Good pre workout supplement can make a huge difference in your workout experience. You won’t be feeling tired for longer, can do more reps and lift heavier weight, all resulting in more satisfying reflection of yourself in the mirror.
People, who taking their workouts seriously, are big fans of pre-workout drinks.All sport nutrition brands know that.
As a result sport stacked supplements market is over-loaded with all kinds of pre-workouts, making it hard for you to choose, which pre-workout drink is better for you.
Don’t have to time to read the whole article?
(below is the best supplements I am comfortable to recommend. I am personally taking C4. I’ve tried about 15+ preworkout supplements and only C4 can give me energy to go through 1 hour of intensive training.) Keep your goal in mind.
|#1 C4 extreme ||5||4||4.9|
|# 3Musclepharm Assault||4.9||4.2||4.7|
|# 4 EVL Pre Workout ENGN||4.7||4.2||4.6|
| #5 BSN Noxplode 2.0||4||4||4|
Luckily you have guys like us, which constantly try new staff on the market, but only after making sorrow research in the topic. Because who wants to swallow a crap, right?
We will discuss pre-workouts with creatine in here, because they are the most effective performance enhancers. Though there are plenty of boosting mixes without creatine for those who want to avoid it.
You will find in this post:
First, check out this table, where we compare best pre-workouts 2014. You can find more detailed information and review each of them after the table.
C4 extreme pre-workout by Cellucor – best pre-workout drink with creatine
Truly, Cellucor C4 Extreme is best pre-workout energy booster on the market in terms of performance, for a couple of years in a row.
C4 won members’ choice award by bodybuilding.com and is the best in the category on GNC and Amazon. It’s also known as best tasting pre-workout, though it’s achieved with artificial staff.
Cellucor is a serious company which tries to offer the latest innovations in the world of supplements.
C4 extreme contains Creatine Nitrate, a premium ingredient, which offers positive effects of Creatine and Nitric oxidein one molecule (no other supplement have that). Beside that C4 pre-workout has alanine and arginine amino-acids for better performance, Calcium, vitamins (C, B3, B9, B12) and fruit extracts for energy boost. Argenine is a source of Nitric oxide too.
We like this product because it contains simple yet efficient ingredients, which are easy to understand. The only cons are presence of artificial dyes and flavors, about which health minders should be aware. Plus it contains caffeine, so if you plan to work out late it can interfere with your sleep.
BSN No-xplode 2.0 – caffeine free with creatine
Though BSN N.O.-XPLODE 2.0 is known by their regular pre-workout with caffeine, but they have caffeine free version too. And it’s great for late workouts, because you will fall asleep normally, no long hours of sheep counting.
But be prepared that without caffeine you won’t feel that energy boost you usually feel from pre-workouts. It’s still working on a cellular level; you just don’t feel it as much.
BSN No-xplode also known for their not the best taste, try Fruit-punch it’s the most stomachable so far.
In terms of ingredients, BSN loaded No-xplode 2.0 with 5 versions of creatine, amino-acids (including alanine), citrulline malate, vitamins, minerals and plant extracts.
The truth is that BSN No-xplode non-caffeinated formula is the best because of absence of alternatives (if you looking for creatine containing staff). Caffeine free RagNoRok by Millennium nutrition could be a better product, but it’s almost impossible to find.
PurePump by DoVitamins – the best Natural SupplementPurePump is the best natural pre-workout supplement available, which is free from dyes, preservatives and sweeteners and GMOs. It’s also great for those with food sensitivities, as it doesn’t contain corn, gluten, soy, wheat, or yeast.
It doesn’t contain animal products, so PurePump is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Despite its pureness, it contains everything you need to boost your workout program includes: Creatine, carnitine, citrulline malate, alanine, BCAAs, caffeine (from green tea) and vitamins.
PurePump is flavorless so it’s easier to consume it in juice, or add several drops of natural vanilla extract and stevia for better taste without calories.
Muscle Pharm Assault
Muscle Pharm Assault is another great option of pre-workout. It’s effective, but safe according Muscle Pharm® research. Assault also holds a guarantee certificate by Informed-Choice® as Banned Substance Free.
Muscle Pharm Assault as well as C4 contains creatine (though in other forms), beta-alanine and caffeine. They mostly differ in the blend of vitamins, minerals and herb extracts. But the most important ingredient which C4 lacks is BCAAs. They are essential amino-acids, which known to stimulate protein synthesis, and reduce cortisol (stress hormone) level.
If you take whey protein post workout, the absence of BCAAs in pre-workout drink is not a problem, because whey powder is a great source of them.
As well as C4, Assault has preservatives, dyes and artificial flavors, so not for those body builders who try to go natural.
