The Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Gain

Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Gain

Pre-workout supplements are a popular choice in the fitness industry for individuals looking to gain muscle. These supplements usually contain stimulating ingredients such as caffeine and beta-alanine to help enhance your workout performance.

There are so many options for pre-workout supplements in the market, and it’s impossible to know them all!

In this article, we’ll delve into the best pre-workout supplements for muscle gain, exploring their roles in increasing energy levels, improving focus, enhancing endurance, and increasing strength and power. 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare professional for personalized advice. Keep in mind that the long-term effects of pre-workout supplements remain unknown as supplements are regulated differently than medications by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

How We Chose the Best Pre-Workouts for Muscle Gain

When selecting the best pre-workout supplements for muscle gain, several factors were considered:

  1. Ingredients: We looked for pre-workouts containing stimulating ingredients such as caffeine, beta-alanine, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), and creatine which could potentially support muscle growth, endurance, and performance.
  2. Effectiveness: We reviewed research that looked into the effect of these ingredients in enhancing muscle gain, strength, and overall workout performance to establish effectiveness.
  3. Safety: Safety is paramount. We prioritized products with transparent ingredient lists and have included a section on possible risks associated with pre-workout supplements to increase awareness.

Top Picks: Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Gain 

There are numerous options to choose from for the best pre-workout supplements for muscle gain. Take a look at this chart for some examples. 

Naked Energy Pre-Workout

Transparent Labs Bulk

Promix Pre-workout0.62$32
Kaged Pre-Kaged1.31lb$44.99
Jacked Factory NitroSurge Pre-Workout1.05lb$29.99

Possible Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements have become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts seeking to maximize their performance during exercise. These supplements are designed to enhance energy levels, focus, endurance, and strength. Pre-workout supplements may help promote muscle gain over time when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. Here’s a breakdown of the role of pre-workout supplements:

Increased Energy Levels and Alertness

Many pre-workout supplements contain ingredients such as caffeine and beta-alanine, which are known to improve exercise performance. Caffeine, in particular, is a stimulant that can increase alertness and reduce perceived exertion, allowing individuals to push harder during their workouts. 

Enhanced Exercise Performance

Ingredients like beta-alanine and citrulline malate are commonly included in pre-workout supplements to increase endurance. Beta-alanine may help delay the onset of muscle fatigue and enhance endurance. Citrulline malate has been touted as an energy-enhancing aid for high intensity exercise and sprint interval training.

Increased Strength and Power

Some pre-workout supplements contain ingredients like creatine which is a well established supplement in the fitness industry known for its potential ability to increase strength and power output. Creatine works by replenishing ATP stores in muscles, allowing for more explosive movements and increased muscle performance during short bursts of intense activity.

Faster Recovery

Certain pre-workout supplements contain ingredients like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which may aid in muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness post-exercise. By providing the body with the necessary building blocks for muscle repair, these supplements may help individuals recover more quickly between workouts.

Bear in mind possible risks associated with taking pre-workout supplements such as dehydration, toxicity, and overtraining, so drinking sufficient water, being mindful of your caffeine sources, and paying attention to your body to avoid overtraining can be helpful. Potential side effects of increased consumption of caffeine can be increased heart rate, jitteriness, or insomnia.

Naked Energy Vegan Pre-Workout – Best Overall

Naked Energy Vegan Pre-Workout supplement in a yellow container.

Source: EverFlex Research


Naked Energy Pre-Workout is a pre-workout supplement formulated to help enhance exercise performance, improve mental focus, and promote faster recovery.  Free from artificial additives and sweeteners, it offers a straightforward formula with essential ingredients for enhanced focus and endurance.

This pre-workout contains a blend of ingredients including organic caffeine, creatine, and beta-alanine which, as we discussed above, may enhance exercise performance. 


  • Non-GMO and vegan
  • Soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto friendly
  • No additives or artificial sweeteners
  • Independent-party tested
  • Active ingredients include caffeine, creatine monohydrate, vitamin B3, B6, B12, beta-alanine, L-arginine, folate, vitamin C, and calcium
  • One serving contains:
    • 2g beta-alanine
    • 1g creatine
    • 1g L-arginine
    • 200mg caffeine
    • 0 calories
    • 0 carbs



Naked Energy Pre-Workout0.52lb

Wrap Up

Naked Energy emphasizes natural ingredients with no additives or artificial sweeteners.

The ingredients included, such as creatine, beta-alanine, and caffeine, may help with the healing process and the recovery of sore muscles. Reduced recovery time between workouts translates into improved performance each time you hit the gym.

If you are interested in finding out more about the best muscle recovery supplements to help with speedy recovery between workouts, check out our other blog post.

Transparent Labs BULK Pre-Workout Supplement  – Best Pre-Workout for Beginners for Building Muscle 

Close-up of a Transparent Labs BULK Pre-Workout supplement

Source: EverFlex Research


This pre-workout has been formulated to help enhance strength, focus, energy, muscle pumps, and stamina. With no proprietary blends or artificial additives, this supplement prioritizes transparency and effectiveness. 

