Taking a pre-workout supplement is more – much more – than just wanting to train longer and harder. If you’re into fitness and bodybuilding, you want to experience insane vascularity from these supplements. In other words, increased nitric oxide levels and skin-splitting muscle pumps is an adrenaline rush at the gym you want to experience on a regular basis. The best pre-workout supplements for vascularity should help you do that and more.
Quick List: Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Vascularity
The best pre-workout supplements for vascularity rely on clean and effective ingredients which deliver superior and consistent results. More on these later, but for now here is a quick list of top-rated pre-workout supplements for vascularity:
|#1. Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout – This pre-workout supplement helps intensify training for increased muscle mass and power. Performance Lab website|
|#2. 4 Gauge – The only shotgun-shell-shaped pre-workout on the market which features a smart caffeine formulation. This allows you to work out without the unwanted crash. 4 Gauge website|
|#3. ALTIUS – A pre-workout which provides a clean energy surge and a lazer-sharp focus. Its whopping eight grams of citrulline malate is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. ALTIUS website|
|#4. LEGION PULSE – This clinically-dosed pre-workout formula gives you 24.88 grams of components which should give you the best pumps of your life. LEGION PULSE website|
|#5. Vintage Blast – Meet the so-called “World’s First Two-Stage Pre-Workout” which helps you start and finish your workouts strong. Vintage Blast website|
Or, read on to learn about the muscle pump experience many bodybuilders crave and how certain ingredients can help them achieve this consistently.
Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Vascularity Guide
Before we delve deeper into the best pre-workout supplements for vascularity, we must first understand why increasing nitric oxide levels in the body is key. Nitric oxide (which many bodybuilding enthusiasts refer to as “N.O.”) is a colorless gas and molecule which helps increase vasodilation. More specifically, it acts as a vasodilation signal in the endothelium (the lining of the cells inside the blood vessels).
When one exerts effort on the muscles during exercise shortly after consuming a pre-workout supplement with nitric oxide, the blood flow increases. The endothelial cells then release extra nitric oxide, which, in turn, relaxes the muscles of the vessel walls. At this point, you will feel the exciting sensation known as the “muscle pump.” Long story short, your muscles become engorged with blood and expand. It’s also the “swollen” or “swole” feeling – the surge of blood to the muscles. It’s a fantastic adrenaline rush you should experience at the gym on a regular basis.
6 Benefits of Taking a Pre-Workout Supplement for Vascularity
Increasing muscle pumps courtesy of ramped-up nitric oxide production is just one part of the fitness equation. When you take a pre-workout supplement for vascularity, you also reap other important health benefits:
1.Improves nutrient uptake: When nitric oxide increases blood flow, it also ramps up delivery of oxygen and other vital nutrients (such as amino acids) to the muscles. When this happens, expect increased muscle growth, improved exercise performance, and shorter recovery time. One critical aspect of fitness is feeding your body properly. Pre-workout supplementation for vascularity does just that and more.
2. Boosts cardiovascular function: Supplementing with pre-workouts for vascularity can help boost long-term heart health. Here’s the key: nitric oxide helps relax and dilate the blood vessels for improved blood pressure levels. In fact, “Evidence suggests that N.O. plays a major role in regulating blood pressure and that impaired N.O. bioactivity is an important component of hypertension,” per the Journal of Clinical Hypertension’s December 2006 issue (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).
3. Wards off muscle soreness and shortens recovery time: Sometimes, even the most seasoned bodybuilders struggle because of fatigue. A pre-workout supplement for vascularity (particularly one with key amounts of nitric-oxide-boosting ingredients such as l-citrulline) increases blood flow and therefore boosts oxygen delivery to the muscles. This, in turn, helps speed up the recovery process.
4. Increases exercise performance: As we previously mentioned, increased oxygen levels in the body as a result of nitric oxide intake from pre-workout supplements for vascularity help increase exercise performance. “Nitric oxide (N.O.) is a very important molecule in human physiology. It is involved in the regulation of blood flow, muscle contractility, and mitochondrial respiration. Augmenting N.O. production may enhance exercise performance,” per the Gatorade Sports Science Institute’s official website.
