5 Best Pre Workout Supplements in 2021 (Full Guide)
With literally hundreds of pre-workout formulas on the market, and fitness companies looking to make a buck on their product, it can be quite overwhelming to choose the correct product.
More often than not, several products contain underdosed active ingredients to curb production costs to fatten profit margins.
The pre-workout market is saturated with lackluster products containing ineffective overhyped ingredients boasting poor bioavailability or no real performance enhancement in the gym.
If you’re just skimming and want the best pre workout, we recommend Gorilla Mode for laser focus and energy!
The best example of this is how the majority of pre-workouts contain a dose of 2000-3000mg of Creatine per serving when the active clinical dose is around double (5000mg) of what they offer.
The repeated under-dosing provides a sales opportunity for brands to palm off creatine supplements to make up for their pre-workout’s shortfall.
In order words, you’re not getting any bang for your buck — oftentimes, you’re far better off downing a black coffee with a spoonful of honey than frittering away $40 on a tub of flavored caffeine that makes your face itch.
Information on Clinical doses can be tiresome to crosscheck whenever you are in need of a new product.
Sometimes, a cool pre-workout logo and exotic flavor are enough to assure buyer confidence — when, in actuality, they’re paying for an overpriced energy drink.
However, there ARE pre-workouts on the market that not only significantly improve output, endurance, and pumps in the gym, but also boast a wealth of cardiovascular health benefits as an added bonus.
Here are the top 5 pre-workouts money can buy.
1. Gorilla Mode
The hype surrounding this pre-workout is legitimate — it is genuinely the very best pre-workout supplement on the market.
The producers of this product did not cheap out on production costs to bring you, the consumer, the ultimate pre-workout blend.
Gorilla Mode is one of the very few pre-workouts on the market that offers a clinical dose of L-Citrulline and Creatine, but also deliberately avoids certain supplements such as L-Arginine and Beta-Alanine due to failing where it counts — in the gym.
This particular product packs a hefty dose of caffeine, clocking in at 350mg per serving, to provide you with plenty of energy for your workouts; Bioperine (Black Pepper Fruit Extract) can prolong the stimulant effects of caffeine to provide you with a lengthier burst of energy.
It also contains bioactive ingredients such as Glycerol and Betaine Anhydrous that promulgate intercellular hyperhydration that cannot be attained by simply drinking enough water.
Some bioactive ingredients within this pre-workout can even lead to an extra liter of intercellular hydration.
Other bioactive ingredients such as L-Citrulline and Agmatine Sulfate promote vasodilation, nitric oxide production, and improved cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure.
Creatine’s effectiveness in the weight room during vigorous exercise has been backed by numerous studies, and has even been shown to improve cognitive health, making it one of the best supplements out there for people trying to build muscle and increase strength.
Putting everything together, Gorilla Mode makes for the most clinically dosed pre-workout supplements in all areas with its bioactive ingredients working synergistically to provide you with the best workout experience.
Gorilla Mode Overview
- Full clinical doses of active ingredients
- Long, clean energy
- Supercharged focus
- Unparalleled Intercellular Hyperhydration
- Elevated Nitric Oxide Levels
- Unrivalled Pumps
- Promotes enhanced muscle growth
- Great-tasting formulas
Still not convinced?
Gorilla Mode’s impressive ingredient profiles speak for themselves.
Gorilla Mode Ingredients
L-Citrulline (9000 mg)
Most pre-workouts promising pure L-Citrulline rarely contain more than 6000mg—Gorilla Mode reigns supreme at 9000mg per serving.
This ingredient is put at the top of the listing due to its potent ability to generate some gnarly pumps — as well as a myriad of positive cardiovascular health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and vasodilation allowing blood to enter the muscles more effectively.
L-Citrulline has been shown to increase the circulation of nitric oxide, allowing the consumer to perform more reps and improve overall athletic performace to get the most of their workouts.
Another benefit of L-Citrulline is that it was shown to decrease post-workout soreness — the dreaded DOMS — by up to 40%, according to clinical studies.
