11 Best Pre-Workouts With Creatine Supplements (2024)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 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.

For effective muscle pumps, my fitness clients value pre-workouts with creatine, paired with a diet rich in protein, carbs, and fats.

Knowing the importance of creatine is the easy part. The difficult part is identifying quality pre-workout supplements with creatine content.

After extensive research with colleagues at Total Shape and client trials, I've compiled a guide to the best pre-workout supplements with creatine based on years of experience.

The Best Pre-Workouts With Creatine Supplements

Editor's Choice
Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout
Gorilla Mode
Taste
4.9
Quality
5.0
Value
4.9
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
4 Gauge Pre-Workout
4 Gauge
Taste
4.8
Quality
4.9
Value
4.9
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
Naked Energy All-Natural Pre-Workout
Naked Energy
Taste
4.7
Quality
4.8
Value
4.8
Overall Score 4.8
4.8
Check Current Price

Our Top Pre-workouts With Creatine (April 2024)

1 - Gorilla Mode Pre-workout (Best Overall)

Rated 4.9/5
4.9
Taste
5.0
Quality
4.9
Value
Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout
  • Creatine Monohydrate : 2500 mg
  • L-Citrulline : 4500 mg
  • Caffeine : 175mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A hefty dose of creatine for maximum lean muscle gain
  • L-citrulline increases blood flow, feeding your muscles oxygen and nutrients
  • A wide variety of flavors to appeal to different tastes

Cons

  • The dosage of caffeine may be too intense for sensitive people

Since I started using Gorilla Mode years ago for its energy boost and quick recovery, I've been hooked.

It's got a solid, research-backed muscle-building blend, available in various flavors. With 2500 mg of creatine per serving, two servings daily provide 5000 mg, ideal for intense workouts and recovery.

My clients report improved athletic performance without stomach issues. Regular use enhances muscle health and endurance, something I've witnessed firsthand.

The caffeine in it also boosts energy and focus, making workouts both a physical and mental victory.

Quick Facts:

Get 10% off using coupon code:  TOTALSHAPE

2 - 4 Gauge Pre-workout (Best for Intense Workouts)

Rated 4.9/5
4.8
Taste
4.9
Quality
4.9
Value
4 Gauge Pre-Workout
  • Creatine Monohydrate : 1000 mg
  • L-Citrulline : 6000 mg
  • Caffeine : 150 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Caffeine and L-theanine for laser focus
  • Massive amount of L-Citrulline to boost nitric oxide production
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • May cause an upset stomach

4 Gauge shines as a top-notch, wallet-friendly pre-workout, designed for those craving an intense workout experience.

Packed with a hefty dose of citrulline malate, a key player in nitric oxide production, it ramps up blood flow to muscles during tough workouts. This amino acid pairs well with creatine's strength and energy boost.

The mix of caffeine and l-theanine in 4 Gauge sharpens focus, backed by research from the National Library of Medicine [1].

But a heads-up for the caffeine-sensitive: it might leave you a bit jittery.

Our crew noticed better muscle endurance and faster recovery with 4 Gauge, powering through to the last rep with more oomph.

Quick Facts:

3 - Naked Energy Pre-workout (Best Vegan-Friendly)

Rated 4.8/5
4.7
Taste
4.8
Quality
4.8
Value
Naked Energy All-Natural Pre-Workout
  • Creatine Monohydrate : 1000 mg
  • Beta-alanine : 2000 mg
  • Caffeine : 200 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly formula
  • Unflavored option available
  • Natural ingredients

Cons

  • The fruit punch flavor tastes bad

Naked Energy aimed to craft a pure, natural pre-workout supplement for both men and women. I took a close look at the label and found it hit the mark: after listing essential pre-workout ingredients, it simply states, “Other ingredients: None.”

The creatine dose resonated with our female participants, who discovered its benefits for muscle and brain health. Plus, the addition of beta-alanine helps enhance body composition.

Unlike many supplements using caffeine anhydrous from coffee plant seeds and leaves, Naked Energy opts for caffeine from unroasted coffee beans.

Our testers felt a boost in their workout performance, though some experienced a brief tingling sensation, more so if they were coffee drinkers.

Quick Facts:

4 - Cellucor C4 Pre-workout (Best for Pump)

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Taste
4.8
Quality
4.7
Value
Cellucor C4 Original Pre-Workout
  • Creatine Nitrate : 1000 mg
  • Beta-alanine : 1600 mg
  • Caffeine : 150 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Calories and carbs listed on the label
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Significant “subscribe and save” discount

Cons

  • Many negative reviews for powder hardening and clumping, rendering it unusable

I was part of the team testing Cellucor C4 pre-workout, and the explosive energy it promised? Totally real and noticeable. Turns out, other testers also felt a significant boost in energy and muscle pumps.

