11 Best Cheap Pre-Workouts

Sports supplements have come a long way in the last few decades. Not so long ago, most supplements were all but worthless and had no noticeable effect. That’s why so many products came and went in a short period; people stopped buying them.

Nowadays, there are lots of reputable supplement manufacturers producing a range of effective products formulated to make your workouts more productive.

Some supplements are designed to help you train longer and harder, while others enhance recovery, and some boost fat burning or optimize hormone production.

Pre-workouts are one of the most popular types of supplements. Pre-workouts increase physical and mental energy, so you can work out longer and harder than usual.

As well as boosting energy and reducing fatigue, many pre-workouts contain ingredients to enhance blood flow for a better pump. If sports supplements have a disadvantage, it is their cost. Some are VERY expensive, which may mean they’re too pricey to use regularly.

In this article, we reveal the 11 best cheap pre-workout supplements so you can put your all into your training without breaking the bank.

Best Cheap Pre-Workouts

Legionathletics.com

This product is specially designed especially for weightlifters, bodybuilders, and powerlifters. If you want to build muscle as fast as possible, the ingredients in this pre-workout are just what you need.

As well as boosting your energy, this product will enhance your workout and maximize recovery.

Pros

  • 180mg caffeine per serving
  • Taurine for more energy and less fatigue
  • Branched-chain amino acids for faster muscle repair and growth
  • Beta-alanine and citrulline malate for increased blood flow and a better pump
  • Zinc to maximize testosterone production
  • Potassium and sodium to prevent muscle cramps
  • Naturally flavored
  • Sweetened with stevia
  • Available in four flavors
  • Discounts for bulk orders
  • 30 servings per container

Cons

  • Not as caffeinated as some other pre-workouts

2. Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged

Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged pre-workout is a very well formulated product. It contains pretty much everything you need for a longer, harder, more productive workout.

It contains about three cups worth of caffeine, but if you have a good caffeine tolerance, this product should deliver the boost you need for better workouts.

Pros

  • 274mg caffeine per serving
  • BCAAs for faster recovery and less muscle breakdown
  • Creatine, betaine, and beta-alanine for increased endurance and strength
  • L-citrulline for increased blood flow and a better pump
  • Coconut water for electrolytes and hydration
  • Taurine and l-tyrosine for increased focus

Cons

  • Only 20 servings per container

3. Legion Pulse 

4.7/5

A good pump is crucial for building muscle. A pump drives blood, oxygen, and nutrients into your muscles, providing them with more of what they need to grow.

Available with and without caffeine, this potent pre-workout formula is perfect for bodybuilders. It tastes pretty good too!

Pros

  • 350mg of caffeine per serving
  • L-theanine to prevent energy crashes
  • Calcium for stronger muscle contractions
  • L-citrulline for better pumps and greater endurance
  • Potassium for fewer muscle cramps
  • Betaine for increased strength and endurance
  • Beta-alanine for less fatigue
  • Alpha GPC for increased muscle strength and power
  • Naturally sweetened with stevia
  • Available in five flavors

Cons

  • Just 21 servings per container

4. Powher for Women

5/5

While both men and women can use pre-workouts, most are formulated for men. They contain large doses of caffeine and ingredients designed to increase testosterone. Powher is different.

Made specifically for women, this is one of the first gender-specific pre-workout supplements.

Pros

  • 100mg of caffeine per serving
  • Taurine for extra non-stim energy and increased focus
  • L-citrulline and beta-alanine for increased blood flow and more endurance
  • Coconut water powder to ward off cramps and prevent dehydration
  • Vitamin B complex for enhanced carbohydrate metabolism and more energy

Cons

  • Only available in one flavor
  • Artificially sweetened with Splenda
  • It may not be strong enough for some exercisers

5. Evlution Nutrition Engn Shred

A lot of pre-workouts boost your energy with stimulants but don’t actually provide you with additional fuel to burn. This could leave you feeling revved up but still unable to work out as long or as hard as you want.

This product also contains CLA for extra energy and to enhance fat burning.

