It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, young or old, there’s no denying the pleasure and satisfaction that accompanies a massive muscle pump during training. But, getting the pump going is the difficult part. Once you’ve got a pump, it’s easy to keep it rolling all workout long, but catching it to begin with isn’t so easy.
There’s various tips and tricks people have given over the years including carb loading pre workout, increasing sodium and water intake, high rep sets, short rest periods, etc. Try as you might, you just can’t seem to catch a pump like you’ve been led to believe, no matter how many of these tricks you try.
Fortunately, sports science has discovered the saving grace for you missing pumps in the pump pre workout. The pre training supplements deliver everything you need to get the almighty muscle pump and keep it all day long.
If you’re not familiar with pump pre workouts, then stick around as we’ve got a full guide to what pump pre workouts are, their benefits, and the best ingredients you want in your pump pre workout.
What are Pump Pre Workouts?
A pump pre workout is a special subclass of pre workout supplements that are formulated specifically to help you achieve a raging muscle pump during training. They can include stimulants or be stimulant-free, as very often too many stimulants can lead to vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels) which reduces blood flow and severely hinders your ability to achieve a muscle pump.
Pump pre workouts operate under a few different mechanisms, but generally involve maximizing nitric oxide production and cellular hydration, which lead to bigger, badder, nastier pumps. On top of that, many pump pre workouts include several pump-enhancing ingredients (the best ones we’ll discuss later), to address every aspect of muscle pumpification. By taking this multi-pronged approach to pumps, you’re guaranteed to have stupid pumps like never before.
Benefits of Pump Pre Workouts
Massive Muscle Pumps (duh…)
Increased nitric oxide production
Greater endurance and stamina
Enhanced nutrient delivery
Increased blood flow
Quicker recovery between sets
Better energy production
Improve glucose utilization
With all this talk about pumps and pump pre workouts, you’re probably wondering what ingredients you should be looking for in your pump pre workout in order to get your very own sick muscle pump.
We’ve got you covered there, too.
The 5 Best Pump Pre Workout Ingredients
Leading off this list of best pump pre workout ingredients is none other than the king of nitric oxide boosters -- L-Citrulline. Naturally abundant in watermelon, L-Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid that significantly enhances nitric oxide production by increasing plasma levels of L-Arginine, the amino acid that fuels nitric oxide production.
If L-Arginine is the fuel for nitric oxide, you might wonder why it isn’t leading the list of best pump pre workout ingredients. That’s a perfectly valid question, and one many individuals new to pump pre workouts ask.
The reason you don’t want to supplement with L-Arginine is that it has terrible bioavailability in the body (around 20%). Essentially, when you consume L-Arginine, an enzyme called arginase gobbles it up before it has a chance to actually synthesize nitric oxide.
L-Citrulline on the other hand bypasses arginase and actually reduces its activity. Your body then converts Citrulline into Arginine, and with arginase inhibited, you’re guaranteed maximal nitric oxide production and massive muscle pumps.
Derived from the branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) valine, norvaline is an amino acid that teams incredibly well with L-Citrulline in pump pre workouts, due to its ability to sustain and prolong nitric oxide production. Norvaline serves as an inhibitor of arginase, and by further reducing the effects of this nitric oxide-stunting enzyme, your endothelial cells are able to generate nitric oxide uninterrupted leading to stronger, longer-lasting muscle pumps from pre workout to post workout.
Combined with L-Citrulline this makes for a powerful 1-2 punch that ensure maximum nitric oxide production for superior pumps and performance during training. That’s why we’ve included massive servings of both L-CItrulline and L-Norvaline in Mega Pre, the best pump pre workout on the market!
Muscle pumps aren’t just about high volume, brief rest periods, and nitric oxide. There’s another avenue to help get that swole feeling while training -- hyper-hydrating muscle cells. This comes in the form of ingredients that increase the ability of muscle cells to absorb and retain water.
Amino acids such as creatine and L-Taurine enhance cellular hydration, but when you’re looking to super-soak your muscles with water and get those awesome “water-based” muscle pumps, there’s no better ingredient to use than GlycerPump.
GlycerPump is a high-yield form of glycerol, containing 65% glycerol by mass, which is considerably more than glycerol monostearate (GMS) which contains at most 25% glycerol. Also, unlike other forms of glycerol on the market, GlycerPump is shelf-stable and resists the awful clumping that has plagued glycerol supplements in years past.
GlycerPump is absorbed and distributed throughout the intracellular spaces in your muscles, which increases the concentration of fluid in blood and tissues. Glycerol is such an effective cell hydrating supplement that one study in particular noted it increased the body’s volume of fluids by up to 730ml!
In addition to pumps, glycerol also prolongs endurance and prevents dehydration. Including GlycerPump in any serious pump pre workout is a no-brainer, which is why we’ve included it in both Mega Pre and Vasogorge.
Derived from the amino acid Arginine, Agmatine is another novel nitric oxide boosting ingredient that commonly found in pump pre workouts. Agmatine functions similar to L-Norvaline, in that it inhibits arginase activity in the body. This allows for greater quantities of arginine to remain in circulation, which means stronger, longer-lasting nitric oxide production, and therefore, muscle pumps.
But that’s not all.
Agmatine also enhances nutrient partitioning and glucose utilization (via imidazoline receptor activation) in the body, and it also serves as a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator in the body, improving your pain tolerance, which allows you to endure greater amounts of stress during training before succumbing to fatigue.
A lot of the discussion around best pump pre workout ingredients has centered on increasing nitric oxide and sustaining its production. But there’s another component we need to address when discussing the best pump pre workouts and what they should aim to achieve -- vasodilation (widening of blood vessels).
