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Our Picks for the Best Pre-Workouts for Men in 2024:

I vividly remember my first time using a pre-workout supplement before hitting the gym. I was 10 minutes from the gym and blasting my usual pump-up music in my car after work, and suddenly it hit me: this tingling sensation engulfed me, and then I felt a surge of energy course through my body. I pulled up to the gym and entered through the doors like I was a superhero, and despite being a scrawny 18-year-old, I remember crushing that workout. My body felt stronger, my muscles looked bigger and the weights felt lighter. 

At that point in time, I had no idea what to look for in a pre-workout supplement, but I’ve since tested shelves-worth of pre-workout formulas. This list of the best pre-workout supplements is the culmination of the SI product testing team’s top picks and my experiences using these products as a certified sports nutrition coach and personal trainer. I’ve also leaned on the expertise of ISSA certified personal trainer and USAW L2 competitor Gary Gall.

This list can help you find the best pre-workout for your goals and routine—without as much trial and error, which can be expensive. I’ve also included a guide to common pre-workout ingredients and how to effectively use pre-workouts, and answered the top pre-workout supplement questions of 2024.

This content is meant to be informative, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of health problems. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.

Why I picked it:

Onnit’s Alpha BRAIN is a line of nootropic supplements that are formulated to improve your focus, memory and processing speed. Alpha BRAIN pre-workout is a combination of nootropics, amino acids and caffeine that are meant to give you both a cognitive and energy boost before your workout.

A unique feature that sets Alpha BRAIN pre-workout above the competitors is the amount of trademarked ingredients in the formula. Three of the active ingredients in Alpha BRAIN—Noogandha, Alphasize, Dynamine—are trademarked which means they’ve undergone independent clinical testing at their specific doses for safety and effectiveness. Noogandha is a concentrated ashwagandha extract that can reduce the effects of stress on your cognitive function, your physical body and your hormone balance when you take between 225 and 400 milligrams daily. Alpha BRAIN has 225 milligrams.

Dynamine works by blocking neurotransmitters that make you feel fatigue. This is similar to what caffeine does in your brain; however, studies suggest that Dynamine does not have the same negative side effects as caffeine like disrupted sleep or jitteriness. Another study showed that people who took 150 milligrams of caffeine paired with 100 milligrams of Dynamine had a higher performance boost than people who took 300 milligrams of caffeine alone. Alpha BRAIN has 200 milligrams of caffeine and 50 milligrams of Dynamine.

These ingredients together can give you more energy and focus during your workout, which can lead to more calories burned during and after your workout. Paired with a balanced diet, you should be on track to meet your weight loss goals.

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Why I picked it

Athletes prioritize gains in muscle strength more than the average gym-goer, so their pre-workout needs to pack a punch. A single scoop of XWerks Ignite contains 150 milligrams of caffeine, three grams of L-citrulline, 1.5 grams of beta-alanine and two grams of L-tyrosine. Each serving provides the dosages scientifically recommended to provide real performance benefits in the gym.

The amount of caffeine per scoop is moderate, but effective; it’s unlikely to give you the jitters, but you should feel a boost of energy. The L-citrulline is a nitric oxide booster, so it increases blood flow to your muscles. Beta-alanine helps prevent muscle fatigue, and L-tyrosine improves muscle endurance.

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Why I picked it:

Pulse by Legion Athletics is a caffeine-free pre-workout that contains 14.4 grams per serving of the four active ingredients: citrulline malate, beta-alanine, alpha-GPC and betaine. These four combined work to boost muscle endurance, enhance strength, increase power and reduce fatigue without the adverse side effects of stimulants. Pulse contains no artificial substances, and every ingredient is derived from plants.

There are eight grams of citrulline malate per serving, which is an effective dose for reducing post-exercise soreness and enhancing athletic performance during high-intensity, short-duration exercise. One clinical study found that participants given six grams of citrulline malate for 16 days reported a significant reduction in fatigue and an increased production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), an immediate energy source during vigorous training.

This supplement has 3.6 grams of beta-alanine per serving which supports performance improvements and can increase lean muscle mass. There are also 2.5 grams of betaine per serving. In a clinical study by The University of Memphis, participants given 2.5 grams of betaine for 14 days saw an increase in total repetitions and volume load during strength training. The 300 milligrams of alpha-GPC per serving supports brain health and function to keep you focused and can increase hepatic fat oxidation to utilize stored fat for energy.

