Sports supplements are big business.
Seriously, by 2022 it’s said that the global sports nutrition market could surpass $45 billion.
This is great for the industry. But in a heavily saturated market, with all manner of nutritional alternatives to choose from, it’s hard to know the best options.
And the same is true for an increasingly popular product in this arena: pre-workout supplements.
As a result, we wanted to put together a list of some of the top ones around. Keep reading to learn about the best pre-workouts available this year.
Pre-Workout: What Is It and Why Take It?
Pre-workout is short for pre-workout supplementation.
And, as the name suggests, it’s a supplement you take in the hour or so before a workout.
They come in different forms, such as pills, strips that dissolve on the tongue, or powders (to mix with water). There are masses of options out there too, all with a shared purpose of enhancing your performance in the workout to come.
Whether you want to lift heavier, run harder, focus better, get pumped up, or all of the above, there’s a pre-workout for you.
Pre-Workout Ingredients and Their Purposes
Every pre-workout offers a unique blend of ingredients to provide their specific results.
But pre-workouts aren’t regulated by the FDA (more on this later), so be wary of products that don’t showcase their specific ingredients (and their dosages).
Here are some of the most common ingredients you’ll find in pre-workouts, plus their function. However, you’ll find many other types too, all with their own supposed benefits.
Caffeine – Scientifically proven to increase alertness, endurance, and strength.
Citrulline – Said to improve both endurance and blood flow.
Beta Alanine – Leads to enhanced endurance.
Creatine – Reduces levels of fatigue and increases power and anaerobic capacity.
Taurine – Can improve recovery and increase focus.
Choline Bitartrate – Said to reduce fatigue and support anaerobic endurance.
Tyrosine – Said to help lower stress levels and increase focus
Betaine Anhydrous (‘TMG’) – Commonly found in beetroot and meant to increase power output & energy levels.
Alpha GPC – Meant to improve power and lower your risk of cognitive disorders
Pepper Extract – Makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients and supplements
The 8 Best Pre-Workout Supplements of 2018
Check out 8 of the best pre-workout options on the market today:
Engn Shred by Evlution Nutrition
Engn Shred is a high-quality pre-workout that boasts a set of ingredients to support with strength, endurance, and focus.
However, as the name suggests, it’s also renowned as one of the best pre-workouts for cutting (weight loss). This is helped by the absence of creatine, which can build water weight.
Pre-Kaged by Kaged Muscle
Pre-Kaged is one of the most recommended pre-workouts around. Marketed as a pre-workout primer, Pre-Kaged can dramatically enhance performance levels all-round.
Backed by scientific studies, its ingredients are designed to maximize your endurance, focus, strength, hydration, and energy.
It also comes packed with antioxidants from the fruit and vegetable extracts and concentrates used in the formula.
Pre-Jym by Jym Supplement Science
Pre-Jym is another highly recommended pre-workout in the industry. In some reviews, it falls slightly shorter than Pre-Kaged in terms of its higher price-point. But overall you can’t go wrong- it’s one of the best options on the market.
There’s a pretty high dose of caffeine (300mg) to boost your focus, endurance, and strength, plus other ingredients like citrulline and beta-alanine that’ll do similarly.
Mr. Hyde by Pro-Supps
Mr. Hyde falls into the high stimulant category. Its unique caffeine blend packs a punch that’s up to 3 times higher than other pre-workouts. This makes it one of the best high-stim options out there.
High stimulant products can make you feel jittery and even anxious at times, so be sure not to go overboard on them. That said, they’re the best bet if you want extreme levels of energy with which to enter the gym.
It’ll also help boost your muscle pumps, vascularity, and endurance.
C4 Original by Cellucor
C4 Original is a great entry-level option for newbies to the pre-workout scene. But it’s just as suited to advanced levels. In fact, with over 1.1 billion servings sold, C4 is said to be the number 1 selling pre-workout in America. That popularity says a lot for its quality.
Anyone looking for greater energy levels, endurance, focus, and pump will enjoy this product.
Pulse by Legion
Pulse is another high quality, versatile pre-workout that comes highly recommended. It’s one of the best options for both cardio and pump.
But with 350mg of caffeine, it’ll also give you the boost to your energy and focus that you need for a solid workout. There’s no artificial colors, sweeteners or flavorings either, which gives it the thumbs up for those seeking natural alternatives.
Pulse isn’t the cheapest option on this list, but in every other way, it is an outstanding option.
Nitraflex by GAT
Anyone looking for a high-stimulant, cheap alternative to other pre-workouts on this list will enjoy Nitraflex. You’ll enjoy the added boost to strength and testosterone levels as well, thanks to the addition of calcium fructopyranose borate.
One slight issue it that it’s a proprietary blend of ingredients. This means we don’t know the dosages involved.
Pump by RUI
We’d be silly not to include our very own pre-workout on this list!
The ingredients and unique formulation we use are backed by scientific research to help build muscle and increase performance.
Unlike other options, you’ll experience sustained benefits during your workout without a crash at the end. It’s another high-end option for enhanced focus, power, and energy.
Pre-Workout Safety Considerations
Pre-workouts are widely used, but they sometimes come with a safety warning.
For instance, high levels of caffeine may be inappropriate for individuals with anxiety or heart-related problems.
More significantly, they aren’t regulated by the FDA. This means shops can stock them regardless of ingredients or dosages that may, in fact, be a health concern.
To avoid potential problems try to buy supplements that are regulated by a third party regulator, like NSF. These companies thoroughly vet products to ensure they’re high quality, do as they say and safe to consume.
Time to Wrap Up
Pre-workouts are a popular supplement in a growing industry.
But with lots of options, each with their own unique properties and functions, it can be tough to know which one to choose.
We hope this list of the best pre-workouts of 2018 has helped. You can rest assured that any of them will set you up for the perfect workout. Whether you choose C4 original, Pre-Kaged, Pulse, Nitraflex, Mr. Hyde, Engn Shred or Pre-Jym, you’re sure to feel the effects throughout your session.
Now we’d love to hear from you!
Have you used pre-workouts before? What were some of the key benefits you noticed? Were there any negatives too?
Let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out our full list of supplements available for sale.