Keto pre-workout supplements help you train smarter and harder because they are low in carbs and help boost energy levels and stamina. The best supplements pack much-needed nutrients to keep you into ketosis, along with micronutrients that improve energy and accelerate metabolism.
Keto-friendly pre-workouts help you stay fit and burn more fat, while a non-keto-friendly powder can throw you off the track completely.
I’ve had many clients who got terrible results because they chose an inappropriate supplement. I’ll tell you more stories below, but the moral is even great products can prove inadequate for you if you don’t customize your choice.
Check out my five choices below before making your decision. I’ll help you choose according to your purpose and main needs.
But first, let’s start with this question: is pre-workout keto-friendly?
- Perfect Keto Perform – #1 Best Choice in this Category
- Kiss My Keto Pre Workout
- Cellucor C4 Pre Workout Powder
- BPI Sports Keto Pre Workout
- Sheer Strength Keto Pre Workout
5 Keto Pre Workout Supplements for Low Carb & Ketogenic Dieters
Keto pre-workouts are not all created equal. Some are best for bodybuilding and intense training. Some contain more calories than others. Some come with their own added healthy fats. The point is to choose a pre workout that will fit your particular training style and needs. Read on.
1. Perfect Keto Perform – #1 Best Keto-Friendly Pre-Workout
I’m a fan of Perfect Keto because this company invests a lot into research and testing, plus it uses only clean components.
I like this drink because it has no carbs and zero sugar, unlike most pre-workouts.
You will also get 7.7g BHBs for each serving. BHBs, aka beta-hydroxybutyrates, are exogenous ketones that increase your already existing ketone levels. The result is more ketogenic-friendly fuel for your workouts.
Perform also features:
- MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are fatty acids that transform quickly into ketones. MCTs, increase your metabolic rate so you can have more energy and burn more fat according to research.
- BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) help muscles heal faster and grow stronger.
- Creatine gives you more strength and power.
- L-citrulline helps blood circulation.
- Beta-alanine supports your muscles.
- Green tea caffeine increases the fat-burning process and gives you a clean energy boost with no jitters.
This product is my top choice because all its components work together to increase your performance at the gym.
2. Kiss My Keto Pre-Workout Supplement
Kiss My Keto is another great product because it gives you a huge energy boost, with no sugars and no carbs. I usually recommend this to caffeine addicts who are new to keto.
Some of my clients love their coffee, and Kiss My Keto, features a great mixture of 100mg caffeine and electrolytes. While caffeine boosts your energy, the electrolytes keep you hydrated and jitter-free.
Caffeine can quickly deplete calcium in your body, but this supplement packs a lot of calcium, plus other minerals. I’m talking about magnesium for clean energy and mental alertness so you can stay focused during your workouts, plus potassium for heart health.
Kiss My Keto features BHBs that increase your ketone levels. BHBs improve your metabolism, help you burn fat, and reduce brain fog.
3. Cellucor C4
Cellucor C4 Keto Preworkout Drink is a low-carb supplement with great ingredients.
I recommend this product to people who:
- Like caffeine. I read a study on how caffeine actually boosts workout performance.
- Will engage in at least medium-difficulty cardio. This product contains some carbs, so you need to burn them asap.
- Don’t mind the effects of B6. While B6 boosts your heart health, helps your muscles, and decreases anxiety, it can also cause a tickling or prickling sensation in your extremities.
I like Cellucor C4 because it packs a lot of vitamins from the B complex that assists brain health, and help you focus on your workouts. Cellucor C4 also contains a lot of vitamin C for your heart health, immune system, and bone health.
On the downside, I don’t like the red dye that’s potentially dangerous, and neither the fact that there are no studies to prove that alpha-ketoglutarate increases your strength.
Pro tip: If you don’t mind the tingling sensation and want a pre-workout with more clinical-grade ingredients, try Beyond Raw Lit pre-workout.
