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12 Most Popular Pre-Workouts of 2022 [Best Pre-Workout Drink]

So you’ve decided to try a pre-workout. But where the hell do you start? With the most popular ones, of course.

😰 Did you know? According to NSF Sports, pre-workouts are meant to give you that extra boost to help you push through the parts of your workout where you want to give up.

Today I’m showing you the most popular pre-workouts of this year.

You’ll discover their:

  • caffeine content
  • calories
  • flavors
  • ingredients
  • pros and cons
  • testimonials
  • cost

And more.

Why should I choose a popular pre-workout?

I think one of the biggest benefits of choosing a popular pre-workout is that others did the investigative work for you.

So you don’t have to.

With their feedback, you can learn what most consumers think is the most effective product.

The downside of not choosing a popular pre-workout is that you might come across trash pre-workouts that:

❌ taste bad

❌ don’t work

❌ are overly expensive

And beyond.

What makes a pre-workout popular?

Pre-workouts can “make it big” for a number of reasons such as:

✅ effects on energy and performance

✅ distribution/availability

✅ quality of ingredients

✅ taste

✅ cost

And let’s face it: having a big advertising budget doesn’t hurt, either.

Some popular flavors include variations of:

All of these factors can contribute to a high volume of sales.

All of these factors contributed to how I chose the pre-workouts on this list.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my full disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Most Popular Pre-Workouts

🏆 Best Pre-Workout Drink Overall:
C4 Original Pre-Workout

Most Caffeine:
Insane Labz Psychotic Gold (325mg)

Least Caffeine:
🍵 C4 Original Pre-Workout (150mg)

Most Popular Pre-Workouts: At a Glance

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
Alani Nu Pre-Workout200mg00g$1.33
Beyond Raw LIT Pre-Workout250mg150g$1.50
BSN NO-Xplode Legendary Pre-Workout275mg200g$.93
Bucked Up Pre-Workout200mg00g$1.49
C4 Original Pre-Workout150mg00g$.94
Ghost Legend Pre-Workout250mg00g$1.80
Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout175mg00g$1.23
Insane Labz Psychotic Gold325mg00g$1.14
Nitro Surge Pre-Workout180mg00g$.93
Old School Vintage Blast Pre-Workout250mg00g$2.00
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout175mg100g$1.10
Redcon1 Total War Pre-Workout320mg00g$1.43

Alani Nu Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
200mg00g$1.33

I’m starting this list off strong with Alani Nu’s pre-workout powder.

I think Alani Nu is one of the most popular pre-workouts because it caters to:

✅ pump

✅ energy

✅ endurance

And it’s got the ingredients to back it up like:

L-citrulline malateimproves athletic performance, relieves muscle soreness
Beta-alaninedecreases muscle fatigue, increases exercise capacity
L-tyrosinehelps build proteins
L-theaninecan improve mental function

This pre-workout contains caffeine derived from coffee beans.

Alanu Nu Pre-Workout comes in 8 exotic flavors including Breezeberry, Island Crush and Hawaiian Shaved Ice.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice

Pros

  • Contains ingredients for pump, energy and endurance
  • Relatively moderate caffeine
  • No sugar

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors

… Gives you great energy and good pump, tingles aren’t too crazy…

Monica C

Beyond Raw LIT Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
250mg150g$1.50

Like Alani Nu Pre-Workout, Beyond Raw Lit is designed to give you pump, energy and endurance.

But in addition to beta-alanine and caffeine, you’ll find some interesting ingredients.

In my opinion, Beyond Raw Lit is one of the most popular pre-workouts because it contains ElevATP.

ElevATP is a blend of peat and apple that may aid in:

📌 increased lean muscle

📌 increased training volume

📌 improved athletic performance

Beyond Raw Lit also contains creatine.

Creatine may help your muscles generate energy during your workout.

Beyond Raw Lit comes in some titillating flavors like Icy Fireworks, Gummy Worm and Orange Mango.

Pros

  • Contains creatine
  • Contains ElevATP

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors

After taking this I feel like I can bench press a giraffe at least 3 times.

