Let’s face it, you’re addicted to pre workouts. And for good reason – they’re freaking awesome.
Quite frankly no other class of performance supplement can compare:
- Protein powders? Tasty but basic.
- BCAAs? A good way to flavor water.
- Test boosters? Just one big steroid tease.
Pre workout supplements on the other hand offer a real sensation.
Energy, focus, stamina and rage!
We love pre workouts for how they make us feel. Yet this same emotional gravitation is often used against us by shady supplement brands who only focus on the ‘mental feels’.
That is the reason why the staff at BWSB has been tracking the 10 best pre workout supplements over the last 6 years.
Not to simply filter out the good from the bad, but to bring forward the great from the ‘good enough!’
For the last 6 years, the staff at BWSB have been one of the most respected ‘underground’ references for ranking the best pre workouts.
Why? Because we’re not a store or fitness magazine.
All those other rankings you see are simply “best sellers lists” based on which company spent the most money on advertising. Not an indication of quality at all!
We on the other hand actually try the pre workouts, research the ingredients, and read emails and comments from users like you who submit their experiences to us.
You can share your experiences in the comments below, or email us through our contact us page.
What we look for:
- Clinical dosages
- Well-rounded stimulants
- Good value / servings
- Accurate claims
What we don’t support:
- Hyped, over-promoted products
- Illegal ingredients
- Unethical stimulant dosages
Top 10 Pre Workouts [2018 Update]
#1 Transparent Labs BULK
Rated best pre workout for overall energy, performance and recovery.
It goes without saying that we’ve tried a lot of pre workouts, but nothing ever compares to the experience we get with PreSeries BULK (read review).
It’s clean, powerful, and compared to other products actually helps you build muscle.
Here’s the facts and features:
- Clinically formulated with valid dosages
- Massive pumps and fullness
- Clean and powerful energy
- Lasts for hours and works great daily
- Naturally flavored and sweetened
When we first saw this pre workout, we expected it to be pretty basic. But then we learned more about the brand and how they dose their supplements – and wow!
They literally let their formulations do the talking – and the formulas are screamers!
Unique ingredients in this pre workout
- 6 Grams l-citrulline malate [clinical dose] – Found to increase pumps, endurance, performance, and strength (1)(2)(3)(4) – l-citrulline malate is superior to straight l-citrulline pre workouts (5).
- 4 Grams beta-alanine [clinical dose] – At 4 grams, beta-alanine increases endurance and performance by delaying muscle acid build-up (6) (7). Smaller dosages will only give you ‘tingles’.
- 2.5 Grams betaine [clinical dose] – Improves exercise performance and body composition in both male and female athletes (8)(9).
- 4 Grams BCAAs [2:1:1 ratio] – Branch chain amino acids are known for their anabolic effects. However when paired with l-citrulline malate pre workout, BCAAs can reduce mental fatigue and improve endurance (10).
- Unique CNS smart-energy blend – BULK pairs an ethical 180 mg caffeine with 360 mg l-theanine (twice the typical amount) plus rare co-stimulant synephrine alongside choline and macuna puriens. The energy effects are powerfully clean.
Overall, it’s a straight workout killer.
The only downside is that you can only get it direct. According to Transparent Labs, selling in stores like Amazon and Bodybuilding would require them to cut BULK’s ingredients and servings by 25% – and ‘they don’t want to be like everyone else’ (2018 Interview).
View BULK on www.TransparentLabs.com
#2 JYM Supplements Pre-Jym – The Original Clinical Pre Workout
Features for Jym Pre-Jym
- 2nd most recommended top pre workout
- High energy with good endurance
- Fully disclosed active ingredients list
- Developed by Jim Stoppani (Good credit)
- 20 Servings per container (30 serving editions in some stores)
- Best pre workout you’ll find at GNC stores
Now, the pre workout market has continued to evolve and improve by bringing us products like BULK. The main difference being, BULK has an improved stimulant matrix, more beta-alanine, and an overall cleaner product.
#3 Legion Pulse – Large citrulline malate dose pre workout
Without a doubt, Legion Pulse is one of the greatest recognition deserving pre workouts, climbing from bottom-to-top on the best pre workouts list.
Features for Pulse
- Massive 8 gram l-citrulline malate dosage
- Strong pumps in the gym
- Fastest acting energy complex
- Made by Mike Matthews
- Only 21 servings per container
When we tried Pulse, we loved it! But, we had to wait a little over a year to tabulate all the feedback from you guys who hadn’t quite caught on to Legion yet.
Well, now it holds its proud rank of 3rd best pre workout, including basically all of the key ingredients present in both BULK and PRE-JYM.
#4 Kaged Nutrition Pre-Kaged
Kaged Nutrition is still a new brand, led by popular bodybuilder and trainer Kris Gethin. His pre workout, Pre-Kaged contains several similarities to our top 3 as well as a few distinct divergences.
Features for Pre-Kaged
- Tastes good for a large-scoop pre workout
- Contains a large dosage of creatine hydrochloride
- Upper-end caffeine, but less than Pre-Jym and Pulse
- Available in most retail locations
Overall, the biggest takeaway for Pre-Kaged, is that it is a large-scoop pre workout that actually tastes really good.
However this comes at a bit of a price, where BULK, Pre-Kaged, and Pulse aren’t willing to make exceptions:
- Pre-Kaged contains l-citrulline instead of l-citrulline malate (less endurance)
- Only contains 1.6 grams beta-alanine (not enough)
- Not a zero carb pre workout.
