Best pre workouts 2018 – Your ultimate guide to boosting your training

The best pre workout supplements available to you right now. We bring you everything you need to know in our definitive list of the most effective products

Best Pre Workout supplements
Our pick of the best pre workout supplements on the market Photo: The Sport Review

There are so many health and fitness supplements on sale these days that sometimes it can be easy to forget about the most important part of getting into the shape of your life: hitting the gym hard.

UPDATE: We’ve updated this guide with the latest information and products for 2018. After months of using it, 4 Gauge is our top-rated pre workout supplement. We’ll be reviewing and updating this article with the very latest information throughout 2018.

You won’t be able to get the ripped, toned physique you’ve always wanted unless you’re training well, regularly and consistently.

A quality pre workout supplement will help you to get the very best out of your time at the gym.

You don’t need to waste your time doing the research as our team of experts has done all of the hard work for you.

We’ve examined the studies into the latest ingredients, check out real customer reviews and tried vast numbers of supplements to find the best pre workouts in the UK and worldwide on the market right now.

Why pre workouts?

Those of us who train regularly know all too well about the big difference between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days you can have at the gym.

We’ve all had those workouts which seem to fly by. You were in the zone from start to finish and felt like you could keep going forever. You literally didn’t want to leave the gym.

In contrast, we’ve all experienced those ‘off days’. Sessions where you’re physically present but seem to find yourself just going through the motions. You have to keep telling yourself to focus on each set. Simply put, you’re just not in the game.

pre workout energy

A pre workout will banish fatigue and get you firing in the gym Photo: Adobe Stock

The purpose of the best pre workouts is to make sure that those great sessions at the gym become the norm for you.

Think about it like this, using a pre workout supplement is like taking out a small insurance policy to guarantee you’ll be getting the best out of your session – no matter how you’re feeling before the gym.

What we looked for…

There’s a lot of nonsense out there when it comes to health and fitness supplements these days, so we’ll spare you the fluff.

Here’s exactly what we looked for when picking the best supplements:

• Effectiveness – Does the supplement actually do what it claims to? We turned away from the marketing hype and instead took a look at real customer reviews on social media, blogs and review websites.

• Safety and side effects – We only considered products which don’t contain any harmful or risky ingredients. We researched the potentially risky ingredients found in some pre workout supplements and we didn’t include any products which overdo it on stimulants such as caffeine.

We also checked to see if any customers had reported serious side-effects while taking the products, and made sure that none of them could cause issues such as jitters or heart palpitations.

• Company reputation – Does the manufacturer have a positive reputation in the health and fitness industry? We looked into the companies behind the products and researched the other supplemtns they offer to see if they are effective, as well as if they treat customers fairly or not.

• Multi-action ingredients – The best pre workouts do more than just give you a boost of energy. They:

• Improve focus – You’ll feel in the zone
• Boost energy – Without too many stimulants
• Build muscle, burn fat – Train harder, get better results
• Increase motivation – Make every gym session count

If a pre workout supplement is actually going to work, you’ll need to make sure that you’re giving yourself the best chance of success by addressing the issue from multiple angles.

We only chose products that combined a variety of ingredients to ensure maximum effectiveness.

The best pre workout supplements

We’ve got a new, separate guide to the best pre workouts for women on sale right now.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s get right down to it and bring you our definitive list of the best pre workouts on sale in the UK, USA and worldwide right now:

1) 4 Gauge

Product website:

4 gauge

This is our top pick for the best pre workout supplement currently on sale.

4 Gauge is made by specialist supplement company Roar Ambition. If you’ve done any research for yourself, you’ve probably already come across 4 Gauge, and we seemed to find references to it everywhere while doing out research.

We constantly found it rated as the number one pre workout supplement on countless review websites so we did some digging to find out just why 4 Gauge is so popular.

The main points

• Turbo-charge your workouts – Make every gym session count.

• Boost your energy levels, safely – Many pre workouts are packed full of too much caffeine. 4 Gauge contains a sensible 150mg per serving and doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners.

• Safe, effective, legal – It doesn’t contain any dodgy or potentially harmful ingredients. It’s made from a 100% natural formula and is completely safe.

• Fully dosed serving – 4 Gauge contains our pick of the best pre workout ingredients in the correct doses.

The ingredients

We found that 4 Gauge contains the best selection of our favorite pre workout ingredients. The ones you need to know about are:

• Caffeine Anhydrous – One of the purest forms of caffeine, 4 Gauge contains 150mg per serving, to give you the energy boost you need without causing side effects such as jitters.

