8 Best Pump Supplements in 2024

Author: Jacek Szymanowski (M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology, Sports Nutritionist)

Looking for the best pump supplement around? There’s no better feeling than the rush of blood to your muscles after a tough workout. One way to increase this effect is through a supplement.

From our research, we’ve found these are the best pump products available. While they all have unique advantages, they should all help improve blood flow to give you huge pumps and make more progress in the gym.

If you’re looking to add a high-quality pump booster to your supplement stack, then check out our top pick, PUMP by Transparent Labs.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Pump by Transparent Labs.


It's consistently delivers some of the best supplements on the market. Pump has a simple, yet effective ingredient breakdown. It contains standard pre-workout ingredients like 8g of L-Citrulline and 2.5g of Betaine. It also contains L-Glutathione and Arginine Nitrate, although their effects are debatable at best.

Best Pump Supplements

Top 8 Pump Supplements Reviewed

  1. PUMP by Transparent Labs – Top Pick
  2. Huge Supplements Pump Serum – Best Multi-Ingredient Option
  3. ProSupps Hyde Max Pump
  4. Pulse Legion – Best Pre-Workout Based Option
  5. NO3 Ultimate
  6. Jacked Factory N.O. XT – Best in Capsules
  7. PEScience High Volume
  8. GHOST Pump – Best Price Per Serving Option

ProductTotalIngredientsTasteNutrition Label
Transparency
Users Satisfaction
Rate
Value for
Money
Transparent Labs49109.5109.510
Huge481099.5109.5
ProSupps489.59.59.59.510
Legion47.599.59.5109.5
Cellucor47.5109.59109
Jacked Factory478.599.51010
PEScience479.59.59.59.59
GHOST46108.59.599.5

1. PUMP by Transparent Labs – Top Pick

Pump by TL

  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Nitrate, Betaine, L-Glutathione,
  • Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Lemonade
  • Package Information: 597g
  • Serving Size: 19.8g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.67
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

Starting off our list is Pump by Transparent Labs, which consistently delivers some of the best supplements on the market. Let’s see why this earned the top spot on our list as the best supplement for muscle pumps.

Pump has a simple, yet effective ingredient breakdown. It contains standard pre-workout ingredients like 8g of L-Citrulline and 2.5g of Betaine. It also contains L-Glutathione and Arginine Nitrate, although their effects are debatable at best.

L-Citrulline is the most common vasodilator in most supplements. It increases NO production in the body and improves blood flow which boosts exercise performance as a result. We’ll be focusing on l-citrulline in this article, as all the products on our list contain this ingredient. Transparent Labs contains an effective 8g per serving.

Pump by Transparent Labs instagram

Transparent Labs also contains the common pre-workout ingredient betaine. While betaine won’t necessarily increase NO production, it does increase force production and muscular endurance with consistent supplementation. This makes it a valuable addition to this supplement, even if it doesn’t have much to do with increasing pumping effect. You can expect 2.5g of betaine per serving.

Additional ingredients that may boost NO include Arginine Nitrate and L-Glutathione. Although Arginine in the bloodstream greatly improves NO production, research suggests that Arginine supplementation does not have significant NO-boosting properties, and won’t make a huge difference to your performance. This is because it is metabolized by the liver and doesn’t effectively reach the bloodstream. L-Glutathione at high doses (IV) has been shown to increase NO’s bioavailability in patients with atherosclerosis. However, it’s unclear to what extent this will affect healthy populations, especially in regards to exercise performance.

Like all Transparent Labs products, this contains no artificial ingredients whatsoever. Keep in mind that there isn’t much flavor variety with only 2 options to choose from. Also, Transparent Labs will cost you around $1.67 per serving, which is about the average for our list.

49Expert Score

Pump has a simple, yet effective ingredient breakdown. It contains standard pre-workout ingredients like 8g of L-Citrulline and 2.5g of Betaine. It also contains L-Glutathione and Arginine Nitrate, although their effects are debatable at best.

