Health & Fitness

Best Pre-Workout Brands, Ranked And Rated By Our Gymrat Editors

  • Oct 18, 2023
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Best Pre-Workout Brands, Ranked And Rated By Our Gymrat Editors

As more people begin to embrace the gym culture, the number of options available to help you have a rewarding workout has continued to increase. Even though the first pre-workout supplement appeared in 1982, the market has grown to $14.2 billion USD.   

This is why it can get easily overwhelming if you’re new to the gym and trying to find a pre-workout that works for you and what you want to achieve. Even if you’re not entirely new to the gym, but you’ve never been able to settle on a pre-workout in the past, we understand how it is.

Our selection

Our selection comprises some products we have used for years after searching for effective pre-workout supplements that met all the criteria we thought any good pre-workout should have. We’ve tried others to find the best for different categories while judging our response to them in line with their claims. 

For categories where none of our team members previously knew any good pre-workout, we extensively researched to get an objective feel of the five best products in that category. We then tried all five to determine the best.

We hope this guide eliminates the need for you to try multiple products before finding one you like.

Best Overall: Pre Load Pre-Workout

Pre Load Pre-Workout

VERDICT: It’s the perfect pre-workout, and with six flavours, there’s one for everybody.


  • It eliminates the caffeine crash.
  • It comes in six flavours.
  • It doesn’t use any genetically modified organisms in production. All natural.
  • Increases your focus.
  • Great pump!
  • 25-30 scoops in one tube.


  • It might give a slight tingly feeling, especially for beginners.
  • Not the best choice if you’re allergic to milk, soy, wheat or gluten, and sulphites.

Emerald Labs, the company that produces Pre Load Pre-Workout, was founded in 2008 in a local supplement store. Their humble beginning and commitment to making some of the highest quality products on the market led them to prioritise customer feedback in consistently developing their supplements. Today, they have some pretty amazing products, and our favourite pre-workout is the Pre Load Pre-Workout.

There are so many reasons why we love Pre Load. First, it gives you everything you need from a pre-workout formula, like incredible focus in the gym and higher energy levels. However,  it does that without causing the bad symptoms of a typical pre-workout formula use, like caffeine crashes, jitters, or anxiety. 

Offered in 6 different flavours, you can try different ones to settle on one that you like best. It’s also pretty yummy and sweet.  We especially loved that it has ingredients like creatine and caffeine with L-arginine, which prevents fatigue after an intense session at the gym.

Finally, the results of our post- pre load workout were great. Most of our team members who tried it went for an intense session afterwards, which was very rewarding for most of us. So, all the theory aside, the effect of Pre Load could be revolutionary for your workout.

Best Chewable Pre-Workout: Destiny Pre-Workout Burn

Destiny Pre-Workout Burn

VERDICT: Its fat-burning ingredients are an additional bonus.


  • Its main ingredient is Acetyl L-carnitine, making it a great fat burner.
  • It doesn’t give tingles.
  • Available in about eleven different flavours.
  • Vegan friendly.


  • It has higher levels of caffeine than your average cup of coffee.
  • It might feel too sweet, depending on personal preferences.

One of Muscle Nation’s most in-demand pre-workouts, Destiny Pre-Workout Burn, is another terrific pre-workout we like. As the name implies, besides positively affecting your exercise performance, it also acts as a fat burner. Acetyl L-Carnitine, as its main ingredient, encourages the conversion of fatty acids into increased energy. 

Unlike many other pre-workouts, it reduces the effect of stimulants on your body by reducing the amount of stimulants in each scoop. It contains only about 150 mg of caffeine per scoop (which is still pretty high, all things considered, but is average for a pre-workout formula). Manufacturers recommend that the supplement replace your morning coffee if you have a high caffeine tolerance.

Destiny is not strictly a pre-workout because you don’t necessarily have to take it before you work out. You can use it as an ordinary fat burner, especially since it does not give the jittery feeling associated with many other pre-workouts.

Best Pre-Workout for Weight Loss: Oxyshred


VERDICT: More of a thermogenic than a pre-workout, but if losing weight is your focus, this is the best product for you.


  • It is an impressive combination of weight-loss ingredients.
  • It is a proven mood enhancer.
  • No jitters and anxiety.
  • It does not rely on stimulants.
  • It is used by millions of people who show great results.
  • Available in multiple flavours.


  • It contains more caffeine than a cup of coffee
  • Not vegan certified.

Oxyshred is a result-oriented product from EHP Labs. In a clinical study, the product was tested and found to produce the results it claims to, like an increase in the user’s metabolism rate and the ability to burn calories more easily.

EHP Labs is well known for its commitment to research and utilising it to deliver product results. It lives up to that reputation through Oxyshred, making Oxyshred its most famous product. Ingredients like Green coffee bean extract, Acetyl L-carnitine HCI, and Conjugated linoleic acid reduce fat tissues and ultimately reduce body weight.

We think this pre-workout is fascinating for its weight loss qualities, but what helps it stand out among the others are the added benefits it provides. It improves your mood significantly (it improved ours),  increases immunity, and still improves your performance in the gym. Finally, it does not rely on stimulants and doesn’t give the jitters.

