3 Best Pre Workout Powders / Drinks / Supplements for 2018 | 2019

3 Best Pre Workout Powders / Drinks / Supplements for 2018 | 2019

I’m betting this isn’t the first pre-workout supplements review you’ve stumbled across.

Probably not the first one that stacked the various pre workout drinks of 2018 / 2019 against each other either.

This one is different.

How?

Well, let me tell you by highlighting the 6 criteria I used for selection…

6 Criteria for Choosing the 3 Best Pre Workout Powders

Yes, yes. I know.

You just want to know what the products are – I get that.

But the picks are valueless unless you know why I picked them.

Right? Right. So here are my 6 criteria, starting with…

1) Real money back guarantee.

Yes, pretty much everyone offers a risk-free, money-back guarantee.

And trust me, I know what that usually means when it’s used to sell products on the Internet.

Sweet fuck all.

Lots of hoops to jump through. Stall tactics that keep you bouncing around for about 3 months from the time of purchase, at which point you can no longer process a chargeback on your credit card.

The works.

Not in this case.

With every one of the products listed here, if you don’t love the product all you have to do is ask for a refund.

That’s it.

That’s all you need to do.

No shipping the product back. No nothing else. Crazy.

Number 2) No proprietary blends.

I absolutely hate proprietary blends.

While supplement companies claim such blends protect the integrity of their carefully researched ingredient profiles, the reality is that proprietary blends prevent consumers from being able to determine which ingredients are included at doses potent enough to be helpful.

So if a preworkout contains a proprietary blend – it’s off my list.

Number 3) No label dressing.

If you don’t know what label dressing is, it’s pretty much what it sounds like…

Including a few milligrams of an ingredient or ingredients to make the formula and the label appear much more impressive than it actually is.

And while throwing a ton of stuff into a formula does appear impressive, the reality is that the ingredients, herbal supplements and what not found in pre-workout supplements are really no different than prescription drugs in that they have to be present at certain dosage levels to have any effect.

So when there are only a few milligrams of an ingredient present, you can bet it’s just there as label dressing, because it doesn’t any provide any discernable benefit to you.

So if a product contains label dressing, it’s off my list.

Number 4) No concentrated formulas.

Now I know concentrated formulas are popular, but the problem with them is that their small serving size means that they can’t possibly contain optimal doses of critical ingredients. It’s simple logistics.

So they’re completely off the table as well.

5) Price – Under 50 dollars max.

There are some pretty outrageously priced pre-workout supplements out on the Internet so I wanted to make sure these were priced competitively.

There is absolutely no reason in the world to pay 60, 70, or 80 for a pre workout supplement. In fact, if you’re paying more than $50 I can guarantee you the extra money isn’t going to cover the groundbreaking revolutionary ingredients the formula contains – but to cover the cost of the marketing campaign or pay partners big fat referral commissions.

So yeah – under $50 max.

6) Not the same old, same old.

If you do a search for best preworkout supplements you’re going to get a lot of people highlighting any of the top selling products on Body Building.com.

I didn’t give any additional promotion to the usual suspects. I wanted to introduce you to some very cool supplements made by some great, lesser-known companiesthat may not have ever heard of.

Let’s be brutally honest here; who the hell wants to read another review of Cellucor’s C4 or Pre Jym? Of Pre Kaged or Anarchy or NO-XPLODE or some Costco or Walmart brand?

Or any of the top selling pump products for that matter?

Do you?

Hell no.

And that’s good.

Because I sure as fuck don’t want to write one either. 🙂

With the zillions of reviews written, is there anything I can tell you about these super popular supplements that you haven’t already read or watched a 100 times already?

Probably not.

OK, so now that you know my 6 criteria, let’s continue…

ALL of the products on this pages offers a REAL consumer-focused refund policy.

An Introduction  to the 3 Best Pre Workout Supplements (You’ve Never Heard of!)

male bodybuilderWhen I owned a supplement store back in 2007-2012, there were two products I sold a ton of, each and every day…

Pre workout supplements.

And whey protein.

While other types of supplements fluctuated in their popularity, these two never did.

And I can tell you from chatting with friends still involved in the supplement industry, nothing has changed.

Pre-workout energy drinks and supplements continue to be the highest selling sports nutritional supplements on the planet.

There’s a lot of money to be made selling them and as a result, there’s a lot of competition in the marketplace.

And while the marketplace is crowded with a lot of the “usual suspects” – top-selling products from brands like BSN, JYM, Muscle Tech and so forth dominate – there are a handful of smaller companies who are quietly working away diligently in the background, focused on making great products.