Evolution Nutrition ENGNENGN Pre-workout powder by Evolution Nutrition is a quality pre-workout mix loved by weightliftters.
ENGN, as any pre-workout blend contains creatine, beta-alanine and vitamins. It’s also caffeinated, so you can work out longer and harder. Beside its standard ingredients ENGN also contains choline bitartrate, which supports muscle activity and mental speed, plus Pikatropine™ and Huperzine A for better concentration and mood.
Unfortunately, producers of this mix also could go without their favorite preservatives, dyes and artificial flavors.
Best Pre-workout supplements created to boost your workout and enhance your performance. That achieved with blend of substances, like amino-acids, vitamins, minerals, caffeine and other staff like creatine, which we will discuss in the next section.
As soon as the blend will get into your bloodstream, you will feel the boost. Actually mostly what you feel is caffeine. Despite that you don’t feel the action of creatine or beta-alanine as much, they are still working by delaying muscle fatigue and inducing muscle hydration and fiber synthesis.
All the best pre-workouts supplements can be devided in types by what they contain in them. The same boosting mix can be put in several categories in the same time. Like C4 can be put in creatine group, as well as into caffeine and Nitric oxide containing groups.
Types of Pre-workout
- Creatine containing supplement
- Caffeine containing supplement
- Nitric oxide supplements (main ingredient most of them is arginine amino-acid)
- Natural preworkouts (no harmful additives)
- Pure Amino-acids (it can contains other ingridients too, but usually no caffeine or creatine)
Surely, components in energizing mixes can vary but the most important ingredients are usually the same. Find out, for what staff you should look for on the label to find a product, which will work for you.
Creatin is organic acid which aids to deliver energy to your muscles cells. And more energy means more reps and faster muscle grows. creatine can be present in the product in different forms like creatine nitrate in C4 extreme or creatine monohydrate in PurePump, Assault and ENGN or in 5 different forms like in No-xplode.
Though, supposedly all form of creatine should work similarly, the most research is done for creatine-monohydrate. So, this one will work for sure.
Plus, amount of creatine per serving can vary too, because there is no official daily dose set for such chemicals. When switching from one pre-workout to another be sure to look for numbers on the label, so you will know how you’re changing your creatine intake.
Beta-alanine, also referred as alanine, is an amino acid. It has buffering properties and aids to reduce lactic acid accumulation in muscles. Lactic acid is what makes your muscle sore and tired. Less of it means less pain, higher endurance, and higher muscle gain too.
Take into the account, that you need some time before you will start to feel the effect of beta-alanine. It takes a couple of weeks for alanine to reach a certain level in your muscles after you started to take it.
Caffeine is another ingredient present in all performance boosting mixes (unless you go for caffeine free creatine mix, which actually not so easy to find). Caffeine gives you stamina to extend you work-out session, keeps you more concentrated and pump your metabolism, so creatine and other chemicals get into your cells faster.
Problem with caffeine is that it will interfere with your sleep, so you don’t want to take it for work-outs after 6p.m.
Caffeine derived from green tea is always better option than just caffeine anhydrous, because there is a hope that along purification process caffeine from green tea saved some polyphenols. While caffeine anhydrous is a harsher more drug-like staff.
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs or specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine are essential amino acids. They are known to enhance protein synthesis and reduce cortisol level. BCAA’s are also great for metabolism boosting and they prevent your muscle loss when you don’t eat enough protein.
BCCAs some time is added to preworkout , though they are more abundant in post workout mixes. The best source of BCAAs is whey protein powder, so don’t neglect it as your post workout drink. You can also take it prior workout, just be sure to make 15 minutes brake between energy boost drink and pre-workout protein shake for better absorption of the first.
Amino acids are bricks of proteins, so there is no much harm will be if you will have BCAAs in both pre and post workout drinks.
And if you wonder what whey protein is the best, NOW Foods Whey Protein Isolate is our favorite. It’s 100% pure, no fillers, dyes or artificial flavors.
Argenine is an amino acid which helps to elevate nitric oxide (NO) levels in your muscles. Nitric Oxide role in your body is versatile, but bodybuilders love it for its ability to increase blood flow to the muscles by relaxing walls of your blood vessels. That means better delivery of nutrients and removal of waste products.
Plus Carnosine is synthesized from alanine too. Carnosine is not studied very well, but there is a suggestion that it plays an important role in protecting cells from oxidation and helps with muscle recovery.
Besides those compounds described above many manufacturers add Citrulline malate (or its persecutor malic acid), Glycerol and Taurine for better blood flow and water retention in the muscles. As well as B vitamins, Vitamin C are added for their antioxidant qualities and Calcium and Potassium – for muscles’ normal functioning.
