Best Pre-Workouts for Men for Caffeine, Pumps, Weight Loss, and More.

Get your shaker bottle ready for these pre-workouts designed to support men’s needs.

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Pre-workouts are some of the most common supplements on the market with seemingly endless options for boosting your exercise performance. They’re often loaded with various ingredients, like caffeine, creatine, citrulline, and beta-alanine, which may help boost performance through methods like increasing blood flow, extending time to muscular fatigue, heightening focus, and more. Many pre-workouts are marketed specifically to men, which can make it difficult to know which products are legit and which ones are simply hype. 

We want to clear the air for you with this list of well-dosed, effective, and high-quality pre-workouts. Do you want heavy stimulants? We’ve got you. Trying to shed some weight for a competition? There’s a great pre-workout for that here. Not a fan of the taste of pre-workouts and need something that’s easy to sip? You’ll find the nectar on this list. We’ve gathered the best pre-workouts for men on the market for a variety of needs, so everyone can find what they’re looking for.

Best Pre-Workouts for Men

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. 

Best Pre-Workout for Men Overall

To grace our top spot for men, a pre-workout has to be well-dosed, include high quality ingredients, and be effective for a wide swathe of situations. Huge Supplements Wrecked is a great, well-rounded pre-workout that offers potent doses you may not find in a lot of other pre-workouts.

Huge Supplements Wrecked

Huge Supplements left no stone unturned with Wrecked. This potent pre-workout features over 17 clinically-dosed ingredients — like 350mg of total caffeine, 3,500mg of beta-alanine, 8,000mg of citrulline, and 3,000mg of betaine anhydrous. Wrecked includes ingredients for energy with a hearty dose of caffeine, but the formula also contains properly dosed amounts of pump and focus ingredients like l-tyrosine (1,500mg) and alpha GPC (600mg). 

Huge Supplements Wrecked
Huge Supplements Wrecked
Huge Supplements Wrecked

This product packs 17 ingredients at high doses, including 8,000mg of citrulline, 3,500mg of beta alanine, 250mg of caffeine, and 3,000mg of betaine anhydrous. Plus, you’ll find 1,500mg of tyrosine and 197mg of Himalayan pink sea salt, as well.

You can pick this up in four flavors — Raspberry Mojito, Bomb Popsicle, Peach Rings, and Rainbow Burst. We should mention that this pre-workout does contain N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine, a focus ergogenic that’s banned by the NCAA. Aside from that, this pre-workout is a great all-around option for men who aren’t competing in NCAA sports.

Scooping Wrecked Pre-Workout
Huge Supplements Wrecked Pre-Workout

Who Should Buy Huge Supplements Wrecked

  • Men who are looking for a well-rounded and potently dosed pre-workout that covers all their bases. Wrecked high doses of ingredients to potentially help with energy, focus, and pump. 
  • Anyone who likes an extra kick with their pre-workout will enjoy the high 350mg dose of caffeine here.
  • Guys who have trouble focusing or staying motivated will appreciate the 600mg of alpha GPC and 250mg of N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine, which may help improve focus and motivation. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Huge Supplements Wrecked

  • Athletes who are avoiding caffeine will want to look for a caffeine-free formula.
  • Men who compete in NCAA-sanctioned sports will want to look at other options that don’t include N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine.
  • Those who prefer more traditional pre-workout flavors or a wider variety to select from.

Huge Supplements Wrecked is packed with over 17 clinically-dosed ingredients to help you push through tough workouts, focus up, and achieve a great pump. Wrecked has everything most people could want from a pre-workout, making it an easy choice for us.

Read our full review of Huge Supplements Wrecked.

Best Pre-Workout for Caffeine

Oftentimes we need a little extra boost to help us get moving. Sometimes you may need quite a big boost when you’re tired from working a long shift or completing your to-do list. That’s where Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite’s ultra-potent formula comes in, offering the caffeine you need to power through your workout, even if it’s the last thing you want to do.

Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite

Pre-Kaged Elite has exactly what you need to muster the energy to hop off the couch and make your way to the gym with a whopping 388mg of caffeine — equivalent to over four cups of coffee. On top of the potential energy from the caffeine, Pre-Kaged Elite has a massive dose of pump ingredients, like 10,000mg of citrulline, 2,500mg of betaine, and 1,500mg of l-carnitine tartrate. Elite also includes 3,000mg of creatine monohydrate and 2,000mg of creatine nitrate to meet your creatine needs.

Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite
Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite
Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite

Pre-Kaged® Elite provides nine patented ingredients with 35 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 1,000 micrograms of vitamin B12 in a single 36-gram scoop. Each serving is 25 calories and includes caffeine, taurine, l-citrulline, beta-alanine, l-tyrosine, and two types of creatine.

Kaged still keeps athlete safety front and center with third-party testing and certification from Informed Choice showing Pre-Kaged Elite is free of banned ingredients. The only major downsides here are the scoop size of over 35g per serving and the price. This pre-workout is just about $3.00 per serving, which is quite high for a pre-workout — but the ingredients and their potencies are top-notch. 

Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite
Nick English tests Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite

Who Should Buy Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite

  • Men who have trouble finding the energy to work out will appreciate the exceptionally large dose of caffeine here.
  • Those who like the peace of mind that comes from third-party testing and certification will appreciate the diligence Kaged puts into testing their products. 
  • Guys who prefer to take many of their supplements in one will appreciate that this has a full dose of creatine in it, cutting down on the number of different supps you have to take daily.

Who Shouldn’t Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite

  • People who want a stimulant-free formula or don’t tolerate caffeine well. The high dose of caffeine in here isn’t for you. 
  • Pre-Kaged Elite has creatine in it, which may be redundant if you’re already taking a creatine supplement that you like. 
  • Men on a budget can find a cheaper pre-workout on this list. 

Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite is an all-in-one formula that contains properly dosed ingredients to cover all your bases. If you don’t mind spending the extra money or taking a larger scoop, you’ll be rewarded with a seriously strong pre-workout of top-notch ingredients that provides a large, 388mg dose of caffeine.

Read our full review of Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite.

Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Pumps

If you’re the type of person who likes to work up a massive pump in the gym, then having a pre-workout with ingredients to support blood flow may provide an extra edge, potentially resulting in better pumps. 

Huge Supplements Wrecked 

Some people dedicate themselves to chasing the pump, especially bodybuilders who are looking for the most muscle size and growth. Huge Supplements Wrecked packs 17 clinically-dosed ingredients that can help provide energy and skin-splitting pumps. Wrecked contains all the ingredients we’d like to see to potentially boost your blood flow to your muscles, like 8,000mg of citrulline, 3,000mg of betaine, and 4,000mg of Hydromax™ glycerol.

Huge Supplements Wrecked
Huge Supplements Wrecked
Huge Supplements Wrecked

This product packs 17 ingredients at high doses, including 8,000mg of citrulline, 3,500mg of beta alanine, 250mg of caffeine, and 3,000mg of betaine anhydrous. Plus, you’ll find 1,500mg of tyrosine and 197mg of Himalayan pink sea salt, as well.

Not only does Wrecked provide ingredients for achieving a great pump, but it also contains energy and focus-oriented ingredients, as well. Each scoop provides a large dose of 350mg of caffeine, 600mg of alpha GPC, and 250mg of N-Phenethl Dimethylamine — all of which are intended to support motivation, focus, and energy. If you compete in an NCAA-sanctioned sport, you may want to steer clear of this pre-workout though, as N-Phenethl Dimethylamine is considered a banned substance by the NCAA. Otherwise, this pre is a great choice for men who are looking for a giant pump.

BarBend Testing Huge Supplements Wrecked Pre-Workout
Nick English testing Huge Supplements Wrecked Pre-Workout

Who Should Buy Huge Supplements Wrecked 

  • Men who want pumps so massive that they have trouble washing their hair in the shower. The heaping dose of 8,000mg of citrulline and 4,000mg of Hydromax™ glycerol can potentially help get you there.
  • People who want a pre-workout that can potentially deliver a great pump and still offers energy ingredients, like caffeine. Huge Supplements didn’t skimp on the ingredients or doses here. 
  • Guys who like to perform cardio may find that this is a great pre-workout for them thanks to the large serving of citrulline, which is thought to potentially aid in lactic acid buffering. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Huge Supplements Wrecked

  • Anyone who wants a stim-free pre-workout that still includes pump ingredients may want to check out other options. This has 350mg of caffeine per serving.
  • Men who want their pre-workout to also contain creatine will want to look at other products on this list. 
  • Someone who doesn’t like to take a large scoop of pre-workout. The serving size here is just over 30g — about the weight of a scoop of protein.