This pre-workout supplement contains a blend of active ingredients including citrulline malate caffeine and beta-alanine which have been associated with improved strength, muscle endurance, and aerobic performance.  


  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors
  • Transparent ingredient list
  • 8 flavor variations available
  • Active Ingredients include citrulline malate,bBeta-alanine, BetaPure, taurine, L-tyrosine, Alpha-GPC, caffeine, L-theanine, and theobromine
  • One serving contains:
    • 4g beta-alanine
    • 2:1 8g citrulline malate
    • 1.3g taurine
    • 275mg caffeine
    • 5 calories
    • 1g carbs


Transparent Labs Bulk1.40lb$49.99

Wrap Up

This pre-workout supplement is designed for athletes seeking strength and endurance gains. BULK provides enhanced focus and muscle support. It’s the go-to choice for pre-workout beginners committed to a results-driven and transparent approach to pre-workout supplementation.

Promix BCAA Pre-Workout Energy Powder – Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout

An image of Promix BCAA Pre-Workout Energy Powder pouch.

Promix BCAA Pre-Workout Energy Powder stands out as a vegan pre-workout supplement designed to elevate your workout experience. Here’s why it’s a top choice:


Crafted with a blend of high-quality ingredients, Promix BCAA Pre-Workout Energy Powder provides a potent combination of BCAAs. This formula is designed to stimulate protein synthesis and muscle recovery and aid in reducing muscle soreness focus. Some research has shown that those who took BCAAs, compared to placebo, demonstrated increased performance, quicker muscle recovery, and less soreness in their muscles.


  • Non-GMO, vegan, and keto-friendly
  • No added sugar or artificial additives
  • Available in multiple flavors
  • Third-party tested
  • Active ingredients include L-leucine, Isoleucine, L-valine, plant-based BCAAs, and vitamin C.
  • Each serving contains:
    • 5g BCAAs
    • 2.5g L-leucine
    • 1.25g Isoleucine
    • 1.35g L-valine
    • Caffeine-free
    • 0 calories
    • 0 carbs


Promix Pre-workout285g$32

Wrap Up

Promix BCAA is among the most budget-friendly options at $29.99 each. Promix BCAA Vegan Pre-Workout Powder offers an effective solution for individuals who are regularly consuming caffeinated drinks or are sensitive to caffeine. It is low budget and vegan, and its quality ingredients, transparency, and efficacy makes it a reliable choice for those seeking to optimize their fitness journey while adhering to a vegan lifestyle.

Kaged Pre-Kaged – Highest in Caffeine

Tub of Kaged Pre-Kaged pre-workout powder.

Source: EverFlex Research


Kaged Pre-Kaged pre-workout is a supplement formulated to increase muscle pump, heighten mental focus, and reduce muscle fatigue. This supplement is perfect for fitness enthusiasts seeking a pre-workout boost, free from artificial additives. 

Pre-Kaged pre-workout supplement contains 7 active ingredients including L-citrulline, BCAAs, creatine HCL, and beta-alanine. Studies have shown that creatine can enhance strength, help increase muscle mass, and improve exercise performance.‌ 

This pre-workout contains 5g of creatine, which is the highest amount compared to the other pre-workout supplements discussed.  

This pre-workout is also the highest in caffeine (388 mg). Studies have consistently shown that caffeine in doses of 3-6 mg per kg of body weight improves exercise performance.

Bear in mind that the upper limit for caffeine consumption is 400 mg, and one scoop of this pre-workout supplement contains 388 mg caffeine, so if you are regularly consuming caffeinated drinks or are sensitive to caffeine, this product is not suitable. 


  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Vegan/Vegetarian-friendly
  • No flavors from artificial sources
  • Third-party tested
  • Informed Sport Certified
  • Active ingredients including L-citrulline, creatine HCL, caffeine, B vitamins, L-tyrosine, taurine, coconut water, beta-alanine, BetaPower, and Spectra
  • Each serving contains:
    • 10g L-citrulline
    • 3.2g 
    • 5g creatine 
    • 2g taurine
    • 388mg caffeine
    • 15 calories
    • 1 g carbs
    • 5g creatine


Kaged Pre-Kaged1.31lb$44.99

Wrap Up

Pre-Kaged has more caffeine than many other pre-workout supplements. Pre-Kaged pre-workout is our choice for the highest caffeine content if you’re searching for a substantial amount of caffeine in a single serving.

Check out our other blog post if you are looking for a pre-workout that is low in caffeine.

Jacked Factory NitroSurge Vegan Pre-Workout – Budget Friendly

An image of green tub of Jacked Factory NitroSurge Vegan Pre-Workout powder.

Source: EverFlex Research


For beginners looking for a pre-workout that has more of the muscle-building ingredients, Jacked Factory NITRO SURGE has been formulated to help with strength gain, energy, focus, endurance, and pumps.  

It also includes a moderate amount of caffeine (180 mg in two scoops) and theobromine, which may have some of the same energy-boosting benefits as caffeine but to a more relaxed degree. 


