5 of The Best Pre-Workout Powders in the UK

As you already know by now, I run Lift Bible with one thing in mind… honesty. Part of the reason for starting this blog was to give readers honest opinions & reviews on various Gym products. It’s time for my thoughts on the best pre-workout supplements which are available in the UK.

I’ve tried lots of pre workout, as it’s something that I need on the early mornings to really get me going. There are benefits and drawbacks to taking pre-workouts, which I will also explain below. However, we are going to get straight into this and show you the best pre-workout, from the 5 supplements I have tested.

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Mutant Madness

Best for A Massive Caffeine Burst

MUTANT Madness - Redefines The Pre-Workout Powder Experience and Takes it to a Whole New Extreme Level, Engineered Exclusively for...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 17, 2021 9:29 pm
in stock
£14.95
Taste test reaction (Peach Mango):
I tried the Peach Mango flavour and honestly, it’s one of the best preworkout tastes EVER. In a strange way, it tastes like a drink you’d order in a bar. It goes down easy too, which is one of the main features of a great preworkout supplement. Warning, it’s quite high in caffeine!
  • Serving Size: 7.5g
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Total Caffeine: 330 mg
  • Beta-Alanine Instantized Carnosyn Brand: 1250 mg
  • Niacin (10NE Niacinamide, 10NE Niacin): 20 NE
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL): 4.2 mg
  • Folic Acid: 200 mcg
  • Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin): 3 mcg
  • Mutant Madness Formula: 5215 mg
  • Performance Intensity Matrix: 4650 mgL-Citrulline Malate/L-Arginine HCL 2;1 Blend: 1500 mg
  • Taurine/L-Tyrosine 2;1 Blend: 1000 mg
  • Malic-Citric Acid Blend: 900 mg
  • 5-Caffeine + Polyphenol/EGCG Matrix: 500 mgCoffea Arabica Extract: 333 mg
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract: 92 mg
  • White Tea Leaf Extract: 25 mg
  • Black Tea Leaf Extract: 25 mg
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract: 25 mg
  • Amplification Matrix: 65 mgL-Theanine: 30 mg
  • Olive Leaf Extract (20% Oleuropein): 20 mg
  • Cinnamon: 10 mg
  • BioPerine Black Pepper Extract (Piper Nigrum)(Fruit)(98% Piperine): 5 mg

Mutant Madness Review

I’m a big fan of mutant, although this is actually the first time that I’d tried their pre-workout. As I’ve already mentioned a few times, I try to avoid anything with mega high levels of caffeine. This Peach Mango flavour supplement is absolutely beautiful to drink, but it’s at the higher end of my caffeine tolerance.

Have you ever watched the film Limitless?

Mutant have actually got me questioning if what Bradley Cooper had was in fact a tabletized version of this, double scoop of course.

Most pre workouts take between 20 and 30 minutes to kick in, which gives me enough time to drink in the car, on the way to the gym. Not this one.

Within 10 minutes I was in full concentration mode, and I was taken directly to that point. It didn’t ease me in, it just suddenly kicked in. Quite interestingly, I hit a personal best, smashing the dumbbell bench press & I’m putting it all down to this supplement. With the increased energy, I expected some side effects but there was nothing that affected my athletic performance.

It was a nice change for me to have more caffeine than I am used to, but I won’t go with this for a long term solution. It is however, going to become my backup supplement, something I can pick out when I really need to draw some extra focus from a tub.

It’s pretty cheap at sub-£20 a tub, and it will definitely give you that focus, power & determination you need to progress. It’s the HGR voted best pre workout supplements.

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The Curse (By Cobra Labs)

A Powerful pre workout which deserves it’s title!

