Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

While the supplement industry has come a long way in the last 10 years when it comes to texture and flavor, there are still a lot of pretty nasty tasting products out there.

Of course, it’s not all about flavor.

The supplement still has to do what it claims it does, but we shouldn’t have to drink these shakes while pinching our nose, right?

So, our team here at Total Shape decided to set up an elaborate taste test of more than 40 different pre-workout supplements. It was a fun experience and has given us a list of the best tasting pre workout products to share with you.

Top 10 Pre-Workouts That Taste The Best

1 - Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout (Editor's Choice)

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Product

After a heated debate and the editor’s vote, we all agreed that Gorilla Mode was the best pre workout when it came to taste.

Of course, it also has shown some great results in our clients, and the online reviews are pretty impressive.

The only thing I found is that I got a bit bored with the flavors after a while.

  • L-Citrulline: 4500mg
  • Creatine Monohydrate: 2500mg
  • Caffeine: 175mg
Pros
  • Claims to have a nitric oxide boosting formula
  • High dose of caffeine may help with mental focus and fat burning
  • Many positive comments about good endurance and energy boost
  • Good feedback on the available flavors
Cons
  • Some more flavor options would be great

2 - Transparent Labs Pre-Workout

Transparent labs thumb

Because Transparent Labs only uses natural ingredients, it’s a vegan friendly pre-workout and you’ll find that it tastes great unlike many other products.

I also like that it’s not too powerful on the stimulant side of things.

Available in a good selection of flavors, I would just suggest adding a bit more water, so it’s not overpowering.

  • L-Citrulline: 6000mg
  • BCAA's: 2000mg
  • Caffeine: 180mg
Pros
  • Has no artificial additives or flavors
  • Contains a broad range of amino acids including BCAAs
  • Flavors like green apple and blue raspberry are quite refreshing
  • A moderate dose of stimulants may help to avoid the jitters
Cons
  • You may want to mix each scoop with a bit more liquid for a less powerful flavor

3 - Performance Lab Pre-Workout

Performance Lab Sport Pre Workout Product Thermogenic PreWorkout

Considered by some people on our team to be the best pre-workout in general, it’s mainly favored as it’s caffeine-free.

That makes it a good choice for late gym sessions or if you’re overly sensitive to stimulants.

This is also our recommended pre-workout for running.

It doesn’t technically have a “taste” since it’s in capsule form, so some people may prefer this over powdered pre workouts.

  • L-Citrulline: 2200mg
  • Creatine Monohydrate: 1250mg
Pros
  • Many comments that the creatine monohydrate and L-citrulline may boost strength
  • Claims to give you better pumps from higher nitric oxide
  • Caffeine-free makes it suitable for use later in the day
  • Plant-based ingredients with little to no side effects
Cons
  • Full dose requires taking 4 capsules in one go

But you do need to take 4 capsules in one go, and that can be a lot to some.

4 - NITROSURGE Pre-Workout

Nitrosurge Pre Workout Product

This one is favored by most of my bodybuilder clients for the strong pump effect it claims to have.

There is a good selection of tastes, and I would recommend trying the fruit punch one first.

The only downside is that there are some artificial flavors involved.

  • L-Citrulline: 3000mg
  • Beta Alanine: 1600mg
  • Caffeine: 180mg
Pros
  • Good reactions from bodybuilders about the increased pump effect
  • Added beta alanine may help with reducing muscle fatigue
  • Combination of caffeine and L-theanine may boost mental focus
  • Available in tasty flavors (watermelon and fruit punch are a favorite)
Cons
  • It does have some artificial ingredients

5 - Cobra Labs The Curse Pre-Workout

Cobra-Labs-The-Curse-Pre-Workout-250x250

Cobra Labs stood out for me as there were quite a few reports of it combining fast-acting with best tasting characteristics.

From my clients’ feedback, it has helped with workout stamina, and the available tastes are pretty refreshing, I have to say.

Personally, I get annoyed when I see proprietary blends, but it does seem to work well.

  • L-Citrulline: 900mg
  • Creatine Monohydrate: 3000mg
  • Caffeine: 155mg
Pros
  • Claims to target mental energy focus
  • Available in large tubs of 50 servings
  • Positive comments about the fast-acting effects
  • Green apple is refreshing and mixes easily
Cons
  • Details about the blend of ingredients are proprietary

6 - MusclePharm Assault Sport Pre-Workout

MusclePharm Assault Pre-workout Powder

This seems to have become the best pre-workout favored by professionals.

It does have a lot of stimulants, but more importantly, it’s tested for banned substances.

With added vitamins, it’s also more than just one of the best tasting product choices.

  • Beta Alanine: 1750mg
  • Creatine Monohydrate: 3000mg
  • Caffeine: 250mg
Pros
  • Favored by many professional athletes for the strong stimulant effect
  • Includes added vitamins to support healthy muscle function
  • Tested for banned substances
  • A good dose of creatine that may help increase stamina
Cons
  • Caffeine and taurine combination may be a bit much if you’re sensitive to stimulants

7 - Cellucor C4 Extreme Energy Pre-Workout

Cellucor C4 thumb

I’ve used Cellucor a few times when I needed that motivation for a tough gym session.

What I like is that it mixes fast and doesn’t taste too overpowering.

Just keep in mind that not all the flavors are naturally sourced.

Check out the Full Buyer's Guide for Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout.