Pros

  • 250mg of caffeine per serving
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) for energy and increased fat burning
  • B vitamins for better carbohydrate metabolism
  • Cayenne pepper extract for increased metabolism
  • Beta-alanine for less fatigue
  • Designed to increase energy and focus
  • Chromium for stable blood glucose levels
  • Available in two flavors
  • 30 servings per container

Cons

  • Contains some artificial ingredients
  • Ingredients are listed as part of a proprietary blend, so you don’t know how much you are taking

6. Performance Labs Pre Lab Pro

Some pre-workouts contain several cups’ worth of caffeine. Caffeine definitely gives you energy but can also leave you feeling anxious and jittery.

Performance Labs Pre Lab Pro uses alternative non-stim ingredients to boost your energy and enhance your workout. It’s not caffeine-free but does contain less than an average cup of coffee.

Pros

  • 80mg of caffeine per serving
  • Vitamin B complex for natural energy and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Potassium and Himalayan sea salt to ward of cramps and dehydration
  • Creatine for increased strength and endurance
  • L-theanine for energy without the crash
  • L-citrulline for increased blood flow and a better pump
  • Red beet powder for vasodilation and energy
  • Capsules, and not a drink powder

Cons

  • 4 capsules per serving
  • 20 servings per container

7. Transparent Labs Lean

Most pre-workouts are made for boosting energy, strength, and endurance. This product from Transparent Labs does that too but also increases fat burning. If you are trying to lose weight and get lean, this could be the pre-workout you’ve been waiting for.

It’s especially useful for things like interval training, HIIT workouts, circuit workouts, and cardio.

Pros

  • 180mg of caffeine per serving
  • Iodine to maximize metabolic rate
  • Zinc for more testosterone and to boost immunity
  • Chromium for more stable blood glucose
  • Branched-chain amino acids to reduce muscle breakdown and speed up recovery
  • L-theanine for energy without the crash
  • Theobromine to enhance fat burning
  • Citrulline for increased blood flow and a better pump
  • Black pepper extract to enhance the effect of the other ingredients
  • Available in five flavors
  • Bulk buy discounts available
  • 30 servings per container

Cons

  • Not as caffeinated as some of the other pre-workouts on review

8. Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged Sport 

Pre-Kaged Sport is ideal for people who want to train harder and longer or play sports better but don’t want creatine or lots of caffeine in their supplements.

This clean energy product is designed to boost performance without too many side effects. If high-stim pre-workouts leave you feeling anxious or creatine causes bloating, this is the supplement for you.

Pros

  • 188mg of caffeine per serving
  • B vitamin complex for better carbohydrate metabolism and more energy
  • L-citrulline for enhanced blood flow and more endurance
  • Taurine for increased focus and stim-free energy
  • Coconut water powered for better hydration
  • Himalayan sea salt to replace minerals lost during sweating
  • L-tyrosine for increased mental focus

Cons

  • Only 20 servings per container
  • Not as caffeinated as some of the other pre-workouts on review

9. Genius 

4.4/5

Genius Pre-Workout Powder is entirely caffeine-free. That means it won’t cause the unwanted side-effects that usually accompany using a pre-workout.

In addition, it’s designed to boost mental focus as much as it raises your energy for exercise. Part nootropic, and part workout enhancer, this is a unique, well-formulated product.

Pros

  • Alpha GPC for increased strength, endurance, and concentration
  • Beta-alanine to boost mood and speed up reaction times
  • elevATP to increase muscular stores of ATP and elevate energy and endurance
  • AstraGIN to enhance the bioavailability of the other ingredients
  • Rhodiola Rosea and astragalus to lower stress
  • Taurine for stim-free energy and better concentration
  • Betaine anhydrous for increased strength and endurance

Cons

  • Only 20 servings per container
  • Only available in one flavor – sour apple
  • Some users may prefer a pre-workout with caffeine

10. Naked Energy Pure 

Pre-workouts often contain lots of artificial additives, such as flavors, colors, and sweeteners. While not necessarily bad for you, some exercisers prefer to avoid these ingredients.

