December 5, 2023


The fine suplement crafters

Best Pre-Workout For Men: Top Pre Workout Powder Supplements 2022

If you work out at all- whether at the gym or at home- you have probably heard people talk about pre-workout supplements, also referred to as pre-workouts. Advocates of these supplements claim that they can improve your overall fitness and provide you with the energy you need to get through your most challenging workouts.

In this article, we’re going to discuss more about what exactly a pre-workout supplement is, the advantages and disadvantages to using them, and also review what we believe to be the 19 best pre-workout supplements on the market for men.

What is a Pre-Workout Supplement?

A pre-workout supplement is a dietary supplement that is sometimes referred to as a “pre-workout” and is designed to increase energy levels, decrease fatigue, and improve overall athletic performance. They are typically powders that you combine with water and drink prior to working out. However, there are a few on the market that are capsules.

There are many different formulas on the market, but many of them are a combination of the same basic ingredients, including:

  • Caffeine
  • Creatine
  • Beta-alanine
  • BCAAs
  • Amino acids
  • L-tyrosine
  • L-theanine
  • L-citrulline

You do need to exercise caution when using a pre-workout, though. Some of them have not been tested for quality, potency, and purity. That being said, you can completely trust the supplements we have listed here.

19 Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Men

Now that you know a bit more about pre-workout supplements, we’re going to take a look at what we feel are the 21 best pre-workout options on the market today.

XWERKS Ignite – Editor’s Choice


XWERKS is a well-known company in the health arena. Their product, Ignite contains caffeine, Vitamins B6 and B12, Rhodiola Rosea, DMAE, beta-alanine, and l-tyrosine. The recommended serving size is 1 scoop and there are 30 servings in each container. This pre-workout will cost you $49 but does include a money-back guarantee.

This pre-workout from XWERKS comes in a few different flavors: watermelon, blue raspberry, orange, and green apple. The only thing you need to do is provide the water to mix it in. This product was created to change the way people view pre-workout supplements. However, the ingredients are at clinically proven levels and offer a nootropic effect as well. Not only does Ignite focus on physical energy, it also gives the brain a boost.

Also, even though this formula does contain caffeine, you don’t have to worry about jitters, uneasiness, or a crash. You will feel motivated to push your muscles to new levels of growth and endurance. Finally, you don’t have to worry about digestive discomfort or other side effects that come with using a lower quality pre-workout.

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NSP Nutrition Energize Pre-Workout


Energize Pre-Workout from NSP Nutrition contains most of the same ingredients found in other pre-workout supplements, including:

  • L-tyrosine
  • DMAE
  • Choline
  • Citrulline
  • Creatine

One scoop equals one serving and there are 30 servings in each container of NSP Nutrition Energize Pre-Workout. This pre-workout costs $36 and does have a satisfaction guarantee. They will make it right if you’re not happy.

Energize Pre-Workout by NSP Nutrition offers a variety of interesting flavors, such as Tropical Sunrise, Lemonade Fresh, and Grape Blast. This supplement is made to consume right before a workout. Some of the benefits offered by this pre-workout are:

  • Improved muscle activation
  • Improved muscle size
  • Elimination of brain fog
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Improved mental acuity

All of these features are what earned NSP Nutrition Energize Pre-Workout a spot on our top 21 best pre-workout for men.

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TestoPrime is a pre-workout supplement that comes in capsule form. It contains beneficial ingredients such as:

  • D-Aspartic Acid
  • KSM Ashwagandha
  • Fenugreek
  • Panax Ginseng

Suggested serving size is 4 capsules. One bottle costs $59.99 and contains enough capsules for a 30-day supply. TestoPrime does offer a lifetime money-back guarantee.

This is an all-natural pre-workout supplement, containing proven ingredients that boost testosterone levels and improve workouts. Not only does it promote improved protein synthesis but makes working out easier by regulating hormones. Due to the effect on hormones, this particular pre-workout is formulated specifically for men. That being said, there are some out there that are made specifically for women as well.