  • L-Citrulline: 1000mg
  • Creatine Nitrate: 1000mg
Pros
  • A strong dose of caffeine may help with motivation and fat loss
  • Easy to shake into a smooth texture
  • A completely sugar-free option that may reduce the impact on diets
  • Many positive comments about the blue razz flavor
Cons
  • It does contain some artificial flavors

8 - Jym Pre-Workout

Pre JYM Pre Workout Powder Product

What we like about this product is the low sugar and calorie amounts.

Sugar is something that is often used just to make things tastier.

One thing you need to keep in mind, though, is that there’s a lot of caffeine that some people report makes them jittery.

  • Beta Alanine: 2000mg
  • Creatine Monohydrate: 2000mg
  • L-Citrulline: 6000mg
Pros
  • 6 grams of BCAAs per serving
  • Low in sugar and calories to not mess up your diet
  • Nice flavor options available to mix things up a bit
  • Contains only natural flavors for more natural taste
Cons
  • High dose of stimulants may leave you jittery

9 - Evlution Nutrition ENGN Pre-Workout

Evlution thumb

It’s nice to see a supplement that also has important vitamins alongside the protein sources, as this is something often overlooked from a muscle function point of view.

Definitely give the blue raz a try, as it seems to be the most popular based on the comments I read.

I just wish that the company would be open about the exact blend details.

  • Beta Alanine: 1600mg
  • Creatine Monohydrate: 2000mg
Pros
  • Combines creatine and beta alanine for endurance and power
  • Added vitamins that may support better performance
  • Good reports about mental stamina from caffeine
  • Largest selection of flavors on the market
Cons
  • Some ingredients are hidden behind a proprietary blend

10 - BPI Sports 1.M.R Strength Series Pre-Workout

BPI Sports thumb

Considered the best for pre workout stamina boosts in the bodybuilding niche, it’s good to see that it’s not overly reliant on stimulants.

It’s more the carnitine and citrulline that may create natural power boosts.

The only thing I found is that it sometimes remains a little bit grainy after shaking.

  • L-Citrulline: 3000mg
  • Caffeine: 250mg
Pros
  • Combination of carnitine and citrulline for powerful muscle pump
  • Claims to improve your stamina at the gym
  • Rainbow ice flavor is refreshing
  • A moderate dose of caffeine may reduce jitters
Cons
  • The texture could be improved a little bit

What to Look for in a Good Pre-Workout Supplement?

A good quality pre-workout supplement will contain only natural ingredients that are backed by science.

Here are some of the more important ones that my dietitian mentioned we should focus on.

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1 - L-Citrulline

Most pre-workout supplements contain some of it, and anything above 4 grams should increase nitric oxide levels [1]. This may have the positive effect of increasing blood flow to deliver more oxygen and energy to muscles. It gets your pumps on!

B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), and B12 (cobalamin), each essential for overall health but become even more important when you're actively trying to grow muscle and get stronger,
- Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Health and Diet Writer

2 - Beta-Alanine

Several clinical trials have shown that exercise and training results could be improved with a regular dose of beta-alanine [2]. If you see it on a nutrition formula label with at least 1 to 2 grams, then you could be onto a decent choice.

You can also check out our list of beta-alanine supplements.

3 - Creatine

This has been shown to help with resistance training by allowing test subjects to work harder for longer in high-intensity training sessions [3].

Related Articles:

4 - Vitamins

So many supplements these days completely underestimate the need for vitamins in regular and exercise muscle function. Look out for things like B6 and B12, but vitamin D boosts may also help [4].

5 - Stimulants

Yes, you could just have a few cups of coffee to get your brain in gear, but it’s much easier in concentrated form in a supplement. Just make sure you don’t overstimulate late in the day, or you could end up with a sleepless night.

Other Resources:

Pre-Workout Supplements Vs. Meals

women flexing

Many professional athletes will aim to get as many nutrients as possible from a good pre-workout meal. The problem is that some of the proteins, like BCAAs, would require quite a large meal to get the total boost needed.

And hitting the gym on a full stomach might not be a great idea.

With the above reviews, you have product choices that taste good, won’t make you feel full, and a formula that may provide you all the nutrients in a condensed and easily absorbed form.

Can You Take Both Pre-Workout And Post-workout Supplements?

Yes, you can take both pre-workout and post-workout supplements, and in many cases, that may actually be a very sensible choice to make.

The pre workouts aim to make you get more out of your time at the gym, but this may also mean that your muscles could be considerably stiffer.

By taking a post-workout protein, you could speed up the recovery process as well. It’s certainly an approach that is recommended in the bodybuilding industry, so if you want to see some faster bulking, definitely give it a try.

Our #1 Best Tasting Pre-Workout

Of all the pre-workout supplements we’ve tried, the one we all agreed tastes great is the Gorilla Mode one. Not only that, but it also has the benefit of actually working pretty well.

Yes, it’s got quite a bit of caffeine, but unless you’re exercising late in the evening, that could actually go in your favor for weight loss and cutting.

Let us know how it works out for you by joining the conversation on social media.

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Product

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout

Our #1 Best Tasting Pre-Workout

  • Claims to have a nitric oxide boosting formula
  • High dose of caffeine may help with mental focus and fat burning
  • Many positive comments about good endurance and energy boost
  • Good feedback on the available flavors
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of November
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