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The 5 Strongest  Pre Workouts In 2020: Our Tested Reviews

Top Rated Strongest Pre-Workout Supplements

By Gerhard Hoermann, ISSA-CFT
Updated on: October 3, 2020

Honest Review Guarantee from Fitness Informant:
Our product testing team uses the full 30 day serving amount in container before reviewing. Learn more about our review process here.

We hate to sound like we’re getting old, but what happened to the days where a normal dose of caffeine would do the trick and get you to the gym? Well, these days it seems as if the most popular pre-workouts, are the hardest-hitting.

We’ve all heard the term “stim-junkie” before, and many of us are junkies, have been junkies, or know a junkie. Well, this rankings page is for that kind of consumer. Here we have the ultimate list of pre-workouts. Those that are guaranteed to give you that boost in the gym that will make you feel like you are God, or at the very least walking on water. 

Of course, stimulants aren’t everything. Any company can throw in a bunch of caffeine and other exotic stimulants in a formula. On this strongest pre-workout supplements list, we are looking for that, but also taking into consideration other factors as well. If we were to only consider the amount of stimulants in a product, we would have to give some very irresponsible companies credit that they certainly do not deserve.

The following products on our strongest pre-workout rankings list were used by the author of this article. 

Fitness Informant used each of these pre-workout supplements through the duration of a full container. Sample packs were not used in determining the rankings.

Stop relying on faulty information that is influenced by outside writers and money. This strongest pre-workout list is the real deal.

Here at Fitness Informant, we don’t steer you wrong. If you're looking for the strongest pre-workout option that you can trust, look no further than our top 5 picks below.


A Comparison of the Strongest Pre-Workout Supplements

Here's the top 5 picks for the strongest pre-workout supplements that money can buy:

Product Name

Highlights

Rating

#1 Apollon Nutrition Hooligan V5 

hooligan

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Best Overall Strongest Pre-Workout Supplement

Highlights:


  • 630mg Caffeine
  • Greta Nootropic Formula
  • Clinically Dosed Ergogenics

Our #1 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

8.7 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

#2 Performax Labs HyperMax Extreme 

HyperMax Extreme

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Best for Energy

Highlights:


  • 400mg Caffeine
  • 250mg Eria Jarensis
  • 300mg Vaso6
  • PEA and Hordenine

Our #2 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

8.9 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

#3 ASC Supplements El Jefe

ASC Supplements El Jefe

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Best for Performance

Highlights:


  • 400mg Caffeine
  • Hordenine HCl, J. Regia, Erica J, Alpha-Yohimbine
  • Well-dosed Ergogenics

Our #3 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

8.6 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

#4 REPP Sports Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow

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Best for Value

Highlights:


  • 350mg Total Caffeine
  • Simple Formula
  • 150mg DMHA

Our #4 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

8.0 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

#5 RYSE Supplements Pump

RYSE Supplements Project Blackout Pre-Workout

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Best for Exotic Stimulant Free

Highlights:


  • 1.5g Total Nitrates
  • 410mg Total Caffeine
  • No Exotic Stimulants

Our #5 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

8.9 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

There are hundreds of different brands and variations of pre-workout supplements out there.

How did these 5 make Fitness Informant's top 5 list? Read on and we'll tell you:


#1 Apollon Nutrition Hooligan V5

hooligan
  • Rating: 8.7 ​​out of 10
  • Servings: 20 Servings
  • Best For: Top Overall Product

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Pros

  • Fully transparent label
  • 630mg Total Caffeine
  • 7g L-Citrulline
  • 2g Tyrosine
  • 600mg Alpha GPC
  • Clinical Doses Of All Ingredients

Cons

  • Taste
  • Caffeine Is Too High For Many

Apollon Nutrition Hooligan V5 is currently our #1 rated pre-workout, and this should be no surprise. To start this off, we have to say that THIS IS NOT A PRE-WORKOUT for everybody, and isn't even something we recommend using more than once or twice a week. This is for those with a high tolerance for Caffeine.

