The top 5 best pre workout powders

Using a pre workout powder can help you go to an extra level during your workouts. Here's our pick of the best pre workout supplements on sale right now

best pre workout powders
Our pick of the top 5 best pre workout powders on sale right now Photo: The Sport Review

Sometimes it can be hard to get motivated for the gym.

We all want to feel 100 per cent before starting our workouts but sometimes that simply isn’t the case.

Everyone one has ‘off-days’ – those session when you’re physically present but you feel as if you’re just going through the motions. For some reason, you’re just not quite with it.

Contrast that to those amazing sessions when everything just seems to be on point and you feel you could lift heavier and harder.

That’s where a good pre workout powder can come in. A top pre workout supplement can help make those amazing gym sessions a regular occurrence and put an end to those days where you’re lacking energy and motivation.

Everyone wants to make sure that they’re getting the most out of their time spent in the gym.

And that’s exactly where a pre workout supplement can help to give you the edge you may be missing.

The problem when looking for the best pre workout is simply the number of different products available these days.

Luckily for you, we’ve broken down the top 5 best pre workout powders on the market to make your life that little bit easier.

But before we dive into our top-five recommendations to get pumped up for a workout, we’re going to explain to you a little more about what makes a good pre workout supplement.

How do pre workout powders work?

If you’re looking to go to that extra level and increase your performance, pre workout powders are a great place to begin.

Put simply, pre workouts are simply a type of supplement taken before exercise to increase performance.

This is achieved thanks to a carefully selected batch of ingredients to improve your energy levels and performance throughout your workout.

We’ve found that it can be pretty daunting trying to find the right product however, given the number of different brands and products already available to purchase.

Indeed, the ingredients listed can often leave you scratching your head – many health and fitness companies like to use flashy, eye-catching names which can be bamboozling to consumers.

After doing our research, we found that there are four key ingredients you should look for when choosing a pre workout powder.

Ingredients to look for in good pre workout powders

There are four key ingredients that a good pre workout powder should contain.

A lot’s been written about pre workout supplements and it’s common to find these four ingredients mentioned in any discussion about the subject.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Creatine Monohydrate

Let’s see why these ingredients are so vital.

1) Caffeine

Our old friend caffeine is found is many workout supplements, so it’s hardly surprising to learn that it plays an important role in pre workout powders.

It’s primary purpose is to provide energy, something which most of us lack before a morning workout or when heading to the gym after a long day at the office.

Scientific research shows that caffeine can reduce the feeling of effort during a workout, allowing you to crush out all those reps or final few miles on the treadmill.

As well as decreasing the rate of fatigue, it can provide you with a clear head, which is so important when working out.

2) Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Branched-Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, are known for helping to decrease muscle soreness following those most demanding of training sessions in the gym or on the road.

BCAAs are taken after a workout to aid the recovery process but it is also important to consume a little before working out to protect against the breakdown of muscle tissue.

Whether you are doing a cardio or a weight-lifting session, you’re causing tiny tears in your muscles. The longer and harder you workout, the more damage you’ll cause to your muscle tissue. BCAAs help to prevent this.

3) Beta-Alanine

If you’ve taken a pre workout supplement before and felt that warm, tingly sensation in your body, then you’ve felt the effects beta-alanine.

Beta-Alanine helps to improve your muscle endurance, which is vital during arduous weightlifting sessions in the gym or in the final minutes of a strenuous HIIT workout.

This ingredient can help to combat the negative effect of lactic acid on your body.

4) Creatine Monohydrate

The mention of creatine can be off-putting for those new to the world of workout supplements.

However, it is one of the most popular strength enhancers in pre workout powders.

Creatine helps saturate your muscles with the substrate (energy source) needed to give you a surge of energy to lift really heavy weights.

The dosage depends on how much muscle you want to gain – and how fast.

Things to avoid in pre workout powders

We would recommend avoiding pre workout powders that fail to clearly list the ingredients in their products.

You’ll want to pay particular attention to making sure that the powder doesn’t contain any proprietary blends – which companies often use to mask their products’ ingredients.

The best pre workout powders should contain only natural ingredients and should be free from things such as artificial sweeteners and colourings.

The 5 best pre workout powders

Having discussed the key ingredients in pre workout powders, we’re now ready to take a look at the best pre workout powders on sale today. We’ve compiled this list based mainly on ingredients and customer feedback.

1) 4 Gauge

4 gauge pre workout

This is our top pick because it contains the best ingredients above and has great customer reviews. 4 Gauge is made by specialist supplements company Roar Ambition.

4 Gauge is clinically dosed to give you exactly what you need to feel pumped for your workout, and we love that it doesn’t contain any proprietary blends.

Every ingredient used is derived from natural sources – there are no artificial sweeteners or ingredients (which is pretty rare for pre workout powder). It also tastes great, and currently comes in a ‘fruit blast’ flavour.


4 Gauge uses Caffeine Anhydrous and L-Theanine combine to create something referred to as “smart caffeine”.

Creatine Monohydrate is then used to help with performance and power, and it also contains L-Citrulline to give you some intense muscle pumps.

Acetly L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is known to promote energy while reducing muscle damage.

Click here to read more about the ingredients

4 gauge pre workout

Any drawbacks?

Right now you can only buy it from the official website, meaning you won’t find it at Amazon, eBay or other similar online vendors. It’s a premium-priced product and so may not fit into everyone’s budget.


We’re big fans of 4 Gauge because it contains the best ingredients and is free from artificial sweeteners and colourings. Their website is clear and concise and the manufacturer has been transparent about the ingredients used, giving complete peace of mind that this is a quality product.

