The Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Men, According to Registered Dietitians

The 5 Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Men, According to Registered Dietitianssupplements may give you the extra “oomph” you need to get to the gym and hit your next PR.

“Pre-workout supplements can benefit athletes and gymgoers who need an extra boost of energy and focus before exercising,” says Melissa Boufounos, CHN, sports nutritionist and owner of MB Performance Nutrition near Ottawa, ON. “This may help them push harder and get more out of their training sessions, leading to enhanced training adaptations in the long run,” Boufouson adds.

Best Pre-Workout Supplements

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While you don’t need pre-workout to build muscle, it can be helpful if you need an extra ‘push’ to get through your workout if you’re a bit more fatigued one day or if you’re in a calorie deficit, explains Nicole Ibarra, RD, LD, a registered dietitian specializing in sports nutrition, gut, and hormonal health. Pre-workout supplements include ingredients that supply energy, help you push harder, improve focus, and can help your body more easily build muscle and recover from your workouts.

We spoke to experts and reviewed over 10 popular brands for effective formulas, caffeine, testing, user experience, and overall safety to find the best pre-workout supplements to help support your workouts and fitness goals.

What to Consider


“Men should be looking for caffeine, beta-alanine, and some creatine in a pre-workout supplement,” says Ibarra. You want a pre-workout that has clinically proven ingredients in amounts that are effective to give you the desired effects of more power, more energy, and a better recovery.


While caffeine is not needed for a workout, it can help improve your performance and focus. Research has found that getting 3-6 mg/kg body weight of caffeine within 60 minutes of your workout can improve aerobic and anaerobic running capacity, strength, and power. High doses of caffeine (more like 9 mg per kg of body weight) are associated with negative side effects, and the benefits don’t seem to increase with higher amounts. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, work out in the evening, or have a heart condition, you may want to choose a stimulant-free pre-workout.


“​​I always recommend looking for supplements that are third-party tested, which ensures that the pre-workout contains what it claims and is free from contaminants or impurities,” says Boufounos. While, Ibarra adds that she would avoid any pre-workout supplement that includes a proprietary blend. Proprietary blends include a number of ingredients and lack the transparency of the exact amounts of ingredients used. This makes it difficult to know how much of a certain ingredient is included in the supplement.

How We Selected

To ensure all recommended products do exactly what they say they do, we only selected pre-workout supplements certified by USP, NSF, or Informed Choice. After speaking to sports nutrition experts, we chose products they recommend to their clients and supplements featuring ingredients that experts prefer to see in an effective pre-workout supplement. Continue reading to find the best pre-workout supplements to use before hitting your next set.


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