Some sports demand more intensity from you than others, so your body needs the right supplements to perform well. To find a supplement that’d help boxers perform at their peak, given these demands, we experimented here at TotalShape.
As an MMA and kickboxing aficionado myself, I selected a number of premium supplements to test on myself and on my clients who took up boxing. We tried many different brands, observed the results, and narrowed down the list to the 10 best pre-workouts.
Here are the ones that made the cut.
The Best Pre-Workout for Boxing
- Best Overall Pre-Workout for Boxing: Gorilla Mode
- Cheapest Pre-Workout for Boxing: ENGN Shred Pre-Workout by EVL
- Best Natural Pre-Workout for Boxers: Transparent Labs
- Best Pre-Workout for Boxing with Money-Back Guarantee: Pre Lab Pro®
- Best Pre-Workout for Boxers for Energy Boost: BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre-Workout
- Best Pre-Workout for Boxing for Mental Focus: C4 Original by Cellucor®
10 Best Pre-Workouts for Boxing (December 2023)
1 - Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout (Best Overall)
Our testing data shows that boxers in our test group who tried Gorilla Mode reported the most positive results with speed, strength, muscular endurance, and energy levels.
The reason why Gorilla Mode delivers these results is that it contains high doses of L-citrulline and nootropics (L-tyrosine, kanna, and huperzine).
- Pure L-Citrulline: 9000 mg
- L-Tyrosine: 1500 mg
- Huperzine: 400 mcg
- Contains a heavy dosage of pure L-citrulline, which enhances nitric oxide flow for an intense workout pump
- Contains a powerful dose of nootropics that enhance mental focus during tough workouts
- Rehydrates muscles after a heavy workout, allowing for better post-workout recovery
- Comes in a variety of delicious and refreshing flavors
- Slightly pricier than the other supplements on this list
2 - Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK Pre-Workout (Best Natural)
BULK contains a potent mix of testosterone boosters like vitamin D, zinc, and boron.
According to one of the studies found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website titled "Nothing Boring About Boron," increased levels of testosterone have been demonstrated in both men and women after boron supplementation .
Having read this on the label before our experiment, we gave Transparent Labs BULK pre-workout to beginner boxers who suffered from low T-levels.
We noticed improvements in the workout intensity within a week.
A unique characteristic of this pre-workout supplement is that it contains four grams of BCAA (branch-chain amino acids, which are known to alleviate muscle soreness) .
- Citrulline Malate: 6000 mg
- Beta-Alanine: 4000 mg
- Branched-chain amino acids: 4000 mg
- Contains no artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives
- Uses a clinically dosed formula backed by scientific research
- Delivers key nootropics to enhance mental acuity, drive, and energy that boxing demands
- Some users report it has a medicinal flavor
3 - Pre Lab Pro® (Best with Money-Back Guarantee)
The company claims that the L-theanine content of the supplement creates a fight-or-flight stress response that releases cortisol, enabling athletes to give their training an animal-like enhancement  .
For this reason, we gave Pre Lab Pro to beginner boxers, who showed significant athletic improvements on the fourth week of training.
This supplement also contains a powerful amino acids and nitric oxide (NO) stack that boosts blood flow to your muscles, improving post-workout recovery .
- Beta Vulgaris L-Root: 1500 mg
- L-Tyrosine: 400 mg
- L-Theanine: 160 mg
- One of the best options for beginner boxers looking to significantly enhance their endurance
- Powerful NO stack to enhance blood flow and improve post-workout recovery
- Company offers a 30-day full money-back guarantee if you don’t see noticeable results
- Only available for sale on the official website
4 - BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre-Workout (Best for Energy Boost)
Our next pre-workout supplement is a creation of Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc. — a heavyweight in the sports nutrition industry.
While the dosages of its ingredients are obscure, we observed how the main ingredients deliver what they’re made for: giving boxers an extra edge for an explosive workout.
Compared to most boxers using other products on this list, we observed users of N.O.-XPLODE seemed to have a slightly more explosive intensity in their movements.
- Myogenic Matrix Blend: 5100 mg
- Endura Shot Blend: 2900 mg
- Thermic Energy Blend: 1300 mg
- One of the better pre-workouts for boxers looking to increase short-term explosive power
- Brand has over 15 years of experience in the supplement market
- Supports high focus, maximum explosiveness, and extreme pumps
- Might leave a slightly unpleasant aftertaste for more sensitive palates
5 - C4 Original by Cellucor® (Best for Mental Focus)
After its launch in 2004, C4 pre-workout became a favorite in the fitness community.
What makes C4 a favorite among boxers who train every day of the week is the effect of huperzine: a nootropic that’s known to heighten mental focus when training .
Given its potent ingredient blend, our boxers found it surprising that taking C4 didn’t lead to a caffeine crash after their workouts.
- Beta-Alanine: 1600 mg
- Creatine Nitrate: 1000 mg
- Citrulline Malate: 1000 mg
- Comes from a highly reputable brand of nutritional supplements
- Contains a huperzine that gives boxers enhanced mental focus
- High vitamin C content for faster muscle recovery.
- Contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener
6 - Old School Vintage Blast Pre-Workout
Our tests indicate that what sets Old School Vintage Blast apart from the rest of the products is it is perfect for boxers because it combines fast and slow-digesting ingredients.
This supplement has two sets of ingredients:
- Stage I: L-citrulline malate, beta-alanine, L-arginine, L-carnitine tartrate, and caffeine.
- Stage II: D-aspartic acid, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, and microencapsulated caffeine.
The Stage I ingredients (especially L-citrulline and beta-alanine) are known for increasing blood flow, enhancing muscle endurance, and significantly lowering fatigue .
The microencapsulated caffeine breaks down slower than regular caffeine, allowing boxers to feel stimulated for a longer time .
- L-Citrulline Malate: 5000 mg
- D-Aspartic Acid: 2000 mg
- Beta-Alanine: 1000 mg
- Especially helpful for boxers who aim for endurance
- Contains amino acids and slow-digesting caffeine for prolonged stimulation
- Stage I ingredients enhance NO pump and blood flow while significantly lowering fatigue
- It’s a little more expensive than most supplements.
7 - Pre-Kaged by Kaged
Kaged is a company that prides itself on producing supplements with label transparency.
They go as far as giving their product for third-party testing to ensure it’s free from any banned substances.
Only second to Gorilla, Pre-Kaged delivered a whopping 6,500 g of L-citrulline.
First-time boxers using this supplement were genuinely impressed with the workout pump (a result of the nitric oxide flow from the L-citrulline).
With 188 mg of caffeine, Kages is among the best pre-workouts for moderate-intensity boxing.
- L-Citrulline: 6500 mg
- L-Isoleucine: 875 mg
- L-Valine: 875 mg
- One of the best options for boxers looking to increase the size
- Higher caffeine content for enhanced athletic performance
- Goes through third-party testing to ensure the absence of banned substances
- Not many flavor options
8 - Pulse Pre-Workout by Legion
Legion Athletics was founded out of frustration because of so many poor pre-workouts on the market.
The founder, Mike Matthews, basically put together all the ingredients that worked and increased the dosage.
It’s not for the faint of heart, as it contains 350 mg of caffeine per serving.
Based on our observation, Legion Pulse pre-workout seemed to work best with clients on days they had to lift heavy.
- L-Citrulline: 8000 mg
- Beta-Alanine: 3600 mg
- Beta Anhydrous: 2500 mg
- Combination of betaine, beta-alanine, and alpha-GP helps boxers tackle heavier weights for strength gains
- Contains 8 g of citrulline for enhanced muscle pump
- Most users reported no major caffeine crash
- May give first-timers a very jittery feeling
9 - ENGN Shred Pre-Workout by EVL (Cheapest Option)
ENGN pre-workout supplement takes boxing to the next level.
This pre-workout is manufactured by Evlution Nutrition, a Florida-based supplement company whose products go far beyond cookie-cutter protein powders and creatine.
With a combination of metabolism boosters (like CLA, capsimax, green coffee, and coleus) and several branch-chained amino acids, this product chains strength-building and fat burning into one supplement  .
Most clients who took this supplement during the four-week training seemed to experience the highest fat loss among their peers.
- Beta-Alanine: 1600 mg
- L-Carnitine: 500 mg
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid Power: 500 mg
- Contains a unique formula of metabolism boosters and branched-chain amino acids for building strength and muscle mass
- Worked best for boxers looking to cut and lower their weight class
- Contains antioxidants and vitamins for enhanced performance and processing of carbs and protein
- Contains a proprietary blend, so some of the ingredient quantities are unknown
10 - ProSupps Mr. Hyde Xtreme Pre-Workout
Mr. Hyde Extreme lives up to its moniker; the energy levels you experience with this pre-workout supplement are quite powerful. But experienced boxers can really benefit from this crash-free, high-energy supplement.
We gave Mr. Hyde to our intermediate and elite boxers and noticed a pretty significant rise in their energy levels during their workouts (compared to days they didn’t take the supplement).
- Arginine Silicate Inositol: 500 mg
- L-Citrulline Aspartate: 500 mg
- Caffeine Anhydrous: 300 mg
- Works well for moderate boxing-cardio training sessions
- Contains a powerful combination of caffeine, amino acids, and energy-boosting ingredients
- Comes in seven tasty and refreshing flavors
- Quite potent, so it’s not the best option for beginner boxers
How We Tested Best Pre-Workouts for Boxing
Here is how we tested the best pre-workouts for boxing.
We sampled a variety of pre-workout formulas to find flavors that were palatable and enjoyable, as taste can be a significant factor in consistent pre-workout use. From my experience, a pre-workout that tastes good is something I look forward to and helps me stick to my training regimen.
We analyzed the ingredient lists for quality and effectiveness, focusing on products that offer a clean energy boost without excessive stimulants. I've personally found that pre-workouts with too many stimulants can cause jitters and affect my focus, which is crucial to avoid in boxing.
We compared the cost per serving across different brands to determine which products offered the best value for money. In my own purchases, I've always balanced cost with quality, as the most expensive options aren't necessarily the best.
