The right pre-workout can do everything from improve your energy and heighten your focus, to support your strength, power, and recovery.
Formulating the ideal pre-workout is both an art and a science. That’s because the “perfect” pre-workout depends on the specific goals and needs of the person. This varies not only from person to person, but from workout to workout.
We don’t have a cookie-cutter approach to training, and this guides the way we formulate our supplements.
That’s why we have 4 different types of pre-workouts.
You might find yourself gravitating towards one or another, or you might have a few of them on your shelf, and grab a scoop of whatever you need depending on the demands of the day.
For example, you may take original Pre-Kaged® for your chest workout Monday, Pre-Kaged Sport® for your cardio or sports practice Tuesday, then Pre-Kaged Elite® on Wednesday for your intense leg workout.
Or, you may only train in the evening and exclusively take Pre-Kaged Stim-Free®, so that you can train hard, but still get a good night’s sleep.
All to say, to maximize your progress and find that 5% edge in reaching your goals, you’ll want to choose the right supplements to support that.
While our pre-workouts have some different ingredients, and different doses of key ingredients, they all have a few key traits in common.
First, they’re all made with high-quality ingredients.
We use patented versions of proven ingredients, like Carnosyn® beta-alanine and PurCaf® organic caffeine instead of generic, synthetic alternatives. We also use plant-based amino acids, NOT synthetic versions.
Second, they’re all third-party tested, and Informed-Sport Certified. This means whether you’re an athlete competing at the highest levels, or you want to make sure that what’s on the label is in the bottle, then you can rest easy. All Pre-Kaged® products are banned substance-tested.
Third, they’re all free of colors and flavors from artificial sources. Again, we choose natural ingredients over artificial or synthetic alternatives. They’re all non-GMO, suitable for vegans, and gluten-free.
Next, let’s take a look at each of the pre-workouts individually. Then we’ll get into the differences on an ingredient by ingredient level so you can see why we make these recommendations. Let’s start with our award-winning, original pre-workout, Pre-Kaged® .
Pre-Kaged is our original pre-workout.For your weight training sessions, it covers all of the boxes. You’ll have more energy, be more focused, feel increased muscle pumps. We include ingredients that support power and strength, as well as BCAAs to help prevent muscle breakdown while you train.*
This 28g scoop is one of the biggest in the industry, and it has everything you need for a great workout.
Pre-Kaged Elite®, bar-none, is the world’s most advanced pre-workout. It is NOT for beginners, nor is it for those looking for quick 30 minute workouts. It’s also not for the caffeine-sensitive.
This is an intense, high-stimulant pre-workout designed for serious athletes, competitors, and those who are interested in pushing the limits of what they think is possible.
It includes more of key ingredients like organic caffeine, l-citrulline, creatine, and beta-alanine, and more ingredients you won’t find in other pre-workouts. A full 10g of l-citrulline for example, will give you even more intense pumps. 3.2 grams of beta-alanine is double the dose of original Pre-Kaged® to further fight muscle fatigue and increase muscular endurance.*
It includes a spectrum of ingredients to dial in your focus. We know over long workouts and intense sessions, the mind often stops before the body does.This pre is for those who know the mental side of training is just as important as the physical side.It will help transcend your limits mentally as well as physically.
Because it’s a high-stimulant pre-workout, we don’t recommend you take it every day. Take Pre-Kaged Elite® on your long-workouts, like leg days, or days when you’re training for several hours.
You can also take Pre-Kaged Elite® on the days you’re going for personal records or competition days.
Do not take Pre-Kaged Elite® in the evening. Because of the caffeine content, take it in the morning or afternoon.
It’s so powerful, we recommend you start with half a scoop to assess your tolerance.Start with ½ scoop with 6-8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before your training to assess tolerance. For future workouts, mix up to 1 scoop with 12-16 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before training.
Pre-Kaged Sport® is the pre-workout for athletic performance, cardio, and beginners looking to try a pre.
We use ingredients that are beneficial if you’re running, sprinting, practicing martial arts, or doing cardio. That’s why we include ingredients like electrolytes, that you lose in sweat, and taurine, which supports stamina and endurance.
We also take out, or have lower doses of, certain ingredients. For example, Pre-Kaged Sport® has 3.5g of l-citrulline compared to 6g for Pre-Kaged and 10g for Pre-Kaged Elite. That’s because when you’re competing in sports or doing cardio, the pumps Pre-Kaged is famous for aren’t as necessary.
Second, this product doesn’t include BCAAs. Branched-chain amino acids can help prevent muscle protein breakdown, especially during intense weight training. However, sports and cardio often won’t have this level of muscle breakdown. BCAAs are also generally unnecessary for beginners for this same reason: you don’t break down your muscle tissues enough to take full advantage of them.
When it comes to energy, this is a moderate-intensity pre-workout.With less caffeine, but still more than a typical cup of coffee, this will give energy and alertness, but not as much as Pre-Kaged® or Pre-Kaged Elite®
Because it contains less, it also costs less, at just $1.25 per scoop, so it’s a great pre-workout to get you started.
If you’re a beginner, take Pre-Kaged Sport® before any training, whether resistance training, sports, or cardio.
More advanced trainees often tell us that they take Pre-Kaged Sport® on their lighter workouts or for cardio sessions.
In either case, take it in the morning or afternoon, as it still contains caffeine.
Take it about 30 minutes before you workout.