  • Vegan supplement
  • Creatine-free
  • Comes in 13 different flavors
  • One serving contains:
    • 3g L-citrulline
    • 1.6g beta-alanine
    • 180mg caffeine anhydrous
    • 0 calories
    • 0 g fat
  • A blend of ingredients including L-citrulline, beta-alanine, betaine anhydrous, caffeine anhydrous, L-theanine, AstraGin, and theobromine.


Jacked Factory NitroSurge Pre-Workout1.05lb$29.99

Wrap Up

Jacked-Factory’s Nitrosurge Pre-workout powder is perfect for fitness enthusiasts and athletes looking to maximize their training sessions. Specifically formulated to provide a surge of energy, focus, and endurance, Nitrosurge is tailored for individuals striving for peak performance in their workouts. However, it may not provide as intense of a caffeine boost as other options for individuals seeking higher stimulation.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, selecting the best pre-workout supplement for muscle gain involves careful consideration of ingredients, effectiveness, and safety. With a plethora of options available in the market, it’s essential to prioritize products that align with your fitness goals and preferences. From enhancing energy levels and improving focus to promoting endurance and aiding in recovery, the right pre-workout can significantly impact your workout performance and muscle-building efforts.

However, it’s crucial to approach pre-workout supplementation with caution and awareness. While these supplements can offer benefits, they are not a substitute for hard work, proper nutrition, and adequate rest. It’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

Remember, the best pre-workout supplement is one that fits your individual needs, provides the desired effects, and supports your overall health and fitness journey. By making informed choices and staying mindful of your body’s responses, you can maximize the benefits of pre-workout supplementation and optimize your muscle-building efforts.


What is the best pre-workout to build muscle?

The best pre-workout to build muscle depends on various factors, including individual preferences, fitness goals, and tolerance to different ingredients. However, some key ingredients to look for in pre-workout supplements aimed at muscle building include creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These ingredients may help enhance strength, endurance, and muscle recovery, ultimately supporting muscle growth. It’s essential to choose a pre-workout that contains a sufficient amount of these ingredients and is free from unnecessary fillers or additives.

Does preworkout help you gain muscle?

Yes, pre-workout supplements can help you gain muscle when used in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise regimen. Many pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that support muscle growth, such as creatine, BCAAs, and citrulline malate. These ingredients can enhance workout performance, increase strength and endurance, and promote faster recovery, all of which are crucial for muscle gain. However, it’s essential to remember that pre-workout supplements are not a substitute for hard work in the gym and a balanced diet rich in protein and nutrients.

Which supplement is best for muscle growth?

Several supplements are beneficial for muscle growth, but one of the most widely researched and proven effective is creatine monohydrate. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in the body that plays a crucial role in energy production during high-intensity exercise. Supplementing with creatine can increase phosphocreatine stores in muscles, leading to improved performance, strength, and muscle gains over time. Additionally, protein supplements, particularly whey protein, are commonly used to support muscle growth and recovery by providing essential amino acids necessary for muscle protein synthesis.


Kreider, R.B., Kalman, D.S., Antonio, J., Ziegenfuss, T.N., Wildman, R., Collins, R., Candow, D.G., Kleiner, S.M., Almada, A.L. and Lopez, H.L. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 14(1). doi:

Saunders, B., Elliott-Sale, K., Artioli, G.G., Swinton, P.A., Dolan, E., Roschel, H., Sale, C. and Gualano, B. (2016). β-alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(8), pp.658–669. doi:

Leahy, D.T. and Pintauro, S.J. (2013). Branched-Chain Amino Acid Plus Glucose Supplement Reduces Exercise-Induced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness in College-Age Females. ISRN Nutrition, [online] 2013, pp.1–5. doi:

Guest, N.S., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Nelson, M.T., Grgic, J., Schoenfeld, B.J., Jenkins, N.D.M., Arent, S.M., Antonio, J., Stout, J.R., Trexler, E.T., Smith-Ryan, A.E., Goldstein, E.R., Kalman, D.S. and Campbell, B.I. (2021). International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 18(1). doi:

Gough, L.A., Sparks, S.A., McNaughton, L.R., Higgins, M.F., Newbury, J.W., Trexler, E., Faghy, M.A. and Bridge, C.A. (2021). A critical review of citrulline malate supplementation and exercise performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 121(12). doi:

Buford, T.W., Kreider, R.B., Stout, J.R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J. and Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 4(1), p.6. doi:

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Joanna Tsintaris | Registered Dietitian | MS Nutrition & Dietetics

Joanna Tsintaris | Registered Dietitian | MS Nutrition & Dietetics

Joanna is a registered Dietitian in the UK and Biomedical Science graduate with first class MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also the founder of Nourish (RD)—an online health and nutrition clinic offering personalized 1:1 dietetic advice.

Learn More About Joanna

More posts from Joanna Tsintaris | Registered Dietitian | MS Nutrition & Dietetics


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