The Best Pump Activating Supplements of 2018

2018 Best Pump Supplements

Most fitness gurus have seen Pumping Iron featuring the king of bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold has a great quote about the pump

The greatest feeling you can get in a gym, or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is… The Pump. Let’s say you train your biceps. Blood is rushing into your muscles and that’s what we call The Pump. You muscles get a really tight feeling, like your skin is going to explode any minute, and it’s really tight – it’s like somebody blowing air into it, into your muscle. It just blows up, and it feels really different. It feels fantastic.

The Pump is a real thing. It’s an important thing. Many pre-workouts alone are not enough to produce a pump that can promote proper gains. This is where Pump Activating Supplements come into play.

Let’s go back to these pre-workouts which claim “vein splitting pumps.” We call B.S. Sure, there are VERY few pre-workouts with sufficient pump activating ingredients (NO production, widening of veins, oxidation of the blood, etc). You ever wonder why a company who produces a pre-workout also produces a pump product? It’s meant to supplement their pre-workout because they even know that their pre-workout isn’t strong on the pump side of the tracks.

Pump Activating Supplements do one main thing: promote blood flow to your muscles. There is much more importance to this other than the “swole” look you get when you look in the mirror (although that is pretty damn cool if you ask me). Increasing blood flow to your muscles brings necessary oxygen, nutrients and more to help repair and grow your muscles.

Which Pump Activating Supplement is right for you? That’s where we come in. Our Best Of list include supplements PERSONALLY tested by Fitness Informant. Many best of lists online promote based on commission dollars, we do it based on what works. That’s the truth.

We Remove The BS The Supplement Companies Feed You, And Tell You What They Don’t Want You To Know.

We remove the clutter from the pump activating supplement category. We provide you with the five best pump activating supplements of 2018.

Jump to the Top 5 Picks

Why Do You Need To Supplement With A Pump Activator?

Muscular pumps are necessary for proper muscle recovery and growth. Not just the “swole” look we try to achieve. Believe it or not, that’s just the aesthetics of the pump, where the real benefits come from delivering  oxygen rich and nutrient rich blood to the muscles while removing waste products like lactic acids.

The best pump supplements can provide you with:

  • Increased Oxygen Rich Blood to Muscles
    Oxygen is required if you plan to exercise for more than a couple minutes. The body produces energy through three pathways, one of which requires oxygen for prolonged endurance. By bringing more oxygen to your muscles you can workout harder and longer, thus achieving muscle hypertrophy which will lead to gains
  • Increased Nutrient Rich Blood to Muscles
    Muscles require nutrients to help repair and regrow the muscle. By improving the blood flow to the muscles bringing in more nutrients, your muscles will use these nutrients to build muscle. Nutrients are essential for muscle growth.
  • Increase Muscle Size
    We aren’t just talking about the increased size due to the blood saturation, but the influx of nutrients into the muscle will in-turn help your muscles grow.
  • Increased Endurance
    The more oxygen that is brought to your muscles, the better your muscular endurance will be. Your body will utilize oxygen in the energy pathway to allow you to achieve one more rep.
  • Improved Performance
    Along with increased endurance, oxygen will help increase your overall performance. Not to mention, when you see yourself in the mirror looking all swole, you’ll perform better as well
  • Decrease DOMS
    DOMS, or Delayed Muscle Soreness, can be caused by lactic acid. The Pump not only brings blood into the muscle but removes blood as well. With that it removes waste. Waste is typically in the form of lactic acid which can cause DOMS.

Why You Can Trust Our Guide

  • EXPERT REVIEW PANEL
    Our review panel is made up of individuals with many years of experience in the sports nutrition industry, dating back to the early 2000’s. Their tenure gives them knowledge on brands, supplements, ingredients, dosages and more.
  • FULL CONTAINER REVIEWS
    Unlike the majority of “review” sites on the internet, Fitness Informant reviews every supplement on a full-container basis. What does this mean? It means that a review is not written or recorded until the last serving of that product has been finished. We’ve all had products that were great for the first couple of days, but then lost their effectiveness shortly after. We want to ensure you are getting a full review based on a full product.
  • INGREDIENT EDUCATION
    We breakdown each ingredient in our reviews to educate you on exactly what the ingredients do, and what is the proper dosage of each ingredient to effectively do what they are intended to do.
  • 100% HONEST – NO B.S. REVIEWS
    Our number #1 priority is to inform you proper supplement selection through honest reviews. The majority of “review” sites on the internet will push you to buy a certain product based on the commissions they received. Not us. We want you to purchase the highest quality supplements at the best value. We put your health and wellness first. To achieve your goals we want you to use only the best supplements that you can afford. We do this by being honest.