Pulse is well formulated for athletes who focus on endurance or strength training. It has everything the body needs to provide energy and focus and is an excellent caffeine-free pre-workout supplement before high-intensity activity.

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What to consider:

Why I picked it:

Transparent Labs BULK Black is our top choice for muscle-building. Pre-workouts for muscle building often contain high amounts of stimulants to provide the burst of energy needed to lift heavy weight. The BULK Black formula provides a 275-milligram dose of caffeine. This amount of caffeine is enough to give most people (including our SI product testers) a noticeable energy burst. We didn’t experience the jitteriness associated with stimulants, but we’re also used to strong pre-workouts, so you may want to start with a half scoop to see how you feel.

In addition caffeine, BULK Black includes a range of muscle-building ingredients: 8,000 milligrams of citrulline malate for blood flow (11), 4,000 milligrams of beta-alanine for muscular endurance (68) and ingredients like 200 milligrams of l-theanine and 1,300 milligrams of taurine for muscle support (2, 56).

What I like about this brand is that it doesn’t make any outrageous claims on its products, shows no misleading research and has testing done on all of the products it offers. Additionally, products from Transparent Labs contain no artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives; they keep it simple, avoid proprietary blends and use clinically effective dosages of ingredients.

This product does contain 4,000 milligrams of beta alanine, which may cause a harmless tingling sensation on your skin. I personally like this feeling because it lets me know that my pre-workout supplement is kicking in, but it’s not for everyone. 

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

When it comes to supplement labels, it can be difficult to differentiate between synthetic and natural caffeine. Natural caffeine is extracted from sources like coffee beans, guarana seed or green tea whereas synthetic caffeine is chemically produced. Synthetic caffeine is more concentrated, which means it’s easier for your body to absorb. However, research shows that synthetic caffeine and natural caffeine give you the same effects like improved focus and an energy boost, although their side effects differ. Basically, natural caffeine tends to have less negative side effects like jitters or crashes.

EBOOST POW Natural Pre-Workout has 175 milligrams of natural caffeine sourced from coffee bean extract. That is about as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, so if you’re sensitive to caffeine you should be careful; otherwise 175 milligrams should not be enough to cause adverse effects.

Another unique ingredient in EBOOST POW is FruiteX-B. FruiteX-B is a patented form of calcium fructoborate, which research suggests can greatly reduce inflammation and joint pain while increasing joint flexibility for those with primary osteoarthritis. POW has 216 milligrams of FruiteX-B, which is about double the effective dose used in the clinical trials.

POW also has common pre-workout ingredients like CarnoSyn, a patented form of beta-alanine which can enhance muscle performance during strength training, 5-HTP which can help reduce anxiety, depression and insomnia and DMAE, which may play a role in balancing your mood hormones.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

If you are searching for high-stim pre-workouts to give you a big energy jolt before going to the gym, then Legion Pulse may be what you’re looking for. Pulse has 350 milligrams of caffeine, which is pushing the 400 milligram daily limit that is considered safe. However, one serving of Pulse is two scoops, so if you’re worried how your body will react to that much caffeine, you can half it to start. A half serving would give you 175 milligrams of caffeine, which is still higher than some pre-workouts.

But caffeine isn’t the only ingredient that makes Pulse one of the strongest pre-workouts. The formula also has eight grams of L-citrulline malate, which is an amino acid that can help improve your muscular endurance and lower recovery time between sets when consumed at an eight-gram dose like Pulse contains.

Pulse also has 3.6 grams of beta-alanine, which can significantly improve your muscle’s oxygen intake, leading to less fatigue and greater strength. However, the 3.6 grams is just about half the six-gram dose used in the clinical trials to produce those results.

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Why I picked it:

Onnit Alpha BRAIN Pre-Workout is unique on our pre-workout list because it isn’t high-stim—there are only 200 milligrams of caffeine. It also has common pre-workout ingredients like 2.4 grams of beta-alanine and 2.4 grams of L-citrulline, which are on the lower end of clinically effective doses. However, there are three ingredients that make Onnit Alpha BRAIN pre-workout an excellent choice for those looking for a boost in the gym: NooGandha, AlphaSize, and Dynamine.

NooGandha is a patented, concentrated ashwagandha extract that can reduce the effects of stress on your body, cognitive function and hormones. The clinically effective dose of NooGandha is between 225 and 400 milligrams daily. Alpha BRAIN has 225 milligrams.