Speaking of Caffeine, that is a huge reason why this product is so high on this list. Hooligan has made some noise and drawn some attention to themselves for using a whopping 630mg of total Caffeine per serving. This is more than double the average 300mg you see these days, and certainly makes for an experience... even to those that are experienced with stimulants. Hooligan provides a powerful boost in energy that is strong, yet somehow clean, with no crash due to the time-released Caffeine as well. It is a formula that doesn't need any sketchy ingredients to create a powerful boost.

Hooligan V5 makes this list for more than just the Caffeine content though. The profile is simply LOADED! From the 7 grams of Citrulline, to the clinical doses of Betaine Anhydrous and Beta-Alanine, Apollon did not skimp out on the ergogenic ingredients. Also, Hooligan doesn't rely on Caffeine for everything, you also get a great dose of Tyrosine, which is a great nootropic ingredient, as well as a clinical dose of Alpha GPC at 600mg. Really, there is more, so check out the ingredient list below, and be sure to check out the review.

This is certainly a product that impresses without going the down sketch street, and even if the Caffeine was dosed in half, it would be on of the top pre-workouts on the market, simply due to the profile being loaded.

Again though, yes this is the strongest on the list, and there is a good reason for that. So with that said, this is not a pre-workout for everybody, and if you do have the tolerance for Hooligan like we do, use it sparingly! 

Who Makes It?

Apollon Nutrition is a hardcore supplement line that isn't afraid to go places other brands haven't. Not only are they hardcore, they know how to make great products and care about providing clinical doses of ingredients. Certainly not a brand for beginners, however seasoned veterans and supplement nerds will certainly be impressed with what they do.

What's In It?

One serving (one scoop) contains:

  • 7g L-Citrulline - Converts to arginine to aid in nitric oxide production
  • 3.5Beta-Alanine - Increases endurance
  • 2.5g Betaine Anhydrous - May increase power output
  • 1,000mg L-Tyrosine -  a well-researched amino acid with many benefits. May be good for fat loss, focus, and stress
  • 1.5g Agmatine Sulfate - Metabolite of Arginine which may aid in pumps
  • 1000mg Lion's Mane - Mushroom that helps with brain function and health
  • 600mg Alpha GPC - Source of Choline that helps with focus and has a high bioavailability 
  • 450Caffeine Anhydrous - Helps with energy
  • 300mg Theobromine - Helps with energy without increasing blood pressure
  • 250mg Pink Himalayan Sea Salt - Source of trace minerals and helps with hydration
  • 200mg Rhodiola Rosea - Adaptogen that helps with energy and stress
  • 200mg Di-Caffeine Malate - Time-released Caffeine
  • 150mg ElevATP - May help with ATP production
  • 50mg AstraGin® - Helps with absorption
hooligan

Bottom Line:

There should not be any list of strong pre-workouts which don’t include Apollon Nutrition Hooligan V5. The formula gets it right in the aspects that we all look for, those being ENERGY, strength, endurance, and focus. 

If you really want to go with one of the strongest pre-workouts out there. Apollon Nutrition Hooligan V5 may be for you. We do have to warn you though... it is not a pre-workout for everyone, and it is only for those who have a high-tolerance for Caffeine and know their limits. Certainly a pre-workout that you use once a week or so when you are feeling frisky.


Read the in-depth full review here.

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#2 Performax Labs HyperMax Extreme

HyperMax Extreme
  • Rating: 8.9 out of 10
  • Servings: 40/20
  • Best For: Energy

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Pros

  • 400mg Caffeine
  • 300mg Vaso6
  • 6g Citrulline
  • Fully transparent label
  • 400mg PEA
  • Massive energy

Cons

  • Taste
  • Could use Taurine

Hypermax Extreme ​is ​​a top tier pre-workout from Performax Labs. Performax Labs has long been known for making some of the better formulated products on the market, and HyperMax Extreme is one of them.

