11 Best Pre-Workouts For Focus (2024 Updated) Buyer's Guide 

Supplements Considered 34
Supplements
Considered
Hours of Research 137
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of Research
Reviews Examined 94
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Examined
Experts Interviewed 8
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Interviewed
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 24, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

One of the lesser-known benefits of pre-workout is that it can improve your focus. However, not all of them have the correct dosage or combination for it to affect you.

We've been in the fitness and nutrition industry for almost a decade, and one of the questions we often get is how to choose the best product out of so many options. Together with the team at Total Shape, and several of my clients, I personally tried and tested various pre-workouts for focus. I checked my clients' feedback and spent hours researching ingredients.

So let's dive right in and take a close look at the best pre-workout supplements on the market and see if they can actually improve your focus.

The Best Pre-Workouts For Focus

Editor's Choice
Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout
Gorilla Mode
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Taste
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk Pre-Workout
Transparent Labs
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.9
Taste
4.9
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
4 Gauge
​4 Gauge
Ingredients
4.9
Price
4.9
Taste
4.8
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price

Our Top Pre-Workouts For Focus (February 2024)

1 - Gorilla Mode Pre Workout (Best Overall)

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Taste
Overall Score 5.0
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Modulates pain receptors so you can perform better
  • It helps reduce stress, resulting in improved mood
  • It contains piperine, which enhances absorption
  • The high dose of ingredients makes it a worthwhile health investment

Cons

  • Some customers dislike the taste of certain flavors

While many pre workout supplements boost energy, Gorilla Mode also enhances mental clarity.

Gorilla mode contains sufficient powerful stimulants and high-dosed nootropics to improve energy and overall mood.

Caffeine, L-tyrosine, Kanna, and huperzine A work together to improve cognitive functions, sharpen focus, and elevate mood, making staying focused and avoiding distractions easier.

I take Gorilla Mode every day before my gym workout, and it always gives me an energy boost and increased stamina. Moreover, I enjoyed working out more because of the increased mental concentration from this pre workout.

Get 10% off using coupon code:  TOTALSHAPE

2 - Transparent Labs BULK Pre Workout (Best for Strength)

Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk Pre-Workout
5.0
Ingredients
4.9
Price
4.9
Taste
Overall Score 4.9
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Nothing artificial
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Suitable for mass building

Cons

  • Not a great choice if you aren’t looking to bulk up

​Transparent Labs is a very popular pre workout.

There are no artificial sweeteners, flavors, additives, or dyes. It’s a clean supplement. The brand is also known for other supplements like intra and post workout drinks.

They chose high quality ingredients that not only help with bulking up but also to help with concentrating while working out.

It has several elements that help with focusing, including N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, and Caffeine Anhydrous.

"Great and clean supplementation to my workouts and sport’s training. Focus and intensity realized. Highly recommend!"
- ​Christopher L., Reviewer

At 180mg per serving for caffeine, I think it gave me just the right energy boost. It helped me laser in my focus and work on improving my strength training.

Get 10% off using coupon code:  TOTALSHAPE

3 - ​4 Gauge (Best for Focus)

4 Gauge
4.9
Ingredients
4.9
Price
4.8
Taste
Overall Score 4.9
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • L-theanine and caffeine ingredient combo
  • Good taste
  • No artificial sweeteners

Cons

  • May cause an upset stomach

4 Gauge claims to have 4 benefits; increased strength, sharp focus, great energy boost, and intense pumps. Each workout fueled by 4 Gauge felt like a personal challenge, and the L-theanine and caffeine combo was a game-changer. It wasn’t just about the physical energy, but the mental clarity that turned every session into a masterpiece of its own.

It has the coveted L-theanine and caffeine combo that gives you the best results for focusing. I also like how it had a high caffeine content while providing no artificial sweeteners.

They only had one flavor, Fruit Blast, but now they added two more flavors so the users can't get bored. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between the classic fruit flavor, refreshing Frozen Lemonade, or Pina Colada.

​I liked the overall taste, and it gave me a huge energy boost that lasted for hours. See our full 4 Gauge review.