5. Improves male sexual function: Not only is increased vasodilation good for your workouts and cardiovascular health, but it’s also beneficial for sexual function. To substantiate our claim, the August 1, 2015 issue of Future Science OA (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) says, “The role of nitric oxide (N.O.) in erectile physiology is well-documented. N.O. activates relaxation of corporal cavernosal smooth muscle tissue resulting in increased blood flow to the penis resulting in an erection.” Ergo, when you consume a pre-workout supplement for vascularity, you also supercharge your sex life.
6. Enhanced cognitive function: It also turns out taking a pre-workout supplement for vascularity can also enhance cognitive function. Take it from Dr. Frank Faraci, Professor of Internal Medicine-Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. In the November 10, 2006 issue of Circulation Research (via AHAJournals.org), he said, “Nitric oxide (N.O.) plays a major role in both vascular and neural biology in health and disease. This concept is exemplified when one examines the role of N.O. in the brain and the cerebral circulation. N.O. is a potent vasodilator, and blood vessels in the brain are normally exposed to N.O. from two major sources – endothelium and neurons.”
With that, pre-workout supplements which increase vascularity are excellent for your muscles, heart, and brain. What’s not to love here?
To achieve the best results, bodybuilding enthusiasts should look for pre-workout supplements that provide extra support for:
- Nitric oxide (N.O.) enhancement
- Muscle pumps
- Cardiovascular, neurological, and sexual function
- Recovery time
- Energy levels
What Ingredients Should People Look for in a Pre-Workout Supplement for Vascularity?
When you’re looking for a pre-workout supplement for vascularity, it all boils down to its ability to increase nitric oxide production. Once you accomplish this, get ready for insane muscle pumps, shorter recovery time, and better heart health, among other things. Let’s rattle off the key ingredients which help you ramp up nitric oxide levels in the body.
L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid which one can find in watermelon, arugula, beets, onions, garlic, cucumbers, spinach, walnuts, and pomegranates. It also plays a key role in the urea cycle (a process which eliminates excess ammonia from the body) and acts as a precursor to another nitric-oxide-boosting amino acid, l-arginine. L-citrulline helps increase vasodilation, muscle pumps, and blood flow. It also helps improve nutrient uptake and regulate blood pressure levels. If you scour your local bodybuilding supplement store shelves, you’ll see l-citrulline is the primary vasodilator in many pre-workouts.
As hard evidence, the January 2017 issue of Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) says, “The beneficial effects of l-citrulline/watermelon may stem from improvements in the l-arginine/nitric oxide pathway. Reductions in resting blood pressure with l-citrulline/watermelon supplementation may have major implications for individuals with pre-hypertension and hypertension. L-citrulline supplementation, but not acute ingestion, has shown to improve exercise performance in young, healthy adults.”
Citrulline malate is a popular form of l-citrulline among bodybuilders. Simply put, this is a combination of l-citrulline and malic acid. The latter component helps increase endurance, particularly aerobic endurance. When you take citrulline malate, you’ll increase vascularity and work out longer and harder. It doesn’t get any better than that.
L-arginine is an alpha and semi-essential amino acid which plays a key role in the biosynthesis of protein. One can find it in natural sources such as peanuts, almonds, dark chocolate, and raisins. It’s also a precursor to nitric oxide (N.O.), which increases blood flow, vasodilation, and muscle pumps. As a result, expect gains in power and endurance as well as shortened recovery time.
“Studies have suggested that arginine supplementation has the potential effect of increasing endothelium-dependent vasodilation and could improve exercise-induced N.O. production and vasodilation in people with low exercise capacity with various cardiovascular diseases,” per the December 2015 issue of Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness (via ScienceDirect.com). If you’re trying to get back into the swing of things, supplementing with l-arginine should help you stay on track at the gym.
L-arginine also helps ramp up human growth hormone (HGH) levels, ward off free radicals, regulate cholesterol levels, and improve nutrient uptake and male sexual function. Clearly, there’s more to l-arginine than its ability to increase vascularity.
