Both professional and amateur rugby players are known to consume a lot of different supplements.

For example, protein powders are a staple in many athlete diets in this sport (everyone knows that protein plays an important role in muscle growth).

Pre-workouts are another type of supplement that are frequently used by rugby players. Anyone who has played rugby during their school years or at their local club would have no-doubt seen a tub or two passed around in the changing room.

However, if you’ve taken pre-workouts before then you’ll know that some of them can cause nasty side effects.

Ever been itchy or jittery after taking a scoop? Yep, that would have been the result of consuming a bad pre-workout supplement.

The good news is that not all pre-workouts cause side effects – you just have to choose the right one. So, we’ve taken the liberty of finding a safe & effective product to recommend to you.


What are Pre-Workout Supplements?

If you clicked on this article from google, you’re more than likely to know what pre-workouts are. But for those that stumbled across this article from our blog, we’ll offer some more explanation, just in case.

Pre-workout supplements are pretty self-explanatory. In a nutshell, they are designed to be taken around 30 minutes (depending on the product you choose) before you play rugby or hit the gym.

But what do they do? Well, they should give you the edge with the egg-shaped ball, so you help your team win every week – we’ll expand on this in the section below..


Benefits of Pre-Workouts for Rugby

The reason why people buy pre-workouts is because they want to improve their performance on the field. That much is obvious, but they don’t often check how a certain product will get the job done.

As a result, we’ll explain the benefits that effective pre-workout supplements should deliver:

Increased Muscle Strength

While this will help you work towards PB’s in the gym, it’s a benefit that will translate very well on a rugby field too. Being stronger means that you’ll find it easier to make big hits on your opposite number and have the physical advantage.

Imagine a scenario where you’re 10 metres from the try line and the standard 80 minutes have passed. It’s the final play of the game and you need to smash your way through the opposition; having that physical ‘edge’ will certainly help you cross the try line.

Ultimately, increased muscle strength could make the difference between winning or losing in a rugby match.

Enhanced Endurance

Your cardiovascular endurance directly impacts your rugby performance. If you don’t have enough gas in the tank to sprint past players or make that tackle, then you’ll probably find yourself regularly warming the bench.

However, it’s only natural for rugby players to become tired and fatigued towards the 80-minute mark. Especially if you’re carrying a bit more timber and making more hard-yards (I’m looking at you, prop forwards…).

As a result, it makes sense that benefitting from enhanced endurance will improve your performance on the pitch. A small disclaimer, though: if you can only sprint 50m before calling it a day normally, don’t expect to be running like Forrest Gump all day…


Make Sure to Check Pre-Workouts’ Supplement Facts

There are tons of pre-workouts out there. Just take a look in supplement stores and you’ll find this out for yourself quite quickly.

But It’s important to remember that each product packs different ingredients.

Think about it. If you cook a meal with different ingredients in them, or even with the same ingredients in different amounts, you’ll end-up with a different dish each time.

Similarly, with pre-workouts, they can do different things because they all contain different ingredients and dosages. 

For example, one of the biggest differences can be between pre-workouts containing stimulants or not; this is a whole can of worms that we’ll uncover later in this article, but first we need to inform you about proprietary blends.

Avoid Proprietary Blends Like the Plague

If there’s one thing to avoid in any supplement (not just pre-workouts), then it should be proprietary blends.

Q: What are proprietary blends?

A: Proprietary blends are when several ingredients are shown to you under a title and overall quantity, and the dosages of individual ingredients are hidden.

Hopefully that nice little Q & A above helped answer one of your questions. But you’re probably still asking yourself ‘why is this bad?’.

The quick answer is this: it’s always beneficial knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body. We’ll give you the longer answers below.

Certain ingredients such as caffeine can cause side effects in large dosages

The main issue with consuming unknown dosages of ingredients is that it can result in side effects.

Everyone has a different level of tolerance to stimulants, such as caffeine, so it’s not a good idea to consume a mystery amount of it via proprietary blends.

For instance, if you only consume 1-2 cups of coffee per day, your tolerance level will be lower than those that smash 5-6 cups daily. As a result, consuming large dosages of caffeine might cause you to suffer from jitters and energy crashes.