Cobra Labs The Curse! 250g Lemon Rush

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 17, 2021 9:29 pm
in stock
£26.99
Taste test reaction (lemon rush):
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this flavour. It didn’t disappoint, offering a bitter-sweet taste which you can drink easily. It’s a little bit like the Lemon juice inside of a Lemon Drizzle Cake… It also contains Creatine Monohydrate, which should increase your muscle stamina during the workout.
Pros
  • Creatine included
  • Unbeaten on Price/Performance
Cons
  • Limited UK Stock
  • Serving Size: 5g (One Scoop)
  • Servings per Container: 50
  • Energizing Muscle Fuel Blend: 3000mg (Beta-Alanine, Creatine Monohydrate, Citric Acid)
  • Amplifier Blend: 900mg (L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, AKG)
  • Mind Control Matrix: 157mg (Caffeine Anhydrous 155mg) (Olive Leave Extract)

The Curse Pre Workout Review

I have to admit that when I selected all of the pre-workouts to test, this one was added as a wildcard. Believe it or not, I was hooked by the design of the tub & the fact that it offered to ‘Curse’ my workout. I suppose their marketing team has done their job.

Another reason that I wanted to try this, was due to the way that they list the supplement information. Instead of advising exactly how much Caffeine, Beta-Alanine & Creatine is included, they state that it’s a muscle fuel blend mix, combining 3000mg.

I’m not actually a fan of this, I prefer to see exactly how much of each pre workouts ingredient is included. If I take too much Beta-alanine, the tingling sensation overcomes me, and I’ve had to cut a workout short before because it left me feeling that bad!

Fortunately, The Curse pre-workout is really good! Although I can’t tell you exactly how much Creatine Monohydrate is included, it wasn’t too much that it defeated me.

Initial thoughts with the Lemon Rush flavour were that it was sweet, mixed very easily and didn’t include any lumps whatsoever. It’s quite rare that you’ll get a lumpy pre-workout, but I have experienced it.

During the workout, I must admit I felt focused & determined to complete the set. I didn’t feel a sudden rush of energy which shot me straight into the zone, but a gradual surge which gently fed me extra energy.

It’s hard to state how much of this feeling comes from the pre-workout itself, as I was having a good day when I tried The Curse! Had I reversed into another car on the way into the car park, it could have been a different story completely…

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout

Best for High Intensity Workouts

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Powder, Energy Drink with Creatine Monohydrate, Beta Alanine, Caffeine and Vitamin B Complex, Fruit...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 17, 2021 9:29 pm
in stock
£18.99
Taste test reaction (watermelon):
Watermelon isn’t a taste which every manufacturer offers, so I decided I would check it out. It’s probably not a flavour I would try again, as I really had to force it down. The Preworkout powder was good, but I’d probably try the Green Apple one next.
  • 175 mg Caffeine per Serving From Natural Sources
  • 3 Grams of Creatine Monohydrate Per Serving
  • 1.5 Grams of Beta-Alanine Per Serving
  • 30 servings
  • Blueberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Green Apple, and Watermelon Candy Flavors Available 

Gold Standard Pre Workout Review

I’m trying to remain as unbiased as possible with this pre workout powder, as I really couldn’t enjoy the watermelon flavour. Regardless of my mistake with the flavour, I can still explain the effects of this pre-workout & how it helped me in the gym.

Optimum Nutrition is one of the best known brands for Weightlifting & Bodybuilding. They are to workout powders what AMG is to Mercedes. For that reason, I had to add them to this list, so they can be compared with some potential competitors.

It comes with 175mg of Caffeine, which was enough to give me a sufficient boost, but a boost which is most likely suited to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or other cardio workouts. Now, you might actually be wondering if you should be using pre workout for cardio? I’ll answer that a little later on.

The Gold Standard Preworkout powder also contains 1500g of Beta-alanine, which rounds off their pre workout blend quite well. It’s a fantastic powder overall, which rounds off just why Optimum Nutrition are so well respected in the Bodybuilding world. They make quality products.

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Cellucor C4 Ripped

Lift Bible’s Best All Rounder

C4 Ripped Sport Powder Supplement, Fruit Punch

Last update was on: April 17, 2021 9:29 pm
Taste test reaction (Cherry Limeade):
The Ripped Range of Cellucor Pre Workouts are quite promising. It has a generous 150mg of Caffeine Anhydrous, alongside 1600mg of Beta-Alanine which will definitely give you that much needed kickstart in the gym. With 30 Scoops available for <£25, it’s a cracking price too.
Pros
  • Plenty of Caffeine & Beta-Alanine
  • Unbeaten on Price/Performance
Cons
  • Easy to get confused with their huge range of Pre Workouts
  • Serving Size: 5.5g (One Scoop)
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Niacin: 7.5mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.50mg
  • Folic Acid: 0.1mg
  • Vitamin B12: 0.125mg
  • Carnosym Beta-Alanine: 1600mg
  • L-Citrulline: 1000mg
  • L-Tyrosine: 500mg
  • L-Carnitine: 500mg
  • Green Coffee: 200mg
  • Caffeine Anhydrous: 150mg
  • Capsimax Cayenne: 50mg
  • Panax Ginseng Extract: 50mg