HyperMax Extreme starts us off with 3 ingredients that are great for pumps. We get 6g of L-Citrulline, 1 gram of Agmatine, and 300mg of Vaso6. All three ingredients are dosed well, and we have nothing to complain about. This blend is followed by both Beta-Alanine, and Betaine Anhydrous. The Beta-Alanine is at 3.2g, and the Betaine is at 2.5g, so both are dosed correctly.

Next we have 3 different exotic stimulants. First off we have have 400mg B-Phentylethylamine HCl, followed by N,N-Dimethylphenethylamine Citrate at 250mg. Lastly, we have Hordenine HCl at 60mg. These are some hefty doses, and probably the reason why HyperMax Extreme is once again the #1 Strongest Pre-workout here on FI.

Lastly, we have the Extreme Energy and Drive blend, which starts us off with 1g of Tyrosine. Following this, we have 400mg of Caffeine Anhydrous, which is a hefty dose of Caffeine. The last two ingredients are Synephrine at 50mg, which is a solid dose, and 2mg of Alpha-Yohimbine. 

With solid dosages with proven ingredients for the categories we all want out of a pre-workout, there is no reason why this shouldn’t be in any websites’ strongest pre-workout list.

Who Makes It?

Performax Labs is a company that has been around for several years now, and they have always been respected for making EFFECTIVE products. They re simply a brand that does not get the respect that they deserve, and they can go head to head with many of the other top brands out there.

What's In It?

One serving (two-scoops) contains:

  • 6g L-Citrulline - Converts to arginine to aid in nitric oxide production
  • 1g Agmatine Sulfate - Metabolite of Arginine which may aid in pumps
  • 300mg Vaso6™ - Patented ingredient which may aid in pumps
  • 3.2g Beta-Alanine - Increases endurance
  • 2.5g Betaine Anhydrous - May increase power output
  • 400mg B-Phenylethylamine HCl - Good for focus and mental cognition
  • 200mg N,N Dimethylphenethylamine Citrate - Cognitive enhancing stimulant
  • 60mg Hordenine HCl - Prevents noradrenaline from being broken down
  • 1,000mg L-Tyrosine -  a well-researched amino acid with many benefits. May be good for fat loss, focus, and stress
  • 400mg Caffeine Anhydrous - Good for energy
  • 50mg Synephrine HCl - a fat burning stimulant that provides energy
  • 2mg Rauwolfia Vomitoria Extract - a crazy strong stim that aids in fat loss and energy production
Hypermax extreme label

Bottom Line:

There should not be any list of strong pre-workouts which don’t include HyperMax Extreme. The formula gets it right in the aspects that we all look for, those being ENERGY, strength, endurance, and focus. 

If you really want to go with one of the strongest pre-workouts out there. Performax Labs HyperMax Extreme is one of your best bets. If this doesn’t give you that energy boost your are looking for, you may need a break from pre-workouts in general.


Read our full review here.

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#3 ASC Supplements El Jefe

  • Rating: 8​​.6 out of 10
  • Servings: 40/20
  • Best For: Performance

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Pros

  • 400mg Caffeine
  • Eria Jarensis
  • J. Regia
  • Ergogenic ingredients dosed well
  • 1.5g Nitrosigine®
  • 15% of profits are donated to Veterans

Cons

  • Proprietary Blend
  • Taste

El Jefe is a pre-workout from a smaller company that really hit us hard this year. El Jefe is a pre-workout from a smaller company called ASC Supplements, and we enjoyed our experience with it. The pre-workouts is quite loaded, and for what is disclosed, we have little to complain about. 

El Jefe starts us off with 7g of Citrulline Malate, and 3.2g of Beta-Alanine. Both of these ingredients are pretty standard in pre-workouts these days, and both are dosed well in El Jefe. The next two ingredients are Betaine Anhydrous at 2.5g and Taurine at 2g. Both of these ingredients may aid in performance, and both are dosed effectively. Finally, we come to Nitrosigine® and ElevATP. Nitrosigine® at 1.5g is dosed perfectly, and it is one of our favorite ingredients here on FI. ElevATP at 150mg is dosed correctly, and we have nothing to complain about when it comes to the Performance & Pump Matrix in El Jefe.

