Workouts are hard if you are doing them right, and any time you are gearing up for a tough workout anything you can do to get an edge is helpful. Pre-workout supplements provide this edge, and have become increasingly popular among both casual and hardcore gym-goers alike. There are a lot of different pre-workout supplements on the market with a huge array of ingredients in all different proportions; this can make choosing the right one for your needs very difficult. We have gone through a huge amount of them to determine what we believe to be the Top 10 that are widely available right now.
1. Cellucor C4 Ripped
Cellucor C4 has been towards the top of the list of the most popular pre-workout supplements for years, the reason for this is because it works. It contains 150mg of caffeine for a quick jolt of energy, as well as CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine with is designed to delay the onset of fatigue to assist with sustained workouts. Cellucor C4 Ripped is a fat burner as well as a traditional pre-workout supplement so it shouldn’t be taking by those who are looking to bulk up and gain mass. Another great feature of this supplement is that it comes in several different flavors, all of which actually taste good. Our favorites are Fruit Punch and Icy Blue Razz.
2. Genius Pre Workout
3. Legion Pulse
4. Vintage Blast
Vintage Blast is a two-stage pre-workout that is designed to provide a steadier form of energy, rather than a large burst followed by a crash. It contains caffeine but also contains electrolytes to counteract the dehydration that accompanies caffeine intake. There are 250mg of caffeine per serving, making Vintage Blast somewhat lower than most of the others on this list. This is a good choice for longer, less maximum-effort workouts.
5. BSN N.O.-Xplode
BSN N.O.-XPLODE has been on the market since 2004, making it one of the longest tenured pre-workouts still on the market. Its staying power is a testament to its quality. It contains 275mg of caffeine per serving, it also has creatine which helps to aid in muscle recovery by allowing muscles to store more water. The beta-alanine and niacin increase blood flow and muscle pumps which allow sustained maximum effort performance. It comes in fruit punch, watermelon, blue razz, grape and green apple.
6. Muscle Tech Vapor X5
Muscle Tech Vapor X5 is an intense pre-workout that has a blend of Nitrosigine and hawthorn berry that both raises nitric oxide levels as well as promotes vasodilation. It is formulated to expedite the removal of lactic acid from the muscles during exercise. There are also 3 grams of creatine per serving to aid water retention in the muscles for faster recovery. This is a pre-workout that should be used only by those with a high tolerance for caffeine as it contains it at close to the recommended daily limit.
7. Evlution Nutrition Engn
Evlution Nutrition Engn is another pre-workout supplement on the intense end of the spectrum. It gave one of the biggest pumps of all of the pre-workouts that we tested; it contains both agmatine sulfate and betaine anhydrous to boost nitric oxide levels and improve blood flow. This is another pre-workout that contains creatine monohydrate to aid water retention in the muscles. It also has B Vitamins and niacin, which along with the caffeine make for a potent energy pop.
8. Nitrosurge Shred
Nitrosurge is available in both the original formula as well as Shred, the latter is for increasing the body’s thermogenic process to help enable weight loss. It contains citrulline, L-carnitine and beta alanine all in their maximum doses to encourage muscle pumps. It also contains 360mg of caffeine, one of the highest amounts of any pre-workout on the market. Nitrosurge should only be used by those who are not sensitive to caffeine, as the dosage is very close to the upper end of daily recommendations. If your workout goals include weight loss as well as strength gains, this is likely the pre-workout for you.
JYM pre-workout is a balanced supplement that lists all of its ingredients and contains no fillers. It has 300mg of caffeine for energy; and also has branch chain amino acids and creatine to promote muscle growth. JYM was the best of the pre-workouts that we tested in promoting blood flow, this was likely due to the large doses of citrulline malate and beet root. This is another of the pre-workouts on the more intense end of the spectrum, though it didn’t cause jitters like some of the others in our test group. This is likely due to the fact that caffeine is the only stimulant in it, most others on the market contain several.
10. Prosupps Mr. Hyde Nitro X
Prosupps Mr. Hyde contains the highest dose of caffeine of any of the pre-workouts at 400mg per serving. It also has large amounts of both beta-alanine and nitrosine to enhance muscle pumps. Mr. Hyde was the most intense of all of the pre-workouts that we tested and also the most polarizing. For those that are comfortable with massive doses of caffeine it was a favorite, as it provided massive muscle pumps and lots of energy. For those more sensitive to caffeine this product caused several uncomfortable side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. That being said, if other pre-workout supplements don’t provide the boost that you are looking for then Mr. Hyde may be the solution.