The way I evaluate the best pre-workouts has changed through the years since past focus was on the greatest jolt of energy. Things are, or at least should be, much more complex when it comes to a pre-workout formula. The fitness industry has opened up to a much bigger audience. It is not focused on only the newbie gym goer but it has now spread to many levels of expertise in and out of the gym.
Pre-workout formulas are for more than bodybuilding. We are talking about all sports where hand eye coordination, recovery, repetition, focus, alertness, strength, power, speed, balance and the all mighty pump are desired. It is more than energy we are striving for. We are looking for that advantage, that elite formula, that results formula. It is one thing to create a product that gets you amped up and drops you off with less energy than before; and another thing to create a formula that changes the game on multiple levels with minimal to no side effects, while leaving you with an invincible feeling and accomplishment.
So, keep in mind that when I am scrutinizing the formulas I have chosen from hundreds on the market, my intentions are not in putting formulas down in any way. I am pointing out the benefits and possible weak points of chosen formulas based on popularity and rise to the top of the fitness industry. There may be factual info on dosages and researched outcomes and reason for use of an ingredient by the manufacturer. However, it will be my opinionated information on the overall walk away impression I get from reviewing each component with the entire picture in mind for myself/that person looking for a complete packaged edge on my competition and ability to push my body past normal and into a better producing machine! I am not looking for a quick boost in energy alone…if that were the case I would just drink coffee. I am looking for a pre-workout that can help me achieve better and noticeable results!
Alright! So here is my list of top 5 best pre-workouts in no particular order:
The infamous stim known driven pre-workout known for its high rush energy and 1,3-dimethlyamylamine HCL component, MESOMORPH.
- synthenox-carnosine/nitric oxide complex = 6500mg
- Beta alanine, l-citrulline malate 2:1, Arginine alpha ketoglutarate ( mesoswell-cell volumizing ATP matrix) = 4500m)
- Di-creatine malate,L-taurine,creatine nitrate,ascorbic acid, creatinol-o-phosphate,agmatine sulfate ( neuromorph-neuro energized stimulant matrix)= 1,270mg
- Glucoronolactone, methylxanthine anhydrouse, 3,7dihydro-3,7-dimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione, naringine geranaburn ( 1,3 Dimethylamylamine HCL) Unkown /listed amount in mg?
*added ingredients: malic acid,natural and artificial watermelon flavors,acesulfame-k, beet juice powder,silicon dioxide.
Let’s break this down into English best we can….
OK so what does all of this mean? Many times companies try to hide the known easy to read ingredients with one of the scientific names or chemical structures. Example being:
SYNTHENOX-CARNOSINE / NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHESIZING COMPLEX is a complex of active ingredients containing precursors of nitric oxide (such as arginine alpha-ketoglutarate and citrulline malate) and carnosine. Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) is a salt glutaric acid and arginine
creatinol-o-phosphate,agmatine sulfate : A fancy name for analog*( thing that is comparable to something else in significant respects) of creatine, yet studies and results have not been seen even at a dose of 3grams, which the entire formula is a matrix of less than half of that.
Glucuronolactone is used to help speed up recovery times after workouts, and to improve overall training performance levels. Still used in energy drinks regardless of the lack of research on human results.
Methylxanthine is a stimulant found naturally not only in your body but also in many plants. When used as a supplement, Methylxanthine is used to open up your airways so you can take in more oxygen when participating in a physical activity.
Generic Name Theophylline anhydrous = chemical name 1H-Purine -2, 6-dione, 3,7-dihydro-1, 3-dimethyl.
Geranium oil extract & 1,3 dimethylamine HCL: = “DMAA” is often used as an alternative to ephedra due to its effects on energy levels and mental focus. If you are someone who suffers from anxiety it is not recommended that you take DMAA because it may be made worse.
Overall Rating from 1-5:2
2) Blackstone Labs DUST EXTREME
I like the details in dosing. I also like the amount used per ingredient. Shows thought and research. This formula is a good energy matrix formula that is up in caffeine and metabolic stimulus. I would start less than a scoop and benefit still from it. I am not big on stims, but this ingredient panel enables me to use the product longer than the label servings says, and I would still get a proven effective dose too.
