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10 picks to boost your gym workouts

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If you struggle with finding the energy you need to complete that last set while exercising, these pre workout supplements could give you the boost you need.

Finding the time and energy to work out can be difficult. Do you forgo that extra hour of sleep and wake up at 5am to hit the gym before work? Do you head straight there after your busy day at work, knowing that you’re already too pooped to get through more than five minutes on the treadmill? Do you spend your lunch break sweating it out and resolve to exhaust yourself for the rest of the afternoon?

Enter pre-workouts, the supplements that offer that extra kick of energy you need to take your workout to the next level no matter how busy you are. There’s a huge range out there, so it can be hard to know which ones are the best – which is why we’ve done the hard yards to round up 10 of the top options on offer.

What is pre workout supposed to do?

Pre workout is a supplement that usually takes the form of a powder (or occasionally a snack bar) that you can take before a workout to boost your energy and delay fatigue.

According to My Protein, “pre-workout supplements generally contain combinations of ingredients, making them an easy alternative to taking several different supplements before hitting the gym”, and common ingredients include vitamins, caffeine and creatine, a naturally occurring organic compound found in the muscles that helps them produce energy during high intensity exercise.

Best pre workouts

Evlution Nutrition ENGN Pre Workout, $34.99 at Amazon

Featuring a clean formula with no sugar, no carbs and no calories, ENGN aims to avoid the crash that other pre workouts can lead to. It combines pure caffeine and B vitamins for a quick uptake, as well as Beta-Alanine, Betaine, L-Tyrosine and Creatine to get you pumped up for your gym sesh.

A reviewer said “Taste is great, it’s not overpowering and bitter. I seem to have higher performance in the gym and concentration after taking this and it keeps me super focused without the jitters or heart rating increasing”.

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Pre-Workout Blend, from $20.39 at My Protein

Packed with plenty of “widely researched ingredients” including taurine, beta alanine, essential vitamins, and caffeine, this pre-workout blend is designed to help you boost your workout. The caffeine helps you stay alert and focused while improving endurance performance and capacity, while the essential vitamins like vitamin C, B6, B12 and niacin offer natural support for energy and for your immune system. Choose from four flavours and simply mix up a scoop with water or juice 30 minutes before exercise.

A reviewer said it’s an “amazing product, gives me the stamina I need & not a hard come down once I’ve completed my workout. Best by far I highly recommend this product”.

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Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy, $50.25 at Garden of Life

The ideal choice for vegans and fans of plant-based or organic products, the Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy is a clean blend of nutrients that you can drink with water before your workout. The blackberry flavoured drink features 85mg of caffeine from coffeeberry and 220mcg of wholefood vitamin B12, as well as a nitric oxide mix of organic vegetables like kale, spinach and beets. In addition to being vegan friendly, it’s gluten free, soy free, and kosher.

You can also purchase it in a sugar-free Blackberry Cherry flavour here, of which a reviewer wrote “I’ve tried many pre-workouts before, it’s hard to find one without sucralose or artificial flavours /colours. This one is clean AND gives you a noticeable skip in your step without pushing your body into overload (which isn’t good for you in the long run) Would buy again”.

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Nano Shred, $23.99 at Ryderwear

This fat burning thermogenic pre workout supplement from activewear brand Ryderwear promises to help you burn body fat, increase your metabolism, enhance your mood and boost energy. Available in four flavours, including one that tastes just like an iced coffee, it includes OmniBead, a concentrated natural capsicum extract that supports your energy production by improving metabolism. Also included are antioxidant-rich green tea and vitamin C, and energy boosting Siberian ginseng and L-theanine.

A reviewer said “Best fat burner I’ve ever tried! – Taste was an absolute 10/10 – had a sweetness to it that wasn’t sickening but made it pleasant to drink. Epic energy without being too over stimulated”.

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Gold Standard Pre-Workout, $39.90 at Elite Supplements

Harnessing the power of caffeine from only natural sources (tea and coffee beans), this Gold Standard Pre Workout helps you to dial in intense energy, alertness and focus for the gym. There’s also Beta-Alanine to support endurance, Creatine Monohydrate, L-Citrulline Malate and more high quality ingredients that will keep your energy and stamina up for longer. Elite Supplements stock plenty more pre-workouts which you can check out here.

According to a reviewer, it “tastes great and the caffeine isn’t too full on. Doesn’t make you feel sick whilst working out like other pre workouts do”.

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Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout, $19.99 at iHerb

Containing caffeine, creatine, Beta-Alanine, Magnesium and a blend of vitamins including B12 and B6, C4 Sport will give you the energy you need to power through your workout. Find more pre-workout supplements at iHerb here.

Reviewers have said it’s got a great taste, it’s easy on the stomach and the amount of caffeine is ideal for giving you a boost without keeping you awake at night.

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Primeval Labs Mega Pre Black, $52.68 at Muscle & Strength

With an energy-boosting trifecta of caffeine, TeaCrine® and Dynamine™, as well as Nootropics to elevate focus and concentration, and pure L-Citrulline and Pine Bark to support muscle pumps, Primeval Labs Mega Pre Black will give you a workout like no other – while promising to avoid jitters or post-exercise energy crashes.

A reviewer wrote, “Great energy, just enough focus to push through workout and not give me a headache. Love the flavor”.

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Musashi Pre Workout, $29.99 at Chemist Warehouse

Musashi’s Pre Workout contains a unique formulation of Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Creatine, Caffeine and Amino acids to take your workout to the next level. It has a refreshing lemon lime taste you won’t get sick of, too. Find more pre workout supplements at Chemist Warehouse here.

A reviewer said, “I tried a lot of pre workouts in the past four years but I’m really happy with this one. Enough beta alanine to give me endurance without too many dreaded tingles!”.

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EHP Labs Oxyshred Hardcore, $79.95 at Catch

Packed with energy, focus and fat burning potential, Oxyshred Hardcore will help you to push through all your reps thanks to its powerful combo of caffeine, vitamins, and more. Check out the rest of the pre workout supplement range at Catch here.

A reviewer said it gives an “Amazing energy boost and mental clarity without any abnormal side effects!”.

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THE Pre-Workout+, from $56.59 at My Protein

Promising to sharpen your mind and fuel your workout, THE Pre-Workout+ is engineered with time-release technology to optimise ingredient delivery. It’s packed with dual-phase released caffeine to enhance endurance performance, Vitamin B12 and C to reduce fatigue, and Alpha-GPC to support metabolism – among other heavy lifters.

A reviewer commented “Before trying THE Pre-Workout+ I struggled to find the energy and focus needed to start and complete sessions at the gym, especially following long days at work. After trialing THE Pre-Workout+ for two weeks, I can confidently say that I am able to commit to my workouts with ease, giving me the chance to achieve better results without fatiguing midway through exercise!”. You can check out the rest of My Protein’s pre-workout range here.

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Do you need pre workout?

Pre workout isn’t essential, but it can help to take your workout up a notch, especially if you’re focused on high intensity exercises that require a lot of energy and stamina.

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