Max Effort Muscle Pre Workout Review


  • Contains Citrulline Malate
  • Creatine Monohydrate shown to enhance strength + endurance
  • Beetroot Extract promotes muscle pumps


  • Citrulline Malate under-dosed at 3,000mg (optimal dosage is 6,000mg)
  • Caffeine over-dosed (increased risk of jitters and energy crashes
  • Beta-Alanine causes side effect called paresthesia (itchy skin)
  • Contains numerous ineffective ingredients
  • Missing key pre-workout ingredients eg. L-Carnitine
  • Can’t compete with the best pre-workouts on the market

See Your Best Options In Our
Top 3 Pre-Workouts Page


About The Product

Max Effort Muscle didn’t get very creative when they named this product – simply calling it Pre-Workout. But in all fairness, we do like the old-school vibe that this company as gone for.

This Pre-Workout costs $34.99 for 30 serving containers, and comes in 2 flavors; Raspberry Punch and Fresh Mango. Sounds tasty, but what really matters is what ingredients are inside.

But before we get to that, we’ll tell you about the company behind this Pre-Workout (as they’re new in 2017).

Who are Max Effort Muscle?

We had a look at this company’s ‘about us’ section, and it was very weird…they’d made up a story about a fictional character called Max. This story explained how Max has superhuman strength and wanted to make supplements so everyone else can have the same level of strength.

Basically, it’s a boring story that hasn’t been written well. But what’s more; this company was co-founded by Cory Gregory – the same guy who co-founded MusclePharm.

To be honest, MusclePharm has become a big name in the industry. So we’re not doubting Cory Gregory knows what he’s doing.

For this reason, we’re excited to see how Max Effort Muscle has formulated their 1st Pre-Workout in their range of supplements. As we’re the first website on the whole internet reviewing this product, this is our claim to fame if this company becomes a powerhouse in the industry!

Our name in lights, I can see it already…

* – the 1st website to review Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout*

Pre-Workout Ingredients Explained

Max Effort Muscle’s Pre-Workout contains 13 ingredients overall; this is known to be an unlucky number in the soccer world…If you’ve counted 15 ingredients, this is because we’ve grouped BCAAs as 1 ingredient (L-Leucine, L-Valine & L-Isoleucine).

When looking at Pre-Workout’s ingredient list, there’s a mixture of both positives and negatives; Citrulline Malate is a great ingredient, but it’s been under-dosed.

Anyway, we’ll analyze each ingredient inside Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout – so you can how effective it really is (and whether it’s worth trying).


Here’s Everything You Need To Know:

Citrulline Malate 

This is one of our favorite pre-workout ingredients when dosed correctly; it’s shown to enhance your muscle pumps in the gym, making you feel amazing and perform better.

But there’s a problem – Citrulline Malate has been under-dosed, meaning it’s not likely to work here. The optimal dosage for this ingredient is 6,000mg per serving, but there’s only 3,000mg in Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout.

For a company made by such established people as Cory Gregory, we expected better here.


Beta-Alanine is a molecule that’s shown to enhance muscular endurance; but it causes a side effect called Paresthesia.

What’s paresthesia? Well, it’s a side effect that causes tingling on the skin of your face and body. If you’ve ever experience ‘pins-and-needles’ before, then it’s very similar to that..but itchier.

In fact, if you’ve ever heard anyone complaining about being itchy after taking a pre-workout before, then it will have contained Beta-Alanine.

Personally, we don’t like this side effect, so we avoid supplements containing this ingredient. Not only that, Creatine Monohydrate offers the same benefit – without causing any side effects (we’ll expand on this below).

Creatine Monohydrate 

This is another of our favorite pre-workout ingredients for one reason – it works.

In fact, Olympic athletes used Creatine during the Barcelona Olympic games; this shows how good this ingredient really is.

It’s shown to enhance your strength and endurance in the gym, and has been used by athletes and bodybuilders for decades as a result. You can’t argue against Creatine Monohydrate – it works and studies have proven it does.

Agmatine Sulfate & Choline 

We’ve grouped these 2 ingredients together to save time here. And also because you only need to know one thing about them – they don’t work.

Studies have proven these ingredients are ineffective in pre-workout supplements; basically, this means they don’t offer any benefits to improve your gym session.

Not only that, Choline causes a strange side effect – fishy odors in your breath and sweat. For this reason, we actually consider this as one of the worst ingredients you can find in any supplement.



As we mentioned at the start of this review, we’ve grouped the 3 branched chain amino acids together as 1 ingredient; they’re usually shown on ingredient lists as BCAAs.

BCAAs are made up from L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isovaline. They’ve shown to promote muscle protein synthesis (growth) when consumed after your workouts – which is why they’re commonly seen in protein powders.