Finally, Alpha BRAIN also contains Dynamine. Dynamine works as a substitute for caffeine because it has similar benefits like blocking neurotransmitters that make you tired. However, studies show that Dynamine doesn’t have the same side effects as caffeine like headache, jitters and insomnia. As such, the 50 milligrams of Dynamine in Alpha BRAIN function as an additional 50 milligrams of caffeine without the side effects.

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Why I picked it:

XWerks Ignite is a good alternative to the common pre-workout formulas that are stimulant-heavy. Ignite does have 150 milligrams of caffeine, but that’s less than the amount of caffeine in two cups of coffee (27). Instead, Ignite focuses on Rhodiola rosea, which is a nootropic that may help reduce your muscle recovery time and improve your explosive output (26).

According to that same study, best results were seen when 500 milligrams of Rhodiola were given about a half hour before a workout, which is exactly the dose included in the Ignite formula.

Another key ingredient in this formula is DMAE (or Deanol), which XWerks claims can help improve cognitive function, though there are limited studies to support this. Other important ingredients include vitamins B6 and B12, which help make energy production efficient (28) and L-tyrosine, which is an amino acid that may boost cognitive function (29). Ignite contains two grams of L-tyrosine, which is only 33 percent of the most effective dose (six grams), but it’s still within the effective range.

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What to consider:

Why I picked it:

Transparent Labs Stim-Free pre-workout is a high-quality, clinically dosed, caffeine-free supplement at a price point that provides consumers with tremendous value. Most pre-workouts on the market contain anywhere from three to five active ingredients, and that’s including caffeine. Stim-Free is not only free from caffeine, but it has 10 active compounds that are all dosed effectively to provide real benefits. In addition, Transparent Labs never uses any artificial ingredients in its products (i.e. artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors or fillers).

These were the factors that motivated us to name Stim-Free the best value non-stim pre-workout on the market. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the cheapest option, because there are cheaper options out there, but if you want a caffeine-free pre-workout that will actually work, then Transparent Labs has you covered.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

XWerks Ignite is a sports supplement company with a mission to optimize human performance and a product line that was designed with athletes in mind.

The Ignite pre-workout is unique because it contains less caffeine (150 milligrams) than most other pre-workout powders on the market and instead prioritizes nootropic ingredients like rhodiola rosea, DMAE bitartrate and L-tyrosine to enhance focus. This makes this product a great option for men who want to use a pre-workout as part of their weight loss program, but want to avoid the jitters and anxiety that can come with a highly caffeinated pre-workout powder. 

Ignite also includes all of the major ingredients you like to see in a pre-workout formula including L-citrulline malate and beta-alanine; however, I wish these were included in slightly higher dosage levels to match up with some of the other products that are available. This product definitely isn’t the strongest pre-workout on the market, but it still should be effective and is a great option for both male and female athletes who train using CrossFit, high intensity interval training or in endurance sports.

What we love:

What to consider:

Benefits of Using a Pre-Workout Supplement

Pre-workout supplements are most commonly used as a stimulant to increase energy, motivation, focus and drive at the gym. Most formulations contain a hefty dose of caffeine, but there are some that are labeled as “non-stim,” which contain no caffeine, but include nitric oxide precursors that increase both blood flow and vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels). Other pre-workouts are created with athletes in mind and might contain electrolytes for hydration, as well as the compound beta-alanine, which has been shown to buffer the acidity in muscles during periods of longer endurance exercise (32).

Research has demonstrated that certain pre-workout supplements, if dosed correctly with the right ingredients, have notable positive effects on lean body mass and overall athletic performance (33). Whether you wake up early before work for the gym or need a boost in the afternoon prior to an evening training session, a pre-workout supplement can be utilized as a helpful boost for your workout.

How to Use a Pre-Workout

You should always follow the label instructions when ingesting pre-workout. In almost all cases, you will mix it with six to 12 ounces of water and consume it 15 to 30 minutes before a training session. It’s advised to never dry-scoop pre-workout, meaning that you ingest the pre-workout powder without mixing and diluting it with water (34). This is a dangerous trend for a number of reasons; the most obvious is that you can accidentally inhale the powder, which poses a potential choking hazard, and the second is that dry-scooping essentially floods your body with an acute dose of caffeine, which can drastically increase both your blood pressure and heart rate and potentially lead to an irregular heartbeat rhythm.