Many athletes choose to use creatine free supplements because they fear creatine related side-effects. However, majority of reported creatine intake side-effects has no ground underneath.
Read this article on Wikipedia about creatine to find out in depth all concerns real and fake about this organic acid.
In short, recent studies including this one show no evidence of negative influence of creatine on healthy people, but lots of positive effects on muscle integrity after endurance exercise, especially in vegetarians, which have lower creatine levels because of meat absence in their diet.
The most important for creatine is to take it responsibly, don’t overdo it. If you have kidney or liver problems, that another sign that creatine, as well as high protein load could be not for you. End products of creatine and proteins create additional work-load for your kidney and liver. If your organs are weak and metabolites load are high, they won’t be able to eliminate everything, causing various health issues.
And even if your kidneys are ok, still drink plenty of water (like gallon a day) to help to get rid of all unused creatine from your blood stream, and you will be fine.
Thus, there is no reason to be scary of creatine. This staff it really works, so why don’t use it.
For our opinion caffeine is a harsher staff than creatine. After all creatine are made by our own body, but caffeine we get only with food or drink.
Though, when we get caffeine from whole foods, we get it in lower doses. It’s also accompanied by polyphenols and other antioxidants, which protect us from negative effects of caffeine, but giving the room for positive ones.
On the other hand pure caffeine is a strong, but still legal, drug, which hit us fast, right into the brain. And we, guys, actually like it. Because we feel like pump it and pump it again until it wears off.
That means caffeinated pre-workouts works better than their non-caffeine brothers, at list in terms how you feel mentally.
You need to understand what caffeine is. And then it’s your decision to use it or not, or at list use supplements with green tea derived caffeine. No guarantee that it’s better, because manufacturers don’t like to share how they get that caffeine extract.
Another thing is that it’s kinda hard to find caffeine free pre-workout with creatine. Honestly, we haven’t found another creatine pre-workout without caffeine, other than BSN No-xplode and RagNoRok by Millennium sport technologies.
First of all, follows direction on the label of you pre-workout powder, because different pre-workouts contain different components. Some gets into the blood faster, some slower.
To take pre-workout on empty stomach will speed up absorption and digestion of the drink. But if label says to take it with food, follow the guidance. It could mean, that it can make your stomach upset if drank when you have nothing in your belly.
Pre-workout boost will get into your muscles in 20 to 50 minutes after consumed, depending on your physiology. It means that you want to take the mix at list 20 minutes prior workout.
There are plenty of sources where you can buy supplements. The easiest and cheapest way is to buy online.
There are numerous reputable on-line stores, which offer great selection and price on bodybuilding supplements.
Some of them are: a1supplements.com, gnc.com, vitaminshoppe.com, bodybuilding .com. But prices on Amazon are unbeatable. For example C4 extreme (60servings) cost 8$ less than discounted price on all other on-line stores. Plus the shipping is free.
Though, on other web-site you can find products not available through amazon.
Lots of pre-workouts made to improve your performance with little concerns of your health. Manufacturers staff their product with dangerous chemicals in order to give you the boost you’re looking for.
So it’s up to you to decide how far you’re ready to go in name of results.
If you concern about health, that things you should be aware of when choosing supplement:
- Look for certificates and claims that the product is banned substances free or made according GMP (good manufacturing practices) standards.
- Choose pre-workout with lower caffeine content or caffeine-free (as was mentioned it’s hard to find creatine energy boost without caffeine)
- Be aware that Niacin (B3 Vitamin) can cause Niacin flush. It feels like itching sensation and redness of whole body or certain parts of the skin. It’s completely harmless but scary for the first time and uncomfortable.
- Too much creatine and proteins is over-whelming for your body, that’s why on all creatine supplements is said to drink plenty of water. Don’t ignore this advice.
- Too much preservatives, food colorings and artificial flavors are not good for you, so try to choose product that contains less of those.
- Certain small percent of guys experience adverse effects from pre-workouts like headaches, body shivering and other. You should not be afraid of those, as nobody died from them. Just when trying new pre-workout start with half-a-dose to check your reaction on it.
Human is a complex biological system and nobody can predict with 100% certainty how you will react on certain chemicals.
We armed you with all necessary information to differ quality pre-workout mix from junk. Now it’s up to you to find what suits you best.
Despite that’s very tempting to push further and to start consume hard core staff to achieve results. We hope you will take your health on the first place.
Despite, that C4 Extereme is the best formula by efficiency, and that proven by many, who tried it, PurePump is a cleaner product, for those who care about health.
Thanks for reading our Best Pre Workout Supplements Guide.
Read more article on Lazy Gainer.