Best Pre Workout for Pump: PRIDE


VERDICT: Its unique combination of ingredients makes it perfect for one purpose: pump.


  • Research-backed ingredients.
  • It produces amazing results.
  • Available in over six flavours.
  • It contains 40 scoops.
  • It uses natural flavours.
  • Long-lasting energy.
  • No tingles.


  • Not a great all-around pre-workout.

Not everyone goes to the gym to build visibly bugger muscles, but if that is your gym goal, Pride is the pre-workout for you. Like other EHP Labs products, the supplement is a careful mix of research-backed ingredients. And we can testify to its efficacy because, after about a week of using this pre-workout, our staff member who tried it out began to see visible results.

Relying on Pentaffeine (which is a combination of Natural Bitter Orange Extract, Caffeine Anhydrous, Green Coffee Extract, Yerba Mate and Green Tea Extract), Pride gives you more energy to train for longer. It also improves your body’s performance with benefits that persist after your workout. Pride also contains typical pump ingredients like L-citrulline, Nitrosigine, and Betaine Anhydrous that increase blood flow, improve focus, and increase body composition.

Depending on just how intense you want your workout to be, you can use up a Pride tube in 20 or 40 servings, and this vital ability to pace yourself makes it suitable for beginners interested in pumping. Relying on natural flavours, it also tastes great.

Best Non-Stim Pre Workout: Full as F*ck

Full as F*ck

VERDICT: Great for a good pump and no crash!


  • Pump and non-stim.
  • Available in seven flavours.
  • Fairly priced.


  • Taste is not always great; it depends on the flavour you get.

Many of us at DMARGE are huge fans of non-stim pre-workouts because only very few workouts with stimulants deliver on their promise and prevent a crash after use. So we searched for the most impressive non-stim pre-workout and found Full as F’ck.

Wondering about the name? Technically, it is a pump pre-workout that’s supposed to make your muscles look full as f*ck. Even without stimulants, it delivers on its promise using ingredients like pure L-Citrulline, a common product with most pump pre-workouts. 

There are other very interesting components in this pre-workout, like Dan-Shen extract, which is supposed to increase blood flow, Beer Root Powder to lower fatigue, and Glycerol Monosaterate to increase muscle cell volume (make your muscles bigger). Of course, we can’t speak to the precise effectiveness of each ingredient, but we can assure you that this is a great pre-workout supplement for a pump.

What’s more? You can rest assured that you won’t experience a crash even after hours of bodybuilding because it’s non-stim.

Best Pre Workout with Creatine: C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder

C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder

VERDICT: It provides explosive energy and can help you pump.


  • Explosive energy.
  • Suitable for beginners and experts
  • Available in ten flavours.
  • It is priced moderately.


  • It relies significantly on caffeine for energy.
  • Users may experience side effects.
  • The aftertaste is not so great.

Creatine is supposed to provide continuous energy during your workout. But of course, not all pre-workouts that claim to have creatine carry out this function effectively. And even if they do, they might have other problems. So, searching for the best pre-workout with creatine, we found Cellucor’s C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder.

For over 20 years, Cellucor has remained committed to providing result-oriented products to enhance performance. The C4 pre-workout is supposed to provide explosive energy, helping us become the best version of ourselves, and during the period we tried it, it felt pretty good. A patented combination of creatine and nitrates enhances pumps by increasing the water content of muscles to make them appear larger. This patented combination also contributes to the creation of Adenosine Triphosphate, the substance used by the body to manufacture energy.

C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder also supplies 150 mg of caffeine and Beta-Alanine in each scoop, providing much-needed energy and muscle endurance for intense workouts.

Best Tasting Pre Workout: Ghost Burn Black

Ghost Burn Black

VERDICT: Tastes great and aids weight loss significantly. We enjoyed this.


  • It has appetite-controlling ingredients.
  • Increases focus.
  • The taste is amazing.
  • Vegan friendly.
  • It provides a lot of energy.


  • Relatively high level of caffeine.
  • It might cause jitters.
  • The aftertaste may feel a little spicy.

Taste is also important for any pre-workout because even if you find one that works amazingly well for you but tastes horrible, the taste might prevent you from taking it again. In our many years of trying different pre-workouts, we think Ghost Burn Black is the one that tastes the best.

To be clear, this pre-workout does not taste sweet (that would be weird), but it is “extremely sour”, and honestly, we didn’t think that would be necessarily great before trying it, but it is. Taste is not the only thing Ghost Burn Black is remarkable for. The pre-workout is an upgrade on the brand’s weight loss supplement, which has received many positive reviews. 

With almost 150mg of natural caffeine in each serving, a ton of explosive energy awaits you in this tub, should you choose to try it.

Best Low Stimulant Pre Workout: Gold Standard Pre-Workout

Gold Standard Pre-Workout

VERDICT: Low stimulant yet highly effective with premium ingredients.