TestoPrime’s official website offers proof that the supplement can improve the physical and mental energy of those who use it. In addition, you’ll see fast results, which is a great way to stay motivated. Finally, it boosts production of testosterone. If this isn’t something you care too much about, there are plenty of other options, as you will see here.

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Alani Nu Pre-Workout


Alani Nu Pre-Workout contains the following ingredients without any unnecessary fillers or ingredients:

  • L-tyrosine
  • L-citrulline
  • Beta-alanine
  • L-theanine
  • Caffeine

Serving size is one scoop, which equals 10 grams. There are 30 servings in each container and is considered more cost-effective because it will only cost you $39.99.

This pre-workout comes highly recommended by consumers and comes in a variety of unique flavors, including:

  • Cosmic Stardust
  • Breezeberry
  • Pink Guava
  • Aloha Pineapple
  • Carnival Candy Grape

As you know, there are lots of pre-workout supplement options on the market today- but Alani Nu is different. The focus of this one is to provide you with significant doses of a few ingredients. Then, instead of leaving you dealing with the jitteriness that often comes with caffeine, it contains L-theanine to balance it out.

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Cellucor is manufactured by a company based out of Bryan, Texas- Nutrabolt- and is undeniably one of the best pre-workout companies on the market. We have chosen two of their top supplements for our list. These supplements come in a variety of flavors, including:

  • Icy Blue Razz
  • Strawberry Margarita
  • Fruit Punch

Let’s take a look at each of these below:

including strawberry margarita, fruit punch, and icy blue razz

Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout Powder


Cellucor Pre-Workout is a highly rated supplement containing:

  • Beta-alanine
  • Caffeine
  • Arginine
  • Creatine

A serving size of this supplement is one scoop and there are 30 servings in a container, which will cost $30. There is a 60-serving option for only $50, which saves you a little.

This pre-workout supplement is already quite popular. After all, they have been on the market for a decade- so when consumers think about the “ideal” pre-workout formula, Cellucor automatically springs to mind.

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Cellucor C4 Extreme


This pre-workout supplement contains the same ingredients as the original formula- but 25% more. Therefore, if you are trying to decide between the two, you must consider your need. Again, one scoop is one serving and there are 30 in each bottle and costs $34.99.

Cellucor’s reputation is such that we feel it deserves a second spot on our list. This version of C4 is for those who want more energy and endurance than the average supplement offers. Users of C4 Extreme don’t have to worry that the “extreme” energy boost is due to tons of sugar- so it won’t affect your macronutrients if you’re trying to lose weight. This pre-workout is a bit more affordable than many of the other options on the market.

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Transparent Labs Pre-Workout


Transparent Labs also offers a variety of pre-workout supplements, including the following:

  • Preseries HowtoBeast Bulk
  • Preseries Bulk Pre-Workout
  • Preseries Jessie James Pe-workout Bulk
  • Preseries Lean Pre-Workout
  • Preseries Stim-Free Booster
  • Preseries Stim-Booster

Containers contain 30 to 60 servings, with one scoop being one serving. These vary in price, starting at $40 per container.

Transparent Labs has also established themselves as leaders in the world of pre-workout supplements. As you can see, at this time, they offer six different pre-workout supplements to meet a variety of needs:

  • Facilitate Weight loss
  • Boost energy levels
  • Help users bulk

They offer pre-workout supplements with or without stimulants, which means the user remains in control of how they get their body in shape. When choosing a pre-workout supplement from Transparent Labs, take some time to consider your fitness goals and your flavor preferences. There are four flavor options:

  • Sour Grape
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Green Apple

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Blackwolf Pre-Workout


Blackwolf Pre-workout provides users with:

  • L-arginine
  • Taurine
  • L-citrulline
  • Creatine
  • Betaine
  • Beta-alanine

Each container contains 22 servings, which is 22 level scoops. This pre-workout is a bit higher than some of the others, coming in at $45 per container.

