Experiencing amazing muscle pumps is one of the reasons we hit the gym.
We automatically feel stronger when are muscles are bulging half-way through a killer session – and it helps to motivate us to push harder through the rest of our sets.
They also make us feel awesome when we hit the showers after our session.
There are lots of pre workouts out there these days, and lots of them claim to help boost muscle pumps.
It’s a key benefit you want from your supplement – but not all pre workouts are made equal. It’s vitally important that you do your research to make sure that the product you choose is up to scratch.
Luckily for you, we’ve done all of the hard work for you, by breaking down the most important ingredients to look for when choosing a top pre workout supplement.
In terms of the best supplements for muscle pumps, there are a few key ingredients you should be looking for – and we’ll get into those below.
That ‘swollen’ feeling you get in your muscles after a tough workout. You feel – and look – bigger and stronger.
But the research now suggests that they may not be only about how you look in the mirror.
There is some research that suggests that the bigger and more intense the muscle pump, the more muscle you’ll build.
Muscle pumps happen because your muscles have become swollen with blood and need to stretch to accommodate the extra fluid.
And it’s believed that this can help to increase the rate of protein synthesis (the creation of new muscle tissue).
If you’re a gym regular, you’ll also know that there are certain exercises that seem to bring on more intense pumps.
To get the biggest pumps, aim for isolation exercises which focus on single muscle groups, such as barbell curls and tricep cable pull-downs.
We’ve picked out two of the most important pre workout ingredients for muscle pump. Fortunately, they’re both pretty popular, and you’ll find them in a variety of pre workouts on sale these days.
4 Gauge is our current best-rated pre workout supplement on sale right now, and it contains them both.
• Citrulline Malate – If you’ve checked out our article on the best pre workout ingredients, you’ll already know a lot about Citrulline Malate.
Citrulline Malate, as the name suggests, is a blend between Malic Acid and the amino acid L-Citrulline.
L-Citrulline is extracted from watermelon and is a completely natural ingredient.
Regular users of pre workouts will probably need no introduction to Citrulline Malate. It’s widely used as a popular pre workout ingredient which is known for its ability to produce incredible muscle pumps.
Taking Citrulline Malate before your session helps to raise the nitric oxide levels in your body. What does that men? Put simply, your blood vessels will dilate and allow more blood to pass through them – and that equals an amazing muscle pump.
Our main word of warning when it comes to Citrulline Malate. Make sure that the dose is correct.
Having tried and reviewed literally hundreds of pre workout supplements, we’ve noticed that a lot of products do include Citrulline Malate, but the dose is nowhere near big enough for it to have an effect.
Our minimum recommended dose of Citrulline Malate per serving is 5 grams (or 5000mg). Do check this, as we’ve come across products with less than 1 gram per serving, which is basically pointless.
• Beetroot extract – Another totally natural ingredient, beetroot extract can help to take your muscle pumps to a whole new level.
Beetroot (or red beet) is a very under-rated natural vegetable in our opinion.
It has a range of health benefits. When it comes to muscle pumps, beetroot extract has been shown to increase the amount of Plasma Nitrate in the body, as well as boosting Nitric Oxide levels.
What does that mean? Not only will you experience incredible muscle pumps, but you’ll also have increased endurance, meaning you’ll be able to go harder for longer.
We recommend that pre workouts contain at least 250mg of red beetroot extract per serving.
So with all of the science out of the way, here’s our current pick of the best pre workout for pump out there right now.
Product website: www.4gauge.com
4 Gauge is made by specialist supplements company Roar Ambition.
It contains healthy doses of both Citrulline Malate and Beetroot Extract, to give you amazing muscle pumps.
Each serving of 4 Gauge contains 6 grams of Citrulline Malate, which is a lot more than many other products out there right now.
It also contains 300mg of Red Beet extract to help boost your muscle pumps.
4 Gauge also contains some other top ingredients, such as a great blend of Caffeine and L-Theanine. These two substances can combine to give you the calm, relaxed focus you need to smash your session at the gym.
It also gets top marks because it doesn’t use an artificial sweetener.
The main drawback with 4 Gauge is the price. It’s one of the more premium products out there at the moment.
You get what you pay for, and because 4 Gauge contains solid doses of quality natural ingredients, it’s understandable that it’s a bit more expensive – but it may not fit into everyone’s budget.
Price, shipping and where to buy
One 20 serving tub of 4 Gauge costs $45 / £30 / €35.
You can’t buy it in the shops, it’s only available on the official website.
They do have a deal on right now, where you buy two tubs, and get the third half-price with free delivery. That works out at around $37.50 / £25 / €29 per tub.
The bottom line
4 Gauge is one of the few pre workouts we’ve found that has the near-correct doses of the best ingredients.
It’s a bit more expensive than other products – it’s a premium choice.
Pre workouts have become extremely popular in the last few years because they offer a sure-fire way to make sure that you can perform at your best during your training sessions.
Our time spent in the gym is limited, and therefore it’s crucial that you’re feeling ‘in the zone’ and ready smash your session.
We’ve all experienced those training sessions in which we just feel ‘off’.
For whatever reason, we struggle to get going and feel as if we’re just ‘going through the motions’.
On the other hand, we all remember those amazing sessions. The ones where you feel like you could go heavier and harder for longer.
A quality pre workout supplement will make sure that you’re always feeling at your best before your session, so you’re able to make the very most of your time training.
The best pre workouts help to give you a sustained energy boost (without a crash later on), as well as the focus needed to concentrate on the task at hand.
The top supplements also contain ingredients to help boost muscle pumps.
Pre workouts shouldn’t be overloaded with stimulants (but sadly lots of them are).
We recommend no more than 200mg of caffeine per serving – just enough to get you energized and focused, without any side effects.
Most pre workouts come in powder form. You’re advised to mix them with water and drink them 30-45 minutes before starting your session (each product and person varies, so check the label carefully).
That brings us to an end of our pick of the best pre workout for muscle pump.
We’ve taking you through the basics of pumps, from what they are, to the ingredients to look out for in the top pre workout supplements.
We’ve also explained why 4 Gauge is leading the way in terms of pre workout supplements right now.
Selecting the right pre workout can have a dramatic effect on helping you to enjoy amazing pumps.
As our final note, when talking about supplements, we always like to remind you that there is no substitute for hard work.
The first thing you should do before considering a new pre workout is to make sure that your diet and training regime is completely on point.
It’s also worth remembering that a pre workout supplement won’t do the hard work for you. You’ll still have to be the one working hard at the gym!
That being said, doing some research to find a quality pre workout will be well worth your time in the long run.
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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BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge
BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga