Best Cheap Pre-Workout for Your Needs

Best Cheap Pre Workout

Pre-workout supplements give you the energy to power through hard workouts even after a long day. And they contain ingredients that help you exercise longer and get a better pump.

Unfortunately, supplement companies charge an arm and a leg for these popular pre-workout powders. And some pre-workouts cost over $60 per tub!

The high cost of pre-workout is a barrier for budget-conscious gym goers. So I will show you the best cheap pre-workout supplements to save you money.

What Is Cheap Pre-Workout?

To define “cheap,” we must compare the average cost for pre-workout supplements. So I compiled price data for 25 of the most popular pre-workouts.

I did my best to compare similar packaging with 20 to 30 servings per container. Then I broke it down into the total cost per tub and the cost per serving or scoop.

Total Cost

On average, pre-workout costs about $39 for a 30-serving container. The high end is $65, and the low end is $14.99 per tub.

But before scrambling for the $15 pre-workout, it’s essential to consider how many servings are in a container to figure out the actual cost!

Cost per Serving

Pre-workout powders range from $0.50 to $2.25 per scoop when adjusted for the number of servings in the container. And the average cost is $1.33 per scoop.

So for a cheap pre-workout, you should spend $1.33 per serving or less. Below is the cost per scoop of 25 popular pre-workout brands.

Best Cheap Pre Workout Cost Per Scoop

What to Look for In Pre-Workout

Before we get to the list of the best cheap pre-workouts, it’s vital to know what to look for on the label. Remember, the lowest cost doesn’t mean much if you don’t get enough of the right ingredients!

For this reason, you should check the supplement facts label when for the amounts of caffeine, beta-alanine, and l-arginine or l-citrulline. Some pre-workouts also contain creatine, but it is not as common.


We all know that caffeine helps you wake up and feel more energized. And pre-workout supplements use this ingredient to give you that boost of energy to hit the gym and work hard.

Expensive pre-workouts have about 260 mg of caffeine, like a big cup of coffee. In contrast, cheap pre-workouts generally have around 175 mg of caffeine, more like a regular cup of coffee.

Coffee vs Pre-Workout: Which Is Better Before Exercise?

Cheap Pre Workout Caffeine


Beta-alanine is an amino acid that delays fatigue by offsetting lactic acid buildup in your muscles. And studies suggest that doses of 2-4 grams are required to elicit this effect1.

On average, higher-priced pre-workouts contain 2.9 grams of beta-alanine, right within the effective dosage for muscle endurance. By comparison, cheap pre-workouts contain only 1.8 grams of beta-alanine on average, which isn’t as effective.

So make sure you check for beta-alanine content on the supplement label.

L-Arginine or L-Citrulline

Another essential ingredient to look for is l-arginine or l-citrulline. These amino acids relax blood vessels allowing more blood to pass through and creating the muscle pump effect.

An effective dose of arginine or citrulline is 5-6 grams. And expensive pre-workouts have an average of 5 grams per scoop.

On the other hand, cheap pre-workouts skimp on this ingredient with just 1.5 grams per serving. So you might not get as good of a pump if you get the budget brand.

10 Ways To Make Your Pump Last Longer

Cheap Pre Workout Pump

7 Best Cheap Pre-Workout Supplements

Next, I’ll show you the best cheap pre-workout supplements. I’ve broken this list into seven categories based on specific benefits. So feel free to skim through to find the one that meets your needs.

7. Best Cheap Pre-Workout for Energy

If you take pre-workout for intense energy and focus, Mr. Hyde from ProSupps is a good cheap pre-workout. At $0.63 per scoop, it’s the second cheapest pre-workout on the list.

With 200mg of caffeine, it has one of the highest stimulant contents among cheap pre-workouts. In addition, it contains 16mg of theacrine, a compound similar to caffeine.

Mr. Hyde has 1.5g of beta-alanine, which is standard for a cheap pre-workout. But unfortunately, it has only 0.5g of arginine and citrulline combined.

Best Cheap Pre Workout Mr Hyde

6. Best Cheap Pre-Workout Stim Free

Dr. Jekyll is another pre-workout from ProSupps, but this one is stimulant-free. It costs more than Mr. Hyde at $0.93 per scoop but is still much cheaper than most pre-workouts.

Other than the lack of caffeine and other stimulants, the formula is pretty much the same as Dr. Hyde. So this might be a good cheap pre-workout if you’re sensitive to stimulants.

Best Cheap Pre Workout Dr Jekyll Stim Free

5. Best Cheap Pre-Workout on a Budget

Six Star Pre-Workout Explosion is the way to go if your goal is to save as much money as possible. It’s by far the cheapest pre-workout, costing as low as $15 per tub or $0.50 per scoop.

