When running, you realize that you don’t just need the right shoes or equipment. You also need to be equipped with the proper nutrition for more energy before, during, and after your runs! That’s where the best pre-workout for running comes along, with many runners using it for that burst of energy with the necessary nutrients!
However, are these suitable for you and if so, what’s the best one to get? I know how confusing it is, which is why I compiled this list and did my research! So read on for the ultimate purchasing guide to learn all about pre-workouts for running and the top ten best ones to choose from.
- 1 Top 10 Best Pre-Workout For Running In 2020
- 1.1 1. The Energy-Giving and Delicious: Evlution Nutrition BCAA Energy
- 1.2 2. The Trusted and Reputable: Old School Labs Vintage Blast Pre-Workout
- 1.3 3. The All-Organic and Natural: Organic Muscle Pre-Workout
- 1.4 4. The Quenching and Crash-Free: RARI Nutrition Infinity Pre-Workout
- 1.5 5. The Versatile and High-Quality Ingredients: Redleaf Pre-Workout Energizer Powder
- 1.6 6. The Plant-Based and Vegan-Friendly: TruWild Motion Natural Pre-Workout
- 1.7 7. The Naturally Flavoured and Strong: Legion Athletics Pre-Workout Supplement
- 1.8 8. The Focus and Muscle-Driven: Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged Pre-Workout Powder
- 1.9 9. The Powerful and Professional: MusclePharm Assault Pre-Workout Powder
- 1.10 10. The All-Natural and Safe: NAKED Nutrition Naked Energy Pre-Workout Powder
- 2 The Benefits of Taking a Pre-Workout Supplement
- 3 How to Choose the Best Pre-Workout For Running
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions: Pre-Workout Supplements
- 5 Wrapping it Up
Top 10 Best Pre-Workout For Running In 2020
Based on tests, research, and overall customer reviews, these are the ten best pre-workouts for running you should consider today:
1. The Energy-Giving and Delicious: Evlution Nutrition BCAA Energy
The Evlution Nutrition is my editor’s choice based on the complete ingredients my body needs as a runner. Not only that, but it’s one of the most affordable pre-workouts to provide great energy!
It has 5G of premium BCAAs, which is enough to provide the energy and endurance to have me run long and hard. Besides that, it also has NO calories or sugar at all, making it suitable for those watching their sugars and trying to lose weight. Despite the lack of sugar or calories, it still has good flavor, a slightly tart and sweet raspberry many would enjoy.
Other than its energy and endurance, it’s also known to help keep your focus and recovery at optimum condition. While I found no difference in my focus, it does speed up the recovery process a bit more!
- It has an extremely affordable price for pre-workout
- No calories, sugars, or carbs included in the ingredients
- BCAAs help efficiently in improving energy and endurance
- No change in mental focus
- Sometimes clumps while mixing the powder
2. The Trusted and Reputable: Old School Labs Vintage Blast Pre-Workout
For those who want something with the trusted and reliable, then Old School Labs is the way to go. It’s a unique pre-workout as it has a two-stage process when drinking it, made with premium ingredients without any banned substances.
With just one scoop, both my mental focus and physical energy last even longer than one hour. While this is a huge advantage, it might not be the best for those who workout for shorter than an hour, or for night exercisers. Either way, you feel the energy boost and get to finish your runs without the fatigue.
What’s even better is their customer service, as they come with a money-back guarantee and quick team to reply to any queries!
- Includes a money-back guarantee and good customer service
- Blueberry lemonade flavor is tasty and sweet enough
- Excellent energy and focus booster without the crash
- Energy and focus effects may last too long
- Not much effects in terms of recovery
3. The All-Organic and Natural: Organic Muscle Pre-Workout
Are you vegan and need something healthier and friendly to your diet and ethics? The Organic Muscle is one of the top-rated vegan-friendly pre-workouts to invest in! Sure, it may come at a slightly higher price, but it comes with everything you need for a clean and healthy pre-workout.
