Best Pre Workout UK Market Tested By Ghost Fitness
Do you feel in need of an energy boost, enhanced focus or a way to make your workout more intense and effective? Looks like you need to consider trying a pre-workout. Unlike post-workouts that only help you during recovery, pre-workouts are there spotting you through your whole session.
In this review, we’ll introduce you to some of the best pre-workout supplements tested for the UK Market. These products are safe, produce noticeable effects and have their own unique benefits. Let’s find the right product for you so that you can start taking full advantage of your workout.
JYM Supplement Science
Iron Labs Nutrition Pre Workout Supplement
Superior value for money
Evlution Nutrition Pump Mode
Great workout-boosting product
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout Supplement
Good value for money
High-quality and ultra durable
Best 5 Pre-Workout Supplements in the UK Market
From a scientific standpoint, it certainly looks like Supplement Science knew what they were doing when they made this pre-workout supplement. At over 25 g, the servings are pretty big. However, each comes packed with 6 g of BCAAs (in a typical 2:1:1 ratio), 6 g of Citrulline-Malate, 2 g of Creatine HCL, 2 g of Beta-Alanine (CarnoSynⓇ) and 1.5 g of Betaine. There are also small amounts of Taurine (1 g), AlphaSizeⓇ and caffeine (300 mg).
All in all, there are 13 ingredients present in this pre-workout, making it a full-stack solution. Despite this, it has a very small, 15-calorie footprint. For a pre-workout, the carbs are a bit high at 4 g. The Creatine will help make your workout more effective, the caffeine will produce an energy and focus boost, the BCAAs will aid recovery and muscle hypertrophy and the Citrulline-Malate will help manage fatigue. We haven’t even gotten into the other benefits, and frankly, this review is too short to look at them all.
This product is strawberry-kiwi flavoured and has a decent taste. It is the most expensive product on this list, but we can’t help but think it’s worth it considering how complete it is.
Iron Labs is a popular workout supplement producer that makes great products at affordable prices. Its AC8 Xtreme pre-workout supplement is no exception. It’s the most affordable product on this list but still packs a punch when it comes to active ingredients. The serving sizes are more manageable at 7.5 g (recommended for beginners) and 15 g (recommended for intense workouts).
A 7.5 g serving contains 1.5 g of Creatine, 1.25 g of dextrose monohydrate, 1 g of Beta-Alanine, 1 g of Glutamine, 1 g of Taurine, 750 mg of Citrulline-Malate and 200 mg of caffeine. Notable inclusions are the super supplement Glutamine, which aides in recovery and muscle growth, and dextrose monohydrate, which supplements caffeine’s energy giving properties.
The 7.5 g is recommended for beginners so that they can asses their tolerance first. This is mostly due to the high caffeine and energy content that has the potential to make those without experience feel slightly off. You can choose from fruit punch, blue raspberry, watermelon or tropical blast flavours. To us, most of the flavours were OK, but we didn’t really like the watermelon.
Next up, we have a very familiar name: Evlution Nutrition. Pump Mode is its most widely used pre-workout supplement. So, we decided to give it a try. Looking at the ingredients, it’s a fairly straightforward pre-workout supplement, which also contributes to its attractive price. It has a vitamin complex, HydromaxⓇ (which is the latest glycerol product) and Betaine Nitrate (AS NO-3T).
This pre-workout supplement is geared more towards boosting your actual workout than providing supplements for recovery and muscle growth. However, you could argue that more effective workouts lead to those benefits anyway. The Betaine Nitrate increases Nitric Oxide production in the body which improves blood flow and oxygen transport. This, in turn, leads to better performance of your muscles in terms of endurance and strength.
Glycerol is a common compound used both in medicine and in supplements to improve exercise performance. HydromaxⓇ is a very recent, and very pure, glycerol-based product. It’s also extremely safe and causes almost no side effects. If you go with this product, you will notice your performance increase. However, we would recommend pairing it with other post-workout supplements or protein shakes that provide creatine, BCAAs, etc.
Optimum Nutrition is undoubtedly the biggest, most widely used and most trusted name on this list. As such, it’s impossible to not look to it when doing any supplement review. We came across its Gold Standard Pre-Workout product and just had to give it a try. Looking at the ingredient list, every 11 g scoop comes jam-packed with some amazing supplements.
