Top 3 Pre Workout Supplements
After a product that can be used before your workout for better results? These pre workout supplements are designed to maximize your efforts for the biggest impact.
LAST UPDATED: September 2019 by Ben.
Top 3 Pre Workout Supplements
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Do you find it increasingly difficult to motivate yourself to hit the gym at 5am or when you have finished work, eaten, put the kids to sleep and trying to grab the last remnants of the day?
If you said “yes” to either of those two questions, then you are in the same boat as not only me, but lots of other people all vying to squeeze more time from the standard issue 24 hours.
What greater feeling is there when you’ve been in the gym for an hour and you blast through your workout feeling energetic, pumped and stronger?!
Of course you want to leave the gym feeling like a hero and knowing you have worked your body to the max to reap the benefits.
An effective pre workout supplement contains a number of natural ingredients that can:
- Increased energy – feeling alert and fighting fatigue
- Increased focus – zero in on your target and smash it
- Get a pump – feel you veins want to explode through your skin
- Power – explode through your set
Put simply, I love 4 GAUGE.
Why I use 4GAUGE
The pump – This will help create that much sought after muscle pump
Focus – Ingredients help improve cognitive function
Endless energy – Ensure you can get through your gym session
Strength – Make substantial progress with your weight lifting
Safe – This is free from unwanted side effects
It contains 11 proven ingredients in a large dose of 14g! Many pre workout supplements I trial contain less than half of that figure.
It contains ingredients such as Caffeine which is a stimulant controlling your central nervous system. 
This helps you to smash your workout or reach your next personal best.
Caffeine is very common but it is a good stimulant that works well.
Beet is also included, this was very popular among athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
This is because it can increase nitric oxide levels, this dilates the blood vessels meaning more blood and oxygen is pumped to the organs and muscles. 
We have Sodium too.
We have to be slightly careful with our Sodium levels because too much over a prolonged period of time is bad for your health.
Unfortunately Western diets are full of salt.
However, if you are sweating lots you will lose vital salts through sweat which can hinder your performance and water balance.
Lost sodium can also make you feel nauseous and cause muscle cramps. 
Coconut water is included yet doesn’t get the publicity it should – when combined with Sodium it is as effective as an isotonic sports drink due to including natural occurring potassium, carbohydrates, sodium and chlorides. 
Carnitine is often found in pre workout supplements, it is great for energy and improved overall bodily function. 
With the correct dose of Citrulline you will experience less fatigue as well as an improved level of performance which will be helped by the increase of nitric oxide plus the increase in growth hormone. 
Creatine is also included..
Known as one of the most effective plus it seems safe supplements on the market, Creatine is able to improve muscular strength and size. 
It is found naturally in beef.
Potassium is key to keep your muscles working effectively. 
I would cramp up while playing rugby if my Potassium levels were reduced.
Drinking this pre workout is much easier and thirst quenching than eating a banana.
Calcium, again, a bit like salt/sodium, too much over a prolonged period of time can cause some issues.
However, if supplemented safely, it can increase testosterone levels and prevent muscle cramps while improving muscle contraction. 
Now there’s also a couple of ingredients to assist with cognitive function, this is essentially brain function.
Theanine and Rhodiola can help reduce anxiety, stress, insomnia, improve cardiovascular function and even raise IQ scores.  
You can find out even more benefits of 4 GAUGE when you head to their site and see what multi-buy offers they have on:
It also keeps me awake, I have taken a pre workout before driving a long distance and I have been known to use one for a hangover, it genuinely works.
The Benefits: Cures a hangover! Provides a nice sustainable surge of energy. Heightens focus and concentration. Fights fatigue. Increases blood flow and Nitric Oxide production.
Battle Ready Fuel
Reasons to buy
Intense – strong feelings of energy
Focus – went in to the gym session like a beast
Stimulate – ready to take on anything
Recovery – each serving contains 13g of protein for immediate muscle recovery
Including 21 ingredient, this pre workout supplement surpassed the performance of everything in its path!
This really is a new dawn and the next generation of pre workout supplements…
You’ll feel like the universal soldier when you take this!