Of course, because these companies don’t have the budget that the “big guys” do, you don’t hear a lot about them; they’re often squeezed out of the top-selling product lists… not because they don’t belong there, but because they just haven’t gained the exposure yet.

I hoping to change that… even if only in the smallest way.

What Does a Pre Workout Do?

Let’s face it. All pump products do the same thing…

  • Jack you up for your workout.
  • Provide an awesome pump (hopefully!).
  • Increase focus and intensity.
  • Provide other common sports performance supplements, as raw material for more productive workouts.

Therefore, it seems silly to note, over and over in this review, ingredients like…

  • Arginine, citrulline or agmatine: Most products contain one or more of the aforementioned nitric oxide (NO) precursors. They’re the ingredients that lead to the pump. I have articles on all 3 so you can get more details if you like.
  • Caffeine: Most energy “components” of these products contain a shit-ton of caffeine and occasionally a handful of extra “brain boosters” that help with focus and concentration.
  • Beta alanine: A great supplement backed by some decent clinical data, this is the ingredient responsible for one of the most common pre workout side effects, itching. Adherence to an effective dose is important to obtain optimal benefits. Full review and video are here if you are interested.
  • CreatineQuite possibly the most-studied, most effective and safest sports performance supplement ever, creatine is almost always included in your favorite pre workout drink, even though it doesn’t need to be. Why? Because creatine needs to be taken daily to maintain peak muscle saturation. Not everyone takes a pre-workout every day, and even if they did, most pre-workouts don’t contain an effective dose of creatine, so to obtain the benefits, you have to take it separately. So, if you’re already taking creatine, you don’t need it in your pre-workout and if you’re not, then your pump product doesn’t provide enough of it to be useful. Either way, the part of the formula dedicated to creatine would be better off allocated to some other ingredient.

Instead, I’m doing something else…

I’m going to highlight what I like; things like ingredient dosage and potency (not surprisingly, a lot of people are interested in the “strongest pre workout”), the uniqueness of the formula and anything else which seems noteworthy and worth discussing.

I’ll also discuss what I don’t like.

What am I not going to talk about in this review?

My own experiences, since they’re anecdotal, and are not evidence of anything.

Label ingredients only.

Ok, I think we’re ready. Cue the snare drums and trumpets and…

Let’s DO THIS!

muscle pump

3 Best Pre Workout Supplements for 2018 (That You’ve Never Heard Of!)

Presented in no particular order, the three supplements I’ll be discussing today are….

  1. Legion Athletic’s Pulse
  2. Simple Science Nutrition’s Vas Q Lar
  3. De Novo’s Epoch

Let’s get started…


Legion Athletics’ Pulse

For the life of me, I cannot remember how I stumbled across Legion Athletic’s stuff, but I’m sure glad I did. Their products are extremely well formulated, and their money back guarantee – which I’ll discuss in a few moments – is one of the best in the biz.

What I Like About This Supplement

  • No label dressing (i.e., no ingredients included at doses far too low to have any impact on its effectiveness).
  • Impressive amounts of all ingredients included on the label. Legion didn’t include minimum effective amounts of the supplements in Pulse… they went way further than that. For example, one could include 1.6 grams per serving of beta alanine and make a solid argument for an effective dose. Legion didn’t do that. They included 3 times that amount!
  • This is an extremely well-thought-out formula, with each ingredient playing a vital role in its overall effectiveness.
  • No proprietary blends. A proprietary blend is a giant red flag of bullshit, IMO.
  • On their sales page, you can read the scientific justification (along with references to clinical studies) for the core ingredients of the formula.
  • No creatine: As noted earlier, if you’re interested in obtaining the full effects of creatine, you need to take it on its own. Adding it to a pre workout reduces the available space for more useful supplements as well being completely redundant.
  • Contains some cool ingredients you don’t see in every pre workout supplement… like betaine and ornithine
  • Competitively priced
  • Awesome guarantee (I’ll discuss in a moment).

What I Don’t Like about This Supplement

Only one thing…

  • Caffeine content: I realize that this a personal thing and you probably won’t care, but I’m tired of pre work out supplements that contain a fuck-ton of caffeine per serving. Yes, yes I know… stacking creatine with l-theanine should take the edge off, but I’ll be damned if it does for me. And yes, I know it’s the same amount of caffeine as in a Starbucks grande coffee, but I work out at night and afterwards, would like to be able to sleep… at least sometime in the next century. I realize I’m no longer the ideal target audience for this sort of product anyway. As far as the supplement industry is concerned, I’m an old fart. Products like Legion’s Pulse pre workout are intended for younger folks who slam back a half dozen Monster energy drinks a day.