I'm usually skeptical about proprietary blends, and Cellucor's "Explosive Energy Blend" is a bit vague, revealing only 150 mg of caffeine and leaving out specifics for velvet bean seed extract and acrine.

We were fans of the beta-alanine level, though, which helped reduce muscle fatigue and synergized well with creatine for enhanced muscle pumps.

However, some of us felt the caffeine dose was on the lower side compared to other pre-workouts, lacking that extra focus kick.

Quick Facts:

5 - JYM Supplement Science Pre Jym (Best for Focus)

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Taste
4.6
Quality
4.8
Value
JYM Supplement Science Pre Jym
  • Creatine HCL : 2000 mg
  • Beta-alanine : 2000 mg
  • Caffeine : 300 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Stimulant heavy for those seeking laser focus and aren’t bothered by jitters
  • Available from online retailers like Amazon, iHerb, and Vitaminshoppe
  • Offers 15% off every subscription order

Cons

  • Added sugars and artificial flavors won’t appeal to many users

Pre Jym, a veteran in the pre-workout supplement game for almost ten years, packs a punch with creatine, beta-alanine, caffeine, and BCAAs. These ingredients, especially BCAAs, are known to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, as highlighted by Frontiers in Physiology [2].

During a test session, Pre Jym noticeably ramped up my focus and energy in an intense circuit training workout. The caffeine boost was significant, enhancing both my physical and mental sharpness.

Other testers experienced increased stamina and faster reflexes. However, we did spot artificial flavors and added sugars in its mix, which might be a concern for those in a cutting phase.

Quick Facts:

6 - Altius Pre-workout (Cheapest Option)

Rated 4.7/5
4.6
Taste
4.7
Quality
4.7
Value
Altius Pre-Workout Supplements
  • Creatine Monohydrate : 3000 mg
  • Citrulline malate : 8000 mg
  • Caffeine : 325 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Includes stevia, a no-calorie, natural sweetener
  • No unnecessary fillers or dyes
  • A heavy dose of citrulline malate offers significant muscle-building and recovery benefits

Cons

  • Many negative reviews regarding taste

Jacked Factory Altius stands out as a stimulant-rich pre-workout, similar to Pre Jym. Whether that's a pro or a con depends on personal taste and how well you handle stimulants.

Our morning workout enthusiasts loved its strong caffeine kick. However, those who hit the gym in the evenings might lean towards a stimulant-free option.

It packs a whopping 8,000 mg of citrulline malate, known for boosting blood flow, reducing high blood pressure, and enhancing athletic performance, as noted in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism [3].

Quick Facts:

7 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-workout (Best for Beginners)

Rated 4.6/5
4.6
Taste
4.7
Quality
4.6
Value
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout
  • Creatine Monohydrate : 3000 mg
  • Citrulline malate : 1500 mg
  • Caffeine : 175 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Promotes nitric oxide levels, improving blood flow
  • Flavors like green apple and fruit punch are popular among users
  • Readily available online or in brick-and-mortar stores

Cons

  • BCAAs would have been a great addition to combat muscle soreness

After trying Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard, I now recommend it for its energy boost and muscle fatigue reduction, especially for endurance athletes and bodybuilders.

Its blend of citrulline malate, vitamin D, beta-alanine, creatine, and caffeine is great for energy and muscle repair. Adding BCAAs could further ease muscle soreness.

Our testers liked its energy boost, non-jittery feel, tasty fruit punch flavor, and easy mixability.

Quick Facts:

8 - ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature Series Pre-workout (Best Value)

Rated 4.6/5
4.8
Taste
4.4
Quality
4.6
Value
ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature Series Pre Workout
  • Creatine Monohydrate : 2500 mg
  • Beta-alanine : 1500 mg
  • Caffeine : 196 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Available on Amazon
  • Many positive reviews on taste

Cons

  • Includes artificial sweeteners, flavors, and dyes

ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature Series Pre-workout is a complex mix. Its label divides ingredients into "Strength Matrix," "Intensity Matrix," and "Stimulatory Matrix."

The Stimulatory Matrix, mainly caffeine and theacrine (a caffeine-like compound), totals 222 mg. It gives a decent energy boost, but don't expect miracles.

