The Most Effective Pre-Workout Supplements in 2024 – A Buyer’s Guide

Discover which pre-workout supplements are worth buying, and which ones to watch out for.

Choosing the right supplements to boost your workouts can be complicated, especially when there are so many options available. Pre-workout powder has become increasingly popular for those looking to boost their performance at the gym. In fact, pre-workout supplements have become the second most commonly consumed supplement next to multivitamins.[1] 

Don’t have the energy, willpower, or desire to head to the gym? That’s where pre-workout supplements come in. Pre-workout supplements help give you an edge at the gym (or wherever you may be working out). They can help you increase your energy levels, boost performance, among other benefits, depending on the pre-workout you choose. There are various blends, but the overall goal is to provide stimulation to get your heart rate going and blood pumping.

In order to truly benefit from the many benefits that pre-workout supplements have to offer, it’s important to choose the right one. We’re here to help! Keep reading to find out what you should look for and what to watch out for when choosing your pre-workout supplements.

What to Look for in a Pre-workout Supplement

BCAA - This stands for branched-chain amino acids, which are a group of three essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, and valine. These are essential because the body cannot produce them on its own. BCAAs help reduce muscle fatigue, growth, and repair, as well as improve endurance.[4,5,6]

Beta-alanine - Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that the body naturally produces. It helps buffer acid in the muscles and helps delay fatigue during high-intensity exercise.[2] 

Creatine Monohydrate - This is one of the most studied and well-established supplements for improving athletic performance. It is a naturally occurring substance found in muscle cells, where it helps to produce energy during high-intensity exercise.[7]

Caffeine - If your primary use for pre-workout is energy, then look for one that includes caffeine. It can help with both aerobic and anaerobic activity, along with decreasing fatigue rate and increasing muscle endurance.[3]
Vitamin B12 - This is an important nutrient for anyone who exercises regularly. It helps the body convert food into energy, helps prevent fatigue, and also improves muscle function.[8,9]

What should I avoid?

Sceptical Potency

Be sure to read the label on pre-workout supplements so you know exactly what you’re getting. Try to avoid pre-workout supplements with dosing in excess, as high doses can be harmful. 

Beware of online reviews (especially on Amazon)

Before purchasing any product, one of the first things we do when researching is to check its online reviews. Unfortunately, these are not always a trustworthy way to measure the quality and effectiveness of a product. Companies often pay for reviews on popular online retailers, like Amazon, to try to trick their way to a five-star rating. While you should definitely consult these reviews before purchasing, do your own research as well. 

Filler ingredients 

Many companies opt for filler ingredients that aren’t backed by data, don’t offer any healthful benefits, and can make the supplement less effective. These could include flavours, colours, and sweeteners. Look for patented ingredients that are clinically proven to provide helpful results. 

Your Final Checklist

Now that you know what ingredients to look for and what to avoid, it’s also important to keep the following criteria in mind when purchasing your pre-workout supplement.

Quality Ingredients Recommended by Professionals

One of the most important things to look out for when choosing a supplement is that it’s recommended by professionals, as they are more likely to align themselves with products that are made with high-quality ingredients that truly work.

Money-Back Guarantee

Make sure that the product you buy has a clear money-back guarantee on all product purchases. This is a tell-tale sign that a company knows they’re selling you a great product, so they aren’t afraid to offer you a sort of “insurance” on it. 

How we evaluated the top 5

More and more pre-workout supplements have popped up on the market. There are so many brands producing different variations of supplements, and while this means you have an abundance of choices, it also makes it challenging to differentiate between good supplements and poor-quality ones that won’t provide you with the benefits you’re looking for. So, we’ve made it easy for you. 

We searched the internet for the most popular pre-workout supplements available on the market today and ranked them for you in our top 5 list.