Ingredients Breakdown:
10
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
User Satisfaction Rate:
9.5
Value for Money:
10

Positives:

  • High doses of L-Citrulline

  • High dose of Betaine as well

  • No artificial ingredients

Could be better:

  • Arginine and Glutathione aren’t especially beneficial for performance

  • Limited flavor variety

2. Huge Supplements Pump Serum – Best Multi-Ingredient Option

Pump Serum

  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Betaine, Arginine Silicate, Pomegranate Extract, Glycerol, Beetroot Extract
  • Flavors: Island Dream, Strawberry Mojito, Jungle Juice, Cherry Berry
  • Package Information: 620g
  • Serving Size: 14.9g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.38
  • Company Founded: 2019
  • Recommended by Athletes: Matt Greggo, Tren Twins, Max Taylor

Next up on our list is Huge Supplements Pump Serum. Let’s see how this muscle pump supplement earned its spot as the runner-up on our list, and how it compares to Transparent Labs in terms of ingredients and effects.

Huge has more unique active ingredients than Transparent Labs. Alongside common ingredients like L-Citrulline, Betaine, and Arginine, it also contains things like Pomegranate Extract, Glycerol, and Beet Root Powder.

It contains a smaller, yet still effective amount of L-Citrulline at 4g per serving. It also has a slightly smaller amount of betaine at 1.5g per serving. Although arginine supplementation is likely not effective for “pump”, it’s worth noting its dose is significantly lower here than it is with Transparent Labs.

Pump Serum Inst

Photo by @iamjuto

Now, let’s get into the more unique ingredients. First, it contains 1.5g of Glycerol per serving. Although it doesn’t boost NO, it does increase fluid retention. This increased flow of fluids into your muscles may cause a mild increased pumping effect.

It also contains 1g of beetroot extract per serving, which may boost NO levels and improve overall health as a result. While beetroot contains nitrates that are converted to nitric oxide, this conversion takes a while. Therefore, nitrates will likely only have an acute effect if it’s taken 2-3 hours before your workout. So, for pump it may not be an ideal ingredient, but may prove more beneficial with consistent supplementation for performance and recovery.

Finally, the Pump Serum also contains Pomegranate Extract, which is a polyphenol. Pomegranate has been shown to increase blood flow which may in turn help with performance. Polyphenols may have wide-ranging applications for performance including improving recovery as well.

Unlike Transparent Labs, this product is made with several artificial ingredients. However, it does have better flavor variety with 4 options to choose from. Finally, it is slightly cheaper than the top pick on our list at around $1.38 per serving.

48Expert Score

Huge has more unique active ingredients than Transparent Labs. Alongside common ingredients like L-Citrulline, Betaine, and Arginine, it also contains things like Pomegranate Extract, Glycerol, and Beet Root Powder.

Ingredients Breakdown:
9.5
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
User Satisfaction Rate:
9.5
Value for Money:
10

Positives:

  • Unique ingredients like Glycerol, Pomegranate Extract, and Beet Root Powder

  • Solid doses of L-Citrulline and Betaine

  • Good flavor variety

Could be better:

  • Made with artificial ingredients

  • Contains Arginine which is likely not necessary

Hyde Max Pump

  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Creatine HCL, Arginine Nitrate
  • Flavors: Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch
  • Package Information: 280g
  • Serving Size: 11.2g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.73
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Kamaru Usman, Tilly King, Derick Ansah

Next on our list is ProSupps’ pump supplement, Hyde Max Pump. While this has a much simpler formula than the top 2 products on our list, let’s see how it compares.

First, ProSupps also contains L-Citrulline and the less effective Arginine. You can expect 4g of L-Citrulline, and 1g of Arginine in each serving. This is the first supplement on our list to also contain Beta-Alanine and Creatine as well.

Beta-Alanine has been shown to increase power output and reduce fatigue with consistent use, making it a very beneficial ergogenic ingredient. ProSupps has 3.2g which is a fairly high dose, just keep in mind this may cause some tingling.

Hyde Max Pump

You can also expect 1g of Creatine HCl in each serving. Creatine Monohydrate at a higher dose would be much more preferable. As it stands, 1g of HCl will not be enough to saturate your muscles even with daily use, and will likely not have much of an effect on performance.

ProSupps has a similarly limited flavor selection to Transparent Labs with only 2 options. Like Huge, it also contains several artificial ingredients. Finally, it is slightly more expensive than the previous 2 products at around $1.73 per serving.