Wrecked comes packed with ingredients, like citrulline and glycerol, in large doses to help potentially improve your pumps and blood flow. If you’re always looking forward to your next pump, then this might be the right pre-workout for you.

Best Non-Stim Pre-Workout for Men

With so many energy-packed options in our perpetually caffeinated world, you may want a pre-workout that’s free of stimulants but still has the ingredients you want for pump, focus, and more. If this sounds like you, then check out Swolverine PRE.

Swolverine PRE

Swolverine made PRE to be as clean as possible without any stimulants or artificial ingredients in this all-natural and vegan formula. Don’t mistake this pre-workout’s polished formula for lacking, it still packs in highly-dosed servings of staple ingredients. Each serving provides you with 5,000mg of citrulline malate, 3,200mg of beta-alanine, and 2,500mg of betaine to potentially support blow flood and lactic acid buffering

Swolverine PRE Pre-Workout
Swolverine PRE Pre-Workout
Swolverine PRE Pre-Workout

Swolverine PRE Pre-Workout may lack stimulants, but it makes up for that with a great blend of high-dosed ingredients to help improve blood flow, recovery, and endurance. The citrulline malate and betaine anhydrous can give you the edge you need to conquer your next gym session.

There are hydration, focus, and antioxidant ingredients too, such as 1,000mg of coconut water powder, 1,000mg of eleuthero root, and 500mg of pomegranate fruit powder. Swolverine PRE is fairly priced at right around $2.12 per serving — average for a high-quality pre-workout. One negative that may turn some folks off is that it only comes in a Mango Lemonade flavor.

BarBend Testing Swolverine PRE Pre-Workout
Swolverine PRE Pre-Workout at BarBend for testing

Who Should Buy Swolverine PRE

  • Those who work out later in the day or are sensitive to caffeine. This stimulant-free formula won’t have you up all night with the jitters. 
  • Men who are looking for more of a holistic approach to pre-workout supplementation will appreciate the antioxidant and hydration ingredients here. 
  • Anyone who is vegan or wants to avoid artificial ingredients. Swolverine PRE is vegan, free of artificial ingredients, and naturally sweetened with stevia. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Swolverine PRE

  • Men looking for a stimulant-based pre-workout to provide some energy for their workout session. 
  • Customers who don’t like Mango Lemonade. That’s the only flavor this comes in, so you may want to check out other options.
  • People who don’t like the tingly feeling that can arise from beta-alanine. This provides 3,200mg of beta-alanine, which is quite a large dose.

If you’re trying to limit your caffeine intake or you work out later in the day, then this stimulant-free pre-workout might be an ideal choice for you. It still provides many sought-after pre-workout ingredients while nixing caffeine and other stimulants. For those who are avoiding stimulants, Swolverine PRE contains 1,000mg of ginseng for a potential boost in energy without the use of caffeine or other stimulants. 

Best Pre-Workout for Weight Loss

Whether your goal is to drop a few pounds to make weight for a competition or you simply want to achieve some personal goals, a pre-workout might be able to help you get there. Transparent Labs LEAN was designed specifically for supporting weight loss.

Disclaimer: Please note that none of these products describe themselves as weight loss supplements and should not be taken as such. Please consult with a medical professional before beginning any weight loss protocol.

Transparent Labs LEAN

Transparent Labs developed LEAN with the purpose of being a pre-workout to support weight loss and they did an exceptional job. The formula includes staple pre-workout ingredients, like citrulline malate (6,000mg), beta-alanine (2,000mg), betaine (1,500mg), and caffeine (220mg). On top of that, you’ll find ingredients typical to fat burners, like 630mg of l-carnitine and 50mg of theobromine, which may help improve fat oxidation.