While Blackwolf isn’t as well-known or highly visible as Transparent Labs or Cellucor, their pre-workout performs just as well. This is obvious from their packaging. There are a few different flavors, such as:

  • Green Apple
  • Fruit Punch
  • Blue Raspberry

This is a fairly new brand, though it’s subsidiary, MuscleClub Limited, has been on the scene for a few decades. However, even though they are new, they are confident that they can provide users what they need. You can find two versions: one with caffeine and one without. The caffeinated version contains 200 milligrams DMAE, while the caffeine-free option offers 10 milligrams of huperzine A.

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Huge Supplements

Huge Supplements was founded in 2019 and has committed themselves to providing quality supplements, including pre-workout options, to their customers. Their formula is what makes them stand out from the crowd. We have three of their supplements on our list today:

  • Huge Supplements Wrecked
  • Huge Supplements Wrecked Extreme
  • Huge Supplements Wrecked Stim-Free

We will take a closer look at each one of these below.

Huge Supplements Wrecked


Some of the key ingredients in this pre-workout formula include:

  • L-tyrosine
  • Beta-alanine
  • L-citrulline

One 21.1 gram scoop is one serving of this supplement and each container offers 22 servings and costs $44.95. So, it’s a bit more costly than some of the other options. This formula offers a few different flavors, including:

  • Bomb popsicle
  • Peach Ring
  • Raspberry Mojito
  • Rainbow Burst

As mentioned, it is a bit more expensive, but it makes perfect sense due to the 18 high-potency ingredients int contains- that typically are not found in a pre-workout supplement, including:

  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Lion’s Mane mushroom
  • Inositol

The dosages offered in Huge Supplements Wrecked are some of the highest on our list, making it the preferred option for athletes undergoing intense training.

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Huge Supplements Wrecked Extreme


The ingredients in Wrecked Extreme are the same as listed above in Wrecked, in a higher quantity, but a smaller serving. Each serving is 15.9 grams and there are only 20 servings in a container. This formula costs $59.95.

The potency of Wrecked Extreme far outweighs that of the Wrecked formula because the amount of ingredients that users get is much higher. That being said, it’s important to note that due to the smaller scoop size, you really don’t get the same amount of active ingredients with this option. The only ingredient that never changed was caffeine.

The reason users are drawn to Wrecked Extreme is the promise that it is more potent than Wrecked. However, this isn’t the truth- it is actually less potent. If you want potency, you may want to stick with the standard Wrecked formula.

Huge Supplements Wrecked Stim-Free


Finally, we have the third pre-workout from Huge Supplements on our list: Wrecked Stim-Free. This formula contains ingredients such as:

  • Glycerpump
  • Beetroot Extract
  • L-citrulline

The scoop size is slightly bigger, at 31 grams and there are 25 servings in each container, which will cost $54.95.

Athletes that don’t want caffeine to drive their workouts might want to consider Wrecked Stim-Free from Huge Supplements. This formula offers many of the same ingredients found in Wrecked and Wrecked Extreme without the stimulants.

The natural energy provided is much safer for your body than artificial stimulants.

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Ladder Pre-Workout


Ladder Pre-Workout offers the following ingredients to its users:

  • Beta-alanine
  • Citicoline
  • Caffeine
  • Theanine

The recommended serving for Ladder Pre-Workout is one scoop and each container has 30 servings. This supplement will cost you $56. However, it’s important to note that it is backed with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Ladder was established in 2018 by Lebron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger. While they may still be a young company, these two famous celebrities that are known for their physical performance are behind it.

