If you’re looking for something that’ll give you a major energy spike before your workouts, look no further: We’re about to show you some of the highest caffeine pre workouts on the market. We’ll also show you some fast-acting caffeine supplements that can help that energy spike last longer.
In this article, we'll cover:
Fastest-acting Caffeine Pre Workout
For the most fast-acting caffeine, you can do better than a supplement. In this category, we’re going to look at some caffeine vaporizers.
HELO Air from MELO Labs
MELO Labs makes a caffeine vaporizer called HELO Air. As you’ll see from the reviews, customers love how quickly and effectively these caffeine diffusers get you energized without headaches or jitters. Many customers said they prefer these to energy drinks and caffeine pills.
The vaporizers are very small: They’ll easily fit in your pocket. When you’re ready for a hit of caffeine, simply pull it out and take a hit. No need to mix a powdered supplement into water, shake it up, and drink it every time you need a quick energy boost. You can even bring it to the gym and take a hit mid-workout to help keep you going.
We know you came here looking for high caffeine products, but you actually won’t need as much when you inhale it. According to many customer reviews, HELO Air replaces multiple energy drinks or cups of coffee throughout the day (and is much more cost-effective).
Even if you know you want a high caffeine pre workout supplement, you can still benefit from trying HELO Air alongside your supplement. Often, that energy spike you get from your pre workout doesn’t last, but a puff or two of HELO Air as needed throughout your workout can be a great way to keep that energy spike going.
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Highest Caffeine Pre Workout Supplements
We know this is what you came here for, so we’ll get right to it: Here are the pre workout supplements with the highest caffeine content.
Apollon Nutrition Assassin
The pre workout supplement from Apollon Nutrition, Assassin, contains a whopping 450 mg of caffeine per scoop. Additionally, there are B vitamins, amino acids, and many adaptogens as well as other beneficial herbal ingredients that make this a very high stim pre workout. You may want to start with just half a scoop before trying a full scoop.
Customers said this pre workout gave them feelings of euphoria, in addition to a major burst of energy.
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Apollon Nutrition Hooligan
Apollon Nutrition also makes another high stim pre workout supplement with 450 mg of caffeine: Hooligan. It contains many of the same ingredients as Assassin with the addition of sodium, calcium, folate, and a variety of other functional compounds. As with Assassin, start with half a scoop, and work your way up to a full scoop if you know you can handle it.
Some customers said Hooligan didn’t give them quite as much energy as Assassin, but on the plus side, it didn’t make them crash.
Shop Apollon Nutrition Hooligan Pre Workout
Ronnie Coleman Signature Series Yeah Buddy
Legendary bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman has his own line of nutritional supplements, and his Yeah Buddy pre workout supplement does not disappoint. It has 420 mg of extended-release caffeine as well as theacrine (which has very similar effects to caffeine), amino acids, and other beneficial compounds to help prevent the buildup of lactic acid.
Customers said this pre workout didn’t give them a crash, but it kept them energized for several hours straight.
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Dark Labs CRACK
Two “heaping scoops” of CRACK from Dark Labs contain 400 mg of caffeine in addition to beet root powder, a variety of amino acids, and other beneficial extracts. The combination of ingredients helps block the reuptake of noradrenaline, keeping you stimulated for the duration of your workout. Customers said it was very strong, “as high stim as they come.”
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ProSupps Mr. Hyde Xtreme
The Mr. Hyde Xtreme pre workout from ProSupps contains 420 mg of caffeine along with theacrine, amino acids, and other herbal ingredients to give your workout a major boost. It also comes in seven different flavors, so you’re sure to find one you like. Customers loved the way this pre workout made them feel.
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Staunch Koala Freak
The Staunch Koala Freak pre workout has 360 mg of caffeine per scoop. In addition, there are B vitamins, amino acids, and various other compounds to keep you focused and energized. Customers weren’t big fans of the flavor, but overall they were happy with the results.
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The pre workout supplement from Legion Pulse contains calcium, sodium, potassium, beneficial amino acids, and various other ingredients in addition to 350 mg of caffeine. A serving is two scoops, so it’d be very easy to start with half a serving of this product.
