The Best Niacin Supplements For Pre-Workout, Slow Release, And More

Find out which niacin supplement could help enhance your performance and boost your energy.

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Niacin, commonly referred to as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble nutrient that aids in our cells’ energy system. Basically, niacin helps turn carbs, fats, and proteins into energy that your body can use. It’s naturally present in many foods, including poultry, beef, fish, nuts and even marinara sauce, and most folks with well-balanced diets will meet the recommended dietary allowance as established by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine (1). As the richest sources of niacin are meat and fish, folks following vegetarian or vegan diets may be on the lower end of niacin intake (and vitamin B in general), and may investigate upping their B3 levels with supplements.

As a supplement, niacin may be effective for improving cholesterol, as some research points that it could play a role in lowering “bad” cholesterol while raising “good” cholesterol (2). Additionally, there is some evidence that says niacin may also be good for skin health, though more studies are needed (3). Some research suggests that niacin may help boost energy levels and work as a vaso-dilator, opening up blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which is why you may find niacin in some pre-workouts (4).

Before adding niacin to your daily supplement regimen, you should consult with a doctor — high doses of niacin may come with some side effects including nausea and a (generally harmless) red, tingling sensation known as niacin flush (5). If niacin is right for you, there are a lot of supplements available on the market. With so many options, it’s important to know the differences between the available products, and learn about some of the best. 

Best Niacin Supplements

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems or injuries. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.
 

Best Niacin Supplement Overall

Many take a vitamin B complex to help support overall cell function, potentially increasing energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. This pick is a holistic vitamin B complex for those looking for a niacin supplement combined with other B vitamins. 

Transparent Labs B Complex

Whether you’re pumping out double-days in the gym, or you simply aren’t getting enough vitamin B in your diet, this supplement from Transparent Labs may help keep your energy levels up. With no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives, each capsule in this 120-capsule bottle packs in 35 mg of niacin, which is 219 percent of your suggested daily intake. Along with the potential to boost your cells’ energy levels, the eight B vitamins in this B complex may also potentially help with hair, skin, and nail health, as well as immunity and brain function

Transparent Labs Vitamin B Complex
Transparent Labs Vitamin B Complex
Transparent Labs Vitamin B Complex

This Vitamin B Complex contains eight different water soluble nutrients as well as vitamin C, inositol, and choline. Transparent Labs touts supplementing their Vitamin B complex in order to increase energy and carbohydrate metabolism, better hair, skin, and nail health, and improve immunity, longevity, and brain function.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs B Complex

  • Anyone who wants a supplement that includes all of the B vitamins. 
  • Those who are hitting the gym hard and looking to keep their natural energy levels high.
  • Customers who are trying to improve their immunity and brain function. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs B Complex

  • Folks who prefer to take their niacin in powder or liquid form instead of capsules. 
  • Anyone who wants a niacin supplement that is purely niacin without any other added vitamins.

While niacin is an integral ingredient in this product, Transparent Labs B complex includes all eight essential B vitamins to help promote high energy levels, which can be key in and out of the gym. 

Best Niacin Supplement for Pre-Workout 

Niacin is often a key component in pre-workout due to its potential to increase blood flow to help you rip through heavier sets or longer cardio outputs. This pick has a solid dose of niacin, which isn’t present in every pre-workout on the market. 

Kaged Muscle Pre-KAGED

While you can take niacin separately from your pre-workout, this pre-workout combines niacin with other potentially helpful supplements like L-citrulline and beta-alanine. Niacin’s role in pre-workout is to potentially extend energy levels and help increase blood flow while you exercise. This particular pre-workout contains 30 mg of niacin, which is 150 percent of your daily value. Though when niacin is combined with beta-alanine like it is in this pre-workout, you may feel an extra tingle after you take your pre-workout, which some may not enjoy.

Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged
Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged
Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged

A tasty pre-workout jam-packed with niacin and many other ingredients linked to power, blood flow, endurance, muscle pump, and focus, as well as antioxidants. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Muscle Pre-KAGED

  • Athletes who want a pre-workout that contains niacin. 
  • Anyone who wants to potentially extend high energy levels and increase blood flow during workouts. 
  • Folks who prefer to take their niacin in powder form. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Muscle Pre-KAGED

  • Customers who prefer a capsule or liquid for niacin supplementation. 
  • Those who don’t like to experience a tingling sensation after they take their pre-workout. 
  • Anyone looking for the least expensive option on the market — since this niacin is combined with other beneficial ingredients in a pre-workout, it’s more expensive overall. 

For athletes who are looking to make the most of niacin’s potential to increase both energy levels and blood flow during workouts, this pre-workout provides a solid dose of niacin along with other workout-enhancing supplements to help fuel even your longest sessions. 

Best Niacin Powder

If you’re on the hunt for niacin in its purest form, niacin powder should be a consideration. It’s worth noting this pick onlcontains niacin — nothing else.

BulkSupplements Niacin 

Niacin powder is ideal for those who are looking to hit a specific number in their niacin intake or want to build their own pre-workout by portioning niacin out on their own — both of which you should consult your doctor before doing. BulkSupplements Niacin is an easy purchase as it comes in 100-gram up to 5-kilogram packages, and it’s clean of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and other dilating additives. This product is great to buy in bulk, and though the powder is flavorless, it does incorporate well into water, which makes it easy to take on-the-go. 

BulkSupplements Niacin
BulkSupplements Niacin
BulkSupplements Niacin

BulkSupplements Niacin is an easy and clean purchase as it comes in 100-gram up to 5-kilogram packages, and it’s free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and other dilating additives.

Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Niacin

  • Athletes who want to create their own pre-workout with a pure dose of niacin.
  • Folks who need a specific dosage of niacin each day and are trying to hit a specific number. 
  • Those who prefer to take a niacin powder in its purest form. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy BulkSupplements Niacin

  • Those who don’t want a powder supplement that may have a tangy aftertaste. 
  • Anyone who’s looking for a product that contains other supplements in addition to niacin.

While this product isn’t the best-tasting, nor does it contain any other supplements in addition to niacin, this standalone powder can still be quite useful in building your own pre-workout or hitting specific niacin dosage numbers daily. 

Best Niacin for Slow Release

If you’re looking for an extended release niacin supplement, you’ll want something that is encapsulated — the body takes longer to break through the capsule and therefore longer to digest the niacin. This pick comes in a 200-tablet bottle. 

ENDUR-ACIN Niacin

ENDUR-ACIN is made of a proprietary vegetable-based wax matrix that melts at body temperature and releases nutrients in the same way your body processes food. This supplement will break down over a six- to eight- hour period, allowing your body to fully process the nutrients, which decreases both niacin flush and the amount of niacin that gets eliminated through urine. It’s worth noting that these tablets are fairly large, so some users may prefer to buy smaller tablets that offer a smaller dosage, or opt for powder or liquid supplements entirely if swallowing is of concern. 

ENDUR-ACIN Niacin
ENDUR-ACIN Niacin
ENDUR-ACIN Niacin

ENDUR-ACIN Extended Release niacin tablets are designed to provide a steady delivery of niacin over six hours to cut down on the flushed feeling or stomach pain some folks suffer when using niacin. Their product includes a vegetable wax matrix intended to ensure a slow and steady release of niacin.

Who Should Buy ENDUR-ACIN Niacin

  • Folks who are looking to avoid niacin flush and want to fully absorb all the nutrients in their supplement.
  • Anyone who wants their niacin to last longer and process over a six to eight hour period.
  • Customers who prefer to take their niacin in tablet form. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy ENDUR-ACIN Niacin

  • Those looking for a cost-effective niacin supplement — ENDUR-ACIN checks in as one of the more expensive brands.
  • Anyone who has difficulty swallowing large tablets.

Though slightly more expensive than most niacin, this product’s perk is its slow release, which allows your body to absorb all of the nutrients in the tablet, eliminating flush and extending the potential energy-boosting and performance-enhancing effects of the supplement. 

