We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Pre-workout drinks aim to help people get the most out of their workouts. Companies formulate pre-workout drinks to improve the way the body responds to workout routines, helping people get the best results.

Quick links

Pre-workout drinks aim to help people get the most out of their workouts by improving exercise performance and efficiency.

According to an article in Nutrients, ingredients in pre-workout drinks include:

Researchers know that caffeine can improve mental processes, strength, power, and endurance during a workout.

A 2016 study found that people who consumed pre-workout drinks containing caffeine saw a significant improvement in anaerobic, such as high-intensity interval training, and power performance, in comparison to those who did not drink beverages containing caffeine.

According to the article published in Nutrients:

  • When a person ingests 4–6 grams (g) of beta-alanine per day for several weeks, it may improve their strength and endurance.
  • Nitrates can improve a person’s sprinting and increase the amount of time they can work out before experiencing fatigue.
  • L-arginine decreases a person’s blood pressure and increases the amount of blood flowing toward the muscles.

Most pre-workout drinks come in the form of a powder that people mix themselves. Some companies manufacture ready-to-drink (RTD) versions of their powders so that people can drink those on the go.

Keep reading to learn more about seven pre-workout drinks available for purchase.

Below, we look at some of the best pre-workout drinks for a person to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for increasing muscle mass: Transparent Labs Preseries Bulk

Transparent Labs is a company that formulates workout supplements. It claims that its products contain ingredients proven to work.

The Preseries Bulk comes in several flavors, including blue raspberry, strawberry lemonade, and orange.

This product is suitable for vegans and contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colored dyes. It also includes 19 active ingredients that may help increase muscle mass.

Other ingredients include:

IngredientAmount per 22.08-gram (g) scoop
caffeine180 milligrams (mg)
beta-alanine4,000 mg
theobromine50 mg
citrulline malate6,000 mg

Due to its high caffeine content, this product does not suit children or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pros and cons

This product is gluten-free and free from artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives. Additionally, people can purchase the pre-workout supplement through a subscription which provides a 15% discount and free shipping.

However, this product is not available in an unflavored option.

Price: A 662-g Preseries Bulk bottle costs around $50.

Best for a more high-intensity workout: MyProtein THE Pre-Workout

MyProtein is a company that specializes in sports nutrition and clothing. The THE Pre-Workout is vegetarian, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free.

Some key ingredients of this product include the following:

IngredientAmount per 15-g scoop
caffeine150 mg
beta-alanine2,000 mg
theacrine50 mg
L-citrulline4,000 mg

It also includes 2,000 mg of creatine, which increases performance during high-intensity exercise.

The product is available in several flavors. Watermelon, pineapple mango, and blue raspberry are vegan, while the black cherry vanilla flavor contains milk. Other flavors are also available.

The company suggests mixing one scoop of this product with 300–400 milliliters (ml) of water 30 minutes before a workout.

Due to its high caffeine content, the product does not suit children or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pros and cons

This product is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. People can also choose from 11 different flavors.

However, this supplement is not available in an unflavored option. Additionally, it does contain artificial flavoring.

Price: A 442-g bottle costs around $45.

Best for slowing protein breakdown in muscle tissue: Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged

Kaged Muscle is a company that makes scientifically backed, affordable products.

It has changed the recipe of its Pre-Kaged supplement to enhance its flavor and increase the degree to which it is mixable.

Ingredients include some of the following:

IngredientAmount per 28.7-g scoop
caffeine (organic)274 mg
betaine2.5 g
L-leucine3 g
L-citrulline6.5 g

Kaged Muscle claims that leucine is an energy source for muscles and slows down the rate of protein breakdown in muscle tissue, increasing the effectiveness of muscle-building workouts.

Pre-Kaged is gluten-free and vegan. It is currently available in seven flavors, including grape, fruit punch, pink lemonade, berry blast, and krisp apple.

Due to the high amounts of caffeine in this product, it does not suit children or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Kaged Muscle has recently launched a new, caffeine-free version of its Pre-Kaged product.

Pros and cons

Kaged Muscle offers free shipping on this product. Additionally, it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

However, it has fewer servings per bottle than some of its competitors.

Price: A 574-g bottle costs around $39.

Best for muscle recovery: Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy RTD

Optimum Nutrition only sells supplements designed to help people maximize their workouts. Its Amino Energy RTD product is a ready-to-drink, or already mixed, pre-workout supplement.

Two key ingredients that Optimum Nutrition lists include 100 mg of caffeine and 5 g of amino acids. The amount of caffeine in this product is equal to that in a strong cup of coffee. The amino acids and caffeine may aid muscle recovery and increase an individual’s energy and focus during their workout.

This product comes in many flavors, including orange blast, fruit punch, and blueberry lemonade.

Optimum Nutrition recommends using this product before a workout, first thing in the morning to get an energy boost, or at any point in the day.

Pros and cons

This drink does not contain sugar, making it suitable for those who prefer to limit their sugar intake. Additionally, the pre-workout supplement is pre-mixed, which may save time.