Customers were happy with the way this supplement gradually increased their energy over about 10-15 minutes, rather than immediately jolting them. They liked the flavors and said this helped to increase their focus while working out.
MuscleTech makes a pre workout supplement called Vapor, and it contains 350 mg of caffeine per scoop. It also has amino acids and a wide variety of natural extracts to help boost your performance and keep you focused and energized. Customers loved the way this made them feel, and they mostly liked the flavor.
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Phase One Nutrition Pre Phase
Pre Phase from Phase One Nutrition has 325 mg of caffeine per scoop. It also has a variety of vitamins, amino acids, and compounds to help energize you. Customers said it worked as advertised, giving them intense focus and energy without a crash later on.
Shop Phase One Nutrition Pre Phase
Best Pre Workouts for Muscle Growth
For those of you looking to get more than just an energy spike out of your pre workout, we’re including some pre workout supplements that have been designed to help boost muscle growth. These don’t have as much caffeine as the supplements listed above, but they are still some of the strongest pre workouts on the market.
4 Gauge Pre Workout
The pre workout supplement from 4 Gauge has 150 mg of caffeine per serving in addition to a variety of adaptogens and natural ingredients – including red beet extract and coconut water powder – to help fuel your muscles and keep them going.
Red beet has been found to increase muscle endurance and help build muscle fibers, according to a study from Frontiers in Nutrition. Meanwhile, coconut water powder helps keep your muscles hydrated and it speeds up post-workout recovery. Customers said this supplement helped them build strength and muscle.
Transparent Labs BULK
Transparent Labs makes a pre workout supplement, BULK, with a long list of beneficial ingredients.
Each scoop has 180 mg of caffeine, a variety of vitamins and minerals (and a ton of B12), and amino acids to help you stay focused and energized. Beta alanine stimulates blood flow to your muscles for muscle pumps and growth. In addition, it also has 30 mg of dicaffeine malate, which has a similar effect to caffeine.
Customers were happy with the effects, but they also commented that they continued to feel the effects after their workouts (when muscles are rebuilding).
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Imperial Nutrition Excelsior
It’s not actually clear how much caffeine is in Excelsior by Imperial Nutrition, but it is clearly a strong pre workout, so be cautious when using this. The company claims one scoop contains 5.3 grams of a proprietary blend of ingredients, but the label doesn’t tell you how much of each ingredient it has.
That said, this supplement contains just a few very powerful ingredients and extracts. Bauhinia purpurea extract is said to increase your metabolic rate, which helps you not only burn fat but also build muscle. Trimethylglycine comes from beet root extract, which as we’ve seen can help to enhance muscle performance and growth. Customers loved the focused feeling they experienced after taking this supplement.
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Huge Nutrition Wrecked
One scoop of Wrecked from Huge Nutrition contains 250 mg of caffeine, 100 mg of dicaffeine malate, and a wide variety of amino acids and natural extracts, including lion’s mane extract which is known to increase muscle endurance. The blend of ingredients is said to create “skin-tearing muscle pumps,” and customers agreed they could feel this working on their muscles during their workouts.
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Kaged Pre Workout
The Pre Kaged supplement from Kaged contains 274 mg of caffeine from organic green coffee beans. In addition, the supplement has a long list of ingredients categorized by what they do. Four different amino acids are listed as “pump” or “muscle fuel,” and beta alanine helps increase blood flow to muscles. Customers loved the muscle pump feeling they got from this supplement.
This supplement also contains plenty of B vitamins and sodium in addition to a wide variety of natural ingredients, such as broccoli sprout concentrate. It also advertises that it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans (which is not always a given – some popular pre workout ingredients are sometimes derived from animals).
What to Look For in a Pre Workout Supplement
We’ve gone through an extensive list of pre workout supplements, but at this point, you may be wondering how to choose one. The pre workout supplement that’s best for you will depend on a variety of factors – your caffeine tolerance, your workout goals, your flavor preferences, etc. – but here are a few important things to keep in mind.
