Wellness » Best Pre-Workout Supplements

Best Pre-Workout Supplements

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When you need motivation to raise the performance bar during your workouts, a pre-workout supplement can be the perfect pick-me-up to provide that. The Glowsly team is here to enlighten you on all the best pre-workout supplements available.

It’s no secret that powders, supplements, and sports drinks can make the difference between low-energy and high-performance workouts. Whether you’ve tried them or not, you’ve likely seen shelves of pre-workout supplements while walking down a store’s health and wellness aisle. 

No pre-workout supplement is created equal, with their different ingredient blends and price points per serving. To make the selection process easier for you, we’ve rounded up the top eight supplements for added strength, energy, and mental focus pre-exercise.

Best pre-workout supplements overview

How we chose the best pre-workout supplements

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including formulations and more to create a short list of the top pre-workout supplements. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best pre-workout supplement for each category.

Our picks for the best pre-workout supplements

Best overall
Kaged Pre-Kaged

What we love

  • Premium formula for focus, energy, and more
  • Quality ingredients and research-backed doses
  • Beginner-friendly

What we don’t love

  • On the pricey side
  • Small container size with only 20 servings
  • Poor mixability due to branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

Kaged’s Pre-Kaged wins the title for best overall pre-workout supplement, as it requires no additional supplementation for optimal results. This multifaceted formula is a powerhouse all on its own. It has all the research-backed ingredients needed to crush your workout goals, from energy-fueling caffeine to the pump-producing ingredients of creatine and L-citrulline. Pre-Kaged can also take your strength, stamina, and mental focus up a notch. It’s even packed with ingredients like leucine and valine, which aid post-workout recovery and muscle repairs. 

Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or a newbie to pre-workout supplements, you can regularly enjoy this performance-enhancing supplement. The third-party-tested formula has transparent labeling that provides precise dosages of each ingredient. Available in a variety of flavors, Kaged’s Pre-Kaged is also free of artificial flavors or colors. 

While the 6.5 grams of BCAAs may positively impact muscle recovery, they’ve left some users with a bitter aftertaste. This taints the overall taste and mixability of the supplement. With a mere 20 servings per container and a high price of roughly $2.25 per serving, one might further question whether Pre-Kaged is worth the investment. As you can see, the pros of this supplement far outweigh the cons, and its value speaks for itself.

Serving size: 1 scoop (29.6 g) | Flavors: Grape, Orange Krush, Berry Blast, Pink Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Krisp Apple, Cherry Bomb

Best budget-friendly
Cellucor C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder

What we love

  • Affordable
  • Virtually carbohydrate-free and low-calorie
  • Amazing taste (with no added sugars)

What we don’t love

  • Insufficient labeling/dosage details
  • Clumps when stored in humid environments
  • Low creatine content

As one of the more affordable pre-workout supplements, this option is ideal for those on a budget who want abundant energy and pump boost. Don’t let its value price of about $1 per serving fool you. The C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder is a powerful formula with premium-quality ingredients. Individuals who take it consistently can expect greater energy, focus, and endurance. 

This powder provides enough caffeine (150 milligrams per serving) to heighten your energy during workouts — minus the crash that often comes with a higher stimulant dose. The TeaCrine content that functions similarly to caffeine will make it seem like you’re getting double the benefits, too. This purine alkaloid’s mood-boosting effect can get you pumped at the gym. Each serving also has 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, an ingredient designed to fight muscle fatigue. 

The C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder is a nearly carbohydrate-free formula that’s limited in calories. With rich vitamin C content (250 milligrams per serving), it’s no wonder why some consider this the nation’s No. 1 pre-workout supplement. Not to mention, it’s tasty.

One downside of this pre-workout is its proprietary blend of ingredients. As a result, consumers can’t get accurate dosage amounts per ingredient. The presence of creatine also isn’t large enough to make an impact, as the single serving available doesn’t compare to the recommended daily dosage of 3 to 5 grams. Creatine, a staple ingredient in many pre-workout supplements, is designed to improve muscle gains and accelerate post-workout recovery.

You’ll also need to be careful where you store this product. If placed in a humid environment, the powder may have a tendency to clump together.

Serving size: 1 scoop (6 g) | Flavors: Icy Blue Razz, Mango Foxtrot, Watermelon, Cherry Limeade, Orange Burst, Fruit Punch, Frozen Bombsicle, Strawberry Margarita, Pink Lemonade, Grape

Best vegan-friendly
Naked Nutrition Naked Energy

What we love

  • Free of gluten, soy, dairy, and GMOs
  • Authentic formula with natural ingredients
  • Highly effective for increased energy and strength

What we don’t love

  • Has an acquired taste
  • Lacks muscle pump-boosting nitric oxide
  • Low creatine content

If you’re limited to only vegan or keto pre-workout supplements, Naked Nutrition’s Naked Energy should satisfy your dietary and performance-enhancing needs. This non-artificial formula makes distractions a non-factor during workouts because it increases focus and concentration. The supplement is blended with 10 all-natural ingredients that each play a role in its clean, energy-boosting, strength-building, and power-enhancing effects.

