If you’re like me, you’ve realized that the year is almost over and are trying to figure out how to crank out those New Year resolutions you made back in January.

According to Insideout Mastery, health-related New Year’s resolutions are the most popular: “48% want to exercise more, making it the most popular New Year’s resolution. Health-related resolutions cover the top three, and a Swiss study found that 70% of all resolutions relate to physical health.”

Having the energy to perform a workout can be hard enough, let alone having the energy actually to go to the gym. Pre-workout might be the final ingredient in giving you the boost you need to accomplish your goals.

What are pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are widely used to enhance exercise performance and experience, and one of the primary reasons for their use is to increase energy levels, often achieved through stimulants like caffeine.

Robor Fitness said a good pre-workout should contain “caffeine, beta-alanine, and citrulline. And while these three might form the main attraction, B vitamins and L-theanine also deserve an honorable mention.”

It emphasizes that you know you’ve found a good pre-workout “when a company is transparent about the quantity of each ingredient used. Think of it as a nutritional CV; it should tell you everything you need to know about what you’re about to put into your body.”

Which is the best pre-workout to take?

If you are interested in adding pre-workout to your exercise routine, here is a list of pre-workout supplements that have been backed by health specialists and proven effective:

1. Onnit’s Alpha Brain Pre-Workout

Sports Illustrated’s top pick of 2023, which was chosen as the best pre-workout overall for Onnit’s ingredients that are “formulated to improve your focus, memory and processing speed. Alpha Brain pre-workout is a combination of nootropics, amino acids and caffeine that are meant to give you both a cognitive and energy boost before your workout.”

2. Transparent Lab’s Bulk

Frequently mentioned as the best overall pre-workout supplement, Bulk is highly rated for its effectiveness in enhancing workout performance.

BarBend chose Bulk as its top pick for pre-workout due to its ingredient transparency: “There aren’t any blends, it’s gluten-free and contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors. If you read the label, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting and how much — which is crucial if you also take other supplements.”

3. GNC’s Beyond Raw

Sports dietitian Rachel Baker reviewed GNC’s best pre-workout supplements and found Beyond Raw at the top of her list.

Baker said it was chosen for having “the most innovative ingredients that have the research to back them up, and (because) each product is clinically dosed to give you everything you need to conquer your training sessions.”

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4. Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Build

Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Build is particularly highlighted for its benefits in muscle gain, making it a popular choice among those looking to increase muscle mass​, per BarBend.

BarBend wrote, “There’s a difference between a pre-workout that energizes you and a pre-workout with ingredients that can help you build muscle. We found the latter in Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Build with a formula intended to support testosterone production and help you get a solid pump, both of which may help you pack on some lean pounds.”

5. NutraBio Pre-Workout

NutraBio pre-workout stands out as a runner-up by Set For Set because its formula caters to a wide range of fitness goals.

“The clinically dosed ingredients offer a complete pre-workout that covers you from hydration to energy to pump and focus,” Set For Set said. “This product breaks down the formulation into different matrixes but lists clear-cut dosing.”

To avoid potential health risks, consulting a health care provider is encouraged when deciding what pre-workout to take, especially for those with preexisting health conditions or those taking other medications.