10% Off
Transparent Labs LEAN
Transparent Labs LEAN
Transparent Labs LEAN

Third-party tested and clearly dosed, Transparent Labs LEAN has a huge variety of ingredients for endurance, power, alertness, and focus. Use code BARBEND10 for 10% off.

For help absorbing all 21 ingredients in this potent pre-workout, LEAN includes a small, yet effective dose of five milligrams of black pepper extract too. You won’t tire of the flavors either because there are nine different ones to choose from. Each 30-serving container costs around $49.99, or $1.67 per serving, making this cost-effective as far as pre-workouts are concerned. Additionally, Transparent Labs LEAN is free from artificial sweeteners, dyes, and preservatives.

barbend testing LEAN
Nick English shows a tub of Transparent Labs LEAN

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs LEAN

  • Men who are looking for a pre-workout to support their weight loss goals. This product has l-carnitine and theobromine in its formula to potentially help with that purpose.
  • Anyone who wants to have a wide variety of flavors to choose from will appreciate that there are nine different options here.
  • Those who prefer to avoid any artificial ingredients. You won’t find them in this formula.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs LEAN

  • Guys who want a pre-workout with creatine in it will have to look elsewhere on this list. 
  • Anyone not trying to lose weight, especially anyone trying to bulk, may find other pre-workouts more aligned with their goals.
  • People who are sensitive to caffeine or work out later in the day may want to try a non-stimulant pre-workout.

Losing weight can be difficult even in the most ideal of circumstances. Having a pre-workout that’s designed for your goals may help make the process a bit less treacherous along the way. Transparent Labs LEAN was designed specifically for weight loss, and it shows in the formula.

Read our full review of Transparent Labs LEAN.

Best Tasting Pre-Workout for Men

A pre-workout won’t be helpful if you don’t drink it because you can’t stand the taste. Finding a pre that you look forward to drinking might be the difference between a good workout and a great one. Kaged Pre-Kaged is our go-to for a tasty and effective pre-workout. 

Kaged Pre-Kaged

Finding a pre-workout you enjoy taking can make a world of difference in how much you look forward to your workouts. Finding one that you enjoy and that tastes good is even better. Kaged Pre-Kaged is just that with seven delicious flavor choices of Berry Blast, Cherry Bomb, Fruit Punch, Grape, Krisp Apple, Orange Krush, and Pink Lemonade. You won’t be tired of the flavors anytime soon, and the best part is that Pre-Kaged only contains one gram of sugar and no artificial flavors or colors.

Kaged Pre-Kaged Pre-Workout
Kaged Pre-Kaged Pre-Workout
Kaged Pre-Kaged Pre-Workout

This pre-workout supplement comes in a 20-serving tub and provides L-Citrulline, L-Leucine, and L-Valine, to name a few, per 20-calorie scoop. There are seven flavors available including Grape, Fruit Punch, and Krisp Apple.

Down to the nuts and bolts of it, this pre-workout’s formula is no slouch either, as it contains a host of clinically-dosed premium ingredients. Each serving nets you 6,500mg of citrulline, 3,500mg of BCAAs, 2,500mg of betaine, 1,600mg of beta-alanine, and 1,500mg of creatine HCl. You’ll also receive 274mg of caffeine. On top of that, Kaged includes a superfood blend and coconut water powder for added vitamins and antioxidants. 

One Serving of Kaged Pre-Kaged
Nick English tests Kaged Pre-Kaged

Who Should Buy Kaged Pre-Kaged

  • Anyone who finds that they dislike the fake flavor of some pre-workouts may want to give this one a try. It’s arguably the best-tasting around. 
  • Men who want a robust and complete list of ingredients in their pre-workout. This pre includes creatine and antioxidants on top of the more typical pre-workout ingredients. 
  • People who like to switch their flavors up often. You won’t run out of options quickly here as there are seven to choose from.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Pre-Kaged

  • People who don’t want creatine in their pre-workout or already take creatine separately.
  • Those looking for the most cost-effective pre-workout. Though this isn’t the most expensive one on the market, there are cheaper ones on this list.
  • Men who are sensitive to caffeine or work out later in the evening may want to opt for a stimulant-free product. This one has 274mg of caffeine per serving.

