It would be totally unreasonable to expect that during every workout you’re on top of your game and pumped to train. You turn up at the gym feeling tired and unmotivated, but you know you have to get it done.
If you’re someone that frequently isn’t on their game when you need to be, adding a pre-workout into the stack may offer some great benefits.
There are plenty of studies confirming that the best pre-workout supplements can improve VO2max, enhance training volume, and increase lean mass, but if you’re going to invest your time and money into pre-workouts, doing it safely and using smart ingredients is key.
We’re giving you a one-stop-shop for the best pre-workout supplements you’ll need. Whether you’re in the market for stimulant-free energy or looking for that caffeine hit, we’ve got it all.
The Best Pre-Workout Supplements
Pre Lab Pro
Pre Lab Pro is the next-generation pre-workout formula delivering bigger and better results than any other pre-workouts on the market. It’s designed to surpass your limits and help you reach beyond just strength and stamina.
With 2x muscle-pumping nitric oxide (NO) turbocharge plus an afterburn, it supports all-around athletics for peak performance.
And with the addition of smart caffeine, hydrating factors, and restorative essentials, Pre Lab Pro will power you through any activity—no matter the duration. It’s a blood flow boost like you’ve never felt before.
- Enhances athletic, nootropic, and thermogenic performance
- Increases alpha brainwaves to balance caffeine energy with calm control and clarity
- Helps reduce jitters, crashes, and other negative effects of caffeine overstimulation
- Replenishes caffeine-depleted brain chemicals for daily use with less burnout
- Promotes balanced physiological responses to caffeine-induced stress
- Supports a healthier recovery and faster bounce-back
- RedNite® Beetroot Powder—Improves neuromuscular performance, fatigue resistance, enhances muscle energy, healthy cardio performance, and sharper cognitive function through any workout
- Setria® Performance Blend—Strong and sustained NO boost for improved strength, power, speed, and endurance plus a faster start on muscle growth and recovery
- Natural caffeine—Moderate-dose caffeine stacked with boosters and balancers for maximum workout benefits and minimal side effects
- Ajipure® L-Tyrosine—Supports brain chemicals that drive athletic intensity and mental recovery while sharpening focus under stress and replenishing neurotransmitters depleted by caffeine and intense exercise
- Suntheanine®—Supports relaxed alertness, positive mood, and cognitive clarity plus enhances the effects of caffeine to promote calmer, cleaner stimulation
Performance Lab Pre
Performance Lab Pre is one of the most powerful stimulant-free (caffeine-free) muscle primers on the market designed to push your body to its limits.
It’s intelligently stacked to boost and sustain NO levels for twice as long and nourish your muscles to protect against lactic acid build-up that induces muscular fatigue and puts a stop to your workout.
Pre is an innovative blend of five powerful all-natural ingredients that enhance strength, intensity, and endurance without caffeine overload or bloating typical of many pre-workouts.
- Enhances muscle power and strength
- Extends aerobic and anaerobic endurance by sparking muscle-charging ATP energy
- Improves endurance by buffering and hydrating hard-working muscles
- Raises nitric oxide (NO) levels to support muscle blood flow and oxygenation
- Sustains NO activity to extend muscle benefits for strength and recovery
- Stimulant-free sports nutrition for training intensity without jitters or energy crashes
- Setria® Performance Blend—Boosts and sustains nitric oxide (NO) levels longer for enhanced strength and power, increased energy and endurance, sharper focus and drive, and accelerated repair and recovery
- Creapure® pH10—Restores muscle creatine levels to support high-intensity exercise, lean muscle development, prolonged muscle endurance, and a stronger recovery
- CarnoSyn®—Increases work capacity of muscles, delays fatigue, and boosts muscle strength and endurance
- Himalayan Pink Salt—A natural, unprocessed source of trace minerals and electrolytes key to maximizing athletic performance
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract—A potent source of proanthocyanidin antioxidants designed to soothe and protect muscles during intense exercise, but also promote endothelial production of nitric oxide (NO) to sustain performance
- NutriGenesis® Iron—Complexed with absorption-enhancing cofactors to maximize uptake and oxygen transport and delivery
So, What Is A Pre-Workout?
