5 Best Nootropic Pre-Workout Supplements 2022

Kate Barrington

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

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Jacked Factory Cognisurge Energizing Nootropic Powder

Jacked Factory Cognisurge Energizing Nootropic Powder

  • Contains four clinically-tested active ingredients
  • Balanced with L-tyrosine to reduce jitters
  • Tasty fruit punch flavor

Elm & Rye Nootropics

Elm & Rye Nootropics

  • Improves energy, focus, and attention span
  • Convenient, easy-to-administer capsules
  • Sustainably sourced ingredients

Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder

Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder

  • Available in five different flavors
  • Save 30% your first order
  • 150 mg of energy-boosting caffeine

There’s a supplement for everything, but some of the most popular are workout supplements. Giving your body the proper nutrition before and after a workout is the key to optimizing your performance, maximizing gains, and speeding recovery. 

A pre-workout supplement is taken before the workout. They’re designed to provide energy to fuel your workout and help you increase performance. Some pre-workout supplements provide additional benefits like burning fat – these are thermogenic supplements that accelerate the body’s metabolic function[1] to increase calorie burn. 

Another type of pre-workout supplement you might consider is a nootropic supplement. A nootropic pre-workout supplement can help boost cognitive function to increase energy levels and motivation.

Best Nootropic Pre-Workout Supplements on the market in (December. 2022)

What Is a Nootropic Pre-Workout?

Also known as “smart drugs,” nootropics are substances that have the potential to boost brain performance. Natural and synthetic supplements are available, and nootropic ingredients can be added to other supplements like pre-workout supplements. 

Nootropic supplements can help improve mental performance in areas such as memory, focus, and concentration. They can be particularly beneficial when taken before a workout. With improved mental clarity, you may be able to concentrate on your workout more intensely to maximize your performance and enhance your results. 

Many pre-workouts made with nootropics contain stimulants like caffeine to provide the added benefit of increased energy.

The Line Up At A Glance

Jacked Factory Cognisurge Energizing Nootropic Powder

Editor’s Choice

Jacked Factory Cognisurge Energizing Nootropic Powder

  • Contains four clinically-tested active ingredients
  • Balanced with L-tyrosine to reduce jitters
  • Tasty fruit punch flavor

Elm & Rye Nootropics

Best Capsule

Elm & Rye Nootropics

  • Improves energy, focus, and attention span
  • Convenient, easy-to-administer capsules
  • Sustainably sourced ingredients

Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder

Best Flavor

Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder

  • Available in five different flavors
  • Save 30% your first order
  • 150 mg of energy-boosting caffeine

Apollon Nutrition Overtime Nootropic

Best Energy Booster

Apollon Nutrition Overtime Nootropic

  • Provides long-lasting energy
  • Improves focus and staves off fatigue
  • May help increase fat burn

Black Magic Brain Waves Supreme Focus Nootropic

Best for Focus

Black Magic Brain Waves Supreme Focus Nootropic

  • Patented ingredients to improve focus
  • Easy to administer capsules 
  • May improve mental clarity and reduce fatigue

5 Best Nootropic Pre-Workouts for Focus in 2022

Jacked Factory Cognisurge Energizing Nootropic Powder

When shopping for the best nootropics, you need a product that is affordably priced, and that actually follows through on its promises. Jacked Factory Cognisurge is our top pick.

  • Contains four clinically-tested active ingredients
  • Balanced with L-tyrosine to reduce jitters
  • Tasty fruit punch flavor
  • Contains artificial flavor and sweetener

Carefully formulated with “smart drugs” like Dynamine and NeuroFactor, Cognisurge from Jacked Factory can help you achieve peak mental performance. Four patented ingredients work together to boost energy and increase focus while improving mood and stress. 

Cognizin contains choline, an essential B vitamin that improves acetylcholine synthesis[2], helping drive metal performance and concentration. NeuroFactor is a high-potency extract of green coffee beans that helps increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels (BDNF). KSM-66 is an organic ashwagandha root extract that provides mood-stabilizing benefits. Dynamine contains a mix of green tea and grape seed extract to boost energy and increase focus.

Cognisurge is affordably priced, but you can save as much as 25% off your first order with Subscribe & Save. You’ll also receive 15% off every recurring order after that. Plus, you have the assurance of a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Elm & Rye Nootropics

If you’re not a fan of pre-workout powder, these nootropic capsules might be more appealing. Elm & Rye Nootropics come in a container of 30 capsules.

  • Improves energy, focus, and attention span
  • Convenient, easy-to-administer capsules
  • Sustainably sourced ingredients
  • Fairly expensive

The best nootropic is one you’re happy to take because it works. Elm & Rye nootropics come in a convenient capsule formula developed by a world-class research team. These capsules are designed to improve memory and focus, increase attention span, and increase productivity. When you’re focused on your workout, you can push yourself to really achieve your goals.

Elm & Rye nootropics contain a proprietary blend of nootropic ingredients. Caffeine boosts energy and focuses while alpha-GPC boosts blood flow to the brain to optimize mental function. This supplement contains L-theanine, which helps balance the jittery effects of caffeine as well as gamma-aminobutyric acid[3] (GABA), which supports protein synthesis and growth hormone serum levels to optimize athletic performance. 