Kaged Pre-Kaged is a solid pre-workout that won’t have you bouncing off the walls and then crashing thanks to its steady dose of caffeine. The inclusion of a superfood blend and coconut water powder sets this pre apart from many other products. Plus, it tastes objectively delicious and has a solid seven flavors to choose from.

Read our full review of Kaged Pre-Kaged.

Strongest Pre-Workout for Men

Some people like to do things to the extreme, whether that be extreme sports, extreme workouts, or extreme supplements. For men looking for the strongest pre-workout, look no further than Huge Supplements Wrecked.

Huge Supplements Wrecked

Wrecked may not have the absolute highest doses of every ingredient, but the formula as a whole is about as potent as pre-workouts come. This supplement features over 17 clinically-dosed ingredients to help support pump, focus, recovery, energy, and more. A total caffeine content of 350mg per scoop puts this in the upper echelon of stimulant-heavy pre’s. If you like the tingles, then you’ll be happy to know that this has 3,500mg of beta-alanine.

Huge Supplements Wrecked
Huge Supplements Wrecked
Huge Supplements Wrecked

This product packs 17 ingredients at high doses, including 8,000mg of citrulline, 3,500mg of beta alanine, 250mg of caffeine, and 3,000mg of betaine anhydrous. Plus, you’ll find 1,500mg of tyrosine and 197mg of Himalayan pink sea salt, as well.

For people looking more for a gnarly pump, Wrecked contains 3,000mg of betaine, 4,000mg of Hydromax™ glycerol, and a massive 8,000mg of citrulline. To potentially help keep all the energy provided here more focused, Huge put in a solid 600mg dose of alpha GPC. Wrecked is priced reasonably for the potency of the formula at around $49.95 per 20-serving container — or about $2.50 per serving. We should note, however, that this product contains an ingredient that is considered banned by the NCAA: N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine, which may help improve focus and motivation.

Wrecked Pre-Workout's Nutrition Label
Huge Supplements Wrecked Pre-Workout’s Nutrition Label

Who Should Buy Huge Supplements Wrecked

  • Men who want an exceptionally potent pre-workout in all areas rather than simply having a ton of stimulants and nothing else. This is a well-rounded and robust 17-ingredient supplement.
  • Athletes who want a pre-workout that packs a punch, but takes it relatively easy on the wallet. This is more expensive than many pre’s, but it’s a bargain for the dosing of the ingredients included. 
  • People who like uniquely flavored pre-workouts will enjoy trying the four flavors of Raspberry Mojito, Bomb Popsicle, Rainbow Burst, and Peach Rings. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Huge Supplements Wrecked

  • Those who prefer a pre-workout that’s free of stimulants or light on the stims will want to look elsewhere. 
  • Men who want creatine included in their pre will want to look at other options on this list. 
  • Anyone who competes in NCAA-sanctioned sporting events will want to choose another pre-workout to use. 

Huge Supplements Wrecked is priced well considering its ingredients list and potent doses. It has just about everything you could want in a strong pre-workout, and though it may not be suitable for NCAA athletes, it’s a great choice for just about anyone else looking for a powerful formula.

Best All-Natural Pre-Workout for Men

Transparent Labs derives their name from the fact that all of their supplements feature a transparent formula. This extends further as they also refrain from using any artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives. 

Transparent Labs BULK

One of the consistent themes throughout Transparent Labs’ entire lineup of supplements (aside from high quality ingredients in proper doses) is that they never use artificial ingredients. It can be difficult to find a solid pre-workout that doesn’t have loads of artificial sweeteners and dyes in it — BULK makes it easy and is sweetened with stevia. This is a good all-around pre-workout with moderately high doses of most ingredients.

Save 10%
Transparent Labs BULK
Transparent Labs BULK
Transparent Labs BULK

Transparent Labs BULK provides lots of beta-alanine for improved endurance, as well as a slew of ingredients to aid in focus — two key traits for lifters and endurance athletes alike. Plus, it has citrulline, which can help with nitric oxide production.

Each serving provides 6,000mg of citrulline malate, 2,500mg of betaine, 1,300mg of taurine, 300mg of alpha GPC, and 230mg of caffeine, among other pump and focus ingredients. The one part of the formula that’s dosed quite high is beta-alanine at 4,000mg — get ready for the tingles, folks. The price on this pre is decent, especially for an all-natural product, at about $1.67 per serving. It also comes in 12 different flavors, so you have lots of options.