All ingredients have optimal dosages and consuming less won’t ‘work’.

With any nutrient, it only ‘works’ when consumed in its optimal dosage. Scientists have spent many years researching the most beneficial amounts of individual ingredients because it really is important.

Ultimately, as proprietary blends hide the individual dosages of nutrients, you’re never sure whether a specific ingredient has been dosed to its full potential – meaning you might not be getting your money’s worth.

For this reason, we always recommend choosing a supplement that shows the exact amount of each ingredient in its formula.


Stim vs Stim-Free Pre-Workouts for Rugby

There is a big argument between those that enjoy taking pre-workouts containing stimulants (eg. Caffeine) and those that prefer to avoid stims.

Personally, we’ve had many bad experiences with pre-workouts containing huge amounts of caffeine in the past.

In fact, it’s difficult to find stim pre-workouts containing sensible dosages of caffeine per serving; almost all contain 300mg caffeine per serving or more, which equals over 3 cups of coffee (but remember that it’s hitting you all at once).

Not only that, it’s not unusual for companies to simply add big dosages of caffeine, hoping that you’ll be sold by the big ‘kick’ you’ll experience, without adding many other beneficial nutrients.

We Recommend Stim-Free Pre-Workouts

We’ve found that choosing a stim-free pre-workout (that doesn’t contain any caffeine) is your best option.

This simply removes any risk of jittery side effects and energy crashes. If you’re really wanting a sensible energy boost, then you can still consume a cup of coffee as well as taking a stim-free pre-workout. 

The most important thing with stim-free pre-workouts is that you won’t be distracted by the surge in energy from caffeine; this means you can find out whether the product contains other useful nutrients that offer benefits you can’t obtain by simply buying a coffee.


Best Pre-Workout for Rugby: Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout

We mentioned that we prefer pre-workouts that don’t contain any stimulants such as caffeine.

Well, after searching for quite some time, we finally found a product that looked great on paper – Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout.

After ordering a bottle, we were glad to see that it was as good as it looked.

We’ll give you a quick review on why we believe Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout is the best for rugby players, below.

Key Benefits:

  • Break through more tackles – scientifically-backed nutrients including creatine will improve your strength levels and help you become ‘unstoppable’.
  • Keep working until the final whistle – never fail to hit rucks or mauls even towards the end of the game.
  • No jittery side effects or energy crashes – avoid risks of side effects due to this pre-workout only containing stim-free ingredients.
  • Comes in capsule form for easy consumption – no hassle of mixing powders in the changing room before a big game.


  • Doesn’t contain caffeine – you won’t get a massive ‘kick’ of energy, but you’ll also avoid risks of side effects too.
  • You can only buy direct from:

Quick Summary:

Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout might not contain stimulants, but it still packs a punch; it only contains scientifically-backed nutrients that are proven to improve your performance on the rugby pitch.

One main positive is that this company hasn’t spared any expenses. For example, Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout contains a 99.5% pure form of creatine monohydrate, Creapure pH10, which has a much higher absorption rate than cheaper forms.

Even the smaller details have been perfected with this pre-workout; features such as vegan certified (and prebiotic-infused) capsules mean that everyone can take it, and it helps improve digestive health too.

All in all, Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout is a safe and effective pre-workout that you can easily take before a big game. We also recommend stacking Performance Lab’s Pre-Workout with their Post-Workout and BCAA supplements for the best results.


To learn more or buy, visit:

Conclusion: Best Pre-Workout for Rugby

When you’re a competitive athlete, you don’t want to step out onto a rugby pitch and lose. You’re going to be prepared to train hard, as well as fuel your body optimally to perform at its peak.

One way you can do that is by taking a well-researched pre-workout supplement such as Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout.

For us, we believe that it’s the full package that is available for everyone – regardless of whether you are vegan/vegetarian or want to avoid stimulants.

Ultimately, we haven’t seen its features, such as the vegan certified and prebiotic-infused capsules, in other pre-workouts. Not only does this improve digestive health, but it removes the issue of bad tasting pre-workouts as you’re simply taking a convenient pill.