This supplement is a little pricey, but you can save 20% off with a subscription every 30 days. Shipping is free, and there’s a 30-day guarantee.

Cellucor C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder

A pre-workout doesn’t do you any good if you don’t take it. With five tasty flavors to choose from, you’ll enjoy taking Cellucor C4 before every workout.

  • Available in five different flavors
  • Save 30% on your first order
  • 150mg of energy-boosting caffeine
  • Contains artificial color and flavor

Specifically designed as a pre-workout; this powder nootropic contains an energy-boosting dose of 150 mg caffeine. It’s designed to boost energy for optimal performance without the crash you get from some pre-workouts. It comes in five flavors, such as Ice Blue Razz and Cherry Limeade, in a powder you can easily mix with water.

Cellucor C4 contains several essential vitamins like Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and niacin, as well as creatine. In a pre-workout, creatine helps improve the body’s energy stores. Beta-alanine supports muscular endurance[4] and helps reduce muscular fatigue. All you need is one scoop mixed with six fluid ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before training.

Apollon Nutrition Overtime Nootropic

To power through a tough workout, you need endless energy, and that’s exactly what this Apollon Nutrition Overtime Nootropic provides.

  • Provides long-lasting energy
  • Improves focus and staves off fatigue
  • May help increase fat burn
  • Large serving size of 8 capsules
  • Fairly expensive

Apollon Nutrition Overtime Nootropic is one of the best nootropics for energy – both mental and physical. It contains 300 mg caffeine anhydrous and 600 mg alpha-GPC, an ingredient that helps boost blood flow to the brain. CoffeeBerry, an extract of Coffea arabica fruit, helps stave off drowsiness and fatigue. 

An ingredient that makes this nootropic unique from others is that it also contains L-tyrosine. In addition to supporting memory and focus, L-tyrosine also supports the fat-burning process[5] in combination with caffeine. This may help you achieve stronger weight-loss benefits from your workout. 

Each bottle contains 160 capsules, but the serving size is eight capsules (4 capsules for a half serving) which makes it fairly pricey overall. You can, however, save 20% on your first order and 10% on recurring orders after that.

Black Magic Brain Waves Supreme Focus Nootropic

An intense workout is just as mental as it is physical. With Black Magic Brain Waves, you’ll have the focus and concentration you need to maximize your performance.

  • Patented ingredients to improve focus
  • Easy to administer capsules 
  • May improve mental clarity and reduce fatigue
  • Fairly expensive

Black Magic Brain Waves is on our list of the best nootropic for focus. When you’re putting your energy into a tough workout, you want to be able to concentrate on form and intensity. With this nootropic, you’ll experience an energy boost and improved concentration. 

Brain Waves contains KSM-66, a patented form of ashwagandha root that helps decrease cortisol levels to improve the brain’s ability to fight stress. AlphaSize is a branded form of alpha-GPC which helps boost acetylcholine levels to enhance cognition. Lion’s Mane mushroom is packed with antioxidants to help fight oxidative stress and stimulate the growth of new brain cells. 

Each bottle comes with 30 capsules, and you can receive free shipping on orders over $59. Overall, it’s a little pricey, given that the suggested serving is four capsules.

How to Choose The Best Nootropic Pre-Workout

Pre-workout supplements can benefit both men and women who want to maximize performance during a workout and speed recovery afterward. 

While most pre-workouts are designed to work on the body, nootropics work on the brain. While these supplements won’t help reduce fatigue or improve muscle gains, the best nootropics can enhance your workout in other ways. A nootropics pre-workout can boost concentration and deliver energy to the brain so you can get the most out of exercise. 

Every formula is different, but if you’re looking for an effective pre-workout nootropic supplement, there are three things to look for. 

Safety 

Whether it’s a pre-workout or any other supplement, it’s imperative that you make sure a product is safe before putting it in your body. Look for nootropic pre-workout supplements that are made in the United States in an FDA-registered facility. The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements to the same degree as prescription drugs, but some rules are still in place. 

It’s wise to choose a supplement that has been tested by a third party instead of just taking the brand’s word for it. Make sure the website and the product label list all of the ingredients and their dosages. If the product contains a proprietary ingredient, be aware that it may contain other ingredients than the active ingredients listed.

Ingredients 

The efficacy of a pre-workout comes down to the ingredients and their quantities. If you’re concerned about synthetic ingredients, look for an all-natural nootropic supplement. When evaluating the list of ingredients, be sure to check the inactive ingredients as well as the active ones. Here you might find things like added sugar or artificial sweeteners. It’s also wise to avoid products made with too many artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Customer Reviews

Before buying pre-workout supplements, it’s wise to find out what customers think about them. You can only glean so much information from the product label or the brand’s website. Once you’ve discerned the safety of a product and its formulation, take a look at customer reviews (ideally from third-party websites) to see whether it delivers the benefits it says it does.