It is also a naturally occurring ingredient that is found in watermelons; however, the average person must consume around 10lb of watermelons to get a clinical dose of L-Citrulline.
In this pre-workout, L-Citrulline has been dosed at 9000mg per serving. The majority of other pre-workout supplements on the market don’t come close to 6000mg or 2/3 of what Gorilla Mind offers per serving.
Other pre-workouts offer Citrulline Malate which is a blend of L-Citrulline and Malic Acid.
Malic Acid has been shown to combat lactic acid buildup, allowing lifters to train for longer unimpeded.
However, Citrulline Malate generally follows a 1:1 L-Citrulline to Malic Acid ratio. Moreover, the two ingredients are often improperly mixed when blended in production. Instead of forming the compound Citrulline Malate, loosely mixed L-Citrulline and Malic Acid are thrown together into pre-workout supplements at well under clinical dosages to cut production costs!
L-Citrulline vs L-Arginine for pumps:
Many pre-workout supplements contain a form of L-Arginine; however, L-Arginine is not as effective at raising Nitric Oxide levels, L-Arginine is metabolized by liver and kidneys can overproduce urea when consuming.
Gorilla Mode gives the consumer a dose of L-Citrulline head and shoulders above the competition.
CREATINE (5000 mg)
We could talk at length about the positives in Creatine.
From replenishing stores of phosphocreatine — one of the muscle cell’s primary anaerobic energy sources — to improving muscle size, strength, potential for total muscle growth by increasing number of myonuclei around satellite cells, and cognitive ability.
I, personally, feel mentally sharper when taking Creatine (at 5000-10000mg/day) and I also increased by main lifts significantly in a few month as a seasoned lifter by supplementing Creatine.
And at 5000mg of Creatine per serving, Gorilla Mode presents a 2-in-1 product by offering the clinical dose of Creatine as well as a top-of-the-range pre-workout supplement.
GLYCERPUMP™ Glycerol Powder 65% (3000mg)
This ingredient is slightly more controversial as it has a tendancy to clump up at higher dosages, but its effects vastly outweight its potentially poor solubility.
Glycerol has been shown to markedly improve pumps by hyper-hydrating the muscle beyond drinking abundant water.
Clinical studies have shown that Glycerol can allow the body hold up to an extra liter of water in the muscles.
According to clinical studies, Glycerol an help improve endurance by 24% and anaerobic/aerobic output which adds value to practically all sporting disciplines that require a range of athletic exertion, from swimming to soccer — not just bodybuilding
BETAINE ANHYDROUS (2500mg)
Like with Glycerol, Betaine Anhydrous can increase intercellular hyperhydration, resulting in a better pump and less dehydration.
Dehydration — as well as sleep deprivation — can drastically decrease athletic performance. Clinical studies have shown that a 2% drop in hydration can lead to a 20% drop in performance.
Betaine Anhydrous can also reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as improve digestion and liver function, adding to its vital
Can improve body composition
L-Tyrosine has increased in popularity as a supplement over the years.
It occurs naturally in animal protein foodstuffs such as chicken, turkey, and dairy, but contributes in the production of dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.
Aside from the production of key neurotransmitters regulating mood, L-Tyrosine assists in the production of thyroid hormones in regulating the metabolism.
Overall, L-Tyrosine improves mental sharpness, focus, mood and boosts energy levels — all of which are essential in forging mind-muscle connection in the gym.
AGMATINE SULPHATE (1000mg)
Agmatine Sulphate increases nitric oxide levels in the body resulting in bigger, better pumps.
And apart from improving the quality of pumps, Agmatine Sulphate can also increase pain tolerance to allow the athlete to train past muscular failure and lactic acid buildup to create a greater stimulus for muscular growth.
Like L-Tyrosine, Agmatine Sulphate can also elevate mood to get the most of a workout or whichever activity is to be undertaken.
This particular non-addictive ingredient can combat anxiety and elevate mood.
Some lifters may be sensitive to stimulants, including caffeine, and the introduction of Kanna — and L-Theanine to other similar caffeine-based products — simply takes the edge off the undesirable side-effects of stimulants such as jitteriness and clamminess.
