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10 Best Pre-Workouts For Focus (2021 Updated) Buyer's Guide

Supplements Considered 34
Hours of Research 137
of Research
Reviews Examined 94
Experts Interviewed 8
Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: November 27, 2021

One of the lesser-known benefits of pre-workout is that it can improve your focus.

Focus is very much needed for an intense workout, and luckily, several brands have products that can help you focus.

However, not all of them have the correct dosage or combination for it to affect you.

We've been in the fitness and nutrition industry for almost a decade, and one of the questions we often get is how to choose the best product out of so many options. We understand this struggle and this is why we've put together this detailed guide based on the actual feedback of our clients.

So let's dive right in and take a close look at the best pre-workout supplements on the market and see if they can actually improve your focus.

Our Top Pre-Workouts For Focus

1 - Transparent Labs BULK Pre Workout (Editor's Choice)

transparent labs bulk pre workout

Transparent Labs is a very popular pre workout.

There are no artificial sweeteners, flavors, additives, or dyes. It’s a clean supplement. The brand is also known for other supplements like intra and post workout drinks.

They chose high quality ingredients that not only help with bulking up but also to help with concentrating while working out.

It has several elements that help with focusing, including N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, and Caffeine Anhydrous.

  • Nothing artificial
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Suitable for mass building
  • Not a great choice if you aren’t looking to bulk up

Great and clean supplementation to my workouts and sport’s training. Focus and intensity realized. Highly recommend!
- Christopher L., Reviewer

At 180mg per serving for caffeine, I think it gave me just the right energy boost. It helped me laser in my focus and work on improving my strength training.

2 - 4 Gauge

gauge pre workout product

4 Gauge claims to have 4 benefits; increased strength, sharp focus, great energy boost, and intense pumps.

It has the coveted L-theanine and caffeine combo that gives you the best results for focusing. I also like how it had a high caffeine content while providing no artificial sweeteners.

They only have one flavor - fruit punch.

  • L-theanine and caffeine ingredient combo
  • Good taste
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Only one flavor

I liked the overall taste, and it gave me a huge energy boost that lasted for hours. See our full 4 Gauge review.

3 - NitroSurge Black Pre Workout

NitroSurge Black Preworkout Product

Let’s start with the ingredient list.

Most of the ingredient amounts are on their label. At first glance, I was happy about their dosage. The only problem I had was that it included an artificial flavor.

I tried the lemon-lime flavor. It mixed well, but I wasn’t a fan of the taste. The only other option was sour gummy, which didn’t sound appealing to me.

  • Increased mental focus
  • Transparent label
  • Mixed well
  • Has artificial flavor
  • Not a fan of the taste

The pre workout kicked in anyway, and I felt like I was able to focus on my workout and give my performance some extra boost.

4 - Myth Journey Pre Workout

Myth Journey Preworkout Product

It contains 200mg of caffeine, which makes it one of the higher options on this list. I was disappointed that it doesn’t include L-theanine. It doesn’t have the unique combination that allows for increased focus.

It does have taurine. It could potentially help prevent caffeine jitters, but it’s not a stimulant meant for focus.

When I tried it, I got hit with energy hard and fast. I was able to push myself to put in an extra rep or two.

  • Contains taurine to prevent caffeine jitters
  • High caffeine content
  • Improved energy
  • Doesn’t have L-theanine

The taste was a little weak, but at least it’s not terrible.

5 - Cellucor C4 Original

Cellucor C4 Original Product

It contains artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors. If you are looking for a clean supplement, then this isn’t it.

If those additives don’t bother you, then let’s take a look at how it helps focus. It does have caffeine and tyrosine. It’s in a proprietary blend, though, so I can’t determine if I was getting a good dose.

Regardless, tyrosine is solely for brain function. So I was excited to try it out.

  • Energizing workout
  • Good amount of caffeine per serving
  • Contains tyrosine
  • Proprietary blends

It gave me energy, focus, and mental clarity that helped me achieve my workout goals. It’s a pre workout best for strength and focusing.

Related Article: Cellucor C4 pre-workout review

6 - ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature Series Pre Workout

ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature-Series Pre-workout Product

There are a lot of additives in this pre workout that can help with focus. L-theanine, caffeine, l-citrulline, and tyrosine are all present.

I like how clear their nutrition label is on their tub. It doesn’t hide any ingredient amounts in a proprietary blend.

However, it’s not a clean supplement as it contains artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors.