Best Bulk Niacin Supplement

Sometimes it makes financial sense to buy more than just one pack of pre-workout or one bottle of niacin capsules. For anyone who may want to buy a few years’ worth of niacin in one go, this pick comes in up to 5-kg bags. 

BulkSupplements Niacin

This powder niacin comes in bags that range from 100 grams up to 5 kilograms, which means you could stock your shelves with up to 1,000 doses of niacin in one shopping trip. The powder is flavorless and free of additives — plus, it mixes seamlessly with water. While there are no other supplements outside of niacin in this option, it’s still very effective on its own. This is an ideal pick for those who want to take their niacin in its purest form in one straight shot, no frills involved.

BulkSupplements Niacin
BulkSupplements Niacin
BulkSupplements Niacin

BulkSupplements Niacin is an easy and clean purchase as it comes in 100-gram up to 5-kilogram packages, and it’s free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and other dilating additives.

Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Niacin

  • Those who want a product that offers one of the purest forms of niacin on the market.
  • Anyone looking for a cost-effective way to stock up on their niacin. 
  • Customers who may need to measure out specific sizes of niacin if there’s a need to change their dosing. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy BulkSupplements Niacin

  • Athletes who prefer a great tasting way to consume their niacin.
  • Folks who prefer taking niacin via liquid or capsule. 
  • Anyone who wants their niacin already combined with other vitamins and minerals in one supplement.

Though this pure niacin powder may not be the best tasting option on the market, BulkSupplements Niacin offers an affordable way to stock up on your niacin supplement for years to come. 

What Can Niacin Do For Me?

Niacin has the potential to boost your nervous and digestive system health, as well as your athletic performance. It’s a vitamin (vitamin B3, specifically) that’s made and used by our bodies to help turn food into energy. As far as overall health is concerned, niacin has been tied to lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL), though it’s not going to be a cure-all for cholesterol levels (if you have concerns about yours, you should speak to your healthcare provider). It may also help promote skin health and brain function. 

When it comes to athletic performance, niacin may increase energy levels by helping your body turn carbs, fats, and proteins into a viable energy source you can use. Niacin also acts as a vaso-dilator, opening your blood vessels so blood can flow more easily, which can potentially lead to better performance in the gym. This, however, may also cause niacin flush, which is a tingling feeling in your extremities that some people do not enjoy. 

When Should I Take Niacin?

Niacin can be taken at any time of the day. However, it is best consumed with food to help reduce niacin flush. 

More specifically, if you’re taking a slow release niacin, it’s best to take it before bed, so the niacin has time to absorb while you are asleep. And if you are taking niacin in your pre-workout, it’s best to take it 30 to 60 minutes before you hit the gym, so the niacin’s potential energy-boosting effects are fresh for your lifting session

What to Consider Before Buying Niacin

Niacin has been tied to improving cholesterol health and helping your body process energy effectively. However, before introducing any supplement into your diet, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional about what may be the best option for your needs. With niacin in particular, there are a few aspects you’ll want to consider before investing in any one product. 

Niacin Flush

Niacin flush refers to the flushed sensation a lot of people experience when taking niacin. This red feeling can cause your extremities to tingle anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the dosage and the individual. Some people enjoy the feeling, perhaps finding comfort in knowing that it’s working. Others, however, look to avoid this flushed feeling, and take lower doses or find extended release versions of niacin that slow the rate at which niacin is absorbed by the body. 

Transparency

When shopping for any vitamin or supplement, you’ll want to read the labels for ingredient transparency. If the product comes with additional preservatives, coloring, or other additives, the company should tell you that. While some customers may not mind having artificial ingredients in their niacin supplements, it may turn others off. Being able to read a label, see the ingredients, and decide for yourself is key. 

Powder or Capsule

For some folks, powdered niacin may be more affordable or versatile, as it’s easier to adjust the serving amount. For others, however, taking a capsule may be more convenient. Powder tends to give more of a niacin flush while some capsules provide a slow release to avoid niacin flush.

There really is no “better” or “worse” when it comes to forms of niacin — it’s all about personal preference. So consider your wellness and/or fitness routine, think about when you intend to take niacin, and plan accordingly.

