Pre-Workout Supplements

What are pre-workouts?

Lethargic? Sluggish? Lacking motivation? We have all had times where we’ve forced ourselves to exercise and just not had a good workout. We can’t all give 100% to every workout every time. In the past a person may drink a strong coffee, eat a banana and “suck it up” but now, the clever people in charge of developing our supplements have designed powders and drinks that give us the kick we feel we need. On top of this, these supplements now contain ingredients that mean we can work out more intensely for longer with the knowledge that these supplements are also aiding muscle growth nutritionally too.

With so many ingredients claiming to do so many different things, it’s key to understand what they are and what they do.

Are pre-workouts for me?

It’s true, no one needs a pre-workout supplement. If you’re after a quick shot of energy then a cup of coffee may suffice, but pre-workouts do have other benefits. Before we list the ingredients and they’re effects for you to make up your own mind, it’s worth knowing that the most effective pre-workouts can do the following:

  • Provide energy
  • Increase performance
  • Increase muscular pumps
  • Increase focus
  • Increase muscular endurance
  • Aid fat loss
  • Aid recovery

You must decide which are most important for you and opt for a pre-workout that dose those things better than the others.

Some pre-workouts also hide behind the word “blend” and therefore are not nutritionally transparent as they don’t list the amount of each ingredient. It may be wise to steer clear of these supplements as you may be paying for tiny amounts of what would normally be effective ingredients.

So what makes a good pre-workout?

A good pre-workout should do what you want it to. Everyone is different. 200mg of caffeine might be really strong for one person but do nothing to another.

We suggest looking at our top 10 lists in our rankings section, or you can search our pre-workout supplement database to find a product and compare against others using our strength ratings. Below is a glossary of ingredients to help you understand what’s in your pre-workout.

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA, rose geranium/geranium oil/geranium stems)

See “DMAA”


See “DMBA”


See “Juglans Regia”

2-Amino-5-Methylhexane (1,4-dimethylamylamine/1,4-DMAA)

A weaker form of DMAA. Similar strength to DMHA.

2-aminoisoheptaine/2-amino-6-methylheptane (DMHA/Dimethylhexylamine/Octodrine)

See “DMHA”

NOTE: 2-aminoisoheptane actually encompasses two types of DMHA. One is 2-amino-5-methylheptane; a natural form of DMHA found in Juglans Regia and Kigelia Africana which is more expensive, completely legal and anecdotally less potent. The other is 2-amino-6-methylheptane which is the cheaper synthetic version. The good news is, if you have 2-aminoisoheptaine listed on the label, it’s more than likely the 2-amino-6 as it’s cheaper and if 2-amino-5 is used, it’s normally listed in it’s natural form (eg: Juglans Regia which is the more common version).


Afromomum melegueta

See “Grains of Paradise”

Agmatine Sulfate

Naturally produced in the body, one of the functions of agmatine is actually to fight pain and depression which can improve mood, but it’s main feature is that it regulates and prolongs nitric oxide production production so that when combined with nitric oxide ingredients, it produces really good performance and pumps over a longer time period. Recommended dosage of 1g.

Alpha GPC (AGPC)

See “Choline”

Alpha Yohimbine

See “Yohimbine”


A trademarked plant based ingredient. It is a PDE5 inhibitor (an enzyme which restricts CGNP). By restricting PDE5, it allows other ingredients responsible for increasing vasodilation and blood flow to have a larger effect. Higher blood flow means that oxygen and nutrients can cycle through the body quicker. This ingredient basically acts as an enhancer for other pump ingredients. AmentoPump is claimed to give bigger muscle pumps, increased power and strength, improved fat loss and increased insulin sensitivity. AmentoPump comes in two different strengths of 12% and 20%. If no strength is listed on the label, it can be assumed 12% is used. Be aware as 200mg at 20% (40mg) Amentopump is higher than 300mg at 12% (36%).

L-Arginine/AAKG/Arginine Silicate/Nitrosigine (Arginine Silicate)

Arginine increases blood flow by producing nitric oxide (NO) allowing your blood vessels to widen. Higher blood flow means that oxygen and nutrients can cycle through the body quicker. Arginine has a low bioavailability (ability to be absorbed) so supplementing with citrulline, Nitrosigine or AAKG is preferable.