If you’re not properly fueling yourself before an intense training session, hitting your best on movements is going to be a challenge.
Think of pre-workouts like your pre-workout warmup session—it warms your body systems up and prepares them for exercise to activate your nervous system and prevent injury.
Without a sufficient warmup, you’ll have less energy, less strength, and will hit fatigue faster. The point of a pre-workout supplement is to prevent that.
It helps you train harder for longer to achieve better gains by:
- Boosting energy and focus
- Enhancing strength and stamina
- Improving blood flow
- Blocking fatigue
- Accelerating recovery
Some people take their pre-workout in the form of a shake or a coffee, but the kind we’re talking about here offers so much more.
In general, the ingredients you’ll find in many pre-workout supplements include stimulants (usually caffeine), NO boosters, creatine monohydrate, amino acids, and beta-alanine.
When you combine these, you supercharge the body’s ability to power through workouts with ease and trigger maximal growth and performance.
But it pays to read the label on your pre-workout supplement because they’re not all created equal. Some contain high-dose caffeine to add an extra pep in your step, while others focus more on anti-fatigue compounds and achieving that notorious ‘pump’.
Whatever have you, be mindful of what's in it.
The Benefits Of Taking A Pre-Workout Supplement
Whether you’ve hit a plateau at the gym or are just looking for increased energy to get through your session, a good pre-workout is a killer in your stack and a must-have for us.
The ingredients in the best pre-workout supplements are specifically designed to cater to every angle of your training—strength, power, endurance, speed, fatigue, and recovery.
They hit the nail on the head so you can smash your session and walk out of there knowing your body will recover like an absolute gem so you can be back at it tomorrow.
When you’re taking the right ingredients in the right doses, you’re signing up for a hefty list of benefits:
- Sharper focus
- Longer-lasting endurance
- Better strength
- More power
- Less fatigue
- Faster recovery
The Best Pre-Workout Ingredients
Whatever the reason you’re looking for a pre-workout, certain ingredients are more effective than others.
Keep in mind that there are far more powerful ingredients in Pre Lab Pro and Performance Lab Pre than what this list covers, but here are some of our favorites:
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a weight room, you’ve probably heard about creatine. Guys tout this stuff left, right, and center for its muscle-building abilities and it’s got the research to back it up.
Creatine is actually produced in the body by the liver and kidneys after consuming animal proteins but can also be taken in supplements.
Your muscles then convert creatine into creatine phosphate (phosphocreatine), which is used to synthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP)—your body’s main energy source.
Supplementing with creatine monohydrate increases your body’s ability to produce energy rapidly to sustain high-intensity work and support growth.
The way this happens is pretty straightforward: If you can lift more weight, you create more muscular damage. Then, following the repair process, that stimulus ultimately leads to bigger and stronger muscles. More damage + better recovery = more growth potential.
But how does creatine help you lift more weight?
That's simple—through the regeneration of ATP.
In fast-twitch skeletal muscle, there is normally a large reserve of phosphocreatine available for immediate regeneration of ATP during high intensity, short-duration work 1.
However, as intense activity continues, phosphocreatine levels decline, which means energy availability also declines because there is a lack of substrate available for ATP regeneration required to meet the body’s demands.
So, when you increase the amount of substrate, you increase work capacity.
Studies consistently show that creatine is great for:
- Increasing aerobic capacity
- Maximizing muscle growth
- Accelerating and enhancing recovery
No single supplement can make you swole overnight, but when you have the right combination, they can go a long way in fast-tracking your progress. But beta-alanine, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid, can help you work harder for longer during training sessions to maximize your results.