How We Chose the Best Niacins

Though niacin may seem fairly straightforward as far as supplements go, it can actually come in many different forms and at various price points. Here’s how we were able to put together this all-inclusive list of some of the best options out there today.

Form

Niacin typically comes in either a capsule or powder form, and there are pros and cons to each. Capsules have a slower release as the body has to break through the capsule to get to the niacin, which means there’s enough time for the nutrients to fully absorb without causing flush. However, capsules can be tricky to swallow for some who don’t like dealing with large tablets. 

Powder on the other hand is easy to digest since you can simply mix it in water and drink, but it’s also much quicker to take effect on the body, which means you may experience niacin flush. We realize that these pros and cons can mean different things to different people, so we were sure to include some of the highest qualities of each on this list to suit varying needs. 

Price

While niacin as a whole is fairly inexpensive, there are some products that are more expensive than others. For example, slow release niacin is easier on your body, and that typically comes with a higher price tag. The same goes for pre-workouts containing niacin as they hold many other supplements with performance benefits, as well. We’ve included options from both the high and low end of the price range on this list, none of which skimp on the quality of the niacin. 

Ingredients

Niacin can come in both its pure form and combined with other B vitamins or pre-workout ingredients that affect energy and performance. A B complex is going to have niacin mixed in with a good number of other B vitamins to target your overall health instead of just energy and blood flow. Pre-workouts will have added ingredients like BCAAs and L-citrulline that may help boost performance in a workout, especially when combined with niacin.

While these mixes may be ideal for some, others may want niacin in its purest form to meet an exact dosage requirement. We’ve included high-quality picks with other ingredients included and picks with just pure niacin to meet most customers’ needs. 

Final Word

Before starting on a niacin regimen — or any supplement regimen for that matter — it is important to check in with a medical professional to make sure it’s a good option for you. Once you’ve decided on niacin, you’ll want to consider the form you wish to take it in and how it will fit into your supplement regimen. If you know you’ll be taking a steady amount of niacin, it may be worth investing in the more expensive slow release pills to avoid the niacin flush. Or, if you know your main reason for taking niacin is to potentially boost your performance in the gym, a pre-workout with niacin may be for you.

Niacin can have many benefits for those who take it properly and consistently. However, you never want to take more than you should, thinking a higher dose will provide more of an energy boost or increased blood flow. Be sure to follow a medical professional’s dosage recommendations no matter how you choose to incorporate niacin into your daily routine. 

FAQs

Is niacin good for you?

It depends on the person. You should always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplementation. But generally speaking, niacin has the potential to increase energy and blood flow. In some studies, it’s been tied to lowering bad cholesterol and improving circulation, but it should not be seen as a replacement for medicine or cure for any medical condition.

Does niacin have side effects?

Niacin can cause niacin flush — a tingling feeling in your extremities — as it acts as a vaso-dilator. The tingling happens as the niacin works to open your blood vessels to help promote better blood flow.

When should I take niacin?

Niacin can be taken at any time of the day. However, it is best consumed with food to help reduce niacin flush. If you’re taking a slow release niacin, it’s best to take it before bed so the niacin has time to absorb while you are asleep. And if you are taking niacin in your pre-workout, it’s best to take it 30 to 60 minutes before you hit the gym.

References

  1. Office of Dietary Supplements – Niacin. Nih.gov. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Niacin-HealthProfessional/#h2. Published 2017.
  2. McKenney J. New Perspectives on the Use of Niacin in the Treatment of Lipid Disorders. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2004;164(7):697.
  3. Damian DL. Photoprotective effects of nicotinamide. Photochemical & photobiological sciences : Official journal of the European Photochemistry Association and the European Society for Photobiology. 2010;9(4):578-585.
  4. Ruparelia, N., Digby, J. E., & Choudhury, R. P. (2011, January). Effects of niacin on atherosclerosis and vascular function. Current opinion in cardiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145140/. 
  5. Kamanna VS, Kashyap ML. Mechanism of action of niacin. The American journal of cardiology. 2008;101(8A):20B-26B.