Jake E.

BSN NO-Xplode Legendary Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
275mg200g$.93

BSN NO-Xplode is unique in that it boasts a massive nitric oxide generating blend of:

✅ L-citrulline malate

✅ grape skin extract

✅ hawthorn extract

And more.

This blend is specially formulated to give you mind-blowing pumps that may give Beyond Raw LIT Pre-Workout a run for its money.

In my opinion, BSN NO-Xplode is one of the most popular pre-workouts because it contains a $#@% ton of vitamins, creatine and beta-alanine.

And sandwiched in there are the electrolytes sodium and potassium.

It comes in 5 tasty flavors like Green Apple, Blue Raz and Watermelon.

Pros

  • Contains electrolytes
  • Has plenty of vitamins
  • Contains creatine and beta-alanine

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors

… I only had half a scoop of this preworkout mix and I feel like a small organization of jack rabbits got together and decided to run a trillion laps around Manhattan in under two seconds…

Jason s

Bucked Up Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
200mg00g$1.49

I think Bucked Up is one of the most popular pre-workouts because it packs a punch while giving you focus, pump and strength.

Like Alani Nu Pre-Workout, Bucked Up contains citrulline malate, beta-alanine and 200mg of caffeine.

But Bucked Up contains a few unique ingredients you won’t find in other pre-workouts on my list such as:

Alpha GPCincreases choline and acetylcholine
AstraGinincreases nutrient absorption
Actiginaids in energy, endurance and recovery
Taurinesupports nerve growth, lowers blood pressure

Bucked Up comes in five taste bud-tickling flavors like:

✅ Grape

✅ Red Raz

✅ Blue Raz

✅ Watermelon

✅ Strawberry Kiwi

Pros

  • Contains ingredients for focus, pump, strength and recovery

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors

This is easily my favorite pre-workout supplement because it tastes like candy and provides an amazing pump with good tingling from beta alanine…

Si-Uppercut

C4 Original Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
150mg00g$.94

Like BSN NO-Xplode, C4 is jam-packed with B vitamins, Vitamin C and calcium.

In addition to creatine and the tingling effects of beta-alanine, you’ll find:

Arginine alpha ketoglutaratemay aid in nitric oxide production
Velvet bean seed extractmay improve cognitive processes
Theacrinestimulates central nervous system (similar to caffeine)

I think C4 is one of the most popular pre-workouts because it doesn’t face blast you with too much caffeine.

At 150mg, C4 (and Old School Vintage Blast) has the lowest amount of caffeine on my list of most popular pre-workouts.

It comes in lip-smacking flavors like Icy Blue Razz, Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch and Pink Lemonade.

Pink Lemonade

Pros

  • Relatively moderate caffeine
  • Ingredients may support muscular endurance, strength and performance

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors

… C4 increases motivation, stamina and alertness for a great workout…

Chinedum Oranusi

Ghost Legend Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
250mg00g$1.80

Like Beyond Raw LIT, Ghost Legend contains 250mg of caffeine per serving.

In my opinion, Ghost Legend is one of the most popular pre-workouts because it’s vegan-friendly.

And similar to Alani Nu and BSN NO-Xplode it contains L-citrulline to get those massive pumps.

I also think Ghost is one of the best pre-workout drinks because its branding is on point with pre-workout flavors like Sour Patch Kids Redberry, Swedish Fish and Sonic Cherry Limeade.

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Soy, gluten and sugar free
  • Major pump formula

Cons

  • More expensive than the competition

…  the pump you get with this pre-workout is fantastic and I rarely find myself needing to use two scoops…

Riley b

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
175mg00g$1.23

Similar to other pre-workouts on our list, Gorilla Mode contains potentially performance-enhancing ingredients like creatine and citrulline.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Gorilla Mode is possibly one of the most popular pre-workouts for athletes who are looking for a mood boost to go with their energy and pumps.