Our Pump Activating Supplement Reviews & Comparison Table

The following table compares the top 5 rated pump activating supplments of 2018 in order from #1 to #5. It showcases their optimal features and gives you the option to purchase them at the lowest price online.

Pump SupplementBest Pick ForIngredients & FeaturesRating

1. Performax Labs VasoMAX


Performax Labs VasoMAX
GET LOWEST PRICE
Overall Pump Product- 3g GlycerPump
- 810mg Nitrates
- 300mg Alpha GPC
(8.8/10.0)

2. Merica Labz Stars 'N Pipes


Merica Labz Stars 'N Pipes
GET LOWEST PRICE
Serving Size- 6g L-Cittruline
- 5g HydroMax
- 5g Betaine
(8.7/10.0)

3. Purus Labs NOXygen


Purus Labs NOXygen
GET LOWEST PRICE
Value- 1.5g HydroMax
- 740mg Nitrates
- Great Value
(8.5/10.0)

4. Sparta Nutrition Kraken Pump


Sparta Nutrition Kraken Pump
GET LOWEST PRICE
Taste- 3g L-Cittruline
- 1g HydroMax
- 750mg Nitrosigine
(8.2/10.0)

5. NutraKey Hydro Pump


NutraKey Hydro Pump
GET LOWEST PRICE
Simple, Effective Ingredients- 1.5g HydroMax
- 500mg Nitrosigine
- Sweet taste
(7.6/10.0)

What Should You Look for in a Pump Supplement?

 

Pump supplements can come in all shapes and sizes, flavors and effectiveness. It is important that you know what you are looking for when picking out a pump supplement.

We break down several important factors to look for when you choose the pump supplement that is right for you. At the end of the day, it is how well your body responds to the active ingredients. Everyone responds to certain ingredients differently.

Type of Pump Ingredients

There are several pump ingredients that are out on the market today that are being used by the majority of supplement manufactures. These have been tried and tested. There are several other ingredients that are new, just making their way onto the scene.

Some of the most popular active ingredients are:

  • L-Cittruline: this might be the most popular pump ingredient found in pre-workouts. There are various forms of L-Cittruline but they all work the same way to contribute to an increased pump. Clinical dosages of L-Cittruline is 6g.
  • HydroMax (Glycerol Powder): this powder increases the concentration of fluids in your muscles. More and more pre-workout powders are using Glycerol Powder a.k.a. HydroMax as part of their pump enhancing complex. Dosage will vary as there is not a clinical dosage at this time.
  • Nitrosigine: this increases the production of NO in the body. In clinical studies, Nitrosigine showed increased blood vessel relaxation which can help increase blood flow. In addition, blood vessel relaxation was almost 5x greater with Nitrosigine in comparison to arginine HCl. Nitrosigine can work in as little as 15 minutes
  • Nitrates: these are fairly inexpensive but produce epic pumps. Amino acid nitrate salts are used more and more to provide pumps that rival agmatine
  • Agmatine Sulfate: this is one of the most popular pump activating ingredients on the planet (along with L-Cittruline). Agmatine is fairly cheap and it works. Many pre-workouts include Agamatine, dosed around 750mg-1g.

Stim Free

Pump activating supplements are typically going to be stimulant free. This means you won’t find any caffeine, DMAA, DMHA, Eria Jarensis, etc. The reason most pump supplements are going to be stim-free is because they are meant to be added to your pre-workout. Most pre-workouts, at least the extremely popular ones, contain stimulants.

If you find a stim based pump product, this will essentially be a stand alone pre-workout. You want to ensure that your pump product is stimulant free so you can take it along side your pre-workout for an epic lift.

Taste

Taste is important to the Pump Activating Supplement category. You would typically take your pump product along side or with a pre-workout. Like a pre-workout, you can “chug” your pump supplement…so maybe to some taste doesn’t matter as much.