Next we come to what makes El Jefe so impressive here. The stimulant blend in El Jefe is quite powerful. The whole blend, which amounts to 2642mg of ingredients, consists of Choline Bitartrate, Caffeine Anhydrous, Theobromine, Eria J, J Regia, Di Caffeine Malate, Hordenine HCl, Higenamine HCl, Alpha Yohimbine, and Huperzine A. Of course, we have to mention that we wish it was not in a blend, but we are happy that ASC provides the amount of Caffeine and Alpha Yohimbine. Caffeine comes in at 400mg total, while Alpha Yohimbine is at 1.6mg. All of this with some J Regia and Eria J shoots El Jefe onto this list. 

Who Makes It?

ASC Supplements is a Veteran owned company that makes some killer formulas. They are a smaller company, however their formulas can compete with some of the big dogs out there in this industry. One great part about ASC Supplements is that 15% of all profits are donated, something we can easily get behind here on FI.​​

What's In It?

One serving (two-scoops) contains:

  • 7g Citrulline Malate (2:1) – promotes blood flow
  • 3.2g Beta-Alanine - buffers lactic acid which may aid in endurance
  • 2.5g Betaine Anhydrous – improves strength, power 
  • 2g Taurine – aids in hydration and blood flow 
  • 1.5g Nitrosigine® – aids in pumps
  • 150mg ElevATP - may help with ATP production

           Jefe Stim Matrix

  • Choline Bitartrate - source of Choline which may aid in focus
  • Caffeine Anhydrous - provides energy
  • Theobromine - may aid in energy
  • Eria Jarensis - helps with energy and focus
  • J Regia - aids in energy and focus
  • Di-Caffeine Malate - time-released Caffeine
  • Hordenine HCl - Prevents noradrenaline from being broken down
  • Higenamine HCl - good for energy
  • Alpha Yohimbine - a crazy strong stim that aids in fat loss and energy production
  • Huperzine A - prevents Choline from being broken down in the brain
  • Black Pepper Extract may aid in absorption of certain ingredients
El Jefe Label

Bottom Line:

El Jefe is a solid pre-workout with a very impressive ingredient profile. Not only is the energy strong, but the ergogenic ingredients are all dosed well. So all around, there is little to complain about in this pre-workout. Of course, we have to mention that we would prefer a transparent label, but we are happy that the Caffeine and Alpha Yohimbine are given to us. 


Read full review here.

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#4 REPP Sports Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow
  • Rating: 8.0 out of 10
  • Servings: 30 servings
  • Best For: Value

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Pros

  • 1g L-Tyrosine
  • 150mg DMHA
  • Transparent Formula
  • Clinical doses of Citrulline Malate 
  • Clinical Dose of Beta-Alanine
  • Value

Cons

  • Taste
  • Could use more ALCAR

Broken Arrow is probably one of the under appreciated pre-workouts we have on this site. We reviewed it quite some time ago, yet it is still there, and simply looking at the profile, it's refreshing to see a straight forward profile that doesn't try to outdo itself. 

The profile starts us out with Citrulline Malate at 6g and Beta-Alanine at 3.2g, both are dosed well and pretty standard for pre-workouts. Following this, we have Betaine Anhydrous and Taurine. Betaine at 1.5g is dosed well, and Taurine at 1g is good too.

The next two ingredients are Tyrosine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Tyrosine at 1g is great, and this ingredient is one of our favorites for focus. ALCAR at 500mg is slightly low, but at least it's a good form of Carnitine. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and can aid in focus. Following these two ingredients, we get Caffeine at 350mg in the forms of Anhydrous and Citrate. This is a solid amount, however we don't know how much of each we are getting. Either way, it's enough! Following this come Alpha GPC at 300mg. This provides 150mg of actual Choline, and white it's slightly low, when combined with everything else in Broken Arrow, it should be enough for most.

Finally, we have DMHA at 150mg. Not the strongest dose on the market, however it is certainly enough to provide some strong energy. Lastly, we have Black Pepper Extract at 5mg. This may aid in absorption of certain ingredients. 

