Hours of Research
Published by Aditya Sahu, ACSM Certified, Head Trainer. Fact checked by William Toro, BHSc
Somedays, do you ever feel you do not have the strength to perform your daily workout routine? Even though working out is necessary to build up stamina and endurance, your body requires energy to initiate it.
Sometimes, your regular breakfast or cup of coffee is not enough to provide you with the appropriate amounts of energy for different sets of exercises.
For this reason, many professional fitness coaches and our research team recommend taking workout supplements to provide a kickstart. These supplements are known as pre-workout supplements or simply as pre-workouts.
Prelabs Pro - Best Overall
Overall Rating: 4.9/5
4Gauge - Editors Choice
Overall Rating: 4.8/5
Nitro Surge - Readers Fav
Overall Rating: 4.4/5
If you have recently started your fitness journey or are new to the pre-workout concept, selecting the suitable product from multiple brands available becomes complex. Almost all brands claim their pre-workout for beginners to be the best when it might not be true in reality.
Some pre-workout supplements might be proprietary blends, containing ingredients in doses that do not match the stated composition or contain low-quality ingredients.
Furthermore, some pre-workouts might have traces of impurities like melamine mixed with the blend.
So Whats the best pre workout for beginners? Read on .
8 Best Pre-Workouts For Beginners: A Detailed Review
To assist with your purchase, we have reviewed 8 of the best pre-workout supplements for beginners that you can choose from for having ultimate workout sessions.
1. Pre Labs Pro— Best Overall Pre-Workout For Beginners
•Contains good doses of vitamins for muscle tone and immunity
•Provides a smooth burst of energy
•Tastes good and contains no artificial sweeteners
Pre Labs Pro has one of the best Quality ingredients we tried and tested so far.
Workout Performance 5/5
Without being high on caffeine, I found its nootropics provides one of the best focus which can out perform pre workouts with high caffeine.
Though its not cheapest pre workout, but if bought in packet of 4 its quite economical.
The Pre Lab Pro Pre-workout is a multi-ingredient packed powdered formula manufactured by Opti-Nutra Ltd. and offers various health benefits for a high-performance workout.
Increased Blood Flow
The best part of Pre Lab Pro Pre-workout is its Nitric Oxide content. It contains a high concentration of nitric oxide thanks to High-quality ingredients like Rednite Red Beet Root Powder and Setria Performance Blend. This high concentration of NO enables a double surge to boost blood flow pumping through a turbocharge and after-burn. The nitric oxide turbocharge boosts the blood flow pumping while the nitric oxide after-burn maintains the blood flow for a more extended period. This feature enhances muscle strength and endurance, allowing you to tackle challenging workouts.
The added caffeine is moderately dosed, natural, and obtained from Coffea robusta beans. When combined with Suntheanine, a pure L-Theanine, this pre-workout enhances cognitive performance and provides calm stimulation. Hence, you can feel energized without experiencing jitters and have increased focus and motivation towards completing your exercises.
Pre Lab Pro Pre-workout also provides body homeostasis during and after strenuous workouts. The essential vitamins like vitamin D3, B2, B6, B9, and B12, and minerals like Iron and Potassium boost performance and promote overall health. The additional Himalayan pink salt maintains hydration, replenishes electrolytes, and accelerates muscle recovery. On the other hand, AjiPure L-Tyrosine helps maintain neurotransmitter stores depleted from intense training and caffeine intake while sharpening focus.
In short, the Pre Lab Pro Pre-workout provides an excellent workout performance by enhancing endurance, muscle strength, stamina, and training capacity. Moreover, it increases blood flow and promotes muscle buildup, cardiovascular fitness, and homeostasis.
Amount per serving
L-Citrulline + L-Glutathione
Red Beet Powder
This pre-workout for beginners is berry flavored and is vegan, and allergen friendly. It does not contain any synthetic additives or artificial sweeteners. Furthermore, it is GMP certified and third-party tested for banned ingredients making it a safe pre-work for beginners.
Our Detailed Video Review:
Also has essential amino acids
2. 4Gauge — Editors Choice - Most Potent for Beginners
The ingredients are well balanced for beginner or intermediate lifters.
