Want the perfect workout program?Take Quiz
Fact checked by Robert Iafelice, MS, RD, LDNFACT CHECKED
September 05, 2023
If you are set on taking your workouts to the next level, then finding the right pre-workout should be pretty high on your list.
Whether you like to use a stimulant free pre workout, caffeine loaded pre-workout, or something in between, having the extremely important muscle-building ingredient creatine should definitely be in the mix. Creatine is the king of supplements!
We have sorted through countless options on the market and came up with the 9 best pre-workout with creatine choices.
Kaged Elite is quickly worked its way up the list for best pre-workout supplements with creatine you can buy, and for good reason.
This pre-workout powder provides 10,000mg of L-Citrulline, 3,200mg of Carnosyn® (also known as Beta-Alanine), 3,000mg of creatine monohydrate (labeled as CreaClear™), and 2,000mg Creatine Nitrate (NO3-T®). NO3-T® is a patented form of creatine, that works double time as a nitric oxide booster (to increase blood flow) as well as giving the usual creatine benefits.
Kaged Elite calls upon 2,500mg of BetaPower® (betaine anhydrous) to assist with a power boost and 1,500mg of Carnipure® (L-Carnitine Tartrate) to help reduce muscle fatigue, so you can workout for longer and increase muscle mass.
A mix of 2,000mg of Taurine, 500mg of Coconut water powder, and 150mg elevATP® are added in to assist with cellular hydration as well as making sure ATP production are in full effect.
Pre Kaged Elite is loaded up on ingredients for energy and focus, with 2,500mg of Tyrosine, 388mg of caffeine pulled from PurCaf® and AmaTea®, 300mg of Alpha-GPC, 100mg of AmaTea®, and 10mg of Huperzine A.
There are also a healthy dose of B vitamins in the mix as well.
Users that are caffeine sensitive should be cautious when taking this product due to the potency.
At the time of writing Pre Kaged Elite is only available in Fruit Punch.
Gorilla Mode was a no-brainer to put on this list.
Providing up to 9,000mg of L-Citrulline, this pre-workout supplement leads the pack in pure L-Citrulline dosage.
Other pre-workout supplements use Citrulline-malate, which is a combination of L-Citrulline and Malic Acid meaning you don't get the full dosage of Citrulline in many instances. This pre-workout supplement provides 3,000mg of Malic acid to make sure all that valuable L-Citrulline is put to work.
Gorilla Mode also can provide 5,000mg of creatine monohydrate along with 3,000mg of GlycerPump™, 2,500mg of Betaine, 1,000mg of Agmatine.
Along with the daily effective dosage of creatine monohydrate, the other aforementioned products help provide huge pumps and blood flow saturation to the muscle, putting your body in a state of hyperhydration.
1,500mg of L-Tyrosine, 500mg of Kanna, and 400mcg of Huperzine A, provide a potent pre-workout Nootropic mix to keep you laser-focused during your intense workouts.
350mg of caffeine anhydrous and 350mg of N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate give a huge energy boost, working off of each other to simulate the actions of adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin for a truly intense exercise performance.
Finally, rounding off the ingredients is 10mg of BioPerine® to increase bioavailability.
All of these ingredients together make one potent pre-workout supplement that is hard to match.
It should be noted that all of the dosages are for two scoops of the pre-workout.
Gorilla Mode is available in five different flavors: Jungle Juice, Cherry Blackout, Mojo Mojito, Tiger's Blood, and Watermelon.
C4 Dynasty MMXX is redefining what people think of when they see the C4 label. C4 Dynasty is a premium pre-workout supplement that is aiming to fit in with the best of the best.
Part of this pre workout is made up of 10g of Dynasty Triple Citrulline Complex which can be broken up into 6g of Citrulline Malate, 3g of L-Citrulline, and 1g of Citrulline Nitrate (NitraMax - NO3-C™).
While it's great to see Citrulline Nitrate in the mix, having malic acid separate instead of citrulline malate would give this mix an even higher effectiveness.
There is a skin-tingling 6.4g of CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine also included in here. As mentioned previously, you will only get the real benefits of beta-alanine if you have been loading 4-6g per day for two weeks.
Now what would a pre-workout with creatine be without the creatine?
C4 has 5g of the Dynasty Triple Creatine Complex, comprised of 3g of creatine monohydrate, 1g of Creatine Nitrate, and 1g of creatine hydrochloride, also known as creatine HCl.
This mix of different forms of creatine really helps solidify this supplement on this list.
1g of Taurine, 200mg of A-GPC, and 400mg of N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine helps combat muscular fatigue while helping your body adapt to stress, so you can work out for longer, harder.
Also included is 5mg of Huperzine A.