It’s made with natural vegan ingredients from USDA organic and eco-friendly farms, so you’re assured that it’s safe to consume. Furthermore, there are three yummy flavors to choose from, with all of them having a nice tastiness to it to start your workout right.
I don’t feel a huge energy boost compared to others, but it’s significant enough to positively affect my runs. Compared to other organic and vegan-friendly pre-workouts, it produces the most energy and has me recover without any crashes or jitters.
- No chemical taste has good flavors to choose from
- Good enough energy for a vegan-friendly and organic pre-workout
- Made with high-quality organic products with no chemicals
- Not the most energy you’d get from a pre-workout
- There are a few complaints about it tasting bad
4. The Quenching and Crash-Free: RARI Nutrition Infinity Pre-Workout
The RARI Nutrition is probably one of the best-tasting pre-workouts I’ve tried! I love the Strawberry Lemonade, which has a sweet and tangy punch to it. You can even choose funny and “popping” flavors like a sour gummy worm and blue raspberry!
The pre-workout itself is made with natural and clinically-dosed ingredients to ensure your safety and health. Upon drinking it, there are no crashes or jitters, despite the caffeine content. However, the caffeine and its other ingredients help in keeping my energy levels up to have me run even longer without fatigue.
I recommend you use this in the morning or early afternoon, as it packs a punch and would last even longer than expected.
- It produces high energy levels to last long without any crashes
- Great recovery time and helps build muscle after runs
- Yummy and interesting flavors to choose from
- Heart rate may escalate after 20-30 days of use
- The energetic feeling may begin to fade after 30 days of using
5. The Versatile and High-Quality Ingredients: Redleaf Pre-Workout Energizer Powder
The Redhead Pre-Workout is another product coming at a slightly higher price but is extremely effective. Not only can you use it for runs, but it’s great in building muscle and keeping you healthy as well. It comes with antioxidants Cranberry and Green Tea, besides BCAAs for muscle recovery and energy.
You can use it for any workout and be able to feel the energy AND how quick your muscles can recover. I feel like while it’s a bit pricier, you get what you pay for with complete ingredients and at the quality processing. Without any carbs, harmful substances, or artificial stimulants, it’s a great pre-workout!
- Made with high-quality ingredients that boost energy and recovery
- Comes with antioxidants for natural energy for all sports
- The nice flavor that doesn’t clump when mixed
- It isn’t the most noticeable energy boost
- Comes at a higher price compared to other pre-workouts
6. The Plant-Based and Vegan-Friendly: TruWild Motion Natural Pre-Workout
Another all-natural pre-workout goes to Motion, which I highly appreciate for its excellent quality ingredient list. It’s plant-based, vegan-friendly, Keto-friendly, and made without any form of sugars and carbs. It even comes with 1,000mg of coconut water to have you even more hydrated during your runs!
I noticed that this gives a good energy boost and has me stay energized for about an hour, just enough for a run. That’s already a huge feat considering it’s a plant-based pre-workout! Overall, for its health and amazing ingredients which also focus on nutrition, I believe it to be a worthy purchase.
- Provides you with whole food nutrition and better hydration
- Great for running outdoors even under the heat
- Vegan and Keto-friendly with all-natural ingredients
- It can provide intense energy for up to one hour
- Not much effects in terms of focus and recovery
- It has a very overpowering coconut flavor to it
7. The Naturally Flavoured and Strong: Legion Athletics Pre-Workout Supplement
I like the Legion Pulse Pre-Workout Supplement as it offers great-tasting flavors with excellent effects. I like how there are so many flavors to choose from, with the option of getting caffeine-free ones for night runners.
The pre-workout consists of all the important ingredients without any chemicals or toxic substances that can harm the body. It includes L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Ornithine, and caffeine (option). Besides this, it has a nitric oxide booster which helps in providing more energy to get your speed up. In fact, you can feel the kick within 15 minutes of drinking it.
For its quick effectivity without the side effects, I can say it’s a good investment.