48Expert Score

First, ProSupps also contains L-Citrulline and the less effective Arginine. You can expect 4g of L-Citrulline, and 1g of Arginine in each serving. This is the first supplement on our list to also contain Beta-Alanine and Creatine as well.

Ingredients Breakdown:
9.5
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
User Satisfaction Rate:
9.5
Value for Money:
10

Positives:

  • Solid dose of L-Citrulline

  • Beta-Alanine may provide useful performance-enhancing effects

  • Contains a decent amount of additional Vitamin C

Could be better:

  • Beta-Alanine may cause unpleasant tingling

  • More Creatine would be much more useful 

4. Pulse Legion – Best Pre-Workout Based Option

Pulse Legion

  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: Caffeine, Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Betaine
  • Flavors: Mojito, Pina Colada, Rainbow Sherbet, Fruit Punch, Peach Ring, Blue Raspberry, Apple Cider, Arctic Blast and other...
  • Package Information: 450g
  • Serving Size: 22.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.25
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Gage Clark, Grant Tinsley, Machaela Brabham

Next up, we have Pulse Legion. This is the first caffeinated pre-workout supplement on our list, but it should still deliver excellent pumps as well as a solid hit of stimulation.

Legion has an incredibly high amount of stimulation at 350mg per serving. Keep in mind that this amount of caffeine can be too much for most people, and should only be considered by experienced pre-workout users. Luckily, Legion offers a stim-free version for those who want a caffeine-free supplement.

This is the first supplement on our list to contain Citrulline Malate instead of L-Citrulline. While this is the same core ingredient as L-Citrulline, it is mixed with Malic Acid for slower absorption. This means you need slightly more to achieve the same effects. Legion has an effective dose of 8g per serving.

Pulse Legion

You can also expect a similar dose of Beta-Alanine to ProSupps at 3.6g per serving. This also has some of the highest betaine content of any product on our list at 2.5g per serving, being tied with Transparent Labs.

Legion has the most flavor variety on our list by far with 20 flavors to choose from. It’s also made completely from all-natural ingredients. Such a high-quality product does come at a price, being the most expensive product on our list at around $2.25 per serving.

47.5Expert Score

Legion has an incredibly high amount of stimulation at 350mg per serving. Keep in mind that this amount of caffeine can be too much for most people, and should only be considered by experienced pre-workout users.

Ingredients Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
User Satisfaction Rate:
10
Value for Money:
9.5

Positives:

  • Solid amounts of L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Betaine

  • The first caffeinated product on our list

  • Tons of flavor variety

Could be better:

  • High stimulation won’t be suitable for everybody

  • One of the more expensive products on our list

NO3 Ultimate

  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Silicate, Arginine Nitrate, Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Grape Seed Extract
  • Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch
  • Package Information: 210g
  • Serving Size: 10.7g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.00
  • Company Founded: 2002
  • Recommended by Athletes: Brittany Ann, Scott Mathison, Demi Bagby

Next up, we have a product from Cellucor which is one of the most iconic supplement brands around for their pre-workout C4. This is their signature pump supplement, NO3 Ultimate. So, let’s see how it compares with the rest of our list.

First, you can expect 4g of L-Citrulline per serving, which is an effective dose for increasing blood flow. NO3 also contains 3 kinds of Arginine, although I doubt that all of them combined will produce any more significant effects than L-Citrulline alone.

NO3 Ultimate

Photo by @dndacademy

This is the second product on our list to contain a polyphenol-based ingredient. Each serving contains 150mg of Grape Seed Extract. It’s unclear what the exact benefits of this ingredient are on performance, but it likely has similar benefits to other polyphenols like pomegranate, including increasing vascular function and blood flow.

Like Transparent Labs and ProSupps, NO3 Ultimate only comes in 2 unique flavors. Like the majority of products on our list, it is also made with artificial ingredients. Finally, it is also one of the pricier options available for a pump supplement at around $2.00 per serving.

47.5Expert Score

First, you can expect 4g of L-Citrulline per serving, which is an effective dose for increasing blood flow. NO3 also contains 3 kinds of Arginine, although I doubt that all of them combined will produce any more significant effects than L-Citrulline alone.