4 - ​NitroSurge Black Pre Workout (Best Quality Ingredients)

NitroSurge Black Pre Workout
4.9
Ingredients
4.8
Price
4.8
Taste
Overall Score 4.8
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Increased mental focus
  • Transparent label
  • Mixed well

Cons

  • Has artificial flavor
  • Not a fan of the taste

I’ve always been meticulous about the ingredients in my pre-workouts, so when I first laid eyes on NitroSurge Black’s transparent label, it felt like a breath of fresh air. Each ingredient is clearly listed, no secrets.

My first session with NitroSurge wasn’t just another workout; it was a testament to the power of well-dosed, quality ingredients. The only problem I had was that it included an artificial flavor.

I tried the lemon-lime flavor. It mixed well, but I wasn’t a fan of the taste. The only other option was sour gummy, which didn’t sound appealing to me.

The pre workout kicked in anyway, and I felt like I was able to focus on my workout and give my performance some extra boost.

5 - Myth Journey Pre Workout (Best High-Caffeine)

Myth Journey Pre Workout
4.8
Ingredients
4.8
Price
4.8
Taste
Overall Score 4.8
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Contains taurine to prevent caffeine jitters
  • High caffeine content
  • Improved energy

Cons

  • Doesn’t have L-theanine

It contains 200mg of caffeine, which makes it one of the higher options on this list. I was a bit let down that it didn’t include L-theanine. I remember the first time I tried it; the energy hit was hard and fast, but I missed that balanced focus I get when L-theanine is in the mix.

It does have taurine. It could potentially help prevent caffeine jitters, but it’s not a stimulant meant for focus.

When I tried it, I got hit with energy hard and fast. I was able to push myself to put in an extra rep or two.

The taste was a little weak, but at least it’s not terrible.

6 - Cellucor C4 Original (Cheapest Option)

C4 Original by Cellucor
4.8
Ingredients
4.7
Price
4.8
Taste
Overall Score 4.8
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Energizing workout
  • Good amount of caffeine per serving
  • Contains tyrosine

Cons

  • Proprietary blends

It contains artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors. If you are looking for a clean supplement, then this isn’t it.

If those additives don’t bother you, then let’s take a look at how it helps focus. It does have caffeine and tyrosine. It’s in a proprietary blend, though, so I can’t determine if I was getting a good dose.

Regardless, tyrosine is solely for brain function. So I was excited to try it out.

​It gave me energy, focus, and mental clarity that helped me achieve my workout goals. It’s a pre workout best for strength and focusing.

Related Article: ​Cellucor C4 pre-workout review

7 - ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature Series Pre Workout (Best Value)

ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature Series Pre Workout
4.7
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.8
Taste
Overall Score 4.7
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Transparent label
  • Increased energy
  • A lot of functional ingredients for focus

Cons

  • Underdosed
  • Contains a lot of artificial substances

Given the mix of additives in ProSupps Mr. Hyde, I was skeptical at first. But the blend of L-theanine, caffeine, and other focus-enhancing ingredients turned my usual workout routine into a symphony of precision and power. Every lift, every rep was a testament to a focus I hadn’t experienced before.

I like how clear the nutrition label is on their tub. It doesn’t hide any ingredient amounts in a proprietary blend.

However, it’s not a clean supplement as it contains artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors.

I tried it anyway. I felt like it increased my energy but not my focus. It turns out a lot of the focus-inducing ingredients don't come in sufficient amounts.

8 - Vintage Blast Preworkout (Best Creatine-Free)

Old School Vintage Blast Pre-Workout
4.7
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.7
Taste
Overall Score 4.7
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Increased energy and focus
  • No jitters or caffeine crash
  • Contains helpful amino acids

Cons

  • No creatine (Which could be a pro to some people)
  • Underdosed amount of tyrosine

Vintage Blast is packed with amino acids like citrulline malate and beta alanine. I’m usually a fan of creatine for that extra push, but this time, my focus was on mental clarity. So, it being creatine-free wasn’t a deal-breaker. Each sip reminded me that sometimes, it’s all about tuning into the mind-muscle connection​.