400mg of PeakATP® and 150mg of elevATP® kick your ATP production into overdrive keeping energy levels high that have already been given a boost by 350mg of caffeine anhydrous and 62.5mg of jittery calming TeaCrine®.
When it comes to pumps, Dynasty has you covered with 150mg of VasoDrive® and 1mg of Rauwolfia Vomitoria extract, both used as vasodilators to top off the citrulline trio.
And finally a 50mg mix of AstraGin® and Panax root extract helps with bioavailability as well as a power boost from the panax.
C4 Dynasty comes in two flavors, Icy Blue Razz and Strawberry Lemonade, and the prices vary slightly by flavor, but you can expect to spend around $70 for a container.
Anyone that has researched anything to do with working out and supplementation has most likely come across Dr. Jim Stoppani and his line of supplements.
Pre-Jym had to make our list of creatine pre-workouts, plus it has the added bonus of supplying branched chain amino acids to get you prepared for intense exercise.
Seeing 2g of Con-Cret® creatine HCL might have you wondering why the dose is so low, but Con-Cret® dosage is based on body weight and 2g should be a sufficient amount for people up to 267lbs.
Next on the ingredient list is 2g of CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, which in this writer's opinion could have easily been left out.
1.5g of Betaine will help give your workouts a power boost while the 1g of taurine and 150mg of AlphaSize® will reduce fatigue.
A welcome surprise in this pre workout with creatine is the addition of 600mg N-Acetyl L-Cysteine, which helps combat free radicals in your body, leading to more efficient muscle recovery.
6g of citrulline malate and 500mg of Beetroot extract kick nitric oxide production into gear which then increases blood flow for shirt ripping pumps.
The classic 2:1:1 ratio of the amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine is in full effect here with the added L-Tyrosine for even greater fatigue battling capability.
Pre-Jym contains 300mg of caffeine anhydrous and 50mcg of Huperzine A for a one, two punch of focus and energy to help you reach your fitness goals.
Finally Pre-Jym includes 5mg of BioPerine®, a black pepper extract that aids in bioavailability.
This great tasting pre-workout comes in several different flavors all which will tell if if any artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors are being used.
NutraBio Pre Workout Powder is jammed full of proven ingredients, with dosages clearly labeled and not hiding behind proprietary blends.
The 13.9g of their Power, Strength, & Endurance Complex is comprised of 3.5g of L-Leucine, 3.2g of CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, 3g of PharmaPure™ Creatine Monohydrate, 2.5g of Betaine Anhydrous, 1.2g of Malic Acid, and 500mg of Creatine MagnaPower® (a creatine magnesium blend).
While the 3.5g of muscle building L-Leucine is a great addition, this blend could do without the beta-alanine and at least an additional 1,500mg of creatine to hit that 5g target.
The Nitric Oxide Pump Matrix consists of 6g of L-Citrulline, 1g of Agmatine Sulfate, and 750mg of Nitrosigine® for unreal muscle pumps.
It's great to see L-Citrulline in here separate from Malic Acid, so you get the full effective dose.
NutraBio Pre Workout contains a staggering 2.69g of a Focus and Stim Matrix. 1.5g of L-Tyrosine, 500mg of Choline Bitartrate, and 100mcg of Huperzine A is a great start to increasing mental focus.
Energy gets kicked into high gear with 250mg of fast acting Caffeine Anhydrous and 100mg of slow releasing Infinergy™ to keep you going through your entire workout routine.
300mg of TheaPure™ helps ease any of the caffeine jitters you may have been accustomed in such high doses.
Finally their Electrolyte and Hydration Optimizer mix is made from 2g of Taurine, 525mg of Calci-K®, and 189mg of sodium phosphate.
Add in a healthy dose of B and C Vitamins and you have got yourself one potent mix.
NutraBio pre-workout with creatine comes in several flavors such as Blue Raspberry, Cherry Limeade, Dragonfruit Candy, Grape Berry Crush, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemon Bomb, and Watermelon.
RYSE Godzilla pre workout was made in conjunction with bodybuilder Noel Deyzel to provide valid competition to the best pre workout supplements with creatine on the market.
The included RYSE® Pump Fuel mix is a combination of L-Citrulline and Citrulline Nitrate to get nitric oxide production started to improve blood flow, while VasoDrive-AP® kicks it up another level.
Beta-Alanine has been included to delay muscle fatigue, which is something to be valued for high athletic performance, especially by endurance athletes.
The generous serving of Betaine anhydrous mixed with creatine monohydrate provide a great power boost to assist in your muscle building efforts.
Choline bitartrate, Vincamine, and theobromine come together to provide powerful nootropic benefits, that increases blood flow to the brain and gives an intense focus, so your exercise performance will be at its peak.