What Are the Cons of Taking a Pre-Workout?

Note: It’s always advised to speak to your healthcare professional before taking a pre-workout supplement.

In most cases pre-workouts aren’t considered dangerous; however, as with almost everything else, they can be abused and have harmful side effects if used inappropriately. Some examples of improper usage include dry-scooping, taking more than the prescribed dosage and using pre-workout without considering your total daily caffeine ingestion.

Some initial factors to consider include age and other medications you’re taking. To start, pre-workouts are only intended for healthy adults, meaning 18 years of age or older. The American College of Sports Medicine echoes this sentiment and recommends that people younger than age 18 should not take pre-workout supplements. You also want to consider if you are pregnant or taking medications such as nitrates, antidepressants, blood thinners, etc. because pre-workout can cause changes to your normal blood pressure and heart rate.

I also suggest that you first optimize your lifestyle before using a pre-workout supplement. If a client of mine is supplementing with pre-workout solely for the caffeine and energy component, I like to look at possible lifestyle choices we can improve before adding a stimulant into their routine. I advise clients to focus on their hydration, sleep and nutrition in addition to monitoring their overall daily intake of caffeine. Most pre-workout formulations contain around 150 to 300 milligrams of caffeine, and if you have two cups of coffee in the morning, you are already at the suggested daily limit of up to 400 milligrams per day (35). This is important because caffeine can take up to 10 hours to clear from your system, so I would advise you to not ingest caffeine after 3 p.m. (36) 

Being a stimulant, caffeine can also affect your sleep, which can affect your energy the following day and lead to caffeine dependence (37). Excessive intake of caffeine can trigger some unwanted side effects, including anxiety, headaches, jitters and insomnia. It’s recommended to take some days off from caffeinated pre-workouts to prevent dependence and maintain tolerance levels.

How to Choose the Best Pre-Workout for You

When looking to purchase a pre-workout, focus on your health and fitness goals, and determine what you personally need to get the best training session possible. Questions you might want to ask yourself include:

For each of these scenarios I would likely recommend a different pre-workout supplement based on caffeine content, vitamins, minerals and other active ingredients.

Ingredients to Look for in a Pre-Workout Supplement

Here is a list of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements, what they do and the recommended effective dosages so that you can make informed decisions as to which pre-workout supplement to purchase.


Caffeine is one of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements (38). This is due to its ability to stimulate the central nervous system, leading to improvements in cognition, performance, power output and endurance through a reduced perception of fatigue (39). Studies show caffeine supplementation is effective for enhancing athletic performance in dosages of three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight (39); for reference most pre-workout supplements have between 150 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per serving. This means that a 140-pound female and a 180-pound male should see performance enhancing benefits with around 190 and 240 milligrams of caffeine, respectively. It’s important to monitor your total caffeine consumption throughout the day when choosing a pre-workout containing caffeine. The recommended daily allowance (40) of caffeine for adults is 400 milligrams per day (27).


Branched chain amino acids, more commonly abbreviated as BCAAs, are the three amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. These three amino acids make up about one-third of the body’s muscle protein (41), and have been shown to help build muscle by increasing the rate of protein synthesis and decreasing the rate of protein degradation in resting human muscle tissue (42). BCAAs are included in pre-workout formulations with the intent of stimulating muscle protein synthesis, which would reduce exercise-induced muscle breakdown due to resistance training. This sounds good in theory, but studies have not been able to show that BCAAs alone significantly enhance athletic performance (43). For performance enhancing benefits to occur, BCAAs must be consumed in conjunction with the other six essential amino acids. As such, BCAAs are not what I would look for in a pre-workout supplement, and they can easily be consumed either pre- or post-workout through your diet or using a protein shake or protein powder supplement.


Betaine is a metabolite in the body formed from choline (44). It is consumed naturally in the diet through foods such as beets, broccoli, grains, shellfish and spinach, and further supplementation may provide some performance enhancing benefits. In studies, consuming two to three grams of betaine per day has shown some slight resistance training and body composition benefits (45). One study noted that blood lactate accumulation was slightly lower when taking betaine compared to the placebo group, meaning that betaine supplementation may provide benefits when consistently exercising at moderate to high intensities (46).