  • Transparent label
  • Increased energy
  • A lot of functional ingredients for focus
  • Underdosed
  • Contains a lot of artificial substances

I tried it anyway. I felt like it increased my energy but not my focus. It turns out a lot of the focus-inducing ingredients don't come in sufficient amounts.

7 - Vintage Blast Preworkout

vintage blast preworkout product

It’s a pre workout filled will amino acids, including citrulline malate and beta alanine.

It doesn’t contain creatine though. But since I was looking for ingredients to help with focus, it being creatine-free didn’t bother me.

The only ones that I saw for that could improve focusing were caffeine and tyrosine. However, the tyrosine was underdosed at 250mg.

  • Increased energy and focus
  • No jitters or caffeine crash
  • Contains helpful amino acids
  • No creatine (Which could be a pro to some people)
  • Underdosed amount of tyrosine

I tried it out anyway. I got a boost of energy with no jitters or caffeine crash. Tyrosine could have helped with that, but I'm not sure, given it's not the right amount.

8 - Alpha GX7 Preworkout

ALPHA GX7 Pre Workout Product

The ingredients that could help with improving focus are caffeine and L-Carnitine. I’m happy to say that they have the correct dosage for both per serving.

It does have the trifecta of artificial substances; flavor, sweetener, and color. It’s a little disappointing since it has the correct dosage I wanted.

The watermelon flavor tasted great and dissolved well. It got me in the mood to exercise.

  • Correct dosage of focus-related ingredients
  • Tastes great
  • Boosted energy and focus
  • Contains artificial substances

I felt like I was in the zone and was able to complete my workouts with a little extra energy.

9 - Tier 1 Plus Preworkout

tier 1 plus pre workout product

Tier 1 has earned the trust of people like Alan Aragon and Eric Helms. I wanted to see what the big deal was, and I put this on the list of pre-workouts to try.

It has 300mg of caffeine and 3g of tyrosine per serving. It has the correct dosage for efficiency, and both are great at improving alertness and boosting mental performance.

There’s no fluff with their ingredient list as the only other ones are creatine and beta alanine.

  • Proper dosage
  • No filler ingredients
  • Boosted energy and focus
  • Not for caffeine-sensitive people

It gave me an energized workout, and I was able to focus and power through.

10 - Legion Pulse Preworkout

legion pulse pre workout supplement

It has the coveted caffeine and L-theanine combination to help improve focus.

At 350mg of caffeine per serving, it can be too much for people who are sensitive to caffeine or don’t have a tolerance.

Legion Pulse does offer caffeine-free versions. However, I’m not sure if you would still get the same focus benefits.

  • Caffeine and L-theanine combo
  • Caffeine-free versions available
  • Improved focus and energy
  • Bitter taste

The Legion Pulse pre workout supplement comes in flavors like green apple and blue raspberry. A lot of people didn’t like the taste and thought it was bitter.

I had a good experience. It did what I wanted, which was to improve my energy and focus for an intense workout.

What Ingredients In Pre Workout Help With Focus?

There are a few ingredients that are common in pre workout that can help you achieve laser mental focus.

Let’s take a quick look at them.


tyrosine on a pile of white powder

Tyrosine is popular in workout supplements because it may help improve memory and mental alertness [1].

It sets off specific neurotransmitters in your brain that could boost mental performance. No studies suggest that it has physical benefits [2].

The recommended dosage for tyrosine is 500mg. I notice that some pre workout supplements underdose this amino acid, so be aware of how much you are getting in each serving.


coffee powder and beans

Caffeine has numerous benefits related to mental focus, including:

  • Improved mood
  • Increased mental function
  • Improved alertness
  • Better short-term recall
  • Quicker reaction time
  • Decrease the likelihood of depression

The recommended daily intake is between 200-400mg. Anything more than that is considered unsafe by the USDA [3]. It is also one of the main additives for thermogenic pre-workouts and organic pre-workouts. If you're sensitive to caffeine, you can try stimulant free supplements instead.


l theanine molecule

When it comes to focusing, L-Theanine is best friends with caffeine.

One study says that this combination can help people focus better, feel more alert, and less tired [4].

There is no exact recommended dosage since there isn’t much research on it.

However, most studies used doses in the range of 97-400mg per day.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

There are many forms of L-Carnitine, but the acetyl L-Carnitine version may be best for your brain.

Some early studies have suggested that acetyl L-Carnitine can help improve markers of learning [5].

Overall, it’s a great option to improve brain health.

The recommended dose for acetyl L-Carnitine ranges from 500-2,000mg per day.

How Does Pre Workout Help With Focus?