We assessed how long the energy boost lasted during training sessions to ensure it didn't fade halfway through a workout. I remember times when my energy plummeted mid-session, which taught me the importance of a pre-workout that sustains energy levels throughout.
Focus and Alertness
We evaluated the cognitive effects of each pre-workout, as mental clarity is essential in boxing. My personal experience with pre-workouts has shown me that those that enhance focus can significantly improve my reaction times and decision-making in the ring.
We looked for ingredients known to aid in recovery, as this is just as important as the workout itself. I've experienced the benefits of certain amino acids and nutrients that help reduce soreness and prepare me for the next day's training.
If you’re into boxing or planning to get into it, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide to help you choose a good pre-workout supplement to fuel your training.
What Should Boxers Look For In a Good Pre-Workout Supplement?
Boxers should look for pre-workout supplements that contain the right blend of stimulants that’ll help them increase muscle mass, strength and endurance.
Additionally, it shouldn’t contain any ingredients that cause side effects like caffeine crashes, stomach aches, or headaches.
Here’s what boxers should look for in a quality pre-workout supplement.
The right pre-workout supplement contains the following ingredient profile:
The right blend of stimulants for focus, endurance, and strength:
- Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs): for increasing muscle mass .
- Caffeine: to stimulate the mind, increase energy levels, and create laser focus .
- Creatine and beta-alanine: for reducing muscle fatigue .
- Agmatine: to dull the pain .
- Electrolytes: to keep boxers hydrated .
Good taste – good-tasting nutritional supplements can encourage boxers to take them regularly.
Boxers should go for a pre-workout supplement that maximizes the following physical effects and minimize the side effects:
- Increased muscle mass and strength: Stronger muscles mean harder punches and more endurance in the ring.
- Increased stamina: With their arms up most of the time during a fight, boxers’ stamina demands are quite high, and the right nutritional supplements need to meet these demands.
- Muscle endurance: Quickly fatigued muscles can stop you from giving your workout your best. This fatigue occurs when you don’t have enough blood flow and oxygen in your muscles.
Who Should Take Pre-Workout?
Athletes and beginners on their fitness journey who want to give their workout an enhanced boost should take pre-workout.
It can help them push past certain temporary physical limitations.
Boxers who also want to heighten their mental focus for a strenuous workout can take a supplement before their workout session.
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Who Shouldn't Take Pre-Workout?
People who suffer from severe allergic reactions to any of the pre-workout ingredients shouldn’t take it.
In such cases, one should take natural energy-boosting foods like peanut butter, assorted nuts, bananas, whole-grain bread, etc., before their workouts.
If you’re looking to take pre-workout but suffer from the aforementioned conditions, speak to your physician to decide on a brand that suits your fitness goals.
How Often Should Boxers Take Pre-Workout?
Boxers should take pre-workout between three to four times a week or whenever they have low energy levels before a workout. However, boxers should be aware of developing a caffeine tolerance and plan out weeks where they won’t need supplements.
Should Boxers Take Anything in Addition to a Pre-Workout Supplement?
In addition to a pre-workout supplement, boxers should also supplement their workout with a healthy meal at least two hours before exercising. This will provide them with calories to expend, giving their workout an added boost.
Why Is Hydration Important in Pre-workout Formulas for Boxing?
Hydration is important in pre-workout formulas for boxing because it helps maintain optimal blood volume, allowing for better cardiovascular function and temperature regulation during intense boxing workouts. Pre-workout formulas with electrolytes can help boxers retain fluids and prevent dehydration.
Can Pre-workout Supplements Affect Recovery Time for Boxers?
Yes, pre-workout supplements can affect recovery time for boxers. Pre-workout supplements that include amino acids like BCAAs or ingredients like tart cherry extract can reduce muscle soreness and accelerate recovery, enabling boxers to return to training sooner.
What Is the Best Time to Take Pre-workout Supplements for Boxing?
The best time to take pre-workout supplements for boxing is typically 30 minutes before training, as it allows time for the body to absorb the ingredients and deliver energy, focus, and endurance when it's most needed during a boxing session.
How Should Boxers Customize Their Pre-workout Intake Based on Their Weight Class?
Boxers in heavier weight classes may require a pre-workout with more calories and carbohydrates for energy, while those in lighter classes might focus on low-calorie options with ingredients that support lean muscle mass and quick energy release.
How Does a Boxer's Diet Enhance the Efficacy of Pre-workout Supplements?
A boxer's diet enhances the efficacy of pre-workout supplements by supporting sustained energy release, which, when combined with the targeted boost from pre-workout supplements, can lead to more effective training sessions and improved performance.
Our Verdict on Best Pre-Workouts for Boxers
When it came to being an all-rounder for our boxers, nothing seemed to match Gorilla Mode.
This pre-workout supplement checked all the boxes for what our fighters looked for.
While Gorilla Mode was slightly pricier than all the other pre-workout supplements on our list, that didn’t seem to be a major pain point because it delivered effective results.
Boxers found that it helped them push through the most grueling workouts by enhancing their speed, mental focus, muscle growth, and overall energy levels. Plus, the flavors made them all the more enjoyable.
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