It doesn’t contain creatine though. But since I was looking for ingredients to help with focus, it being creatine-free didn’t bother me.

The only ones that I saw that could improve focusing were caffeine and tyrosine. However, the tyrosine was underdosed at 250mg.

​I tried it out anyway. I got a boost of energy with no jitters or caffeine crashes. Tyrosine could have helped with that, but I'm not sure, given it's not the right amount.

9 - Alpha GX7 Preworkout (Best Mood-Enhancing)

Alpha GX7 Preworkout
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.7
Taste
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Correct dosage of focus-related ingredients
  • Tastes great
  • Boosted energy and focus

Cons

  • Contains artificial substances

The ingredients that could help with improving focus are caffeine and L-Carnitine. I’m happy to say that they have the correct dosage for both per serving.

It does have the trifecta of artificial substances; flavor, sweetener, and color. It’s a little disappointing since it has the correct dosage I wanted.

The watermelon flavor tasted great and dissolved well. It got me in the mood to exercise.

​I felt like I was in the zone and was able to complete my workouts with a little extra energy.

10 - Tier 1 Plus Pre workout (Best Endorsed)

Tier 1 Plus Pre workout
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.7
Taste
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Proper dosage
  • No filler ingredients
  • Boosted energy and focus

Cons

  • Not for caffeine-sensitive people

I was curious about Tier 1 Plus, especially hearing about the endorsements from fitness gurus like Alan Aragon and Eric Helms. With 300mg of caffeine and 3g of tyrosine in each serving, every workout felt like a personal best waiting to be broken.

It has 300mg of caffeine and 3g of tyrosine per serving. It has the correct dosage for efficiency, and both are great at improving alertness and boosting mental performance.

There’s no fluff with their ingredient list as the only other ones are creatine and beta alanine.

It gave me an energized workout, and I was able to focus and power through.

11 - Legion Pulse Preworkout

Legion Pulse Pre-Workout
4.6
Ingredients
4.5
Price
4.6
Taste
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Caffeine and L-theanine combo
  • Caffeine-free versions available
  • Improved focus and energy

Cons

  • Bitter taste

​It has the coveted caffeine and L-theanine combination to help improve focus. Each of my workouts was a dance of focus and energy.

At 350mg of caffeine per serving, it can be too much for people who are sensitive to caffeine or don’t have a tolerance.

Legion Pulse does offer caffeine-free versions. However, I’m not sure if you would still get the same focus benefits.

The Legion Pulse pre workout supplement comes in flavors like green apple and blue raspberry. A lot of people didn’t like the taste and thought it was bitter.

I had a good experience. It did what I wanted, which was to improve my energy and focus for an intense workout.

How We Chose the Products

We continuously monitor the market for new products, emerging research, and user feedback to update our list and provide our readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Here’s a breakdown of our selection criteria.

Ingredient Quality and Safety

Our primary focus is on the quality and safety of the ingredients. We meticulously analyze each product’s formulation, giving precedence to supplements that boast of clean, natural, and clinically proven ingredients. Every product on our list meets stringent safety standards and is free from banned or harmful substances.

Effectiveness and Performance

We rely on scientific studies, expert opinions, and user testimonials to assess the efficacy of each product. Only those supplements that have consistently demonstrated positive results make it to our list.

Taste and Mixability

The taste and mixability are integral to the user experience. We have sampled various products and included only those that received positive feedback for their flavor and ease of mixing. A great-tasting, easily mixable product ensures that you look forward to, rather than dread, your pre-workout routine.

Value for Money

We understand the importance of getting value for your money. Each product on our list offers a perfect balance of quality and cost. We have considered the number of servings, the quality of ingredients, and the overall effectiveness to ensure that you are getting the best deal.

Brand Reputation and Transparency

Brand reputation and transparency are crucial. We have chosen products from companies that are transparent about their ingredients, manufacturing processes, and clinical testing. These brands have a track record of integrity and customer satisfaction.