The one thing to look for in taste is something similar to your pre-workout if you plan on mixing the two together. Sometimes this is the easiest. If you’re all for taking them separate of one another, then find a flavor you think you will enjoy.

Our Testing Process

We examined five different areas of each pump activating supplement when we compiled our rankings:

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

preworkout powder in bottleIngredients Profile

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

Many pump 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 pump activating 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  pump activating supplement, and how it compares to other pump supplements on the market.

Please Note: Many of the “top 10 pump supplement” 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 following best amino acid supplements of 2018.

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.

2018 Pump Activating Supplement Rankings: Our Top 5 Picks

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, here’s our list of our top rated pump activating supplements for 2018. These are the best for blood flow, muscle recovery and muscle repair:

5. NutraKey Hydro Pump

Our rating: (7.6/10.0)

Hydro Pump bottle

Hydro Pump from NutraKey is a simple and affordable pump activating supplement that cracks into our top five due to those reasons. Hydro Pump uses a combination of two very effective pump ingredients, HydroMax and Nitrosigine.

The combination of HydroMax and Nitrosigine would be enough for most people to get a decent pump. Hydro Pump goes a step further and adds in a pump complex containing Agmatine Sulfate, L-Cittruline and Sodium Chloride to enhance the already good pump you’re getting from HydroMax and Nitrosigine.

On top of a good profile, Hydro Pump tastes great and is affordable. This isn’t a gigantic serving size. This non-stim pump activator is a great size to mix right in with your pre-workout without messing with the mixability of the beverage.

Who Makes It?

NutraKey is known to be a solid, trustworthy producer of quality supplements. NutraKey is a brand built on trust from the consumer. They produce everything from pre-workout powders to protein powders. If all else fails, a safe bet is NutraKey will give you quality.

What’s In It?

One serving contains:

  • 1.5g HydroMax – increased water concentration in the muscular cells
  • 500mg Nitrosigine – increases NO production in the body
  • 1,000mg Pump Complex – containing Agmatine Sulfate, L-Cittruline, Taurine, Sodium Chloride and Black Pepper Extract
Hydro Pump label

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a simple pump activator that is affordable, Hydro Pump is your choice. The combination of 1.5g of HydroMax with 500mg of Nitrosigine is a perfect compliment to any properly dosed pre-workout. On-top-of-that, the taste is bomb as well!

Ingredients Profile

70%

Effectiveness

60%

Taste

90%

Mixability

80%

Value

80%

Overall Rating

76%

The Highlights:

  • Great Tasting
  • Affordable
  • HydroMax/Nitrosigine Combo
  • 30-servings
Hydro Pump bottle

4. Sparta Nutrition Kraken Pump

Our rating: (8.2/10.0)

Kraken Pump container

Kraken Pump from Sparta Nutrition is the pump activator that followed up our #1 rated pre-workout powder Kraken. Kraken Pump leverages three ingredients that are proven to enhance the pump: L-Cittruline, HydroMax and Nitrosigine.

A single serving of Kraken Pump provides you with 3g of L-Cittruline, 1g of Hydromax and 750mg of Nitrosigine. This alone, partnered with a good pre-workout, can give you a pump. But when you double the serving to two scoops you get a clinical dosage of L-Cittruline, 2g of HydroMax and 1.5g of Nitrosigine. This is enough to give you epic pumps. Oh, don’t forget, they toss in beet powder as well which will improve your pump.

Who Makes It?

Sparta Nutrition is the maker of a lot of epic supplements, including our #1 rated pre-workout. They’ve branched out to protein powders and a full Keto line as well. They’ve been voted by many supplement fanatics as one of the best companies in the game today.

What’s In It?

One serving contains:

  • 3g L-Cittruline – 1/2 the clinical dosage in a pump product that increases NO (nitric oxide) in the body through a conversion process in the kidneys to L-Arginine
  • 1g HydroMax – increases water levels in muscular cells
  • 750mg Nitrosigine – promotes increased NO production
  • 500mg Beta Vulgaris – beet powder, increases NO production
  • 250mg Coconut Water Powder – improves hydration, allows the body to utilize water into muscular cells
Kraken Pump Label

Bottom Line:

Kraken Pump is a wonderful pump activator to add to any pre-workout, not just Kraken. Most pre-workouts are going to contain an amount of L-Cittruline, so you may be good with only one serving. This product is priced higher, but it is for 40-servings, but if you need to double-up it can seem expensive…just remember you’re getting clinical dosages of L-Cittruline and pump producing dosages of HydroMax and Nitrosigine. We love Kraken Pump.