Gorilla Mode stands out from the pack with ingredients like:

GlycerPumphydrates body, improves endurance, increases pumps
Kannaelevates mood, reduces stress
N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrateelevates mood, increases focuses and energy
Huperzine Aimproves mental function

It comes in bone-crushing flavors like Volcano Burst, Bombsicle and Cherry Blackout.

Pros

  • Includes pump formula
  • Contains mood and focus enhancers
  • Unique flavors

Cons

  • Can get clumpy

… It feels like you can’t have a bad day at the gym…

Kawai

Insane Labz Psychotic Gold

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
325mg00g$1.14

Insane Labz claims that Psychotic Gold will give you energy, pumps, focus and “psycho.”

That’s probably because Psychotic Gold contains a crushing 325mg of caffeine.

(That’s more than any other pre-workout on my list.)

Psychotic Gold may be one of the most popular pre-workouts for athletes who love the electrifying effects of caffeine.

So if you’re trying to avoid getting caffeinated, this probably isn’t the pre-workout for you.

Like some other pre-workouts on this list, it contains a proprietary blend.

In addition to standards like beta-alanine and citrulline, it contains some unique ingredients like:

DMAE bitartratemay enhance mood, memory and brain function
Fulvic Acidmay increase immune defenses and fight inflammation
Rauwolfia vomitoria extractlowers blood pressure, increases brain function

Psychotic Gold comes in some candy-themed flavors like Gummy Candy, Blue Punch and Cherry Bomb.

Pros

  • Contains potentially immune-boosting ingredients
  • Contains mood and memory enhancers

Cons

  • Caffeine content can be high for some
wood block with a glass sitting on top of it filled with insane labz psychotic and water red mixture and spoon with measuring cup pouring in more water

… You get all antsy in your pantsy within 15 mins so make sure [you’re] by a gym or weight training equipment cause [you’re] gonna wanna lift. Bro.

Dinglehoots

Nitro Surge Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
180mg00g$.93

Nitro Surge contains about the same amount of caffeine as Gorilla Mode.

But Nitro Surge is a little easier on the wallet.

Like many other pre-workouts, it contains some standard ingredients like beta-alanine and L-citrulline.

Nitro Surge might be one of the most popular pre-workouts for athletes who are addicted to pumps.

That’s because it also contains theobromine, a vasodilator and heart stimulant.

This can make for a perfect recipe for unrivaled pumps during a workout.

Nitro Surge comes in 10+ flavors including Cotton Candy, Sour Peach Rings and Strawberry Margarita.

Pros

  • Crazy pump formula
  • Fun flavors
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • Can cause nausea in some people

… Once I introduced Nitro Surge Pre-Workout to the mix there is never a workout I dare to miss…

Troy

Old School Vintage Blast Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
250mg00g$2.00

Like C4 Original, Old School Vintage Blast contains a bunch of B vitamins.

But while C4 Original is less expensive, Old School Vintage Blast contains the electrolytes magnesium, sodium and potassium.

I think it’s one of the most popular pre-workouts because of it’s two-stage formula to reduce the chance of jitters and crashing.

This includes microencapsulated caffeine.

In other words, the caffeine is released over a slower time period than regular caffeine.

Its blend of ingredients may help with increased alertness, stress reduction and improved neural communication.

It comes in juicy flavors like Smoked Pineapple, Caribbean Punch and Blueberry Lemonade.

Pros

  • Unique flavors
  • Two-stage formula may provide sustained effects without jitters or crash

Cons

  • Doesn’t always dissolve completely

… I’ve found that it not only improves my strength workouts but also improves my cardiovascular workouts…

Kyle B.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
175mg100g$1.10

Like Gorilla Mode, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard contains 175mg of caffeine.

But Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is a little cheaper.

It starts off with pre-workout standard ingredients such as creatine, L-citrulline and beta-alanine.

It also contains a ton of B vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard might be one of the best pre-workout drinks that comes in flavors like Blueberry Lemonade, Watermelon and Green Apple.

