Best Pre Workout for Keto

Exercise plays a very important role in active weight loss. If nutrition and exercise are combined in the right way, weight loss becomes quick and easy. This is true with the keto diet too.

But one common behavior that most people exhibit when it comes to their workouts is – not eating anything before exercise. When exercising, the muscles and joints in the body need to overexert themselves to successfully complete their challenging routines. They require energy to sustain long durations of these exercises.

Consuming pre-workout supplements before exercise can protect your muscles and joints from fatigue while allowing you to push yourself to the limit.

The Impact of Fasting Before Exercise

Studies have shown that exercising for prolonged periods on an empty stomach can lower your metabolism post-workout and result in the body storing more fat and sugars during the next meal, which ultimately results in weight gain. But why does this happen?

To exercise effectively, your body needs glycogen in your muscles. Glycogen is a form of sugar derived from carbs, and it is converted into glucose in the muscles. This glycogen is the fuel which is used by the body during exercise. Depletion of glycogen results in fatigue and lethargy. Some studies indicate that glycogen depletion may result in muscle injuries if the right nutritional strategies aren’t adopted.

When you’re exercising while fasting, glycogen quickly gets used-up, draining your body of its energy. This forces your body to tap into your fat reserves, and this is where all the problems begin.

In reality, your body requires a certain amount of fat to be healthy, and the sudden over-dependence on your fat reserves alarms the body that something is wrong. During fasting-exercise, this sudden dependence on your fat reserves sends your body into survival mode, where it starts to extensively use fat from your fat reserves in an effort to keep your body fueled. But once you finish your workout and give your body nutrition, your metabolism slows down completely, and your body attempts to re-fill the fat reserves you’ve depleted. When this happens, you don’t burn as many calories as you should, and this results in your body storing more fat than necessary.

In fact, so far, there is no evidence to show that exercising on an empty stomach offers more effective weight loss results than exercising after being fed. This is true for any type of workout, be it anaerobic, calisthenics or HIIT.

How Do Pre-Workout Supplements Affect the Body?

An experiment conducted by the researchers at the Universities of Birmingham, Newcastle, Bath, and Stirling revealed that people who eat something at least 2-3 hours prior to their workouts burn a higher number of carbs during their workout. The study also showed that pre-workout snacking boosted body metabolism and quickened the pace of digestion and nutrient absorption.

Another research on the impact of pre-workout nutrition on women revealed that women who ate or drank something before the workout displayed lower levels of fatigue after their workout, were in a better mood, performed better on cognitive tasks, and were more energetic during the day when compared to how they performed on days without pre-workout nutrition.  While consuming solid foods is a good way to go, not everyone is comfortable with the heaviness and bloating that accompany solid food consumption before exercise. This is where pre-workout supplements help.

Pre-workouts are light on the stomach, easy to consume, and easy to digest and absorb in the body. They help you avoid lethargy by giving your body the boost it needs to sustain long periods of exercise. They also provide the body with the proteins necessary for muscle recovery and strengthening. 

What Ingredients Are Best for Pre-Workouts?

When choosing supplements, there are some specific ingredients that you need to look for which have the natural ability to enhance your workout efficiency. These ingredients include:

  • Caffeine: Caffeine has been clinically proven to increase muscle endurance during workouts.
  • Beta-Alanine: This is a compound that has been proven to improve cardiovascular health and reduce post-workout fatigue.
  • Citrulline Malate: This compound has been found to reduce muscle soreness, improve aerobic activity, and improve energy production during and after exercise.
  • Betaine: Betaine is found to increase load-carrying ability, set repetitions and power during workouts.
  • Theanine: This compound has been found to improve mental alertness and cognitive strength during workouts. It has also been found to relieve stress and improve mood and memory.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium has been proven to help muscles contract and relax, improve heartbeat, and help build-up muscle after fiber-breakdown post-workout.
  • Creatine Monohydrate: This compound is beneficial in strengthening muscles pre-workout and has been noticed to be especially beneficial during resistance training.