Here are Our Top 5 Pre-workout Supplement Picks for 2024

1. Pulse Pre Workout

Total Ranking

830 votes

9.7/10

A+

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    10 AVG.
     10/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    9.7 AVG.
     9.7/10
  • Value
    9.3 AVG.
     9.3/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    9.8 AVG.
     9.8/10
  • Return Policy
    10 AVG.
     10/10

PROS

  • 100% All-Natural
  • Effective, Science-Backed Ingredients
  • Gluten-Free & Vegan
  • 0g Added Sugars
  • Two Flavour Options
  • Made in the UK
  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee

CONS

  • Only available online
The Bottom Line

Of every pre-workout supplement that we tested, Legion Athletics’ Pulse Pre-Workout is by far the highest quality product that delivered the best results.

Their 100% all-natural pre-workout supplement powder is packed with effective doses of science-backed ingredients, such as beta-alanine, L-citrulline malate, betaine, caffeine, and L-theanine. It comes in two tasty flavours and mixes well. 

This powder is also gluten-free and vegan-friendly, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions. And you won’t find any artificial dyes, fillers, or additives in this supplement, so you know you’re getting simple and mindful ingredients, which is what you want in your supplement.

Legion also offers a 100% money-back guarantee, which makes us believe that customer satisfaction ranks high on their list of priorities as a brand.

All in all, Legion seems to have the highest quality ingredients list of all the supplements we came across in our research. The fewer unnecessary ingredients, the better

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

Learn About Our Top Pick

2. N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout

Total Ranking

312 votes

8.6/10

B

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    9.1 AVG.
     9.1/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    8.7 AVG.
     8.7/10
  • Value
    9 AVG.
     9/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    9 AVG.
     9/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • Powerful Ingredients
  • Enriched with Natural Plant Extracts
  • Rich in Amino Acids
  • Includes Black Pepper Extract
  • Three Flavour Options
  • Make in the UK

CONS

  • Some Artificial Ingredients
  • No Returns Policy
The Bottom Line

BSN’s Pre-Workout Powder is another quality pre-workout supplement that is packed with powerful ingredients to boost your workouts. It features 200mg of caffeine for an optimal energy boost, however, this may be too much caffeine for some.

It’s enriched with natural plant extracts and is full of vitamins and amino acids. We also loved that black pepper extract is included in this formula, as it has been shown to improve absorption and has some health benefits.

While it is packed with natural ingredients, there are a few artificial ingredients. While these ingredients aren’t necessarily bad for you, some people prefer to avoid them. If that is you, this may not be the pre-workout for you.

Overall, we were impressed with the formula and the positive results.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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3. Gold Standard Plant Pre-Workout

Total Ranking

269 votes

8.5/10

B

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    8.9 AVG.
     8.9/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    8.5 AVG.
     8.5/10
  • Value
    8.2 AVG.
     8.2/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    8.7 AVG.
     8.7/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • Plant-Based Formula
  • Caffeine Derived from Natural Sources
  • Contains Powerful Ingredients
  • Two Flavour Options
  • Made in the UK

CONS

  • Low Dosages
  • No Returns Policy
The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a more natural option for a pre-workout supplement, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Plant Pre-Workout is the way to go. This plant-based formula is perfect for those with dietary restrictions, and the caffeine is derived from natural sources.

However, the potency of the ingredients is quite low compared to others on this list.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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4. Rage Pre-Workout Powder

Total Ranking

301 votes

8.4/10

B-

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    9 AVG.
     9/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    8.1 AVG.
     8.1/10
  • Value
    8.2 AVG.
     8.2/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    8.5 AVG.
     8.5/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • Contains Powerful Ingredients
  • Vegetarian-Friendly
  • Affordable
  • 45 Servings
  • Multiple Flavour Options
  • Made in the UK

CONS

  • No Returns Policy
  • Does Contain Sweeteners
  • High in Energy Boosting Ingredients
The Bottom Line

Warrior’s Rage Pre-Workout Powder is a great affordable supplement if you’re looking to try pre-workout without breaking your budget. It is loaded with effective and powerful ingredients and comes in multiple flavours. 

