What makes a great pre workout? For many, it’s the electrifying energy kick they experience from high stim products. For some, it’s the muscle engorging pump they experience thanks to the inclusion of a range of nitric oxide ingredients. For others still, it’s the ability to work out for hours on end without losing focus or intensity. Whatever you like from your pre workouts, there’s bound to be a product that suits your needs.
With the continuous growth of pre workouts on the market, it can be a difficult process trying to select the perfect one, so we’ve gone out and made the choice a little bit easier. Read on to find out what we believe the best pre workout supplements of 2017 are. It should be noted too that any of the top 10 choices are suitable for someone looking to ramp up their training. As such the order is arbitrary and each pre workout is easily interchangeable depending on the specific qualities you’re after.
The gold standard of pre workout supplements, there’s no better introduction to the category than with Cellucor C4. Most pre workout users will have most likely started off using the C4, either through their own tub, via a friend or through a sample. It remains as one of the most popular pre workouts around and offers a good energy kick along with decent endurance support. For those with particular goals, C4 has now expanded their range to include a C4 Ripped for those after a combo thermogenic and pre workout; as well as C4 Mass for trainers who want a specific pre workout to support a bulking phase. If you want a fail-safe entry to the pre workout world, you can’t go pass Cellucor’s flagship C4.
**For a stronger version of C4, make sure you try C4 50X, which contains 50% more of each potent ingredient in regular C4.**
If low energy levels are a problem for you, then Mr Hyde is the pre workout that you need. Heavily underrated and often overlooked, this powerful pre workout offers long-lasting energy and focus support to help you train with intensity for a longer periods. Mr Hyde also benefits those after boosts to their endurance capacity, but may not please those who are after a strong pump. However, you can easily combine it with Pro Supps other pre workout Dr Jekyll for an incredible all round pre workout. By itself though, we still rate Mr Hyde as one of the strongest and most effective pre workouts on the market.
There’s been a major shift in the pre workout category over the past few years, transitioning from concentrated, stimulant focused micro doses to more plentiful serves of clinically dosed ingredients. These latter supplements still can provide a good stimulant kick, but do so in conjunction with larger doses of fatigue busting and pump enhancing ingredients. Nutrex Outlift is a prime example of this type of pre workout and contains some of the most scientifically validated ingredients such as citrulline and beta-alanine in doses that have been used in studies. Nutrex Outlift isn’t for the first time user, but it is intended for those who value results and has a fitting position in our top 3.
Although they’re the world leaders in protein powders, some of their other categories still needs some work. The Gold Standard Pre Workout, while not the best, easily slots into the top 5 with a well rounded formula that tackles energy, pump, endurance, recovery and strength. The ingredients are certainly there, but the dosing could be improved. Using the upper end of their recommendations of 2 scoops though will have you tearing through your workout easily. It’s one of the tastiest pre workouts on the market as well, so if taste and choice of flavours matters to you, ON Gold Standard Pre should be right up your alley.
Elemental Nutrition has had a massive transformation since 2016, most of which has been superficial rather than actual formulation changes. Their original pre workout; conveniently named “Pre Workout” has since been renamed and is now known as Pump. The formula however is still an incredible stimulant free pre workout and the best of its kind. Each serve packs a punch with regards to performance even without the usual caffeine and stimulant matrix found in all the other products on this list. Instead, Pump packs in sizeable doses of validated ingredients such as beta-alanine, citrulline and alpha lipoic acid. It’s the all purpose pre workout for anyone wanting some time of stims and is looking better than ever in 2017.
While proprietary blends are becoming the bane of the supplement users, Betancourt’s B-Nox Androrush pre workout escapes the flak thanks to a formula that works. What makes B-Nox stand out over its competitors is its ability to boost focus, concentration and motivation. It’s also one of the very few pre workouts that have a testosterone support component, which has been consistently associated with decent muscle growth and increased sex drive. If you’ve got a sensitive stomach, you might want to give this a miss. But if high level performance trumps everything else for you, then you’ve got to get your hands on Betancourt’s signature pre workout.
MusclePharm have had a pretty topsy turvy 2016 with massive changes to the company and its subsidiary Arnold Schwarzenegger brand. However, they still know how to craft a good product. Assault Black is MusclePharm’s best pre workout to date and if you’re looking for a well balanced product, this is it. For a relatively small dose of 11.7g, they’ve packed in a good range of ingredients to boost energy levels, pump, endurance and overall performance. Assault Black is a bit of a dark horse in the category and is worthy new entrant to our top 10 list.
An old favourite, BSN’s NO Xplode has had a couple of revisions since it first came out, but is still one of the better pre workouts you can get your hands on today. If you’re a trainer who varies their workouts and workloads quite often, then NO Xplode was designed for you. Each serve provides a comprehensive formula which aims to tackle a range of performance variables from strength, endurance, power, focus or energy. BSN have already released a more concentrated and stronger NO Xplode XE Edge, but the regular NO Xplode is still the pre workout to beat if you like a well rounded product.
Are you a bit of a stim junkie? Then look no further than BPM Labs boosted pre workout; the Black Label version of The One 2.0. The key difference between this and the regular version is the choice of stimulants, with the Black Label offering a bigger kick than the original. So if you’re tired and have zero motivation to train, scoop up a heap of The One 2.0 Black Label and get ready to train hard! Effects kick in quite quickly and should last you over the next 2-3 hours if not longer. Warning – this one is not for beginners.
APS Nutrition’s Morph 3 has settled in nicely as the pre workout replacement to the popular Mesomorph. It’s a good option for those who like a cleaner energy boost and those who are interested in more power heavy sessions. If you’re planning to lift heavier, but with less reps, Morph 3 contains the right ingredients to help you do so. It’s not as strong when it comes to the endurance side of things, but that’s not to say it doesn’t still do a good job. APS have suggested some improvements and a potential reformulation are in the works, but in the meantime, Morph 3 maintains a spot in our top 10 list for 2017.
Notable Pre Workouts of 2017
As always, it wasn’t easy picking just 10 supplements to be a part of this list. There were definitely some options that we wish we could pick, but weren’t able to due to ingredient regulations. However, we do like to make a special mention of some others which we think deserve an honourable mention. These include:
- USPLabs Jack3d – Still incredibly popular with the masses, it’s a solid starter pre workout, similar to Cellucor’s C4.
- GAT Nitraflex – Another pre workout with added test boosting potential
- Max’s BetaPump Black – Only released in 2016, it’s a stronger, more potent version of the original BetaPump
- Body War Pre War – Another solid entry from Body War, Pre War is a well rounded pre workout ideal for trainers of all levels.
- EHPLabs RP Max – Not the best on its own, but makes an impact combined with PSI
- Platinum Labs Defcon 1 – A solid pre workout from an Australian company geared towards those who like a good pump.
2017 is tipped to be a year of change for the pre workout category, so expect to see this list chop and change throughout the year. In the meantime, grab yourself one of the pre workouts in the above list if you’re ready to take your workouts to the next level.