- You feel an energy kick within 15 minutes and don’t feel tired
- All necessary ingredients without any frills or substances
- A lot of flavors and variety for your preference
- It has a bitter aftertaste, doesn’t taste sweet
- A bit pricey for only 20 servings
8. The Focus and Muscle-Driven: Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged Pre-Workout Powder
If you’re up for something to use for runs AND muscle-building, you’ll like PRE-KAGED. All four flavors offer the intense energy and focus boost that has you run even faster and longer. Most of my workouts feel even more explosive without much fatigue.
Besides this, it’s known to help with better muscle pumps with plant-sourced citrulline, creatine, and BCAAs. I also like that it’s very easy to shake and mix, being ready to prepare and drink in seconds! Just make sure that you’re ready with a whole lot of energy, and if you’re a smaller frame, take a smaller dosage!
- Excellent energy booster and muscle pumper
- It can help improve one’s focus and concentration
- They offer good flavors with easy to mix powder
- It gives your body high potassium levels, so watch out
- Extremely powerful and higher doses can lead to no sleep
9. The Powerful and Professional: MusclePharm Assault Pre-Workout Powder
For those who need something more affordable but with the extra energy boost compared to other pre-workouts, you’ll like Muscle Pharm Assault. It’s one of the most powerful pre-workouts at its price, with 200mg of caffeine, as well as creatine and beta-alanine to match that energy with better athletic performance. You get a great kick out of it for about an hour, and it begins to die down so you can get to work and have good focus without crashing.
There are no foreign substances or fishy blends, so you know what you’re getting and will have minimal side effects. Note that there are no calories, carbs, or sugar in the pre-workout, too!
- Excellent energy booster and gives endurance for longer runs
- The pre-workout doesn’t elevate blood pressure or give jitters
- It doesn’t clump and has good flavors
- It contains caffeine so can’t be used at night
- Some complaints about using the bathroom more because of caffeine
10. The All-Natural and Safe: NAKED Nutrition Naked Energy Pre-Workout Powder
Lastly, the Naked Energy Pre-Workout is one of the brightest with its cool design and good taste. There are only two flavors and you can choose an unflavored version for your shakes or juices! This is known as one of the best all-natural pre-workouts available coming at a moderate price.
It’s vegan-friendly without any added sweeteners, and also includes natural vitamins, amino acids, and caffeine to give you that kick without feeling fatigues after. It even comes with extra nutrition with vitamin C, B3, B6, Folate, B12, Calcium, and creatine. For the vegans and those looking out for their health by using natural food products, this is a great choice,
- Includes not only necessary pre-workout ingredients but more vitamins
- All vegan-friendly and natural ingredients for health and safety
- Good enough energy booster that lasts for at least 45 minutes
- Doesn’t taste as good, better if you choose unflavored ones
- Sometimes clumps and may not dissolve in water well
The Benefits of Taking a Pre-Workout Supplement
A pre-workout is a type of supplement which is designed to help increase your training volume and intensity. It gives you even more for every run, which either helps with your running record or gains, whichever your goals are. They do have a lot of benefits, such as:
Increases Work Capacity
Pre-workout contains ingredients like Creatine, which creates energy that increases your work capacity and time to failure. It provides you extreme levels of energy, known as ATP. That way, you have more capacity to keep running without worrying about fatigue.
Improves Muscle Growth and Size
Creatine is stored in the muscles with a lot of water, which then draws fluids to muscles, giving it a greater size with the water mass increase. As a result, it enhances one’s muscle growth as it signals the key biological pathways in muscle tissue.
Helps Burn Fat
Pre-workouts contain caffeine, which can also increase one’s energy.
Besides this, it burns extra calories, promoting weight loss! Caffeine also increases one’s adrenaline, which breaks down fat cells quickly. Studies have shown positive results on how pre-workouts containing caffeine helped burn fat directly.
Improve Overall Performance
Other than burning fat, caffeine can also enhance one’s physical performance and epinephrine levels in the blood. Epinephrine is adrenaline, which is a fight or flight hormone that has our bodies ready for the intense physical exertion for activities!
