Best Pre-Workout Supplements For Muscle Building (Updated 2021)

best pre-workout supplement top pre-workout best workout supplementsGive yourself the best chance to improve performance and strength training with these great pre-workout supplements to see great muscle growth.

When it comes to building muscle and getting a great pump, pre-workout supplements are exactly what you need. As great training aids to improve performance and strength training, pre-workouts have the ability to provide enhanced focus, increased heart rate, weight loss, and insane muscle pumps to assist with those big lifts and really force our muscles to grow. While our busy schedules do tend to drain us, it is important we find that all important energy from somewhere and pre-workout supplements have just what you need to really make that happen for that desired improved performance, weight loss, and muscle building goals. Great for shedding fat, increasing muscle, and hitting you with amazing energy boosts, a pre-workout can enhance recovery and allow to bounce back faster for your next big lift.

We’ve put together a list of the Best Pre-Workout Supplements for 2021 so you can start to see the desired growth you want. You won’t be disappointed with the results from a good quality, highly effective pre-workout on your endurance, strength training, weight loss, and exercise performance for optimal training.

Best Pre-Workout Supplements For 2021


Best Pre-Workout Overall

Finding a great pre-workout may seem daunting but their are those out there that can cover all your bases. From energy, to muscle pumps, reduced fatigue, and more, Performance Lab has the top pre-workout for you.

Cellucor C4 Ultimate

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Calories 5
Carbs Less than 1
Sugar N/A
Number Of Servings 12, 20, or 40
Flavors Ice Blue Razz, Strawberry Watermelon, Orange Mango, Sour Batch Bros, Cotton Candy
Best Way To Take Take one scoop with 10-12 fl. oz. of water 20-30 minutes before training.

Cellucor C4 Ultimate is a great pre-workout supplement designed to help you see results and achieve peak performance so all your goals are met. This supplement will work to deliver serious energy, provide powerful pumps, enhance better muscular endurance, and offer extreme focus so you see huge gains and reach peak performance. Clinically studied ingredients are mixed into a cutting-edge formula to only give you the best when it comes success. A fully transparent label tells you everything you deserve to know and this supplement contains no artificial flavors, dyes, or proprietary blends to ruin a great product.

Cellucor C4 Ultimate is a powerful pre-workout supplement designed to increase energy, provide powerful muscle pumps, and enhance focus for peak performance. Effective ingredients and a fully transparent label ensure you get the best for your pre-workout needs.

Pros

  • Delivers energy, powerful pumps, muscular endurance, and extreme focus, among other benefits
  • Effective ingredients to help see results and achieve peak performance
  • A fully transparent label with no artificial dyes, flavors, or proprietary blends
  • From a well-known company in Cellucor

Cons

  • Low number of servings makes us wish there were more and it gets pricey with higher servings
  • Flavor tastes great but may be strong for some

Price: $23.99

Check out our individual review for Cellucor C4 Ultimate here!


Best For Cutting

For those looking to lose weight and tone, a good pre-workout can help you get there. Transparent Labs made a solid formula to assist with all your cutting needs.

Pre Lab Pro

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Number Of Servings 20
Serving Size 1 Scoop
Flavors Natural Berry
Best Way To Take Mix 1 scoop with 12 oz. water and drink 30 minutes before exercise.

Pre Lab Pro is the next-gen pre-workout formula designed for all-around strength, speed, stamina, endurance, and recovery. Using nootropic-enhanced caffeine, this provides for smart stimulation for energy, focus, and calm intensity. This revolutionary design targets three key pathways that work in synergy to supercharge workout performance, promote health balance, and accelerate your overall progress. Using premium ingredients, Pre Lab Pro works to optimize the safety and effectiveness of this product so you only see those gains you want most.

Pre Lab Pro is the all-around pre-workout for strength, speed, stamina, endurance, and recovery. Nootropic-enhanced caffeine for energy, focus, and calm intensity ensures fast and healthy progress.

Pros

  • Clean and effective pre-workout made with natural flavors
  • Great benefits to strength, speed, stamina, endurance, and recovery
  • Nootropic enhanced caffeine for energy and focus
  • From a reputable and honest company

Cons

  • Premium priced option
  • Only available directly on their website

Price: $59.00

Check out our individual review for Pre Lab Pro here!