Pros

  • Contains vitamins meant for energy and immune support
  • Contains ingredients targeting focus and muscle maintenance

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors

… It packs a great punch and gets me out and moving when I need it…

Kayleigh
tub of redcon1 total war lemon lime flavored 30-serving preworkout powder mix sitting in grass

Redcon1 Total War Pre-Workout

CaffeineCaloriesSugarCost per serving
320mg00g$1.43

In my opinion, Redcon1 Total War is one of the most popular pre-workouts because of its ingredient profile.

And not gonna lie, it’s one of our favorite pre-workouts ever. Check out our complete Total War review for more deets.

It contains a lot of the typical pre-workout ingredients like citrulline malate and beta-alanine.

Like Bucked Up Pre-Workout, it contains taurine.

And like Nitro Surge it contains theobromine.

But it also contains some unique ingredients like:

Juniper extractantioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Green tea extractaids in exercise recovery
Naringinantioxidant, anti-inflammatory

I think Total War is one of the best pre-workout drinks because it comes in over 24 flavors like Green Apple, Grape, Watermelon, Orange Crush and Sour Gummy Bear.

Pros

  • Contains ingredients designed for pump and muscular endurance
  • Has over 24 unique flavors
  • Relatively gigh in caffeine for those looking for that jolt

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors
open bottle of redcon1 total war ready to drink in a pink and purple bottle next to a glass half filled with clear total war drink
Best pre-workout drink: Redcon1 also has a Ready to Drink version of Total War

What more could you want? Solid strength, enhanced stamina, and well produced results if used correctly.

Clayton C.

Most Popular Pre-Workouts: Conclusion

Today I showed you the best pre-workout drinks including:

🏆 Best Pre-Workout Drink Overall:
C4 Original Pre-Workout

Most Caffeine:
Insane Labz Psychotic Gold (325mg)

Least Caffeine:
🍵 C4 Original Pre-Workout (150mg)

So whether you’re looking for a caffeine boost or insane pumps, I think these popular pre-workouts can help just about anyone.

Readers of Most Popular Pre-Workouts are also reading:

What are the most popular pre-workouts?

Some of the most popular pre-workouts include Alani Nu, Beyond Raw LIT, BSN NO-Xplode, Bucked Up, C4 Original, Ghost Legend, Gorilla Mode, Insane Labz Psychotic Gold, Nitro Surge, Old School Vintage Blast, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard and Redcon1 Total War. Learn more about all of these pre-workouts in today’s post.

Is Beyond Raw LIT pre-workout worth it?

Yes, I think Beyond Raw LIT is worth it. In my opinion, Beyond Raw Lit is one of the most popular pre-workouts because it contains ElevATP. ElevATP is a blend of peat and apple that may aid in increased lean muscle, increased training volume, and improved athletic performance. Beyond Raw Lit also contains creatine. Creatine may help your muscles generate energy during your workout. Learn more about Beyond Raw LIT in today’s article.

Is BSN NO-Xplode pre-workout worth it?

Yes, I believe BSN NO-Xplode is worth it. BSN NO-Xplode is unique in that it boasts a massive nitric oxide generating blend of L-citrulline malate,  grape skin extract, hawthorn extract and more. Learn more about BSN NO-Xplode in today’s post.

Is Ghost Legend pre-workout worth it?

Yes. In my opinion, Ghost Legend is one of the best pre-workouts. It contains 250mg of caffeine per serving and is vegan-friendly. You’ll also find L-citrulline. Ghost Legend pre-workout comes in some intense flavors like Sour Patch Kids Redberry, Swedish Fish and Sonic Cherry Limeade. Learn more about Ghost Legend in today’s post.

Is Insane Labz Psychotic Gold pre-workout worth it?

Yes, I think Psychotic Gold is worth it. Insane Labz claims that Psychotic Gold will give you energy, pumps, focus and “psycho.” That’s probably because Psychotic Gold contains a crushing 325mg of caffeine. It also has beta-alanine and citrulline. Psychotic Gold comes in some yummy flavors like Gummy Candy, Blue Punch and Cherry Bomb. Learn more about Psychotic Gold in today’s article.