Workout Performance 4.8/5
It doesn't has any kind of jittery effect at the same time the performance in workout I found it to be unparalleled.
Little on the higher side price as compared to it peers, affected its costs rating.
The 4 Gauge pre-workout is the perfect supplement for demanding workouts. This pre-workout is not part of a proprietary blend and contains natural and carefully dosed ingredients.
Most of its potency comes from caffeine content. It contains a high yet safe concentration of caffeine for beginners to consume. The caffeine works synergistically with L-Theanine to deliver efficient results without experiencing side effects. Hence, you can feel energized for more extended periods without experiencing crashes or jitters. Furthermore, this caffeine stack maintains focus for reaching target goals faster.
Increased Blood Flow And Muscle Performance
Talking about muscle pumps, 4 Gauge delivers the best blood flow to muscles while aiding in muscle gains. In increasing blood flow, a more prominent part is played by citrulline malate together with Nitric oxide obtained from red beetroot powder. These active ingredients are potent vasodilators that increase blood flow to the muscles, enhancing performance and allowing you to train longer. Moreover, citrulline malate promises reduced soreness of muscles, leaving you feeling active even after intense workouts.
Nootropic Effects And Homeostasis
4 Gauge pre-workout also contains cognitive enhancers in the form of natural sources like Rhodiola Rosea. This herb builds physical and mental tolerance for combating high power routines. Additionally, it boosts motivation and provides stress relief.
The high amounts of creatine monohydrate enhance overall performance while providing neuroprotective effects. Thanks to coconut water, hydration is ensured, and electrolytes stores are replenished, maintaining blood pressure during workouts.
Amount Per Serving
4 Gauge pre-workout comes only in a single flavor and contains no artificial sweeteners, offering only 5 calories per serving. The ingredients are third-party tested, clinically dosed, and obtained from natural sources.
Caffeine stack offers jitter and crash-free energy.
Packed with natural ingredients.
Fewer calories per serving.
High potency for better physical and mental performance.
3. NitroSurge by Jacked Factory — Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine
It has mixed of ingredients , may not be the best but covers most of it. Except few.
Workout Performance 4.3/5
It did help me on getting those extra reps.
At 30 servings we found it to be most pocket friendly.
Nitrosurge pre-workout is manufactured by Jacked Factory and is packed with potent yet beneficial ingredients for your powerful workouts.
Nitrosurge contains caffeine anhydrous in amounts suitable for beginners. It provides you energy for completing intense workouts without getting tired quickly. To ensure you do not feel any jitters or a crash effect from caffeine, the L-theanine dampens the side effects while maintaining total energy. L-theanine also helps in reducing stress to ensure a good exercise performance.
Improved Blood Flow
The L-citrulline in Nitrosurge pre-workout increases nitric oxide production within the body, helping in enhancing blood flow to muscle tissues. L-citrulline works with theobromine and lets you get the most out of your workout to maximize this flow and muscle pumps further.
Muscle Performance And Gains
This great pre-workout powder uses betaine anhydrous instead of creatine to promote protein synthesis, helping in gaining lean muscle mass. Betaine anhydrous is also beneficial in providing and maintaining your cellular hydration after intense workouts.
On the other hand, beta-alanine enhances muscle performance by reducing the production of muscle acids. This reduction prevents your muscles from becoming fatigued while increasing endurance.
Amount Per Serving
To ensure your body is provided with optimum nutrition, Nitrosurge uses AstraGin. This root extract enhances the absorption of ingredients to maximize your exercise performance.
This great pre-workout supplement is GMP certified, and all ingredients are backed by research. Moreover, it comes in various flavors that are sugar and carbohydrate-free.
Tingling or itching sensation due to high amounts of beta-alanine.
4. Powher — Best Pre-Workout For Women
This Pre workout specifically designed for women , has the require quality ingredients like which suits for female beginners.
It has just right amount of caffeine, which our female team found to have great boost during workout.
Its neither expensive nor its cheap.
The Powher pre-workout is a great pre-workout powder with optimum nutrition purely focused on women's health. It is designed for strong women who like to take on challenges without the risk of side effects experienced by consuming most pre-workout supplements.