Another reason that you can trust this supplement is that it has been NSF Certified for Sport, which means that it is a clean formula with on ingredients that could prevent athletes from using it when preparing to compete. Ladder Pre-Workout comes in two flavors:

  • Tropical Fruit
  • Strawberry Lemonade

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4 Gauge


This pre-workout is advertised as a 4-in-1 solution, and promises to support users’ energy, focus, muscle pumps, and strength. It achieves this with the following ingredients:

  • L-citrulline
  • L-theanine
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Caffeine

In addition, it improves production of nitric oxide with beets. This formula costs $45 and contains 20 14-gram scoops. One scoop equals one serving.

This is a stimulant-free pre-workout formula that offers users the energy they need to power through their workout without having to worry about jitters. The container is quite impressive looking- it looks like a shotgun shell.

When you consistently use 4 Gauge, you look bigger and feel better than ever when you’re working out. Plus, you can stay focused on what you’re doing instead of becoming distracted. This is one of the best pre-workouts under $50.

Since 4 Gauge provides balanced energy, you don’t have to worry too much about experiencing a massive energy crash and since it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, you don’t have to worry about digestive distress. If weight loss is your goal, you’ll appreciate the lack of sugar- but you’ll probably also be thrilled to know that there are only 5 calories in every serving.

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CrazyBulk Intensive Pre-Train


The company that produces CrazyBulk Intensive Pre-Train is focused on alternative steroid supplements. This supplement contains:

  • Ashwagandha
  • KSM-66 extract
  • EnXtra

One container offers 20 servings, and one scoop equals one serving. This supplement will cost you $57.99, but it is backed with a 60-day money back guarantee.

Intensive Pre-Train from CrazyBulk provides users with lasting energy, while promoting greater intensity and reducing fatigue. One of the reasons why this pre-workout is so popular is due to the EnXtra, which boosts caffeine levels. In addition, the ashwagandha and KSM-66 extracts help the user to relax.

When used consistently, users can expect improved muscular endurance during workouts, energy, focus, and reduced fatigue.

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Onnit Total Strength + Performance


Every serving of Onnit Total Strength + Performance offers users the following:

  • DAA
  • BCAAs
  • Plant Extracts
  • Herbal Extracts

One 10.8-gram scoop equals one serving and each container offers 30 servings. This is one of the most expensive options on our list, costing $69. However, it is backed with a 90-day money back guarantee.

Onnit as a brand has an amazing reputation and their Total Strength + Performance lives up to that standard. This formula is one of the best-rated options they offer. It comes in a strawberry lemonade flavor- but that’s not why everyone loves it. They love it because it provides you with all of the energy without all of the caffeine.

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PreLab Pro


PreLab Pro follows the recommended dosages of the industry to facilitate the best reaction. Some of the ingredients found in PreLab Pro include:

  • Beetroot powder
  • Setria Performance (a proprietary blend to increase effectiveness of nitric oxide)
  • Caffeine
  • L-theanine

Each serving is 30 grams, and each container has 20 servings. The cost of this supplement is $59- but does come with a 30-day guarantee.

PreLab Pro has a berry flavor and provides users with support through all aspects of their workout. People typically take this supplement to improve their:

It has even been proven to improve cardio workouts. All of that being said, the primary reason it ended up on our list is that it addresses concerns that most users don’t even think about pre-workout handling: homeostasis support and nootropic benefits.

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Bauer Nutrition BRF Pre-Workout


BRF, or Battle Ready Fuel, Pre-Workout from Bauer Nutrition contains:

  • Vitamin C
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Natural caffeine
  • Clarinol CLA

This supplement is $26.99 for 15 servings at 30 grams each. It does come with a 60-day money back guarantee.

This is one of the best pre-workout supplements that support increased energy during a workout, support energy levels, and improve stamina. If you use this pre-workout, you’ll experience improved endurance, focus, and intensity during workouts.

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Legion Pulse


Legion Pulse offers users with a variety of ingredients to improve performance, including:

  • Betaine
  • Beta-alanine
  • Citrulline
  • Alpha GCP
  • Caffeine
  • L-theanine

This supplement is different because one serving is two scoops instead of one. A container of this one will cost you $29.72 and does come with a money back guarantee. There are 30 servings in one container.

