10 Best Pre-workouts With Caffeine (2024) Reviewed & Tested

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: November 30, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

As a personal fitness coach, I believe that all amateur athletes and fitness enthusiasts can gain a lot from taking pre-workouts before each training session.

And there is one ingredient that many people look for in order to gain that mental focus and motivation. With added caffeine, some pre-workout products can give you a significant advantage, but there are other focus-enhancing ingredients to look for as well.

So our team got together with 15 clients to research and test some of the best pre-workout supplements with caffeine. Here’s what we found after seven weeks of testing.

The Best Pre-workout With Caffeine

Editor's Choice
Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Supplement
Gorilla Mode
Rated 4.9/5
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Pre Lab Pro
Pre Lab Pro
Rated 4.7/5
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs
Rated 4.8/5
Click For Best Price

Our Top Pre-Workout Supplements with Caffeine (June 2024)

1 - Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Supplement (Best Overall)

Rated 4.9/5
4.8
Ingredients
4.9
Texture
4.8
Flavor
4.8
User Ratings
4.9
Ingredient Quality
4.9
Product Effectiveness
Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Supplement
  • Price per serving : $0.97
  • Key ingredients : L-Citrulline, Creatine Monohydrate, Caffeine Anhydrous
  • All flavors : Piña Colada, Spiked Cider, Volcano Burst, Krush, Sour Candy Apple, Bombsicle, Orange Rush, Mouthwatering Watermelon, Tiger's Blood, Cherry Blackout, Fruit Punch, Cotton Candy Grape, Blackberry Lemonade, Jungle Juice, Strawberry Kiwi
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Contains a moderate amount of caffeine anhydrous that shouldn’t cause jitters
  • Fast-acting formula that provides benefits within 20 minutes
  • The powder mixes easily with water and doesn’t get clumpy
  • The flavor is great and doesn’t taste artificial or overly sweet

Cons

  • Free shipping is only available when you spend $100

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Gym enthusiasts looking for intense energy boosts
  • Athletes wanting comprehensive nutrient support

Who is it not for?

  • People sensitive to caffeine

Final Verdict

Gorilla Mode offers a robust blend of energy and focus ingredients. It's great for those who want a high-impact workout with sustainable energy.

Based on the detailed test results we gathered from all products, the best pre-workout supplement we can recommend is Gorilla Mode. It’s ideal for intense training sessions where you want maximum motivation.

Our entire test group highlighted that they struggled less with fatigue and were able to stay laser-focused on their sets and reps.

We also liked that it’s not one of the strongest pre-workouts when it comes to caffeine. When you get an extremely high dose, it can cause jitters and mess up your recovery as well [1].

Check out our full review for Gorilla Mode pre-workout.

Quick Facts:

2 - Pre Lab Pro (Best for Afternoon Workouts)

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Ingredients
4.6
Texture
4.7
Flavor
4.6
User Ratings
4.7
Ingredient Quality
4.6
Product Effectiveness
Pre Lab Pro
  • Price per serving : $2.21
  • Key ingredients : Red Beetroot Powder, L-Citrulline, L-Theanine, Natural Caffeine, L-Tyrosine
  • All flavors : Natural Berry
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Ideal for a lower dosage of caffeine to suit afternoon workouts
  • Added L-theanine can help further improve the effectiveness of the caffeine
  • Ordering in bulk will allow you to save a lot of money with a big supply

Cons

  • There are limited flavor options that you might get tired of

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Individuals who prefer clean, natural ingredients
  • Those needing a smooth energy curve without crashes

Who is it not for?

  • Those preferring high caffeine doses

Final Verdict

Pre Lab Pro is perfect for health-conscious users who want a steady workout performance. Its nootropic components enhance both physical and mental endurance.

Pre Lab Pro is another great brand for sports supplements that many fitness enthusiasts rely on.

The reason we picked this one is that it has a lower dose of caffeine. But by combining it with L-theanine, you get a better mental focus effect without the jitters [2].

You could also take this if you’re training in the afternoon without it having much of an impact on your sleep.

I personally tried taking this for a 6 pm training session, and I didn’t have issues with sleep when I went to bed at 10:30 pm.