What makes Powher a good pre-workout supplement is that it uses a low stimulant system to provide clean energy. An optimal amount of caffeine is added, obtained from green coffee beans. This caffeine boosts energy without letting you experience jitters.
Another great ingredient in Powher is EnXtra. This unique ingredient is a caffeine amplifier made from Alpinia galanga. It helps enhance the beneficial effects of caffeine and maintains energy levels even after your workout ends for up to 5 hours. Moreover, it helps sharpen mental focus as well.
On the other hand, additional vitamin B6 and B12 also help in providing energy by metabolizing carbohydrates, letting you reach your goals quicker.
Improved Blood Flow And Muscle Performance
Powher makes use of RedNite beetroot powder to enhance blood flow to muscles. Beetroot powder increases the production of nitric oxide, which enhances blood pumping, leading to better muscle performance.
Vitamin B6 and B9 also aid in red blood cell formation to enhance oxygen-carrying capacity and reduce pain and inflammation caused by intense workouts.
A unique ingredient OxyjunTM Terminalia arjuna helps in enhancing muscle performance too. This bark increases endurance and also aids in improving cardiovascular functioning for better exercise performance.
On the other hand, Beta-alanine reduces the formation of muscle acid, lowering fatigue and time of muscle recovery.
Powher pre-workout also contains leucine. This BCAA, together with vitamin B12, helps in forming new muscle tissue resulting in gaining lean muscle mass.
Improved Cognitive Function
Vitamin B6 works together with L-tyrosine to increase the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline, etc. Synthesis of such neurotransmitters helps in improving mood and provides motivation and focus to complete your workouts.
The coconut water powder added in Powher pre-workout replenishes the electrolytes within your body while providing enough hydration to stay active.
Amount Per Serving
All ingredients used in Powher pre-workout are backed by research. Furthermore, this best pre-workout supplement is GMP certified and designed in collaboration with registered dieticians whose expertise lies in female health.
Innovation and research-supported ingredients.
Optimum nutrition for female beginners.
Jitter-free energy with low stimulants.
Only available in one flavor.
5. Transparent Labs LEAN — Best for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain
What makes this pre workout great is it also adds ingredients which helps in fat loss.
Workout Performance 4.8/5
Most of our trainers found this pre workout helpful in achieving great push towards best personal record.
Its fairly priced
Transparent Labs LEAN pre-workout is the best option for increasing muscle mass while losing weight.
This pre-workout supplement contains caffeine anhydrous, providing high energy and motivation to complete your workouts. InfinergyTM dicaffeine malate and L-theanine, two additional ingredients, work in synergy with caffeine anhydrous to prevent crash effects and jitters, allowing efficient and longer workouts.
Enhanced Muscle Performance
The added beta-alanine helps in building lean muscle mass by enhancing protein synthesis while promoting fat loss for maintaining body shape. Moreover, it raises carnosine levels inside cells, providing an antioxidant effect and increasing muscle strength.
Citrulline malate is added to the formula to increase nitric oxide production for better muscle pumping. It helps increase aerobic performance and endurance. Furthermore, it increases the utilization of Branched Chain Amino Acids. The BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine, together with BetaPureTM betaine, promote muscle growth and strength while reducing fatigue. Additionally, acetyl L-carnitine prevents muscle soreness.
A great feature of Transparent Labs LEAN pre-workout is that it also contains micronutrients like iodine, zinc, selenium, copper, etc., for supporting thyroid function. These micronutrients aid in producing thyroid growth hormone and balance metabolism.
Amount Per Serving
BetaPureTM Betaine Anhydrous
Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl
InfinergyTM (Dicaffeine Malate)
BioPerine (Black Pepper Extract)
A black pepper extract, BioPerine helps in absorbing the nutrients, ensuring optimum nutrition is delivered to the body. The pre-workout comes in six different fruit flavors and is free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or coloring.
Micronutrients for supporting thyroid function.
Wide range of natural flavors.
Supports weight loss and lean muscle mass gain.
Better absorption of nutrients with BioPerine.
High concentration of zinc might cause side effects in some consumers.
Only available on the official website.
You can also look at Best Thermogenic Pre Workouts for further read if you looking at pre workouts with fat burners.