Creatine is a combination of the three amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine, and is one of the most studied performance enhancing supplements available. It has been shown to aid in building muscle, shortening recovery time and improving performance (47). Creatine is considered safe (48) and without significant adverse effects at dosage levels of four to five grams per day (49). A loading phase of 0.3 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day for three days is common before starting a creatine supplementation routine. This means that a 180-pound male might take around 25 grams of creatine a day for the first three days to fully saturate their muscles before moving to a four to five gram dosage of creatine per day. 

It’s also important to mention that creatine is an ingredient often added to pre-workout for overall convenience, but it’s not a critical component because it provides no immediate benefits to your training session. It doesn’t have noticeable, immediate and short-term effects like ingredients such as caffeine and L-citrulline. Creatine has long-term effects when taken daily, so if you wish to supplement with creatine, you can take it whenever you want throughout the day. Since you should supplement with creatine daily, not just on the days you work out, I would suggest buying a creatine monohydrate powder so you can still supplement without needing to take your pre-workout powder on rest days.

Non-essential & conditionally essential amino acids

Non-essential amino acids are required for normal health and growth. The reason they are classified as non-essential (meaning they do not need to be consumed through our diet) is because our bodies are able to synthesize these amino acids from other proteins that we ingest. These non-essential amino acids often act as precursor molecules in the body, meaning that they change or transition into other molecules through various metabolic reactions in the body.

Conditionally essential amino acids are generally not essential for our body and its usual day to day functions. However, in times of injury, illness or stress, these amino acids can be beneficial for recovery.


Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is used in conjunction with the essential amino acid l-histidine in the body to create the dipeptide molecule carnosine (32). Carnosine plays a key role in buffering the lactic acid produced in the muscles during periods of intense exercise. This reduction in lactic acid build up ultimately improves performance and increases total time to exhaustion. An effective dose of four to six grams per day is suggested to elicit performance enhancing benefits (50). A possible side effect of supplementation is a sensation of prickly or tingly skin called paresthesia (51); however the symptom is temporary, and there is no evidence that it is harmful.


L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that acts as a precursor to the amino acid L-arginine and the chemical nitric oxide (52). Studies show that supplementation with L-citrulline or citrulline malate results in increased muscular endurance, reduced muscle soreness and better aerobic performance through enhanced ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production (11). Effective dosage ranges for pure L-citrulline appear to be between three to four grams per day and six to eight grams per day for citrulline malate if in a 1:1 ratio.


L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that is the precursor to the hormone/neurotransmitter dopamine (53). Supplementation has been shown to lead to improvement of mood and well-being in people under stress (54), a common emotion experienced during athletic competition, but it seems to still be unclear if this has a direct relationship to exercise and athletic performance. More research needs to be done before L-tyrosine can be conclusively called an ergogenic aid, which is anything that an athlete can use to increase energy, performance and recovery.


Taurine is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid with demonstrated antioxidant and potential athletic performance benefits (55). A meta-analysis of 19 taurine specific studies show potential improvements in VO2max, time to exhaustion, anaerobic performance, reduced muscle damage, electrolyte balance, peak power and recovery (56). From the analysis, taurine dosages ranging from one to three grams per day appear to be effective.

Nitric oxide

Nitric oxide (NO) itself is not found in pre-workout formulations; however, NO precursors, like L-arginine (57) and L-citrulline, and chemicals that mimic the effects of nitric oxide like betaine are readily found in pre-workout supplements. Nitric oxide’s main role in the body is regulating vasodilation which affects blood pressure and blood flow. During exercise, this increased blood flow means that more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the muscles (58).

Vitamins & minerals

Vitamins and minerals are added to pre-workout supplements for a variety of reasons. Minerals such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium and sodium are often added to pre-workout supplements for athletes. The addition of these mineral electrolytes will help athletes who sweat a lot during training to better maintain their hydration and intracellular fluid balance (59).

Vitamins also play a significant role in overall health and physical performance (60). Specifically, many of the B-vitamins are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats for energy. They also play a role in the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells, which contributes to the availability of oxygen in the muscles during intense aerobic exercise. Additional vitamins, such as vitamins C and E, function in the body as antioxidants helping to prevent the oxidative damage that occurs during resistance training. Vitamin D, a nutrient that many people, including athletes, are deficient in (61), is also included in pre-workout formulations due to its role as a steroid hormone in the body (62). Not only is vitamin D important for bone health, but it has many additional benefits, including inflammatory modulation, skeletal muscle growth and immune health.

