Simple, effective and the pre-workout of choice of the all-conquering All Blacks.

If you’re looking to fuel your workouts, Healthspan Elite All Blacks Pre-Workout Fuel is one of the best pre-workouts we’ve tried. Here’s how it performed when we put it to the test.

Men’s Fitness verdict

With carbs to fuel your workouts, Healthspan’s simple but effective pre-workout blend is designed to meet the training needs of the All Blacks. We reckon it should meet our needs too.
  • Good fruity flavor that’s not too sweet
  • Simple but effective blend of active ingredients
  • Contains a good source of carbohydrates to fuel more aerobic sessions
  • Doses for some ingredients are quite low
  • Slight bitter aftertaste
  • Only one flavor with and without caffeine

How we test the best pre-workouts

This list of the best pre-workouts was compiled by Rob Hobson, registered nutritionist (AFN) and sports nutritionist (SENr). There are lots of different pre-workouts on the market and the number of active ingredients differs substantially between brands. (However, the research to support their effectiveness in terms of performance is not always solid.) While Rob was testing, he judged each pre-workout on how well they tasted and mixed, as well as their nutritional effectiveness. He also considered the cost and availability of each.

Healthspan’s All Blacks-endorsed Elite pre-workout contains carbohydrates to fuel your training session and protein. It contains more of both than most pre-workouts on the market, particularly carbohydrates. That means it’s a good choice if you’re looking to fuel workouts requiring cardio or strength training.

Its Pre-Workout Fuel has just five active ingredients, so it’s a reasonably simple blend. But that’s no bad thing, and we doubt the All Blacks would put their name to anything sub-standard.

The pre-workout contains 4g of branched-chain amino acids (BCCAs), which is slightly less than the 5-10g often recommended for these supplements. The ratio of BCCAs is good, with the majority being leucine, which triggers muscle protein synthesis in the body.

Healthspan Elite All Blacks Pre-Workout Fuel ingredients

Healthspan Elite includes citrulline malate in the blend as a vasodilator, to help improve oxygen supply to the muscles to delay fatigue and improve performance. Citrulline and malate are thought to work synergistically to increase ATP production, according to research, which is why it’s used over L-citrulline. The powder’s 3g dose is lower than the 6-8g research indicates as effective though.

The powder also has creatine, which has been shown to help improve strength and is one of the best supplements for muscle growth. The recommended dose for creatine is 5g daily but this pre-workout supplies just 2g.

Beta-alanine is a buffer that helps to mop up hydrogen ions that cause acidity in the blood and encourage fatigue. Usually, the dose is based on body weight but averages around 3-6g. Again the Pre-Workout Fuel falls a little short at just 2g of beta-alanine.

Another active ingredient Healthspan has added is taurine. This amino sulfonic acid is made naturally in the body from other amino acids. Research has suggested that taurine enhances endurance and decreases lactate accumulation which reduces fatigue.

Taurine doses of between 70mg and 3105mg reduce the need for high amounts of caffeine to gain a performance effect, so 1g here is about right. That means you can enjoy the benefits of taurine even with the caffeine-free version.

The final active ingredient in this pre-workout is L-tyrosine, which is a precursor to the hormone adrenaline. It’s added to many pre-workouts to improve cognition, although research is limited and mostly focuses on cognition under extreme heat or cold environments.

Healthspan Elite All Blacks Pre-Workout Fuel flavours

The lemon version of the All Blacks Pre-Workout Fuel contains 150mg of caffeine, and that falls short of the recommended 200mg needed to help improve performance. Bare in mind you’re getting help from that taurine too. The berry flavour is uncaffeinated so more suitable for evening workouts. Once you’re clued up on what pre-workout is, this is one of the best options out there.

Healthspan recommend a dosage of two scoops (40g) mixed with 350ml of water. The powder mixes well and caffeinated lemon flavour we tested tastes fresh and fruity. It’s not too sweet, like some other brands, although it does have a slightly bitter aftertaste.

At £2.50 per serving this is the most expensive pre-workout on test, though you can get a 10% discount of ordering by subscription.

It’s the only pre-workout on tests specifically designed for a sports team, so the lower doses of some active ingredients are likely to meet the needs of the players and allow them to use it in conjunction with other sports supplements such as creatine.

Overall, it’s one of the nicest tasting pre-workout powders we’ve tested with a simple yet effective blend of active ingredients. It’s quality does come at a premium though.