You can find this supplement on Amazon with more than 10,000 reviews. They have a 4.3-star rating- out of 5 stars. It is made up of all-natural ingredients and features a fruit punch flavor.

This is a stim-free pre-workout, and the formula is so potent with a much larger dose than other options, many users start with just a portion of the serving. This helps your body adjust to it and also makes the 30-day supply last longer.

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Beast Sports Beast Mode Black


Beast Mode Black from Beast Sports features a high amount of caffeine in each serving, as well as taurine and beta-alanine. One serving is 8 grams and there are 30 servings in each container, which will cost you $39.99. That being said, they do offer a 60-day money back guarantee.

This product is marketed as an extreme solution to energy. It offers high dosage of ingredients that facilitate improved nitric oxide levels. You don’t have to use this right before a workout to get the benefits. It can increase energy levels and blood flow, which means it’s ideal for those who get their day started with a workout.

According to the company, this product exceeds the performance of the standard Beast Mode. It offers improved support for muscles and increased strength. Of course, the dosages are approximately the same as all of the other pre-workouts on the list.

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Common Ingredients in Pre-Workouts

Above, we listed a few of the common ingredients in pre-workout supplements. Now, we’ll take a closer look at a few of them. At this time, research on pre-workouts is limited- but some studies suggest that there are certain ingredients that can benefit athletic performance.


When you start shopping for a pre-workout, you’ll find that caffeine is common in many of these products. This is what improves energy and focus. Research indicates that in addition to improving mental alertness, exercise performance, and memory, it may also burn body fat.


Your body naturally produces creatine and stores it in the skeletal muscle where it produces energy and strength. It is often sold as a standalone supplement but is also often included in pre-workout formulas as well. It is quite popular among bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other power athletes.

According to research, supplementing with creatine increases your body’s stores, which improves recovery time and workout performance and also increases strength and muscle mass.


Beta-alanine is another ingredient that is commonly found in pre-workout supplements. It is an amino acid. The reason it is often included is because it may keep acid from building up in your muscles, which allows them to work harder and longer.

According to research, it is effective at doing what it promises- but you must also be aware that you may experience a tingling sensation when you consume it. Of course, it’s nothing to be alarmed about- but it may not be a very pleasant feeling.


Some of the pre-workout supplements on the market also include BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids. According to research, these help increase growth of muscles while also decreasing soreness following a workout.

That being said, you may not have a reason to consume them as a supplement because they are often found naturally in your diet through foods like red meat.

What Should You Avoid in a Pre-Workout Supplement?

Most of the pre-workout supplements on the market are deemed safe- but there are a few risks that come along with them. Therefore, if you’re considering using a pre-workout, make sure to keep the following in mind:

Avoid artificial sweeteners/sugar alcohols

Some of the pre-workout supplements on the market include sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners. These ingredients are often used because they add flavor without adding any additional calories. That being said, they do often cause gastrointestinal distress.

Sugar alcohols are known to cause undesirable side effects, such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. All of these have the potential to ruin your workout. Some people have also reported a similar response when consuming certain artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose. However, these symptoms have not been confirmed.

You may prefer to avoid pre-workout supplements that contain these types of sweeteners, or you might just want to try a small amount to see if you can tolerate it.

High Amounts of Caffeine

In most of the pre-workout supplements on the market, caffeine is the ingredient primarily responsible for the energy boost. However, when you consume too much caffeine, you may experience undesirable side effects including anxiety, increased blood pressure, and impaired sleep.

While it’s true that a single serving of most pre-workout supplements contain approximately the amount of caffeine found in 1 to 2 cups of coffee, some do contain more. Even with the lower amount though, chances are you’re getting it from other sources as well: coffee, tea, soda, etc- which means you may end up consuming too much.