CAFFEINE ANHYDROUS (350mg)
Almost goes without saying — caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive drugs around the world.
Caffeine has been associated with increased productivity among students and workers as well as being the primary ingredient in the vast majority of stimulant-based over-the-counter products — let alone, pre-workouts.
Aside from boosting focus, intensity, overall performance in the gym, caffeine has been clinically proven to significantly increase performance in a sleep-deprived state.
That’s not, to say, that you should train on 3 hours sleep after taking this product, but, apart from Creatine, Caffeine is one of the most tried and tested legal performance-enhancing drugs in the world.
In fact, once upon a time, Caffeine was outlawed by various doping agencies and athletes were stripped of their achievements after testing positive for caffeine.
Gorilla Mode does include 350mg of Caffeine in each serving, while the safe daily allowance rests at 400mg. Caffeine sensitive, smaller, and/or inexperienced individuals should start by experimenting with smaller doses before jumping straight in.
BIOPERINE (Black Pepper Fruit Extract) (10mg)
This particular ingredient prolongs effects of caffeine and noradrenaline to give you a lengthier and more potent workout.
HUPERAZINE A (400mcg)
A lesser known ingredient that is currently being trialled to treat Alzheimer’s patients due to its ability to help create new brain cells (neurogenesis).
Huperazine A has been shown to improve muscular contractions, focus, and intensity in the gym.
Gorilla Mode Pros vs Cons
- No other pre-workout on the market comes close in Clinical dosages
- The best pre-workout formula money can buy
- Boasts array of health benefits as well as unrivalled performance in gym
- Years of expertise invested into enhanced product differentiation
- Value for money
- You won’t need to buy extra Creatine
Moreover, it stacks various ingredients to improve:
6) energy levels
7) cardiovascular, digestive, and neurological health
9) quality of muscular contractions
10) nitric oxide levels
- The Glycerol Pump ingredient can lack solubility and users have reported “clumpiness” if not consumed quickly or if it’s not properly diluted.
- Should, like with all stimulant products, be cycled on a 3 weeks on, 1 week off basis.
- Some active ingredients can interfere with SSRIs — we recommend that you consult a physician before consuming any pre-workout supplements.
- Gorilla Mode is too effective! Be sure to try smaller doses if you’re sensitive to stimulants or, alternatively, you can go for Gorilla Mode Nitric below.
2. Gorilla Mode Nitric (Stimulant Free)
This particular pre-workout supplement is not like the others — seeing as most pre-workouts contain whopping doses of caffeine to power lifters through workouts.
Behold! Gorilla Mode Stim Free is a godsend to Caffeine-sensitive, smaller, and late-night lifters who cannot take hefty whacks of caffeine to reap the rewards in clinically proven ingredients that give insane pumps.
Furthermore, some athletes may also consume other stimulants; caffeine may be an undesirable ingredient to some.
If you train late at night or can’t handle caffeine, this is the pre-workout formula for you.
Gorilla Mode Nitric Overview
- Full clinical dosages
- Intercellular Hyperhydration
- Elevated Nitric Oxide Levels
- Unrivalled Pumps
- Promotes enhanced muscle growth
- No stimulants
- Can be used any time of day
Let’s take a look at the other dosages per serving:
- Sodium Nitrate (750mg)
- Potassium (37.5mg)
- Malic Acid (1500mg)
- Nitrosigine (1500mg)
- Sodium Nitrate (1500mg)
- Vaso-Drive® (254mg)
Pros vs Cons
- Can be taken at any time
- Stimulant sensitive athletes can take this supplement without worrying about unwanted effects of caffeine increasing relative to clinical dosages of nitric oxide boosting supplements
- Full clinical dosages of nitric oxide boosting ingredients
- No stimulant ingredients
3. Gorilla Mode Energy
And now, time for something completely different.
Of course, not all athletes want a pump; strength athletes and powerlifters oftentimes find pumps undesirable because it can hamper their training and maximum output.
Try going for a Squat 3-rep max with an almighty lower back pump. You won’t be able to do it — the pump is too off-putting.