Another plus is that you can get this brand at most general stores like Walmart, Target, and Walgreens. Or you can click below to get it from Amazon.

But I must point out that the low cost comes at the expense of adequate doses of most ingredients. To illustrate, you get 1.5g of beta-alanine and 1.6g of l-arginine/citrulline.

In addition, it comes in at the low end with 135mg of caffeine. So you won’t feel as significant an effect as you might with some other brands.

Best Cheap Pre Workout Six Star

Note: The ingredient amounts on the front label of Six Star are for two scoops, but the serving size on the back is one scoop. So it would only be 15 servings if you take two scoops. Beware of misleading marketing!

4. Best Cheap Pre-Workout with Creatine

Creatine is another ingredient in some pre-workout supplements because it’s a critical component of the ATP energy pathway you use during resistance training. About half of all pre-workouts contain creatine.

Most cheap pre-workout supplements have less than 2.5 grams of creatine. However, Gold Standard Pre-Workout by Optimum Nutrition has 3 grams for $1.17 per scoop.

Supplement marketing glorifies the benefits of creatine HCL, a specific variation of creatine. For example, they say that creatine HCL requires less than 1g compared to 5g of monohydrate. But these claims are unsubstantiated.

Creatine HCL vs Monohydrate: The Truth About Which is Better

Best Cheap Pre Workout with Creatine

3. Best Cheap Pre-Workout without Itch

Beta-alanine is the ingredient in pre-workout that makes you itch or tingle. And studies suggest that doses of 1.6 grams or less mitigate this unpleasant side effect.

Steel Supplements Pre has only 1g of beta-alanine, which means it shouldn’t make you itch. However, this comes at the expense of a lower anti-fatigue effect.

How to Stop the Pre-Workout Itch

Best Cheap Pre Workout No Itch
Best Cheap Pre Workout C4

1. Best Cheap Pre-Workout Overall Effectiveness

The absolute best cheap pre-workout you can get is from Nutricost. First, this is one of the cheapest pre-workouts at just $0.83 per serving.

Moreover, you can tell they don’t waste money on flashy labels or frilly marketing. It’s just a bare-bones pre-workout supplement that works.

Best Cheap Pre Workout

Second, only 7 of the 25 pre-workouts I analyzed had adequate amounts of beta-alanine and l-arginine/citrulline. One of these seven brands was Nutricost.

Among pre-workouts with proper amounts of the critical ingredients, the average cost is $1.76 per scoop. Therefore, Nutricost is about half the cost of other effective pre-workouts, making it the best cheap pre-workout on the market!

Pre Workout Key Ingredient Amount By Brand

The brands with a checkmark have effective amounts of beta-alanine and arginine/citrulline. Notice how the worst formulations hide behind a proprietary blend!

Pre Workout Cost Per Effective Dose

Nutricost is the only brand with an effective formula that costs less than $1.33 per scoop, which is the cutoff for cheap pre-workout.

Cheap Pre-Workout FAQ

Now you know about the best cheap pre-workout for your needs and fitness goals. But you might still have questions about what to look for in a cheap pre-workout.

So here are some short answers to the most frequently asked questions about inexpensive pre-workout supplements.

What is a good price to pay for pre-workout?

A reasonable price on pre-workout is less than $40 for a 30-serving tub. But some pre-workout companies put fewer servings in a container so they can charge less!

So it’s better to look at the price per serving. For example, if a 30-serving container of pre-workout costs $40, that’s $1.33 per serving ($40 / 30 servings).

Therefore, you should aim to pay less than $1.33 per scoop of pre-workout.

Is expensive pre-workout better than cheap pre-workout?

You usually get what you pay for when you buy pre-workout. For example, expensive pre-workouts have a higher cost because they contain more of the active ingredients you want in a supplement.

On the other hand, cheap pre-workouts skimp on the ingredients or hide them behind a proprietary blend. So cheaper is not always better when you factor in the cost per effective dose of pre-workout.

Can I make my own cheap pre-workout?

Yes! Making homemade pre-workout is the best way to save money while ensuring you get adequate amounts of the critical ingredients. Of course, it’s a bit more work, but it costs only about $0.60 per serving!

To make a DIY pre-workout, start by buying free-form beta-alanine, l-arginine or l-citrulline, and some caffeine. Then mix the ingredients in your favorite drink.

Cheap DIY Pre-Workout

Making pre-workout in your kitchen might sound too complicated at first. But I’ve been doing it myself for over ten years, and it’s easy!

I put together the ultimate DIY pre-workout guide showing you which ingredients to buy and what doses to use. So click below to get 5 cheap homemade pre-workout recipes.

Cheap Pre Workout Homemade
Make Cheap Pre-Workout

With this information, you’ll spend half as much on pre-workout and get more of the active ingredients that fuel your workouts. If you found this article helpful, check out some of my other great content below!

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