Supplements that are not third-party tested

Dietary supplements, including pre-workouts, in the USA are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, as foods- not drugs. Due to the gaps in regulations, sometimes the product labels are inaccurate- possibly to the point of being completely dishonest.

If the safety and/or quality of a supplement is compromised, you may end up consuming substances that have been banned or too many of certain compounds.

In order to make sure the pre-workout you use is safe, make sure that you only purchase supplements that are tested by a third party, such as USP, that is U.S. Pharmacopeia or NSF International.

Should You Use a Pre-Workout Supplement?

To be honest, pre-workouts are not made for everyone. If you are struggling with your energy levels, or you have difficulty getting through a workout, think about lifestyle factors such as sleep hygiene, diet, and hydration. You don’t have to immediately jump to a supplement- sometimes just some minor tweaking can help. Plus, due to the variations in ingredients, it’s hard to determine exactly how effective they are. Finally, they can be expensive, and research doesn’t really prove that they are more effective than whole foods that provide the same nutrients.

That being said, if you have tried pre-workouts and you’ve found one that works for you, there is absolutely no reason to stop. Just make sure that you pay attention to the ingredients.

A pre-workout is meant to improve energy levels and physical performance. However, research is still being done to find out how beneficial they truly are. Most pre-workouts are safe for healthy adults- but they are not critical for health or performance.

Advantages of Using a Pre-Workout

The primary advantage of using a pre-workout supplement is that it increases your energy and strength. It also improves stamina and power so your workouts can last longer. This motivates you to push yourself even harder and get the most from your workouts.

A pre-workout supplement makes you want to push yourself that much harder so you can accomplish more. This is what the beta-alanine does. It removes the lactic acid in your muscles that cause fatigue. When you don’t have to deal with muscle fatigue, you don’t have to worry about discomfort during and soreness following your workout.

Finally, as you can see above, pre-workouts contain a variety of muscle building ingredients, including creatine and other amino acids found naturally in your body. When you are pushing yourself in your workouts, you are depleting your resources faster than your body can replace them. That is why a pre-workout supplement helps. It builds up those resources so that you have them to burn.

A pre-workout is for health-conscious people who want to improve their bodies.

Disadvantages of Using a Pre-Workout

Of course, if you are considering using a pre-workout, it’s only fair to also take a look at the disadvantages. The biggest one is that sometimes people will take more than the recommended dosage. Sometimes they do it on purpose, sometimes it’s an accident- but either way, it leads to unwanted side effects such as headache, anxiety, and nausea. While it’s true that the side effects are short-lived, you will be uncomfortable while they are going on.

If you are just starting out with a pre-workout, it’s recommended that you take just under a serving size. This will give your body time to adjust and once you know that you can handle it, you can start bumping up your dosage in small increments as needed.

Caffeine is often included in pre-workouts and it’s a great stimulant to get you motivated to push your limits. That being said, there are some people who are highly sensitive to caffeine and some of the pre-workouts on the market have up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Honestly, you might as well drink 5 cups of coffee.

If you have a sensitivity to caffeine, you might want to try one that has no more than 150 milligrams- or, as you will see in our reviews, there are several stim-free options available as well. Of course, even if you don’t necessarily have a sensitivity to caffeine, some people have difficulty sleeping when they consume too much. Therefore, try not to use it too close to bedtime.

Another disadvantage is the tingling feeling that you may get from the beta-alanine. Of course, some people don’t see this as a disadvantage- they actually like it, it gives them a boost of energy. That being said, if you’re not a fan of this feeling, you may want to consider reducing your dosage.

Finally, the creatine sometimes causes water retention, which can be a disadvantage for some. However, it does ultimately lead to increased muscle bulk.

If you are considering using a pre-workout, you have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages first. Then, once you decide that you do want to go forward with it, you’ve got to consider your options. Below, we’ll go over the 19 best pre-workout supplements for men on the market today.