Pre-Workout FAQs

Is creatine better than a pre-workout supplement?

That depends on your goals. Creatine helps you to build muscle and strength, and a pre-workout formulated with creatine should have the same effect; however, creatine alone won’t have the extra active ingredients included in pre-workout formulas. That means you won’t get a boost in energy from caffeine or endurance from beta alanine, taurine or B-vitamins, for example. If you want only creatine, then just take a creatine supplement, but a pre-workout supplement is better if you want extra energy and ingredients designed to optimize muscle gain and stamina. 

Is it okay to drink pre-workout on an empty stomach?

Technically, it’s just fine to take a pre-workout on an empty stomach; in fact, doing so will help it reach your bloodstream faster. However, if your pre-workout contains caffeine, you should consider your body’s response to stimulants on an empty stomach. That combination may cause some to feel anxious or jittery. If you have any heart conditions, eat a small meal or snack before consuming a pre-workout, and talk to your doctor about whether or not you should avoid stimulants. 

Can I use a pre-workout every day?

This varies from person to person and depends on the ingredients in your pre-workout. Generally, it’s best to avoid supplements that are high in sugar or artificial additives. You should also consider how much caffeine is in your pre-workout. If you start to feel anxious or lose sleep, it’s time to cut back. 

Is pre-workout worth buying?

Depending on your goals and budget, pre-workout supplements can definitely be worth the investment, since they typically provide a boost in energy, focus, endurance and pump. However, it’s important to note that pre-workouts aren’t necessary to gain muscle or manage your weight. The most important factors for physical health are regular exercise, a balanced diet and good sleep. If buying supplements means sacrificing more important line items in your wellness regimen, like nutritious food, you may want to hold off, or stick with a cup of coffee. But if you have the budget, pre-workouts can take your workout to the next level.

Is pre-workout better than caffeine?

Caffeine on its own can be taken as a workout primer, and caffeine is a common ingredient in pre-workout. The distinct edge pre-workout supplements give are the additional ingredients that aid with endurance, muscle recovery and blood flow. 

Is it OK to take a pre-workout before every workout?

Generally, yes, however, there’s one big caveat: Everyday use is likely to result in building up a tolerance to the ingredients’ effects—caffeine in particular. Therefore, we recommend that you skip pre-workout some days. A good strategy is to reserve taking pre-workout for tougher workouts. Also, if your pre-workout has stimulants, you should avoid taking it after 2 p.m.

Does pre-workout give you a pump?

Pre-workout supplements aren’t magic powders that will independently grow your muscles; however, multiple studies confirm that nitric oxide precursors, an ingredient in most pre-workout formulas, increase blood flow to the muscles (63), which helps with muscle recovery (64). And over time, being less fatigued and able to squeeze in a few more reps each workout is ultimately what will build your strength.

How long does pre-workout take to kick in?

How long a pre-workout takes to kick in depends on your size and metabolism, but generally, you should take pre-workout 30 minutes to an hour before your workout.

How long does pre-workout last?

Although the ingredients will be in your body for several hours, you’ll likely only feel the effects of pre-workout ingredients for a few hours tops. However, you should still be careful: Ingredients like caffeine can keep you buzzed for four to six hours or more, so be mindful of what time you plan to hit the sack. After all, disrupted sleep hinders muscle protein synthesis (65), negating the benefits of a pre-workout regimen in the first place. 

What is the best pre-workout on the market?

With so many options on the market, picking the best pre-workout comes down to your personal preference, training goals, flavor choices and budget. 

What’s the best pre-workout energy drink?

Like pre-workout, choosing the best pre-workout energy drink comes down to your personal preferences and goals. While some energy drinks are high in caffeine to give you that extra jolt needed to power through a workout, others can keep you hydrated or help you stay focused.

Why does pre-workout make you itch?

Studies show the itching or tingling feeling you sometimes experience after taking a pre-workout is due to beta-alanine (51). This amino acid is an ingredient commonly used in pre-workouts to decrease fatigue during exercise. While the exact reason is unknown, experts believe the itchiness is due to the way beta-alanine reacts with our central nervous system.

Expert Contributors

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.


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Pete Nastasi, certified sports nutrition coach


Pete Nastasi, the owner of Nastasi Nutrition, is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach residing in North Carolina.