I take this for heavy weightlifting, if you do plenty of running or high intensity activities such as squash or CrossFit you may find it a bit ‘heavy’ on your stomach.
Because it includes so many ingredients, including whey, it is thicker when mixed.
Thus playing rugby after drinking a load from my shaker can give me the feeling of it ‘sloshing’ around in my stomach.
However, the performance I feel when using this in the gym in unreal!
Reasons to buy
Power – this helped me power through my gym session
Energized – instead of spending my evening on the sofa I nailed the weights
Focus – less time looking at the phone and more time lifting
With so many other pre workout supplements on the market being ill-researched and ineffective it was pleasing to find another than really helped me get through the fatigue experienced after a long drive home from work.
Performance Lab provide much less ingredients than the other two, however, they are well researched.
Additionally, these come as capsules. And, they are vegan friendly being plant based.
Where Performance Lab excels is the delivery method…
This isn’t a powder that you mix with water.
Because this pre workout comes as a capsule, it means the hit of energy is more gradual, rather than instant.
That means it is great for those involved in endurance sports such as cycling or running.
Furthermore, sometimes drinking too much fluid very quickly (like when you normally drink a pre workout) can make you feel bloated and sick.
There isn’t the issue with taking capsules as you can gradually re-hydrate over a longer period of time.
Therefore, if I go running for long periods of time, I will use Performance Lab instead of the other options.
The Best Pre Workout Supplements Used By Myself
Yes, being a worn out old fruit with many tasks to juggle including the sole dependent named Molly (my rescue cat) I need a pre workout before I hit the gym, play rugby or go ski training or even running.
A pre workout helps me focus – my mind can wander too easily, the next thing I know I have been sat just thinking or daydreaming for 20 minutes.
A pre workout also can help me continue to hit the gym with the ferocity of a 25 year old…unfortunately my joints don’t seem to recover quite as quickly!
Like me you may work long hours, or spend much of your day just driving to work and back.
Much of my day was spent rushing from home to work then after a two hour commute I was at work for the full day working with clients and ensuring the business was profitable.
After a full day at work it was a case of a return two hour commute and then attempting to work on the website when I was home, eat and then try to hit the weights.
Then there was a past relationship which involved me driving another one hour and thirty minutes away, in the opposite direction from work plus playing rugby and trying to commit to training two evenings per week.
Something had to give and it almost became my sanity.
I was continually exhausted. However, I just felt like I should keep plugging on.
This was difficult when it came to hitting the gym at 10pm in the evenings or even playing rugby.
The Struggle Is Real
By the time I return home it is usually past 8pm and I left for work at 6:30am.
After driving home for a monotonous 2 hours on the freeway it is all too tempting to skip the gym and hit the couch.
If only there was something that we could take that would kick us up the ass and focus our attention of smashing up the gym and strong arming your way through that bastard of a plateau you’ve been suffering for the past month.
Well there is a solution…
Well, if you have been living your life as a hermit in a cave over the past 10 odd years you will not likely know about pre workout supplements.
These set themselves far apart from regular energy drinks by the likes of Red Bull or Monster.
Nope, these extreme pre workout supplements blaze their own trail in terms of performance enhancing, focus and energy.
We all suffer from fatigue; be it mental or physical exhaustion, in fact it can be a killer due to accidents caused by a deterioration of attention and focus.
However, there is hope.
I, your guinea pig, have been smashing through lots of these pre workout supplements in order to find the best one, considering as I am myself a prime candidate for such products.
It is no lie nor secret that I am absolutely shattered when I arrive home from work.
As much as I love lifting weights and playing rugby I would be lying if when I returned home or on a Saturday morning I didn’t just want a rest.
A lay down, a snooze…anything other than putting my body through stress and massive exertion.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
However, idleness and a lack of physical activity can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity plus the ones you can not see such as mental illnesses.
Now, all of that may seems like a bit of dramatization for a pre workout supplement.
However, when you skip one session per week it can soon snowball…next thing you know you have bed sores and you are 2 months away from eating yourself to death!
Okay…that was a bit extreme.