However, each can is one serving, and people will receive fewer servings for their money than with some other options.

Price: A box of 12 cans costs around $30.

Best stimulant-free: NutraBio Pre Workout Stim-Free

NutraBio specializes in supplements for various purposes, such as sports, losing or gaining body weight, and increasing the immune system’s effectiveness.

The NutraBio Pre Workout Stim-Free does not contain any stimulants. The company claims that the 15 ingredients in this product increase a person’s power, strength, and endurance without any caffeine.

The product comes in two flavors: dragon fruit candy and watermelon.

Some ingredients include:

IngredientAmount per 29.24-g scoop
beta-alanine3.2 g
L-leucine3.5 g
L-citrulline6 g

This is also a vegetarian, gluten-free, and non-genetically modified (GMO) product. NutraBio formulated it to decrease the risk of a person experiencing an allergic reaction.

Pros and cons

This product does not contain caffeine, making it suitable for those with caffeine sensitivity or those who need to limit their caffeine intake. This may include people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

However, this supplement contains fewer servings than some other options. Additionally, it is only available in two flavors.

Price: A 573-g bottle costs around $40.

Best for fatigue prevention: Powher Pre-Workout

Powher states it formulates supplements for females. Its products are low in stimulants to avoid caffeine crashes.

The Powher Pre-Workout uses an ingredient called EnXtra that boosts the small amount of caffeine in the product.

This supplement also contains 10 natural, stimulant-free ingredients, such as coconut water powder and vitamin B, to prevent fatigue during a workout.

Some other ingredients include:

IngredientAmount per 10-g scoop
natural caffeine100 mg
beta-alanine1 g
L-leucine500 mg
L-citrulline malate2 g

Powher recommends taking one scoop 30 minutes before a workout for optimal effects.

Pros and cons

The company offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, which may benefit those unsure if a pre-workout supplement is the right choice for them. Additionally, people can purchase multipacks of this supplement on the website.

However, this product is only available in one flavor.

Price: A 250-g bottle costs around $35. Multipacks are also available.

Best vitamin B12 boost: Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein Smooth Energy

Garden of Life specializes in organic, non-GMO products.

Its organic pre-workout supplement aims to boost energy levels and increase focus during a workout.

It contains 19 mg of naturally occurring caffeine in a 24-g serving and has 220 micrograms of vitamin B12. This vitamin may benefit athletes and those who follow a vegan diet, as they can often have a depletion of B12 levels.

Pros and cons

This product is gluten-free, kosher, and vegan. Additionally, it is free from soy, dairy, and GMO ingredients.

However, Garden of Life only offers pouches that contain 10 servings. This is at least half the servings of other products on this list.

Price: A 236-g pouch costs around $32.

The following table provides a comparison of the products in this article.

ServingsCaffeine content per servingPrice
Transparent Labs30180 mgaround $50
MyProtein30150 mgaround $45
Kaged Muscle20274 mgaround $39
Optimum Nutrition12100 mgaround $30
NutraBio200 mgaround $40
Powher25100 mgfrom around $35
Garden of Life1019 mgaround $32

Benefits of energy drinks can include higher energy spikes and a reduction in fatigue. A 2020 study states that pre-workout and caffeine supplements result in higher energy expenditure, more feelings of alertness and focus, less fatigue, and improved cognition.

However, people drinking or considering consuming energy drinks should be aware of the risks. In particular, many energy drinks have sugar, usually in high amounts, that can contribute to diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity. A 2017 study warns that this is a serious problem, particularly when people consume them regularly.

However, sugar-free energy drinks are not without risks. Some have ingredients that can still spike blood sugar while consuming too much can lead to heart problems, anxiety, and other health risks.

Here are the answers to some common questions about these drinks.

What should I drink for energy before a workout?

Pre-workout drinks that contain caffeine may help improve workouts, especially if a person is doing high impact training.

However, people should ensure they drink enough liquid, such as water, during and after workouts to prevent dehydration.

Can I have too much energy drink?

Yes. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, consuming too many energy drinks can have serious side effects.

Side effects include dangerous changes in blood pressure, dehydration, anxiety, and heart and blood vessel conditions.

Drinks with sugar or ingredients that increase insulin resistance also increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.

What to do if energy drinks make me jittery?

Jitters are a sign of consuming too much caffeine. A 2018 study reports that jitteriness is more common in people who consume energy drinks than those who drink coffee.

People getting jitters should stop drinking energy drinks and contact a healthcare professional if the jitters who do not stop.

Pre-workout drinks increase people’s energy, and evidence suggests that certain ingredients maximize specific workout routines.

There is a wide variety of pre-workout supplements available on the market, so people can choose the one that is most suitable for their lifestyle and needs.

As most pre-workout drinks contain significant amounts of caffeine, it is advisable to contact a healthcare professional before consuming any such products, especially if a person has a heart condition or is pregnant or breastfeeding.