Overall Rating from 1-5:4.5
The ingredients are synergistic with one another with the right doses and threshold of stimulant, focus, lasting energy, and metabolic boost. Higenamine dose is very well played. Breathing better while having the above ingredients in the mix is very important.
3) Innovapharm LIMITLESS:
Not a big fan of the “performance blend” as it is not clear how much of what is in it. There is a reason studies are done to find the lowest dose that is still effective. 1.9grams is not much at all when considering beta-alanine alone usually has an impact upwards of at least 2 grams alone. Caffeine hidden name in the mix along with two forms of brain focus noopept items, uknown to what dose, seems misleading. I would like to know how much myself. Citrulline seems effective at 4grams. Agmatine for pump at a dose of 1grams is normal. It is clear that alertness, energy, and recovery is a focus in this product.
Overall Rating from 1-5:2
The science is there, but I am not feeling the hidden meanings and unknown dosing. It was a great combo of energy both mentally and physically. I may start with a half dose and work up from there after you assess your tolerance and benefits. It does supply a good recovery matrix which is very important for both metabolism and muscle.
4) Redcon1 TOTAL WAR:
Great supply of cirtulline Malate at 6 grams for really helps recover and flush lactic acid.
Decent amount of pump and focus dosages. Average amount of caffeine to not overpower one’s system and still a good synergistic approach. 2-amino at 100mg is a decent amount for aiding in metabolic performance and calorie expenditure. I have seen this in more and more pre workouts were they can almost be used as a fat burner as well. Higenamine at 25mg is a start, but the full effects would be felt better in my opinion at 50mg. It helps with opening bronchial airways as a substitute to ephedra. I am not sure how effective a 10mg dose of black pepper is compared to the standard 5mg, but it is a good additive for helping to increase nutrient absorption. Rauwolscine AKA…yohimbine is well played with the 2mg dose. Helps blood flow and the faster rush feeling with less chance for causing anxiety and overdoing the benefits. Ok so back to the cacao extract I skipped over. Known as an antioxidant it can help with weight loss. I think the formula could have done without this, but it is another eye catching play.
Overall Rating from 1-5:4
I like the dosing for the most part and synergistic blend with transparency in the label. It seems like a blend of pre workout and fat burner together. I would have focused on one of the other as it can leave you a little uneasy with the agmatine and beta alanine combined with 2-amino and higenamine. It is very well worth the try though.
5) Pro Sups MR. hyde nitroX:
First off, I am digging the detailed facts sheet! I like a product that is confident in showing all their cards. Interesting to see headings to a few ingredients such as: “intensity matrix, strength matrix, caffeine matrix. Let’s break each down shall we…
Strength: Beta alanine, citrulline “aspartate” as opposed to malate. Creatine and arginine.
Dosages on beta alanine at 2grams is legit. I would like to see little more something something for the arginine and citrulline dose. I would like to see it at least 1gram arginine even though beta alanine is at a great dose for pump/blood flow already; and 4grams citrulline.
Caffeine: The more common known “anhydrous” rocking out at 300mg! Strong large cup of coffee equivalent. That’s a nice boost that can be split in half or taking as is. Of course half dose caffeine for those sensitive to caffeine will also mean even less of a dose of the other ingredients which are questionable as is.
Intensity: Representing with choline bitartrate, theanine, tyrosine, and GABA are a way of telling the consumer that intensity is fueled by focus and alertness. Teacrine will aid in a non-stimulant- natural alertness and energy supply. The final item being yohimbie at 3grams helps to transport everything smooth and faster into the system. I wouldn’t go much over that 3 grams dose and even 1 gram can produce similar effects. It can play a role in dumping adrenalin into the blood stream and for some bring on anxiety, and for others can help intensify energy and fat loss.
Overall Rating from 1-5:4
Good formula to target energy both physically and mentally. Calls upon a few pathways to bring a good feeling of focus, pump, power, and extra rush feeling. It is a well done formula. Gets the job done! Keeps the basics and few added advances in ingredients aside from the norms.
Well there you have it folks! Do you agree with these top 5? Which ones of these have you tried? Which pre-workout would you have added to this list? Leave your comments below!