Buyer’s Guide: Key Factors for Choosing a Pre-Workout for Focus

When selecting a pre-workout supplement to enhance focus, consider these four crucial factors:

  • Caffeine and focus ingredients. Evaluate caffeine levels for energy and focus. Look for additional focus-enhancing ingredients like L-theanine or nootropics.
  • Dietary considerations. Choose a supplement that aligns with dietary needs, whether it's vegan, gluten-free, or organic.
  • Cost and value. Balance your budget with the cost per serving. Higher-priced options may offer more premium or effective ingredients.
  • Brand reputation. Opt for reputable brands with positive customer feedback, ensuring product quality and effectiveness. Focusing on these aspects will help you find a pre-workout that not only boosts your focus but also suits your health preferences and budget.

What Ingredients In Pre Workout Help With Focus?

Ingredients in a pre-workout that help with focus include tyrosine, caffeine, L-theanine, and acetyl L-carnitine. Here's the science behind each ingredient and why it's so effective.

Tyrosine

White powder on a spoon

Tyrosine is popular in workout supplements because it may help improve memory and mental alertness [1].

It sets off specific neurotransmitters in your brain that could boost mental performance. No studies suggest that it has physical benefits [2].

The recommended dosage for tyrosine is 500mg. I notice that some pre workout supplements underdose this amino acid, so be aware of how much you are getting in each serving.

Caffeine

Close up shot of coffee beans

Caffeine has numerous benefits related to mental focus, including:

  • ​Improved mood
  • Increased mental function
  • Improved alertness
  • Better short-term recall
  • Quicker reaction time
  • Decrease the likelihood of depression

The recommended daily intake is between 200-400 mg. Anything more than that is considered unsafe by the USDA [3]. It is also one of the main additives for thermogenic pre-workouts and organic pre-workouts.

If you're sensitive to caffeine, you can try stimulant-free supplements instead. This ensures you won't suffer from any side effects, such as jitteriness and sleeplessness at night. Otherwise, you might negate all the positive effects listed above.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine ingredient with a black background

When it comes to focusing, L-Theanine is best friends with caffeine.

One study says that this combination can help people focus better, feel more alert, and less tired [4].

There is no exact recommended dosage since there isn’t much research on it.

However, most studies used doses in the range of 97-400 mg per day.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

There are many forms of L-Carnitine, but the acetyl L-Carnitine version may be best for your brain.

Some early studies have suggested that acetyl L-Carnitine can help improve markers of learning [5].

Overall, it’s a great option to improve brain health.

The recommended dose for acetyl L-Carnitine ranges from 500-2,000mg per day.

How Does Pre Workout Help With Focus?

A pre-workout helps with focus by delivering brain-boosting ingredients such as caffeine, tyrosine, and acetyl L-carnitine.

Pre-workout supplements are usually known for giving you an energy boost and improving your muscle growth.

It can help increase your alertness and make you more focused on your tasks.

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What Are the Benefits Of Pre-workout?

The benefits of pre-workout supplements are:

  • ​Improving exercise performance
  • ​Increasing fat loss
  • Building muscle mass
  • Improving recovery time
  • Producing nitric oxide, which improves blood flow. (A better blood flow means oxygen and other nutrients are carried through the body quicker. L-citrulline malate is the amino acid that causes this reaction.)

People take pre-workouts to help their workout routine. It can improve energy levels, which leads to you meeting your physical goals- regardless if it’s to gain muscles or lose weight.

Does Drinking Coffee Have the Same Benefits?

Drinking coffee doesn't have the same benefits, but it’s quite similar to a pre-workout supplement.

Coffee, with its caffeine, boosts alertness but lacks focus-enhancing ingredients like L-theanine found in pre-workouts. These supplements, often higher in caffeine, can enhance exercise performance, stamina, and energy. They may contain green tea extract for endurance and fat oxidation, and amino acids like L-citrulline malate to improve blood flow and recovery, aiding in muscle building and weight loss goals.

Is Pre-Workout Bad for Your Brain?

No,​ pre-workout isn't bad for your brain but is associated with some side effects.

  • ​Tingling sensation - This is caused by the ingredient beta-alanine. However, this isn’t a real cause for concern as it’s only temporary.
  • Trouble sleeping - If you take a pre-workout with stimulants close to bedtime, you may have difficulty falling asleep at night.
  • High blood pressure, dehydration, and digestive issues - These side effects may be experienced if you don’t follow the recommended dosage or you are sensitive to one of its ingredients.