BarBend Testing Transparent Labs BULK Pre-Workout
Transparent Labs BULK at BarBend for testing

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs BULK

  • People who put a premium on all-natural formulas. You won’t find any artificial ingredients here. 
  • Anyone who enjoys the tingles that beta-alanine in high doses can cause. A gigantic dose of 4,000mg here is right up your alley.
  • Men who want a well-rounded pre-workout that is good for supporting pumps, energy, and focus, rather than honing in on one aspect of your workout. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs BULK

  • If you don’t like the tingles you can get from beta-alanine, know that this product contains 4,000mg of it. 
  • People who don’t like stevia as a sweetener for any reason will want to look elsewhere on this list. 
  • Anyone who is sensitive to caffeine may find the 230mg in here too much. 

In a world where everything seems to be artificial from flavoring to intelligence, finding an all-natural pre-workout with an effective formulation can be challenging. Transparent Labs BULK is the solution for those who value natural ingredients.

Read our full review of Transparent Labs BULK.

Benefits of Pre-Workouts for Men

Men may want to include a pre-workout in their supplement regimen for a variety of reasons — from boosting energy to potentially aiding in recovery. A pre-workout might also allow you to push harder and achieve better pumps or pack on more muscle. We break down these benefits in detail below.

More Energy

One of the most common reasons for taking a pre-workout is the energy provided by their ingredients, namely caffeine. Many pre-workouts take other routes to provide energy, such as ginseng, which can provide energy similar to caffeine.

Person smiling leaning on a squat rack with shaker bottle in hand and headphones around neck
Image via Shutterstock / Miljan Zivkovic

Another common strategy for increasing energy is to provide the fuel for exercise in the form of BCAAs, which may increase your time to exhaustion and help you perform better for longer. (1) You may also find creatine in your pre-workout, which similarly, can help by improving the length of time you can sustain powerful, explosive muscle contractions. (2)

Better Recovery

It may seem counterintuitive, but some pre-workouts may benefit you in the post-workout recovery window too. Ingredients like the aforementioned BCAAs and other amino acids are the building blocks of muscles, and having them readily available may help to improve your recovery time between workouts. (3) There have also been some studies that suggest creatine may be helpful in recovery, but the jury is still out on that claim. (2)

More Muscle

If you’re working out and doing resistance training, it’s safe to say that your goal is likely to increase your muscle mass in one way or another. Creatine is one of the most well-studied ingredients for potentially increasing muscle mass and strength. (2

Person drinking from shaker bottle in the gym with weight machines behind them in a gray tight hoodie
Image via Shutterstock / IZE-5tyle

BCAAs, as we mentioned before, are also an ingredient that may help to increase muscle mass. By ingesting BCAAs, your muscles may have the amino acids they need readily available for muscle protein synthesis. (3) Since not all pre-workouts contain creatine or BCAAs, it may be a good idea to look for those that do in order to support your goals properly if your goal is to pack on muscle.

Better Pumps

Potentially having better pumps is one of the most common reasons for taking a pre-workout right behind increased energy. This can be seen in the fact that there are entire lines of supplements dedicated to improving nitric oxide production and vasodilation. 

Ingredients, such as beta-alanine, betaine (beetroot powder), and citrulline, are all very common ingredients that you’ll find in almost every pre-workout. They all have the same aim — to help promote blood flow and potentially provide better pumps. (4)

How We Chose the Best Pre-Workouts for Men

Since men’s goals can be so varied, from bulking up to weight loss or general fitness, we had to consider a variety of factors when choosing the products on our list. It’s difficult to say which pre-workout is the best because what works for one person may not be ideal for another, making the products quite individualized. That said, there are some common traits that the best pre-workouts share — reasonable price, proper dosage, and high-quality ingredients.