Beta-alanine is such a powerhouse because it gets converted into carnosine, a compound that helps to buffer acidic muscles and prevent the onset of fatigue.
It does so by buffering lactic acid that accumulates from glucose breakdown out of muscles; when muscles become too acidic (too much lactic acid), they lose their ability to contract and they fatigue.
However, when you supplement with beta-alanine, you have a steady supply of the building blocks for carnosine 2. More substrate means enhanced buffering capacity and less chance of fatigue.
But there’s another facet. When taken with creatine, beta-alanine can boost its power to increase lean muscle mass, melt fat, increase strength, and boost power to a better degree than taking creatine alone 3.
Red Beetroot Powder
A lot of athletes and bodybuilders chase what they call the pump—blood being pumped into your muscle faster than it can leave, which causes it to pool and temporarily increase the size of your muscles.
It’s what every lifter craves during their workout and one of the best ways to achieve it is by boosting nitric oxide levels.
As a powerful vasodilator, nitric oxide opens up blood vessels to increase blood flow to working muscles. And while you can find it in many compounds, red beetroot powder is a rich source of natural nitrate that drives NO production to get your blood coursing 4.
It helps to:
- Boost neuromuscular performance
- Reduce fatigue
- Enhance muscle recovery
- Support healthy cardiovascular function
- Sharpen cognitive function
But it also contains potent antioxidants called betalain pigments, which help to mitigate the effects of oxidative stress caused by intense training 4. High levels of oxidative stress are an underlying factor for several chronic diseases.
When you look at most conventional pre-workout supplements, the side effects can sometimes outweigh the benefits. Jitters, anxiety, nervousness, addiction… it’s the result of high-dose caffeine, in most cases.
But when you add L-Tyrosine into the mix, you’re supporting the synthesis and recycling of the three catecholamines most affected by caffeine—dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine 5.
By counteracting the side effects, L-Tyrosine helps to sharpen focus and maintain neurotransmitter levels to boost performance, stabilize mood, and prevent fatigue. Taken pre-workout, it also supports brain chemicals that drive athletic intensity and mental recovery.
Nothing is worse than taking a pre-workout and absolutely smashing your workout, only to be exhausted and feeling like trash the next day.
High caffeine can be a total buzzkill and over time, depletes important chemicals and nutrients in your body required for optimal performance.
That’s where L-Theanine shines. It’s a non-essential amino acid that’s one of the best compounds for preventing stress-associated impairments—and intense training? That’s a pretty solid stressor.
The reason it’s such a powerful ingredient in a pre-workout is that it helps to enhance the effects of caffeine for a calmer, cleaner stimulation that’s precision-tuned for peak performance.
By supporting important neurotransmitters like dopamine, GABA, glutamate, and serotonin, it maintains a calm, motivated state of mind to help you power through even the toughest workouts with confidence and ease 6.
But because caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, L-Theanine works on the excitatory brain chemicals associated with high-dose caffeine to tone down an overstimulated central nervous system that can interfere with your performance and recovery.
If you’re looking for calmness and clarity without the sedative effects, free-form cognitive exploration, reduced anxiety, and improved mood balance, L-Theanine is your guy.
What’s more, it’s also great for supporting sleep, which is one of the most essential pieces for proper recovery outside the gym and proper performance inside the gym 7.
This one we’re going to give a little star to because we’re not talking about the mega-doses of caffeine found in most pre-workout supplements.
We’re talking about low-dose, natural caffeine designed for precision performance—not jitters and anxiety.
As a powerful central nervous system stimulant, caffeine can offer a lot of advantages to your workouts—better energy and focus, higher alertness, improved cognitive function, and more.
But caffeine also induces the release of catecholamines that promote fat utilization and spare intramuscular glycogen, which means better performance 8.
However, the doses found in most pre-workout supplements can actually damage your performance. When you have upwards of 400 mg per scoop—combined with your daily caffeine intake from non-pre-workout sources—you’re bordering on excessive intake, which can lead to anxiety, jitters, nervousness, chronically high cortisol, and more.