AAKG (Alpha Arginine-Ketoglutarate) is an advanced form of arginine. Given the recommended dose is 1.5g to 3.5g, it shows how much standard arginine you would need to take to see a benefit!

Nitrosigine is a trademarked form of arginine (aka arginine silicate) clinically proven to boost NO levels. A dose of 1.5g is recommended and is likened to have the same effects as 8g citrulline malate.


Aids absorption of the ingredients. Normally 50mg is used.


Bacowize/Bacopa Monnieri

Bacowize is the superior quality form of Bacopa Monnieri, a herb which acts as a Nootropic mood enhancer by raising dopamine levels, relieving stress and boosting brain function. It can raise your mood to give you a slight happy euphoric feeling. The recommended dosage is 300mg.

BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids)

BCAAs are the building blocks of protein and three in particular (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine) are particularly useful in building muscle, reducing fatigue and reducing muscle soreness (reading coming soon). Look for at least 5g of BCAAs per serving. Supplementing daily with BCAAs can have a greater effect, especially when looking to lose weight, so it would be worth purchasing a BCAA supplement to take on “off” days if not getting them through your diet. Leucine is the more important of the three and in a good supplement will normally be double in quantity compared to isoleucine and valine.

BCAAs tend to be found in intra-workout supplements are tend to be seen as a “filler” ingredient in a pre-workout.

Beetroot extract/Beetroot Vulgaris/Beetroot Nitrate/Rednite

Beetroot extract or vulgaris can have as little as 7.5-8.5g beetroot nitrate in a 500mg serving so it’s worth checking to see if this is a filler or if it’s actually useful. Beetroot nitrate is superior with higher nitrate content. Rednite is a trademarked beetroot ingredient and has 25 times more nitrate than beetroot vulgaris. Beetroot is rich in the nitric oxide enzyme NO3 which increases vascularity and muscle pumps. Doses range from 500mg to 1000mg.


Beta-alanine reduces the amount of lactic acid in your muscles meaning you can exercise more intensely for longer. Like with caffeine, beta-alanine has a tangible result when taken in large quantities for some people. It can produce skin flushing and a tingling sensation. Some like this, some find it uncomfortable. Doses for beta-alanine range from 2g-5g so it might be worth opting for the lower end of the scale when first venturing into the world of pre-workouts to test the tingles. The recommended dose is 3.2g and for best results should be consumed daily, which will saturate your muscles and cause the tingles to go away! Unless saturated, beta-alanine is fairly useless.

Betaine Anhydrous/BetaPower

Betaine (BetaPower the trademarked version) works in many different areas including performance and energy but this modified amino derived from glycine (its chemical name being Trimethylglycine) is also known to give good pumps. It is often compared to creatine because of it’s water based pumps but it’s function is somewhat different. Creatine increases muscle energy, whereas Betaine rehydrates cells and balances fluid levels to protect your cells from stress (you must stay hydrated for this to happen!) This all leads to your cells using nutrients more efficiently meaning the protein and carbohydrates you consume “go further” meaning increased endurance and recovery. The hydration of cells also provide good pumps. Recommended doses range from 1.5g to 5g pre-workout but 2.5g betaine is the clinical dose for performance.

BioPerine (Black pepper extract/Piperine)

Aids absorption of the ingredients. Normally 5mg to 10mg is used.

Bitter Orange (Bitter Orange Extract, Citrus Aurantium)

A mild stimulant who’s promoting of energy encourages fat loss and reduce fatigue by the way of it being a thermogenic. N-Methyltyramine, Octopamine and Synephrine can all be extracted from Bitter Orange (synephrine accounts for about 25%); three substances that are chemically similar to ephedrine (a central nervous stimulant that increases energy and has been proven to aid fat loss but is banned in sports supplements). As with many fat burning ingredients, it will make you hot, sweaty, increase heart rate, increase blood pressure and possibly effect your breathing.


Caffeine (Caffeine Anhydrous/Caffeine Citrate/Caffeine Di-Malate/Infinergy)

Caffeine will be in all stimulant pre-workouts. It’s a sure fire way to increase alertness, alleviate fatigue and improve concentration.

Most pre-workouts contain around 300mg caffeine anhydrous (fast acting) and some also have extra in the form of caffeine di-malate (slow acting) or Infinergy (trademarked slow acting), caffeine citrate (ultra fast acting) or from other sources such as guarana. The slow acting caffeine is intended to stop any sort of sudden “crash” when the caffeine wears off and can prolong the endurance of a workout.