6. Xwerks Ignite — Best pre-workout for enhancing physical and mental performance
The Xwerks Ignite is an excellent pre-workout for enhancing physical and mental performance.
Caffeine, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 work together to provide explosive energy and maintain its level. This synergy helps boost energy and overall performance while reducing the occurrence of jitters.
Enhanced Muscle and Brain Performance
Rhodiola Rosea enhances muscle recovery and reduces fatigue resulting from intense workouts. This ingredient, together with DMAE, also imparts neuroprotective effects. However, on its own, DMAE helps in improving memory and concentration and also aids in preventing the buildup of lipofuscin. This pre-workout contains L-tyrosine that helps reduce burnout, stress, and anxiety while enhancing exercise performance to provide an even better mental performance.
Moreover, the added CarnoSyn beta-alanine, calcium and magnesium lactate, and L-citrulline malate function to increase muscle strength, performance, and endurance. These ingredients also help in increasing the capacity for longer and more intense workouts.
Amount Per Serving
This pre-workout comes in 4 flavors, containing no additives and sugars. It also is gluten and dairy-free, making it safe for consumers with allergies.
Potent fatigue-reducing effects.
Jitter and crash-free energy.
Well researched ingredients.
Contains nootropics for enhanced mental performance.
7. OMG Super Formula — Best for Both Men and Women
Flavor: Strawberry Lemonade/Acai Berry
Special ingredients: Caffeine, creatine, L Citrulline, Beta Alanine
Diet feature: No artifical flavours
The O.M.G Super Formula pre-workout by HardBody Supplements is the perfect option for you if you are looking for a sugar-free pre-workout. The formulation contains zero sugars and instead delivers a pleasant taste with the added organic stevia. Moreover, it does not contain carbs and calories, making it a healthy blend for fitness enthusiasts.
Energy And Blood Flow
With organic caffeine, this pre-workout provides energy that is gentle on the organs yet sufficient for tough workouts. Additionally, L-citrulline helps in increasing blood flow, delivering better muscle pumps.
A unique active ingredient present within O.M.G pre-workout is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This coenzyme is also known as ubiquinone-10 and works as an antioxidant within the body, reducing oxidative stress. CoQ10 also regulates blood glucose levels, promotes growth, and reduces muscle fatigue.
Enhanced Muscle Performance
Another effective ingredient in this pre-workout is N-acetyl tyrosine which promotes protein synthesis. Together with Creapure creatine, it aids in increasing lean muscle mass. CarnoSyn beta-alanine lowers muscle acid formation to further aid in muscle performance, resulting in reduced muscle aches and faster recovery.
The pre-workout is also packed with various vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, C, Potassium, etc., to provide optimum nutrition after intake. Furthermore, the added electrolytes enhance recovery while a special ingredient, Hydromax glycerol, offers maximum intracellular hydration.
Amount Per Serving
HardBody Supplements O.M.G pre-workout comes in 6 different fun flavors that offer a sugar-free and calorie-free consumption. No artificial colors are used, and all the ingredients used are non-GMO and third-party tested.
Organic caffeine is gentle on organs.
Zero sugars and calories.
Excellent hydration with Hydromax glycerol.
No harmful artificial coloring.
Dosing of ingredients less than the effective range.
Proprietary blend. Amount of 6 out of 14 ingredients disclosed.
Flavor: Orange Mango / Raspberry Lemonade
Special ingredients: Caffeine, Electrotecs, Protein 5gm
Diet feature: Gluten-free,
If you are looking for a simple pre-workout for beginners made with only natural ingredients, the Ascent pre-workout is perfect for you. Rather than being a blend of many active ingredients, this pre-workout only contains a simple mixture of natural ingredients for providing clean yet effective energy.
The formulation includes moderately dosed natural caffeine obtained from coffee fruit extract that helps in boosting energy. As it is obtained from a natural source, it provides clean energy without making you experience jitters.
This pre-workout also provides great hydration after strenuous workouts. It does so with the help of Sodium acting as an electrolyte. Other than increasing hydration levels, it also maintains blood pressure and helps you perform more.
Improved Muscle Health
Furthermore, the added whey protein isolate promotes muscle buildup while enhancing muscle strength for better endurance. Ascent pre-workout also provides calcium through milk for better muscle function and bone health.
