5 Best Supplements for Pre-workout Energy

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Best Supplements for Pre-workout Energy

Best Pre-workout Supplements | Frequently Asked Questions

A lot of people are looking for the best supplement for pre-workout energy. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Different supplements work better for different people, and it is important to find the right supplement for you.

If you’re looking for an edge in your next workout, you may want to consider adding a pre-workout supplement to your routine. pre-workout supplements can help increase energy, focus, and performance during your workouts

In this blog post, we will discuss the best supplements for pre-workout energy and explain why they are so effective. 

We will also talk about the risks associated with these supplements and help you decide if they are right for you!

Please keep in mind supplements are lightly regulated by the FDA. Their stated claims have no guarantee. They aren’t cures or treatments for any diseases.

Food is your best source of nutrition, especially for pre-workouts. Please check with your doctor before any supplement program.

Please note we include items that we trust will be useful to our visitors. If you click on one of the links on our site, we may get a commission. 

If you want more helpful info on supplements – including risks and general FDA guidelines – please see our “Supplements and Vitamins – Ultimate Beginner’s Guide”.

Best Pre-workout Supplements

  1. Best Overall – RSP Nutrition
  2. Best For Maximum Energy – Redcon1
  3. Best for Low Calorie – Optimum Nutrition
  4. Best Energy Without Caffeine – MRM Nutrition
  5. Best for Amino Acids – Bulk Supplements

Best Overall – RSP Nutrition

  • Price = $19.97
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $0.66
  • Product Reviews = 4.3/5  (26,544 reviews)
  • Serving Size = 2 scoops (9g)
  • Taste / Absorbability = Pink lemonade
  • Labeled Effect = Help you crush your workout and maintain alertness throughout the day
  • Food Allergens = None / very safe
  • Pros = Lots of high quality great for pre works, like BCAA’s and caffeine, highly competitive pricing
  • Cons = 125 mg is more than a normal cup of coffee

About “AminoLean Pre-workout Powder”:

AminoLean Pre-workout Powder is a great pre-workout supplement for men and women. 

It contains 125mg of natural caffeine to provide a clean, sustained boost of energy and enhanced mental focus to help you crush your workout. 

Additionally, it has 5g of branched chain amino acids and essential amino acids to improve workout performance, build lean muscle, and offer a more complete amino profile than typical pre-workout powders.

Made By “RSP Nutrition”:

Began in 2008 and located in Florida. Emphasizes high quality ingredients. According to ReviewMeta.com, RSP Nutrition gets a 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 3,337 verified reviews.

  • Start = 2008
  • Revenue = Less than $5 million
  • Employees = Less than 25
  • Mission = Make safe, healthy products for everyday fitness and wellness needs
  • Third Party Certifications
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 3,337 verified reviews

Best For Maximum Energy – Redcon1

  • Price = $39.99
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $1.33
  • Product Reviews = 4.6/5 (202 reviews) 
  • Serving Size = 1 scoop
  • Taste / Absorbability = Variety of flavors
  • Labeled Effect = Energy, Strength, Intensity, Mental Focus & Tunnel Vision, Huge Pumps & Vascularity
  • Food Allergens = Unclear
  • Pros = Tons of caffeine, other similar ingredients, great for energy, 
  • Cons = Possibly too much caffeine and other stimulants

About “Total War Pre-Workout”:

Redcon1 Total War Pre-workout is a high energy and focus inducing pre-workout supplement. 

It contains powerful stimulants as well as compounds designed to increase Nitric Oxide production, resulting in better blood flow and skin splitting pumps. 

With 250 mg of caffeine and other ingredients like Taurine, green tea extract – you might ingest too much energy before your pre-workouts so watch out.

This product is not for the faint of heart, and it is not the best pre-workout supplement for many people because of its high caffeine levels. 

But if you’re looking for a pre-workout that will give you tons of energy, help you improve your athletic performance, and give you extra focus to push through your toughest workouts, then Total War is the right choice for you.

Made By “Redcon1”:

Founded in Florida in 2016. Emphasizes military service. In 2019 Redcon1 won Vitamin Shoppe best supplement brand. According to ReviewMeta.com, Redcon1 gets a 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 1,282 verified reviews.