However, they don’t have the same effect when taken before your workout. For this reason, we don’t think it’s necessary to consume BCAAs in any pre-workout supplements.

Caffeine Anhydrous 

This is the safest and most effective stimulant you can find right now. Caffeine is consumed every day in tea & coffee, so everyone knows it works.

How does it improve your workout? Well, studies have shown that Caffeine improves your strength, endurance, focus and energy levels in the gym.

However, you need to watch the dosage of this stimulant in supplements. As a general rule, we recommend consuming less than 200mg Caffeine per serving (at least to begin with). After you’ve taken this safe dosage and you didn’t experience any jitters or energy crashes, then you can increase the serving size of pre-workout.

As Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout contains 350mg Caffeine per serving, this will cause those sensitive to this stimulant side effects (jitters and energy crashes). This is a rookie mistake by this company.

Beetroot Extract 

Beetroot is tasty when added to salads and even to some sandwiches. But it’s also proven to enhance your muscle pumps in the gym; this is due to containing high amount of nitrates, which boosts your nitric oxide levels.

For this reason, we consider Beetroot Extract a key pre-workout ingredient.

Hawthorn Berry

This is believed to possess anti-inflammatory effects and also protect your organs, improving your general health. However, studies haven’t shown that it improves your gym session – making it an ineffective ingredient here.

Dicaffeine Malate & Caffeine Citrate 

Both of these ingredients are sources of Caffeine. Ultimately, this means that Max Effort Muscle contains an overall Caffeine dosage of over 400mg; to put this into perspective, it’s recommended that you consume under 400mg Caffeine throughout your whole day.

As Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout delivers over 400mg Caffeine in 1 serving, you’re almost certain to experience side effects such as jitters and energy crashes.

In fact, we’re quite tolerant to Caffeine, but we only took 1 serving before throwing in the towel. Essentially, this product will give you a massive energy boost, before you’ll want to crawl into bed for the rest of the day.

For this reason, we prefer pre-workouts that contain less than 200mg Caffeine per serving. It’s also a bonus if it contains L-Theanine (which ensures you avoid jitters and energy crashes). Unfortunately, Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout doesn’t.


This is simply a patented name for black pepper. Yes, believe it or not, some company patented black pepper.

Anyway, it’s not as useless as it sounds; to begin with, it makes food tastier…but it also improves digestion and the absorption rate of a supplement.

Although it’s never a key ingredient in any supplement, at least it’s not completely useless. Put it this way, Black Pepper Extract is better than Choline.

Huperzine A 

Huperzine A is the worst ingredient inside Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout; it’s not proven to deliver any benefit to improve your gym session. But it causes numerous side effects – which we’ve actually experience ourselves.

For this reason, we try our best to avoid any supplement containing Huperzine A. It’s not worth spending your cash on a pre-workout that can cause side effects – when you can choose a better alternative that doesn’t cause any side effects.


See Your Best Options In Our
Top 3 Pre-Workouts Page Here

Side Effects

There are 4 things that can cause side effects in Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout; Beta-Alanine, Choline, the over-dose of Caffeine (over 400mg per serving) and Huperzine A.

We always recommend that you consume less than 200mg Caffeine per serving at first. This allows you to check your tolerance to this stimulant, and increase or decrease your Caffeine intake after this first serving.

Ultimately, this will ensure that you avoid side effects such as jitters and energy crashes – which are common side effects associated with pre-workouts for this reason.

Not only that, personally, we try to avoid pre-workouts containing Beta-Alanine; this ingredient causes paresthesia (itchy skin), and as Creatine Monohydrate offers the same benefit (enhanced endurance), there’s no need for Creatine here.

Here’s the potential side effects from taking Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout: 

  • Paresthesia (Beta-Alanine)
  • Jitters (over 400mg Caffeine per serving)
  • Energy Crashes (over 400mg Caffeine per serving)
  • Fishy smell in your breath and sweat (Choline)
  • Nausea (Huperzine A)
  • Diarrhea (Huperzine A)
  • Cramping (Huperzine A)

Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout Review Conclusion

Ultimately, we expected a company co-founded by the guy who helped start MusclePharm to create a better supplement than Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout.

Just by looking at the list of potential side effects, you should know that there’s better options out there. This is a great example of a pre-workout that contains too many ingredients; you’ll find that pre-workouts that contain over 10 ingredients have under-dosed ingredients (making the whole product ineffective).

For this reason, we believe quality over quantity is important; we prefer less ingredients, as long as they’re proven to be effective and have been optimally dosed.


Check Out The Best Pre-Workouts This Year!

Here’s the best natural pre-workouts on the market for:

  • Energy Boosts 
  • Enhanced Strength & Endurance 
  • Increased Focus
  • Skin-Splitting Muscle Pumps

Show Me The Full List!


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