Some pre-workouts (such as Wolf Supplements – Wolf Juice) just have “caffeine” listed and don’t state a type. Here, we can only assume it’s a natural caffeine which often delivers a smooth elevation and smooth “come down” with no crash.

Also, as with any stimulant, ensure you stay hydrated.

Capuaca Extract

See “Eria Jarensis”


Most pre-workouts won’t contain carbohydrates as you’ll get them from your diet, but carbs give you energy so they be included. Don’t worry if the carbohydrates are sugars either, as these fast releasing carbohydrates are good to burn during imminent exercise.

Carbohydrates tend to be used in intra-workout supplements to give energy if fatigued.

Carnitine/L-Carnitine/L-Carnitine Tartrate/Acetyl L-Carnitine

Another amino on the long list of 20 amino’s possible. Carnitine is made from another amino called Lysine. The main purpose of carnitine is to promote the use of fatty acids as energy which is desirable for any exercise regime, especially those looking to burn fat and lose weight. For weight loss, daily doses of 0.6g to 3g of carnitine are recommended meaning you’ll to supplement on off days with a carnitine supplement to see maximum benefits. “Acetyl L-Carnitinehas effects that are quite different. This form improves focus, memory and reduces stress.


Cellflo6 is a patented ingredient extracted from green tea proven to boost catechin levels and circulation. The result is increased cardio, immune and metabolic health as well as increasing muscular endurance and recovery while also producing large muscular pumps. You can buy Cellflo6 as a standalone product. Minimum doses start at 300mg but studies were conducted at 600mg.

Choline (Citicholine/Choline Bitartrate/Alpha GPC/AGPC/Alphazone)

Choline’s main function is for the healthy functioning of virtually all cells in your body so is a great supplement on it’s own but it is commonly found not only in pre-workouts but also in nootropics as it is said to enhance mental cognition and increase focus.

Choline bitartrate is the cheapest form of choline with choline citrate slightly better but there are two superior forms to look for; Citicoline and Alpha GPC.

Citicoline and Alpha GPC (AGPC) are both advanced forms of choline which have performed better in the limited studies performed. These studies support their claim in acting as a nootropic. Recommended doses of choline bitartrate start at 500mg for general use but in a pre-workout you’ll need around 1g. Recommended doses of Citicoline and APGC in pre-workouts start at 600mg.

Citrulline/Citrulline Malate/L-Citrulline/Citrulline Nitrate/Citrulline Silicate

L-Citrulline is the number one ingredient for pumps you’ll see in pre-workouts as it stimulate three of the five enzymes responsible for increasing nitric oxide (iNos, eNos and nNos) although it isn’t the most efficient as the minimum dosage is 3g.

It is an amino acid that turns into L-Arginine (another amino) in the body and increases blood flow by producing nitric oxide (NO) allowing your blood vessels to widen (vasodilation). Higher blood flow means that oxygen and nutrients can cycle through the body quicker. The recommended dose for L-Citrulline is 6g but studies have shown doses up to 15g per day produce no side effects and doses as low as 3g offering benefits. The effects are increased performance, muscle pumps and vascularity when working out. Interestingly, supplementing with Citrulline is twice as effective than Arginine supplementation gram for gram as arginine has a low bioavailability (ability to be absorbed).

“Citrulline malate” normally comes in a ratio 2:1 (L-citrulline:malate) so be aware when looking at a label (eg: 6g citrulline malate 2:1 is 4g citrulline and 2g malic acid). If a label doesn’t state the ratio, chances are it’s worse then 2:1. Without going into detail, malate does a similar job to creatine so always aim to get that 6g L-citrulline (which would be 8g citrulline malate). Also look out for anything similar to citrulline stacked in a pre-workout to further enhance performance and pumps such as the more effective citrulline nitrate, Nitrosigine, AAKG (advanced arginine) or other patented ingredients that stimulate the same enzymes such as “S7” and “ViNitrox”.

For “Citrulline silicate” is similar to “Arginine silicate” (see “Arginine”).

Citrus Aurantium

See “Bitter Orange”

Cocoabuterol (Theobromine/3,7-dimethylxanthine)

Trademarked version of theobromine. See “theobromine”.