One way to avoid these side effects is to use natural alternatives to pre-workout supplements. Some examples are beet juice, green tea, and certain fruits. They can boost energy and performance naturally. However, they aren't as effective as quality supplements.

If you opt for the natural route, don't forget the importance of diet and nutrition for enhancing focus during workouts. The synergy between what you consume before hitting the gym and your regular diet can be the game-changer in optimizing cognitive and physical performance.

Caffeine consumption and its effects are individual and are based upon gender, body mass, age, certain medications, and health conditions such as anxiety disorders.

-  ​​Toby Smithson, LDN, CDE

Other Resources You May Like:

FAQs

Does Pre Workout Increase Focus?

Yes, pre workouts can increase energy and focus. It has energy ingredients like caffeine and L-theanine that are scientifically proven to help improve brain function. They also include other benefits that can improve your workouts like potential weight loss, increase workout intensity, and support healthy muscles.

​When Should I Take Pre Workout?

You should take pre workouts about 15-30 minutes before exercising. It allows enough time for your body to digest it and get into your system. It may take some experimenting to determine the best pre workout time for you.

How Long Does Pre Workout Last?

Pre workouts can last 3-6 hours, but on average, it lasts between 1-2 hours. There are a lot of variables that can change this time frame like ingredients, diet, training intensity, and what you did as a workout.

Is Pre Workout Bad For Your Health?

​No. Pre workouts aren’t bad for your health as long as you take the recommended dosage. However, note that taking too much caffeine or other stimulating ingredients can lead to potential adverse effects. I would also recommend taking occasional breaks from pre-workout. Your body can create tolerance, so it’s ideal to have a break so you can still get the same positive benefits.

Does Pre Workout Make You Gain Weight?

Yes, pre-workout can make you gain weight, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. There are usually two culprits to weight gain:

  1. ​Increased water retention. Creatine is a common ingredient in pre workouts, but it also leads to muscles holding onto water. The water retention leads to weight gain.
  2. Increased muscle mass. Some people think the weight gain is from fat, but it’s more likely to be muscle. Pre workout ingredients help produce muscle, which naturally leads to weight gain.

Does Pre Workout Increase Muscle?

Yes, pre workouts can increase muscle. A lot of ingredients like creatine and beta-alanine can give you more strength. Of course, pre-workout alone can’t give you muscles. You also need a proper nutritional diet and an effective fitness routine. It does aid in the process of increasing muscle growth when used correctly.

Is It Okay To Take Pre Workout Every Day?

No. ​It’s not okay to take pre workout every day. If you have a rest day, then you don’t have to take it. Some people suggest that taking pre workout on a rest day can help with the muscle recovery process. I would recommend adequate hydration, sleep, and a proper diet to help with muscle recovery.

Our Verdict on the Best Pre Workout For Focus

After conducting a comparative analysis, our entire team determined that Gorilla Mode was the best pre-workout supplement to improve focus.

Many of the supplements on the list do not have more than two ingredients for enhancing focus and alertness, and some still contain a low dosage.

With Gorilla mode, you get a powerful stimulant complex with high dose Caffeine and N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate, as well as L-Tyrosine, Kanna, and Huperzine A as cognitive enhancing ingredients to improve your concentration, mood, and mindset.

All of the ingredients are also in reasonable proportions.

So, if you want to improve mental concentration to improve your workout, I recommend trying Gorilla Mode.

Our #1 Recommendation

Gorilla Mode Pre Workout (Best Overall)

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Taste
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Pros
  • Modulates pain receptors so you can perform better
  • It helps reduce stress, resulting in improved mood
  • It contains piperine, which enhances absorption
  • The high dose of ingredients makes it a worthwhile health investment
  • Get 10% off using code: TOTALSHAPE
Cons
  • Some customers dislike the taste of certain flavors
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2 thoughts on “The Best Pre-Workout For Focus
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

  1. I hope you’ll have a list of the best pre-workout for strength too, soon!

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