Ingredients Breakdown:
10
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
User Satisfaction Rate:
10
Value for Money:
9

Positives:

  • Solid dose of L-Citrulline

  • This dose of Grape Extract may prove to have interesting applications for performance

  • High Vitamin C content

Could be better:

  • Fairly expensive for the ingredient breakdown

  • Largely arginine-based, which won’t have a huge effect on pumps

6. Jacked Factory N.O. XT – Best in Capsules

N.O. XT Nitric Oxide

  • Form: Capsules
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Silicate, L-Glutathione
  • Flavors: Unflavored
  • Package Information: 90 or 180 capsules
  • Serving Size: 3 capsules
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.20
  • Company Founded: 2006
  • Recommended by Athletes: Morgan Mac, Mike Oliver, Bhuwan Chauhan

Next up, we have the first capsule-based product on our list, Jacked Factory’s N.O. XT. This will be a good choice if you’re not a fan of flavored sports supplements, and want the ease of taking it in a pill instead.

This supplement does contain L-Citrulline, but at a very low dose of only 1.5g per serving. For optimal effects, we recommend looking to get at least 3g, so consider doubling the dose if you take this supplement. It also contains Arginine and L-Glutathione. Arginine is not super effective, and it’s difficult to say what effects L-Glutathione will have on NO.

Because this is a capsule-based supplement it is completely unflavored. As a result, it also doesn’t contain any additional artificial ingredients like most powder supplements. Finally, this is a fairly cheap supplement, with these pump pills only being about $1.20 per serving in the larger package size.

47Expert Score

This supplement does contain L-Citrulline, but at a very low dose of only 1.5g per serving. For optimal effects, we recommend looking to get at least 3g, so consider doubling the dose if you take this supplement.

Ingredients Breakdown:
8.5
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
User Satisfaction Rate:
10
Value for Money:
10

Positives:

  • Only capsule-based supplement on our list

  • L-Glutathione may be beneficial for boosting NO production

  • Fairly inexpensive

Could be better:

  • Very low L-Citrulline content

  • Arginine will likely not have much effect

PEScience High Volume

  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Glycerol, Ferula Asafoetida Extract, Arginine Nitrate, Arginine Sulfate
  • Flavors: Blue Frost, Melon Berry Twist, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi
  • Package Information: 252g
  • Serving Size: 14g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.94
  • Company Founded: 2010
  • Recommended by Athletes: Matt Rosenman, Elizabeth Santos, Freddie Williams

Next up on our list is PEScience’s pump supplement, High Volume. Is this product on par with the rest of our list? Let’s find out.

First, it contains a fairly standard dose of L-Citrulline at 4g. Like many of the other products on our list, it also contains high amounts of arginine which likely won’t produce much of an effect. This is also the only other product on our list that contains Glycerol, which may have a minor pumping effect due to increased water retention.

Naked Weight Gainer Protein instagram

This is also the first product we’ve covered to feature the unique ingredient Ferula Asafoetida Extract. Studies on animals have shown this product to have a vasodilating effect, although it’s difficult to say if this is true for humans. Further research may show this to be a beneficial ingredient for a pumping effect, although it’s currently too early to say.

PEScience offers a decent flavor variety with 4 different options to choose from. It also contains several artificial ingredients including sweeteners and dyes. Its price is also on the higher end of our list at just under $2.00 per serving.

47Expert Score

First, it contains a fairly standard dose of L-Citrulline at 4g. Like many of the other products on our list, it also contains high amounts of arginine which likely won’t produce much of an effect.

Ingredients Breakdown:
9.5
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
User Satisfaction Rate:
9.5
Value for Money:
9

Positives:

  • Solid L-Citrulline

  • One of the only products to contain glycerol on our list

  • Ferula extract may prove to be beneficial for pumps

Could be better:

  • Contains several artificial ingredients

  • Could benefit more from something else instead of arginine

8.  GHOST Pump – Best Price Per Serving Option

Ghost Pump

  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Nitrate, L-Glutathione
  • Flavors: Unflavored, Peach, Pineapple, Sour Watermelon
  • Package Information: 350g
  • Serving Size: 8.75g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.00
  • Company Founded: 2016
  • Recommended by Athletes: Christian Guzman, Tracy Cortez, Nathan McCallum.

Closing off our list is Ghost Pump, which is a less well-known brand than many of the other companies on our list. It does offer excellent value for money, so let’s see how its formula compares.