Testers' experiences with the Strength Matrix varied; some reported improved muscle pumps, while others didn't notice much change in performance. However, they unanimously found Mr. Hyde Signature to be one of the tastier pre-workout options available.

Quick Facts:

“Based on the scientific evidence, creatine monohydrate is the recommended form. It’s backed by the strongest research, with studies demonstrating its effectiveness at increasing your body’s stores and improving exercise performance. While several other forms exist, most of them have minimal research examining their effectiveness.”

  • Grant Tinsley, Ph.D

9 - Cracked Pre-workout (Best With Multi-Creatine)

Rated 4.6/5
4.8
Taste
4.3
Quality
4.6
Value
Cracked Pre-Workout
  • Creatine HCL : 2000 mg
  • L-citrulline Malate : 5000 mg
  • Caffeine : 200 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Added essential vitamins and minerals to the formula
  • It contains black pepper extract to aid absorption

Cons

  • “Mostly naturally flavored” means it contains artificial ingredients

Fancy names for proprietary blends on pre-workout labels, like those on Cracked Pre-workout, often don't reflect the actual contents. I prefer straightforward, line-by-line ingredient information.

Cracked does include some top-notch vitamins and minerals, which our testers appreciated for overall health benefits.

Clients who tried it pre-workout noted it lacked the usual punch found in other brands. While they missed the performance boost from beta-alanine, they didn't miss the tingling sensation often associated with it.

Quick Facts:

10 - NutraBio Pre-workout Powder (Best for Athletes)

Rated 4.5/5
4.7
Taste
4.4
Quality
4.4
Value
NutraBio Pre-workout Powder
  • Creatine Monohydrate : 3000 mg
  • Beta-alanine : 3200 mg
  • Caffeine : 350 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Contains key ingredients for a pre-workout
  • Good caffeine content to improve mental performance
  • Beetroot powder for color

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other pre-workouts

NutraBio boasts about creating "the most effective and purest pre-workouts" with "clinical doses of 22 research-backed ingredients."

I was particularly impressed with the inclusion of l-leucine, a key BCAA vital for muscle protein synthesis, essential for muscle growth and recovery, as highlighted by the National Institutes of Health [4].

This element was absent in other pre-workouts we reviewed. NutraBio's formula is well-dosed for muscle building, recovery, and energy.

However, some testers experienced stomach issues, a downside considering the premium price.

Quick Facts:

11 - KAGED MUSCLE Pre-workout (Strongest Pre-Workout)

Rated 4.5/5
4.6
Taste
4.5
Quality
4.4
Value
KAGED MUSCLE Pre-workout
  • Creatine HCL : 1500 mg
  • L-citrulline : 6500mg
  • Caffeine : 274 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It contains coconut water powder to aid hydration
  • Contains stevia extract
  • Many positive reviews on its effectiveness

Cons

  • Contains artificial sweetener, sucralose

Kaged Muscle's pre-workout goes big with a 32.3 g scoop per serving, providing sustained energy, as confirmed by our testers.

While the recommended mix is 12-16 ounces of water, we preferred 16 ounces to balance the tart flavor.

A standout ingredient is coconut water powder, rare in pre-workouts, aiding quick rehydration and electrolyte replenishment during intense workouts, emphasizing the need for hydration.

Quick Facts:

How We Picked These Products

Our selection of the finest pre-workout supplements with creatine was a thorough process, guided by key criteria:

  1. Creatine Content and Type: We focused on the type and amount of creatine, ensuring optimal muscle energy and recovery benefits. Different forms of creatine were compared for their efficacy and absorption rates.
  2. Ingredient Quality and Purity: We rigorously assessed the purity of ingredients, prioritizing products free from harmful additives and unnecessary fillers, ensuring safety and effectiveness.
  3. Dosage and Serving Size: Proper dosing was crucial. We evaluated the recommended serving sizes to strike a balance between effectiveness and safety, avoiding over-supplementation.
  4. Flavor and Mixability: Recognizing the importance of taste and ease of use, we tested each product's flavor and its ability to mix smoothly with liquids.
  5. Price and Brand Reputation: We balanced cost with quality, seeking products that offered value for money. Additionally, we researched brand reputations and customer feedback to gauge reliability and trustworthiness.

Integrating these supplements into our routines, we gathered firsthand insights into their performance and user experience, ensuring our recommendations were both practical and reliable.

Buying Guide: What to Look for When Buying Pre-Workouts With Creatine

A buyer rating a product using a smartphone

There are many more options than the eleven best pre-workout supplements discussed here. Let me outline some critical things to consider when purchasing a pre-workout.