Cellucor C4 Ripped Review

After testing 7 different pre-workout powders over a course of 60 days, I couldn’t look past C4 Ripped. It was the clear winner of the Best Overall Pre Workout, offering a perfect balance of mixability, taste & a workout blasting pump feeling.

Cellucor make a few variants of their C4 range, but the Ripped version of their preworkout is certainly one of their prize assets.

C4 Ripped contains 150mg of caffeine, which offered a definitive boost before the workout, without any slump feeling or stomach cramps. I have tested some workouts with >250mg of caffeine, which was the point at which I would feel uncomfortable post-workout.

Another crucial ingredient in your pre workout is Beta-Alanine, which is the ingredient responsible for Itching sensations, tingles & in some cases a genuine desire to tear your own skin off!

There’s 1.6mg of Beta-Alanine in this one, which is plenty to carry you through your workout. I tried each pre-workout for 1 week worth of Gym workouts & I can honestly say that I felt the buzz every single time. The sensations would start after around 15 minutes & lasted for around 45 minutes.

Most importantly, I never felt uncomfortable during any point & after the workout, I never got the crash feeling which I have felt before with some competitors.

The C4 Ripped contains no creatine, which means that this is also a huge contender for the Best Pre Workout without Creatine.

I had the Cherry Limeade flavour, but the two other flavours are Icy Blue Razz & Tropical Punch. I would have liked to try Blue Razz, as this is becoming an increasingly popular pre-workout flavour. I’ll probably order that when I’ve finished up with all of these powders I bought for testing!

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Reflex Nutrition Muscle Bomb

Last but not least…

Reflex Nutrition Muscle Bomb Caffeine Ultimate PRE-Workout Powder 7g BCAA's 2g L-Carnitine 3.2g Beta-Alanine (600g) (Black Cherry)

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 17, 2021 9:29 pm
in stock
£24.99
Taste test reaction (Black Cherry):
I had the Black Cherry flavour of this, which didn’t taste fantastic. I wanted to trial it using the Pink Grapefruit, as the Amazon reviews are really promising about that. Reflex Nutrition have made an aggressive pre-workout in this Muscle Bomb. This is probably better suited for experienced bodybuilders, as the contents are quite high. It’s also quite high in calories at 107 kcal per serving.
  • Serving Size: 15g (One Scoop)
  • Servings per Container: 20
  • Citrulline Malate: 8 g
  • Beta-Alanine: 3.2 g
  • Caffeine: 250 mg
  • Betaine Anhydrous: 2.6 g
  • Branched-Chain Amino Acid: 7 g of which L-Leucine: 3.4 g
  • of which L-Isoleucine: 1.8 g
  • of which L-Valine: 1.8 g
  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: 2 g
  • Taurine: 1 g
  • Grapeseed Extract: 58 mg
  • Pine Bark Extract: 58 mg

Reflex Nutrition Muscle Bomb Review

After testing 7 different pre-workout powders over a course of 60 days, I couldn’t look past C4 Ripped. It was the clear winner, offering a perfect balance of mixability, taste & a workout blasting pump feeling.

Cellucor make a few variants of their C4 range, but the Ripped version of their preworkout is certainly one of their prize assets.

C4 Ripped contains 150mg of caffeine, which offered a definitive boost before the workout, without any slump feeling or stomach cramps. I have tested some workouts with >250mg of caffeine, which was the point at which I would feel uncomfortable post-workout.

Another crucial ingredient in your pre workout is Beta-Alanine, which is the ingredient responsible for Itching sensations, tingles & in some cases a genuine desire to tear your own skin off!