Best For Strength

Of course, we want our pre-workout to work for our benefit in terms of strength. Transparent Labs has this amazing option to do just that.

Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Calories 0
Carbs 0g
Sugar 0g
Number Of Servings 30
Flavors Orange, Green Apple, Sour Grape, Blue Raspberry, Tropical Punch
Best Way To Take Mix 1 scoop with 16-24 fl. oz. of water 20-30 minutes before your workout.

Backed by science with clinically effective dosages, this pre-workout is most effective for those looking to increase in size and muscle massBULK contains 6,000 mg of citrulline malate, 4,000 mg of beta-alanine, 4,000 mg of BCAAs, and 2,500 mg of betaine to boost your workouts, blood flow, weight loss, and muscle growth, all in attempts to improve performance. BULK will reduce fatigue and increase your energy to give you a more impactful and longer lasting workout. Transparent Labs prides themselves on a 100% label and there are artificial additives, colorings, or preservatives to ruin this clean product.

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Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK is backed by science with clinically effective dosages to increase muscle size and mass. This pre-workout is perfect for reducing fatigue, aiding in muscle growth, and boosting energy levels for better overall performance.

Pros

  • High amount of citrulline malate for awesome pumps to get the blood flowing to stimulate growth.
  • Very clean ingredients for an honest product so you only get the best and put the best in your body from one of the strongest pre-workout products.
  • From a reputable company in Transparent Labs who works hard to product the best supplements around.

Cons

  • High in beta alanine and a lower dose would suffice.
  • Premium priced option for those looking for a cheaper product.
  • Only available directly from their site which limits where you can buy from.

Price: $49.00

Check out our individual review for Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK here! Also, use the promo code GENIRON10 for 10% off!


Best Natural Ingredients For Energy

You deserve to have the best ingredients when it comes to your supplements and National Bodybuilding Co. seeks only the best for it’s pre-workout and other supplements.

National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Calories 0
Carbs 0g
Sugar 0g
Number Of Servings 30
Flavors Fruit Punch
Best Way To Take Take 1 scoop and mix with 8-12 fl. oz. of water.

National Bodybuilding Co. has a great pre-workout supplement called Stage Ready Pre-Workout which delivers quality muscle pumps, enhanced stamina, weight loss, and a solid boost of energy to really elevate your performance. With an advanced and effective blend, this pre-workout can hydrate and buffer muscle tissue, raise nitric oxide levels and blood flow, optimize ATP production, and boost neurotransmitter synthesis. With great ingredients and a clean formula, it is no wonder why National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready Pre-Workout won for Best Pre-Workout in GI Supplement Awards.

National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready is a great pre-workout to enhance quality muscle pumps, improved stamina, weight loss, and a real boost of energy to elevate performance. With an advanced blend and high-quality ingredients, this pre-workout is perfect for any workout.

Pros

  • An effective blend with solid benefits for muscle pumps, energy, and stamina so you see the gains you want most.
  • Patented ingredients and great taste so you get the best tasting product around to boost growth.
  • From a reputable company to ensure honesty and transparency with one of the strongest pre-workout products.

Cons

  • Premium priced option for those seeking a cheaper option.
  • Only available directly from their site so it limits where you can buy from.
  • Could use more beta alanine as a key ingredient which is known to increase athletic performance.

Price: $48.00

Check out our individual review for National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready here!


Best Stim Ingredients & Intensity

Having a pre-workout that can boost energy and intensity is huge and with the right stim ingredients, this can happen instantly. Enhanced has a great product to power you through any workout so you see the gains you want most.

Enhanced Ramy’s Rage Stim Reloaded

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Calories 0
Carbs 0g
Sugar 0g
Number Of Servings 30
Flavors Grape
Best Way To Take Take 1 scoop 30 minutes before your workout with 8 oz. of water.

Ramy’s Rage Stim is different. It has a fully disclosed supplement facts panel, so you know exactly what you’re getting in each serving. Ramy’s Rage Stim contains full dosages of ingredients scientifically proven to boost energy levels, improve physical performance and enhance focus. Best of all, Ramy’s Rage Stim doesn’t contain mega dosages of caffeine so there is no crash. With a smart 8-stim matrix, all of your energy and focus enhancing needs are met with a great pre-workout. With 17 clinically dosed ingredients grouped into 4 synergistic matrixes, this pre-workout is perfect for boosting intensity.

