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.
Our top Products
#1 Gorilla Mode
#2 Transparent Labs
#3 Performance Lab
1 - Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout (Editor's Choice)
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.
2 - Transparent Labs Pre-Workout
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.
3 - Performance Lab Pre-Workout
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.
But you do need to take 4 capsules in one go, and that can be a lot to some.
4 - NITROSURGE Pre-Workout
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.
5 - Cobra Labs The Curse Pre-Workout
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.
6 - MusclePharm Assault Sport Pre-Workout
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.
7 - Cellucor C4 Extreme Energy Pre-Workout
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.
8 - Jym Pre-Workout
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.
9 - Evlution Nutrition ENGN Pre-Workout
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.
10 - BPI Sports 1.M.R Strength Series Pre-Workout
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.
What Goes Into A Good Quality 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.
1 - L-Citrulline
Most pre-workout supplements contain some of it, and anything above 4 grams should increase nitric oxide levels . 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 . If you see it on a nutrition formula label with at least 1 to 2 grams, then you could be onto a decent choice.
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 .
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 .
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.
Pre-Workout Supplements Vs. Meals
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.
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.
So, Which One Of The Best Tasting Options Should You Try?
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.
Our #1 Best Tasting Pre-Workout