Ingredients to Avoid

In addition to what you should have, there are some ingredients that you shouldn’t have in your pre-workout supplements:

  • Artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and non-FDA-approved food coloring.
  • Toxic vitamin fillers like maltodextrin and ascorbic acid.
  • Carcinogenic ingredients like Titanium Dioxide.
  • Additives that contain trace amounts of hexane, like Soy Lecithin – may cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Pre-Workout Supplement for Keto

  • Blends: When selecting your pre-workout for keto, never select a brand that claims to sell a “proprietary blend.” Supplements that follow clinically tried-and-tested formula are safer than brands that create their own combination (often untested by the FDA) in their labs.
  • Dosage: Some unethical brands under-dose in their supplements in an effort to curb manufacturing costs. Under-dosed supplements have no impact on your body and are a wasted investment. Ideally, dosages should be as follows:
  • Protein – 1.2-2.0 grams/kilo Beta-Alanine – 2-5 grams/kilo
  • Caffeine - 3-6 grams/kilo
  • Creatine – 3-5 grams/kilo
  • GMO/GMP certification: Brands that have a GMO/GMP certification use ingredients that are 100% organic and pure, making them safe to consume.
  • Purpose of the supplement: There are a variety of supplements for weight loss, bodybuilding, endurance and so on. Check the label to identify if the supplement you’re buying is relevant to your requirements or not.
  • Side effects: Some pre-workout supplements do have side-effects like skin tingling, headache, and nausea, and they subside in a few minutes.  However, if you are particularly sensitive to such side-effects, it's best to avoid supplements with those ingredients.
Best Pre Workout for Keto How to Select

How to Select the Pre Workout That’s Ideal for You?

There are two broad categories of pre-workout supplements:

Stimulant-Based Pre-Workouts

These stimulate the production of hormones in your body which increase energy levels, increase your sense of euphoria, and helps you recover from exhausting workouts.

If you have high-tolerance to supplements, choose pre-workouts which contain DMAA, Yohimbe, Higenamine or Alpha Yohimbe since they are very strong and effective. These ingredients are easily absorbable in the blood, and they remain in the bloodstream for a very long time.

However, if you have a low tolerance to supplements, choose brands that offer Caffeine, L-Tyrosine or Phenylethylamine. These ingredients are easily absorbable by the blood too. But they don’t stay as long as their high-impact counterparts, and they produce lower levels of energy in the body.

As a rule, if you’re choosing stimulant-based pre-workouts, start with low-impact ingredients and work your way up. Otherwise, you may experience a sudden rush-and-crash if you’re not used to the supplements. 

Muscle-Growth Pre-Workouts

These pre-workouts don’t give you huge bursts of energy, but they help your muscle fibers recuperate and heal after workouts. They are formulated specifically for bodybuilding and are better for muscle strengthening and growth.

There are a variety of muscle-growth pre-workouts available. But the choice depends on what your goal is. For example, you should choose supplements with the following ingredients if your goal is: 

  • Muscle Recovery: Glucosamine, Glutamine, Magnesium or Zinc.
  • Muscle Growth: BCAAs, Leucic Acid, High Glycemic Carbs or Bio-Active Peptides.
  • Muscle Strength: Taurine or Creatine.
  • Endurance: L-Ornithine or Beta-alanine.
  • Pumps: Arginine, Nitratene, Citrulline or Agmatine.

Planning to Stack Your Supplements?

“Stacking” is the process of combining a variety of supplements that support each other in the way they function and provide the user with overall health benefits. When you are on your keto diet, you can stack supplements in order to benefit from both stimulation and muscle growth.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Choose a protein-based supplement for muscle growth and strengthening.
  • Complement this pre-workout with pre-workout/s that contain:
  • Leucine - to stimulate muscle fiber healing.
  • Dextrose – to replenish your glycogen levels.
  • Glutamine - to promote muscle repair (amino-acid-based supplements when stacked are best taken only twice a week)
  • Creatine monohydrate – to boost energy levels.
  • Nitric oxide – to clear blood vessels of toxins and stimulate proper blood flow throughout the body.
  • Select an omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil supplement to treat muscle and joint inflammation.
  • Include multi-vitamins, specifically Vitamins A, C & E to get overall nutrition.