Broken Arrow makes this list, not only due to its effectiveness and profile, but also because of it's value. You can get Broken Arrow for $40, considering you're getting 30 servings in here, this is easily the best value on our list. While it doesn't have the fanciest or most loaded profile, it certainly provides an effective and well-dosed product for 

Who Makes It?

REPP Sports is a somewhat smaller brand, yet they seem to do some great things. Not only do they have solid formulas in their products that aren't afraid to use some more "exotic" ingredients, they also make a killer energy drink call Raze. Repp Sports makes products that speak for themselves. ​​

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 6g Citrulline Malate – promotes bloow flow
  • 3.2g Beta-Alanine – buffers lactic acid which may aid in endurance
  • 1.5 Betaine Anhydrous – enhances body's NO production
  • 1g L-Taurine promotes hydration and blood flow 
  • 1g L-Tyrosine - aids in focus
  • 500mg ALCAR - form of Carnitine that aids in focus
  • 350mg Caffeine ​​​​provides energy
  • 300mg AlphaSize Alpha-GPC – nootropic that improves focus
  • 150mg 2-Aminoisoheptane – DMHA which provides powerful energy
  • Black Pepper Extract may help with absorption
Broken Arrow Label

Bottom Line:

Broken Arrow is a a product that is often overlooked here. It has a solid amount of Caffeine, as well as a solid dose of DMHA. The rest of the formula is simple, yet dosed effectively. The price on Broken Arrow is what really puts it on this list. The profile is solid, the energy is certainly there, and of course, the value is great. 


Read our full review here.

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#5 Ryse Pre-Workout Project Black

RYSE Supplements Project Blackout Pre-Workout
  • Rating: 8.8 out of 10
  • Servings: 25
  • Best For: Exotic-Stimulant Free 

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Pros

  • Sustained Release Caffeine
  • 1.5g NO3-T Nitrates
  • Taste
  • Clinical Dose of Beta-Alanine
  • 100% transparent label
  • No Exotic Stimulants

Cons

  • Could use a better form of Choline
  • Flavor Selection is Limited

Ryse Preworkout Project Black was released Ryse mid-2019, and it did not disappoint. Ryse is a brand that comes out with products that are effective, without using any ingredients that will get banned anytime soon. 

Project Black starts us off with Beta-Alanine at 3.2g per serving, which is the clinical dose. Following this is Choline Bitartrate, which may aid in focus. Choline Bitartrate is at 1.5g, which is a good dose, however we have to mention that we would prefer a better source of Choline. After this, we get 1.5g of Betaine Anhydrous. Betaine may aid in power output, and at 1.5g, is dosed pretty well in here. 

The following two ingredients really make this product great, which are the Nitrates. You get Betaine Nitrate (NO3-T) at 1g, followed by Sodium Nitrate (NO3-T) at 500mg. So you're getting 1.5g of Nitrate bound ingredients, this is solid. After this, we get 500mg of Calci-K®, which may aid in hydration. No problems here!

Finally, we get to why this product make this list. Project Black gives you 350mg of total Caffeine, as well as 100mg of Sustained Release Caffeine. So you're getting over 400mg of Caffeine in here, and it will last long as well. We wanted to include a brand that does not include exotic stimulants, and Ryse Project Black was a great option for this list. 

Who Makes It?

Ryse is a brand that has been around for a few years yet is making some great headway in this industry, especially as of late. They don't have an extensive list of products, yet the ones they have released have been quite good. What we really like about Ryse, is that the people behind it have a lot of integrity. Unlike many other brands, Ryse did not start out with a high-stim pre-workout with DMHA. No, they started out with products that any noobie or even advanced lifter could get by with. 

