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Compare the 5 Best Pre-Workout Powders for Men to Gain Muscle

If you work out- whether you are a serious athlete or you just want to stay in shape- you have probably heard the buzz about pre-workout supplements. These are dietary supplements that promise to increase energy levels, improve endurance and muscle gains, and a wide variety of other health benefits.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to choose a pre-workout supplement (that is, what to look for and what to avoid), as well as the top 5 best pre-workouts for muscle gain. Hopefully we can help you find the product that will provide you with the most benefit.

How to Choose a Pre-Workout

When it comes to choosing the best pre-workout supplement for you, there are some things that you need to be looking for and some things you must avoid. Below, we’ll explore both of those categories.

Things to Look for in a Pre-Workout

At this time, research is limited regarding the effectiveness of pre-workout supplements, but there is some evidence that certain ingredients may be beneficial to athletic performance. Here are some of those ingredients:

Nitric Oxide Precursors

Your body naturally produces nitric oxide, which is a compound that helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. Many pre-workout supplements contain compounds that are used by the body to produce nitric oxide. This includes things like L-citrulline, L-arginine, and beetroot juice.

Research indicates that supplementing with nitric oxide precursors can increase the transport of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which could improve your athletic performance.

However, it’s important to note that while it’s true that L-citrulline has been proven to improve exercise performance, L-arginine is actually broken down in your system before it has a chance to get to your bloodstream. Therefore, while it does boost production of nitric oxide, it does not directly benefit workout performance.

One thing to keep in mind is that much of the research on nitric oxide production involves young men. Therefore, it’s not clear whether or not these results are applicable to other populations.

Caffeine

Caffeine is often found in pre-workout supplements to improve focus and increase energy levels. This is a stimulant that is believed to provide mental alertness, improved memory, and exercise performance. In addition, it is believed to facilitate the reduction of body fat.

Creatine

Creatine is another common ingredient in pre-workout supplements that is also naturally produced in your body. It is mainly stored in skeletal muscle, where it helps with production of energy and strength.

In addition to being included in pre-workout supplements, it’s also sold as a standalone supplement. It is especially popular among power athletes, weightlifters, and bodybuilders.

Research indicates that creatine supplementation improves the level of creatine stored in your body- which improves post-workout recovery time, strength, workout performance, and muscle mass.

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is often included in pre-workout supplements. It is believed that it helps prevent the build up of lactic acid in your muscles. This allows your muscles to workout harder and longer.

According to research, beta-alanine is effective. However, some users report a tingling sensation when using it. This sensation is totally harmless, but some people find it unpleasant. Of course, there are others who barely notice it.

BCAAs

BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are often included in pre-workout supplements because they have been proven to improve muscle growth and decrease soreness following a workout when taken prior to the workout.

BCAAs are also found in natural sources of protein, so there’s a good chance that you are already getting the BCAAs that you need.

Things to Avoid in a Pre-Workout

While it’s true that pre-workout supplements are generally safe, they are not 100% risk free. There are some things you need to keep in mind that should be avoided when choosing a pre-workout supplement. We will take a look at some of those below.

Artificial sweeteners/Sugar Alcohols

Many of the pre-workout supplements on the market today contain artificial sweeteners and/or sugar alcohols. These ingredients are added to improve flavor without adding any extra calories. However, some are unable to digest these things and experience gastrointestinal distress and discomfort.

Some people experience symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and gas from consuming too much sugar alcohol. All of these can cause your workout to become disrupted. In addition, some people have a similar response from consuming certain artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose. However, this has not been proven.

You may wish to avoid pre-workout supplements that have large amounts of artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. If not, you may wish to try a small amount to see how your body handles it.

Excess Caffeine

Caffeine is the ingredient that is primarily responsible for the energy boost in most pre-workout supplements. However, excessive consumption of it can result in some unwanted side effects such as anxiety/jitters, insomnia, and increased blood pressure.

Most of the time, the caffeine content in a single serving of most pre-workout supplements is the same as you would get in 1 to 2 cups of coffee. However, this is likely not your only source of caffeine throughout the day, so you may end up consuming too much.

Not Third-Party Tested

In the USA, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates dietary supplements such as pre-workouts, as foods- not drugs. Therefore, these regulatory gaps mean that product labels may be misleading or inaccurate.

