A quality, well made, complete pre workout means more to us than words can describe. Yeah, this sounds dramatic, but once you’ve found your perfect mix of stimulant and performance in a pre-workout supplement…
It just all makes sense. Purposes align.
With the right pre-workout, variables in your life that once mattered and really interfered with your gym routine seem to stop getting in the way of your gains.
With the best pre workout supplement for your goals, you’re more likely to reach them.
Its 4 am, you’re tired… With the right pre workout you’re up and laser focused in 15.
Its 7 pm, you just worked a 10 hour day… With the right pre workout, you’re once again ready to keep fighting in the gym.
That is what a proper pre workout supplement is all about.
Get your Energy Up and Fill Your Muscles with Everything They Need to Perform and Grow
The best pre workouts out there fully complete this picture. First, they give you super alert and motivating energy; and then, while you lift they are the gift that keeps on giving – providing your muscles with more power, nutrients for recovery, and circulation to enhance both performance and growth.
The Most Important Pre Workout Components
It’s a big deal saying ‘this is the best pre workout supplement’, and we want to make it very clear that we take this seriously. Here is what we look for:
- A Pre Workout Has to Offer Quality Energy
- Stimulant Pre Workouts Will Not Contain Creatine
- Pre Workout Has to Offer a Pump
- Ingredients Will Be Dosed According to Science
- Claims Will Be Credible and Realistic
If a pre workout doesn’t meet all 5 of these needs, then they simply are not and never will be the best. They are at most, a good pre workout.
As you will see on our list, there are a lot of bad pre workouts out there, a moderate amount a good pre workouts, and a painstakingly short supply of quality, best pre workout contestants. Due to this, you may recognize similarities between our best pre workout supplements list, and others.
Overall Top Rated Best Pre Workout Supplements
This is a top ten list, but to be completely honest with you we strongly prefer the #1 and #2 choices.
Nothing. Else. Compares.
No matter what hits your best pre workout sweet spot, enjoy the fruits of all our experimentation taking every freaking powder under the sun. So that, hopefully you can start off with the highest quality, best pre workouts. For that reason, let’s kick it off from the top with our #1 top rated pre workout.
#1: Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK – Legendary Stacked Pre Workout Formula
Coming in first class we have the legendary PreSeries BULK by Transparent Labs. This is a pre workout that has literally redefined the supplement industry, delivering quality, fully dosed ingredients like no other product can match.
BULK will always be a fan favorite for the die-hard results driven bodybuilders that are willing to pay a bit extra to have it all.
From an ingredient perspective, Transparent Labs BULK is stacked.
Coming in jugs 2-3X bigger than most pre workout containers, the pre workout BULK contains 6 grams citrulline malate, 4 grams beta-alanine, 4 grams BCAAs, 2.5 grams betaine anhydrous, as well as a massive well-diversified stimulant matrix that contains only 180 mg caffeine.
For those of you who are not nerds when it comes to pre workout ingredients… This is like the Holy Grail.
- Guaranteed Better Workouts
- Consistent Full-Spectrum Energy
- Primary Ingredients Clinically Dosed
- Made For Bulking
- PreSeries Includes LEAN and STIM-FREE Options
Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK can be found at www.transparentlabs.com along with their other pre workouts LEAN and STIM-FREE, as well as BCAA, Creatine, Protein, Mass Gainer, and single raw ingredients. View our complete review of Transparent Labs BULK here, the ‘complete pre workout’.
#2: ORIGIN Supplements PRE – Powerful Energy and Pump In Synchrony
For our best pre workouts update at the end of 2016, we bring forward our new, #2 most-liked pre workout: ORIGIN PRE.
Many of you will know this pre workout from the real bodybuilders behind the brand – who include fitness sensation Bradley Martyn and Mr. Universe himself Calum Von Moger.
But despite this brands honorable beginnings, we didn’t rank ORIGIN PRE based upon that.
Rather, we judge ORIGIN PRE as our top ranked pre workout because of the insane pumps and never-ending energy that this pre workout provides.
ORIGIN PRE: Pump Machine
Each serving of Origin Pre has 8,200 mg of L-citrulline Malate and 750 mg agmatine sulfate. This is the most killer pump combo we’ve ever seen in a pre workout supplement. Two powerful pump producers, both dosed properly.