See “Neurofactor”


Creatine is a great supplement that is cheap and effective in increasing strength and muscle mass (read more here). It can be found in a lot of pre-workouts but sometimes the amount in each serving can be too small to see a real benefit. The recommended serving of creatine widely accepted is 5g per day (although the supplement has been proven to have positive effects from 2g-3g) so read the label and see how much is provided in a serving. Creatine is also a supplement that needs to be “loaded” (consumed every day) so unless you’re taking a pre-workout every day, you’ll need to also buy creatine to top-up on off days. Check out our creatine database.

Creatine HCL does not need to be taken every day and is more potent say can be taken at doses of 2g-3g. It gives the performance of standard creatine without having to “load” so is effective in pre-workouts.


D-Aspartic Acid

A supplement that is often listed a “testosterone booster” however, the research that proves this was done on males with hypogonadism (their body produced low testosterone) and actually, research done on healthy men showed no significant effect so it’s a waste of money.


See “Synephrine”


See “DMAE”

DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine/Rose geranium/geranium oil/geranium stems)

DMAA is an amphetamine derivative which is illegal in sports supplements. The FDA has stated it is potentially harmful. It noticeably increases strength, performance and exercise capacity and also gives laser sharp focus due to the onset of the “fight of flight” response. It also aids in mood elevation and can provide a euphoric focus. It can also come with a nasty crash after.

It has been illegal since 2013 but you can still find the ingredient in some pre-workouts (EG: Dark Labs – Crack). Natural DMAA comes from the geranium plant so you may see this on a label instead of the synthetic 1,3-dimetylamylamine. There is an argument whether this is as potent, and also, could possibly be a cover up for the cheaper synthetic version of DMAA if on a label.

DMAA was replaced with DMHA before that too became illegal in sports supplements.

DMBA (2-amino-4-methylpentane/1,3-dimethylbutylamine/AMP)

DMBA is another ingredient that made it’s way into pre-workouts after the fall of DMAA. It is less potent than DMAA (and DMHA slightly) but it’s chemical structure is extremely similar to DMAA and anecdotally gives a more euphoric, less gritty stimulant feeling than it’s cousin.


DMAE is a precursor to choline (see “choline”) which is used to improve mood and focus. It’s another attempted replacement for DMAA/DMHA but this one isn’t as strong and falls somewhat short. DMAE is actually found in small amounts already in the brain, but supplementing has an effect of increased energy, performance and focus.

DMHA (2-aminoisoheptaine/2-amino-6-methylheptane/1,5-Dimethylhexylamine/Octodrine)

DMHA (trade name “Octodrine”) became popular in pre-workout supplements when DMAA became illegal in 2013. It has extremely similar effects but is anecdotally safer to consume and not quite as strong (70-75mg DMAA is likened to 200mg DMHA). DMHA was made illegal in 2022 but there are still pre-workouts out there with this ingredient. 2-amino-5-mehylheptane (found in Juglans Regia and Kigelia Africana) is a natural form of DMHA found in plants which is more expensive, completely legal and anecdotally less potent (although the Kigelia Africana in Alpha Neon’s “Darkside” pre-workout really smacks you in the face!)

Supplement companies are still searching for the next DMAA/DMHA which are both synthetic, but the most common “replacements” you’ll see are natural ingredients such as Eria Jarensis, Juglans Regia, N-Methyltyramine, Kigelia Africana and Higenamine (when partnered with the right ingredients). Another ingredient touted as replacement is Halostachine.


See “Theacrine”


EAAs (Essential Amino Acids)

EAAs are 9 of the 20 amino acids that the body cannot produce itself and have to be consumed through diet. BCAAs used to be the go-to amino combination for aminos but more recently, EAAs have been shown to be better in increasing muscle protein synthesis.

As with BCAAs, EAAs tend to be an intra workout supplement and are considered a filler in a pre-workout.


Epicatechin is found in trace amounts in green tea. When supplemented, it can inhibit myostatin levels (myostatin can limit the level of muscle growth). It also raises nitric oxide levels increases pumps when exercising.