This powerhouse supplement’s multiple vitamins and other natural ingredients blend perfectly together. Each serving contains 200 milligrams of caffeine — just enough to keep you motivated mid-workout without worrying about an energy crash. This pure form of caffeine stems from unroasted coffee beans. Naked Energy also contains beta-alanine and creatine, a dynamic duo that collectively speeds up post-workout recovery.

With no additives or artificial sweeteners, Naked Nutrition’s pre-workout supplement mixes nicely with sports drinks, smoothies, and other beverages. The formula is also independent third-party tested for quality, safety, and heavy metals. While it has an overall bitter taste and lacks sufficient doses of pump-boosting ingredients like nitric oxide, the health and performance benefits make up for it.

Serving size: 2 scoops (4.64 g) | Flavors: Original, Fruit Punch, Citrus, Stimulant- (or Caffeine-) Free

Best for muscle gain
Transparent Labs BULK

What we love

  • Best for bodybuilders
  • Thousands of raving customer reviews
  • No sweeteners or artificial preservatives

What we don’t love

  • Nothing special about the taste
  • Pricey
  • May cause tingling in hands and face

Individuals who want maximum muscle growth will get a kick out of this pre-workout supplement. It’s a fan favorite among the body-building community, as it lives up to its name of helping users bulk up and grow stronger. This powerful formula is loaded with research-backed ingredients for sustained stamina, focus, and mental clarity. With transparent labeling, users will also find it easy to comprehend what’s included with each dosage.

Transparent Labs’ BULK has ingredients that promote healthy testosterone levels in men, including vitamin D, zinc, and boron. It also contains taurine and citrulline malate, which work congruently to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. The overall clean formula is free of artificial preservatives, binders, fillers, and coloring. 

The biggest issue with this pre-workout supplement is its serving size of beta-alanine. At 4 grams per serving, it’s well over the recommended daily dosage for one serving — more than twice, to be exact. Users are encouraged to take this supplement in moderation to avoid facial and hand tingling. It also lacks creatine, the most researched supplement for lean muscular growth. However, it does a great job of producing muscle gains regardless.

Serving size: 1 scoop (21.1 g) | Flavors: Strawberry Kiwi, Sour Grape, Watermelon, Green Apple, Orange, Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch, Lemon Lime, Black Cherry, Peach Mango

Best for weight loss
Transparent Labs LEAN

What we love

  • Contains fat-burning ingredients
  • Promotes healthy thyroid function
  • A beginner-friendly supplement

What we don’t love

  • Consumption may cause tingling
  • Mid- to upper-price range
  • Smaller dosage of caffeine per serving

This pre-workout supplement is best for those aiming to burn fat without losing muscle mass. The research-backed formula contains weight loss-friendly vitamins, minerals, and ingredients that also have favorable effects on the thyroid. One key ingredient is synephrine, which is clinically proven to help users increase daily calories burned. 

The selenium in this supplement is an ingredient that your thyroid necessitates for the proper metabolism of hormones and antioxidant function. Overall, the formula complements a healthy diet and consistent workout routine. This is also an endurance-boosting supplement that increases energy and focus, thanks to brain-friendly nootropics.

If you prefer to go easy on the caffeine, Transparent Labs’ LEAN just might be for you. It has a smaller dosage of caffeine per serving than similar supplements. Of course, this might cause caffeine lovers to look elsewhere. The aftereffects of this formula may also cause tingling, so that’s something to keep in mind before consumption. 

Costing about $1.67 per serving, its mid- to upper-price range might not be ideal for you in terms of budget. However, if you value quality over quantity, know that LEAN is worth the investment.

Serving size: 16.5 g | Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Orange, Cherry Limeade, Sour Grape, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch, Watermelon, Sour Peach

Best tasting
Promix Pre-Workout

What we love

  • Many flavor choices
  • Affordable price
  • All-natural ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Tingling from the higher dose of beta-alanine
  • Higher than average dose of caffeine
  • Lacks creatine, a pre-workout staple

Does the taste of a pre-workout supplement matter as much to you as performance results? If so, this may be the supplement for you. It’s a flavorful formula that will not only appeal to your taste buds but also motivate you to excel at the gym. If you want a plant-based or keto formula made exclusively with whole foods, try this supplement. 

