Pre Workouts Without Proprietary Blends | Avoid Nasty Side Effects

In terms of effects, pre workouts are some of the most diverse supplements in the fitness industry. Next level focus, crazy muscle pumps and clean energy can be opposed by horrible skin tingling, intense nausea and bad anxiety.

If you’re looking for a pre workout that has little or no side effects, you need to be able to see exactly what you are taking. The best way to do this? Look for Pre workouts without proprietary blends.

We’ve tried too many pre workouts to count. In fact we’ve probably done long term damage with some of the stupid ingredients and blends we’ve used to chase a decent gym session.

Why you should avoid proprietary blends


Proprietary blends make sense for supplement manufacturers. It gives them the perfect opportunity to hide what goes into their blends, meaning it’s protected from being stolen.

But the risk to you is that they’ve decided to use cheaper and less effective ingredients to keep costs down.

This is extremely common and certainly doesn’t apply to every product you find, but it’s sadly a pretty common practice.

Why is this a problem though? Well what you might find, is that you’re ready to get pumped up for a session, take your pre and find out it does fuck all. Or just end up gurning away intense and wired like you’ve taken illegal drugs.

Why are these sort of things linked to proprietary blends? Because the pre workout you’ve just spent $50 on is filled with caffeine. Or beta alanine. Or whatevers cheap and makes you feel ‘something’.

It’s a pretty shitty tactic. And one that can cost you in terms of exercise performance and results.

Best pre workout without proprietary blends

Spot Me Bro’s current top pre workout without a proprietary blend goes to 4 Gauge.

The lack of the proprietary blend isn’t the only thing that 4 Gauge gets right, it’s blend only uses natural ingredients and the no artificial flavorings and sugars.

Crucially it’s got a hefty amount of l-citrulline and a clinical dose of smart caffeine. Resulting in nothing but pure psycho focus and intense muscle pumps and endurance.


4 Gauge key ingredients and effects:

  • L-Citrulline DI-Malate (6000mg) : Boosts your nitric oxide levels for pumps and endurance
  • Creatine Monohydrate (1000mg) : Improves cognition and reduces fatigue
  • L-Carnitine (500mg) : Fights fatigue and decreases muscle damage
  • L-Theanine (200mg) : A calm source of relentless energy that eliminates energy crashes
  • Caffeine (150mg) : The sting in the tail of 4 Gauge. Power through workouts.

4 Gauge has no proprietary blend and is manufactured in a cGMP approved facility within the USA. Shipping worldwide.

-Visit the 4 Gauge Website- 

Clean and Effective pre workout ingredients


Finding a pre workout that doesn’t use proprietary blends is just the start though. You’ve also got to be getting something that uses good ingredients.

There’s plenty of natural ingredients and extracts out there which can boost performance with limited side effects.

If you’re not sold on our current choice pre workout above, 4 Gauge, then here’s some important ingredients you should be looking out for in a pre workout.


A proprietary blend that contains stimulants should ring instant alarm bells. Whilst pre workouts are mostly based around stimulants, if you don’t know how much you are taking it can be hard to gauge effects.

Synthesised stimulants can also be a lot rougher on your system than natural counterparts. Easily the best stimulant for a pre workout is caffeine.


Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant and the worlds most widely used drug. It blocks a receptor in the brain that promotes drowsiness.  It works extremely well in pre workouts for this reason. Other than potential energy crashes there are little risks associated with supplementation.


DMAA also known as methylhexaneamine is a fairly potent stimulant. It’s touted as natural, but generally most of it is manufactured and doesn’t come from plant sources at all. Whilst it’s no longer available, as it has a high risk of side effects, alternative psychoactive stimulants like DMHA have cropped up.

Despite not being DMAA exactly, there are still risks associated with supplements that contain it. Especially when it’s ingested in a proprietary blend.


Theobromine is a stimulant that naturally occurs in chocolate. Ironically it’s also thought that this natural ingredient can suppress appetite. Theobromine is on the opposite end of the stimulant spectrum to DMAA. It also carries a slight calming effect and is generally quite mild in how much energy it will give you.

Amino Acids

Chances are any pre workout you find is going to have some level of amino acids in. Amino acids require exact doses to work properly. Which is why you should avoid proprietary blends with them in. It’s essential to get the best from a pre workout you see EXACT doses of amino acids.


L-Carnitine is a common amino acid in pre workouts due to it’s involvement in the transfer of energy into cells. This impact on your energy metabolism ensures your body is working at optimized levels as you train and also may assist in burning fat as fuel.


L-Theanine plays a role in pre workouts as a softener to the effects of stimulants. L-theanine itself is an amino acid that’s found in tea leaves. Supplementation will see your brain calm and focus improve, without getting tired. Trails found 200mg works best.

Beta Alanine (Risky)

For us, the annoying parts of beta alanine outweigh the benefits.This amino acid helps buffer acid levels in muscles which improves performance. The drawback, especially if you have a propriety blend pre workout, can results in parenthesis. Which is intense itching that gets worse with higher doses.

Plant Extracts

Various plant extracts get added into pre workouts. Most are completely safe and so shouldn’t be a concern. However proprietary blends can still contain high amounts of things like ephedra leaf. Which is know for side effects due to its close relation to banned substance ephedrene .

Other Pre Workouts without Proprietary Blends

Now, if you’re not interested in our top pre workout with a full list of ingredients and no proprietary blend, then we still have a couple of others we can recommend.

Like we said, though, some of these carry side effects and just don’t have that bang for your buck that 4 Gauge has.

#1 Nitrosurge


This is a pre workout from Jacked Factory, and whilst it has a bit more of a scatter gun approach to it’s ingredients list, however it doesn’t use a proprietary blend to get the job done.

Side effects will occur during supplementation too, due to the high amount of beta alanine.

It’s also under dosed on both caffeine and L-Citrulline DI Malate. Which means you may miss out on the muscle pumps and see a workout cut short due to a fatigue.

#2 Altius


A pre workout that comes with a heavy price tag. But still without any proprietary blend. Altius has a strong amount of L-Citrulline but fails in other aspects as it doesn’t combine l-theanine and caffeine to soften the buzzy stimulants effects.

One good benus that comes with this pre workout is the fact, like our number #1 proprietary blend free pre workout, it’s artificial coloring and flavoring free.

#3 Pre Jym


From Jym Stoppani comes his pre workout. As much of a self professed scientist and fitness guru he is, his blend does fall slightly behind other top pre workouts that don’t hide their ingredients.

It contains a good dose of key ingredients, but also has a massive 2g of beta alanine. This thing is going to tingle like fuck. You’ll feel like you’ve got crabs as you deadlift.

But it does tick a lot of boxes for a lot of guys, so if you can afford it you might want to take the risk…

Finding Pre workouts without proprietary blends

We’ve tested every pre workout and ingredient in this article to death. We’ve also tested pre workouts that use proprietary blends. Most are fucking horrid and leave you coming down like Eddie Hall after his 500kg deadlift.

There’s a load of decent pre workouts out there though and most don’t use proprietary blends to get you powered up and tearing the gym to pieces.

If you’ve come here and not found what you are looking for, or want something that’s going to make you feel cracky then fuck off and Google ‘Pre workouts without proprietary blends’, you lazy shit.

For the rest of you, lets recap what the best pre workout that doesn’t hide anything in a proprietary blend is…

-Visit 4 

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