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August 20, 2023
The pump. Anyone who has stepped foot in a gym has overheard someone talking about getting a pump.
Famously described by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the bodybuilding classic Pumping Iron, the pump is a much sought-after state of being. Unlike the time period that Arnold was in, supplementing your muscle pump is a lot easier (and a lot more legal).
With a quick search online you'll find tons of pump supplements including pre-workouts, nitric oxide boosters and more. These supplements work in a similar manner by enhancing blood flow to the muscles you're working to create a skin stretching pump.
In this post, we highlight the 7 best pre-workouts that are sure to give you an insane pump!
It has been a long time coming after using and reviewing countless pre-workouts; we absolutely love Transparent Labs BULK Black. As the name suggests, Transparent Labs values transparency and making sure you know exactly what you are getting in every scoop. With a full dose, you'll get 21 grams of hard-hitting ingredients sure to take your workout and pumps to the next level.
To ensure you get a killer pump for each workout, BULK Black has stacked their workout with a heavy 8,000 mg dose of Citrulline Malate for shirt ripping pumps. Transparent Labs has also stacked this pre-workout with ingredients to reduce fatigue, leading to more reps and more blood into your muscles. You'll also get full doses of energy, focus, and strength ingredients, thanks to other key ingredients like Alpha-GPC.
To ensure their pre-workout was top quality, Transparent Labs had it 3rd party tested and ensured the facility it's made in is GMP certified.
Check it out if you're in the market for a new pre-workout that will give you some of the best pumps you've ever had during a workout.
Key Ingredients (1 scoop):
Pre-Kaged Elite is a pre-workout for pump targets more hardcore fans that need a high level of stimulants while still offering a transparent ingredient label.
Pre-Kaged Elite is a high stimulant pre-workout with 20 premium ingredients, which includes nine that are patented, that offer an all-in-one package for athletes. Kaged is formulated to improve energy, pumps, build muscle mass, power, mental clarity, and even hydration.
At 388 mg of caffeine, 2 grams of Taurine, and 6.5 grams of L-Citrulline, Pre-Kaged Elite is one of the strongest pre workouts and will give even the most elite athletes a great pump while keeping them energized and focused.
Nutricost's pre-workout complex powder is an excellent option if you're looking for a decent pump for a reasonable price.
Nutricost's has 300 mg of caffeine and an acceptable amount of ingredients like L-Citrulline of 4 grams that will lead to increased blood flow and thus bigger pumps.
This isn't the strongest pre-workout but it does what it says it is going to do, like taste great, improve focus, reduce muscle fatigue, and promote killer pumps without being overly expensive.
JYM is a supplement company founded by Dr. Jim Stoppani, who holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology with a minor in biochemistry. Jim's supplement brand is one of the industry leader's when it comes to its moral stances on label transparency, quality ingredients, and effective dosages.
Pre-Jym is one of its pre-workout supplements that is packed with 14 active ingredients that deliver energy, increase muscle strength, boost muscle pumps, and enhance mental focus. Pre-Jym offers a large 26-gram scoop size thanks to the essential amino acid inclusion that aids in protein synthesis.
The 2 grams of creatine HCl instead of regular creatine monohydrate, 6 grams of Citrulline malate, and 500 mg of beetroot extract work great together to increase nitric oxide levels to make your muscles feel tighter during your workouts.
It is easy to see why Pre-Jym is one of the most popular pre-workouts for pump among the many options on Amazon.
Gorilla Mode Nitric is the best non-stim pump pre-workout formula on the market that will still give you a killer pump. Gorilla Mode Nitric's formula was created to boost nitric oxide, vasodilation, focus, endurance, hydration and increases blood flow to help you get better pumps throughout your workout and maintain that pump after you leave.
Pretty much every ingredient in this stim free pre is premium and maxed out to give you some of the best workouts of your life and make you feel like an absolute unit in the gym. Unlike most pre-workouts with high dosages of stimulants, you won't have to worry about cycling off Gorilla Mode due to building up a tolerance to stimulants.
With 10 grams of pure L-Citrulline, 4 grams of Glycerpump, you won't have to worry about getting a weak pump when taking this maxed out caffeine free pre-workout. Some people would compare this non stim pre-workout formula to Pump Serum from the brand Huge Supplements. (here's Pump Serum)
Key Ingredients (2 scoops):
This pre-workout for pumps is a high stimulant option called PRE made by NutraBio. It is designed to improve your workouts by improving your endurance, increasing alertness, lower fatigue, and decreasing recovery times through a transparent, clinically dosed formula.