• L-Theanine – An amino acid found in tea leaves which combines with caffeine to give you a sense of calm and focus during your workouts.

• Creatine Monohydrate – You already know about creatine’s muscle-building benefits, but it’s included in 4 Gauge because it’s known to combat fatigue and improve hydration.

• Red Beet – Extract from beetroot, Red Beet increases Nitric Oxide levels, which dilates the blood vessels and improves muscle pumps.

Here is the full list of ingredients in 4 Gauge, together with their individual doses:

4 gauge ingredients

As you can see for yourself, 4 Gauge contains a great selection of the top pre workout ingredients such as Rhodiola Rosea, L-Cartinine and Coconut Water Powder.

Six grams of L-Citrulline DL-Malate per serving also helps to increase blood flow and muscle pumps by boosting your body’s Nitric Oxide levels.

What about artificial sweeteners?

As we mentioned above, unlike so many pre workout supplements on sale these days, 4 Gauge doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners such as Sucralose. Instead, it uses a blend of natural plant sweeteners and each serving comes in at just 5 calories.

How to take it

Each tub of 4 Gauge contains 20 servings of two scoops.

It varies a bit from person to person, but you’re advised to take 4 Gauge anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes before starting your workout. It’s worth experimenting to see when it ‘kicks in’ for you.

What are people saying about it?

As we mentioned above, we found huge numbers of positive reviews of 4 Gauge online.

There were lots of testimonials from real customers who reported that they experienced big positive changes to their workouts after having started taking 4 Gauge.

4 gauge

Of course, we did find some people who didn’t like the product. All of the supplements we reviewed had at least some negative reviews. It’s hard to say if these people are using it correctly and combining it with a healthy diet and lifestyle, as well as a proper training regime.

You can see all of the customer testimonials with pictures by clicking here.

Price, shipping and where to buy

The price for one tub of 4 Gauge is $45 / £30 / €35. They have a deal on where you buy two tubs and the third is half price, which includes free shipping to the US and UK. That works out at around $37.50 / £25 / €29 per tub.

You won’t find this product in the shops. It’s only available to buy directly on the official website at the moment.

Roar Ambition’s supplements are made in the USA and UK in cGMP and FDA approved facilities. They ship from both the UK and USA, so you can expect to get your order in 1 to 4 days if you live in one of those countries. They also have fast worldwide shipping.

Any negatives?

• You can only buy it directly on the official website, meaning you won’t find it in the shops or on other sites such as Amazon.

• Premium price-tag. There’s not getting around it, 4 Gauge is a premium product and may not fit into everyone’s budget. The best ingredients come at a price. At least they do offer a discount with the three-tub deal.

• It currently only comes in one flavor, called fruit blast.

The bottom line

If you’re ready to take your workouts to the next level and don’t mind paying for a premium-quality product, then 4 Gauge is the pre workout supplement for you.

It contains the best safe and natural ingredients to give you everything you need to turbo-charge your gym sessions without overdoing it on the stimulants.

It doesn’t contain any risky ingredients so you don’t have to worry about unwanted side effects.

The main drawbacks are the premium price-tag and the fact that you can only buy it directly from the company right now.

We recommend it as the best pre workout on the market right now.

2) Gold Standard Pre Workout

Product website:

gold standard pre workout

Gold Standard is the main pre workout offering from popular supplements company Optimum Nutrition.

Optimum Nutrition produce a number of supplements, and their Gold Standard Whey Protein has been a market leader for some time.

Although it doesn’t quite match up to 4 Gauge in terms of its ingredients profile, it’s a decent alternative.

Sadly, it doesn’t contain most of our top rated pre workout ingredients, such as L-Theanine and Beetroot Extract.

The ingredients

Gold Standard Pre Workout contains some of our favorite pre workout ingredients, including Creatine, Caffeine and L-Citrulline.

It also contains a big dose of Beta-Alanine, although we don’t currently rate this as one of the most important pre workout ingredients.

It also contains a number of different vitamins. This is never a bad thing, but it’s unlikely that they’ll have any effect during your time in the gym.

What are people saying about it?

There are quite a lot of reviews of Gold Standard Pre Workout on sites such as Amazon.

Like with most products in this industry, there were some positive and negative reviews.

One person said it worked great for them and gave them bundles of energy before the gym, while another complained that it tasted awful and had limited effects for them.

Any negatives?

• It’s missing quite a few of our top rated natural pre workout ingredients.