May Boost Endurance and Blood Flow
The ingredient citrulline found in pre-workout is shown to work as vasodilators, which increases the time to exhaustion when exercising. It also helps increase blood flow, which can deliver nutrients to muscle tissues better, increasing the rate of muscle recovery after your runs.
Reduces Fatigue and Increase Time to Exhaustion
Studies shown in nutritional science show that citrulline can help reduce exercise-induced fatigue. Furthermore, another study shows how BCAAs in pre-workouts can reduce fatigue by up to 15%. The BCAA can increase resistance to fatigue as well, enhancing lipid oxidation.
Increase Recovery and Power
BCAAs can lower blood levels of enzymes which cause muscle damage, helping speed up recovery. One study shows how BCAA lowered muscle soreness by up to 33%! Besides this, sodium bicarbonate in pre-workout can also increase workout strength and power, giving you longer and harder runs!
You can also look more into what pre-workouts are like, from its benefits and side effects, with this informative video:
How to Choose the Best Pre-Workout For Running
Pre-workouts are extremely beneficial only if you select the right one suitable for your individual needs. With that said, be sure to look into these important factors:
The Right and Wrong Ingredients
For runners, you need to ensure that your chosen pre-workout includes the following beneficial ingredients:
- High-glycemic carbohydrates for enough energy for an entire running session
- Beta-Alanine and/or Citrulline Malate which can boost endurance levels
- BCAA, or branched-chain amino acids, which also boost endurance levels and tone your body mass
- Caffeine and tyrosine are cognitive enhancers which improve your energy in both mind and body
- Creatine which helps maximize strength and improve muscle recovery
Also, make sure to watch out for non-natural ingredients which can be toxic to your body in the long run! Avoid the pre-workouts which contain the following ingredients:
- Sucralose, which is bad sugars
- Silicon Dioxide, an anti-caking agent to prevent clumping
- Vitamin components made with artificial supplements made with cornstarch and toxic substances like acetone
- Other questionable ingredients you aren’t able to pronounce!
Flavors Offered and Ease of Mixing
Who would down a pre-workout that tastes like rats? No one would, and you want to enjoy your drink! Fortunately, many pre-workouts come in different delicious flavors such as citrusy or sweeter versions.
Look into the flavors pre-workouts offer and check reviews to see if they taste just as good as it sounds. If that’s not your preference, some pre-workouts come unflavored to mix in with your sports drinks or other juices.
Besides this, look into its mixability, having a quality powder that can dissolve into liquids quickly without forming clumps. That way, you have no problem trying to mix it up to drink right away.
The Level of Stimulation and Workout Intensity
The main reason why you’re getting pre-workouts is to ensure you have excellent energy levels for longer runs. That’s why your chosen pre-workout needs to have a high-quality ingredient list with the right amount of it to avoid overstimulation.
That’s where genuine customer reviews and testimonials come in, which help in ensuring that what you’re getting is legitimate and effective. While effects are relative, listening to others can also give you an idea of how certain pre-workouts work. You can also opt for manufacturers who offer guarantees and warranties, as well as those certified for its safety and effectivity.
Price and Volume
Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you get your money’s worth. Pre-workouts don’t come in extremely cheap, but you can find great ones that go for about $2-3 an ounce. Quality pre-workouts are usually between $4-5 an ounce and come with all-natural ingredients beneficial for the body.
If you can go for up to $6-8 an ounce, you’re getting high-quality and specialized pre-workouts for specific audiences, such as vegans or vegetarians.
Besides the price, consider the volume as well. Instead of wasting extra money and effort purchasing small packets or containers, go for the bigger ones. This is recommended especially for those who are sure of using pre-workouts in the long-term.