Ghost’s formula is fairly similar to most of the products on our list. It has 3g of L-Citrulline per serving, which is a low, but effective dose. It also contains L-Glutathione, which as we’ve mentioned may be beneficial for NO bioavailability as well, although it likely won’t be significant. There is also Arginine, but as you likely know by now, this won’t make a huge difference.

Ghost Pump

Photo by @camjcrook

One interesting ingredient in the formula is Pine Bark Extract, which is the third unique polyphenic ingredient we’ve covered so far. Like Pomegranate and Grape Seed Extract, it likely has a whole host of health benefits as well as increasing blood flow.

There are 4 unique flavors available, which is about average for our list. It also contains some artificial ingredients which are fairly standard as well. However, this is the cheapest supplement on our list, offering excellent value for money at only about $1.00 per serving.

46Expert Score

Ghost’s formula is fairly similar to most of the products on our list. It has 3g of L-Citrulline per serving, which is a low, but effective dose. It also contains L-Glutathione, which as we’ve mentioned may be beneficial for NO bioavailability as well.

Ingredients Breakdown:
10
Taste/Flavor:
8.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
User Satisfaction Rate:
9
Value for Money:
9.5

Positives:

  • Best budget pick

  • Decent L-Citrulline content

  • Pine Bark Extract will provide health benefits of polyphenols

Could be better:

  • Contains arginine which won’t help much

  • Contains several artificial ingredients

What is a Pump Supplement? 

Before getting into what a pump supplement is, let’s quickly cover what we mean when we refer to getting a pump. A muscle pump, scientifically known as a form of “exercise hyperemia” is the increase in blood flow to your muscles when working out. It temporarily makes muscles appear fuller and veins pop more than they do in everyday life. It is most intense directly after exercise but will last for several hours after working out.

So, a pump supplement is anything that will enhance this effect while you’re working out. This is mainly achieved through vasodilators like L-Citrulline. If you’re unfamiliar with the term vasodilation, it’s when blood vessels expand. This increases blood flow, which leads to an increased pump as a result.

Many supplements contain arginine in some form or another. While arginine in the blood is a potent vasodilator, it’s worth noting that supplementation with this ingredient won’t likely produce desired results, and should not be prioritized when looking for a supplement.

Still, several other research-backed ingredients in these supplements cause increased pumps or the perception of increased pumps. These include polyphenols, glycerol, and more. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a supplement that contains effective doses of these active ingredients, while still not being especially expensive.

athlete workout

What Components in Supplements Can Increase Pumping?

Below we’ll be going more in-depth on the 5 ingredients in the products above that have the most significant effects on increasing pumps. These include citrulline, polyphenols, nitrates, glycerol, and glutathione. In short, anything that will stimulate NO is great for an increased pumping.

It’s worth noting that we don’t mention betaine and arginine below despite both of these ingredients being in most of the supplements covered on our list. Although betaine does appear beneficial for increasing performance, it likely does not have a significant effect on increasing pumps. Also, arginine supplementation generally does not appear to have much of an effect whatsoever.

1. Citrulline/Citrulline Malate

The primary ingredient we focused on for this list was Citrulline/Citrulline Malate. This is probably the most common vasodilator included in most supplements. Because of its vasodilatory properties, Citrulline improves exercise performance, and of course, improves pumps as well.

Citrulline is converted to arginine in the bloodstream which is then converted to NO. This is the main mechanism behind Citrulline’s use as a vasodilator.

We recommend looking for a dose of 3g+ of L-Citrulline for optimal effects. Because Citrulline Malate is less concentrated, try to find a supplement with at least 6g.

2. Polyphenols

Polyphenols are one of the more interesting ingredients found in the supplements on our list. While they aren’t super common in supplements, they offer a whole host of health benefits largely because of their antioxidant properties. They also improve vascular activity, which in turn should lead to better pumps.

It’s difficult to say what dose of these ingredients will produce meaningful results. The supplements on our list contain between 100-500mg of polyphenolic ingredients, but it stands to reason that the more a supplement contains the more potent these effects will be.

dumbbells workout

3. Nitrates (Beet Root Extracts, etc.)

Nitrates are found largely in the diet through leafy green vegetables and beetroots, but they can be found in supplements through ingredients like beetroot extract as well. It should be noted that acute effects from these ingredients take around 2-3 hours to reach peak concentration.