Frequently Asked Questions for Pre-Workout Supplements for Men

Whether you are just getting started using a pre-workout or you’ve been using one for some time, chances are you have some questions. There are always questions that arise in the health and fitness industry- especially when it comes to supplementation. Below, we’re going to explore some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to pre-workout supplements for men.

What is a pre-workout?

The first question is pretty basic. A pre-workout is a supplement that is created with ingredients that improve your athletic performance in your workouts. They are designed to increase short-term performance- that is, your current workout, as well as your long-term performance- that is, the quality of your workout in a few weeks.

These supplements achieve this effect by combining a variety of ingredients that are made to do this. In most cases, pre-workouts are powdered supplements that can be added with water to drink prior to working out. However, there are a few on the market that are capsules that you can simply swallow. The capsules are much more convenient and easier to use when traveling.

Plus, since the powders are made to be mixed with water, they have a pleasant taste and most of the companies offer a variety of flavors so you can choose your favorite.

Are there any good natural pre-workouts?

We mentioned some of the most common ingredients earlier and if you’re looking for a natural pre-workout, you should look for supplements that contain things like BCAAs, amino acids, green tea extract, caffeine, and more. All of these are natural ingredients that can improve your workout.

Some of the ingredients, such as beta-alanine can’t be found in high amounts from a natural source. Therefore, they must be synthesized and refined in a lab. That being said, while its true that the natural compounds do provide many pre-workout benefits, the best results come from the refined ingredients found in many of the pre-workouts on the market today.

Are pre-workouts safe to consume?

The safety of a particular pre-workout depends on the ingredients that are used. The main potential issue when it comes to safety is the stimulants. This may be provided by something simple like caffeine or something more potent and maybe dangerous, such as bitter orange peel or synephrine.

As long as the dosage is kept at a reasonable amount, caffeine can be perfectly fine- but chemicals such as synephrine can be dangerous.

Ideally, you should be using a stim-free pre-workout. However, you can also choose supplements that contain moderate amounts of caffeine. Of course, if you have a tolerance to caffeine and it doesn’t really do much for you, go ahead and use one of those with a higher amount- around 400 milligrams- of caffeine instead.

Is it necessary to use a pre-workout?

To be honest, “is it necessary” depends on your definition of necessary. If you’re just trying to put in good effort at the gym to meet your goals but aren’t interested in blowing away records or pushing yourself past your limits, you don’t necessarily need a pre-workout.

On the other hand, if you are looking to push yourself way beyond your limits- harder than you ever have before, a pre-workout may be a great idea. They can also help you get motivated on those days when you know you need to work out but can’t get yourself moving. For example, you didn’t sleep well, but need to get up bright and early to hit the gym, a pre-workout can get you moving.

What do pre-workout supplements actually do?

A pre-workout supplement activates many of the biological pathways in your body all at once. These biological pathways are all involved in your physical and mental performance.

For example, caffeine removes the inhibitions from your central nervous system. This means that you can perform better and push harder at a much higher intensity.

The fat burners found in some pre-workouts increase fat oxidation in your body. This, in turn, increases endurance. Ingredients such as beta-alanine and L-carnitine have been shown to improve the ability of your muscles to maintain HIIT efforts.

Some of the other ingredients in pre-workouts, such as BCAAs, don’t necessarily have a direct impact on your performance, but they do prevent you from being as sore as you normally would following a workout.

Is there a difference between pre-workouts and post-workouts?

These two supplements do share a few common ingredients and as the name suggests, they are meant to be taken close to your workout. However, their intents are vastly different.

A post-workout supplement is formulated to facilitate recovery. When you work out, your body uses precious resources. You need to supply your body with those resources and nutrients to facilitate the rebuilding of muscle and to refill your energy stores.

On the other hand, a pre-workout supplies your body with what it needs to prime yourself for an ideal workout.