Unlike the some other creatine pre workouts on this list, RYSE contains Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to give an electrolyte bump rather than standard sodium. Pink Himalayan Salt contains 82 trace minerals not found in generic sodium.
RYSE does contain one of the most common pre workout ingredients in the form of caffeine anhydrous, but also has zümXR® help stop the well known caffeine crash.
As you can see from the breakdown, RYSE Godzilla provides quality pre workout ingredients for an exceptional pre workout supplement, but, you may have noticed that we didn't list the dosages with each ingredient.
RYSE gives a detailed look at dosages for both one scoop and two scoops. If you are taking two scoops, then you will be getting the proper dosage for most of these ingredients. On the other hand, if you can't handle two scoops, then you will be missing the mark on effective doses for a few different ingredients.
RYSE Godzilla comes in three different flavors: Blackberry Lemon, Monsterberry Lime, and Strawberry Kiwi.
Optimum Nutrition has a long standing positive reputation in the supplement field with their Gold Standard® series, and what they are offering with their Pre Advanced pre-workout with creatine seems to hold true.
Pre Advanced contains 6g of micronized L-Citrulline per serving for huge muscle pumps leading to muscle gain.
Keeping the muscle growth momentum going is 5g of creatine monohydrate and 1.2g of creatine nitrate. Like some of the other pre workouts on this list, the creatine nitrate is going to give you the benefits you would see with creatine but with better absorption.
ON has added 3.2g of beta-alanine to help with muscular endurance as well as muscle soreness.
As we've covered several times already, unless you are already taking beta-alanine regularly, you are not going to be getting the maximum benefit.
Something that is great to see on here is 650mg of an electrolyte blend compromised of sodium citrate, magnesium oxide, and potassium chloride. It would be nice to see a breakdown of how much of each ingredient you would be getting, but the added hydration support is definitely a positive.
Rounding out the mix is 300mg of caffeine from various natural sources. With this much caffeine in this pre workout, energy will not be a factor, but it would have been nice to see something in here to help combat any jitters.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Advanced pre workout comes in three flavors: Berry Blast, Raspberry Lime Mojito, and Strawberry Mango Daiquiri.
We have already covered Pre Kaged Elite pre workout earlier in the list, but since they carry multiple pre workout products we wanted to cover their standard version too.
Pre Kaged calls on 6.5g of L-Citrulline for muscle pumps you won't forget along with an increase in muscle building strength and power.
Unlike other pre-workout supplements, Pre Kaged gets its L-Citrulline from fermented plant-sources.
Pre Kaged uses a 4:1:1 BCAA mix of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine in their Muscle Fuel Matrix. The fermented BCAAs help give your body fuel for your workout while simultaneously helping stop muscle breakdown and increase muscle recovery.
This pre workout calls on 1.6g of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine to help fight muscle soreness and fatigue, but needs to be built up in your system to get the full benefit.
What makes this check the box for being a creatine supplement is the 1.5g of a patented creatine HCl which with enhanced bioavailability and solubility.
As covered before creatine supplements that use creatine HCl don't have to meet the 5g threshold to be an effective dose for most users.
The last part of the Pre Kaged Strength & Power Matrix is 2.5g of BetaPower® for a boost in strength, helping you get to that next level to increase your lean muscle growth.
While both Pre Kaged and Pre Kaged Elite both share 500mg of coconut water powder, where they differ is the 100mg of SPECTRA™ Total ORAC Blend. The SPECTRA™ Blend is a mix of 29 different free radical fighting extracts from fruits and vegetables, keeping your athletic performance working at the highest level.
The Neuro Focus Matrix consists of 2g of Taurine, 1g of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, 850mg of L-Tyrosine, and 274mg of PurCaf® organic caffeine.
This potent mix will give you the energy you need to smash your workout and the focus to keep you going to get the muscle mass you are chasing.
Pre Kaged has done a great job trying to create natural pre workout supplements with creatine by sourcing their ingredients from fermented sources rather than lab created additions.
Pre Kaged comes in six flavors: Orange Krush, Berry Blast, Pink Lemonade, Krisp Apple (green apple flavored), Cherry Bomb, and Grape.
All of these choices do not use artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners, which is an added bonus.
Gorilla Mode Nitric is different from all the other pre-workouts with creatine on this list for one big reason. GMN is a stimulant free pre-workout.
Anyone that is looking to enhance physical performance with a caffeine free pre-workout has found an incredible match in GMN.
Like its brother Gorilla Mode, this stim free pre workout gives you a healthy dose of L-Citrulline.
GMN actually gives you a full gram more, for a total of 10g of pump inducing citrulline.
Similar to the other pre-workout powders on this list, GMN utilizes malic acid at a dose of 3g to help with the absorption and effectiveness of L-Citrulline.