It contains a vitamin complex with vitamin D, B1, B6 and B12, an Amino Acid matrix of 2.9 g, 3.4 g of Creatine Monohydrate and 175 mg of caffeine. The Amino Acid matrix is not the usual 2:1:1 ratio but is actually 1.5 g CarnoSyn (Beta-AlanineⓇ), 750 mg L-Citrulline, N-Acetyl L-Carnitine and N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine. As you can see, it provides everything from energy and endurance (caffeine and Creatine) to recovery (the amino acid matrix) to an essential vitamin boost. The NALC and NALT amino acids also have a whole host of other benefits including a cognitive boost.
You can choose from a number of flavours, although we wouldn’t recommend the pineapple, green apple or watermelon flavour as these got a lot of negative feedback. The caffeine content should also not be overwhelming for beginners.
Time to see if this product from German American Technologies delivers that famed German efficiency. Three things that caught our attention from the start were that it contains no creatine, it’s a testosterone and hyperemia boosting supplement and that it features a few unorthodox ingredients. Curious, we decided to to take a closer look.
The most important ingredient is the NITRAFLEXⓇ Propieceutical blend that the product is named after. It’s meant to boost hyperemia, which is the increased flow of blood through the muscles during intense exercise. This improves your workout and your muscle growth afterwards in a similar way that Nitrate products do. The other two complexes increase your focus, mental acuity, intensity and CFB (a clinically-studied testosterone-enhancing complex).
The energy kick and focus enhancement form this supplement is quite intense, so it’s not recommended that you take it within 5 hours of sleeping. You also shouldn’t, under any circumstances, take more than one serving a day. We advise beginners to assess their tolerance first with half a serving.
It’s rare that we choose the most expensive product as our top pick. However, the JYM Supplement Science pre-workout was just too good to pass up. It has the perfect balance of everything you want from a pre-workout supplement. All those quality ingredients come at the cost of only a few calories and carbs, and it doesn’t overdo it on the caffeine. However, prepare to fork out quite a big sum of money for the privilege.
The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard and Iron Labs AC8 Xtreme fall into similar categories with regards to both effect and price. However, the inclusion of Glutamine and Citrulline-Malate won us over. The Gold Standard might be more suitable for those with a lower caffeine tolerance.
We also wanted to include two supplements that don’t rely on the traditional Creatine/Amino Acid/Caffeine combination to achieve results. All things considered, we’d go with the Pump Mode just because it’s slightly “safer” and because some people don’t like products that affect their testosterone, no matter how clinically proven they are.
Buyer’s Guide to Pre-Workout Supplements
Why use a pre-workout?
As great as many post-workout supplements are, they don’t really help you when you are at the gym. Many of us feel like we are in need of an energy, focus or intensity boost to take full advantage of our workout. This has scientific backing, as the intensity of your workout is directly correlated to your results. This is where pre-workouts come in. Some complete supplements can even replace post-workout supplements altogether.
What you should look for in a pre-workout supplement
Most people feel like they need a bit of an energy boost before workouts, particularly if you exercise early in the morning or late at night. However, for some, the effect can be overwhelming, so it’s recommended you first build a tolerance by taking smaller doses. Try to make sure that the energy sources are all natural. Products high in caffeine may cause a “crash” later on, so check customer reviews for instances of this. Also, make sure that the product won’t interfere with your sleep if you take it in the evening.
Not all of us have that same mental fortitude, and for some, their minds give in before their muscles do. To help you with this, pre-workout supplements can boost your focus and mental faculties. The energy boost from caffeine is effective, however, compounds like N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine can also help.
This is one area where pre-workouts vary the most. There are some full-stack pre-workouts that come with recovery-aiding supplements like Creatine, Amino Acids or BCAAs, Glutamine, etc. Others don’t come with any at all. You could supplement these with a post-workout supplement or with a pure creatine/BCAA product.
Most of the supplements that aid in recovery lead to increased muscle hypertrophy. However, the very fact that your workout is more effective can lead to these effects. That’s what products without creatine or BCAAs rely on. These products usually contain a Nitrate Oxide boosting compound that promotes increased blood flow and oxygen transport during your workout.
Because of the variety and strength of the ingredients, most pre-workout supplements can have a slightly chemical, and to some, a sickening taste. That’s why finding the right flavour is an important criterion, as it could make or break your experience using the supplement. Your best bet is to look for flavours you have enjoyed before and to check customer feedback.
Form and dosage
Powder is by far the most widely used form for these types of supplements. However, if you find these too unpalatable, there are some tablets available. You should also look at the size of the doses. Some require smaller doses that will be easier to consume, while others might take you a few gulps to finish.
Make sure that you properly research every ingredient in your supplement that you are unsure of. Pre-workout supplements are extremely varied, and there are many products that contain one or two special ingredients rarely found elsewhere. Google any possible side effects to make sure it’s safe for you to take.