Amount Per Serving
This pre-workout comes in three fruit flavors catering to different taste preferences. The natural ingredients are safe for the digestive system and do not cause gastric discomfort.
Moreover, the blend does not contain any synthetic sugar. Instead, it gets its sweetness from various natural extracts like stevia leaf extract.
Pre-Workouts: A Brief History
The pre-workout drink is a dietary formula that contains various physical and mental performance-enhancing active ingredients designed to consume before challenging workouts. They have been widely used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts ever since the introduction of the first formulation in 1982 called Ultimate Orange.
Over the following years, many companies came out with their high-potency pre-workouts. In 2005, Jack3d was introduced, containing a unique potent active ingredient called Dimethylamylamine (DMAA). However, its popularity did not last long, getting banned in 2012 by the FDA due to its adverse health effects. The effects included shortness of breath, chest pain, and a high risk of cardiac arrests. (2)
Currently, the pre-workout supplement market is full of different brands that manufacture a range of different forms of pre-workouts, offering various high-performance results. Pre-workouts come in a wide range of oral formulations such as capsules, pills, chews, powder, bars, and canned drinks.
Benefits Of Taking A Pre-Workout For Beginners
Consuming pre-workout supplements have shown to enhance both mental and physical performance. Here are some of the ways pre-workouts aid in enhancing performance:
Pre-workouts with added caffeine are known to increase energy levels. Hence they can help you feel more energetic and aid in achieving an efficient workout.
Many pre-workout formulas contain active ingredients that aid in gaining muscle mass. Moreover, these pre-workouts can also enhance muscle tone while providing healthy bulking benefits.
Taking pre-workout supplements help beginners to work out more without getting tired quickly. Therefore, you can run longer distances and do several reps of your routine exercises with a good pre-workout.
Several pre-workouts contain active ingredients that offer mood-changing effects. They also create a feeling of motivation to take on challenging workouts and complete them successfully. Moreover, pre-workouts enhance focus and alertness and make you reach your exercise goals sooner.
Consuming a pre-workout before starting your routine exercises can help in increasing muscle strength. These supplements also prevent premature fatigue, lower muscle recovery time, and reduce muscle aches. Hence, you can go on with your normal day after working out without requiring more prolonged periods of rest.
Supplementation Of Additional Nutrients
If you are not consuming enough essential vitamins and minerals in your diet, your pre-workout can make up for the lack. Certain pre-workouts contain essential nutrients in adequate levels to provide strength. Moreover, fluid pre-workouts provide enough hydration and electrolytes to replenish the body's stores. (3)
The high energy obtained from pre-workouts enables high exercise performance aiding in greater burning of calories. The high amount of burned calories results in healthy weight loss while maintaining muscle mass.
Common Active Ingredients In Pre-Workouts For Beginners
Caffeine is one of the most popular active ingredients used in pre-workouts. It is a potent stimulant that works by blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine while increasing dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline levels in the blood. This action of caffeine results in increasing energy, elevating mood and enhancing metabolism and cognitive function.
Different pre-workouts contain different forms of caffeine like natural, anhydrous or dicaffeine malate. However, the most commonly used form is caffeine anhydrous. It is a highly concentrated form of caffeine and serves its desired effects when consumed in moderate amounts.
The concentration of added caffeine in a pre-workout for beginners is generally around 100-200 mg. However, in more advanced pre-workouts, the concentration can vary from 250 to 400 mg.
If caffeine is consumed in more than the recommended amount without building tolerance, it can lead to several adverse effects. These side effects include caffeine crash, anxiety, palpitations, high blood pressure, dehydration, and nausea.
For people who cannot tolerate caffeine anhydrous, there are pre-workouts available that contain alternative ingredients that produce similar effects as caffeine. These ingredients include theobromine, theophylline, theanine, theacrine, etc.
Creatine is a well-researched and highly beneficial active ingredient found in various pre-workouts for beginners. It is also a natural chemical made in the liver and kidneys and, when taken as supplements, improves physical performance. In pre-workouts, creatine is usually present in two forms; creatine monohydrate or creatine HCl. Both forms of creatine are similarly effective. However, a smaller dose of creatine HCl is required compared to the monohydrate form to provide results.