While the flavour range is great, it also means that this product does contain sweeteners. Unfortunately with many flavoured pre-workout supplements, this is something that is hard to avoid. And as we said, it contains powerful ingredients, and that includes energy-boosting ingredients. Some consumers said between the caffeine and vitamin B6, it was too much for them. We recommend being mindful when taking this pre-workout and take as suggested.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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5. All Black Everything Ultimate Pre-Workout

Total Ranking

207 votes

7.9/10

C

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    7.9 AVG.
     7.9/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    7 AVG.
     7/10
  • Value
    7.6 AVG.
     7.6/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    6.9 AVG.
     6.9/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • Beneficial Ingredients
  • Multiple Flavour Options
  • Affordable
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Made in the UK

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Ingredients
  • Low in Caffeine
  • Effects Take Longer Than Other Options
The Bottom Line

Applied Nutrition’s All Black Everything Pre-Workout Powder is another great affordable option. It contains all of the ideal ingredients a pre-workout should have. However, the energy-boosting ingredients are on the lower end in terms of dosage. They also offer many different flavour options. 

This option also includes artificial ingredients like Warrior’s pre-workout supplement. And this product also contains a lower dosage of caffeine, which for some may be ideal, but if you’re looking for a powerful burst of energy this option may not be for you.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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Final Thoughts

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing the right pre-workout supplements, it is essential to choose a product that is made with high-quality ingredients delivered in optimal doses from a brand you can trust.  

After searching the internet to find the best pre-workout products and evaluating them based on their customer service, ingredients, and pricing, we believe Legion Athletics’ Pule Pre-Workout is the best on the market.

Legion provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.

Exclusive Offer Ongoing

Take advantage of this Offer while supplies last.

This special offer ends: Wednesday, January 24, 2024

CITATIONS

  1. Martinez, N., Campbell, B., Franek, M. et al. The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 13, 29 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0138-7 
  2. Huerta Ojeda, Á., Tapia Cerda, C., Poblete Salvatierra, M. F., Barahona-Fuentes, G., & Jorquera Aguilera, C. (2020). Effects of Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Physical Performance in Aerobic-Anaerobic Transition Zones: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 12(9), 2490. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092490 
  3. Beck, T. W., Housh, T. J., Schmidt, R. J., Johnson, G. O., Housh, D. J., Coburn, J. W., & Malek, M. H. (2006). The acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement on strength, muscular endurance, and anaerobic capabilities. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 20(3), 506–510. https://doi.org/10.1519/18285.1 
  4. Chen, I. F., Wu, H. J., Chen, C. Y., Chou, K. M., & Chang, C. K. (2016). Branched-chain amino acids, arginine, citrulline alleviate central fatigue after 3 simulated matches in taekwondo athletes: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13, 28. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0140-0 
  5. Duan, Y., Li, F., Li, Y., Tang, Y., Kong, X., Feng, Z., Anthony, T. G., Watford, M., Hou, Y., Wu, G., & Yin, Y. (2016). The role of leucine and its metabolites in protein and energy metabolism. Amino acids, 48(1), 41–51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-015-2067-1 
  6. Duan, Y., Li, F., Li, Y., Tang, Y., Kong, X., Feng, Z., Anthony, T. G., Watford, M., Hou, Y., Wu, G., & Yin, Y. (2016). The role of leucine and its metabolites in protein and energy metabolism. Amino acids, 48(1), 41–51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-015-2067-1 
  7. Kreider, R. B., Kalman, D. S., Antonio, J., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Wildman, R., Collins, R., Candow, D. G., Kleiner, S. M., Almada, A. L., & Lopez, H. L. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z 
  8. LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012-. Vitamin B. [Updated 2021 May 27]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548710/ 
  9. Kim, Y. N., Hwang, J. H., & Cho, Y. O. (2016). The effects of exercise training and acute exercise duration on plasma folate and vitamin B12. Nutrition research and practice, 10(2), 161–166. https://doi.org/10.4162/nrp.2016.10.2.161

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* The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have, expect to have, or suspect you may have any medical condition, you are urged to consult with a healthcare provider. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or the European Food Safety Authority. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Results are based on the opinion of the author and their own rankings and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Trademarks used on our website belong to their respective owners and no implied or expressed endorsement of our website or services is intended. Rankings can be affected by the relationship or ownership interest we have in various products featured.

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Rachel

Written by Rachel