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 3.2g Beta-Alanine –  buffers lactic acid which may lead to endurance
  • 1.5g Choline Bitartrate – a source of Choline which may aid in focus
  • 1.5g Betaine Anhydrous - improves power output
  • 1g Betaine Anhydrous (as NO3-T®) – this produces Nitric Oxide and larger pumps
  • 500mg Sodium Nitrate (as NO3-T®) – this produces Nitric Oxide and larger pumps
  • 500mg Calci-K® - provides electrolytes for hydration
  • 350mg Caffeine Anhydrous - provides energy​​
  • 200mg Theobromine - helps with energy without increasing blood pressure​​
  • 100mg VitaShure® Caffeine - sustained release Caffeine​​
  • Huperzine A - prevents Choline from being broken down in the brain​​
RYSE Project Blackout Pre-Workout label

Bottom Line:

Ryse Pre-Workout Project Black is a solid pre-workout product that we enjoyed here on FI. While it does not contain any of those exotic stimulants like the other pre-workouts do on this list, that's the point. We wanted to give showcase an option that can provide great energy, without ingredients that may not be on the market within the next few years. Overall, it's a solid option if you're in the market for a strong pre-workout product, and we have no issues recommending it. 


Read our full review here.

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When Should I Use A Strongest Pre-Workout Supplement

We all love our strong pre-workout supplements. They are great! They are effective and impactful on energy and focus. This is typically because they are higher stimulant products. This means they contain ingredients like Caffeine (higher amounts), DMHA, Synephrine, Hordenine, Eria Jarensis to just name a few. These are great, effective ingredients, but should not be taken daily.

If you're a stimulant junkie you're probably thinking of telling us to go f*ck ourselves with that last sentence, but for real, cycle these strongest pre-workout supplements. Your body will start to create a tolerance to stimulants, thus requiring you to keep adding more and more. This isn't great for your receptors and your adrenal glands. When you overdo stimulants, you start to feel fatigued, even when you have stimulants in your system.

We recommend using a strongest pre-workout supplement 2-3 times a week. During those other days use a Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout or a lower stimulant pre-workout. Your body will thank you.

Save your strongest pre-workout supplement for days where you are really dragging or you want to hit an epic PR. This is a great time to use one of these five on this strongest pre-workout supplement list.

Our Pre-Workout Supplement Testing Process

We examined five different areas of each pre-workout supplement when we compiled our rankings:

  1. Ingredients Profile
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Taste
  4. Mixability
  5. Value

preworkout powder in bottle

Ingredients Profile

When we review each pump activating supplement on their ingredient profile, we look at the active ingredients being used and their dosages.

Many pre-workout supplements include a variety of beneficial ingredients, but under dose them proving to be non-effective.

Effectiveness

Effectiveness is an extension of ingredient profile. If the product uses proven ingredients at clinically suggested dosages, the product should be effective.

Everyone is different. Everyone takes to different ingredients differently at varying dosages. We have tried and tested each of these products throughout the full duration of their container to ensure these products are effective over their life.

Taste

We review taste on two different components. First, how close does the muscle pump supplement taste to the actual name printed on the label. For example, does Blue Raz actually taste like blue raspberry. Second, we review it on overall taste (in our opinion) versus others in the same flavor category.

Mixability

Mixability refers to how well does the product mix in 8-12oz of water. The testing process for a pump activating drink we use here is a generic Blender Bottle with the chrome spiral ball. We use regular tap water with no ice.

Value

Value is a combination of ingredient profile, effectiveness, taste, mixability and cost. We do not just look at the price tag like a lot of others do. If a product is priced at a premium, we inform you if it is worth the premium price or not based on all the categories. We look at the overall picture of the  pre-workout supplement, and how it compares to other pre-workout supplements on the market.

Please Note: Many of the “top 10” lists you find online are written by content writers with no in-gym or supplement experience who are paid by the word count to write an article for a website trying to generate money.

These lists are influenced by brands who pay for placement. These lists contain pump activating supplements that are, for the lack of a better word, garbage.

The following products on our best of list were used by the author of this article. He used the pump activating supplements through the duration of a full container. Sample packs were not used in determining the rankings of the best pump producing supplements.

Stop relying on faulty information that is influenced by outside writers and money. This list is the real deal. Here at Fitness Informant, we don’t steer you wrong. Be Informed. Live Fit.