Naked Energy Pure Pre-Workout Formula contains no artificial ingredients and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Pros

  • 200mg natural caffeine per serving
  • Vitamin B complex for energy and better carbohydrate metabolism
  • Contains creatine for lasting energy and faster recovery
  • Beta-alanine and l-arginine for increased blood flow and a better pump
  • 50 servings per container
  • No added sugar, flavors, or sweeteners

Cons

  • Unsweetened and unflavored. Needs to be mixed with something else to make it palatable
  • 200mg of caffeine may be too high for some users

11. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 

Optimum Nutrition is a very reputable supplement manufacturer. Their products are always good quality and very affordable, and this pre-workout is no different.

With a decent shot of caffeine, this pre-workout is ideal for boosting your energy and endurance so you can train harder and longer than usual.

Pros

  • 175mg caffeine per serving
  • Creatine for sustained energy
  • Amino acids to prevent muscle breakdown and speed up recovery
  • High in essential vitamins and minerals
  • Citrulline malate to enhance blood flow and circulation
  • Bioperine to increase the bioavailability of the other ingredients
  • 30 servings per container

Cons

  • Only available in one flavor

 FAQ

Got questions about cheap pre-workouts? We’ve got the answers!

What does pre-workout do?

Pre-workouts are formulated to give you energy, ward off fatigue, and help you train longer and harder than usual. Most pre-workouts also increase blood flow for a better pump and improve concentration and focus.

This effect is usually relatively short-lived – a couple of hours at the most – but that should be long enough to power you through most workouts.

Is pre-workout bad for you?

Pre-workouts are generally made using ingredients that the FDA considers GRAS, which stands for generally regarded as safe. That said, high doses of things like caffeine can leave you feeling jittery and anxious and can cause heart palpitations in very sensitive users.

Some pre-workouts also contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, etc., which, while also considered to be GRAS, may cause things like headaches and stomach upsets.

However, there are natural pre-workouts that contain no artificial additives. Because of the risk of unwanted side effects, most users should avoid taking too much pre-workout.

Is it okay to take pre-workout every day?

Protein and dumbellWhile pre-workouts are mostly safe to use, using one too often is not a good idea. For a start, if you use your pre-workout supplement daily, you’ll soon develop a tolerance to the ingredients, and it won’t be as potent.

Also, if you feel you need to use a pre-workout every day, that suggests you are not getting enough sleep, aren’t eating healthily, or are following a workout that’s too advanced.

Try to save your pre-workout for when you really need it rather than use it every day. That way, you won’t become immune to its effects, and your purchase will last longer.

Should you take pre-workout before or during a workout?

Pre-workout takes 15-30 minutes to kick in, so you should take it before your workout. Check the instructions and see when the manufacturer recommends taking their product.

Take it too soon, and it’ll start to wear off mid-workout, but take it too late, and it may not kick in until the end of your workout.

Bottom Line

Pre-workout supplements are very popular, and a lot of exercisers like to take a shot before training so they can work out longer and harder than usual.

A good pre-workout will boost your energy, ward off fatigue, increase your focus, and produce a better pump. On the downside, pre-workouts can also be expensive, costing as much as a couple of dollars per serving.

While these costly products are carefully engineered and contain cutting-edge ingredients, that doesn’t mean that they boost your energy more than a cheaper supplement.

If you are looking for a really cheap pre-workout, just buy some caffeine pills, chug down a cup of really strong coffee, or have an energy drink.

However, while these strategies will boost your energy, they won’t do as much for things like increasing your pump or increasing your strength. Pre-workouts are usually a better choice.

Once your workout is complete, make sure you pay extra attention to your need for rest and recovery.

After all, a pre-workout means you can train harder and longer than usual, taking more out of your body. Sleep and a healthy diet put back in what intense workouts take out. Visit the Fitness Equipment Reviews homepage for more expert information and reviews. 

9.7Expert Score
Best Cheap Pre-Workouts

Many pre-workouts contain ingredients to enhance blood flow for a better pump. Here we reveal the best cheap pre-workout supplements!

Transparent Labs Bulk
9.6
Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged
9.6
Legion Pulse
9.7
Powher for Women
10
Evlution Nutrition Engn Shred
9.8
Performance Labs Pre Lab Pro
9.6
Transparent Labs Lean
9.9
Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged Sport
9.9
Genius
9.4
Naked Energy Pure
9.8
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
9.5
Patrick

Patrick

Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

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