4. BPI Sports
I recommend BPI Sports Keto Pre-workout to people who:
- Need a huge energy boost
- Get bored quickly and lose focus during workouts
- Want to lose weight
I’ve had a client who wanted to get into bodybuilding and lose weight but hated doing the sets and reps I recommended.
After a few rounds of BPI Sports, he started mastering his game. The reason? A great mix of MCT and 7g BHB salts that convert quickly into ketones to raise your energy levels and increase your metabolic rate.
The CDP-choline added to the powder makes you more alert and focused, caffeine gives you more energy, and the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine improved your mood.
The downside is that BPI Sports contains FD&C No. 40 red dye, manufactured from petroleum distillates, which may be toxic.
5. Sheer Strength Pre Workout Supplement
This Pre-workout from Sheer Strength is another great choice for people who want to boost their electrolyte levels and burn more fat with their workouts.
This supplement contains a great mix of calcium, magnesium, and sodium, which will in this order:
- Make your bones stronger
- Give you mental clarity and reduce muscle cramps
- Hydrate you
I also like the inclusion of beta-alanine in its ingredients because it increases your muscle endurance and decreases muscle fatigue, with no jitters.
Can I Have Pre-Workout on Keto?
I’ve had a client who had a hectic life and no energy for his workouts, although he was on keto. He bought a pre workout from his local drugstore without any research.
A few sessions in, and he was complaining about fatigue, cramps, and headaches. I asked him about it, and he showed me his pre-workout powder. Guess what? It was packed with sugar!
The sugar inside messed with his keto diet and threw him off of ketosis. Luckily, we remedied that problem with a pre-workout keto friendly supplement that had the right amount of nutrients.
So the answer is yes, you can have pre-workout supplements on keto IF they have the right ingredients. But more on that below. First, I’m going to tell you which products I recommend to my clients depending on their goals.
How Does It Taste Like? What Flavors of These 5 Keto Pre-Workouts
Let’s dive in without any further ado because you already know the purpose for each of the products above. But can you stomach them?
Perfect Keto Perform is the one I like best because it doesn’t have an intense flavor. The downside is you can only get it in Lemon.
Kiss My Keto has two flavors: lemon-lime and mixed berry. Mixed berry is the best because it tastes like the actual thing, but the lemon flavor tastes more like medicine.
BPI Sports Preworkout tastes good and comes in four flavors: Apple Pear, Blue Lemon Ice, Tropical Freeze, and Watermelon Ice. I like the Tropical Freeze flavor the best. Apple Pear and Watermelon taste too sweet for me.
Cellucor C4 Pre-workout is also ok. I prefer the Wild Fruit Blast, but you can also try Cherry Limeade, Frozen Bombsicle, Fruit Punch, Green Apple, Icy Blue Razz, Juicy Candy, Orange Burst, Pink Lemonade, Strawberry Margarita, Tart Candy, and Watermelon.
Sheer Strength comes in Watermelon flavor. Some people think it’s delicious, while others, like me, find it too sweet.
Each product has different ingredients. The key is to get a supplement that fits your specific needs.
Here’s what I teach my clients to do.
Read the nutritional info first. You need:
- Low carbs
- Low calories
- Some optional healthy fats for increased energy
- Vitamins and minerals for your main needs: vitamin C for iron absorption, vitamin B, and Magnesium for clean mental energy and focus, Calcium for stronger bones, Sodium for increased hydration.
Read the list of ingredients now. You (may) need:
- Limited artificial ingredients. I prefer Perfect Keto Perform because it’s the cleanest from the bunch
- Caffeine for big energy boosts and improved workout performance or a caffeine-free replacement for clean energy
- MCTs to keep you full and increase your metabolism
- BHBs to increase your ketone levels for energy
- BCAA to increase your muscle mass (good for bodybuilding).
- Beta-alanine and/or L-citrulline to decrease muscle fatigue and improve muscle endurance.