  • Available in six flavours.
  • Priced reasonably.
  • It provides a good pump.
  • Energy boost.
  • No jitters & no crash.


  • Taste depends on flavour.

Gold Standard Pre-Workout is produced by Optimum Nutrition, a well-known sports nutrition brand that has serviced top athletes for over 30 years. Focused on providing quality for the users of its products, it has used only the best materials and tested its formulas repeatedly.

The reputation of Optimum Nutrition was enough to make us want to test Gold Standard Pre-Workout while searching for the best low-stimulant pre-workout, and it came out on top. This pre-workout focuses on three key aspects: energy, endurance, and focus. It does that effectively with 175 milligrams of caffeine, 3 grams of creatine, and 1.5 grams of Beta Alanine per scoop.

Unlike many other pre-workouts, the major stimulant here is caffeine, and even though it is significantly present, the absence of other stimulants essentially makes it a low-stimulant pre-workout. L-citrulline (included) improves blood flow during gym sessions and will leave you with a nice pump after a Gold Standard workout.

Best Pre Workout Without Caffeine: THE Pump

THE Pump

VERDICT: Considering this pre-workout’s effect, it’s almost unbelievable that it contains no caffeine.


  • No caffeine.
  • Good pump.
  • It gets your blood flowing.


  • It doesn’t provide a lot of raw energy.
  • Taste is heavily dependent on the flavour.
  • It might cause itching.

Trying to avoid caffeine in your pre-workout completely? Don’t worry. We’ve also got you covered. THE Pump from My Proterin is the best pre-workout without caffeine and is perfect for use during the day and at night because you don’t have to worry about being kept up after your workout.

One of the questions we had when testing this pre-workout was that if it doesn’t use caffeine, will it still be able to provide the energy we were used to from other pre-workouts?  Honestly, it doesn’t provide as much raw power, but it makes up for that with increased blood flow, boosting our performance. 

Ingredients like Citrulline and VAS06 (a special patented ingredient) work together to enhance muscle blood flow. Beta-alanine, also present in this pre-workout, further improves muscle capacity. All those elements work together to give you a decent pump at the end of your workout. 

Vegan Pre Workout: Pure Boost Pre-Workout

Pure Boost Pre-Workout

VERDICT: It is simply the best vegan high-performance pre-workout we’ve ever come across.


  • Vegan.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Sugar-free.
  • Mostly made from natural materials.
  • Increases performance and focus.
  • Adaptogens improve the body’s response to stress.
  • No crash.


  • You might experience some tingles.
  • Taste depends on flavour.

Pure Boost pre-workout from Prana On is the perfect pre-workout for plant-based eaters. If you’ve always been worried about whether your pre-workout contradicts your vegan way of life or vegan diet, you needn’t worry anymore with Pure Boost. Made from plant ingredients, it doesn’t utilise many of the same ingredients as other pre-workout supplements, but it still delivers great results. 

It uses a combination of Apple and Grape polyphenols for one of its key ingredients – Vinitrox. That, coupled with 3000mg of Citrulline Malate, can significantly boost your endurance by reducing fatigue and increasing your training time.   

Nootropics like Ginseng and Guarana are also key elements in Pure Boost. These tend to help increase your focus and also reduce stress levels.

How we tested

There are a few factors we considered when testing various pre-workouts. These factors helped us rank objectively to develop a helpful list of the best pre-workouts. Here are the things we considered:

  • Ingredients: We carefully examined the active ingredients for each pre-workout while also looking out for unnecessary ones like colours, unnecessary additives, and sweeteners. We also ensured that all the selected products contained an effective dosage of the pre-workout’s main ingredients. 
  • Safety: We were also looking for common allergens and banned substances.
  • Effects: The best way to know about any pre-workout is to use it and feel the effects. That’s what we think, so that’s what we did. We observed how the different pre-workout supplements affected our energy levels, endurance, workout sessions, and focus. We also took note of those that left us with the tingles. 
  • Taste and Mixability: We think it’s very important for any good pre-workout to have a decent taste and mix well. Happy to report all the pre-workouts on this list meet those criteria. 
  • Value for Money: Comparing the cost of the pre-workout to how good it is and how many servings you will get from it.
  • Post-Workout Feel: We avoid pre-workouts that may cause a significant energy crash after your workout.
  • Brand Reputation: We highlighted products from only trustworthy and reputable brands. 

Why trust us

  • We have over 40 combined years of exercise experience, so we know what it is to feel good from a workout. So, we only selected the products that will, ultimately, give you a good session. 
  • We tried every one of the recommended pre-workout supplements, and they are what we claim they are. 
  • We also reviewed customer reviews to ensure many others have also enjoyed what we recommend.

Our experts

Here are some of the people whose expertise we relied on:

  • Luc Wiesman – Founder of DMARGE and F45 regular. Luc has been working out for a long time and has used his fair share of pre-workouts. 
  • Finlay Mead – DMARGE’s resident fitness editor. Fin loves a good post-workout pump and rewarding high-intensity workouts and knows which pre-workouts can help achieve that.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by menshealthfits.
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