In this article, we’re taking a trip right lanugo to the very marrow of the barrel, the wool worst of the worst when it comes to pre-workout supplements.

It’s honestly very rare to find pre workouts that are genuinely well formulated these days. The vast majority of them are extremely mediocre at best, mostly considering supplement companies rip you off.

They know that the stereotype consumer is only responding to the marketing, and NOT the very ingredient profile. So as a consequence, most pre-workouts misogynist are just very “meh,” for lack of a largest word. Some of them are a bit worse.

And then, a special select few like the ones I’ll be showing you today, are so bad and so unappetizing out insulting that it’s genuinely painful to observe.

So, let’s jump right into it. I’ll be putting these in order going from number 5 and steadily unthriving all the way lanugo to the wool most depressing pre-workout in existence, at least as far as I’m aware.

Without remoter ado, in ascending (or descending, depending on how you want to squint at it) order:

Worst Pre-Workout #5:

Kicking off the list of worst pre-workouts is Sculpt Nation’s pre-workout.

worst pre-workout sculpt nation

It seems like pretty much everything V Shred touches turns to crap, and supplements are definitely no exception.

Sculpt Nation proudly boasts one of the most ridiculous, downright comical supplement lines on the market right now. They’ve got a wide variety of completely worthless products you can trammels out if you enjoy flushing money lanugo the toilet.

These include testosterone boosters, growth hormone boosters, nighttime fat burners, BCAAs, obscenely over priced creatine, and of course, this gem of a pre-workout. In it, literally every single ingredient whispered from the caffeine is criminally under-dosed to the point of having no benefits whatsoever.

Let’s squint at the label.

You get 100 milligrams of l-tyrosine as opposed to the yellowish minimum 500 milligrams you’d probably need to get any effect at all. It’s a solid ingredient for increasing energy and focus, but you’d need probably virtually 1000 milligrams as a minimum pre workout dose.

You moreover get 100 milligrams of betaine (itself a kind of debatable ingredient). The proper clinical dose is upwards of 2000 milligrams, so 1/20th of the proper amount. They include 1.2 grams of beta alanine, when the minimum efficacious dose is usually considered to be 3.2 grams. 2 grams would be the wool minimum.

Also alimony in mind that both betaine and beta alanine are not pre-workout ingredients in the first place. They have no firsthand effects on performance and are compounds you take every single day. Thus, the timing doesn’t matter.

Then there’s 1.5 grams of l-citrulline, flipside solid ingredient, but roughly half of the minimum value you’d need to see any legitimate benefits. Finally, there are 3 grams of BCAAs which will have no effect at all on your training performance, or on anything else for that matter.

So at the end of the day, what V Shred is really offering you here is a 37 dollar snifter of flavored caffeine. This genuinely is one of the worst pre-workouts I have overly seen.

Worst Pre-Workout #4:

Next up on the list, we have Pre Workout Explosion by Six Star Nutrition.

worst pre-workout six star

Six Star is a supplement line owned by MuscleTech. As far as I can tell, this is basically their sort of unseemly Walmart trademark of products that they use to target the less “savvy” fitness crowd.

Just like with Sculpt Nation, the only useful pre-workout ingredient you’re truly getting here is caffeine. There’s 1.5 grams of beta alanine versus the same proper 3.2 to 6.4 gram clinical dose.

There’s moreover 1.5 grams of creatine versus the proper 3-5 gram dose, and 1 gram of l-arginine. Neither are going to have any pre-workout benefits to uncork with. In the specimen of l-arginine, most of it doesn’t plane make it to the bloodstream. It’s instead used up by the intestines for energy, not to mention that the research-studied dose is usually 3 grams minimum.

After that is the “advanced pump complex,” which is a proprietary blend of 500 milligrams in total from a combination of taurine, citrulline, citrulline malate and increasingly l-arginine.

So, that 500 milligrams is roughly (to be generous) virtually 5-10% of what you’d need in order for all of those ingredients to meet their wool minimum doses.