This pre-workout is mostly for those looking for a nice jolt of energy for whatever reason: it could be for the gym; it could be for work.
Gorilla Mode Energy Overview
- Clean energy
- Supercharged laser focus
- Mental sharpness
- Elevated Nitric Oxide Levels
- Can be used for activities other than working out
- Long-lasting energy for studying, work, etc.
- Better choice of supplement for powerlifters, strength athletes, and sportsmen
Eria Jarensis Extract (n-phenethyl dimethylamine citrate)
For elevated mental effects, the newly popular Eria Jarensis Extract has been added into the equation.
What does it do?
- Improves focus
- Enhances energy levels
- Elevates mood
4. Mr Hyde
This pre-workout formula packs quite a punch.
I have broken several PRs on this very pre-workout and always feel very energized under its influence — and I have a high tolerance to caffeine.
Mr Hyde is a slightly cheaper pre-workout formula to Gorilla Mind.
But it is far less generous with active ingredients such as L-Citrulline — with a small dose of 250mg per serving in a 1:1 ratio blend with aspartic acid.
Instead of opting for greater bloodflow, nitric oxide levels, or overall mood elevation via other ingredients, Mr Hyde contains a dose of Nitrosigine® at 250mg per serving to boost nitric oxide and arginine levels.
It also contains GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid), which plays a crucial role in reducing anxiety as well as promoting lean muscle growth, burning fat, stabilizing blood pressure, and relieving pain.
Teacrine – A Unique Ingredient
Teacrine, as well as a large dose of caffeine, has also been added, making this a powerful pre-workout.
- No jitters typically associated with caffeine
- Less tolerance, no mild dependency, as seen in caffeine
- Much longer duration (half-life) than caffeine alone
- Anti-fatigue and clean energy
- Elevated mood and focus
Pros vs Cons
- A ton of energy — feels like being on stronger-than-legal stimulants
- Focus and aggression — great for strength athletes
- No “comedown”
- Potential tachycardia at higher doses
- Novices should start with a fraction of a scoop before evaluating tolerance
- Not enough active ingredients for decent pumps
5. Pre JYM
Now we’ve moved onto a bestselling pre-workout supplement from fitness industry stalwart, Dr Jim Stoppani.
If you’re looking for a more mainstream pre-workout from a reputable personality, Pre JYM may be the product for you.
However, like with the vast majority of pre-workout supplements, most of the active ingredients are underdosed.
Creatine Hydrochloride (HCl), 2 grams.
Beta-Alanine, 2 grams.
Betaine, 1.5 grams.
Taurine, 1 gram.
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine, 600mg.
Citrulline Malate, 6 grams.
Beet Root Extract (Beta vulgaris L.), 500mg.
Creatine and Citrulline are both underdosed by around 60% per serving.
Beta-Alanine — a common pre-workout ingredient known to make your face itch — is notoriously inefficient and underdosed.
Alpha-GPC has been shown to improve vertical jump power output in athletes.
Beetroot Extract can improve stamina as well as circulation, translating to longer and pump-filled workouts.
Overall, Pre-JYM’s ingredients are not pump-efficient as those listed for Gorilla Mode.
Despite this, Pre JYM is a popular entry-level pre-workout supplement for those wishing to get a taste for the product.
Pros vs Cons
- Well-known brand, reputable producer
- Contains ingredients that can boost athletic performance
- Can boost performance in a sleep-deprived or dehydrated state
- Entry level pre-workout for those wanting a quick performance boost
- Some crucial active ingredients below clinical dose
- Various pump-inducing ingredients sub-optimal
Gorilla Mode is the very best pre-workout on the market in its clinical dosages and selection of active ingredients.
And Gorilla Mode has two alternatives providing a supraphysiological pump or a lengthy energy surge for a multiplicity of tasks.
Other pre-workout supplements cut production costs, reducing their dosages per serving, and leaving the consumer shortchanged.
Mr. Hyde, while a powerful supplement, might be a little overwhelming for caffeine sensitive or novice users.
Pre-workout supplements should be cycled to avoid tolerance buildup and habituation.
Consult your physician before taking pre-workout supplements.