Ingredients Profile

80%

Effectiveness

80%

Taste

100%

Mixability

80%

Value

70%

Overall Rating

82%

The Highlights:

  • 40-servings
  • Best taste
  • 3g L-Cittruline
  • 1.5g HydroMax
  • 750mg Nitrosigine
Kraken Pump container

3. Purus Labs NOXygen

Our rating: (8.5/10.0)

NOXygen bottle

NOXygen by Purus Labs is one of our favorite small-serving sized pump activator. Purus Labs believes in “The Clump” of NOXygen, which may be more than just a marketing gimmick. Using HydroMax and Nitrates, NOXygen provides one of the biggest pumps for your buck.

NOXygen, like many other pump activators, utilizes 1.5g of HydroMax in one single serving. On-top-of that, they toss in 740mg of Nitrates which contributes to a helluva pump. I know many people are not fans of spending over $40 for a pump product, with NOXygen retailing for less than $20 for 40-servings, you won’t find a better value for a pump product anywhere. Guaranteed. NOXygen is our #1 rated small serving pump activator.

Who Makes It?

Purus Labs is a middle of the road supplement company. What we mean by that is they do not produce hardcore product, nor do they make soft products. They make products that are aimed at overall health with a performance aspect to them. Purus Labs finds itself in the list of best brands here at Fitness Informant for their commitment to quality and customer service.

What’s In It?

One serving contains:

  • 1.5g HydroMax  increased water concentration in muscle cells
  • 740mg Nitrates – increases NO production in the body
NOXygen label

Bottom Line:

If you don’t want to pay over $30 for a pump supplement, and you want one that packs a punch in such a small serving size, than NOXygen is the one for you. Coming in at a serving size of 2.8g, NOXygen provides 40-servings of a pump punch that you’ll enjoy. Don’t be scared by the “Clump” for it produces what we love: The Pump.

Ingredients Profile

70%

Effectiveness

80%

Taste

0%

Mixability

90%

Value

100%

Overall Rating

85%

The Highlights:

  • 40-servings
  • Tasteless
  • 2.6g serving size
  • 1.5g HydroMax
  • Nitrates
NOXygen bottle

2. Merica Labz Stars ‘N Pipes

Our rating: (8.7/10.0)

Merica Labs Stars 'N Pipes Full Review

Stars ‘N Pipes from Merica Labz may be the biggest pump activating supplement serving size you ever find. Merica Labz rolled with two proven pump ingredients and one strength enhancing ingredient to make this a fully dosed pump product that could be cut to 1/2 serving size to extend the life.

Stars ‘N Pipes starts with 6g of L-Cittruline. This is the clinical dosage of L-Cittruline. If you are using a pre-workout with L-Cittruline, you can extend the life of Stars ‘N Pipes by cutting down the serving size. Then, like a lot of pump products, you are getting 5g of HydroMax. This is the most we’ve seen in any pump product. While they are at it, they give us 5g of Betaine. Clinical dosage of Betaine is around 2.5g.

So why do they give you so much ingredients to be the largest serving size at 20.3g? Merica, that’s why! Honesty, it is a huge scoop at 20-servings, but you can easily increase the value of Stars ‘N Pipes by extending it to 40-servings, no problem. This could very easily be #1 on a lot of lists.

Welcome to the Gun Show people! Merica…F*CK YEA!

Who Makes It?

Merica Labz is a newer brand featured here at Fitness Informant. They have really cool marketing and package designs, but don’t be fooled, their products are kick-ass too if Stars ‘N Pipes is anything like the rest of their line. Merica Labz is produced by another reputable supplement company. These products are just positioned differently than this other company, of which we have a lot of respect for.

What’s In It?