The knock against l-arginine is its poor solubility. Plus, experts argue an individual benefits from roughly 30 percent of the amount of l-arginine he or she is taking at a given time. Say, for example, a male in his 20s consumes six grams of l-arginine prior to training. When that happens, he’s only reaping the benefits of 1.8 grams of l-arginine because it goes through a metabolic pathway which destroys a huge chunk of its content. Because of that, some consumers prefer a hybrid pre-workout supplement for vascularity which includes both l-citrulline and l-arginine.
Agmatine sulfate is a natural metabolite of l-arginine. Because of that, it helps increase nitric oxide (N.O.) production. “Agmatine appears to act directly on endothelial cells to increase the synthesis of nitric oxide, a vasodilatory substance,” per the January 1997 issue of the Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov). Consequently, agmatine sulfate helps ramp up vasodilation and muscle pumps. It also helps keep muscle soreness and inflammation at bay and shortens exercise recovery time.
Agmatine sulfate has a special feature: it helps inhibit the enzyme which limits nitric oxide production. Long story short, it allows you to maintain the amount of nitric oxide you have in your body. Experts believe you’ll get the best return on investment on agmatine sulfate when you take it together with other vascularity-boosting ingredients such as l-arginine and beta-alanine.
If there’s a pre-workout supplement for vascularity which has gained serious traction over the years, it’s Nitrosigine®. This is simply a combination of the nitric-oxide-boosting alpha amino acid l-arginine and silicon (or arginine silicate).
“Nitrosigine® can take your workout to the next level and enhance performance by promoting blood flow and by increasing focus and energy. Nitrosigine® provides strong benefits to help you get the results you want in and out of the weight room. Nitrosigine® benefits you from activity through recovery, so that you achieve your fitness goals. In an in vitro study, Nitrosigine® significantly increased nitric oxide (N.O.) production over each ingredient tested: arginine AKG, agmatine sulfate, citrulline malate, l-arginine, and citrulline,” per the manufacturer’s official website.
The September 21, 2015 issue of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) backs this up. It says, “Both primary and secondary endpoints show that daily doses of ASI (Nitrosigine®) prior to workout significantly increased pre-workout energy levels, increased muscle pump immediately following a workout, and decreased biomarkers of muscle damage immediately after a workout and during recovery. These results demonstrate multiple benefits of ASI as a functional workout ingredient.” Try supplementing with Nitrosogine®, and you’ll not only experience skin-splitting muscle pumps, but better overall workout results.
If you’ve been supplementing with beta-alanine, chances are you’re doing so to help you work out longer and harder. After all, this naturally-occurring beta amino acid helps synthesize muscle carnosine levels (a dipeptide molecule in the muscles which improves physical performance, ward off free radicals, and boosts cardiovascular, neurological, and digestive function). When this happens, you will delay the onset of muscular fatigue and increase work capacity.
It doesn’t stop there. It turns out beta-alanine also helps increase nitric oxide levels because of its ability to synthesize carnosine levels. According to the November 2009 issue of Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov), “Carnosine facilitates N.O. production in endothelial F-2 cells. It is also suggested that eNOS (N.O. synthase) is activated by Ca2+, which might be released from intracellular Ca2+ stores in response to carnosine.”
- CarnoSyn® is the most effective form of beta-alanine on the market today. Many bodybuilding supplement manufacturers include CarnoSyn® in their pre-workout formulations because it works, plain and simple. If you have beta-alanine on your pre-workout radar, make sure it’s CarnoSyn®.
As the name implies, beetroot is a root vegetable manufacturers derive from sugar beets. Beetroots are rich sources of nitrates (polyatomic ions which increase blood flow and oxygen to the heart), which the body converts to nitric oxide. “Dietary nitrate has important vascular effects mediated via the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway,” per the February 5, 2013 issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov). With that in mind, don’t underestimate the inclusion of beetroot in your pre-workout supplement – it has tremendous fitness value.
