Created by BarBend forUD Energy LogoUD Energy

What to Look for in a Pre-Mixed Pre-Workout

No time to deal with the measurements and mess of mixing your own pre-workout? UD Energy has you covered.

Athletes, powerlifters, bodybuilders, and other gym-goers who are serious about getting results know that sipping a top-notch pre-workout before exercising can help them run faster, lift longer, and optimize lean muscle gains.

Research shows this type of supplement — which usually includes a mix of performance-enhancing ingredients like caffeine, antioxidants, and amino acids — can increase power and strength, delay fatigue, and improve focus during workouts. (1)

An infographic lists the ingredients in a can of UD Energy.

However, leveling up your sweat sessions with a pre-workout often requires some planning. Since most pre-workout supplements come in a powder that has to be mixed with water or other liquid before consuming, you typically need a shaker or drinking glass, measuring scoop, and access to water in order to mix up your pre-workout before you head to the gym.

That’s all well and good if you’re at home. But on days when you’re on the go — hoping to squeeze in a challenging leg day between meetings or hit the gym after work — packing up a shaker and messing with measuring and mixing can be too much of a hassle on top of everything else you’re juggling. 

Enter the pre-mixed pre-workout. Ready-to-drink (RTD) pre-workouts such as UD Energy offer an easy way to get all the benefits of your favorite pre-workout in a can that you can grab and sip on the go-ahead of your workout. The convenience of these products can’t be beaten, but it’s important to note that the quality and quantity of ingredients in RTD pre-workouts can vary widely. 

What to Look for in Ready-to-Drink Pre-Workouts

To help you choose the most effective, high-quality RTD pre-workout, we took a look at some common ingredients (most of which are found in UD Energy) and broke down what to look for to get the best results. 

Energy: “Clean” Caffeine 

Caffeine is one of the leading ingredients in most pre-workouts (aside from stim-free versions, of course) for good reason: One recent meta-analysis on the effects of caffeine supplementation and exercise performance found that consuming caffeine before exercise showed performance-enhancing benefits in aerobic endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, power, jumping performance, and exercise speed. (2)

10% Off
UD Energy Strawberry Lemonade Pre-Workout
UD Energy Strawberry Lemonade Pre-Workout
UD Energy Strawberry Lemonade Pre-Workout

This ready-to-drink pre-workout gives you caffeine for energy, L-citrulline and Beta-alanine for muscle strength and power, and Alpha-GPC for focus to help you crush your workout.

Be sure to take note of the quantity and type of caffeine that is included in your RTD pre-workout — it can make a big difference in whether the drink makes you feel energized and ready to crush your workout, or if it makes you feel jittery and nauseous.

UD Energy, for instance, provides 249 milligrams (mg) of caffeine (the equivalent of about 2.5 cups of coffee) from two sources: 1) Infinergy®, a patented ingredient that combines caffeine with malic acid. The malic acid works to buffer the harsh compounds in caffeine, making it easier to digest and helping to prolong the energizing effects of caffeine. 2) Green tea extract provides a natural jolt of caffeine as well as the focus-enhancing amino acid l-theanine and powerful antioxidant support for recovery. 

Power and Endurance: L-Citrulline and Beta-Alanine

Every quality pre-workout should include ingredients that support muscle strength and power and improve endurance. Two top picks to look for: 

L-citrulline: This amino acid works to increase levels of nitric oxide — a naturally occurring gas that dilates blood vessels to allow blood to flow more efficiently to muscles. This can help facilitate the “pump” athletes are always chasing — that is, the flood of nutrient-rich blood to a certain muscle or muscle group, triggering temporary hypertrophy and improving power and strength. UD Energy offers four grams of L-citrulline per serving.

One study found that supplementing with citrulline before a strength workout helped subjects complete 53% more reps than those given a placebo. And those who took citrulline reported 40-percent less muscle soreness over the next 24 hours. (3)

Beta-alanine: Beta-alanine slows the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, which in turn increases exercise capacity and delays time to exhaustion. These endurance-enhancing effects can help you push past through your limits and reach your goals faster. (4) UD Energy offers 3,200 milligrams of Beta-alanine per serving.

Focus: Alpha-GPC

Nootropic ingredients — ingredients that work to enhance cognitive function — are gaining popularity in pre-workouts to help athletes level up their game. Nootropics not only enhance focus, but also support memory and learning, improve agility, bolster power output and force development, and increase aim and accuracy.

10% Off
UD Energy Strawberry Lemonade Pre-Workout
UD Energy Strawberry Lemonade Pre-Workout
UD Energy Strawberry Lemonade Pre-Workout

This ready-to-drink pre-workout gives you caffeine for energy, L-citrulline and Beta-alanine for muscle strength and power, and Alpha-GPC for focus to help you crush your workout.

The compound Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (aka Alpha-GPC, patented as AlphaSize) is a top-tier nootropic that has been shown to increase the output of the focus-enhancing brain chemical acetylcholine to improve focus, memory, and athletic performance. (5)

Try This Product 

For a high-octane ready-to-drink pre-workout that will power you through the toughest training sessions, look no further than UD Energy Strawberry Lemonade ($40 for 12). 

Boasting a delicious sweet-tart flavor, this product delivers on the ingredients discussed above, plus it adds an extra punch of focus and energy with the addition of lion’s mane mushroom (an antioxidant-rich superfood that can enhance focus and support optimal recovery) and ATP (muscles main source of cellular fuel). When ordering your case of UD Energy, be sure to also check out the brand’s high-quality workout clothing and motivational podcast, Behind The Underdogs, @underdog_brand on Instagram.


  1. Martinez N, Campbell B, Franek M, Buchanan L, Colquhoun R. The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 Jul 16;13:29.
  2. Grgic J, Grgic I, Pickering C, Schoenfeld BJ, Bishop DJ, Pedisic Z. Wake up and smell the coffee: caffeine supplementation and exercise performance-an umbrella review of 21 published meta-analyses. Br J Sports Med. 2020 Jun;54(11):681-688.
  3. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22.
  4. Saunders B, Elliott-Sale K, Artioli GG, Swinton PA, Dolan E, Roschel H, Sale C, Gualano B. β-alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Apr;51(8):658-669.
  5. Parker AG, Byars A, Purpura M, Jäger R. The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agility. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Sep 21;12(Suppl 1):P41.