PICK UP YOUR PRE-KAGED® STIM-FREE
Pre-Kaged® Stim-Free is the same formula as the original Pre-Kaged®, just without the caffeine. This means it’s for those who train at night, those who are caffeine sensitive, or those who prefer to cycle caffeine.
Many of our customers and ambassadors tell us they like to keep a bottle of Pre-Kaged® Stim-Free around, just in case they wind up training later than they anticipated. When this happens, they can still get many of the benefits of Pre-Kaged, without it impacting their sleep.
As mentioned, take this pre-workout in the evening. It’s ideal for weight training, but it will also boost your athletic performance, so you can take it during evening sport training or cardio.
We’ve already talked about a lot of the key differences, but here you’ll be able to see all of it side by side.
All of our pre-workouts have different levels of caffeine. While caffeine is a fantastic tool for increasing energy, sharpening focus, and improving stamina, there are pros and cons to higher and lower levels of caffeine.
Too much caffeine, especially in the evening, can impact your sleep. Consistent levels of high caffeine can also lead to a tolerance that blunts many of its greatest effects.
Choose a pre-workout that suits your caffeine desires and needs. In all of our caffeinated pre-workouts, we use PurCaf® organic caffeine from green coffee beans.
Muscle pumps are one benefit of increased blood flow during training, or in scientific terms, increased nitric oxide production. Other benefits of increased blood flow include improved stamina, reduced muscle fatigue, and enhanced mind-muscle connection.
Lots of ingredients do this. One very powerful ingredient is l-citrulline. In this article, we discuss why we use l-citrulline in our products over citrulline malate.
Each of our pre-workouts have various levels of l-citrulline. When you're having an intense weight training session, you may benefit from higher levels of citrulline. During cardio or athletics, there’s still a benefit, but there’s less benefit and desire for super intense pumps.Pre-Kaged Elite: 10g
For even more pumps, Pre-Kaged Elite® has 2 grams of creatine nitrate (NO3-T®), which doubles as a quality creatine source and a nitric oxide booster.
We’ve already talked about the importance of focusing on your mental performance in the gym alongside your physical performance. The mental side of training because more important the longer, more intense, and more challenging your training session is.
That’s why Pre-Kaged Elite has a complete energy and focus matrix.
Pre-Kaged has two forms of tyrosine, which work synergistically with caffeine to improve focus.
Pre-Kaged Sport® has l-tyrosine and caffeine, which as mentioned, synergistically support focus. They’re both at lower doses than Pre-Kaged
Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements in existence. It can help you lift more weight, build more muscle, and improve your recovery between sets.* Our pre-workouts contain different doses and forms of creatine.
Pre-Kaged Elite® contains 5 grams total of creatine. It has 3 grams of CreaClear® creatine monohydrate, a soluble version of the classic form of creatine. It also contains 2 grams of creatine nitrate.
Creatine nitrate (NO3-T®) works as a 2-in-1 supplement, providing the performance benefits of creatine while helping amplify your muscle pumps. It’s a creatine and a nitric oxide booster wrapped into one, which is why we use this form in Pre-Kaged Elite®.
Pre-Kaged contains 1.5 grams of creatine, all fromCreatine HCl. We use this form because of its high-solubility. It mixes easily and absorbs well.
Pre-Kaged Sport® doesn’t have any creatine. However, if you love the profile of Pre-Kaged Sport, and want to add some creatine to it, pick up our unflavored creatine HCl powder and add it to your Pre-Kaged Sport®.
Like Pre-Kaged®, the stim-free version contains 1.5 grams of creatine HCl.
Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, include three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three, but in particular leucine, play key roles in regulating muscle protein synthesis.
In other words, they help determine whether we’re in an anabolic state, or a catabolic state, whether we’re building protein or breaking down protein.
More specifically, they can reduce muscle protein breakdown and promote recovery.* That’s why BCAAs may be useful during hard training.
However, if the workout isn’t prolonged and intense, BCAAs before or during your workout seem to have diminishing benefits.
Pre-Kaged®:6.5g of BCAAs
Pre-Kaged® contains 6.5 grams of BCAAs, of which over 4.5 grams are leucine. We use a leucine-biased BCAA blend because leucine has to be the key amino acid responsible for reducing muscle protein breakdown.
Pre-Kaged Sport®:0g of BCAAs
As mentioned, BCAAs have more of a benefit for intense, muscle-damaging workouts. That said, if you want to add BCAAs to your Pre-Kaged Sport®, then stack it with our BCAA powder.
Pre-Kaged® Stim-Free:6.5g of BCAAs
Our stim-free version contains the same amounts and ratios as the original Pre-Kaged®.
Pre-Kaged Elite®:0g of BCAAs
Pre-Kaged Elite® is packed with so much, we left the BCAAs out. If you want BCAAs in your Pre-Kaged Elite®, just add some of our unflavored plant-based BCAA powder.
Finally, they come in different flavors. We have tweaked and perfected all of the flavors of all of our pre-workouts. To be honest, we think they all taste awesome. If you’re a classic fruit punch person, we’ve got you covered with the whole Pre-Kaged line. If you like to experiment and try new flavors, then we have plenty of choice as well.
With all of this in mind, now you can choose which pre-workout is best for you. Whichever you choose, we know it will help you improve your workouts and move you closer to your goals.
If you’re looking for a great program to go along with your new pre-workout, check out our selection of Free Training Programs suited to any goal.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.