Important Nootropic Pre-Workout Ingredients

Pre-workouts are a dime a dozen, but if you want to see results, it’s essential to find a formula that contains all the right ingredients. Here’s what you need to know about the top seven nootropic ingredients to look for.

Alpha-GPC

A natural chemical produced in the body, alpha-GPC can also be made synthetically. While it is used as a prescription medication for conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia throughout Europe, it’s more commonly used as a supplement in the United States. 

Alpha-GPC helps increase the production of acetylcholine in the brain – a chemical that plays an essential role in memory and learning. In addition to improving blood flow to the brain, some evidence suggests alpha-GPC may positively impact certain aspects of athletic performance. Some research[6] shows that it may increase vertical jump power and peak bench press performance. 

Lion’s Mane

Also known as yamabushitake or hou tou gu, Lion’s Mane is a type of mushroom. Limited research supports Lion’s Mane’s potential benefits in reducing anxiety and depression, but its primary benefit is enhancing brain power. Scientific support for this is somewhat lacking, but Buddhist monks have been using Lion’s Mane tea for thousands of years to heighten their ability to focus. 

Some studies[7] suggest that Lion’s Mane may increase nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis in the nerve cells. NGF plays an important role in the maintenance and regeneration of neurons. This may be how Lion’s Mane provides its anxiolytic benefits. It has been called the “smart mushroom” for its potential to improve memory and overall cognitive function.

Caffeine

Many pre-workouts serve primarily to increase energy levels. Higher energy levels mean you can work harder and longer during a workout, thus improving your results. Caffeine is a stimulant[8] that can improve both energy and focus. This ingredient may also help delay fatigue, so you can concentrate on your workout longer. 

L-theanine

While caffeine can certainly boost energy and focus, too much caffeine can make you jittery. L-Theanine is an amino acid that has mild sedative effects – it can help take the edge off the effects of caffeine in pre-workouts. It’s important to find the right ratio, however. Research[9] suggests a 1:2 ratio of caffeine to L-theanine is best. 

In natural nootropics, you can usually find it in the form of green tea or black tea. In addition to mitigating the negative effects of caffeine, L-theanine may also help support mental recovery following an intense workout. This supplement has been shown[10] to improve sleep duration and sleep efficiency, which can help with both mental and physical recovery. 

L-tyrosine

Taking high doses of caffeine and other stimulants can have a negative effect on your mood. L-tyrosine, another amino acid, can help even out your mood. L-tyrosine aids in the production of dopamine and noradrenaline, which can become reduced[11] in stressful situations. In this way, L-tyrosine may act as a cognitive booster in pre-workouts.

Rhodiola Rosea

An herb commonly found in natural nootropics, Rhodiola rosea has been used as a folk remedy for poor memory and concentration. There has been a significant degree of research[12] conducted on its benefits for treating fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Like L-theanine, Rhodiola rosea improves the brain’s response to stress which can help keep you calm during an intense workout – especially if you’re also using stimulants.

Creatine

Improved focus is important for a workout, but so is logical reasoning[13]. In addition to improving short-term memory and reasoning skills as a nootropic, creatine helps boost energy production as a pre-workout. Creatine helps boost your body’s stores of energy which then improves the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the energy your muscles need to keep moving. 

Final Thought

Pre-workouts are great if you want to maximize performance during a workout, but it’s important to consider both the physical and mental aspects of exercise. Pre-workout nutrition makes a difference when it comes to maximizing performance and improving gains, but you won’t get those benefits unless your brain is up to the task. 

The best pre-workout is one that supports you in all aspects of your fitness journey. With nootropic supplements, you can be your best self in the gym to realize your goals and make your health and wellness goals a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take nootropics before workout?

Yes. Not only can you take nootropic supplements before a workout, but you can find products specifically designed for this purpose.

Do nootropics help working out?

Possibly. While nootropics typically won’t affect your athletic performance, they can help with certain aspects of cognitive performance. Nootropics may help improve focus and energy to help you maximize the intensity and duration of your workout.

What is the most stimulating nootropic?

Nootropics often contain caffeine which is a strong stimulant. Because it can negatively affect mood at high doses, it’s wise to choose a nootropic containing calming ingredients like L-theanine.

Can you take caffeine with nootropic?

Caffeine is a nootropics stimulant to boost energy and focus. If you’re already taking caffeine, however, it’s unwise to take a nootropic pre-workout that also contains caffeine.


+ 13 sources

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  4. Hobson, R.M., Harris, R.C., Martin, D., Smith, P., Macklin, B., Gualano, B. and Sale, C. (2013). Effect of Beta-Alanine With and Without Sodium Bicarbonate on 2,000-m Rowing Performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, [online] 23(5), pp.480–487. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.23.5.480.
  5. Belza, A., Frandsen, E. and Kondrup, J. (2006). Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. International Journal of Obesity, [online] 31(1), pp.121–130. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803351.
  6. Marcus, L., Soileau, J., Judge, L.W. and Bellar, D. (2017). Evaluation of the effects of two doses of alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine on physical and psychomotor performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 14(1). doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0196-5.
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Kate Barrington

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

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