NutraBio's Pre contains only active ingredients, no proprietary blends, minimal flavoring, and no fillers to develop an effective pre-workout that would be difficult not to recommend to people. It contains a solid blend of L-leucine, creatine, and beta-alanine to improve your power, strength, and endurance.
It also contains a whopping 6 grams of L-citrulline, 1 gram of Agmatine sulfate, and 750 mg of Nitrosigine to boost your nitric oxide production, making it one of the best pre-workout for pumps.
This pre-workout is from Legion Athletics and comes from the mind of Mike Matthews, who is well known in the fitness industry. Their natural pump pre-workout Legion Pulse is an excellent choice because it contains ingredients and dosages backed by science and is clinically proven to be effective.
Legion Pulse also isn't sweetened or flavored with any artificial ingredients making it a fantastic option for individuals researching natural pre-workouts.
Pulse does contain 350 mg of caffeine and 2.5 grams of Betaine which will boost your performance and increase your body's ability to build strength and muscle endurance.
Below we show you a side by side comparison of the products above so you can see which is the best pre-workout for pump and vascularity.
|Transparent Labs BULK Black||~$55||30||
8g Citrulline Malate
6g Citrulline Malate
6g Citrulline Malate
1.5g Agmatine Sulfate
1g Agmatine Sulfate
|Legion||~$45||20||6g Citrulline DL Malate||16|
When looking at the best pre-workouts for pumps you're bound to enjoy the amazing benefits they offer. Let's look at some of the advantages of taking pump supplements below.
Pre-workout helps to improve blood circulation throughout your body, and better circulation means a more substantial supply of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles during exercise. This is the reason why so many pump-pre workouts contain ingredients that improve the production of nitric oxide.
Increased delivery of nutrients and amino acids to your muscles as you workout also increases power, strength, and endurance gains.
Throughout the day, your brain sends signals to your muscles so that they can contract and allow you to move your body. The more you focus on the muscles as you perform a movement, the more the muscle fibers will be worked. This results in better contractions in the muscles and, in the long run, building bigger muscles. Since preworkout can improve focus, it can also enhance your mind-muscle connection during your workouts.
Many of the best preworkout supplements contain ingredients that improve your pumps and blood flow. Some of these components have lasting effects after the workout, which essentially means that your muscles swell and will look fuller for longer.
Specific components in pump supps improve your focus and endurance. This, in turn, means that you will work out harder for a more extended period of time, resulting in you looking better and feeling great.
There will be days when you don't feel like working out; maybe you had a long day at work or just aren't feeling motivated. You could be a little stressed out and feeling down on yourself, but know that you need to get a workout in.
Pre-workout is a fantastic supplement to use on these kinds of days to give you a nice energy boost, improve your mood, and motivate you to get off the couch and into the gym. Not only will you see increased motivation from it, but you will also enjoy the endorphins that workouts and strength training provide.
Certain ingredients that are usually in pre-workouts are beneficial in increasing blood flow and delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles while working out. The benefits you receive from this improved circulation are a better pump and less acid buildup, which leads to enhanced exercise performance.
This allows you to push through tough sets, move more weight and reps, and maintain better form the longer you workout. All of these endurance benefits help you see results sooner, work out for longer, and continue making progress.
Which is perfect for endurance athletes or individuals that partake in intense training sessions.
Pre-workout supplements containing caffeine and pumping ingredients have been found to improve strength, power, and anaerobic performance. By increasing muscle activation and neuromuscular transmission, pre-workout can help the body produce more power and thus boost your workout performance.
Another benefit is the increase in mental focus during your workouts. Athletes and serious lifters know that mental focus is one of the critical factors to success.
Getting into the zone when you are in the gym can help you stay motivated, focus on your lifts, and create a mind/muscle connection. The state of mind is also essential to keep you going through tough workouts, especially towards the end of your training and after a hard day at the office.
Taking pre-workout is an excellent way of making you focus on each movement and each rep to ensure that they are purposeful and optimized for form, allowing you to achieve more results from your workout.
As always you should check with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements. Below we described some side effects that can take place when you consume pre-workouts but keep in mind that everyone will have a different experience.
Depending on how potent your pump pre-workout is and how your body responds to caffeine and other stimulants, some feeling of jitteriness may be impossible to avoid. Caffeine can help to sharpen your focus, improve your reaction time, and increase the efficiency of your metabolism.
However, it is a stimulant that affects people differently. Some people are able to chug pre-workout and fall right to sleep at night, while others will have a half scoop before a morning workout and feel wired and anxious all day.