ORIGIN PRE: Energy Unleashed
Origin PRE contains a multi-faceted stimulant matrix that contains two forms of caffeine: caffeine anhydrous and PURENRGY (caffeine pterostilbene). In addition, you get thermodiamine, alpha GPC, Hordinine, and l-theanine. This combo beats a big straight shot of caffeine any day of the week.
- Great tasting flavors
- Amazing Pump
- Killer Energy
- Best new brand of the year
You can find ORIGIN PRE at www.originsupps.com along with their protein and BCAA.
Comparing ORIGIN PRE to Transparent Labs BULK
Both of these pre workouts are intense, results driven supplements. ORIGIN PRE has an industry leading citrulline malate serving, as well as a ton of stimulants in it for powerful energy. While, BULK still provides awesome pump with a less aggressive but extremely well-rounded stimulant matrix.
When the comparison comes down to taste, ORIGIN PRE tastes much better. But in BULK’s defense, bodybuilders don’t take it for its taste, they take it for the effects – which time and time again are deemed LEGENDARY.
#3 NutraBio PRE
Coming in at the #3 rank, we have PRE by NutraBIO. We’ve taken this pre workout countless times, and have been very impressed. If you compare this pre workout to anything ranked below, or anything that doesn’t make this list… Your socks will be blown off by what a clinically conscious pre workout can do!
Does it compete with our #1 and #2? No.
When directly compared to both ORIGIN PRE and BULK, NutraBIO was not the victor. However, this is still a quality supplement that has great availability, tastes good, and is produced by a brand that believes in transparency.
- Produced with Efficacy
- Like BULK, but with less rounded energy
- Widely Available
- 20 Servings Per Tub
#4 EFX Sports Training Ground PRE
Training Ground PRE is another large-formula pump based pre workout. Notice a trend here? Six plus grams of Citrulline Malate is the new industry gold standard for a pre workout. Not only does this dosage provide awesome pumps, but it also increases energy and endurance.
Training Ground PRE is a well-rounded pre workout, but, it fails to achieve the experience that our #1-3 can obtain. While Sports Training Ground Pre contains many similar ingredients at similar dosages, its stimulant matrix falls short. Its straight caffeine, and nothing else to compliment and well round the experience.
- 6.5 grams Citrulline Malate
- 300 mg caffeine blast
- 20 servings per tub
#5 MuscleSport International Rhino Black
Rhino Black is just like NutraBio PRE, only if the stimulant matrix was put into overdrive. It’s designed to be a crazy pump and energy machine, but unless you are well-weathered with stimulants, this pre workout is just going to be too much.
Not that you won’t love your workouts, it’s just, the fallout from a pre workout like this is devastating.
If we want crazy stims with pump, we go with ORIGIN PRE. Afterwards, we’ll still feel good and our adrenal glands won’t feel drained. Likewise, if we want a fully functional mass-building pre workout with feel good energy, we choose BULK.
But trying to be both of these the way Rhino Black does is very hard to handle for the average bodybuilder. Yes, there are go hards who will reach for this pre workout all day. That’s a specific type of breed you find in some bodybuilding circles. Of our supplement testers, we have one who can’t get enough of this stuff.
But, for the rest of us, Rhino Black isn’t long-term functional. Its 3 time a week for an insane experience and that’s it… Any more and there is burnout.
- 6.5 grams Citrulline Malate
- Crazy Stimulants
- 20 Servings Per Tub, Expensive
The End of Large-Formula Pre Workouts
From #5 and down we have a different class of pre workouts. As you’ve noticed, your best bet is a large-dose multi-ingredient pre workout like #1-5. However, when not done right, these supplements can be miserable to take.
Due to this, #6-10 are smaller formulated products that focus on delivering a great workout experience. Will they provide all the ingredients you need to build muscle and shred fat? No. But, they will deliver in the energy department so you can enjoy putting the work in.
#6 Beast Sports Nutrition Beast Mode
If you want a small dose pre workout that has a good energy bite to it, Beast Mode is right on the money. It’s cheap, simple, tastes great – and delivers a well-rounded energy experience. Yes, Beast Mode advertises all sorts of other benefits, but the ingredients really don’t support it.