• Some people complained that it didn’t taste great.

• The caffeine content (175mg per scoop) is above our recommended dose of 150mg.

The bottom line

Gold Standard Pre Workout is a decent pre workout supplement that can help you get the most out of your gym sessions

Because it’s missing quite a lot of our top rated ingredients, we don’t rate it quite as highly as 4 Gauge but it’s definitely a decent option.

3) Elevate

Product website:

elevate bulk powders

Elevate is a pre workout supplement made by Bulk Powders.

If you’ve read any of our health and fitness content before, you’ll know that we’re big fans of Bulk Powders and their reasonably-priced products.

Elevate is Bulk Powders’ premium pre workout offering and it comes in three different flavors.

The ingredients

Elevate contains some great pre workout ingredients such as Citrulline Malate and Caffeine, which are two of our favorites.

It also contains black pepper extract (Bioperine) to help with absorption.

Vitargo is its main flagship ingredient, which is a sports performance carbohydrate.

It’s a good ingredients list, the only things that were missing in our opinion were things like Creatine and L-Theanine. It’s a shame because otherwise this is a great product.

What are people saying about it?

There were 73 reviews on the official website at the time of writing. Of those, 69 were five stars and four were four stars.

That’s pretty good going, but it’s difficult to tell whether they censor the reviews which are published on their official website.

Any negatives?

• Like 4 Gauge, this is a premium priced product, coming in at $35 / £28 / €32 per 540g (20 servings).

• Doesn’t contain some of our favorite ingredients such as L-Theanine, Red Beet or Creatine.

• Contains quite a lot of caffeine as well as taurine

The bottom line

Elevate is a good pre workout supplement but it won’t be for everybody because it contains quite a lot of stimulants.

It’s a decent option but we still recommend 4 Gauge ahead of it.

4) Super Man Pump

Product website:

super man pump

Super Man Pump is a new pre workout supplement made by Protein World.

Protein World are one of the UK’s most popular health and fitness supplements companies.

They’ve moved to improve their range by adding some a new pre workout offering to their line.

The ingredients

Super Man Pump contains some great ingredients such as Creatine Monohydrate, Citrulline Malate and Caffeine Anhydrous.

These are some of our favorite pre workout ingredients.

It also includes Branched Chain Aminno Acids, and doses of D-Aspartic Acid and Taurine.

Super Man Pump does contain Sucralose as its main sweetener, which might put some people off. We recently compiled an article containing the best pre workout without artificial sweetener sucralose if you’re looking for an alternative.

What are people saying about it?

Because this is a brand new product, we couldn’t find too many customer reviews online, but we trust the Protein World brand and the ingredients list looks pretty good.

Any negatives?

• No customer reviews yet because it’s a new product.

• Contains the artificial sweetener Sucralose.

• Contains 200mg of caffeine per serving, which might be too much for some people.

The bottom line

Super Man Pump is a great new product in Protein World’s impressive line.

It’s a decent pre workout option but it’s missing a few of our favorite ingredients and contains Sucralose, which we try to avoid in our supplements.

When to take a pre workout supplement

This tends to vary from person to person. The directions which come with your supplement are a good place to start, but the truth is that everyone is different and has varying degrees of tolerance to the ingredients.

For some people, taking a pre workout 30 minutes before starting training is perfect, but for others, it can take as long as an hour to kick in. We highly recommend testing the product yourself to see what works best for you.

Anything else to consider?

As we always say when discussing supplements, it’s important to remember that they won’t do the hard work for you. You’ll still have to be the one doing the hard work in the gym.

It’s no good taking a pre workout and expecting it to boost your training without any extra effort on your part. As with most things in life, there’s no shortcut to success when it comes to achieving a muscular and toned physique.

That being said, taking a good quality pre workout supplement can make all the difference if you feel like you’ve hit a ‘plateau’ in your training.

It can be the missing link that makes sure you’re getting the very best out of every single workout.

And always remember that supplements work best when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Make sure that you’re eating right, have a good training schedule and are getting enough rest to feel the full effects.

Conclusion – our final thoughts

So there we have it, our top pick of the best pre workouts on sale right now.

We’ve taken you through what to look for in a pre workout supplement and brought you our top-rated products at the moment based on all of the important information.

We recommend 4 Gauge as the very best product in this category right now because of its quality natural ingredients list as well as the positive customer feedback, but you won’t go too far wrong by choosing any of the products on our list.

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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: Eric Bailly

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