#5 PES Prolific – Great tasting Quick Hit
The biggest change to our rankings for 2018 is the addition of PES Prolific pre workout. While the formulation of prolific doesn’t qualify it to rank as a top 4 contender for best pre workout, the combination of great taste and clean energy is admirable… One that beats the mainstream get-anywhere big-name brands.
Features for PES Prolific:
- Solid 6 grams citrulline
- Beta-alanine free (no tingles)
- Solid pumps but not as good as #1-3
- Only 20 servings but reasonably priced
One thing about PES Prolific, is that it is a two-scoop formula. This means, that if you want, you can easily take just one scoop on light days (or as a coffee alternative), and then hop back on two scoops for heavy days.
Overall, this is a solid product that likely beats everything else in your local GNC store.
#6 Cellucor C4 Original and its variants
Features for Cellucor C4 Line:
- 10 unique under-dosed pre workout variants
- We still want them to bring back Extreme Chrome Series
- We will troll them until they do this and make it right
- You definitely should too
- C4 Original is still C4’s best pre workout.
To this date, the BWSB staff are pretty upset at Cellucor for removing synephrine from the original C4 Extreme Chrome that we all loved back in 2012.
Now, Cellucor gives us 10 pre workouts to choose from… However after taking them all, we really wish they would just go back to their roots already instead of saying ‘this is the one’ 10 times in a disappointment riddled row!
#7 Musclepharm Assault Black
Features for Musclepharm Assault Black
- More hardcore version of original Assault
- 300 mg caffeine per serving without l-theanine
- 1.5 grams creatine HCL
- Relatively affordable, similar to Wreckage
Musclepharm Assault has a long history of being a pretty awesome pre workout. However, around the same time that Cory Gregory left the company, things haven’t quite been the same.
Since then, Assaults formula has taken a rapid and steep cut. One that pretty much debilitated the standard “assault pre workout”.
In response to crashing sales, they’ve released Assault Black which brings a little more power back to the Musclepharm pre workout.
#8 ProSupps Dr. Jekyll
It has taken us nearly a year to admit it, but Mr. Hyde is a beast pre workout. Now days we see men and women alike taking this super energy pre workout and absolutely tearing up the gym.
Features for ProSupps Dr. Jekyll:
- High stimulant pre workout supplement
- Off the chain energy
- Absolute wild ride
- Not meant for beginners
This is honestly one of the strongest stimulant pre workouts on this list and will not be for everyone. But, if you crave the energy wave, then this has ‘take me’ written all over it.
With Mr. Hyde, you get nearly 550 milligrams of stimulants, a solid 2.5 gram dose of beta-alanine, fast acting creatine HCl, and a light pump matrix. Put 40 servings in a tub and have it cost under $30…. Bam! We have a value. For the stimulant lover, this is a great choice.
#9 Betancourt B-NOX Androrush (Previously Bullnox)
Features for Betancourt B-Nox Androrush
- Supposed Testosterone Activation
- Creatine for Increased Strength
- Moderate Vascular Pump
- Proprietary Blend
- 12 Grams of Carbohydrates
Recently, Bullnox was reformulated and became the new Betancourt B-NOX, which essentially has only half of the active ingredients in it that Bullnox had. With this formula change, comes our demotion of B-NOX from #2 to #9.
We expect them to bring back the original formulation in the future.
#10 Muscletech Neurocore
If you enjoy a fast energy shot before the gym that’s as easy to take as it is inexpensive – Muscletech Neurocore may fit the bill for you. This 6 gram per serving pre workout is a micro-dosed energy shot that contains a mixture of different stimulants and focus enhancers.
Features for Muscletech Anarchy
- Incredibly Inexpensive
- Tiny Dose at 6 grams
- Medium range energy
- Beginner’s energy shot
- Contains Yohimbe (pro/con)
- Not Ideal for those looking to “upgrade”
In Neurocore you will find: 160 mg caffeine, 75 mg l-theanine, and 20 mg Yohimbe. There are other ingredients, but we feel that these are the only ones that will make an impact on your workout.
Best Pre Workouts Ranking Update Log (Our Track Record)
Pre Workout Supplements taken into consideration
There was a great deal of competition for the top 10 pre workouts list. Here are a few of the powders that didn’t make it this time but still offer a great lift: Juggernaut HP, 1stphorm megawatt, MRI Black Powder, Hemo-Rage, BPI 1MR, Muscletech Nano Vapor, Muscletech Shatter SX-7, Muscle Meds NO Bull, EXT GO, BSN NO Explode, and more.
Glance into the future: the next best pre workouts
With 2018 at a close, we didn’t get the kind of excitement we would’ve wanted. Really, we lost some epic pre workouts due to ingredients like DMAA being completely banned.
For 2019, we feel that our pre workout ranking is spot on. Looking forward the only thing that is going to shake up the industry is if a new novel pre workout ingredient is created. Most notably a new stimulant.
Regardless, we’ll be here covering it all so that you can focus on your gains.
Remember, if you need more than one scoop, you’re not taking one of the best pre workouts. With the right pre workout, your gains will be guaranteed. From here on out, its all up to do. Work hard and maximize your time in the gym. Eat as much as you can outside of the gym. We believe in you, tear it up and get huge.
If you discuss our rankings, cite it!
This list is updated monthly, follow us on Facebook to stay up to date