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Enhanced Ramy's Rage Stim Reloaded is a smart 8-stim matrix to enhance energy and focus. A fully disclosed label provides transparency for their scientifically proven ingredients.

Pros

  • No crash which ensures you stay alert and focused for whatever workout or activity comes your way.
  • 17 clinically dosed ingredients which gives you a well-rounded formula to tackle all your needs.
  • Fully disclosed supplement facts panel to know exactly what you are putting in your body.
  • Novel stimulants like Dynamine, Theacrine, and Cocoabuterol to keep you focused and give you a great boost of energy.

Cons

  • Only one flavor option and more would be nice for added variety.

Price: $25.99

Use code GENIRON for 15% off your order!


Best Stim-Free Without Caffeine

With many pre-workouts loaded with stimulants, finding a great stim-free option can be hard. But Transparent Labs has made a stim-free product to still offer great benefits to your workouts.

Transparent Labs PreSeries Stim Free

Stim Or No Stim No Stim
Calories 0
Carbs 0g
Sugar 0g
Number Of Servings 30
Flavors Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch, Orange, Sour Grape, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple
Best Way To Take Mix 1 scoop with 12-16 fl. oz. of water 20-30 minutes before your workout.

Transparent Labs Stim-Free is an amazing option for those looking for stimulant free supplements for strength training, weight loss, and to improve performance. Containing key ingredients like citrulline malate and betaine, all of these ingredients are clinically dosed and effective for providing great gains. With a 100% transparent formula, this product is great for those who are intolerant to caffeine or other stimulants, or for those looking to cycle off of them. With 13 active ingredients all designed for enhanced focus and increasing lean muscle, you cannot go wrong with this great stim-free, non-caffeine option that will still enhance energy like other products.

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Transparent Labs PreSeries Stim-Free is an amazing option for those looking for stimulant free supplements for strength training, weight loss, and improved performance. With key ingredients at effective dosages, this is a great pre-workout for anyone looking for stim-free options.

Pros

  • Great advantages while being stim-free for those looking to avoid stimulants.
  • Perfect for those insensitive or looking to get off caffeine so you still get a great product.
  • Clean ingredients and advanced formula to provide awesome benefits and proven results from one of the strongest pre-workout products.
  • Provides for energy and focus while decreasing muscle fatigue so you can tackle any workout with ease.

Cons

  • Premium priced option for those looking for a cheaper option.
  • Only available directly through their site which limits where you can buy from.
  • Does not have caffeine or other stimulants for those looking to get a boost of energy of caffeine.

Price: $49.00

Use the promo code GENIRON10 for 10% off!


Best For Pumps

With quality muscle pumps being a staple benefit for pre-workout, Kaged Muscle took that and made sure their supplement gave you the best pumps around.

Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Calories 15
Carbs 2g
Sugar 1g
Number Of Servings 20
Flavors Berry Blast, Fruit Punch, Grape, Krisp Apple, Orange Kush, Pink Lemonade
Best Way To Take Take one scoop with water before your workout.

Increase the performance and intensity of your workout with this high quality pre-workout powder available from Kaged Muscle. Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged is unmatched in terms of ingredient quality and synthesis of the blend of proteins. Kaged Muscle lab tests every batch to make sure each is fully loaded as advertised — 274 mg pure caffeine, 2 g taurine, 6.5 g fermented BCAAs, 6.5 g pure l-citrulline, and 2 g of their patented betapower blend. It’s an unbeatable combination that is guaranteed to supercharge any workout with great pre-workout ingredients from supplements to increase muscle and promote weight loss.

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Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged is great for those looking to increase performance and intensity with a high-quality pre-workout. Great ingredients and a quality blend make this unstoppable for your pre-workouts needs.

Pros

  • Contains BCAAs and has well-dosed ingredients to enhance growth and advance your overall health and wellness.
  • No artificial colors or flavors so you get a natural supplement to help your gains.
  • Great taste so you never grow bored with this pre-workout.