Quick Facts:

3 - Transparent Labs (Best Value)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Ingredients
4.7
Texture
4.7
Flavor
4.7
User Ratings
4.8
Ingredient Quality
4.8
Product Effectiveness
Transparent Labs
  • Price per serving : $1.67
  • Key ingredients : Alpha-GPC, PurCaf® caffeine, L-tyrosine, Taurine
  • All flavors : Strawberry Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi, Piña Colada, Blue Raspberry, Black Cherry, Peach Mango, Sour Grape, Watermelon, Watermelon Peach, Cherry Splash, Blueberry Pomegranate, Tropical Punch
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comes with a high dose of beta-alanine for improved stamina and endurance
  • The powder mixes easily with water and provides a nice flavor
  • Available with great subscription discounts for significant savings

Cons

  • Free shipping is only available on orders over $149

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Serious athletes focused on muscle building
  • Users who value science-backed, transparent ingredients

Who is it not for?

  • Casual gym-goers

Final Verdict

Transparent Labs provides a thorough mix of muscle-building and endurance ingredients. It's highly suitable for rigorous training regimens.

Transparent Labs is another top pre-workout supplement from a company that is known for fully transparent formulas and high-quality, proven ingredients.

I tested Transparent Labs pre-workout for ten days and thought it worked great for intense training sessions.

It doesn’t have too much caffeine, and the added l-citrulline in this pre-workout provides smooth energy and impressive pumps during strength training [3].

I also really enjoyed the flavor, which is very natural and not overpoweringly sweet.

Quick Facts:

4 - C4 Original (Cheapest Option)

Rated 4.3/5
4.3
Ingredients
4.4
Texture
4.3
Flavor
4.3
User Ratings
4.4
Ingredient Quality
4.3
Product Effectiveness
C4 Original
  • Price per serving : $1.00
  • Key ingredients : Beta-Alanine, Creatine Nitrate, Caffeine
  • All flavors : Icy Blue Razz, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Cherry Limeade, Orange Burst
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The combination with creatine seems to give you a smooth energy boost
  • Excellent choice of flavors that are natural and not too sweet
  • Ordering through a subscription helps you keep your stock levels up at a great price

Cons

  • I’d like to see slightly more citrulline for muscle pumps

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Beginners in fitness needing a mild boost
  • Users who enjoy variety in flavors

Who is it not for?

  • Advanced athletes needing higher potency

Final Verdict

C4 Original is a solid choice for newcomers to pre-workout supplements, offering a moderate energy boost. It's versatile but not overly potent.

Unlike other pre-workouts, Cellular C4 has a slightly lower dosage of ingredients, and that can help to not overstimulate your body and mind.

I remember the first time I tried C4 Original; I was skeptical about its lower dosage. But to my surprise, it was just the right amount! On days when I needed that extra kick, a second scoop did the trick without overstimulating my body.

I also think that this company has come up with the widest range of flavors to choose from, which can help you avoid getting tired of the same product all the time.

Quick Facts:

5 - NitroSurge Pre-Workout (Best for Focus and Endurance)

Rated 4.3/5
4.2
Ingredients
4.4
Texture
4.2
Flavor
4.4
User Ratings
4.2
Ingredient Quality
4.3
Product Effectiveness
NitroSurge Pre-Workout
  • Price per serving : $0.80
  • Key ingredients : L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Caffeine
  • All flavors : Cherry Limeade, Watermelon, Blue Raspberry
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Seems to have an ideal caffeine amount for focus and motivation without jitters
  • Proven active ingredients provide a great energy and endurance boost
  • Comes in very tasty flavor choices, and powder mixes easily

Cons

  • There are no bulk order offers or subscription discounts

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Budget-conscious users
  • Those seeking basic endurance and energy enhancement

Who is it not for?

  • Those looking for organic or natural formulas

Final Verdict

Nitrosurge is an affordable option that delivers essential pre-workout benefits with a straightforward formula. Ideal for regular gym sessions.

The NitroSurge pre-workout supplement might sound like it’s some sort of energy drink, but it has a good formula of proven ingredients.

I was initially drawn to NitroSurge for its nitric oxide boosting ingredients. After a few sessions, I noticed a significant increase in my strength levels. Each lift felt more powerful, and I was hitting new PRs, making it a staple in my pre-workout regimen.

We also noticed that the powder mixes very fast and easily with water and that it has a natural, tasty flavor.

