Every gym dude and his brother is flocking to GNC, Bodybuilding.com, even Target and Walmart to buy this stuff like its cocaine. I haven’t ever tried cocaine, but I’d guess some of the effects are similar (increased heart rate, energy, blood flow, etc).
I was one of these gym bros. I’ve tried upwards of 20 preworkouts in the past and they’re one of the most effective supplements you can take to hype you up for a bicep-busting, chest-popping workout. I’ve only recently cut them out due to financial reasons. I was taking preworkout before 90% of my workouts and working out 6 days/week – it adds up.
In my experience, there are 3 main factors that determine whether a preworkout is “good.” These are energy, pump, and focus. I tend to relate overall effectiveness to the energy portion and maybe a bit of the focus. Pump is simply nice to have.
Some people might include profile or taste. I’m not going to judge profile’s because most preworkouts simply aren’t meant to cover everything you need to take daily; some include creatine which is nice, but I’m going to buy creatine on its own anyway – cheap too. So does it really matter? Taste is negligible in my opinion (unless the preworkout tastes like utter butt). Sure it’s nice, but it’s not going to effect your workout at all.
OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS: 8
EVL ENGN is a great all around preworkout containing Beta-Alanine, Creatine, pump and focus enhancers. I’ve never had a bad workout taking ENGN as it delivers amazing energy. It’s also probably the most tingly preworkout on this list. Mesomorph delivers more Beta-Alanine, but for whatever reason, I get crazy tingles on EVL ENGN.
My main qualm about EVL ENGN is the proprietary blend. Sure, it’s an awesome preworkout, but I’d love to know just how much creatine and beta-alanine are in it so that I can make sure I’m consuming the scientifically proven doses daily. It works great and has a great profile – it’s just not the most transparent.
OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS: 8
Controlled Labs White Rapids is probably my favorite pump product. There are so many pump products out there void of caffeine. My issue is this: caffeine has been proven time and again to be the most effective short-term, legal performance enhancer out there. White Rapids is above the curve here.
Each scoop delivers 150mg of caffeine – just enough to boost your energy to that next level. White Rapids is stacked with vasodilators and pump-inducing ingredients. These include all of what are, in my opinion, the big 3 pump ingredients: L-Citrulline Malate, Glycerol Powder, and Agmatine Sulfate. They are all dosed perfectly as well.
Try taking 2 scoops for a huge energy boost (300mg caffeine) and an even bigger pump (6g L-Citrulline Malate, 2g Glycerol, and 1g Agmatine).
OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS: 9.5
APS Nutrition’s Mesomorph ranks 1 on this list due to the crazy energy and focus it gives. The first time I took Mesomorph, the tunnel vision was so intense, my peripheral vision nearly died. Multitasking was impossible and I was living more inside my body than my head. I felt like I could remove a tree from its roots.
The 300mg of caffeine supplies ample energy to perfectly complement the intense focus from the 65mg of DMAA – a controversial substance that the FDA recently lifted its ban on. It even contains the full studied doses of Beta-Alanine and Creatine to complete the package.
Now that Mesomorph is no longer a “banned” substance, I highly suggest picking up a tub and giving it a go. If you’re more of a pump-head or low-stim type though, grab the White Rapids.
About the Author
Drew Kocak is an online personal trainer, mechanical engineer, fitness blogger, youtuber, powerlifter, and owner of Lifthead.com. He is otherwise known as RAGEfit on Youtube. Check out his website for free fitness info, free eBooks, and coaching.