At the end of the day with small formula pre workouts, it’s you who is going to get those gains. When the volume is turned up thanks to the stims, that’s when you do the work that makes the extra difference. Unlike our top 1 &2 which carry their own.
- Tastes Fantastic
- Affordable Pre Workout
- Multiple Flavors Available
#7 Platinum Labs Defcon 1
Defcon 1 is similar to Beast Mode except less well known and with a more diversified stimulant matrix. In all respects, Defcon 1 beats out Beast Mode in the sheer energy intensity department. But, Beast Mode still keeps the lead between the two.
Defcon 1 is easy to take, and the energy lasts for hours. This is the type of pre workout that you can take for working out, or for getting some late night cramming in before a big test.
- Strong and Balanced Stimulants
- Small Dose, Big Energy
- 2,000 mg Beta Alanine
#8 Muscletech Vapor Next Gen 5X
Muscletech has released its 5+ variation of the classic Nano Vapor pre workout. This new version, is even smaller with its primary focus on stimulants.
Like most of the Nano Vapor variations before this one, this pre workout contains Yohimbe – a asset for some and a nightmare for others.
Yohimbe is awesome for cranking up the energy as well as fat metabolism. However, Yohimbe can also leave others with cold sweaty hands and heart palpitations. Rest assured, this is rare… But if you’re the type, it might freak you out a little.
Regardless, this is still a really fun pre workout to take. Muscletech knows how to make your energy go through the roof and that’s exactly what Vapor Next Gen 5X will do. After a while though, you may need to take multiple servings as it looks like that is how this supplement was designed to be.
- Nano Vapor Lineage
- 9 G Serving Size
- Contains Yohimbe
#9 Cellucor C4 Extreme Line
Cellucor has really outdone themselves with their C4 line. In one aspect, they’ve introduced 5 completely new C4 variations. But on the dark side, they’ve found ways to cut costs and honestly deliver less than the original C4.
Ahh the old C4, we miss it. Where did it go?
Now, we have C4, C4 Mass, C4 Ripped, C4 Neuro, and who knows what will show up next.
While variation is cool in a pre-workout line, it’s not cool when the variation is just big enough to be taken advantage of by marketing, and that’s how this story goes.
- C4 Ripped, Mass, Neuro
- Multiple Flavors
- Good Energy
- Used to be better
#10 BPI Best Pre Workout
BPI Best Pre Workout takes a new approach to pre workout nutrition. Inside this supplement, you get the same stimulant matrix that you’ve learned to expect from all standard pre workouts. But what makes this pre workout different is that it’s a ketogenic pre workout.
As a ketogenic pre workout, BPI’s Best Pre contains Beta-Hydroxybutyrates which are effective means of energy while in a state of ketosis (burning fat instead of carbs).
The only thing is, that unless you’re in a keto diet, you’re really not going to notice any difference between this pre workout and others.
- Made for Keto Dieting
- First of its kind
- Great tasting flavors
#11 ON Gold Standard PRE (Bonus Listing)
Optimum Nutrition enters the pre workout game with their small-dose and simple supplement named “PRE”. Each serving of this product is only 10 grams, and is essentially 3 grams of creatine with a small bit of beta-alanine and stimulants.
Though, we must admit that there are a lot of bodybuilders who appreciate simplicity and this pre workout has their names written all over it.
ON Gold Standard Pre is the perfect minimalist’s pre workout for those who want the bare minimum in their pre workouts. Versus what we prefer…. The BEAR Maximum.
- 10 gram small dose
- 3 grams creatine
- Not to be confused with ON Platinum PRE
This Concludes Our Take On The Best Pre Workouts
Through trial and error, this is the best pre workout ranking that we’ve developed for 2017. We shelled out the cash, took all sorts of powder, and got feedback from all of our friends to culminate this definitive list.
Don’t agree with what we have?
Speak your mind in the comments below! Though we recommend that you hold back unless you’ve actually tried the products you’re speaking about or comparing them to. Without the experience, you’ve got nothing but foolish vigor.
But for those of you who are as dedicated as us to finding the highest quality supplements, seriously, leave us a comment and let’s chat. Your feedback is very valuable to us, and could help out other readers down the road.