The main benefit of Promix’s Pre-Workout is its powerful energy-fueling properties. New users of this pre-workout supplement find it a piece of cake to lift heavy weights and recover faster. With ingredients like amino acids, beta-alanine, taurine, and L-tyrosine, you’ll feel motivated to spend longer stretches at the gym.

Please note that this supplement isn’t ideal for people trying to avoid caffeine. The amount of caffeine per serving equals nearly two cups of coffee. Fortunately, Promix offers a stimulant-free version for those wishing to curb caffeine intake.

The high dosage of beta-alanine may also cause a tingling sensation called paraesthesia. The good news is that Promix also offers a tingle-free version supplement with zero beta-alanine. That said, only one flavor offering is NSF-certified for sports.

Serving size: 1-2 scoops | Flavors: Lemon NSF, Lemon, Mixed Berry, Strawberry Lemon, Tingle-Free Lemon, Cherry Lime, Raspberry Lemon, and Stim-Free Raspberry Lemon

Best caffeine-free
Onnit Total Strength + Performance

What we love

  • Free of gluten, dairy, soy, and caffeine
  • World champion recommended
  • Filled with vitamins and botanical ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Lacking dosage details per ingredient
  • Mediocre taste
  • Expensive

World champions have given this caffeine-free formula their stamp of approval, and we can see why — this pre-workout supplement naturally has the “it” factor. Its performance-enhancing benefits can give you the energy boost needed to increase strength and power gains. It even contains vitamin B6, an ingredient that promotes a healthy immune function. 

Add this to your warm-up routine if you want to train like a true athlete. But keep in mind that the blends are proprietary, which means the product lacks dosage details per ingredient. 

Onnit Total Strength + Performance fares well as an everyday pre-workout supplement, and you’ll particularly like it if taste and price aren’t your top priorities.

Serving size: 2 scoops (10.8 g) | Flavors: Strawberry Lemonade

Best for running
MyProtein THE Pre-Workout

What we love

  • Boosts power output during workouts
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Fully transparent labeling

What we don’t love

  • Artificial flavoring taints the taste
  • Pricey (~$1.50 per serving)

MyProtein’s THE Pre-Workout was formulated to boost power output, motivation, and focus. It contains research-backed ingredients known to increase muscular endurance and make way for faster post-workout recoveries. It also has generous doses of vitamins B3 (niacin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 per serving, all of which promote a healthy metabolism and immune system. 

The 2,000 milligrams of creatine in this supplement further promote muscle growth. The perfect serving of caffeine (150 milligrams) also helps to propel energy levels. Due to the sucralose used for added flavor, you might not care for the taste. If you can get past that, you’ll likely fall in love with this pre-workout option.

Serving size: 1 scoop (15.6 g) | Flavors: Black Cherry Vanilla, Blueberry Pomegranate, Blue Raspberry, Grape, Green Apple, Lemonade, Orange Paradise, Peach Ring, Pineapple Mango, Rocket Pop, and Watermelon

Ending on a high note

We compiled this roundup of pre-workout supplements after careful review. Out of all the ones we included, Kaged’s Pre-Kaged came out on top as the best overall. 

Whether training for athletic purposes or to achieve personal fitness goals, pre-workout supplements can take your results to the next level. These supplements can elevate your energy, focus, and strength during workouts for top-tier performance.

How to pick the right pre-workout supplement for you

When deciding on a supplement that best fits your needs, you’ll primarily want to consider formulations and pricing. You’ll also want to choose a supplement that supports your dietary objectives and performance goals. 


  • Quality. Is it third-party tested? 
  • Ingredients. Are they research-backed? Does it suit the needs of individuals who are limited to dietary restrictions (e.g., gluten-free or vegan/vegetarian)?
  • Taste. Does it taste good? Does it mix well with liquids? 


  • Price range. Is it within your budget? 
  • Price per serving. How much does each individual serving cost? 
  • Price-to-size ratio. Are you getting your money’s worth given the container size?


Which product is best for a pre-workout? 

We rated Kaged’s Pre-Kaged as the best overall. While there’s a vast selection of pre-workout supplements out there, we feel that this product deserves the title of the ultimate pre-workout supplement. Quality ingredients and trusted research make this option a great choice for beginners and workout vets alike.

Are pre-workout supplements good for muscle gain?

Absolutely. If it’s one thing that pre-workout supplements can help boost, it’s muscle gains. 

Are pre-workout supplements worth it?

Given the performance results that users experience after intake, there are definitely benefits to adding pre-workout supplements to your fitness routine.