However…

As already noted, there’s so much of everything in Pulse, you can get away with a single scoop serving (which cuts the caffeine content down to a more manageable 175 mg) and still get plenty of the core ingredients.

For the record, this is not an issue unique to Legion – I have the same issue with pretty much all the supplements in this review.

The Money Back Guarantee

The money back guarantee Legion offers on its products is awesome.

Seriously.

It makes an experiment with Pulse (or any Legion supplement) completely risk-free.

Yep. Really.

In addition to the great ingredient profile and dosing, it’s one of the main reasons Pulse is featured in this review.

Legion backs Pulse with the best guarantee in the business.

Don’t love the product?

Ask for a refund.

That’s it.

That’s all you need to do.

No shipping the product back. No nothing else. Crazy.

Make sure you read their return policy. There are a couple of very reasonable conditions included. For example? Well, the guarantee applies to the first purchase of your first bottle only. That’s fair. After all, if you purchase the product a number of times before asking for a refund, you can’t really claim to be unsatisfied. And if you buy 5 bottles on your first purchase, you’ll need to return the 4 unopened ones to receive your refund. Again, that’s fair. But first purchase, first bottle… no questions back on the refund.

In addition to solid formula, an incredible guarantee was the major contributing factor for selecting products for this list.

How Much is It and Where Can I Purchase Legion’s Pulse?

A 21-serving tub of Pulse weighs in at $40 (a serving is two scoops; if you’re a woman, a smaller person, or like me you’re not interested in consuming 300 mg of caffeine per serving, a single scoop will probably do you just fine. This also stretches a tub from 21 to 42 servings).

Pulse can be purchased directly from the Legion website here!


Simple Science Nutrition’s Vaz Q Lar

A good friend introduced me to Vaz Q Lar on Facebook. It’s made by Simple Science Nutrition, and it’s a great example how a small company can make a really great product (at the time I’m writing this, it’s their only product), and back it up with a fantastic money back guarantee.

Plus, founder Dennis Potani is a super good, entirely genuine dude. He’s come up with a great product, so please support him by grabbing yourself a jug of Vaz Q Lar.

You won’t be disappointed.

What I Like About This Supplement

This a very smartly formulated product. Here’s what I like…

  • It contains potent amounts of all ingredients, and none of the things that piss me off, like proprietary blends or a shit-load of under-dosed ingredients that make the label more impressive looking (i.e., “label dressing.”)
  • A full month’s supply! Hoo-fucking-ray! LOVE this!
  • Serious focus on PUMP. Like really serious. Unlike Pulse, which only contains one nitric oxide precursor (citulline malate) for pump, Vaz Q Lar contains two: citulline malate and agmatine. It also contains supporting ingredients like L-norvaline (which may inhibit the enzyme arginase, and as a result elevate arginine levels) and beet root extract, which contains nitrates, which ALSO contribute to NO production. So yeah. Can you say “pump”, ladies and gentlemen? In all seriousness, this is probably the best pre workout for pump in this group.
  • No proprietary blends.
  • Caffeine plus l-tyrosine is a great stack for focus. It`s a bit old school, so I’m not surprised that I don’t see it that much anymore, but I`ve always loved the combination so it’s great to see it here!
  • No creatine: Like I’ve already mentioned, you don’t need creatine in your pre-workout.
  • Awesome guarantee (will discuss in a moment).

What Don’t I Like about Vaz Q Lar?

Nothing major…

  • Caffeine content is still a bit high for me, but as already discussed, I’m no longer the ideal candidate for products like this. Plus, taking a half-dose will bring the caffeine content down to the “regular cup of coffee” range and the product will still be plenty potent.
  •  Ingredients like L-norvaline and agmatine don’t have a shitload of clinical science supporting their use in humans, although I’d say that at this point at least, anecdotal evidence suggests agmatine definitely works as a NO precursor.

The Money Back Guarantee

I didn’t see a guarantee on the official website when I looked, but when I checked in with Dennis about it, he made it clear…

He offers an unconditional satisfaction or your money back guarantee. If you don’t love Vaz Q Lar, ask for a refund. He’ll refund your money, no questions asked. No need to return the empty bottle, either.

He may ask you what you didn’t like about it, but that’s fair.