Cons

  • A bit expensive so it may be something to consider if you’re on a budget.
  • Does contains sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener, so you’re towing the line of natural a bit.
  • Caffeine content may be high for those sensitive and it is wise to look into this to avoid negative side effects.

Price: $39.99

Use code GENIRON10 to save 10%! Check out our individual review for Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged here!


Best For Women

Pre-workouts for women are great for helping you tackle any of your workouts needs. With certain ingredients and different doses, this is geared for all the needs of those female athletes.

Cira Nutrition Pre-Game

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Calories 0
Carbs 0g
Sugar 0g
Number Of Servings 30
Flavors Peach Bellini, Pink Candy
Best Way To Take Mix 1 scoop with 6-8 fl. oz. of water 30-40 minutes before your workout.

Cira Nutrition Pre-Game is that pre-workout you need to give you more energy to perform harder, better, and faster. With great ingredients to increase energy, endurance, focus, weight loss, and muscle strength, this pre-workout has you covered with whatever your needs may be. Packed with all the essential ingredients to stand out as a top pre-workout for women, this supplement is what you want most for your pre-workout routine. With great flavors at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong with Pre-Game.

Cira Nutrition Pre-Game is a great pre-workout so you perform harder, better, and faster to get the most out of your workouts. Packed with great ingredients, this supplement stands out as one of the best for women.

Pros

  • Packed with essential pre-workout ingredients to give you the best edge pre-training.
  • Fully disclosed label so you know exactly what you are putting into your body.
  • Great flavors and price to not break the bank and still give you a great taste.

Cons

  • Does contain caffeine for those sensitive so you should know what to look for in terms of side effects.
  • Only available directly from their website so it limits where you can purchase this from.

Price: $39.99


Best For Weight Loss

Losing weight is hard, but supplements like pre-workout can help immensely. With the right ingredients and a solid training plan, your desire to lose weight is just around the corner.

Transparent Labs PreSeries LEAN

Stim Or No Stim Stim
Calories 0
Carbs 0g
Sugar 0g
Number Of Servings 30
Flavors Sour Grape, Orange, Blue Raspberry, Tropical Punch, Strawberry Lemonade
Best Way To Take Mix 1 scoop with 12-16 fl. oz. of water 20-30 minutes before your workout.

The perfect supplement for cuttingLEAN is great for those looking to target stubborn fat while keeping on that lean muscle. LEAN contains 6,000 mg of citrulline malate, 2,500 mg of betaine, 2,000 mg of BCAA, 1,500 mg of beta-alanine, and 600 mg of L-tyrosine to improve strength and muscle endurance, increase blood flow and nitric oxide levels, reduce fatigue, and improve memory. LEAN is great for those looking to slim down and encourage weight loss without losing that hard work done in the gym through your exercise performance from a great pre-workout powder with ingredients like citrulline malate and betaine.

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Transparent Labs PreSeries LEAN is perfect for those looking to target stubborn belly fat while still maintaining that hard-earned lean muscle. For those looking to slim down and lose weight, look no further than this great pre-workout with quality ingredients at effective dosages.

Pros

  • Well-dosed and third party tested to ensure accuracy and the best results.
  • All-natural ingredients so you get a well-rounded and healthy product.
  • Good for cutting and increasing strength and power for that desired physique and top tier athletic performance.

Cons

  • Premium priced option for those on a budget looking for something cheaper.
  • Only available directly from their site which limits where you can purchase this from.
  • Does not have the greatest ingredients for fat loss so maybe look to others if this is your goal.

Price: $49.00

Use the promo code GENIRON10 for 10% off! Plus, check out our individual review for Transparent Labs PreSeries LEAN here!

best pre-workout supplement top pre-workout best workout supplements

Benefits Of Pre-Workout

The benefits of pre-workout should not be ignored for what they can do for your strength training and performance is incredible. Great tasting and safe to use, a good pre-workout supplement can:

  • Increase focus and energy: Provide for more intense workouts while being locked into every exercise so nothing interferes with a good workout (1).
  • Reduce fatigue: Allow for longer training sessions and calorie burn giving your body the fuel it needs from endurance and strength exercises while reducing muscle soreness and unwanted pain for improved performance.
  • Muscle pumps: Watch your strength and muscle gains flourish  and allow blood to flow through your muscles.(2).
  • Enhanced recovery: Bounce back faster and promote more efficient growth while recovering more effectively for faster turn arounds.