Yet, if you can find a little something to just give you that edge and drag your sorry ass to the gym or even improve your sporting performance it is worth it…hence my devotion to such a task.
How Do The Best Pre Workout Supplements Work?
They work on multiple levels; the best products do not just work like a cup of coffee and be left at that.
No, they have more depth than what a quick espresso can offer your performance. 
Here’s a few benefits they provide:
Certain ingredients help stimulate the central nervous system as well as the heart and muscles.
Some pre workout supplements will include ingredients to their profile that will help increase muscle strength and size.
When your blood vessels open up this allows more oxygen and nutrients to get to your muscles and organs. They also make you look more pumped.
To ensure sheer focus and concentration so you can power through your sets and hit a PB. Mental strength counts as much as physical.
Which Ingredients To Look For?
– Stimulates the central nervous system (CNS), heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure to give you an extra boost and hit that PB.
Caffeine Anhydrous is the purest form of caffeine so always look out for it. Caffeine is also a thermogenic so can help you lose unwanted fat too.
– Supplementation increases creatine storage and promotes a faster regeneration of adenosine triphosphate between high intensity exercises.
These improved outcomes will increase performance and promote greater training adaptations.
– Beet can also increase nitric oxide in the body. This chemical can dilate blood vessels and was popular with athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Dilated blood vessels means more nutrients and oxygen is delivered to the muscles and waste carbon dioxide is transport away quicker and in larger quantities.
– Beneficial for stress reduction, decreasing generalized anxiety, and reducing the severity of insomnia. If caffeine is present too, IQ scores have known to increase.
There are of course other, notable ingredients worth looking out for, but always ensure there are the reputable and reliable scientific references available for each ingredients present in a pre workout supplement so you know that what you are buying is legit.
However, the hard and confusing work has been taken out of it, because I have found the best and most effective pre workout supplements available!
So, through thorough research and my own real life physical testing I have found out which ones actually perform and what are worth you hard earned cash.
Author: Ben has been reviewing and using supplements for over 10 years when he first started going to the gym with the aim of getting stronger after graduating from university.
He was so underwhelmed by those first products he was exposed to that he decided to look deeper in to the nutrients that are included in supplements to understand how they work, if at all.
This review has cited references to studies regarding the ingredients which are found at the bottom of the page.
 Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects. Nehlig A, Daval JL, Debry G. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 1992 May-Aug;17(2):139-70. Review. PMID: 1356551
 Beetroot juice increase nitric oxide metabolites in both men and women regardless of body mass. Baião Ddos S, Conte-Junior CA, Paschoalin VM, Alvares TS. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016;67(1):40-6. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2015.1121469. Epub 2015 Dec 13. PMID: 26653541
 Electrolytes, sugar, calories, osmolarity and pH of beverages and coconut water. Chavalittamrong B, Pidatcha P, Thavisri U. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 1982 Sep;13(3):427-31. PMID: 7163850
 Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. Suzuki T, Morita M, Kobayashi Y, Kamimura A. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 Feb 19;13:6. doi: 10.1186/s12970-016-0117-z. eCollection 2016. PMID: 26900386
 Effect of creatine supplementation on body composition and performance: a meta-analysis. Branch JD. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Jun;13(2):198-226. PMID: 12945830
 Effect of potassium phosphate supplementation on perceptual and physiological responses to maximal graded exercise. Goss F, Robertson R, Riechman S, Zoeller R, Dabayebeh ID, Moyna N, Boer N, Peoples J, Metz K. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001 Mar;11(1):53-62. PMID: 11255136
 L-Theanine: properties, synthesis and isolation from tea. Vuong QV, Bowyer MC, Roach PD. J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Aug 30;91(11):1931-9. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4373. Epub 2011 Mar 29. Review. PMID: 21735448
 Effects of a pre-workout supplement on lean mass, muscular performance, subjective workout experience and biomarkers of safety. Kedia AW, Hofheins JE, Habowski SM, Ferrando AA, Gothard MD, Lopez HL. Int J Med Sci. 2014 Jan 2;11(2):116-26. doi: 10.7150/ijms.7073. eCollection 2014. PMID: 24465156