PUMPSURGE Review — A No-Caffeine Pre-Workout?

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PUMPSURGE is one of the many pre-workouts on offer from Jacked Factory, a company based in Newfoundland in Canada, and the tub claims that it will provide “laser focus, muscle growth, powerful pumps, (and) endless endurance.”

What’s interesting is that despite those promises there’s no caffeine or stimulants anywhere to be found in the product. So what does it offer?

Shop Pump Surge.

PUMPSURGE Nutrition & Ingredients

There’s no calorie information, but one tub provides citrulline (4g), betaine anhydrous (2.5g), glycerol powder (1.25g), rhodiola rosea (200mg), alpha GPC (100mg), black pepper fruit extract (5mg) and Huperzine A, made from toothed clubmoss aerial parts extract (50mcg). I’ll discuss all their effects in the next section.

The other ingredients are just an array of natural and artificial flavors, sweeteners, and anti-caking agents. Note that it contains the artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, which some people try to avoid. On the plus side, it’s naturally colored with fruit and vegetable juice.

PUMPSURGE Benefits & Effectiveness

There are quite a few ingredients that are linked to power output here, specifically the betaine anhydrous, alpha GPC, and to a lesser extent the citrulline — the latter is usually used for improving blood flow, but there’s some evidence that it can also affect power.

I really liked the rhodiola rosea. It’s a Scandinavian plant that has a pretty strong link with improved focus and reduced fatigue. (It’s also a main ingredient in Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Pre-Workout.)

There’s not so much evidence behind the toothed clubmoss, a plant that’s often used for its purported effect on focus. There haven’t been a lot of human studies.

The glycerol has a link with endurance and it might improve hydration, and finally, the black pepper extract helps everything else to absorb better.

The main issue I had with this product is that a couple of the dosages aren’t very well supported by evidence. There’s 100mg of Alpha GPC (the few studies that have shown an effect on power used over 500mg) and the citrulline is pretty low as well, with studies suggesting you need about 50 percent more per dose to have an acute effect on a workout.

The other ingredients seem to be dosed pretty effectively, except for the toothed clubmoss, of which there’s little consensus on what would constitute an effective dose.

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You can pick up 20 servings for $25, or $1.25 per serving. That’s somewhat pricy; most pre-workouts cost between 80 cents and $1 per serving.


I picked up the Cherry Limeade flavor, which was tasty, though a lot heavier on the cherry than the lime. The aftertaste had a slightly bubblegum-like flavor, but overall I’d say it was like cherry-flavored candy.

The Takeaway

As far as caffeine-free pre-workouts go, there are more potent options on the market but there aren’t many that are this cheap, so I’d feel comfortable recommending it as a way to boost your workout without taking stimulants. Given the solid doses of betaine, rhodiola, glycerol, and black pepper, it’s a decent choice for athletes who want to reduce their caffeine intake.

Pump Surge

Per Serving: $1.25










  • High doses of ingredients linked to power output
  • May improve endurance and hydration
  • Naturally colored


  • Low in citrulline and alpha GPC
  • Expensive
  • Artificial flavors, sweeteners


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.