Quick Facts:

6 - Pre-KAGED Elite Pre-workout

Rated 4.1/5
4.1
Ingredients
4.1
Texture
4.2
Flavor
4.2
User Ratings
4.1
Ingredient Quality
4.0
Product Effectiveness
Pre-KAGED Elite Pre-workout
  • Price per serving : $2.00
  • Key ingredients : L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Caffeine
  • All flavors : Krisp Apple, Berry Blast
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Pre-Kaged Elite has a wide range of ingredients in higher-than-average doses
  • Added taurine can help to further provide mental stamina
  • We liked the strawberry lemonade flavor the best as it’s not too sweet

Cons

  • Pre-Kaged Elite can make you jittery due to the high disease of stimulants

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Hardcore trainers needing maximum ingredient doses
  • Bodybuilders and strength athletes

Who is it not for?

  • Beginners and those sensitive to strong stimulants

Final Verdict

Pre-Kaged Elite is tailored for intense workouts and offers a potent formula. Not recommended for those new to pre-workouts or with caffeine sensitivities.

Pre-KAGED Elite pre-workout is aimed at athletes heading into intense training sessions, as it has quite a high dose of all ingredients.

That can be helpful, but my dietitian pointed out that the caffeine dose in Pre-Kaged Elite is almost the recommended daily intake in one go, which could make you jittery [4].

It certainly isn’t the kind of smooth energy for the brain and body that the above products deliver, so take Pre-Kaged Elite with caution.

Quick Facts:

7 - REDCON1 Total War Pre Workout

Rated 4.1/5
4.2
Ingredients
4.0
Texture
4.1
Flavor
4.2
User Ratings
4.1
Ingredient Quality
4.2
Product Effectiveness
REDCON1 Total War Pre Workout
  • Price per serving : $1.20
  • Key ingredients : Beta-Alanine, Caffeine Anhydrous, AMPiberry, Juniperus Communis
  • All flavors : Blue Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi, Sour Gummy Bear
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Ingredients seem to work fast, showing effects within 15 minutes
  • Available in larger tubs with 50 servings to keep you going for months
  • Vegan-certified option for athletes on a plant-based diet

Cons

  • Some of the flavors are a bit too sweet and artificial

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • High-intensity athletes
  • Users seeking fast-acting formulas for immediate results

Who is it not for?

  • Those prone to caffeine side effects

Final Verdict

REDCON1 Total War is designed for athletes who need immediate and powerful effects from their pre-workout. It provides a strong energy surge.

What stood out the most for this REDCON1 pre-workout supplement is that our testing team highlighted that they found the active ingredients kicked in after about 10-15 minutes.

Compared to other pre-workouts, it is very fast and can be worth the extra cost for the pre-workout.

The caffeine dose is high, but not too much to make you jittery, but I’d still be careful taking this for evening training sessions.

Quick Facts:

8 - Huge Supplements Wrecked Pre-Workout

Rated 4.1/5
4.1
Ingredients
4.0
Texture
4.1
Flavor
4.1
User Ratings
4.0
Ingredient Quality
4.0
Product Effectiveness
Huge Supplements Wrecked Pre-Workout
  • Price per serving : $1.50
  • Key ingredients : L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Caffeine Anhydrous, L-Tyrosine
  • All flavors : Rocket Pop, Rainbow Burst, Peach Rings, Bombsicle
  • Third-party tested : No

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The caffeine anhydrous dose seems to be ideal for better focus
  • Contains a large dose of citrulline for improved blood flow to muscles
  • This supplement seems to absorb fast due to added black pepper extract

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors, and you can tell that in the taste

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Experienced users looking for high caffeine content
  • Those who prefer comprehensive ingredient profiles

Who is it not for?

  • Caffeine-sensitive individuals

Final Verdict

Wrecked by Huge Supplements offers a high-energy formula suitable for long and intense training sessions. It's packed with performance enhancers.

Next on our list of best pre-workouts is this one from Huge Supplements, and I’ve used some of the company’s other products with good success. Our test results for this one showed that Wrecked pre-workout delivers clean energy without feeling jittery or overstimulated.

We also noticed that you get some impressive pumps from the citrulline malate, which could make it a good choice for many bodybuilders [5].