Eria Jarensis Extract (Capuaca Extract/nn-dimethylphenylethylamine/n-pheneythl dimethlymine/nn-DMPEA)

A mild stimulant which has more of an effect on cognition. It’s effects are quite unique when comparing it to other focus and mood enhancers as this ingredient gives a quite euphoric feel providing mental clarity. It certainly isn’t as strong as DMAA/DMHA but it might be one of the next best things. Doses range from 100mg to 250mg but some high stimulant pre-workouts include up to 500mg.



Fitnox is a trademarked ingredient that claims to improve muscle pumps by increasing nitric oxide and therefore blood flow, vasodilation and muscular pumps by increasing nitrates NO2 and NO3, two of the five enzymes responsible for increasing nitric oxide. A recommended dosage of 250mg also improves muscular endurance. Its fast acting, long lasting (up to 10 hours) and 100% plant based. Studies have shown Fitnox can increase nitric oxide by up to 336%.


Geranium oil/Geranium stems/Rose geranium

See “DMAA”

Gingko Biloba

From a tree in Africa, Gingko Biloba has two benefits in a pre-workout both brought about by the fact it enhances oxygenation in the body. Firstly it increases blood flow giving a muscle pump, and secondly it’s main effect is to increase cognition, memory and concentration. Positive effects have been seen at doses of 160mg although advice is to split this equally in three doses through the day.


One of the most popular amino’s with gym goers, Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle. Training depletes the stores in the muscles so supplementing ensures that normal levels are restored. Itis not an EAA so would need to be supplemented separately to those. Glutamine is essential for protein synthesis among other positive side effects such as supporting your immune system.

As with EAAs & BCAAs, Glutamine tends to be more of an intra-workout ingredient.


Glycine does a similar job to betaine in that it hydrates the muscles among other things. This will again produce good pumps in the gym (providing you’re hydrated!) GlycerSize (formerly GlycerPump) is a trademarked formula made from 65% glycerol that is often found in supplements (anything above 65% will make the powder clumpy). A typical dose is 2g-5g.

Grains of Paradise (Paradoxine/Afromomum melegueta)

Paradoxine is a trademarked version of grains of paradise which is a spice from West Africa. It’s a fat burning low stimulant that also has a positive effect on mood. Studies has shown 30mg-40mg to be an effective dose although the Paradoxine manufacturers recommend 40mg-50gm as the “sweet spot” to be taken daily. Grains of paradise actually cut down the number of cells in white adipose tissue so that there is not as much space to store fats. Some pre-workouts have higher dosages which deliver increased energy, a sense of heat, increased heart rate and sweating.

Grape Seed Extract

An anti-oxidant that doubles as all-round pre-workout ingredient. It has been shown to increase blood flow for larger pumps but also to increase energy, power and metabolic rate to burn more fat. Dose is 200mg to 500mg.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract contains caffeine at around 10%. Green tea has also been known to support fat loss and is an antioxidant.

Guarana/Guarana Seed Extract

Often contains around 20% caffeine, guarana is another stimulant which is a slower acting stimulant which often produces longer lasting smoother energy and helps eliminate any sudden “crash”.


Halostachine HCL (N-methylphenylethanolamine)

Similar to ephedrine in it’s chemical structure, it’s a powerful stimulant with the feel-good effects likened to DMAA. If amphetamines are the strongest stimulant, DMAA would be next, followed by ephedrine which shows you the power of Halostachine. Some fat burning properties.

Higenamine (Nelumbo Nucifera/Lotus Leaf/Nandina Fruit)

It is a substance used in natural medicine and is found in some plants/herbs including Nandina Fruit, Lotus Leaf and Nelumbo Nucifera. It is a mild stimulant with fat burning properties on it’s own but when paired with hordenine and/or synephrine, it’s role of being a beta receptor agonist enhance mental focus and has been likened to DMAA/DMHA. Look for doses of 100mg.

Hordenine Hydrochloride (Hordenine HCL)

A chemical found in barley. It is used as a fat burning ingredient so expect a increase in body temperature. Recommended doses start at around 30mg and can increase to around 100mg.

Huperzine A (Huperzine Serrata/Toothy Clubmoss)

Huperzine A is extracted from Huperzine Serrata (also known as Toothy Clubmoss), a Chinese herb. Mostly found in nootropic and focus based pre-workouts, Huperzine A improves memory and mental focus. Recommended dose is 50mcg – 200mcg.