If the safety and/or quality of a pre-workout are compromised, you may be exposed to substances that have been banned or dangerous levels of other compounds. In order to ensure safety, you should only purchase substances that have been third-party tested, such as the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) or NSF International.

Top 5 Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Gain Highlights

Products Highlights
XWERKS Ignite
  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • No upset stomach
  • Improved focus and motivation
  • Improved muscle growth and repair
  • Pre Lab Pro Pre-Workout
  • Build & maintain lean muscle mass
  • Improves endurance and stamina
  • Jitter-free energy
  • Gets you to a state of homeostasis quickly
  • Accelerates recovery
  • 4 Gauge
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Only 5 calories per serving
  • Increased energy, no jitters or crash
  • Improved stamina
  • Increased size and endurance
  • NSP Nutrition Pre-Workout
  • Increased work capacity
  • Improved focus/concentration
  • Increased strength/power
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Results within weeks
  • Alani Nu Pre-Workout
  • Best results with a variety of ingredients
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Comes in a wide variety of flavors
  • No artificial additives
  • Increases energy without jitters
  • Top 5 Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Gain Reviews

    Below, we’re going to review what we feel are the top 5 best pre-workout supplements for muscle gain.

    XWERKS Ignite

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    XWERKS is well-known in the dietary supplement industry. They offer products that are made with scientifically proven ingredients. One of their popular products is Ignite, their pre-workout formula. This product is ideal for those who are serious about taking their training to the next level and looking for real, measurable results.

    Some people refer to this supplement as the Tom Brady of pre-workouts because it is a supplement you can rely on. It is formulated to optimize your total performance. This collaboration of ingredients promises to improve focus and increase energy and stamina, which allows you to work out harder and longer. XWERKS does not believe in using proprietary blends and has each and every ingredient listed on the label.

    XWERKS Ignite is formulated to ensure that you experience steady, refreshing, long lasting energy without being overwhelmed with stimulants that only provide a momentary energy burst. In addition, nootropic effects are added to the mix.

    Some of the most important ingredients in XWERKS Ignite include: Caffeine, Vitamin B6 & B12, beta-alanine, L-tyrosine, Rhodiola. This formulation also includes additional ingredients that have been proven effective.

    This pre-workout promises to provide you with the energy you need to power through your workouts and the nootropic ingredients can help you focus on your training. Finally, the endurance blend allows you to work longer, increase reps, and recover faster than with other supplements.

    You can find XWERKS Ignite in 4 flavors: orange, blue raspberry, watermelon, and green apple.

    Product Type Powder
    Flavors
  • Blue raspberry
  • Watermelon
  • Green apple
  • Orange
  • Benefits
  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • No upset stomach
  • Improved focus and motivation
  • Improved muscle growth and repair
  • Cost $49.00, or $46.55 with subscription
    Servings per container 30

    SHOP HERE

    Pre Lab Pro Pre-Workout

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    Pre Lab Pro Pre-Workout is formulated with unique ingredients that are not found in other pre-workouts, including nootropics and ingredients for homeostasis support. It is available in a natural berry flavor and supports your workouts in a variety of ways. According to their website, this formula improves strength and stamina, while also increasing endurance and speed. It’s also beneficial for those recovering and participating in cardio workouts and anabolic training.

    This formula is a favorite of many fitness enthusiasts because of the ingredients and dosages. These are some of the most certified ones in the industry. One of the key ingredients is beetroot powder, which boosts nitric oxide in the body. This formula also contains Setria performance blend, which also boosts nitric oxide. Some of the other ingredients include L-theanine and caffeine.

    Product Type Powder
    Flavors Berry flavored
    Benefits
  • Build & maintain lean muscle mass
  • Improves endurance and stamina
  • Jitter-free energy
  • Gets you to a state of homeostasis quickly
  • Accelerates recovery
  • Cost
  • $59.00 for 1 canister
  • $118 for 2 canisters
  • $177 for 4 canisters
  • Servings per container 20

    SHOP HERE

    4 Gauge

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    4 Gauge Pre-Workout promises to provide users with extreme performance without the jitters. The package looks like a shotgun shell. According to the manufacturer, users will look and feel bigger. Additionally, they will feel more focused without the energy crash that accompanies some of the other formulas on the market.