Quick Facts:

9 - Beyond Raw LIT

Rated 4.0/5
4.0
Ingredients
4.0
Texture
4.0
Flavor
4.0
User Ratings
4.0
Ingredient Quality
4.0
Product Effectiveness
Beyond Raw LIT
  • Price per serving : $1.20
  • Key ingredients : Beta-Alanine, Creatine Monohydrate, Caffeine
  • All flavors : Gummy Worm, Icy Fireworks, Sour Gummy
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Wide range of notable ingredients with scientific evidence to support them
  • Comes in large bulk-order tubs as well to avoid an extra cost
  • There are a lot of great flavors to choose from

Cons

  • Some of the strength-related ingredients should have a higher dose

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Users who prefer flavor variety
  • Those looking for both creatine and caffeine

Who is it not for?

  • Those avoiding artificial flavors or sweeteners

Final Verdict

Beyond Raw LIT combines good taste with effective workout support, making it a popular choice for regular gym-goers who enjoy flavor variety.

What our testing team liked about this pre-workout supplement from Beyond Raw is that you have a great range of flavors to choose from.

I personally make this a priority as I tend to get tired of taking the same pre-workout flavor all the time.

This one also has a good dose of beta-alanine, which scientists have shown to have a positive impact on workout performance [6].

Quick Facts:

10 - MyoBlox LOCO® Pre-Workout

Rated 4.0/5
4.0
Ingredients
4.0
Texture
4.0
Flavor
4.0
User Ratings
4.0
Ingredient Quality
4.0
Product Effectiveness
MyoBlox LOCO® Pre-Workout
  • Price per serving : $2.25
  • Key ingredients : Beta-Alanine, L-Taurine, Caffeine Anhydrous, L-Tyrosine
  • All flavors : Redwave, Tropicandy, Sherbolicious, Blox Fruit, Silly Drip, CinnaBlox
  • Third-party tested : Yes

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Contains ingredients with added benefits for mental focus
  • Delivers great muscle pumps during strength training
  • Measured improvements in stamina and endurance for all workout sessions

Cons

  • The company uses a partial proprietary blend to hide the exact dose of ingredients

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Athletes seeking intense energy boosts
  • Users interested in unique flavor options

Who is it not for?

  • Those looking for a caffeine-free product

Final Verdict

MyoBlox Loco stands out with its unique flavors and strong energy boost. It's designed for serious workouts and users who can handle high stimulant levels.

The final one of our recommendations is from MyoBlox, and this is another one for those looking for a maximum caffeine dose. For some athletes, that’s what gets through a tough strength or cardio session.

Our testing also showed that this pre-workout seems to work well for great muscle pumps, and that could be a priority for a lot of bodybuilders.

Quick Facts:

How We Chose Pre-Workout With Caffeine

Here's how we choose which products to include.

1. Market Research

Our journey began with extensive market research to identify the most popular and well-regarded pre-workout supplements with caffeine in 2023. We scoured fitness forums, expert reviews, and user feedback to compile an initial list of products that were generating buzz in the fitness community.

2. Consultation with Fitness Experts

To gain insights from professionals in the field, we consulted with fitness trainers, nutritionists, and athletes who provided valuable input on the effectiveness and safety of various products. Their expertise helped us filter out products that didn't meet our stringent criteria.

3. Independently Testing Products

Transparency and objectivity are paramount to us. Therefore, we went the extra mile by independently testing each product featured in this article. We ordered the supplements anonymously and engaged a group of independent testers, including both seasoned athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

4. Consideration of Ingredients

We closely examined the ingredient lists of each product, paying special attention to the caffeine content, as well as the presence of other performance-enhancing compounds. This scrutiny helped us assess the safety and quality of the supplements.

5. Effectiveness

For our caffeine-inclusive pre-workout, we looked for a product that delivered a significant and sustained boost in energy, focus, and endurance. We conducted a series of performance tests, both in controlled environments and through user trials.

Participants were asked to report on their levels of alertness, their ability to sustain intense workouts, and any improvements in their exercise performance. We also monitored for any adverse effects, such as jitters or a crash in energy levels, which can be associated with caffeine consumption.

The product that consistently showed a marked improvement in workout metrics without negative side effects was rated highest in effectiveness.

6. Price

We sought to find a pre-workout with caffeine that offered the best value for money. This didn't necessarily mean the cheapest option; rather, we looked for a product that provided a balance between cost and quality.

We calculated the cost per serving and compared it across various brands, taking into account the number of active ingredients and their dosages.

We also considered the size of the product, the recommended serving size, and any bulk purchase options or subscription discounts available.

7. User Feedback and Reviews

We also considered user feedback and reviews from individuals who had used these pre-workout supplements. This real-world input provided valuable insights into user experiences, potential side effects, and overall satisfaction with the products.