See “Caffeine”


Inosine can already be found in the human body. Its chemical structure is similar to that of ATP which provides energy to muscles. This makes the product similar to creatine, however, various studies have shown Inosine to be fairly useless so stick to creatine if you want to boost ATP.


Known for a wealth of benefits including assisting in the transportation of fats through the body, development of cell membranes and the treatment of liver problems and the symptoms of diabetes. The main use in a pre-workout however is to reduce anxiety and stress. There’s no recommended dosage but benefits have been seen between 25mg and 75mg. Doses of 500mg have seen negative side effects.


Juniper/Juniper Berry Extract/Juniperus Communis

Increases the uptake and effectiveness of caffeine by the body. In other words it acts as an amplifier for the caffeine.

Juglans Regia (Walnut Extract/2-Amino-5-Methylheptane/Juglans Whole Fruit)

This natural (legal) version of DMHA is more expensive than the synthetic version and not quite as potent. Look for a dose of 200mg but be prepared for an increased heart rate especially over 200mg. Juglans whole fruit is a bit of an unknown in terms of strength or dosage but anecdotal evidence seems as though it is not as strong as the extract.


Kanna (Skeletium Tortosum/KannaEase)

A herb traditionally chewed in stressful situations. It is known to elevate mood, relieve stress and reduce anxiety. It is similar to theanine in that it can take the edge off of a pre-workout, or smooth out the effects somewhat however, it does possess more of a nootropic mood elevation.

Kigelia Africana

Similar to Juglans Regia, only it comes from a tree in Africa. Again it has been likened to DMHA and is a (legal) natural similar version. It is said to be a stronger stimulant than caffeine gram for gram but it also gives you high mental focus and a sort of intense tunnel vision and high mood. Look for a dose of around 100mg – 200mg.

Kola Nut

The kola nut is the fruit from the kola tree indigenous to Africa. A central nervous stimulant that usually contains roughly 10% theobromine and 20% caffeine. Kola nut delivers energy, increased heart rate and fat burning effects. There is little research on recommended dosage but pre-workouts tend to have 100mg – 400mg.



See “Macuna Pruriens”

Lion’s Mane

A mushroom superfood with claims to help protect against dementia and repair nerve damage. It also reduces mild anxiety, stress and depression and increases mood and improves focus which is why you’ll find it in pre-workouts. There’s not much research on recommended dose but something between 300mg and 500mg in a preworkout is solid. One study has shown no negative side effects when taken 1g daily. You’ll sometimes find this hidden in a blend listed in the label as “Peak O2”.

Lotus Leaf

See “Higenamine”


Macuna Pruriens (Velvet bean, L-DOPA)

A legume from South Asia. It is rich in L-DOPA, the precursor to dopamine; the pleasure neurochemical. This ingredient is improves athletic performance as a mood and motivation enhancer, but it also has claims in boosting testosterone and growth hormone. When looking for Macuna Pruriens on the label, pay attention to the amount of L-DOPA as we have seen it range from 2% to 98%. Positive effects have been shown at 45g to 50g L-DOPA so to work out if this is dosed well in a pre, you’ll need to do the maths. For example, 100g Macuna Pruriens at 50% or 500mg Macuna Pruriens at 10% will both give you 50g L-DOPA.


See “Theacrine”


Nandina Fruit

See “Higenamine”

Nelumbo Nucifera

See “Higenamine”

NeuroFactor (CognatiQ)

A patented nootropic focus ingredient made from whole coffee fruit extract. It contains 7% caffeine which is not a lot considering it’s recommended dose is 100mg (7mg caffeine) but this is not an ingredient intended to act as a stimulant. Studies have shown that NeuroFactor can increase the brains production of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) by 143%. BDNF is a type of protein found in the brain and less so in the central nervous system and is used for growth, development and repair of neurons that transmit nerve pulses through the body improving memory, cognitive function and adaptability to stressors.

Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin provides a small amount of energy, but it can reduce the bodies ability to use fatty acids for energy, especially when consumed with caffeine. On a bulk? Don’t worry about it, but if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to avoid. At higher doses, it can cause a flushing feeling in your face.


See “Arginine”

nn-dimethylphenylethylamine/n-pheneythl dimethlymine/nn-DMPEA

See “Eria Jarensis”


See “Halostachine”

N-Methyltyramine (NMT)

Found in various plants (including barley like the more thermogenic hordenine). Similar to Eria Jarensis it is a mild stimulant with mood enhancing effects and has also been touted as the replacement for DMAA. There is no recommended dosage but 200mg seems to be sweet spot.


