each part of your supplement and workout style. From energy, to muscle growth, to blood flow, and the recovery process, there are a plethora of necessary ingredients to look for in your pre-workout supplement.

A huge tip that we can give those looking for pre-workout is that you must cycle your pre-workout. Like any other supplement that you use, if you don’t cycle them, your body will adapt, and it won’t be beneficial anymore. When you cycle your pre-workout, your body will continuously be sensitive to the ingredients that it’s being exposed to. When you don’t cycle creatine, your body will learn how to down-regulate, and cause most of the product to be wasted, since it will be used to the product.

Furthermore, you don’t want to lower the functions of your adrenal system, as this could pose potentially dangerous situations. When you cycle pre-workout supplements, you can avoid this entirely. So, how do you cycle your pre-workout? Simple: you’ll want to use one product for around 6 to 8 weeks at a time, and don’t switch from that product, then you want to take around two to three weeks off from this product. When your consumption of this pre-workout supplement is resumed, your body will not only become supercharged from this product, but it will have a sensitivity to it once again.

If you understand that following the same regimen for a long time isn’t good, and your body will become desensitized to it, then you’ll surely understand the reasoning behind cycling your pre-workout supplement. You might be asking yourself, “do I switch to a new product in that meantime, or do I completely go off stimulants all-together, until I resume my consumption of regular pre-workout?” In short, you can go to another product that isn’t too similar to your current, so your body can truly be de-sensitized; however, it’s important to give your body a break from stimulants all-together, and then re-introduce it to them after at least two weeks.

We understand those two weeks will be tough, but your body will get back into the groove and you’ll see results once again, fairly quickly after re-introducing this product.

When choosing the best pre-workout supplement for your needs, you’ll want to look at your budget, along with your needs. If you don’t need to get too amped up, then you’ll want to look at how much caffeine is in the product you’re looking to purchase. Furthermore, you should look at all of the ingredients, and research all of the ingredients to ensure that you know what you’re buying, as well as knowing if you’re allergic to any of these or not. Read other experiences from those who have taken it, as well as reading unbiased reviews from customers. How do you find unbiased reviews? Shy away from the website of the seller or manufacturer. Normally, they don’t post bad reviews of their products to make themselves look a bit better.

Looking at the cost per serving or servings per container as a whole will allow you to see what you’re getting for your money in comparison with competitors on the market. When the product isn’t that great and it’s absurdly priced, then you’re not making the best choice for your body, and you’re only giving to a greedy seller.

Other things to know include the following:

  • Make sure to take your pre-workout on an empty stomach
  • Small snacks only for those that are sensitive to caffeine on an empty stomach
  • Never take multiple pre-workout supplements at once – this leads to too much stress on your heart and adrenals
  • Pre-workout supplements will not hinder fat loss in any way – they increase the metabolic rate and actually help, despite rumors
  • You don’t need to take your pre-workout supplement on days that you’re not training
  • If you sleep after your workouts because it’s at night or work, then you should look for one without caffeine
  • Post-workout nutrition should remain as normal – it’s fine to take protein shakes afterwards, even though you’ve consumed a supplement before your workout
  • You must find a pre-workout supplement that enriches and energizes your body
  • You should look for a supplement that has a high protein content
  • You’ll want to avoid any artificial ingredients in your pre-workout supplement
  • A pre-workout supplement that’s low in calories is important

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Pre-Workout Supplement

Before we get too into this section, you’ll want your pre-workout supplement to do the following:

  • Increase your endurance, strength, and performance
  • Decrease muscle breakdown when training
  • Make sure it increases your protein synthesis
  • Improves your focus and energy
  • Makes sure your nutrients are being delivered and synthesized
  • Improves the fat burning metabolic rate
  • Creates the most optimal hormone environment

When you take a workout supplement, and it doesn’t do any of the aforementioned, you should consider finding a new supplement or pinpointing ingredients. Let’s take a look at the most beneficial ingredients now:

There are three ingredients everyone must consider before purchasing pre-workout, and these ingredients are caffeine, creatine, and l-arginine. Sure, there are other beneficial products that you should look for in a pre-workout supplement, but one without at least two of these is going to have you exhausted mid-way through your workout. If you want something that’s going to have you focused, keep you energized, and deliver you muscle pumps that are massive, you’ll want to definitely invest in a product with l-arginine.

The primary purpose of this ingredient is to make sure the body removes the waste and ensures that the proteins are becoming synthesized. While it’s not a totally essential amino acid, it’s considered to be a semi-essential one, simply because your body won’t synthesize enough of this ingredient on its own. Importing it into your diet or your pre-workout supplement will ensure that you’re going to get the semi-essentials that you need, while giving you a great workout base.

An important property of this ingredient is what’s known to bodybuilders as a vasodilator effect. Basically, the act of vasodilation is when your blood vessels are opened up, ensuring that relaxation can occur within those microscopic muscles within your arteries. Basically, this is what helps give you that muscle pump, where your blood course through your veins and appear larger.