Lastly, you get a microdose of l-tyrosine and choline. Again, this won’t have any effect whatsoever considering it’s just not enough, and to top it off, you only get the modest dose of 135 milligrams of caffeine. This is really the only ingredient in here that’s going to do anything for you at all.

Six Star does recommend up to 2 scoops which will double all of those dosages, but plane with everything doubled, it still doesn’t transpiration anything. That’s how bad this formula is to uncork with. In the end it will forfeit you increasingly money as you’ll be out of the product faster.

It would tumor the beta alanine and creatine up to 3 grams each, which is a minimum proper dose for those. However, neither of these ingredients have vigilant effects. They’re compounds you take every single day and the benefits slowly build up over time.

Thus, they don’t have any place in a pre-workout anyway.

Worst Pre-Workout #3:

Next on the list of worst pre-workout supplements is Equate.

equate worst pre-workout

This is unquestionably Walmart’s brand, and if you asked me to envision what a Walmart pre-workout would squint like, this would be it.

This is unquestionably kind of similar to the previous one except at roughly half the dose considering they only recommend taking one scoop. You get 1.5 grams of beta alanine, 1.5 grams of creatine, 1 gram of BCAAs, half a gram of l-citrulline, and half a gram of l-arginine.

Very, very sad indeed.

Again, beta alanine and creatine are not pre workout ingredients to uncork with, and those are half doses anyway. There’s no need for pre-workout BCAAs, and the usual dose would be, yellowish minimum, 5 grams anyway

L-citrulline should be dosed at well-nigh 3 grams at minimum. Arginine is useless, and at half a gram, that’s moreover a useless dose.

In all, there is roughly a 0% endangerment that any of those ingredients will noticeably goody you.

And then of course, they just toss in some caffeine at the end, only 135 milligrams. This is a pretty modest dose, but if you’re reasonably sensitive to caffeine then it should still requite you a small kick.

Folks, Equate pre-workout is pretty tropical to as bad as it gets–but not quite.

It does in fact get worse, and from one of the biggest supplement brands in the world for that matter.

Worst Pre-Workout #2:

The 5 Best and Worst Pre-Workout Supplements

Nearing the top of the list is Amino Energy by Optimum Nutrition.

This one honestly blows my mind.

It has been a top selling product for a good 10 years or so from one of the most popular companies in the industry. At the time of this writing, it has over 22,000 Amazon reviews and is rated at 4 and a half stars.

Yet, if you just logically dissect the label, most of what’s in here is totally useless.

You get a 5 gram “amino blend,” which you don’t plane need in the first place considering there’s no necessity for isolated pre-workout amino acids. You’d be just as fine if you just ate some kind of reasonable protein source within a few hours of your session.

Even if you’re trying to train mostly fasted and you wanted some EAAs in your system surpassing the workout, you still wouldn’t want to go with this product.

Because of the “blend,” you don’t plane know what you’re getting here. All the specific dosages are subconscious overdue it.

And in a proprietary blend, the ingredients are unchangingly listed from the highest to lowest dosage. With Amino Energy, the most prominent ingredient is (surprise surprise) l-taurine. This is an ingredient supplement companies often use as a filler–it’s a dirt unseemly amino wounding that’s moreover tasteless, so it’s really easy to flavor.

L-taurine is moreover a worldwide ingredient that companies will use to scam you through something tabbed amino wounding spiking in protein powders.

So, without seeing the specific dosages, for all you know this could be 4.9 grams of l-taurine, and then everything else could just be pixie dusted with a microscopic value of everything else.

That honestly wouldn’t surprise me at all. If you’re genuinely dosing your products correctly, then you would want people to see that. You wouldn’t want to hibernate it.

The only real reason to use a proprietary tousle is precisely considering you don’t want people to see the very doses you’re using.

And at 5 grams total, plane if you took 2 scoops of this and got 10 grams, it still wouldn’t be anywhere near usable doses of the other ingredients. Leucine, beta alanine, citrulline, iso-leucine, valine, tyrosine…there just isn’t nearly unbearable total ingredient volume to go around.