Let’s rattle off the other key fitness benefits of beetroot supplementation:
- Increased muscle pumps: The nitrates in beetroot help increase blood flow to the muscles while you’re pumping iron.
- Enhanced endurance: Because beetroot consumption increases oxygen production, expect increased endurance – you will work out longer and harder.
- Less fatigue: Increased endurance helps you keep fatigue at bay. Consequently, you will also shorten your recovery time. This bodes well for your future workouts.
If you scan the supplement facts of your pre-workout and spot beetroot, consider it a major bonus. We’re confident it’ll help you increase your vascularity and improve the quality of your workouts from here on out.
What to Avoid in Pre-Workout Supplements for Vascularity
A word of caution: unfortunately, many pre-workout formulations contain fillers which may be detrimental to one’s long-term health. The following pre-workout components raise a red flag. Make sure to steer clear of them:
- Yohimbe: Bodybuilding supplement manufacturers derive this ingredient from a West African tree (Pausinystalia joimbe). Although some scientific studies reveal yohimbe may have vasodilatory and sexual health benefits, it may compromise blood pressure levels as well as cardiovascular and digestive system function.
- Syneprhine: This herbal ingredient hails from the citrus plant. Too much of it may result in dizziness and increased blood pressure levels.
- Excessive caffeine: Caffeine is arguably the world’s most popular stimulant. It also helps boost fat loss, enhance cognitive function, and increase exercise endurance. However, it’s a bona fide double-edged sword: overconsumption may result in a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness. If you’re iffy about a pre-workout supplement with caffeine, consult your doctor first before buying.
- DMAA: Some pre-workouts include DMAA (which comes in the form of methylhexnamine or dimethylamylamine). Kick these to the curb as they may have detrimental effects on blood pressure and heart health.
- Artificial food colorings: The major downside of supplementing with pre-workouts in powder form is the possible inclusion of artificial food colorings such as FD&C Red No. 40 and FD&C Yellow No. 6. These have a plethora of side effects. Go for natural ingredients such as the aforementioned beetroot (which also helps ward off inflammation and regulate blood pressure levels).
- Aspartame: This is an artificial sweetener which may cause memory loss, obesity, and headaches. Try stevia, a natural sweetener which helps promote healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, instead.
How Best 5 Supplements Rates and Ranks the Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Vascularity
For general information on purchasing high-quality supplements, please check out the Best 5 How to Buy a Good Supplement guide. When it came to the best pre-workout supplements for vascularity, we sized them up using the following guidelines:
- Combinations: A pre-workout supplement with a powerful ingredient combination for maximum vascularity gets our attention.
- Healthy: The best pre-workout supplements for vascularity keep their customers’ long-term health in mind.
- Quality: It bears repeating: quality always trumps quantity. Your body deserves nothing but the best.
- Research: We give precedence to supplements with clinical dosages and have the backing of scientific studies.
- Service: The product is just one part of the equation. Excellent customer service (customer service hotlines, return policy, etc.) win customers over in a heartbeat.
- Value: You always – always -want to include supplements which give you a fast return on your hard-earned investment in your shortlist.
- Cleanliness: The cleanest bodybuilding supplements – those without any fillers and dirty ingredients – stand head and shoulders above the competition.
Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Vascularity
#1: Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout
Not only does Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout increase nitric oxide levels and muscle pumps, but it also helps ramp up strength, hydration, and exercise performance. Its clean formulation is sure to give you a fast return on your investment.