Noopept is a nootropic that provides a mild cognitive boost by boosting brainwave activity. It also stimulates dopamine receptors.


An amino acid derived from valine. Norvaline is a nitric oxide booster that plays a similar role to agmatine sulfate in that it’s main role is to regulate and prolong nitric oxide production and can give strong pumps for longer. Look for a dose of 200mg.



See “DMHA”

Ornathine (L-Ornathine/L-Ornathine HCL)

Ornathine is an amino acid that can help balance ammonia levels (a chemical that makes you feel fatigued if there is too much). This then aids endurance and reduces fatigue in the gym.

Ornathine Alpha Ketoglutarate

Further to the benefits of L-Ornathine, L-Ornathine alpha ketoglutarate is a direct precursor for nitric oxide by converting to arginine in the body. This will increase muscular pumps and vascularity. It will also increase muscle protein synthesis and aid recovery.



See “Grains of Paradise”

Peak ATP

A trademarked ingredient that provides functional energy meaning muscles can work out harder and improve power output. ATP is stored in muscles but only in small amounts unless supplemented. Creatine is another supplement that increases ATP stores in the muscles. In clinical studies Peak ATP has been shown to boost muscular power output, improve blood flow, increase number of repetitions performed, increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue versus placebo. Based on research the recommended dose of Peak ATP is 400mg.

Peak O2

Peak O2 is an ingredient made from mushrooms (including Lions Mane). It is an all rounder in terms of providing energy, endurance and focus by increasing oxygen utilisation. The main study done on this is positive for it’s effects but the dosing was 4g per day for 21 days. In pre-workouts, doses tend to start at 1g.


Responsible for the production of dopamine which is the chemical that makes you happy, and epinephrine/norepinephrine which are vital for your body’s fight or flight response to stressful situations. In short, this will enhance your mood whilst also giving a sense of urgency and focus. 500mg recommended dosage. Phenylethylamine (PEA) is derived from phenylalanine in the brain.

Phenylethylamine (Beta-phenylethylamine/PEA/ThinFen)

Derived from phenylalanine naturally in the brain so supplementing directly with this is more potent. It can provides more energy and a sense of euphoria by producing dopamine, epinephrine/norepinephrine. A derivative of Phenylethylamine can be found in some “legal high” drugs but PEA it safe to supplement.

Pine Bark Extract

An anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that can increase endurance and performance. It can also boost nitric oxide levels which can increase muscle pumps. Dosages in pre-workouts seem to start at 100mg.


See “Bioperine”

Pomegranate Extract

Pomegranate contains anti-oxidants that protect nitric oxide levels which produces better pumps and performance.



See “Yohimbine”


Rauwolfia Vomitoria

See “Yohimbine”


See “Beetroot”

Rhodiola Rosea/RhodioPrime

This plant is known to reduce muscle fatigue and increase endurance. It is an adaptogen so has the benefit of reducing stress and enhance mood. It really is an all rounder. Aim for a dose of 100mg as a minimum. Studies have shown positive effects at 200mg to 600mg daily. RhodioPrime is the trademarked version with a higher percentage of Salidroside (most versions will yield 1% to 3%) which makes is more potent.



A patented plant based pump ingredient formed from a blend of green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, turmeric extract, tart cherry, blueberry broccoli and kale. It helps the body produce it’s own nitric oxide by stimulating the eNos enzyme and has show to boost nitric oxide by up to 2305. Effects start at dose of 50mg but often 100mg is used.

S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) 

Know to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery which can lead to a reduction in muscle soreness. SAMe can also improve memory and enhance mood, improving focus in the gym. Research with SAMe has been dosed between 600mg and 1200mg daily.

Skeletium Tortosum

See “Kanna”

Stearoyl Vanillylamide 

A naturally-occurring ingredient found in various species of hot peppers.

It enhances adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones responsible for the activation of bodily responses including metabolism which means it can also promote fat loss.

Synephrine (Isopropylnorsynephrine/Deterenol)

A mild stimulant that increases energy and metabolic rate without significantly increasing heart rate when taking it at dosages of under 50mg, making it a good fat burning ingredient. It is sometimes hidden as “Bitter Orange” as this ingredient yields around 25% synephrine.

