What is the Best Pre Workout for Running?(or the Best Energy Drink Powder)

by | 14 Sep 2022 | Nutrition for runners

what makes the best pre workout for running?

It is more likely than not that you’ve come across discussions on the best ‘pre workout before running’ in online chats and forums. Or you even asked that question and searched for an answer yourself?

We certainly did. And what we found was a cacophony of voices and opinions, with not much to base our decisions on.

One thing was clear, however. Most, if not ALL, pre workout drinks on the market were designed specifically for gym strength workouts. Great for short, repetitive exercises and muscle pumps , but not so great for aerobic activities such as running.

So we decided to roll up our sleeves and take a deep dive to see what the science had to say on the subject. We searched for and read many studies and clinical trials, and after a long while we descended from that mountain clutching a long-list of the best, most promising ingredients.

We then consulted with nutritionists and talked to runners and other recreational athletes about their experiences. We tried and tested dozens of ingredients on our long-list, alone and in combination with each other (made a massive difference!), until we could settle on the winners (see below for the full list) – amino acids and botanical extracts shown to maximise energy, focus and endurance, reduce muscle soreness and shorten post-exercise recovery time.

We combined those best ingredients into Mr Run’s Ignite energy drink powder – a pre workout energy drink powder specifically created for RUNNING and similar aerobic exercises: swimming, cycling rowing, playing tennis, football, golfing, boxing, hiking… name it.

(And yes, it can certainly be used for muscle pumps too, although we do advise adding some creatine to the mix if using it for gym/strength workouts – see below why we designed this pre workout without creatine or beta alanine).

What else? pre workout single packets – why?

This pre workout energy drink powder comes in super-convenient single packets that fit in a bag 👜(or even a pocket!!) and are travel-friendly ✈️🚃, commute-friendly, away-from-home-friendly. No measuring spoons or lumpy tubs. No leaky canisters or sticky gel sachets.

⌛For best effects we recommend mixing one or two pre workout single packets with water or juice (we prefer orange juice) about 1.5hours BEFORE the run/exercise/race. This is to give enough time for the ingredients to get absorbed and work their magic.

For long-duration activities of we recommend taking an addition sachet as an intra-workout, three to four hours after the first one.

best energy drink powder pre workout single packets preworkout

The ingredients in ‘IGNITE’ pre workout energy drink POWDER

For the curious, these are the ingredients that made it to the shortlist for the best pre workout for running and other aerobic sports:

BCAA – branched chain amino acids

Branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, are the backbone of Mr Run’s Ignite. BCAAs are scientifically proven to boost athletic performance by supplying muscles with energy and by reducing feelings of fatigue and tiredness during prolonged exercise. These effects are achieved by increasing oxygen consumption VO2 and the respiratory exchange ratio, and by sparing muscle glycogen.

BCAAs also protect muscles from damage associated with endurance activities, reduce soreness and speed up post exercise recovery by promoting muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs are fast absorbing and get to work in your muscles without putting unnecessary strain on the digestive system.

(note: as amazing as they are, BCAAs do have a very strong and unusual taste. We tried our best to neutralise it WITHOUT resorting to artificial sweeteners or flavours, but for this reason most of us prefer taking Ignite in orange juice or similar, rather than plain water)


Alanine is an amino acid that plays an important role in body energy metabolism. It works synergistically with BCAAs and amplifies their energising and muscle-sparing effects. Mr Run’s Ignite contains the perfect ratio of BCAAs plus L-Alanine to support your muscle health and energy metabolism during demanding times.

best pre workouts with bcaa amino acids taurine citrulline


Clinically proven to enhance athletic performance and recovery. When taken before high-intensity exercise citrulline has been shown to promote muscle protein synthesis and to boost energy, mental alertness, strength and endurance by raising nitric oxide levels, improving blood flow, Vo2 kinetics and cardiovascular capacity.


This amino acid improves performance by reducing muscle inflammation, oxidative stress and levels of lactate, the molecule produced by the muscles during long exercise that triggers muscle pain and fatigue. For this reason it is a popular ingredient in energy drinks. Taurine works in a synergistic manner with other ingredients in Mr Run’s Ignite pre workout energy drink powder, enhancing their effects to give you a powerful performance boost.

best pre workout energy drink for runners


Green tea extract has multiple amazing benefits for endurance athletes. It optimises oxygen uptake and functioning of mitochondria, the ATP energy-producing powerhouses in our cells, it increases lipolysis and fatty acid metabolism, meaning it helps your body burn fat as fuel (thus helping you achieve and maintain lean body shape!), and at the same time it reduces muscle soreness and fatigue and speeds up recovery time, meaning you need less time between sessions.


Traditionally consumed for centuries by indigenous communities of the Amazon region for its energising and health effects. This fruit was as highly prized and valuable to local tribes as gold was to European colonisers. Guarana powder is known to increase mental alertness and clarity, to promote weight loss, and to enhance physical fitness and stamina.

best energy drink powder pre workout for running with guarana extract



Rhodiola plant enhances athletic power by strengthening your body’s resistance to fatigue, protecting the cardiovascular, the immune and the nervous system, and by developing the body’s ability to adapt to mental and physical demands of strenuous exercise. Unlike some inferior products on the market that contain this ingredient, rhodiola rosea extract in Mr Run’s Ignite formula has a standardised ratio of bioactive constituents proven to possess clinical effect.

green tea pre workout for running energy drink powder


why is this pre workout without beta alanine

When used in doses high enough to have an effect beta-alanine very often causes the side effect of itchy, buzzy skin sensation. While some gym workout enthusiasts like this sensation whilst ‘pumping muscle’, many runners find it distracting and annoying.  While it can be beneficial when taken daily for a longer period of time, the evidence for taking beta-alanine just before exercise is not very strong – the main reason to have this pre workout without beta alanine.

why is this pre workout without creatine

While creatine is great when taken on a daily basis (especially for older people), and impressive as a pre-workout for short, repetitive strength exercises, it might not be so great if taken before longer duration activities such as running – creatine has a tendency to draw water into cells, and so can cause feelings of heavy legs or even muscle cramps. This is the main reason we created Ignite energy drink pre workout without creatine.

I love running in London thanks to fantastic parks and sights

so did we get this energy drink powder formula right – is this the best pre workout for running?

We firmly believe that Mr Run’s Ignite energy drink powder is so far the best pre workout for running, and in general a strong contender for a best pre workout energy drink on the market. We base this on the feedback we’ve received so far, and on the current scientific knowledge. We’d love to hear what you think – please tell us in the comments below!


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