Price

The majority of pre-workouts on the market fall somewhere between $1.25 and $2.50 per serving. The more all-in-one pre-workouts which contain creatine, BCAAs, and other ingredients that you might take on their own fall higher in the range — often $2.50 per serving and above in some cases. The pre-workouts on this list tend to skew higher towards the $1.50 to $2.00 range because we selected only the most robust pre-workouts with high-quality, name-brand ingredients in proper dosages. We think having a pre-workout that you are confident in is worth the extra cash.

Dosage

The ingredients in a pre-workout are only going to be effective if they’re dosed sufficiently, which is why we put a premium on doses that are backed by the research. (5) We made sure to only include products that had all of their ingredients in the formula dosed high enough that they could provide the effect that they’re intended for. If a pre-workout included ingredients that weren’t in proper doses or the doses weren’t disclosed, we didn’t include it on the list.

Ingredients

The list of ingredients you can find in a pre-workout is extremely long and only expanding with the invention and discovery of new ingredients. We still hold the classics in high regard though since they’ve been studied and used for a long time. Many common ingredients, like beta-alanine, have a name-brand formulation (CarnoSyn®) that has been studied and patented, providing extra confidence to those taking the supplement. 

A scoop of white powder in a scooper with extra powder strewn about around it
Image via Shutterstock / Pepijn van Bakel

Formulas that include the patented version are more expensive generally since they need to pay for the special version of the ingredient, but we value those over the off-brand version and often award them higher placement. Regardless of what you’re searching for — whether it be the tried and true classic ingredients like citrulline, caffeine, and beta-alanine or something new and innovative — we’ve included a great option for you on this list.

How Much Do Pre-Workouts for Men Cost?

The price of pre-workouts for men can vary quite a bit based on the number of servings, ingredients, type of pre-workout, and other factors. The prices on this list range from around $1.67 to $2.99 per serving since we only selected high-quality and rather potent pre-workouts.

Best Pre-Workout for Men Overall Huge Supplements Wrecked $49.95

Per Serving: $2.50

Best Pre-Workout for Caffeine Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite $59.99

Per Serving: $2.99

Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Pumps Huge Supplements Wrecked $49.95

Per Serving: $2.50

Best Non-Stim Pre-Workout for Men Swolverine PRE $52.99

Per Serving: $2.12 

Best Pre-Workout for Weight Loss Transparent Labs LEAN $49.99

Per Serving: $1.67

Best Tasting Pre-Workout for Men Kaged Pre-Kaged $44.99

Per Serving: $2.25

Strongest Pre-Workout for Men Huge Supplements Wrecked $49.95

Per Serving: $2.50

Best All-Natural Pre-Workout for Men Transparent Labs BULK $49.99

Per Serving: $1.67

All-in-one or combination formulas — like those with BCAAs, creatine, citrulline, or other options — can drive the price up quickly. All-natural ingredient formulations can also clock in at a higher price tag than pre-workouts that contain artificial ingredients. It’s important to consider all the factors that go into pricing a product before making a decision or dismissing an option simply based on the price, given you have the coin to afford it.

What to Consider Before Buying Pre-Workouts for Men

There are some important factors to consider when selecting a pre-workout, some of which are fairly straightforward (like caffeine) while others may not be as obvious a consideration. Here we break down the major points to think about before buying pre-workouts for men.

Caffeine

Caffeine can be a great way to increase your energy and provide a much-needed boost when you’re in the gym. There can be too much of a good thing, though and caffeine in high doses, especially more than 500mg, can cause some pretty uncomfortable side effects, like anxiety, diarrhea, and rapid heart rate. (6

Caffeine chemical symbol on white paper partially tucked under a pile of coffee beans
Image via Shutterstock / Danijela Maksimovic

If you’re the type of person who exercises first thing in the morning, caffeine in your pre-workout might be a boon. Conversely, those who exercise later in the day may find sleep fleeting with a caffeinated pre-workout.

Beta-Alanine and the Tingles

Beta-alanine and the tingles may sound like a 1980s funk/jazz group, but it really refers to a condition called paresthesia, also known as the tingles that can be caused by beta-alanine in higher doses. (7) While beta-alanine can be potentially helpful at improving muscular endurance and possibly power, many people find the tingling sensation that can arise from high doses of beta-alanine to be uncomfortable and will want to search for a pre-workout without the ingredient present. (7)

Dosage

Dosing is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a pre-workout, right after the ingredients. If a formula has all the right ingredients, but underdoses them all, then it may as well not have any of them in it at all. All of the products on this list have average or above average dosing, taking the guesswork out of the equation for you. Ensure you check the label of any pre-workout you consider to make sure the dosages are sufficient for your wants and needs.