Another ingredient that we mentioned is arginine. You may have heard it for other types of supplements or used for those with chronic hypertension, but in the world of bodybuilding and fitness, it helps to increase blood flow to benefit those workouts out. In fact, if you’ve taken male enhancement products, this was probably one of the primary ingredients that you’ve recognized. An amino acid that’s typically found in animal proteins, you may also see that this protein is found in legumes, soy, and types of dairy products.

For fitness products like pre-workout supplements, manufacturers usually harvest their arginine from various legumes and soy products. Those that are vegetarian and trying to live a super fit lifestyle by going vegetarian will enjoy this bit of information! You don’t have to shy away from the products you thought you did!

As we mentioned, caffeine is another ingredient that you should look for. This may be self-explanatory for some, but if you’re not totally familiar with the effects of caffeine and your fitness routine, then you should consider reading further. A naturally occurring stimulant, caffeine is widely synthesized amongst a variety of sources. These sources include mateine, guarana seeds, and even coffee. Of course, there are other synthesizing sources, but the most important source that it’s synthesized from is the guarana seed.

Its synthetization from the guarana seed is primarily because of the ease of extraction, as well as how high in concentration it is from this easy to get source. It’s pretty much the holy grail source of caffeine harvesting. If you end up ever finding a supplement that doesn’t have caffeine, either the company is lying or it’s not an effective product. For workout supplements, it’s not uncommon to find at least 200mg of caffeine in the product. We should also mention that just because there is triple this amount in some products, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Too much of all the other ingredients, combined with a ton of caffeine is never a good thing. You have to keep your heart safe while you’re on your fitness journey, or else there will no more fitness journey.

Now, let’s take a look at creatine. It’s an ingredient that often has a cloud of mystery hanging above its head; however, it’s probably the most researched supplement on the market. The reason behind creatine being so popular is that it’s one of the biggest synthesizers of adenosine triphosphate – the main source of our body’s energy. It’s worth noting that creatine is typically consumed after the workout is complete, instead of right at the beginning, but some supplements have this mixed in so you get the full effect right off the bat.

You might hear that people say creatine only causes water to inflate into your muscles, and that you shouldn’t take it, but this couldn’t be further from the truth – well, partly! Once you stop taking creatine, your muscle fibers release the water that was used to build them up, but the extra strength that you’ve acquired during that time when taking the supplement will increase the tissues in the muscles, as you’d hope. See – it’s not all bad, and doing your own research is key when looking into ingredients, instead of listening to rumors. Word of mouth is not science.

Before we move onto our next section, we’ll break it down in a short version one more time for you.

L-arginine: this ingredient is used to ensure that you’re going to have increased blood flow, and to make sure that the nutrients are being properly delivered to your muscles, that are broken down. When this happens, you get a better pump and recovery is pretty sweet. Furthermore, this ingredient is used to help expel the creatinine that your body has synthesized from taking it.

Caffeine: not only will you get a ton of energy from using caffeine as an ingredient, but you’ll also have to have this within your pre-workout supplement so that it can transport the nutrients and products to your muscles and other areas. Using just l-arginine as a transport method won’t really work, so caffeine is necessary. There may be other ingredients you see coupled up with this product, including arginine – l-norvaline and l-ornathine.

Taurine: a type of amino acid that’s found naturally within your body, it’s actually is produced by cysteine. While this ingredient is different than your average amino acids, this is one of the ones that increase your contractions within the muscles, ensuring a regulated fluid balance within your system. There are articles out there that will educate on why it’s important to have taurine in your supplement, although others don’t find it necessary. If you are interested in learning about taurine’s role in a supplement, in short, it’s beneficial to the skeletal muscle tissue, and other types of muscles within your body. If you’re aiming for the gains, then this may be something you want to look into.

The Final Verdict

pre kaged preworkout in middle with buyers guide logo at top left corner white backgroundThere are many fantastic decisions on this list, but one that we’ve found the most beneficial in both performance and price, is the Gold Standard Pre-Workout by Optimum Nutrition. Jam-packed with caffeine, creatine, and beta-alanine, you’ll be able to get your workout done with a little extra energy to spare to get home and take a nice hot shower. There’s nothing worse than coming down from your pre-workout mid-routine, and you won’t feel exhausted shortly after taking it. This gold standard pre-workout will give you the energy you need for a long-lasting workout.

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Best Pre-workout Buyer's Guide
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Best Pre-workout Buyer's Guide
This article delves deeply into the top pre workout products on the market today. Our expert opinions can help guide the beginner or advanced gym-goer find the best pre workout product for their needs!
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DB Strength
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About the Author Liam Flynn

Liam is a 23-year old student. He has dedicated his time to compile these product reviews and product guides on DB Strength to help consumers determine their best purchasing options. Avidly involved with fitness, Liam spends much of his time working out and testing top health products to provide expert opinions available on this website.

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