What you’re really getting here is 100 milligrams of caffeine, or 200 milligrams if you take 2 scoops. That’s all this really is in terms of what will unquestionably goody you. Caffeine in and of itself will requite you a uplift in overall energy and performance, and that’s why people will still think this is a good product.

People take it, they finger the caffeine working, and then they symbol those effects to the unshortened formula as a whole. However, they don’t realize that everything they’re experiencing is just from that simple caffeine buzz,

This applies to the previous 3 pre-workouts as well. You can substantially have a formula with 8 completely worthless, ineffective, under-dosed ingredients, but still sell it and have people undeniability it “effective” considering of the caffeine.

People will rave well-nigh it, and the placebo effect they’re getting from the caffeine will make them want to buy more.

Worst Pre-Workout #1:

All right, we’ve made it.

I’m glad to see you’re still here with me as traumatizing as the labels on these pre-workouts are, but I promise we’ll get through this.

The last one: twosome yourself. It’s time to reveal the single worst pre-workout product I have personally overly seen in my life.

red leaf worst pre-workout

There’s probably a decent endangerment you’ve never plane heard of this one. However, it is listed as an “Amazon’s Choice” product and does have 1700 reviews on the site with a 4.4 star rating at the time of writing.

So, there are a lot of people out there ownership this, and theoretically they are very strongly subject to the placebo effect.

Now, why is this number 1 on the list? Well, with the previous 4 products, plane though every single ingredient is either ineffective, under-dosed, or both, they at least still requite you an constructive dose of caffeine. In that regard, the product will still have some legitimate benefit.

1 gram of l-glutamine. This is a pointless ingredient anyway, and plane a increasingly pointless dose. 1 gram of beta alanine versus the minimum 3.2 grams we talked well-nigh earlier. Half a gram of l-arginine, no goody whatsoever.

Then there is 1 gram of BCAAs, which is next to nothing, and of undertow BCAAs aren’t useful in a pre-workout anyway.

For some reason, Red Leaf throws in a tiny dose of cranberry extract. No idea what the reason for that is. There’s moreover a tiny, non-usable dose of green tea; 50 milligrams of raspberry ketones (which were heavily promoted as a “weight loss miracle” several years back), moreover completely useless at a minimal dose anyway; and finally we get to the standard caffeine.

Like we mentioned earlier, caffeine in a pre-workout product is usually the saving grace that at least makes the product helpful to some extent. But in this case, you’re only getting 40 milligrams.

If you’re hyper, hyper-sensitive to caffeine, then you might finger that to some small degree. But for the vast majority of people, this will have well-nigh the same effect as a can of nutrition soda.

As far as improving training performance or giving any significant uplift in energy, 40 milligrams of caffeine is just not going to be enough.

So again, this product is a perfect testament to the power of the placebo effect. All of these people are raving well-nigh how much they love the product. But in reality, there isn’t a single efficacious ingredient in this unshortened formula. 

The placebo effect is too much of a factor. Most people don’t have the fitness knowledge or wits to really be worldly-wise to snift what’s truly working and what’s not.

When it comes to supplements in particular, concrete, objective research should be the primary factor you use to guide your decisions.

In Conclusion

If you’re using any of these 5, aka the WORST pre-workouts out there, you’re doing it wrong:

  1. Sculpt Nation Pre Workout
  2. Six Star Pre Workout Explosion
  3. Equate Pre Workout
  4. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
  5. Red Leaf Energizer

I hope this was helpful, and I want to leave you with some light at the end of the pre-workout tunnel.


If you do want to trammels out a legitimate, research backed pre-workout formula, then trammels out my formula PureForm over at RealScience Athletics.

PureForm uses only proven ingredients only in their proper clinical doses to maximize strength, energy, and focus during your training sessions. This was formulated by me from scratch to requite you the weightier overall zinger for your whippersnapper without jacking you up on a million variegated stimulants or an uncounted list of useless ingredients.