Creatine

Creatine, though not a staple pre-workout ingredient per se, makes its way into many pre-workout formulas. If a pre-workout contains creatine, then you likely don’t need to take it separately, except on the days that you aren’t working out — saving you money in the long run and reducing the number of supplements you have to remember to take every day. 

Scoop of creatine in a scooper with powder around it in front of a shaker bottle and kettlebell
Image via Shutterstock / RHJPhtotos

Creatine has been studied extensively and possibly more than any other supplement on the market. There are countless studies that show it can be potentially helpful in improving strength and muscle mass by allowing the phosphocreatine system of energy production to run for a longer period of time before switching to other energy sources for your muscles. (8)

Consult a Physician

We always recommend consulting your physician first before beginning any new supplement or workout routine. They’re trained health professionals who may be able to provide you with insight and perform tests to ensure that you’re not putting yourself at risk, specifically when it comes to highly caffeinated pre-workout formulas.

Final Word

While it’s true that the majority of supplements, especially pre-workouts, are marketed toward men, not all of them are optimized for men’s needs. In this list, we scoured the market and brought you what we found to be the best pre-workouts for men for a variety of needs. 

Above all else, you’ll want to make sure that the ingredients are transparently listed with each one’s amount clearly labeled. Try to look at the label objectively, and see the product for its ingredients and doses rather than falling for the hype on the front of a label. It’s a good idea to consider your personal goals, preferred ingredient inclusions/dosages, and budget before making a final decision. This list is a great place to find help conquering all of that.

FAQs

What is the best pre-workout for men?

There are so many pre-workouts on the market and many of them are advertised toward men. That said, we’re huge fans of Huge Supplements Wrecked right now. It has a great well-rounded and potent formula that provides highly-dosed ingredients for energy, focus, and pump.

How much do pre-workouts for men cost?

The pre-workouts for men on this list cost between around $1.50 and $3.00 per serving while the containers range from around $45 to $60 total. The price of a tub of pre-workout may be deceiving. One container may cost $50 and the other $60 with similar ingredients, but different amounts of product.

That’s why we always recommend looking at the price per serving to gain a better understanding of how much you’re actually paying each time you use the supplement. If the $50 container only has 20 servings and the $60 one has 40, then the obvious deal is the more expensive, but lower cost per serving container.

What makes a good pre-workout for men?

The best pre-workouts have a clear and easy-to-read label with transparent dosing and ingredients. We avoid any products that have proprietary blends of the main ingredients because there’s no way to know exactly how much of each ingredient you’re ingesting. Another factor that makes a good pre-workout for men is the dosing. Each ingredient that a pre-workout includes should be at or above the amounts used in research in order to elicit the same or similar effects.

References

  1. AbuMoh’d, M. F., Matalqah, L., & Al-Abdulla, Z. (2020). Effects of Oral Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Intake on Muscular and Central Fatigue During an Incremental Exercise. Journal of human kinetics, 72, 69–78. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2019-0099
  2. Wax, B., Kerksick, C. M., Jagim, A. R., Mayo, J. J., Lyons, B. C., & Kreider, R. B. (2021). Creatine for Exercise and Sports Performance, with Recovery Considerations for Healthy Populations. Nutrients, 13(6), 1915. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061915
  3. Rahimi, M. H., Shab-Bidar, S., Mollahosseini, M., & Djafarian, K. (2017). Branched-chain amino acid supplementation and exercise-induced muscle damage in exercise recovery: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 42, 30–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.05.005
  4. Ramanlal R, Gupta V. Physiology, Vasodilation. [Updated 2022 Jan 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557562/
  5. https://examine.com/supplements/, N.A., Retrieved on 18 January 2023
  6. https://examine.com/supplements/caffeine/, N.A., Retrieved on 18 January 2023
  7. https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/, N.A., Retrieved on 18 January 2023
  8. https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/, N.A., Retrieved on 18 January 2023