So, if you’re taking a supplement with nitrates like Huge, you’d need to take it 2-3 hours before your workout to maximize the effects of nitrate. However, we recommend taking pump supplements closer to an hour before your workout to maximize the effects of citrulline, which will have a more potent and acute effect.

4. Glycerol

Glycerol is another ingredient that may somewhat increase the pumping effect. This is because it will increase water retention, and send more fluid to your muscles. While this isn’t the same as sending more blood to your muscles, it may still lead to a perceived enhancement to your pumps.

The effect of glycerol on water retention is similar to that of creatine, although glycerol has more acute effects, creatine targets muscle cells and glycerol overall body water levels. While it’s not exactly giving you an increased pump, it will still make your muscles appear fuller.

5. Glutathione

Finally, Glutathione is an ingredient that may possibly increase NO’s bioavailability in the body. This means it likely has applications alongside NO boosters like L-Citrulline for putting the compound to good use in your body. Although Glutathione likely won’t have a major effect on increasing pumps on its own, it should be beneficial alongside some of the other ingredients on our list.

On top of this, a large dose of 1g appears to have some interesting applications in overall health, specifically immune function.

female trx workout

How to Find the Best Pump Supplement? 

1. Pump-Enhancing Ingredients (Citrulline, Polyphenols, Nitrate, etc.)

The primary factor you’ll want to consider when buying a pump supplement is the ingredients it contains. Above we outlined the 5 main ingredients you should be looking for – Citrulline, Polyphenols, Nitrate, Glycerol, and maybe Glutathione.

We recommend prioritizing Citrulline when making your decision, as it is the ingredient that will likely have the most noticeable effects on both pumps and performance in the gym. Look for a minimum dose of 3g of L-Citrulline and 6g of Citrulline Malate. While the other ingredients are also beneficial, Citrulline will give you the best bang for your buck.

2. Stimulation

You should also consider if you want a caffeinated or stim-free supplement. While we prioritized stim-free choices on our list, if you want a caffeinated pump supplement, check out Legion. If you’re looking for a stimulated supplement, many of the brands featured on this list offer caffeine-heavy pre-workout supplements that still have pump-boosting ingredients like L-Citrulline.

3. Value for Money

Compare the ingredients you’re getting and their doses with the price per serving to determine how much value for money you’re getting from a supplement. While you may save some money on a cheaper supplement, you may be getting a noticeably worse formula when compared to a more expensive product. 

4. Taste/Flavor & Form

Although these are minor elements, they’re still important to consider when making a decision. If there’s a specific flavor you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find it in a supplement with a ton of flavor variety. Also, check customer reviews to see if people generally enjoy the product’s flavor or not. Finally, consider if you want a pump supplement in powder or capsule form as well. 

grips training

How to Take a Pump Supplement?

Taking a pump supplement is largely a matter of timing your supplement for the best effects. For L-Citrulline, you’ll want to take a supplement around 60 minutes before working out for optimum effects. However, it appears things like nitrates take a little longer to have an effect, likely around 2-3 hours. If your supplement is caffeinated, this ingredient can take between 30-60 minutes to work.

When in doubt, see what the directions are on the supplement you purchased! Most supplements will recommend taking them around an hour before your workout. Although you may miss out on some of the effects of nitrate, this is likely a good general time frame.

For mixing up a powder, supplement companies will usually recommend mixing 1 scoop of their pump supplement with 1-2 cups of water. Find a ratio that delivers the best taste and texture for you! For capsules, simply take the recommended dose alongside a glass of water.

man dumbbells training in gym

How to get a Great Pump without Supplementation?

While a supplement can be beneficial for an increased pumping effect, it’s not necessary to get a great pump in the gym. Follow some of these tips the next time you’re working out for a more significant pump. Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily the best way to build muscle, but it will give you a great pump. 

1. Isolation Exercises

One of the best ways to get a better pump is by doing isolation exercises that target specific muscles with higher rep range and close to failure. Think curls for the biceps, or leg extensions for the quads. By doing these more targeted exercises, you will send more blood to the muscles you’re trying to pump up. 