    This formula contains zero artificial sweeteners and, since it only contains 5 calories per serving, it does not impact your weight loss goals. This is a 4-in-1 formula that aims to improve muscle pumps, focus, strength, and energy.

    This formula contains 6000 milligrams of L-citrulline, 200 milligrams of L-theanine, 100 milligrams of Rhodiola Rosea, and 150 milligrams of caffeine, along with some other certified ingredients. As mentioned, it does contain a high dose of beetroot, which helps to dilate the blood vessels.

    Product Type Powder
    Flavors Fruit Blast
    Benefits
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Only 5 calories per serving
  • Increased energy, no jitters or crash
  • Improved stamina
  • Increased size and endurance
  • Cost $45.00
    Servings per container 20

    SHOP HERE

    NSP Nutrition Pre-Workout

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    Energize Pre-Workout from NSP Nutrition is available in a variety of flavors, including tropical sunrise, grape blast, and lemonade fresh. Taking a dose of this supplement prior to your workout eliminates brain fog, helps you achieve bigger muscle pumps, increases work capacity, and activates muscle gains.

    This is among the more affordable pre-workout supplements on the market. It contains ingredients that target both mental and physical performance including DMAE, choline, creatine, L-theanine, and L-citrulline.

    Product Type Powder
    Flavors
  • Grape Blast
  • Lemonade Fresh
  • Tropical Sunrise
  • Benefits
  • Increased work capacity
  • Improved focus/concentration
  • Increased strength/power
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Results within weeks
  • Cost $35.99
    Servings per container 30

    SHOP HERE

    Alani Nu Pre-Workout

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    Alani Nu Pre-Workout is popular and well-rated. They offer a lot more flavors than most of the other supplements on the market today. It contains ingredients such as L-theanine and others that prevent jitters and post-workout crashes- which means this is among the best pre-workout options on the market.

    Many of the other brands will try to entice customers with a variety of ingredients at various doses, but Alani Nu’s has significant numbers of smaller amounts: 6 grams of citrulline, 200 milligrams of L-theanine, 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, 200 milligrams of caffeine, and 500 grams of L-tyrosine.

    Product Type Powder
    Flavors Cosmic Stardust, Hawaiian Shaved Ice, Island Crush, Breezeberry, Rainbow Candy, Mimosa, Galaxy Lemonade, Carnival Candy Grape, Arctic White, Pink Guava, Aloha Pineapple
    Benefits
  • Best results with a variety of ingredients
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Comes in a wide variety of flavors
  • No artificial additives
  • Increases energy without jitters
  • Cost $39.99
    Servings per container 30

    SHOP HERE

    FAQs for Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Gain

    If you are interested in using a pre-workout for muscle gain, you probably have some questions. After all, there are always questions that arise in the health and fitness industry, especially when it comes to supplements. There are so many options, it can be hard to choose. Below, we’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions about pre-workout supplementation.

    What is a pre-workout supplement?

    A pre-workout supplement is a dietary supplement that is intended to improve your performance in workouts. Not only do they benefit your current workout- but they also benefit your long-term performance.

    This is achieved by combining a variety of ingredients. Most of the time, pre-workouts are powders that are meant to be combined with water to create a drink to be consumed prior to working out. There are a few that are capsules- which some people find are easier and more convenient to use- especially when traveling.

    Is it possible to find a natural pre-workout that is good?

    If you are looking for a natural pre-workout, you should look for products that contain things like caffeine, green tea extract, BCAAs, amino acids, and more. These are all natural ingredients that can help with increasing energy levels and focus which can ultimately improve your workout sessions.

    There are some ingredients that are found in pre-workouts, such as beta-alanine that can’t be found in high amounts naturally. This means they must be synthesized in a lab .

    Therefore, while it’s true that there are many benefits from using a natural pre-workout, the best results actually come from refined ingredients found in many of the supplements on the market today.

    Are pre-workouts safe to use?

    Honestly, the safety of a pre-workout is dependent upon the ingredients in it. The primary issue when it comes to safety are the stimulants. This is typically provided by an ingredient such as caffeine. However, there are some that contain more potent sources, such as synephrine or bitter orange peel.

