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
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Pre Lab Pro
Pre Lab Pro
Effectiveness
4.9
Ingredients
4.9
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.9
Price
4.7
Overall Score 4.8
4.8
Click For Best Price

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

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

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Supplement
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
Overall Score 5.0
Click For Best Price

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
  • Caffeine : 175 mg
  • Creatine : 2500 mg
  • Betaine Anhydrous : 1250 mg
  • L-Tyrosine : 750 mg

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)

Pre Lab Pro
4.9
Effectiveness
4.9
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Overall Score 4.9
Click For Best Price

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
  • Caffeine : 80 mg
  • L-Theanine : 160 mg
  • L-Tyrosine : 400 mg
  • Red Beet Powder : 1500 mg

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)

Transparent Labs
4.8
Effectiveness
4.9
Ingredients
4.7
Price
Overall Score 4.8
Click For Best Price

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
  • Caffeine : 180 mg
  • Citrulline : 6000 mg
  • Taurine : 1300 mg
  • Beta-Alanine : 4000 mg

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)

C4 Original
4.8
Effectiveness
4.7
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Overall Score 4.8
Click For Best Price

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
  • Caffeine : 150 mg
  • Beta-Alanine : 1.6 g
  • L-Citrulline : 1 g
  • Creatine : 1 g

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)

NitroSurge Pre-Workout
4.7
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.7
Price
Overall Score 4.7
Click For Best Price

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
  • Caffeine : 180 mg
  • Betaine : 1.25 g
  • Theobromine : 50 mg
  • L-Theanine : 90 mg

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

Pre-KAGED Elite Pre-workout
4.7
Effectiveness
4.7
Ingredients
4.6
Price
Overall Score 4.7
Click For Best Price

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
  • Caffeine : 388 mg
  • Betaine Anhydrous : 2500 mg
  • Creatine : 5000 mg
  • Taurine : 2000 mg

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

REDCON1 Total War Pre Workout
4.6
Effectiveness
4.7
Ingredients
4.5
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

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
  • Caffeine : 250 mg
  • Taurine : 1 g
  • Citrulline Malate : 6 g
  • Green Tea Leaves : 45 mg

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

Huge Supplements Wrecked Pre-Workout
4.6
Effectiveness
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

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
  • Caffeine : 250 mg
  • L-Tyrosine : 1500 mg
  • Citrulline Malate : 6000 mg
  • Beta-Alanine : 3500 mg

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

Beyond Raw LIT
4.6
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.7
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

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
  • Caffeine : 250 mg
  • Creatine : 1.5 g
  • L-Citrulline : 3g
  • Beta-Alanine : 3.2 g

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

MyoBlox LOCO® Pre-Workout
4.6
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.5
Price
Overall Score 4.5
Check Current Price

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
  • Caffeine : 400 mg
  • L-Theanine : Proprietary Blend
  • Citrulline : 6000 mg
  • L-Taurine : 2000 mg

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
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
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 February
Cons
  • Free shipping is only available when you spend $100
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