Who Should Take Pre-workout with Creatine?

People who want to improve their workout performance and increase muscle mass or those aiming for specific fitness goals should take pre-workout with creatine.

Take pre-workout with creatine if you want to improve muscular endurance and stamina.

Creatine helps produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), providing muscle energy. The body produces creatine on its own, and protein-rich foods like meat and fish contain it.

“Creatine is one of the best supplements for improving strength and high-intensity exercise performance. It works by increasing your capacity to produce ATP energy.”

-Rudy Mawer, MSc., CISSN

Who Shouldn’t Take Pre-workout With Creatine?

You should not take pre-workout with creatine if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes.

Pregnant or nursing women and young children should also avoid creatine pre-workouts.

What Other Ingredients Work Well With Creatine?

Spilled coffee beans

Other ingredients that work well with creatine are Beta-alanine, Glutamine, Caffeine, and L-arginine. Beta-alanine can bump up carnosine levels, teaming up with creatine to boost muscle strength, growth, and recovery.

Glutamine, another amino acid, helps ease post-workout soreness, aiding in recovery, while creatine fuels your muscles.

Caffeine can increase focus, performance, and recovery working with creatine for a more focused and longer higher intensity workout.

And lastly, L-arginine steps up nitric oxide production, improving blood flow. This gives your muscles the oxygen and nutrients they need, enhancing performance when used with creatine.

What Ingredients to Avoid

What ingredients to avoid in a pre-workout often comes down to personal preference and how your body reacts.

Choose caffeine-free if it causes jitters or sleep issues, and consult your doctor for safe levels.

Aim for pre-workouts without unnecessary additives, fillers, or artificial ingredients. Simpler labels are usually better.

Avoid proprietary blends for clearer ingredient knowledge. Competitive athletes should steer clear of banned substances.

“When selecting a pre-workout, be mindful of unwanted added ingredients, such as sugar, and to focus on products that add to your current lifestyle and a nutrient-rich eating approach.”

- Wendy Bazilian, Ph.D

Value

A close up shot of measuring cup full of creatine

Keep in mind, the ideal daily creatine dose is between 2250-10,000 mg (2.25-10 grams). Check this on supplement labels to get the most bang for your buck.

Don't be swayed by a long list of fancy-sounding ingredients or blends; they don't always mean you're getting more value, especially if it's over two bucks a scoop.

You can find pre-workouts at a lower price that still pack a punch with the right doses of essentials like caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, BCAAs, and L-citrulline. The real deal is finding a product with the right mix of ingredients that align with your fitness goals.

FAQs

Is Pre-workout With Creatine Good?

Yes, a pre-workout with creatine is good because it helps fuel your muscles, enhancing both endurance and strength during intense training sessions. Creatine significantly benefits high-intensity speed exercise, endurance, muscular strength, power, and lean mass.

Which Creatine Is Best for Pre-workout?

The best creatine for pre-workout is creatine monohydrate. It is cost-effective, widely available, thoroughly researched, and has a good track record of improving exercise performance in pre-workouts or as a stand-alone supplement.

Is It Better to Take Creatine Before or After a Workout?

It is better to take a creatine supplement before your workout. Creatine promotes muscle growth and strength gains and delays muscle tiredness. Taking a pre-workout with creatine thirty minutes before working out can increase workout intensity and improve muscle pumps and recovery. It allows you to sustain your routine and take it to the next level, thus resulting in greater gains in the long run.

Our Pick for the Best Pre-workout With Creatine

After an extensive evaluation of various pre-workouts, our team unanimously agrees that Gorilla Mode stands out as the best.

Through rigorous testing, both personally and with my clients, we experienced significant improvements in energy, focus, and muscle recovery.

Its balanced blend of creatine, caffeine, and other key ingredients consistently delivered the results we sought.

Gorilla Mode not only met but exceeded our expectations, making it my top recommendation for anyone seeking an effective pre-workout supplement.

Our #1 Recommendation

Gorilla Mode Pre-workout (Best Overall)

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

4.9
Taste
5.0
Quality
4.9
Value
Pros
  • A hefty dose of creatine for maximum lean muscle gain
  • L-citrulline increases blood flow, feeding your muscles oxygen and nutrients
  • A wide variety of flavors to appeal to different tastes
  • Get 10% off using code: TOTALSHAPE
Cons
  • The dosage of caffeine may be too intense for sensitive people
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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. 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
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

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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.