  • Start = 2016
  • Revenue = $42 million
  • Employees = 200
  • Mission = Create the highest quality supplements for people who train
  • Third Party Certifications
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 1,282 verified reviews

Best for Low Calorie – Optimum Nutrition

  • Price = $27.99
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $0.93
  • Product Reviews = 5/5 (216 reviews) 
  • Serving Size = 2 scoops
  • Taste / Absorbability = Variety of flavors
  • Labeled Effect = Supports energy, focus and muscle support
  • Food Allergens = Soy
  • Pros = low calories and sugar with a good amount of caffeine and other useful vitamins and minerals, competitive pricing
  • Cons = Some people prefer no calories at all

About “Essential Amin.O Energy”:

Contains 100 mg of caffeine from coffee beans and/or tea leaf. This powder is great for mixing up anytime you need an energy boost to improve exercise performance. 

It also contains 5 grams of amino acids for muscle recovery support, making it a great choice for your post-workout routine. 

It also contains only 5-10 calories per serving and zero sugar. 

If you are looking for a low calorie pre-workout energy supplement, Essential Amin.O Energy is a good option to try.

Made By “Optimum Nutrition”:

Made and trusted by athletes, Optimum Nutrition has decades of experience. According to ReviewMeta.com, Optimum Nutrition receives a 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1986
  • Revenue = $21 million
  • Employees = 112
  • Mission = helping performance focused athletes achieve their goals
  • Third Party Certifications = GMP, NSF
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews

Best Energy Without Caffeine – MRM Nutrition

  • Price = $19.49
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $0.67
  • Product Reviews = 4.3/5  (26,544 reviews)
  • Serving Size = 1 scoop (12g)
  • Taste / Absorbability = Natural mixed berry flavor
  • Labeled Effect = Increases energy‚ stamina‚ and endurance
  • Food Allergens = Processed in a facility which makes products containing dairy and eggs
  • Pros = Vegan, multi purpose supplement, with no caffeine if that’s what you’re looking for
  • Cons = No caffeine

About “Driven Pre-workout Boost Powder”:

This powder is designed to help improve blood flow to muscles during pre-workout activity, as well as promote hydration and recovery. 

It has a few different blends which promote different functions.

The Muscle blend features CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, L-citrulline, and red beet powder to improve blood flow to muscles during activity. 

The Hydration Blend includes betaine anhydrous, pine bark extract, and B-vitamins to promote free radical removal and hydration. 

The Recovery blend features adaptogens to reduce fatigue and stress without stimulants. 

This product is Gluten-Free and certified Vegan.

Many other pre-workout supplements contain caffeine, so if you are looking for a pre-workout supplement without caffeine this is a good option to try.

Made By “MRM Nutrition”:

Began in 1996 and located in California. Emphasizes sustainable sourcing. According to ReviewMeta.com, MRM Nutrition receives a 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 12,507 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1996
  • Revenue = $17 million
  • Employees = 97
  • Mission = provide high quality nutrition for everyone
  • Third Party Certifications = Non-GMO Verified
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 12,507 verified reviews

Best for Amino Acids – Bulk Supplements

  • Price = $13.96
  • # of Servings = 50
  • Price per Serving =  0.27
  • Product Reviews = 4.8/5 (5,451 reviews) 
  • Serving Size = 2000 milligrams (⅔ tsp)
  • Taste / Absorbability = Some comments say taste is tolerable but not great
  • Labeled Effect = Help build muscle strength and endurance
  • Food Allergens = None, very safe
  • Pros = High quality BCAA powder
  • Cons = no other vitamins, minerals or herbs

About “BCAA 2:1:1”:

BCAA 2:1:1 is a powder supplement made from branched chain amino acids. 

It is commonly taken by athletes and bodybuilders as a muscle-building and endurance supplement to improve exercise performance. 

BCAA 2:1:1 may work synergistically with protein to help build strength, assist with muscle recovery after strenuous workouts, and promote muscle endurance.

In addition, BCAA 2:1:1 may also support healthy blood sugar levels in already healthy individuals, help maintain healthy weight in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program, and support liver health.

Made By “Bulk Supplements”:

Bulk Supplements started in 2011 and is based in Nevada. Its main manufacturing facility is FDA registered. According to ReviewMeta.com, average adjusted rating is 4.4/5 from 39,370 verified reviews.

  • Start = 2011
  • Revenue = $10 million
  • Employees = 50
  • Mission = 
  • Third Party Certifications = NSF, cGMP
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.4/5 from 39,370 reviews

What factors do we use to rank supplements?

