What kind of pre-workout energy do you want? Here's how to choose the product that will provide it.
Joy Ronson 1 / 4
With the hassles of everyday life, the obstacles to getting enough quality sleep, and the difficulties of trying to eat healthily all the time, everyone’s tired these days—a reality that’s made pre-workout powders the fastest growing category of sports supplements.
But, with each product promising to provide the energy boost you need via a slightly different mechanism, how do you identify the one that will make you feel the way you want and do exactly what you need? We’ve researched the best options, so match your particular energy needs with the best kinds of supplements around. And never settle for a lackluster workout again.
If you want potency, try PRIME from Novex Biotech.
Most pre-workout supps advise starting with a small serving, then “assessing tolerance,” but PRIME packs its punch in a single scoop. (Think of the cash you’ll save, getting 30 servings to a bottle, not the 10–15 of weaker formulas.) And PRIME has Klamath blue-green algae powder, an “adequate and reliable source of vitamin B12”—a major energy booster—says the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research.
If you want alertness without jitters, try BPI’s 1.M.R Vortex.
This contains yohimbe, a natural adrenaline booster that, according to a Japanese study, increases arousal without raising anxiety, as measured by both subjects’ self-reporting and an analysis of their brain chemistry. Plus, BPI promises, with its matrix of other plant-sourced ingredients and niacin—which plays a key role in energy production—Vortex is a good pre-workout choice for those who feel other products have worn off on them.
If you want sustained energy, try Gold Standard Pre-Workout by Optimum Nutrition.
Creatine is arguably the most heavily studied sports sup ever, with research showing that it delays fatigue during weight training, allowing users to squeeze out an extra rep or two in their sets. If you tend to punk out mid-session, especially if you’re forced to train late at night or in the early morning, Gold Standard’s three grams of creatine may help you push harder.