How Much is It and Where Can I Purchase Vas Q Lar?

A 30-serving tub of Vas Q Lar retails for 49.99 and can be purchased from the official website here!


De Novo Supps Epoch

This is another supplement that I heard about through the grapevine on social media. Lots of folks are pretty excited about De Novo supplements, and although EPOCH breaks one of my rules, I think it’s a damn fine supplement, and the guarantee is fantastic.

At the time of this writing, they only make a handful of supplements so if you’re interested in supporting small, innovative companies instead of forking over your cash to some giant conglomerate, this is another great company to get behind.

de novo supps epoch

What I Like About This Supplement

  • 6 grams of citrulline for pump.
  • 8 grams BCAAs (4 grams leucine plus 2 each of isoleucine and valine). For the record, I’d rather get my BCAAs from protein or a post workout supplement, but I see more and more folks sipping on BCAAs during their workouts, and if this is you, EPOCH eliminates the need to purchase an additional BCAA supplement.
  • 3,000 mg beta alanine. Love beta alanine, as already noted.
  • The caffeine, theanine and yohimbine combo is a pretty potent one. Not my thing, but if you like strong pre workouts, you’ll enjoy the caffeine/yohimbine combination. The only problem is that yohimbine isn’t legal everywhere (forget about ordering it in Canada, for example) which means not everyone is going to be able to get their hands on this stuff. Yohimbine also can have blood pressure elevating effects, so keep that in mind if you have related health issues.
  • No proprietary blends.
  • Nice focus on hydration with solid dosing of sodium citrate.
  • Smart, well-thought-out formula.
  • No label dressing.
  • Awesome guarantee.

What Don’t I Like about De Novo Epoch

A couple of small things…

  • Like the other supplements highlighted here, Epoch is too strong for me to use at a full dose. As already noted a few times, this a personal preference thing, and it in no way takes away from the quality of the product.
  • Contains 2.5 grams of creatine monohydrate. While there really is not anything wrong with adding creatine to your pre-workout, in my opinion adding a couple of grams of an ingredient that has to be taken every day in a much higher dose (5 grams maintenance dose) is kind of a waste. These 2,500 milligrams could have been allocated to another useful ingredient… like another NO precursor, for example. It’s a small thing at best… you may argue that I’m nitpicking, or you may be happy with an additional couple of grams. It’s hardly a deal breaker, or it wouldn’t be on my list!

The Money Back Guarantee

Another great, customer-focused money back guarantee wraps up this trio of nitric oxide based workout supplements. Straight from the De Novo web site…

If you buy one of our products for the first time and you don’t like it, you can have your money back and keep the product. Just contact us with your order number and tell us why you weren’t satisfied, and we’ll refund you immediately.

Please note that this guarantee is only valid if this is the first time you’ve bought a product, and you have 30 days from purchase to claim your refund. If you bought more than one unit of the product, you’ll need to ship us the remaining unopened tubs so we can put them back into our inventory.

Honestly, I absolutely love it when companies put their money where their mouth is… it’s the ultimate demonstration of their confidence in the quality of their products.

How Much is It and Where Can I Purchase De Novo Epoch?

A 30-serving tub retails for $39.99.

Epoch can be purchased from the official website, here.

Wrapping It Up: 3 Best Pre Workout Supplements for 2018 (That You’ve Never Heard Of!)

Well, there you have it.

Hopefully you enjoyed my discussion of these 3 best pre workout supplements.

The biggest problem you have now is deciding which one to try first.

And honestly, I am not sure I can help… they are all such so good.

If an insane pump is what you’re after, Vas Q Lar probably gets the nod. If you’re looking for an extremely well-balanced formula or a pre workout energy drink, then Pulse. If you want to integrate BCAAs into your workout (or eliminate an inter-workout amino drink) are concerned about hydration and want to save a few pennies, then Epoch.

In all honesty though… I really doubt you will be disappointed with any of them.

My plan is to try all three.

Your Questions, Feedback & Reviews

peopleHey. So.

Have you tried Pulse, Epoch or Vas Q Lar?

If so, it would be awesome if you could share your experience with us. How was the pump, the energy, and the workout in general?

Anything else to report?

Whatever you can share would be awesome.

I would appreciate it and so would our readers.

And of course, if you have questions, by all means, please scroll down and leave them below.

I will answer them ASAP.

Author: Paul

Paul Crane is the founder of UltimateFatBurner.com. His passions include supplements, working out, motorcycles, guitars... and of course, his German Shepherd dogs.

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