An effective pre workout has many ingredients that are scientifically-backed to help with focus.

Pre-workout supplements are usually known for giving you an energy boost and improving your muscle growth.

It can help increase your alertness and make you more focused on your tasks.


What Are The Other Benefits Of Pre-workout?

There are many other benefits of pre workout supplements.

The best pre workout supplements have benefits like:

  • Improving exercise performance
  • Increasing fat loss
  • Building muscle mass
  • Improving recovery time
  • Producing nitric oxide, which improves blood flow. (A better blood flow means oxygen and other nutrients are carried through the body quicker. L-citrulline malate is the amino acid that causes this reaction.)

People take pre-workouts to help their workout routine. It can improve energy levels, which leads to you meeting your physical goals- regardless if it’s gain muscles or lose weight.

Can Drinking Coffee Have The Same Benefits?

Drinking coffee can have similar benefits, but it’s not quite the same as a pre-workout supplement.

Coffee has caffeine, which can certainly aid in improving alertness and increasing energy. However, it lacks other ingredients that aid focus like L-theanine.

Pre-workouts also tend to have high caffeine content, especially compared to coffee or green tea.

What Are The Side Effects Of Pre-Workout?

The adverse effects of pre workouts are pretty minimal. If you take the recommended dose, then you probably will only notice the tingly sensation that you get from beta-alanine.

If you take too much caffeine or take it too late in the day, then you may have trouble falling asleep at night.

Pre workouts could have other side effects like high blood pressure, dehydration, and digestive issues.

Caffeine consumption and its effects are individual and are based upon gender, body mass, age, certain medications, and health conditions such as anxiety disorders.

-  Toby Smithson, LDN, CDE

Other Resources You May Like:


Does Pre Workout Increase Focus?

Pre workouts can increase energy and focus. It has energy ingredients like caffeine and L-theanine that are scientifically proven to help improve brain function.

They also include other benefits that can improve your workouts like potential weight loss, increase workout intensity, and support healthy muscles.

When Should I Take Pre Workout?

You should take pre workouts about 15-30 minutes before exercising. It allows enough time for your body to digest it and get into your system. It may take some experimenting to determine the best pre workout time for you.

How Long Does Pre Workout Last?

Pre workouts can last 3-6 hours, but on average, it lasts between 1-2 hours. There are a lot of variables that can change this time frame like ingredients, diet, training intensity, and what you did as a workout.

Is Pre Workout Bad For Your Health?

Pre workouts aren’t bad for your health as long as you take the recommended dosage. However, note that taking too much caffeine or other stimulating ingredients can lead to potential adverse effects.

I would also recommend taking occasional breaks from pre-workout. Your body can create tolerance, so it’s ideal to have a break so you can still get the same positive benefits.

Does Pre Workout Make You Gain Weight?

Pre workout can make you gain weight, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. There are usually two culprits to weight gain:

  1. Increased water retention. Creatine is a common ingredient in pre workouts, but it also leads to muscles holding onto water. The water retention leads to weight gain.
  2. Increased muscle mass. Some people think the weight gain is from fat, but it’s more likely to be muscle. Pre workout ingredients help produce muscle, which naturally leads to weight gain.

Does Pre Workout Increase Muscle?

Pre workouts can increase muscle. A lot of ingredients like creatine and beta-alanine can give you more strength.

Of course, pre workout alone can’t give you muscles. You also need a proper nutritional diet and an effective fitness routine.

It does aid in the process of increasing muscle growth when used correctly.

Is It Okay To Take Pre Workout Every Day?

It’s not necessary to take pre workout every day. If you have a rest day, then you don’t have to take it.

Some people suggest that taking pre workout on a rest day can help with the muscle recovery process. I would recommend adequate hydration, sleep, and a proper diet to help with muscle recovery.

What is The Best Pre Workout For Focus?

After doing extensive research on the best pre workouts in the market, I think the best option may be Transparent Labs.

Let’s look at the facts. It’s a clean supplement with no artificial ingredients, sweeteners, or flavors.

It also has focus-inducing ingredients like the coveted L-theanine and caffeine combination. It also has tyrosine to help prevent jitters and caffeine crashes.

It even has those ingredients at the recommended amounts.

If you’re looking for improvement in focusing, I think you should give this product a whirl.

Our #1 Recommendation

Transparent Labs BULK Pre Workout

transparent labs bulk pre workout
Ingredient Quailty
Overall Score 4.9
  • Nothing artificial
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Suitable for mass building
  • Not a great choice if you aren’t looking to bulk up

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