Now, nitric oxide will cause entholial tissue to dilate, but the body has a natural enzyme that limits vasodilation and actually causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels). This enzyme (and enemy of muscle pumps) is angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Left unchecked angiotensin-converting enzyme can serious reduce vascularity, blood flow, and pumps. Counteracting the pump-deflating effects of ACE is a must for any pump pre workout.
Fortunately, supplement science has found a way to blunt ACE activity, promoting optimal vasodilation and superior blood flow in VasoDrive-AP.
VasoDrive-AP is a combination of two tripeptides derived from casein (yes, the same stuff that’s in your protein powder) in Valyl-Prolyl-Proline (VPP) and Isoleucyl-Prolyl-Proline(IPP). These tripeptides are comprised of three individual amino acids, including isoleucine and valine (two of the three BCAA) and proline, an amino acid used in the synthesis of proteins.
Studies conducted with VasoDrive-AP has documented that it can significantly inhibit ACE activity which promotes optimal vasodilation and vasorelaxation, but also[10,11,12,13,14]:
normalizes blood pressure
maintains both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
promotes arterial elasticity
improves insulin sensitivity
protects muscle cells against free radical-related aging and dysfunction
Given the immense benefits that accompany ACE inhibition, sports scientists are now exploring its impact on physical performance, particularly endurance sports. Since one of the primary benefits of pump pre workouts is increased endurance and stamina, including VasoDrive-AP is no-brainer, which is why the full clinical dose of 254mg is included in every serving of Mega Pre
The Best Pump Pre Workout
Primeval Labs Mega Pre is quite simple the best pump pre workout on the market, bar none. Using a mixture of powerful nitric oxide boosters, vasodilators, arginase inhibitors, cell-swelling agents, and ACE inhibitors, Mega Pre includes everything you need for maximum muscle pumps.
Mega Pre delivers robust doses of the best pump pre workout ingredients to provide you with the best pumps possible while also throttling your performance to greater heights each and every time you train.
If you’re looking for even more pumps, or don’t want to mess with powders and shakers, but still want a massive pump pre workout, there’s Vasogorge. Similar to Mega Pre, Vasogorge uses a multi-directional plan for increasing nitric oxide using proven pump pre workout supplements including Agmatine, GlycerPump, Beet Root and Arginine AKG. On its own or stacked with Mega Pre, Vasogorge delivers skin-splitting vascularity and dense pumps that will leave your muscles swollen all day long.
Tangphao O, Grossmann M, Chalon S, Hoffman BB, Blaschke TF. Pharmacokinetics of intravenous and oral l-arginine in normal volunteers. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1999;47(3):261-266. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.1999.00883.x.
Shatanawi A, Momani MS, Aqtash R, Hamdan MH, Caldwell RB, Caldwell RW. Abstract 15199: L-Citrulline Supplementation Reduces Plasma Arginase Activity in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Circulation. 2015;132(Suppl 3):A15199 LP-A15199. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/132/Suppl_3/A15199.abstract.
Wijnands KAP, Vink H, Briedé JJ, et al. Citrulline a More Suitable Substrate than Arginine to Restore NO Production and the Microcirculation during Endotoxemia. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37439. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037439.
Mihail V. Pokrovskiy, Mihail V. Korokin, Svetlana A. Tsepeleva, et al., “Arginase Inhibitor in the Pharmacological Correction of Endothelial Dysfunction,” International Journal of Hypertension, vol. 2011, Article ID 515047, 4 pages, 2011. https://doi.org/10.4061/2011/515047.
Patlar, Suleyman, Hasan Yalçin, and Ekrem Boyali. "The Effect of Glycerol Supplements on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects." Journal of Human Kinetics 34 (2012): 69-79. PMC
Satriano J. Agmatine: at the crossroads of the arginine pathways. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003;1009:34-43.
Taksande BG, Kotagale NR, Patel MR, Shelkar GP, Ugale RR, Chopde CT. Agmatine, an endogenous imidazoline receptor ligand modulates ethanol anxiolysis and withdrawal anxiety in rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2010;637(1-3):89-101. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.03.058
Keynan O, Mirovsky Y, Dekel S, Gilad VH, Gilad GM. Safety and Efficacy of Dietary Agmatine Sulfate in Lumbar Disc-associated Radiculopathy. An Open-label, Dose-escalating Study Followed by a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial. Pain Med. 2010;11(3):356-368. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00808.x
FitzGerald RJ, Meisel H. Milk protein-derived peptide inhibitors of angiotensin-I-converting enzyme. Br J Nutr. 2000;84 Suppl 1:S33-37.
ekete ÁA, Givens DI, Lovegrove JA. Casein-Derived Lactotripeptides Reduce Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure in a Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):659-681.
Baron AD, Brechtel-Hook G, Johnson A, Hardin D. Skeletal muscle blood flow. A possible link between insulin resistance and blood pressure. Hypertension. 1993;21(2):129-135.
Kasper SO, Phillips EE, Castle SM, Daley BJ, Enderson BL, Karlstad MD. Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin system improves insulin receptor signaling and insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glucose transport in burn injury. Shock (Augusta, Ga.). 2011;35(1):80-85.
de Cavanagh EM, Piotrkowski B, Basso N, et al. Enalapril and losartan attenuate mitochondrial dysfunction in aged rats. Faseb J. 2003;17(9):1096- 1098.
Sartiani L, Spinelli V, Laurino A, et al. Pharmacological perspectives in sarcopenia: a potential role for renin-angiotensin system blockers? Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism. 2015;12(2):135-138. 21. Ondera G, Vedova CD, Pahorc M. Effects of ACE Inhibitors on Skeletal Muscle. Curr Pharm Des. 2006;12(16):2057-2064.