Look for Third Party Testing
Whenever you’re considering dietary supplements, keep in mind the FDA does not regulate these supplements. As such, you can never be totally sure the supplement you’re looking at actually contains all the ingredients listed on the label in the exact amounts given. Sadly, some companies take advantage of this loophole and intentionally lie.
The way to be certain you’re getting what the label says you’re getting is to check for third party testing. This means the company had their supplement tested by an independent, unbiased lab to ensure customers that what’s on the label is what’s in the product. Many of the above products have been third party tested.
If you’re not sure whether or not a supplement is third party tested, the answer is most likely no. Companies that do third party testing tend to mention this on the label or on the website (or both). If you can’t find this information on the product itself or from searching online, you can reasonably conclude that the company in question hasn’t done third party testing.
Watch Out for Excess Sugars or Sugar Alcohols
To make pre workout supplements taste good – or, you know, less horrible – many companies add sugar, sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners. Sugar alcohols can cause gastrointestinal distress, and some people are sensitive to artificial sweeteners as well. Meanwhile, we probably don’t have to tell you about the dangers of consuming too much sugar.
If you know yourself to be sensitive to any of these ingredients, you’ll want to make sure you choose a pre workout supplement that doesn’t contain whichever ingredients you’re sensitive to.
Pure Caffeine May Be Enough to Enhance Your Workout
If you’re really interested in high caffeine pre workouts, you might consider just taking caffeine. It’ll enhance your workout all on its own, and you won’t have to research a long list of additional ingredients.
There’s substantial scientific evidence to support the use of caffeine during workouts. A systematic review and meta analysis from Nutrients found caffeine could increase the amount of fat burned during exercise, and another systematic review from Nutrients found caffeine could improve sprint performance and increase the amount of weight participants were able to lift.
With this in mind, it may be a good idea to try pure caffeine as a pre workout. As we’ve seen, HELO Air from MELO Labs is a great way to get pure caffeine into your system as quickly as possible. Since this is a vaporizer, you won’t have to wait for it to pass through your digestive system: You’ll feel the effects almost right away.
And what’s more, you can very easily take more of this as you need it throughout your workout – to keep the buzz going. This would be much harder to do with a pre workout supplement, which needs to be made into a beverage (and which contains other ingredients you may not want to consume in excess).
The Science Behind Pre Workouts
As we’ve seen, you have plenty of options for pre workout supplements with tons of caffeine. But what does science have to say about these products? Unfortunately, not very much so far.
Many of the popular ingredients in these pre workout supplements have been studied extensively, such as l-citrulline. This amino acid is included in most of the above supplements, and for good reason: A systematic review and meta analysis from the Journal of Sport and Health Science found l-citrulline could reduce muscle soreness after workouts.
Another common ingredient in many of the above supplements, choline, is an essential nutrient that has been found to stimulate protein production for muscle growth, among other important functions (according to a review) from Nutrients. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that choline is a key ingredient in many pre workout supplements.
Beta alanine is also included in many of these strong pre workouts, as it is known to help improve exercise performance (according to Healthline). Many of the other common ingredients serve important functions, such as increasing blood flow to muscles, or preventing the buildup of lactic acid.
But what does science have to say about combining these (and many more) ingredients into one mega supplement alongside huge servings of caffeine? This is the part where we’re still in the dark, because very few scientific studies have been conducted on these pre workout supplements.
One review from the British Medical Council suggests pre workout supplements may improve performance, but the authors note that long-term effects (i.e. using these products daily or weekly for years on end) still need to be studied.
Try MELO Labs for All Your Caffeine (And Melatonin) Needs
When it comes to pre workout supplements, you have a ton of highly-rated options. Try Apollon Nutrition Assassin for the most caffeine, ProSupps Mr. Hyde Xtreme for almost as much caffeine and many flavor options, or Kaged Pre Workout for a blend of natural ingredients to boost muscle growth.
But when it comes to pure caffeine, your best option hands-down is HELO Air from MELO Labs. You’ll get a boost right away, so you can use it as a pre workout, but you can also supplement one of the above pre workouts with occasional puffs from HELO Air throughout your workout to keep you going.
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