Thankfully, these days, you get pre-workouts that come with all or most of these ingredients, ensuring you don’t need to consume too many capsules every day.

Top Five Best Pre-Workouts for Keto

1. ProSupps Mr. Hyde NitroX Pre-Workout Powder Energy Drink

ProSupps Mr. Hyde NitroX Pre-Workout Powder Energy Drink

The Mr. Hyde Nitrox is a high-intensity pre-workout drink and comes formulated with caffeine, Creatine HCL, TeaCrine, and Nitrosigine. The product is designed to increase muscle power and lift capacity by also enhancing pumps and vascularity.


  • Picamilon-free & Pikatropin-free.
  • GMP certification.
  • Available in 10 unique flavors.
  • Acts in under 30 minutes.


  • Contains artificial sweeteners.
  • Only shipped within the US.

2. Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy

Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy

The Optimum Nutrition pre-workout comes formulated with essential amino acids, caffeine, and electrolytes that are proven to increase energy levels, concentration, and focus. This particular supplement is designed to infuse the body with essential amino acids, which heal broken muscle fibers and stimulate recovery.


  • Zero sugar and only five calories.
  • Multiple flavors available.
  • Suitable for cardio, calisthenics, and other non-weight training workouts.
  • Lab-tested for banned ingredients.


  • Amino acids may cause dental erosion for people with sensitive teeth.
  • Contains soy.

3. BSN Endorush Pre Workout Powder

BSN Endorush Pre Workout Powder

This pre-workout by BNS comes formulated with natural and anhydrous caffeine, Velox and NO3-T, Creatine Monohydrate and Beta-Alanine, which improve concentration, agility, and muscle power. Get in more reps and stay strong all through the workout.


  • Tested in gyms.
  • Safe for men & women.
  • Multiple flavors available.


  • Some ingredients are sourced from outside the USA.
  • Not evaluated by the FDA.

4. Alpha Gx7 Pre Workout Powder

Alpha Gx7 Pre Workout Powder

Formulated to provide a massive burst of energy after consumption, the Alpha Gx7 is perfect to improve concentration, endurance, and drive. The product contains Carynosn, Citrulline Malate, L-Carnitine & Yohimbe HCL, designed to help you lift heavier and workout longer.


  • Manufactured in registered and qualified USA companies.
  • No foam, no residue after mixing.
  • 100% money-back guarantee.


  • The powder is sometimes clumped and hard.
  • Some people experience itching and burning after-use.

5. Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement

Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement

Pulse by Legion Athletics contains tested compounds including L-Citrulline, Anhydrous caffeine, Ornithine, and Beta-Alanine, designed to improve endurance, elevate pumps, and stimulate muscle growth. This energy drink contains 100% natural ingredients that are healthy for the body.


  • No jitters post-consumption.
  • Pre-mixed.
  • Naturally sweetened with zero additives.


  • Not evaluated by the FDA.

The Winner

After a thorough analysis of each of the above five products, the choice boils down to Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy and ProSupps Mr. Hyde NitroX Pre-Workout Powder Energy Drink.

While the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy is ideal for non-weight workouts, the presence of soy makes it inedible for people with soy allergies. Therefore, we can declare that the ProSupps Mr. Hyde NitroX Pre-Workout Powder Energy Drink is the best pre-workout supplement on the list for its GMP-certified manufacturing and quick-acting benefits.

Who Can Consume This Product?

This product can be consumed by anyone above the age of 18, who has not been medically restricted from taking pre-workouts. Pregnant and lactating women are advised not to take these supplements as it may have an adverse impact on the baby.


Pre-workouts are really helpful in sustaining energy without fatiguing. Keep in shape and supplement your keto diet through a pre-workout powered exercise routine. Regular use of pre-workout supplements can help you regain your quality of life in no time.