For more information and to buy now:

2) Pulse V4 Pre Workout

One of Myprotein’s most-popular offerings is their Pulse V4 Pre Workout Supplement.

The well-respected company is targeting anyone looking to consume a low-calorie fat-free premium pre-workout product containing creatine and caffeine.

Myprotein advise customers to take this product around 30 minutes before a workout to ensure they reap the rewards of Pulse V4.

Pulse V4 can increase your performance in the gym with successive bursts of short-term, high intensity exercise.


For the purpose of this article, we’re going to examine the ingredients in Pulse V4’s berry flavour.

It contains three of the four key ingredients that are found in most good pre workout supplements.

Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate is a salt of the amino acid arginine and alpha-ketoglutaric acid and plays an important role in nitric oxide (NO) activity and blood flow.

Its dosage of caffeine is 1 per cent, which is a little low for our linking.

Click here to read more about the ingredients

Any drawbacks?

Pulse V4 does contain flavouring, colours (E162, E163) and sweetener (Sucralose), which some may find off-putting.

Myprotein also recommend that you seek advice from your doctor if you are unaware of your current health condition or have any pre-existing medical condition.


Pulse v4 has largely positive reviews on Myprotein’s website. However, the downside to this product is the flavouring and sweetener.

On the bright side, Pulse V4 is competitively priced for those with a more limited budget.

For more information and to buy now:

3) Slender Pre Workout Blend

Protein World promise that their Slender Pre Workout Blend can help you accomplish all your goals, whatever they are.

This product is their most powerful pre workout Slender blend to date, utilising some of the most well studied workout enhancers.

Reassuringly, Protein World only use natural and premium ingredients to make sure that you get a steady supply of energy with no post workout crash.


Protein World’s Slender Pre Workout Blend contains all four ingredients that we feel make a good supplement to take ahead of your workout.

BCAA, Caffeine and Beta-Alanine but Slender Pre Workout Blend does not contain creatine.

Protein World only use natural flavours which is a bonus.

Click here to read more about the ingredients

Any drawbacks?

The lack of creatine in this product may put off some potential customers.

This pre workout powder is part of their Slender Blend range, which perhaps explains the absence of creatine to ensure you maintain a sleek figure.


Protein World’s Slender Pre Workout Blend has great reviews online. A satisfied customer base gives us confident that this is a good produce. However, the lack of creatine is a definite negative.

For more information and to buy now:

4) Complete Pre-Workout

The purpose of Complete Pre-Workout is in the name: Bulk Powders want to give you the energy to get the most out of your sessions in the gym.

Bulk Powders claim that this product will kick that lethargic feeling and ensure you are getting 100 per cent out of your workouts.

Complete Pre-Workout combines an impressive selection of ingredients that work synergistically to get you pumped for exercise.


Like Protein World’s Slender Pre Workout Blend, Complete Pre-Workout contains Instant Branched Chain Amino Acids (IBCAA).

Unlike its rivals, Bulk Powders have also used AAKGs in their product with the perfect dosage to ensure the desired effects are potent and long lasting.

Complete Pre-Workout also contains Beta Alanine and Caffeine, as well as L-Tyrosine, which is described as “pre-cursor to adrenaline, the ‘fight or flight’ hormone”.

Click here to read more about the ingredients

Any drawbacks?

There have been some reviews of this product that suggest the tingly feeling when taking Complete Pre-Workout is off putting.

For those who dislike that tingly sensation associated with pre workout supplements, this may not be the product for you.


Overall, Bulk Powders’ Complete Pre Workout seems like a worthy competitor in the range. The product has an affordable price.

Some customer reviews have suggested Complete Pre Workout isn’t the easiest supplement to mix, which could be a possible downside.

For more information and to buy now:

5) Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Pre-Workout

Optimum Nutrition claim that their Gold Standard Pre-Workout powder will provide amplified energy and focus for your workouts.

In addition, Gold Standard Pre-Workout will help to support enhanced endurance to allow you to crush out those sets in the gym.

This is all, in the words of Optimum Nutrition, to help you achieve some “true gains” and accomplish your goals.


Optimum Nutrition describe themselves as one of the most trusted brands in sports nutrition.

So you won’t be surprised to learn that Optimum Nutrition only use banned substance free ingredients in this Gold Standard Pre-Workout.

Beta-Alanine, Creatine and Caffeine are all found in this product to allow you to train longer and harder.

However, Optimum Nutrition uses both natural and artificial flavourings in their Gold Standard Pre-Workout.

Click here to read more about the ingredients

Any drawbacks?

The use of artificial flavourings is one downside to the Gold Standard Pre-Workout.

Some customers have criticised the lack of kick to this product, unlike some of their rival pre-workout supplements such as 4 Gauge.


Optimum Nutrition have a great brand reputation which provides peace of mind when trying this product for the first time.

However, there has been feedback that there is no real punch to this product.

For more information and to buy now:

Anything else I should know?

Due to the high level of stimulants contained in some pre workout powders, you should do careful research to see whether or not these products are right for your body.

There’s no doubt that pre workout supplements can take you to a new level when working out but they aren’t for everyone.

We recommend using pre workout powders that use ingredients from only natural resources.

Wrapping things up – Our final thoughts

So that’s our pick of the best pre workout powders available at the moment. We really rate 4 Gauge and it’s our top choice due to the natural ingredients used – but you’re not going to go far wrong by selecting any of the products on this list.

Remember to check the ingredients carefully when selecting your pre workout and steer clear of artificial ingredients.

The Sport Review's product reviews are independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we don't allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are produced through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.


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