Full ingredient list: creatine (as Creapure® pH10) 1000 mg, Cordyceps sinensis as Cordyceps Super™ (50 percent total polysaccharides, 15 percent 1,3-1,6 beta glucan, five percent alpha glucan) 750 mg, l-citrulline 500 mg, l-glutamine (from Ajinomoto®) 250 mg, L-carnosine (N-beta-alanyl-histidine) 300 mg, Himalayan pink salt 350 mg, maritime pine bark extract (95 percent proanthocyanidins) 100 mg
Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout Summary
|Advanced Ingredients: creatine (as Creapure® pH10), Cordyceps sinensis as Cordyceps Super™ (50 percent total polysaccharides, 15 percent 1,3-1,6 beta glucan, five percent alpha glucan), l-glutamine (from Ajinomoto®), maritime pine bark extract (95 percent proanthocyanidins)|
|Clean Label: Yes. Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout wouldn’t have lorder it over other pre-workouts for vascularity had it not been for its clean formulation.|
|Advanced Delivery: Yes. One serving yields four Plantcaps®, vegetarian capsules made from pullulan (a by-product of tapioca) which have top-notch bioavailability.|
|Stimulant-free? Yes. You won’t find any stimulants in Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout. It’s one pre-workout which revs up your engine via non-stimulatory pathways.|
|Price: $45 for one box (12o capsules; 30 servings)|
|Any Deals? Yes. $85.50 for two boxes (five percent savings) and $121.50 for three boxes (10 percent savings)|
|Service: 24/7 customer support (which sends a response within 30 minutes), 30-day money-back guarantee|
|Official Website: https://www.performancelab.com/supplements/pre-workout|
|Read our in-depth Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout review|
#2: 4 Gauge
Meet the only shell-shaped pre-workout supplement which harnesses the powers of six grams of l-citrulline dl malate and 300 milligrams of red beetroot extract per serving for maximum vascularity and insane muscle pumps. To top it all off, 4 Gauge also relies on a smart caffeine formulation combo of caffeine anhydrous and l-theanine so you can work out without the unwanted jitters and crash effect.
Full ingredient list: l-citrulline dl malate 6000 mg, creatine monohydrate 1000 mg, acetyl l-carnitine (as acetyl l-carnitine HCl) 500 mg, red beet (Beta vulgaris) root extract 300 mg, coconut water powder 300 mg, l-theanine 200 mg, caffeine anhydrous 150 mg, Rhodiola rosea (root) powder 100 mg
4 Gauge Summary
|Advanced Ingredients: Monk fruit extract (standardized to mognosideds) and Swerve® (erythritol, oligosaccharides, natural flavors)|
|Clean Label: Yes. 4 Gauge is not only unique, but it’s also a clean pre-workout which should exceed your expectations.|
|Advanced Delivery: No. 4 Gauge utilizes regular pre-workout powder.|
|Stimulant-free? No. This pre-workout has 150 mg of caffeine anhydrous per serving.|
|Price: $45 for one 4 Gauge shell (280 grams; 20 servings)|
|Any Deals? Yes. $90 for two shells (plus free U.K. and U.S. shipping) and $135 for three shells (plus a fourth shell free and free U.K. and U.S. shipping)|
|Service: Online customer service inquiry form and returns|
|Official Website: https://www.4gauge.com/|
|Read our in-depth 4 Gauge review|
ALTIUS is the so-called “Clinically-Dosed Pre-Workout Fuel” whose whopping eight grams of l-citrulline malate and 3.2 grams of beta-alanine per serving should help you experience those skin-splitting muscle pumps you’ve always wanted. Plus, it also helps increase strength, energy, muscle mass, and fat loss when you consume it on a long-term basis. The folks at Jacked Factory sure aren’t kidding. This is one pre-workout supplement which means serious business.
Full ingredient list: Vitamin B12 500 mcg, l-citrulline malate 2:1 8000 mg, beta-alanine 3200 mg, creatine monohydrate 3000 mg, betaine anhydrous 2500 mg, caffeine anhydrous 325 mg, alpha-GPC (alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine) 150 mg, BioPerine 5 mg
|Advanced Ingredients: BioPerine 5 mg|
|Clean Label: Yes. This is one clinically-dosed pre-workout for vascularity which is clean from top to bottom.|
|Advanced Delivery: Yes. The manufacturer includes five milligrams of black pepper fruit extract (BioPerine) per 20.33-gram scoop for improved nutrient absorption.|
|Stimulant-free? No. ALTIUS has 325 mg of caffeine anhydrous per serving.|
|Price: $35.99 for one 406.6-gram container (20 servings)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Subscribing to the manufacturer’s messenger list entitles the customer to a 10 percent discount on his or her order.|
|Service: Online customer service inquiry form|
|Official Website: https://shop.jackedfactory.com/products/altius|
|Read our in-depth ALTIUS review|
#4: LEGION PULSE
LEGION PULSE’s natural formulation helps any bodybuilding enthusiast “increase strength, endurance, focus, and mood,” per the manufacturer’s official website. Its ingredients help you get the most out of your workouts on a consistent basis. Make no mistake about it, LEGION PULSE should help you achieve your fitness goals without any nasty side effects.