But in moderate doses like what’s found in Pre Lab Pro, you’re unlocking all the ergogenic benefits it has to offer:
- Attention and focus
- Energy and intensity
- Muscle strength
- Fat burning
If that wasn’t enough, Pre Lab Pro makes all of these caffeine benefits even better with complementary formula ingredients like Suntheanine® L-Theanine, Ajipure® L-Tyrosine, and NutriGenesis® B-Vitamins.
In addition to everything we just mentioned, you’re also getting some other training superstars:
- Setria® Performance Blend (L-Citrulline + Glutathione) - Works synergistically to maximize and sustain nitric oxide levels for peak power output
- NutriGenesis Iron - Supports red blood cell production to increase exercise capacity, reduce fatigue, and boost overall athletic performance and cognitive function
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract - Supplies a concentrated dose of potent antioxidants to soothe and protect muscles against damage during intense training
- NutriGenesis B vitamins - Counteracts the effects of stimulants and supports the synthesis of important neurotransmitters needed to maintain calm, clean energy production
- Himalayan Sea Salt - Maintains hydration and balance through even the toughest workouts by mitigating the performance-limiting impact of exercise-induced depletion of essential minerals
What Makes It The Best Pre-Workout Supplement?
You’d think this one would be a no-brainer with the stellar stack of ingredients you’re getting, but there are even more goodies that will help you push your body beyond what you thought it was ever capable of—you’re getting everything that standard pre-workout supplements lack.
Nothing screams a bad pre-workout like an ingredient list 30 lines long with ingredients you’ve never heard of.
Artificial flavors, food dyes, artificial sweeteners, additives, fillers, and the list goes on. They’re unnecessary and are completely non-nutritive or performance-enhancing.
With Pre Lab Pro and Performance Lab Pre, you’re only getting research-backed ingredients for safe and effective training support.
Completely vegan-friendly, non-GMO, non-irradiated, and 100% free of gluten, allergens, synthetic additives, artificial colors, and preservatives, they’re simple and clean formulas for animalistic power and intensity.
While conventional pre-workouts may support packing on muscle, they’re not doing any good for your waistline.
Artificial sweeteners wreak havoc on glucose and insulin control, which leads to long-term issues like weight gain, fatigue, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Both pre-workout supplements are naturally flavored and sweetened with xylitol, erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit extract for no blood sugar imbalances and no questionable long-term side effects.
Precision doses for better performance
When you hide under the label of a proprietary blend, what you’re getting is up in the air. You may know the ingredients, but the dosages are top secret, which puts into question the efficacy of the formula.
You want a label that’s transparent about dosages so you know exactly what you’re getting.
With Pre Lab Pro and Performance Lab Pre, it’s precision doses designed to take your workouts to an entirely new level. It’s superior quality with greater efficacy.
Finding a pre-workout supplement isn’t a hard deal—they line the shelves of any fitness supplement stores and are widely available online. But finding one that has research-backed ingredients, effective dosing, and works is a whole other story.
Rather than wasting time searching for a pre-workout that you could put towards training, use this as your personal reference guide to finding the best pre-workout to support your training goals.
With the best pre-workouts—Pre Lab Pro and Performance Lab Pre, you’re getting innovative, top-of-the-line pre-workout supplements guaranteed to help you perform better—in and out of the gym.
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- GG Artioli, B Gualano, A Smith, J Stout, AH Lancha Jr. Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(6):1162-1173.
- J Hoffman, N Ratamess, J Kang, G Mangine, A Faigenbaum, J Stout. Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16(4):430-446.
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- SN Young. L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress? J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2007;32(3):224.
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- AE Smith, DH Fukuda, KL Kendall, JR Stout. The effects of a pre-workout supplement containing caffeine, creatine, and amino acids during three weeks of high-intensity exercise on aerobic and anaerobic performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;7:10.