If you're overly sensitive to caffeine, you can find that your pre-workout dose is leaving you jittery and anxious. In that case opt for a stim-free pre-workout.
Getting a good night's sleep should be a top priority if you're serious about recovering your body and seeing more results from your training. If you're sensitive to stimulants or are someone who trains later in the day, pre-workouts can cause severe bouts of insomnia.
It is crucial to look at the ingredients contained in a pump pre-workout supplement before you decide to take it at specific time frames. Not all pre-workout supplements are created equal, and certain ingredients may affect you differently depending on when you take them.
One of the ingredients you should watch out for is caffeine because most pump pre-workout supplements have high doses of caffeine. So if you are someone who is sensitive to stimulants or workout late at night be mindful of the ingredients in your pre-workout.
It can cause headaches in a couple of ways. Some ingredients that are typically included in pump pre-workouts can pull water from your muscles, increase thermogenesis, and eventually cause dehydration.
When your body starts to become dehydrated, it can cause a headache. Most pump pre-workout supplements have ingredients that help promote vasodilation.
When vasodilation happens, the blood vessels in your body expand, which includes the blood vessels in your head. This expansion in your head also can cause headaches.
Those with blood pressure issues should definitely check with their medical care provider to make sure it's safe to consume pump supplements.
One of the most commonly occurring side effects of pre-workouts is a tingly or prickly sensation that can spread throughout your body called paresthesia. This sensation is typically due to beta-alanine. Also high dosages of niacin can lead to itchy or tingling skin.
Despite how it can feel, this side effect isn't anything to be concerned about, as your body will slowly build a tolerance to the ingredients that cause this effect.
Below are some of the common pre-workout ingredients you'll find in pump supplements. The recommended dosages can vary depending on the source but it's alway best to look at clinical studies to find which dosages worked in a controlled setting.
L-Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid found in some food and is naturally produced by the body. L-citrulline is one of the most well-researched and proven pump ingredients on the market because it plays an essential role in helping your body to regulate and metabolize nitric oxide levels.
Citrulline is a vasodilator that increases oxygen and blood supply throughout the body, as well as widens your blood vessels. These benefits can play a significant role in muscle building, improving performance, and reducing feelings of fatigue. You can learn even more about it in our article comparing L Citrulline vs L Arginine.
Be mindful that many brands will use Citrulline-malate because it's cheaper than pure L-Citrulline. When you find Citrulline-malate on a supplement panel it's most likely a 2:1 ratio so if it says 6 grams Citrulline-malate then it's only really 4 grams of Citrulline and 2 grams of malic acid.
Dosage recommendation: 4-10 grams
GlycerPump is the patented form of glycerol powder that assists the body with hydration and to absorb more water than it usually would. This improvement in hydration helps to prevent dehydration and improve endurance.
The reason that Glycerol powder is often included in pump pre-workout supplements is that all of the additional water absorption can help your muscles swell up and keep you looking swole for longer.
Dosage recommendation: 2-5 grams
Agmatine sulfate is an aminoguanidine that is naturally derived from the amino acid arginine through the process of decarboxylation. Agmatine sulfate is used in pump pre-workouts to improve blood flow through vasodilation of the blood vessels.
Improving blood volume in the muscles can lead to gains in muscle strength and size over time.
Dosage recommendation: 1-3 grams
Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, is a naturally occurring metabolite of choline. Betaine helps with the metabolism of homocysteine, converting it into L-methionine, which is a precursor to creatine.
Betaine also aids the body in protecting cells, enzymes, and proteins from damage. It has also been shown to increase power output, enhance vasodilation, and cellular swelling during different styles of training.
Dosage recommendation: 2.5-6 grams
Nitrosigine is a patented complex of Bonded Arginine Silicate that has been scientifically engineered to increase nitric oxide production that can be essential to peak athletic performance. The primary use of Nitrosigine in pre-workouts is to promote nitric oxide production to boost blood flow, focus, and energy.
Dosage recommendation: 1.5 grams
Pump pre-workouts can take your intense workouts to the next level, as they can energize your body, boost overall health, and improve blood flow for amazing pumps. However, using a poorly formulated pre-workout supplement can be frustrating, produce lackluster results, and even be unsafe, as it can have adverse effects on your body.
The pump pre-workouts that you should be looking for are the ones that are made with only clinically proven ingredients, have transparent labels, and have accurate doses.
In our opinion there's no reason for supplement brands to use proprietary blends and we would encourage people to stay away from those.