There’s 1.6mg of Beta-Alanine in this one, which is plenty to carry you through your workout. I tried each pre-workout for 1 week worth of Gym workouts & I can honestly say that I felt the buzz every single time. The sensations would start after around 15 minutes & lasted for around 45 minutes.

Most importantly, I never felt uncomfortable during any point & after the workout, I never got the crash feeling which I have felt before with some competitors.

The C4 Ripped contains no creatine, which means that this is also a huge contender for the Best Pre Workout without Creatine.

I had the Cherry Limeade flavour, but the two other flavours are Icy Blue Razz & Tropical Punch. I would have liked to try Blue Razz, as this is becoming an increasingly popular pre-workout flavour. I’ll probably order that when I’ve finished up with all of these powders I bought for testing!

Comparing the Above Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workoutMy RatingCaffeineBeta-alanineCreatineL-Citrulline
Mutant Madness – Best for Most Caffeine5350mg1600mg0mg1500mg
The Curse – Best Preworkout with Creatine4.7155mg1500mg3400mg750mg
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard – Best for Women4.4175mg1500mg3000mg750mg
Cellucor C4 (Ripped) – Best All Rounder4.6150mg1600mg0mg1000mg
Reflex Nutrition Muscle Bomb – Best for Pump4.4250mg3200mg0mg800mg

What is a Pre-Workout?

A pre-workout is a supplement that people take before exercising, as a way to get a boost of energy and focus. Its most common form is powder inside a tub, but capsules are also quite popular (albeit lower in effectiveness).

A pre-workout is designed to increase your stamina, but also your strength. It’s a completely legal supplement, there’s nothing inside of these that would get you banned from even competing on stage.

They aren’t a cheat sheet though getting impressive gains though, as they simply just alter your energy levels, which would then result in you training harder, for longer.

How does a pre-workout work?

Every pre-workout will act differently, depending on the ingredients involved in the supplement. The very best pre workout will offer a significant & long lasting boost to your energy levels, increased focus & stamina. Due to the improved ingredients, people also feel a tingling sensation on their skin and lips, I must admit I feel it on my forehead mainly…

Different brands put in different levels of ingredients, meaning that the effects will be different every time. I’ve also noticed that the effects are also much stronger if I’m doing a fasted workout, perhaps because the supplement can enter my bloodstream faster.

Another important thing to note is that you could take your pre-workout with a friend in the exact same circumstances, same weight, height etc, and you could still both feel different effects. One of you may feel nothing at all. The same supplement could have a huge impact on a woman, too.

Generally, it’s advisable not to take a pre-workout every single workout day. This is because you can easily get used to the feeling of the caffeine-surge, and the tingles can wear off. Your tolerance levels will change. Another good idea could be to switch between different pre-workouts as the slight change of ingredient blends could ensure you don’t become used to a single brands powder.

The final thing which is advised, is to start on pre-workout slowly. You need to check your tolerance, and you don’t want to find out the hard way. It won’t hurt to start with a half scoop, slowly adding more. Don’t start with a double scoop!

What’s the best time to take a pre-workout?

There’s no official window for this, but the best time to take a pre-workout is around 30 minutes before you start your workout. Some brands may differ, so I would always advise that you check the label on the tub.

From the ones I tested above, I could feel it kicking in after 15-25 minutes, which perfectly corellated with my car journey to the gym. I always take my pre-workout and then head to the gym, as it’s 15 minutes away in heavy traffic.

If you’re training at night, it might be best to avoid pre-workout supplements. Interestingly, MyProtein agrees with this. Quite a lot of these have increase caffeine levels which will cause you to have disturbed sleep, or struggling to get to sleep at all. There’s a product for you though, as you can opt for a caffeine free pre-workout instead.

Other Recommendations for Best Pre-workout

It’s not been possible to try every single product that’s available, as I’d be stockpiling quite a lot of pre workout powder. I purchased 5 powders to test, as I could get through all of these & leave my honest thoughts. The good news is, when they’re gone I’m going to do it all again!

For now, I have added some other supplements which are highly recommended. Ultimately, you’ll have to try one and see which one you rank as the best pre-workout. If you find a nice one, let me know below!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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