Creatine boosts energy and endurance, increases lean mass, reduces muscle recovery time, and aids in hydration.
Several pre-workouts for beginners usually contain 3 to 4 grams of beta-alanine. This active ingredient is known to aid in muscle strength. It does so by increasing the muscle carnosine levels, creating a buffer against muscle acids produced during intense workouts. This buffering action helps in reducing fatigue while allowing you to stay more active.
Citrulline is also sometimes labeled as watermelon extract on different pre-workouts. This ingredient is used as a replacement for arginine and is mainly found in two forms; L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate. Both forms function to reduce muscle soreness resulting from intense workouts. (5)
Branched Chain Amino Acids
Various pre-workouts contain the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These BCAAs, when taken in the ratio of 2:1:1 respectively, aid in muscle growth and reduce post-workout fatigue and soreness. Furthermore, they enhance the capacity to perform aerobic exercises.
Some pre-workout supplements also contain L-tyrosine or its precursor N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. This active ingredient helps enhance mood, reduce stress, and boost mental focus. It does so by increasing levels of noradrenaline and dopamine, aiding in subjective well-being. (6)
How To Choose The Best Pre-Workout For Beginners?
To choose the best pre-workout for beginners, here are a few things we considered in our review that you should also look out for:
- Make sure the pre-workout supplement does not contain any harmful or banned ingredients. Be wary of ingredients like DMAA, DMHA, Ephedra, etc., to prevent the risk of adverse effects.
- Always check the caffeine content used in the pre-workout. Ensure that it is moderately dosed to reduce its associated side effects while gaining high energy.
- Do a fact check of the brand that manufactured the pre-workout. There are many brands that claim to be the best when in actuality, they are not. Check their reputation and read reviews of consumers before making your purchase.
- Look into the source from which the ingredients are obtained. You should prefer natural ingredients over artificial ones to receive optimum nutrition and healthy workout performance.
Is A Pre-Workout Suitable For You?
Before starting a pre-workout for beginners, we recommend you assess your health status first. If you have a weakened or compromised state of health, some ingredients in certain pre-workouts can interfere and cause side effects. Avoid consuming a pre-workout if you are:
- Suffering from a cardiac disease or experiencing palpitations
- A pregnant woman or currently breastfeeding
- Sensitive to the effects of caffeine or any other ingredient
- Diabetic or having uncontrolled diabetes
Frequently Asked Questions
Can A Beginner Take Pre-Workout?
A beginner can take pre-workouts. There are various pre-workout supplements that are formulated especially for beginners. These supplements contain ingredients that are dosed moderately and provide enhanced physical and mental performance for ideal workout outcomes.
What Kind Of Pre-Workout Should I Use For Beginners?
You should use a pre-workout that is made to cater to beginners. Look for a supplement that is easy to prepare and consume and has a pleasant taste so that you can take it regularly. Moreover, look for beneficial ingredients and check whether they are moderately dosed to ensure high performance without experiencing side effects.
There are several best pre-workouts for beginners to choose from that support muscle building, energy-boosting, cognitive function enhancement, and more. Select a pre-workout that works best for you and provides you with the desired results.
When Should You Start Taking Pre-Workout?
A pre-workout is meant to be taken prior to starting your workout. The time duration for consumption can vary among different formulations. However, approximately the majority of the pre-workouts need to be taken 30 to 60 minutes before hitting the gym and exercising.
Is Pre-Workout Good For Losing Weight?
Taking a pre-workout is good for losing weight. However, these supplements do not contain ingredients that directly target the fat cells and catabolize them. Instead, the blend's active ingredients help provide energy, endurance, focus, and motivation and enhance muscle pumps that aid in losing weight. These properties allow you to work out longer, burn more calories and achieve effective results.
Consuming pre-workout supplements is a great way to take your overall workout performance to the next level. With proper research, you can choose the best pre-workout for beginners suitable for your needs to help you achieve your goals in less time. So, select the right pre-workout and take on challenging workouts like a pro!
4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361498/ Ingesting a pre-workout supplement containing caffeine, B-vitamins, amino acids, creatine, and beta-alanine before exercise delays fatigue while improving reaction time and muscular endurance