1 – Price: What’s the price of the supplement? What’s the cost per serving?

  • At Eating Enlightenment we value quality over price. However, all else being equal, then price comes into consideration. 

2 – Reviews: How many reviews for each product? What’s the average rating? How many third party reviews?

  • We strongly believe in third party reviews. Many supplement companies list positive reviews on their website, but third party reviews include negative comments. We always go with third party reviews.

3 – Reputation: How reputable is the brand behind the supplement? How long has the brand been around? What’s their mission? 

  • We believe that a company’s intention is highly important and should be one of your top purchasing decision factors.

4 – Taste / Absorption = What’s the taste? How quickly does your body absorb the supplement? Do reviews mention any negative side effects like an upset stomach?

5 – Perceived Therapeutic Effect = What beneficial effects or feelings does this supplement promote?

6 – Food Allergens = Does the company provide allergen info?

7 – Science / Certifications: Does the company list transparent scientific studies on their website? Do third party certifications test the company’s supplement for quality control? How many certifications does the company have?

8 – Pros/Cons: What are the pros and cons of each supplement? How is the supplement unique? For what situations is this supplement best?

Who benefits most from pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are most commonly used by people who are looking for an energy boost. This can be helpful for people who have a tough time getting through their workouts, or who feel like they need an extra edge to push themselves harder.

Pre-workout supplements can also be helpful for people who are trying to build muscle, as they can help with recovery.

However, it is important to remember that pre-workout supplements are not a magic bullet, and they will not make up for a poor diet or training regimen. Pre-workout supplements will not magically erase muscle fatigue!

If you are not eating well or working out regularly, you will not see the best results from taking pre-workout supplements.

Instead, focus on making sure you are doing those things first, and then consider adding a pre-workout supplement to your routine if you feel you need an extra boost.

When should I take pre-workout supplements?

The best time to take pre-workout supplements is about 30-60 minutes before you start working out. This will give them time to be absorbed into your system and start working.

If you are taking a pre-workout powder supplement, make sure to mix it well with water or another beverage, as this will help your body absorb it more quickly.

Who may not benefit from pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are not necessary for everyone. If your energy levels feel good and you are seeing results from your workouts, then there is no need to take them.

Additionally, pre-workout supplements are not recommended for children or adolescents, as their bodies are still developing and they do not need the extra stimulation.

There are many similar supplements for people who love exercise as well as well! For example, beta alanine supplements are also used heavily by body builders and crossfit supplements are a thing as well.


The most common side effect from taking pre-workout supplements is jitteriness, as they can contain high levels of caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine, start with a lower dose or choose a supplement that has less caffeine.

Generally speaking, though, most pre-workout supplements and pre-workout ingredients are safe.

However, other potential side effects from taking pre-workout products include upset stomach, anxiety, and increased heart rate. Additionally, people with high blood pressure should avoid pre-workout supplements with caffeine as this might raise their blood pressure even higher.

Finally with the heavy reliance on caffeine in these supplements, it’s wise to consider how useful caffeine is in the long run.

What are some general workout tips?

If you are new to working out, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Muscle growth takes time so it is also important to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.

It is best to consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional before starting a new workout routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

In general, it is best to warm up before working out and cool down afterwards. If your joints are hurting then please consider a warm-up to help prevent injuries and loosen up. You can also read here to learn more about joint supplements.

Finally, be sure to stay hydrated during your workout by drinking plenty of water.

How soon after taking a pre-workout supplement will I feel it?

This depends on the individual supplement. Some people may feel the effects within minutes, while others may not feel them for an hour or more. If you are taking one of the pre-workout powders, make sure to mix it well with water or another beverage, as this will help your body absorb it more quickly.

Start with a lower dose and increase it as needed until you find the right amount for you.

Does a pre-workout supplement boost energy?

Many pre-workout supplements directly give you caffeine, which is a stimulant that boosts energy. Other times a pre-workout supplement will list an alternative to caffeine which provides similar benefits.


Pre-workout supplements can provide a boost of energy and endurance to help people who are struggling with workouts or have difficulty getting through them.

Obviously you’ll want the best supplement for pre-workout which is why we created the above list. If you haven’t already, consider trying one out for yourself! You may be surprised by the results they provide.

Remember that pre-workout supplements should not replace your regular diet and exercise routine, so make sure those are in order first. Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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