Key Ingredients In Pre-Workout

Here are some key ingredients to look out for when choosing a pre-workout supplement:

  • Caffeine: Works to elevate energy so you can tackle any grueling workout while boosting focus and reaction time to improve performance. There are stim-free pre-workouts that work just as well (3).
  • Creatine: This will provide your muscles with fuel to boost athletic performance and strength training (4).
  • BCAAs: Great for promoting muscle protein synthesis, they can help with recovery and intra-workout needs (5).
  • Beta-Alanine: Works as a buffer for pH levels to push past fatigue that may strike.
  • L-Citrulline: Can boost nitric oxide while maintaining good blood flow for increased muscle pumps.

best pre-workout supplement top pre-workout best workout supplements

How We Decide

Choosing the right pre-workout can be difficult and with so many on the market, the choices do seem endless. With this list, we sought to bring the best to you by combing through all the nonsense pre-workouts to bring you the best around. We look at ingredients closely because many companies will put in ingredients you just don’t need. Quality of the brand and where they get ingredients from is also important because you deserve to have an honest company backing you up. Of course, price matters and since supplements can add up and be a real hit on the wallet, we sought to bring you top tier products at a reasonable and affordable price.

FAQ Section

What is the best pre-workout?

National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready. This pre-workout is a really high quality product designed to deliver pumps, enhanced stamina, promote weight loss, increase strength training, and provide solid energy for elevated performance. An advanced and effective formula is highly safe to use and is produced with clean ingredients from a reputable and top tier company in National Bodybuilding Co.

What does pre-workout do?

Pre-workout is designed to give you the edge for your strength training and performance. It will enhance energy and focus for more efficient workouts, increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping for better blood flow and weight loss, and increase muscle so you turn that unwanted fat into a shredded physique to have confidence in the effects.

Are there stimulant-free pre-workouts?

Yes! Since many people are sensitive to caffeine or just don’t want it in their daily routine for strength training, companies have created stim-free options to give you the same results without the caffeine.

Check out some amazing stim-free pre-workout supplements here!

Is pre-workout safe?

Pre-workouts are not monitored by the FDA but are safe for public use. Many contain caffeine, so for those sensitive it is something to be cautious of. Some potential side effects are dizziness, nausea, dehydration, and high blood pressure, but many of these come from the overload in caffeine for some. Also, many companies will have their products be third party tested to ensure quality pre-workout products for exercise performance.

When is the best time to take pre-workout?

It is ideal to take pre-workout 30 minutes before your strength training workout. This will ensure all of the ingredients will kick in so they work as effectively as possible for optimal effects and results. It is important to stay hydrated in the time in between your workout and during your workout for pre-workout can dehydrate you.

Wrap Up

Pre-workout supplements are great to use for those looking to build their muscle and really start to see that shredded physique unfold. With the power to increase energy, provide for great focus, promote pumps, and enhance recovery, a good quality and highly effective pre-workout will boost your gains to the next level. Check out our list above and see which one is right for you, for you won’t be disappointed with the results. A solid pre-workout can only add to your gains and those gains are what you want most. Give these products a try and really see what they can do for your gains. You won’t be disappointed with the results when you buckle down and get a good supplement to accompany you on your muscle building journey.

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References

  1. Ellerbroek, Anya C.; Antonio, Jose (2019). “Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements on Strength, Endurance, and Mood”. (source)
  2. Kedia, A.; Hofheins, J.; Habowski, S.; Ferrando, Arny; et al. (2014). “Effects of a Pre workout Supplement on Lean Mass, Muscular Performance, Subjective Workout Experience and Biomarkers of Safety”. (source)
  3. McLellan, Tom M.; Caldwell, John A.; Lieberman, Harris R. (2016). “A review of caffeine’s effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance”. (source)
  4. Kreider, Richard B. (2003). “Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations”. (source)
  5. Negro, M.; Giardina, S.; Marzani, B.; Marzatico, F. (2008). “Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system”. (source)
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Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.