Full ingredient list: l-citrulline dl malate 8 g, CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine 4.8 g, betaine anhydrous 2.5 g, l-ornithine HCl 2.2 g, caffeine anhydrous 350 mg, l-theanine 350 mg
LEGION PULSE Summary
|Advanced Ingredients: CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine|
|Clean Label: No. Unfortunately, LEGION PULSE has maltodextrin, a highly-processed polysaccharide which may cause allergies, suppress prebiotic growth, and compromise blood sugar levels.|
|Advanced Delivery: No. The company uses regular pre-workout powder.|
|Stimulant-free? No. 350 mg caffeine anhydrous|
|Price: $40 for one 522.5-gram container (21 servings)|
|Any Deals? No.|
|Service: 100 percent money-back guarantee, free shipping, customer hotline (9am-6pm EST)|
|Official Website: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/pulse|
|Read our in-depth LEGION PULSE review|
#5: Vintage Blast
Old School Labs dubs Vintage Blast “The World’s First Two-Stage Pre-Workout.” This two-stage formula “helps fight dependency and delivers steady energy and hydration during your entire workout,” per the manufacturer’s official website. The company takes pride in its “Golden Era of Bodybuilding” battle cry. We’re talking about clean formulations which help you achieve a Golden Era physique and impeccable long-term health at the same time.
Full ingredient list: Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 250 mg, niacin (as inositol hexanicotinate)(flush-free) 30 mg, vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl) 10 mg, vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) 50 mcg, vitamin B5 (as calcium d-pantothenate) 10 mg, magnesium (as magnesium citrate) 50 mg, sodium (as sodium chloride) 50 mg, potassium (as potassium citrate) 99 mg, l-citrulline malate 5000 mg, beta-alanine 1000 mg, l-arginine AKG 1000 mg, l-carnitine tartrate 250 mg, caffeine anhydrous 150 mg, d-aspartic acid 2000 mg, n-acetyl l-tyrosine 250 mg, micro-encapsulated caffeine 100 mg
Vintage Blast Summary
|Advanced Ingredients: None|
|Clean Label: Yes. Vintage Blast may have a lot of ingredients, but not one of them is dirty. This supplement is in a class of its own.|
|Advanced Delivery: No. Manufacturer uses regular pre-workout powder.|
|Stimulant-free? No. 150 mg caffeine anhydrous and 100 mg micro-encapsulated caffeine|
|Price: $37.99 for one 306-gram container (20 servings)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Extra $3.00 off on first order on Amazon.com. Bundling discounts (using a coupon code upon checkout on Amazon.com): buy any three OSL supplements at a 15 percent discounted rate; buy any five OSL supplements at a 20 percent discounted rate.|
|Service: Online customer service inquiry form, online order tracking, 100 percent money-back guarantee, and hassle-free returns policy|
|Official Website: https://www.oldschoollabs.com/products/vintage-blast|
|Read our in-depth Vintage Blast review|
Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Vascularity Conclusion
If you thought getting that veiny look many bodybuilders have was off-putting, think again: increased vascularity has many benefits. Taking pre-workout supplements which increase vascularity also ramp up nitric oxide levels and muscle pumps. They also boost cardiovascular and neurological function. Plus, they increase exercise performance and shorten recovery time. Long story short, there’s more to these vascularity pre-workouts than meets the eye.
With that in mind, we hope you give any of these pre-workouts a shot. We’re confident these are five of the best pre-workout supplements for vascularity on the market – they’ll help you stay in beast mode at the gym day in and day out.