So, yes, pre-workouts and post-workouts are two different things, even though there may be a few similarities. They do share some ingredients, such as BCAAs. However, while a pre-workout supplement usually contains caffeine, a post-workout supplement will not.

How long will a pre-workout last?

Most pre-workouts are formulated to last for 2 to 3 hours. However, it’s hard to get much more specific because different ingredients have different timelines.

For example, the window of efficacy for caffeine is fairly well-defined. You want to take it 30 to 45 minutes before your workout and once you take it, the effects may last for up to 5 hours.

On the other hand, ingredients like BCAAs absorb at a much quicker rate, so it’s best if your workout is over before they have been processed.

Reputable pre-workout supplement companies keep this in mind when they are creating their formulations, so basically, you can expect a pre-workout to last between two to three hours.

Why do you tingle when you use a pre-workout?

When you tingle after using a pre-workout, it means one of two things. The supplement you are using contains lots of beta-alanine or lots of niacin. The side effects for both of these include tingling and flushing. However, though you might be uncomfortable, this effect is not at all harmful.

If you are experiencing tingling, check the label to find out which of the two is on the ingredient label. If beta-alanine is the cause, you can typically eliminate the effect by decreasing it to around 800 milligrams or less per dose. Of course, if your goal is to increase intramuscular carnitine, you can take more at various times throughout the day.

On the other hand, if niacin- or vitamin B3- is what is causing the tingling, you’ll want to drop the dosage to less than 30 milligrams per day.

Is it possible to spot a fake pre-workout?

There are lots of pre-workout options on the market and while many of them are great products, there are also some that are low quality or fake. The low-quality ones often contain high amounts of sugar, high levels of caffeine, and not many of the effective ingredients.

Therefore, when you are reviewing the label of your pre-workout, beware of the ones that hide ingredients in a “proprietary blend”. This lets the producer hide the fact that the active ingredients are likely lower than what is required for optimal performance.

When you choose a pre-workout, you want to make sure that you choose a reputable manufacturer, like the ones we have listed here. This way, you can be sure you’re getting a good quality pre-workout supplement that you can trust.


Whether you’re an avid gym-goer or you prefer to work out in the privacy of your home, you have probably heard of pre-workouts at some point. Advocates claim they have a lot of benefits, while skeptics claim maybe they’re not as great as you might think.

One thing is for certain, they do improve energy levels, which ultimately improves your workout performance. After all, when you have energy, you push yourself to your limits physically and mentally. On the other hand, if you’re fatigued, you’re most likely to do the bare minimum.

As you have seen, there are some advantages and disadvantages to using pre-workouts and honestly, some of the disadvantages are not really disadvantages for everyone. Also, there are lots of options to choose from and it can be hard to determine which is the best. That is why we came up with this list of what we feel are the 19 best pre-workouts for men on the market today. We hope this has helped you decide what you want to do.

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Works Cited

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“Is Lactic Acid Good or Bad for You?” Dr. Axe,

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“L-Citrulline: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.”, 2018,

“L-Tyrosine Uses, Side Effects & Warnings.”,

Leech, Joe. “10 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important.” Healthline, 24 Feb. 2020,

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Medline Plus. “Caffeine.”, 31 Dec. 2017,

Mehta, Foram. “What You Should Know about L-Theanine.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 4 Nov. 2016,

Pickering, Craig, and Jozo Grgic. “Caffeine and Exercise: What Next?” Sports Medicine, vol. 49, no. 7, 11 Apr. 2019, pp. 1007–1030, 10.1007/s40279-019-01101-0.

Staff, Editorial. What Is Pre-Workout? Is It Safe? A Detailed Guide • Supplement Lexicon.

Tinsley, Grant. “26 Foods That Help You Build Lean Muscle.” Healthline, 2018,

“What Are Amino Acids and Which Ones Are Essential?” Verywell Fit,

“What Is Pre Workout Energy – Time to Get Energized.” The Best Performance Supplements – Intensify, 25 Oct. 2019, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.