    As long as the dosage is reasonable, caffeine can be fine- but synephrine and bitter orange peel can be dangerous.

    Ideally, if you are using a pre-workout, it needs to be stim-free. However, it’s fine to use those that have moderate amounts of caffeine. Of course, if you have a high tolerance, you may wish to consume more.

    Do you really need a pre-workout?

    You really don’t “need” a pre-workout. If you just want to get in shape but are not interested in pushing your limits, you don’t really need to use a pre-workout. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

    However, if you wish to push past your limits, a pre-workout may be beneficial for you. It can help you get motivated on those days that you know you need to workout but you just don’t want to get out of bed.

    What does a pre-workout supplement actually do?

    A pre-workout triggers the biological pathways in your body that are involved in your mental and physical performance. For example, caffeine lubricates your nervous system which means you can push harder at a higher intensity and perform better.

    Some of the pre-workouts contain fat burners, which increase fat oxidation in your body, which improves endurance. Some of the ingredients that improve your ability to maintain HIIT efforts are L-carnitine and beta-alanine.

    Some of the ingredients in pre-workouts don’t really have an effect on your performance- such as BCAAs- but do keep you from being sore following your workout.

    What is the difference between a pre-workout and a post-workout supplement?

    These two supplements do have some commonalities. One of which is that they are both meant to be taken close to your workout. However, as the names suggest, one is for prior to, and one is following a workout.

    A post-workout can help with recovery. After all, when you work out, your body uses resources and needs to be refueled to help with rebuilding of muscles and refilling of energy. A pre-workout gives you what you need to prepare for a great workout.

    So, while many people use them interchangeably, they are actually two completely different things. They do have some similar ingredients, such as BCAAs- but a pre-workout typically has caffeine or other ingredient that provides energy, while a post-workout supplement will not.

    How long does a pre-workout last?

    You will find that most of the pre-workout supplements on the market are made to last 2 to 3 hours. However, it’s almost impossible to get more specific because there are different timelines associated with the various ingredients.

    For example, caffeine has a well-defined window of efficacy. You will want to use it about 30 minutes prior to working out- no more than 45. Once you take it, the effects will last up to 5 hours. That being said, ingredients such as BCAAs are absorbed at a quicker rate, so ideally your workout should be over before they are processed. A reputable pre-workout supplement company keeps this in mind when creating their formulations.

    Basically, you can expect your pre-workout supplement to last 2 to 3 hours.

    Why do some pre-workouts cause tingling?

    If you experience tingling after consuming a pre-workout, it contains lots of niacin or lots of beta-alanine. The side effects of both of these ingredients is tingling. However, though it may be uncomfortable, it’s not harmful.

    If you tingle when you use your pre-workout, read the label to find out which is the culprit. If it is beta-alanine, you can usually eliminate this effect by decreasing the dosage to less than 800 milligrams. If you are trying to increase carnitine levels in your muscles, you can consume smaller doses throughout the day. If niacin is the cause of the tingling, you should decrease your dosage to under 30 milligrams per day.

    Can you spot a fake pre-workout?

    When it comes to pre-workout supplements, there are lots of options on the market. Some are wonderful, while others are low-quality or fake. The lower quality ones will often contain high caffeine levels, high sugars, and few of the effective ingredients.

    When you are looking at the label of your pre-workout, pay attention to those that use a “proprietary blend”. This allows the company to hide what they are or are not including in their formulas. Chances are the active ingredients are lower than needed to be effective.

    When you choose a pre-workout supplement, make sure that you are choosing one from a reputable company, such as the ones we have listed here. This will help you to be sure that you are getting a quality supplement that you can trust.

    Conclusion

    If you work out, you’ve likely heard the buzz over pre-workout supplements. These dietary supplements can improve your workouts, which, in turn. improves your overall health and well-being. These can help you push past your limits and achieve greater things in your workouts. You will build muscle, burn fat, have more energy and stamina, and so much more.

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    Conclusion

    If you work out, you’ve likely heard the buzz over pre-workout supplements. These dietary supplements can improve your workouts, which, in turn. improves your overall health and well-being. These can help you push past your limits and achieve greater things in your workouts. You will build muscle, burn fat, have more energy and stamina, and so much more.

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    The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.

    Disclaimer:

    Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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