You also get a full 5g serving of creatine monohydrate, which will boost your strength and improve athletic performance, helping you reach your fitness goals.
This pre-workout formula contains 4g of Betaine anhydrous and 4g of GlycerPump™, that help induce a state of hyperhydration which will improve athletic performance endurance, as well as improve pumps and power.
1.5g of Nitrosigine® and 1.5g of Agmatine Sulfate work to push the Arginine-eNOS-NO pathway to increase blood flow to extreme levels, resulting in bigger pumps, and more blood reaching the muscle that will help with muscle gain.
The GMN pre workout uses 1.5g of Sodium Nitrate to explore the underused nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway to up nitric oxide levels even higher.
Finally, this pre workout uses 254mg of VasoDrive-AP®, which works as an ACE inhibitor, helping get more oxygen and nutrients flowing.
Gorilla Mode Nitric comes in seven flavors: Bombsicle, Jungle Juice, Mango Peach, Mojo Mojito, Tigers Blood, Volcano Burst, and Watermelon.
All dosage levels are based on a two scoop serving size.
Creatine is one of the most well studied and proven performance enhancing supplements available. Below are just a few of the benefits you'll get from using pre-workout with creatine.
During intense exercise, your body's cells use ATP as an energy source, which don't re-synthesize as quickly as you use it. Creatine supplementation helps your body produce more ATP energy by increasing your phosphocreatine stores.
Something that goes along with the added energy is the ability to work out for a longer period time. More sets, and more reps are going to equal more blood getting into the muscle for a bigger pump.
Creatine can also help with hydration to the muscles, which in turn will make whatever muscle being worked look bigger.
Creatine helps you gain lean muscle. Creatine can raise IGF-1 levels, which is a hormone that encourages an increase in muscle mass.
Proper supplementation of creatine can also boost the formation of proteins that are responsible for creating new muscle fibers.
The main side effects of creatine are nausea and diarrhea if too high of a dose is taken at one time.
The other more well known side effects are weight gain and bloating, usually due to creatine's ability increase total body water.
As you can see from this list, not all workout supplements with creatine are created equal.
Here are some things you should be aware of when looking to purchase your pre workout supplement.
It's not just what is in your pre-workout supplements, it's how much there is too.
In general, creatine monohydrate should be at a dosage of 5g per day.
Creatine Nitrate is relatively new to the scene, but in general you should be looking at approximately 3g, unless it is being taken in conjunction with another form of creatine.
Creatine HCl should be dosed at 1-2g per 100 lb of body weight.
Knowing what is actually in your pre workout and how much of it is in there is invaluable information too.
Some brands hide behind proprietary blends for most of their ingredients, leaving you guessing at home much you're actually getting.
3rd party testing is also an extremely important feature to look for when researching pre workout supplements.
You want to make sure what they are saying is in the pre-workout, is actually in there.
This is going to depend highly on the individual. Some people have no problem paying a premium price, while others might be more budget conscious.
Comparing the price to the ingredients inside, as well as the amount of servings will narrow down the field significantly.
Searching for the best pre-workout supplement will definitely get you a lot of options, but you should always check out the reviews.
Whether they are good or bad, getting a consensus of how effective a pre-workout is from multiple sources could save you frustration and money.
Absolutely. Creatine is going to help create more ATP energy, giving you an even bigger boost than just pre workouts alone.
To function normally, enough creatine is obtained from your body's synthesis together with intake from your diet. That being said, dietary supplements with properly dosed creatine can give you a boost in your workouts, and help build muscle.
Yes it does. There is an initial increase in muscle size within 5-7 days which is due to the increased water in the muscle.
Long term, creatine has been found to help increase muscle size over those who did not regularly supplement with it.
Pre-workout should be taken approximately 30 minutes before exercise. Always check the label to see what your pre-workout recommends.
A good pre-workout supplement can increase energy levels, increase nitric oxide levels, improve endurance, and stimulate muscle growth.
Pre-workouts in general are considered safe for healthy adults, but usually aren't recommended to be taken every day.
So while they aren't necessarily bad for you, they aren't necessarily good for you either.
Always check with your health care provider before adding a pre workout to your sports nutrition.
We've covered nine of the best pre-workout supplements with creatine on the market. In our opinion, the overall best pre workout with creatine is the Kaged Elite.
No matter which supplement you choose from on this list, you are sure to be happy with the results.
If you feel like there has been a little something missing in your pre-workout, then finding the best pre-workout with a solid dose of creatine is going to help drive your athletic performance to the next level.
Want to lose weight while taking pre-workout? Check out our post that covers the Best Pre-Workouts For Weight Loss on the market.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
At SFS we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases, killer workouts, actionable fitness content and more. As our motto goes - "You don't have to get ready if you stay #alwaysready!"