- CDP-choline for increased focus and alertness
Any Possible Side Effects
They aren’t dangerous, but from my experience, you can go through these side-effects:
- Keto flu-like symptoms if you’re new to keto and your powder packs a lot of MCTs and BHBs
- Digestive issues like cramping and bloating caused by a lot of vitamin C or too much protein
- Tingling in your extremities caused by vitamin B6
- Nervousness and agitation caused by caffeine (if you can’t drink it) or vitamins from the B-complex
If you read the descriptions above, you can see that I outline these side-effects and that I recommend different products to different people.
How To Make Homemade Keto Pre-Workout Drinks?
There are plenty of drink recipes online. These homemade shakes and smoothies have an important advantage: you know all the components!
Here’s my recipe for a preworkout smoothie:
- I brew a cup of black, strong coffee.
- I add a serving of MCT Oil from Perfect Keto.
- I add a serving of Perfect Keto Protein Powder.
- I add some creatine and a pinch of Himalayan salt.
- I blend them into a mixer, and the smoothie is done.
If you want a completely homemade preworkout shake with no pre-bought supplements, it’s more difficult. You still need some keto friendly protein powder for the job, but you can replace the MCT oil with coconut oil or keto-friendly whipped cream and the black coffee with some green tea.
You can also add some keto-approved components to sweeten your drink, such as Stevia or Monk fruit.
Is it Better to Eat Before or After a Workout on Keto?
Is it better to eat before or after a workout on keto? In the past, there wasn’t a good answer. But now that there are more options and benefits, the consensus is that it’s best to eat before your workout.
The keto diet works by forcing the body to burn fat, but it can’t operate at its peak efficiency if it isn’t fueled. It requires carbohydrates, which can be the cause of muscle cramps, particularly in a sluggish morning like this one. It is best to eat a meal or a snack that gives the body just enough carbohydrates to fuel ketones before your workout.
It’s best to eat a meal or a snack that gives the body just enough carbohydrates to fuel ketones before your workout. source Marjan Apostolovic/Getty Go low on carbohydrates before your workout and increase them right before you exercise. Any food with low or no carbs before your workout should give you fuel for your exercise. However, avoid foods high in protein or fiber as those will cause problems. “This combination can cause your body to break down muscle, especially if you’re in a high-rep or high-intensity workout,” Malchow said.
Don’t eat carbs after your workout either. It’s not safe to have a large meal that feeds the muscles you just worked out. Not only will you start to deplete glycogen stores in your body, but you’ll also burn fat at a much slower rate.
The carbohydrate-to-fat ratio will be off-kilter, and you may not be able to sustain your fasted state as well as if you just ate a meal before you exercised. “My clients are so excited to come to me because now they get to fuel their workouts in a ketogenic manner,” says Malchow. “They love feeling the energy they get from all of the right nutrients.”
Customer Reviews & Results
Now let me tell you about the results I’ve had with my clients.
Jim. Jim is your regular keto diet follower. He likes to work out in the mornings, but he has little time for breakfast. I recommended Perfect Keto Perform, and he saw a significant energy boost from the start. He uses Perform as a breakfast replacement, and he likes his post-workout pump. Jim is now fitter, and he even gave up his second cup of Joe.
Amelia. She’s new to working out, and she can’t do too much cardio because of bad knees, so we’re focusing on strength training for now. Amelia wanted to lose weight to reduce the pressure on her joints, but she wasn’t losing fast enough. She lost a few pounds after our first sessions, but she wasn’t pushing hard enough because she found strength training boring.
I started her on BPI Preworkout, and she immediately became more focused and pushed herself even more. As such, Amelia lost 15 pounds in her first month,
Chris. Chris has started his day with a morning jog since he was in high school. Now, after the birth of his second son and a more pressing job, he has less energy to go for a run at 6 am. I recommended Cellucor C4, and he immediately got back on track. He has more energy for the whole day, and we work out together two to three times per week.
Where To Buy Low-Carb Pre-Workout Supplements
Make sure you choose a clean product, though.
I prefer Perfect Keto because it has all the components I need for muscle mass and energy, with zero carbs. You can get this supplement from Amazon, but I have an exclusive 15% discount if you get this product from the manufacturer’s website.