One serving contains:

  • 6g L-Cittruline – clinical dosage, increases NO production in the body by a conversion in the kidneys to Arginine
  • 5g HydroMax – largest HydroMax dosage we’ve seen, increases cellular water in the muscles
  • 5g Betaine – over the clinical dosage, acts similar to creatine in that it increases water in muscle cells to help overall endurance and strength
Merica Labs Stars 'N Pipes label

Bottom Line:

If you’re OK with spending $40 for 20-servings, you won’t find a better pump product. Stars ‘N Pipes could easily be #1 on this list and many other lists out there. It was that good. You can easily extend this 20-serving unit to 40-servings if you’re using a well dosed pre-workout. We understand $40 is a lot of cash to drop on a non-stim product, but if your arms are going to swole so much then why not? The pump is more about muscular growth than it is about the look.

Ingredients Profile

90%

Effectiveness

90%

Taste

100%

Mixability

70%

Value

85%

Overall Rating

87%

The Highlights:

  • 6g L-Cittruline
  • 5g HydroMax
  • 5g Betaine
  • Amazing taste
  • 20.6g serving size
Merica Labz Stars 'N Pipes

1. Performax Labs VasoMAX

Our rating: (8.8/10.0)

Performax Labs VasoMAX

VasoMAX by Performax Labs was our 2017 Shield of Excellence Supplement Award Winner for Best Pump Product. That should be enough to convince you this stuff is good, right? Well, VasoMax is more than just a solid pump product, as it also contributes to your overall focus as well.

VasoMAX starts with 3g of GlycerPump. Very similar to HydroMax, GlycerPump is a different version of Glycerol Powder in which studies show is better than HydroMax. Performax Labs decides to toss in 810mg of Nitrates, which, if you read our NOXygen review, you know we love Nitrates. They also utilize GSNO, which helps NO production.

The step further that VasoMAX takes is adding in a cognitive enhancing “complex” consisting of Alpha GPC, Huperzine and Sceletium Tortuosum. Packed with 300mg of Alpha GPC, 10mg of Huperzine and 25mg of Sceletium Tortuosum, you are sure to not only have one hell of a pump, but you’ll be focused on crushing some heavy ass weight.

Who Makes It?

Performax Labs is innovative, and they move quick. What do we mean by that? We mean they are constantly coming out with new and improved products. One day they may have a top rated pre-workout, the next? They come out with another pre-workout that is an improvement on their already #1 pre-workout. This company is hungry to earn your trust, and they do that by producing great supplements backed by science.

What’s In It?

One serving contains:

  • 3g GlycerPump – a new version of Glycerol Powder (much like HydroMax) that improve water concentration in the muscle cells
  • 810mg Potassium Nitrate – increases NO production
  • 10mg GSNO – improves NO production
  • 300mg Alpha-GPC – nootropic that improves focus
  • 10mg Huperzine-A – improved memory and focus
  • 25mg Sceletium Tortuosum – stress reducer

Bottom Line:

The use of GlycerPump at 3g and the added use of Nitrates make this our favorite pump product. On-top-of-that, they toss in 300mg of the great nootropic Alpha-GPC and 10mg of Huperzine-A for focus enhancement. Two of the greatest things that often get overlooked are the pump and the focus of the workout. All too often we focus on caffeine and energy…well folks, you should look to these two more.

There are a lot of good pump products out there, but none that have surpassed VasoMAX as our favorite. The use of quality ingredients at great doses helps the cause. This is not just a pump activator, but a brain activator as well. When you’re focused and your muscles are poppin’, you’re going to keep lifting some heavy ass weight.

Ingredients Profile

90%

Effectiveness

90%

Taste

90%

Mixability

90%

Value

80%

Overall Rating

88%

The Highlights:

  • 3g GlycerPump
  • 810mg Nitrates
  • 300mg Alpha-GPC
  • 10mg Huperzine-A
  • Great taste
  • Laser focus
  • Massive pumps
Performax Labs VasoMAX

This completes our full list of the best pump activating supplements of 2018. The amino acid supplements listed above earned the right to be the top 5 category. Each supplement had a great ingredient profile that was comprised of ingredients that promoted an awesome pump, muscle swoleness, muscle repair and recovery.

Stay tuned to Fitness Informant throughout the year for updates as new products are tested and reviewed.