The global pre-workout market size in 2020 was roughly 14 billion dollars, making it a massive market in the fitness industry. Each year the demand grows, resulting in new brands popping up in the market that are trying to get their share of the money.
These new supplement companies make it very important to research pre-workouts before buying. We highly recommend focusing on reputable brands that have been around for a while, test their products, and have great reviews.
The testing and certifications of a company's supplements should be two of the most important factors when choosing a pre-workout. A great way to see if a supplement is decent is if it is third-party tested and certified high-quality, which guarantees its true dosages, usefulness, and quality level. It will also ensure that the product undergoes rigorous testing.
The market is full of pre-workout supplements that range in price tags. When it comes to pre-workouts, there is a common misconception that expensive products are the better choice.
This is not necessarily true. Some products are more costly because of their process of production, marketing, and other factors not related to the quality of the pre-workout.
We recommend that instead of just focusing on the price when shopping for a pre-workout supplement, you also consider the ingredients and the dosages when trying to find the value of a pre-workout.
At the end of the day you can expect a well dosed pre-workout to range from $45-$55.
When buying any supplement product, make sure to pay close attention to the online reviews. Most pre-workout brands tend to fluff up their products and make them sound way better than they actually are.
To ensure you don't get end up purchasing a low-quality product from one of these companies, we recommend validating a company's products through the eyes of previous customers. The best places to check out reviews of pre-workouts is by checking out other websites (like ours), Reddit, social media, Amazon, and Google to find more reviews on the pre-workout supplement you're looking at buying.
This one should be obvious, but make sure to hydrate before and during exercise. Getting a pump is all about having the right amount of fluids in your system.
If you're dehydrated, your body has less fluid to pump your muscles with. Whereas if you're hydrated you will see improved blood flow and more hydration in the muscle cells.
One of the easiest ways of getting a better pump is to do high-volume training instead of heavy weightlifting. Performing more muscle contraction throughout a set means your body will send more blood to the muscles.
Besides doing high-volume training, you can also utilize supersets, tri-sets, drop set and giant sets to get better pumps.
The act of consciously feeling a muscle engage while working through a full range of motion can enhance muscle fiber recruitment and activation. Therefore, by fully and effectively engaging your muscles, your muscles will get a better pump and, over time, grow more prominent.
Without a doubt, they can be worth every penny. By increasing blood flow and improving the distribution of nutrients, a good pump pre-workout can help you see skin-splitting results faster. They can also assist the body in removing the lactic acid produced by lifting weights and even reduce the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness.
If you desire to get the most use out of your pump-focused pre-workout without having to worry about any side effects, then you need to go for the best high-quality option on our list. Transparent Labs BULK Black pre-workout is a fantastic option that has some of the best premium ingredients, dosages, flavor, and value compared to most pre-workouts on the market.
It contains premium ingredients and dosages without having any low-quality substances, plus the label is entirely open, so you can be confident that your pre-workout isn't hiding anything behind proprietary blends unlike other pre-workout supplements.
For those looking for the best pre workout snack for pump you might want to try eating a few beets or drinking beet root juice to get those veins popping.
Pre-workout supplements are safe for anyone that is older than eighteen and doesn't have any medical conditions that would be affected. If you're a pregnant woman, a mother that is nursing, or someone that has health conditions, we recommend that you don't take pre-workouts until you talk to your doctor.
Absolutely, pre-workout drinks for pumps actually work very well, as long as you're using a product that uses high-quality ingredients and dosages.
Coffee isn't really a good workout if you're trying to increase your pumps. Pump supplements use a combination of high-quality ingredients to improve nitric oxide production inside your body, which can open blood vessels and increase blood flow to muscles during a workout.
Coffee, on the other hand, is consumed for the caffeine, which is usually used in pre-workout to increase energy, mental alertness, memory, and focus. So while coffee would be a great drink to have before a workout, it won't directly help with your pumps.
It depends on you and how you react to pre-workout. For some people, it can be safe, and for others, they may become jittery, queasy, or feel other side effects.
If you do work out with an empty stomach and take pre-workout, make sure you listen to your body's needs and do what feels the best for your body.
The best pre-workouts for pump can increase the level of energy you have, keep your body hydrated, improve focus, enhance mental & physical performance, and give you a calorie-burning boost.
Keep in mind that taking muscle pump supplements is not a shortcut or cheat that will help you see results easier. The level of energy and effort you put into your workouts, sleep, and sports nutrition play a more significant role.
As a final recap, here are our picks for the top pump pre workouts this year:
More Best Supplement Roundups:
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