Perfect Keto offers occasional discounts and coupons too, plus you can bet they’ll ship you a clean, undamaged product quickly. Bonus: they have stellar customer service if you have extra questions.
Does Exercise Speed Up Weight Loss in Ketosis?
Exercise keeps you feeling energetic. You’ll be more motivated to work out, even when you’re full of ketones. But does exercise speed up weight loss when you’re in a state of ketosis? In short: yes, but it depends on how much you’re exercising. Here’s a hypothetical example: You’re in a ketosis state because you’re consistently eating lots of fat. A standard ketosis routine would look like this: Exercise: 30-60 minutes, 5 times a week.
Snacks: 1-3 portions of avocado. If you eat lots of fat during the day, you’ll burn through a lot of calories before you can get to the 30-60 minutes of exercise. If you’re exercising right away after eating, you can get a “prime mover” effect. However, if you’re exercising slowly, it’ll take you a few hours to burn through a big meal, and the extra time is not worth it. This example assumes that you can eat as much as you want, whenever you want, so you have a huge food budget and will never get hungry. The Exercise Equation It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. You have to exercise in a way that burns the fat off.
Is Keto Bad for Muscle Growth?
As you can see from the Keto diet plan on the image above, they suggest fat loss (loss of fat and weight), increased lean body mass, and calorie restriction. No-carb (Keto Inverse) diets on the other hand work the same way as the standard “ketogenic” diet, but their body composition is more tailored towards muscle growth. What are the benefits of Keto Inverse diets? Since the typical “ketogenic” and “inverse” diets have different requirements for protein and fat, the two eating patterns will not produce the same results in the weight loss category. The ratio of fat to protein should not be as high as 80/20 to prevent nutrient deficiencies. In addition, the other macronutrients should be distributed more evenly between carbs and protein.
So, just like the standard “ketogenic” diet, the high-fat diet increases protein intake and decreases fat. The opposite also applies to Keto Inverse, however, it only has one rule – carbohydrate intake must be limited to 40 g per day. The Benefits of Keto Inverse. The benefits of the Keto Inverse diet are mainly that it allows you to eat “cleaner” and you avoid the worst sources of carbohydrates and carbs. Even though carbohydrates are removed from the diet, Keto Inverse still requires a certain amount of carbs to maintain muscle growth.
Can I Eat Carbs Before Workout on Keto?
That depends, and here’s the thing: Sticking to this daily habit does not come without a cost. “Your body isn’t going to know how to process those [carb] calories if you’re not processing them [for] the proper calories,” explains celebrity nutritionist Erika Ettin, founder of New York-based The Clean Life. In short: “It’s a tough balance for sure, especially for those keto dieters who feel a bit deprived.”
But, she adds, “it’s always good to consult with a medical professional before going on a new diet, especially if you’re having any signs of metabolic syndrome, an illness that can damage organs, blood vessels, and the heart.” That said, the range of possibilities when it comes to carb intake on the keto diet is wide and varies from person to person. Some folks take a fairly narrow view of it. Others are going all in and eschewing all of the carbohydrates they’re not taking in.
Conclusion. Which Keto Pre Workout is the Best?
All the products I told you about before are good for different purposes.
- Kiss My Keto will kickstart ketosis immediately and give you a morning energy boost.
- Cellucor C4 Preworkout is great for people who are into cardio.
- BPI Sports works for people who lose focus quickly and want to lose weight.
- Sheer Strength Preworkout is best for people who want to gain muscle mass.
But Perfect Keto Perform is the best because you can use it for everything. Its components work together to support the purpose of this drink: to increase your workout endurance.
Perform uses clean ingredients; it’s tasty and easy to mix. This supplement will increase your endurance and mental alertness; it will help you with fat burning and build stronger muscles.
Most of my clients tried it, and they’re now fitter and healthier.
What are you waiting for? I have a 15% exclusive discount if you click below!