Frequently Asked Questions: Pre-Workout Supplements
There are so many things to learn about pre-workouts besides their benefits and how to choose one. Check out these frequently asked questions many have wondered about in terms of these supplements:
1. How exactly do pre-workout supplements work?
Pre-workout supplements have active ingredients that target your body in various ways. Most pre-workouts include caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, amino acids, and more. These ingredients improve one’s athletic performance and energy with added adrenaline and muscle growth.
For runners, pre-workouts benefit them more so for the level of energy and endurance given. This has them run faster and for longer without feeling fatigued quickly.
2. Are pre-workouts safe for runners?
Yes, pre-workouts for all runners are safe, as long as you know the exact ingredients you’re putting in your body. Some people may need to check with their doctor (I’ll explain below). As long as you select the RIGHT pre-workout for your body’s individual needs, then you won’t have to worry about intense side effects.
3. What are the side effects and how can I reduce them?
While I recommend pre-workouts and love their effects, there are some side effects to look into. Common side effects come from the caffeine and stimulants, which are:
Fortunately, these are common and mild side effects with solutions. Make sure that you avoid using pre-workout supplements in the evening or choose caffeine-free ones to keep your sleep patterns consistent.
For diarrhea and dehydration, always stay hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of water a day, even more during exercise. If you have headaches, stay away from pre-workouts with vasodilators, or to lower the serving size of your supplements.
If your pre-workout is giving you serious side effects such as racing heartbeat and high blood pressure, it’s best to seek medical attention and stop consuming it first.
4. How long before cardio do I take the pre-workout?
You usually take pre-workouts half an hour before your runs. This gives your body time to ingest the ingredients for optimum performance. Make sure to shake it well and to drink everything within 15 minutes!
However, this is subjective with individuals feeling effects before or after the 30-minute mark. Listen to your body and make it a routine, depending on how you react to the pre-workout.
5. Should I take pre-workout with food or combine it with other pre-workout products?
Pre-workouts should be taken at an empty stomach unless you’re sensitive to caffeine. If you are, it’s best to have a light snack.
You CAN combine ingredients of pre-workout supplements, but it’s advised not to do so because of the amount of caffeine and stimulants in just one pre-workout alone. It’s also why you shouldn’t take pre-workouts with coffee or energy drinks.
6. When should I take pre-workouts?
You don’t need to take pre-workouts during rest days, as they are only best used right before your workouts. If you train at night, you can take pre-workout supplements, but opt for ones that are caffeine-free for better sleep.
If you take protein shakes after workouts, it’s still advised to take in pre-workouts, with post-workout nutrition staying the same for better recovery.
7. Who SHOULDN’T take pre-workouts?
I admire pre-workouts for its effects, however, you also have to be wary, as they are NOT meant for everyone!
- If you don’t have the budget and don’t feel a difference with pre-workouts, you can skip it or have light snacks
- It’s also not the best for those who are sensitive to caffeine, has a faster heart rate, and/or high blood pressure
- Those who are prone to panic attacks and dehydration are also best with alternatives because of the high amounts of caffeine and stimulants
For those who still want to try pre-workouts and fall under the description above, it’s best to take advice from your doctor beforehand.
Wrapping it Up
If you’re looking for that burst of energy right before a run without stuffing yourself with food, pre-workouts are the way to go. With excellent nutrients and amino, you can reach goals and continue recovering well after your run! All this at minimal calories and delicious flavors, making it well worth the investment for many types of athletes.
Of all the different pre-workouts tried and tested, the best one goes out to the Evlution Nutrition BCAA Energy. Not only is it extremely affordable, but it provides you the boost of energy you need with only natural energizers! Besides that, you can easily mix it up with a shaker or a spoon, dissolving quickly for you to drink on-the-go.
From its zero-calorie content down to the quenching flavors, you surely get your money’s worth, way better than choosing caffeine!
Hopefully, this article on the best pre-workout for running gave you an idea of what to invest in. If you think pre-workouts are advantageous for your health and runs, then invest in any of these now!
Do you have any questions or want to share your reviews on pre-workout supplements? Please share your comments below, all your thoughts are much appreciated!