Isopropylnorsynephrine (Deterenol) is a more potent version of synephrine which produces more energy, better athletic performance and more fat burning but has been banned in many countries for risk of cardiac arrest.



Another amino acid with benefits to strength and endurance, Taurine has been shown to increase the contraction of muscles. It also has the benefit of increasing endurance when regularly taken and particularly when taken with caffeine. The most well known use of taurine however is the ability to reduce muscle inflammation and therefore slow the onset of muscle fatigue. A minimum dose of 1g is recommended.

Theacrine (Teacrine/Dynamine/Methylliberine)

TeaCrine is the patented version of Theacrine. It is also found in tea so don’t get it confused with the similar sounding Theanine that is also sourced the same way. Theacrine has been used for years to reduce inflammation and pain but only recently has it been used in sport supplements where it improves mental clarity, improved motivation and mood and also provides a smooth energy. Dynamine is just a faster acting form of Theacrine kicking in after about 30 minutes compared to Theacrines; 1 hour.


Theanine is an amino acid found in tea among other things. It has a calming effect on the brain so you would wonder why it would ever be in a pre-workout? Well, firstly it can take the edge off of heavy stimulants to give a smoother, cleaner and longer lasting energy and secondly, it can help with focus and enhancing cognitive ability. This is the one ingredient you don’t want a high dosage though as you don’t want the edge noticeably taken off your pre-workout.

Theobromine (Cocoabuterol/3,7-dimethylxanthine)

A natural compound found in cocoa products, Theobromine (Cocoabuterol is a trademarked version of theobromine) is a stimulant with a longer, smoother effect then caffeine. It’s recommended dose is 250mg to 500mg. There is some research that backs it’s claims to improve pumps by improving blood flow too although little research here is little on it’s claims to improve mood and mental cognition.

Toothy Clubmoss

See “Huperzine A”


Tyrosine is an amino that is created in the body from another amino called Phenylalanine. It helps the body make several neurotransmitters such as dopamine which helps reduces stress. Tyrosine is believed to help improve focus however, it is more of an amino that gives the body many different ways to deal with stressors allowing you to focus your concentration on what matters. 1g recommended dose.




A patented nitric oxide enhancer. Vaso-6 when dosed at 300mg has been shown to improve vasodilation by 50% more than supplementing with 7g arginine in one study. It’s commonly found in non-stim pre-workouts to increase muscle pumps.

Velvet Bean

See “Macuna Puriens”


A patented nitric oxide enhancer. ViNitrox increases eNos activation, one of the five enzymes responsible for increasing nitric oxide and therefore blood flow, vasodilation and muscular pumps. ViNitrox also helps delay muscular fartigue.


Walnut Extract

See “Juglans Regia”

White willow bark

An ingredient that increases dopamine levels and acts as a mood elevator. When used in conjunction with caffeine and other stimulants, it can increase their effectiveness.



Yohimbine (Yohimbe bark extract/Yohimbine HCL/Quebrachin/Alpha Yohimbine/Rauwolfia Vomitoria

From the yohimbe tree in Africa, yohimbine stimulates the part of the nervous system responsible for heart rate and respiratory rate, speeding them up. This releases neurotransmitters into your blood which make you more alert and more prepared to take on whatever challenge is thrown your way. This also increases blood flow, energy and performance.

This powerful ingredient is also a thermogenic and aids weight loss so expect to get a bit hot and sweaty, and also some shortness of breath especially if doses are high. Yohimbine HCL (Quebrachin) tends to pack a larger punch of urgency borderline anxiety inducing, with Alpha Yohimbine (Ruawolfia Vomitoria) being a bit smoother but gram for gram more powerful.

Yohimbine HCL it is not uncommon to see doses up to 5mg, similarly 1.5mg to 2mg Alpha Yohimbine seems to be the upper limit for a “sweet spot” but a lot of pre-workouts will combine two or more different types of yohimbine. When combining, doses you see are usually 3mg bark extract, 2mg HCL and 1mg Alpha Yo with.

Yohimbine will supress appetite and can give temporary “cold” like symptoms with cold sweats and a runny nose. Too much yohimbine for your personal tolerance can lead to harsh flu like side effects.