8. Final Selection Criteria

After gathering and analyzing all the data, we applied strict selection criteria to choose the top pre-workout supplements with caffeine. Factors such as effectiveness, safety, ingredient quality, and user feedback played pivotal roles in our final selections.

Buyer’s Guide

Holding supplement product while on a laptop

When you’re trying to choose between different pre-workouts, take the time to consider these important factors.

Caffeine Dose In Pre-Workouts

Caffeine is scientifically proven to improve exercise performance. When caffeine enters the bloodstream, a cascade of physiological reactions occurs. One of the most significant effects is the increase in adrenaline levels, the “fight or flight” hormone that prepares the body for intense physical exertion.

This hormone surge results in enhanced blood flow to the muscles, increased heart rate, and improved oxygen uptake, all leading to increased physical performance.

Caffeine also plays a crucial role in mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues, making them available for energy production. To get all these benefits, you need the correct dose of caffeine.

believe that most people should look for a dose of about 180 mg as you get with Gorilla Mode. It’s enough for the mental and physical boost without making you feel jittery.

“Most adults don't experience the effects of caffeine intoxication when drinking less than 250 milligrams of caffeine (about 2.5 cups of coffee) per day.”

- Tyra Tennyson Francis, MD

The strongest pre-workouts we saw were over 350 mg, like Pre-Kaged. I’d be cautious with such high doses and only recommend them if you know you can handle that amount in one go.

Related: How Much Caffeine is in Pre-workout?

Other Stimulating Ingredients

You can go the natural route, and explore natural alternatives to caffeine that can be found in pre-workout supplements. During our testing and research for the best pre-workout options, we also looked for other focus-enhancing ingredients like green tea leaves, ginseng, and taurine [7].

For some athletes, that’s going to be a good thing, but you want to make sure that you don’t end up overstimulated and jittery. That can end up ruining a training session rather than helping.

Finally, you can make personalized pre-workout plans based on your individual goals, body types, and sensitivities. Create their own mix of ingredients to suit your specific needs and workout regimes. But, if you feel this is too much work, or you don't have all the necessary knowledge, consult a professional trainer such as myself.

Who Should Take Pre-Workout With Caffeine?

Athletes who are looking for boosted focus, motivation, and fat-burning for their training should consider taking pre-workout with caffeine.

These types of pre-workouts can have a significant effect on your ability to stay on target while at the same time pushing your body that bit further. 

And you shouldn’t mistake such a pre-workout as a type of energy drink.

These products don’t deliver a huge sugar rush but instead focus on supporting your body’s ability to increase energy and lower fatigue naturally.

FAQs

Which Caffeine Is Best For Pre-Workout?

Caffeine anhydrous is best for pre-workout as it tends to be fast to absorb. It also helps to provide a more standard dose and effect, allowing you to get an ideal dosage for your needs.

Is 300 mg Of Caffeine A Lot In Pre-Workout?

Yes, 300 mg of caffeine is a lot in pre-workout. It’s about the same as three cups of coffee all in one go, and that could make you feel jittery and impact your sleep as well.

Our Verdict on the Best Pre-Workout With Caffeine

Out of all the best pre-workout supplements that we tested, we got peak performance results with Gorilla Mode. It seems to deliver an ideal dose of caffeine that provides focus and motivation without the jitters.

Our tests found that the overall formula also has a great selection of proven ingredients that will deliver more workout energy and reduce your fatigue.

Try it yourself and find out how big of a difference it will make in your next high-intensity workout.

Our #1 Recommendation

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Supplement (Best Overall)

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Supplement

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

4.8
Ingredients
4.9
Texture
4.8
Flavor
4.8
User Ratings
4.9
Ingredient Quality
4.9
Product Effectiveness
Pros
  • Contains a moderate amount of caffeine anhydrous that shouldn’t cause jitters
  • Fast-acting formula that provides benefits within 20 minutes
  • The powder mixes easily with water and doesn’t get clumpy
  • The flavor is great and doesn’t taste artificial or overly sweet
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of June
Cons
  • Free shipping is only available when you spend $100
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Our ingredients score is based on 3 factors including: transparency, blend disclosure, and dosage accuracy. We conduct third-party lab verification of ingredients. The score is an objective measure of the lab test results compared to the product label. For more information see our ingredients score explanation here.
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Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.