2. Establish a Mind-Muscle Connection

A mind-muscle connection is the ability to feel an exercise you’re doing in the muscle you’re targeting. This not only helps with proper form but allows you to squeeze each rep to get a better pump. Concentrate on going slow to send as much blood as possible to your muscles. 

3. Train with High rep range, Close to Failure

Once you’ve picked an isolation exercise, pick a weight you can train at a high rep range. While the ideal rep range for hypertrophy is up for debate (there is none), high volume training is ideal for getting a pump. Pick a weight where you can accomplish 12-25 reps with no more than 1-2 reps left in reserve.

If you perform isolation exercises at a higher rep and focus on the mind-muscle connection, you’re sure to get an intense pump – with or without a supplement.

workout on weight bench

FAQ

What gives the best muscle pump? 

The best way to get a muscle pump is to do isolation exercises with intention at a high rep range. The supplement ingredients most conducive to helping with pumps are vasodilators like L-Citrulline. In our opinion, the best overall supplement for giving great pumps is PUMP by Transparent Labs.

Are pump supplements worth it?

If your goal is to get better pumps in the gym, then pump products can be very beneficial. While ingredients like L-Citrulline and Betaine will also help improve performance, pump supplements likely won’t make a massive difference in your overall strength. Still, a pump enhancer can be a worthwhile addition to your supplement stack if you want more noticeable pumps.

How long do pumps last? 

Pumps will be strongest and most noticeable immediately during/after finishing your workout. However, they will last between 2 and 3 hours as your muscles steadily lose blood flow and return to their normal unpumped appearance.

Does creatine give you a pump?

Not exactly. Creatine, like glycerol, increases water retention alongside many other benefits. While this will give your muscles a fuller appearance, it won’t increase blood flow to your muscles. So, while creatine will make your muscles look larger, it’s not through the same mechanism as a pump. 

Conclusion

If you’re looking to get significantly stronger pumps in the gym, then a pump supplement may be just what you need. From the inclusion of vasodilators like L-Citrulline, the products on this list will help improve blood flow and give you much more noticeable pumps. Keep in mind they won’t significantly increase performance, but they will give you a slight boost.

While all the products featured in our high pump supplement reviews have their unique advantages, our top pick overall is PUMP by Transparent Labs.

Do you have any experience with pump supplements? Any tips for getting better pumps in the gym without using a supplement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1.  Adam M Gonzalez "Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans" NCBI, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31977835/ (2020 May)
  2.  Jenna M. Apicella "The Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms" UCOON, https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgiarticle=1078&context=gs_theses (2009)
  3.  "Acute Effects of L-Arginine Supplementation on Oxygen Consumption Kinetics and Muscle Oxyhemoglobin and Deoxyhemoglobin during Treadmill Running in Male Adults " DigitalCommons, https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2253&context=ijes 
  4. A Prasad "Glutathione reverses endothelial dysfunction and improves nitric oxide bioavailability" NCBI, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10440166/ (1999 Aug)
  5. "To beet or not to beet? Researchers test theories of beet juice benefits" PSU, https://www.psu.edu/news/research/story/beet-or-not-beet-researchers-test-theories-beet-juice-benefits/
  6. Tom Clifford "The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease" NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425174/ (2015 Apr)
  7. Matjaž Macuh "Effects of Nitrate Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans" NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8465461/ (2021 Sep)
  8. "The Power of Pomegranate" Albany, https://www.albany.edu/news/82727.php
  9. Erica J Roelofs "Effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and vessel diameter after high-intensity exercise in young, healthy adults" NCBI, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27644475/ (2017 Apr)
  10. "Study finds wild blueberry extracts influence blood vessel formation" Umaine, https://umaine.edu/news/blog/2020/07/28/study-finds-wild-blueberry-extracts-influence-blood-vessel-formation/  (July 28, 2020)
  11. Eric T Trexler "International society of sports nutrition position stand" NCBI, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26175657/ (2015 Jul 15)
  12. Richard B. Kreider "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand" JISSN, https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z (Published: 13 June 2017)
  13. Richard B. Kreider "Bioavailability, Efficacy, Safety, and Regulatory Status of Creatine and Related Compounds" MDPI, https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/5/1035 
  14. Joanna L. Bowtell "FRUIT-DERIVED POLYPHENOL SUPPLEMENTATION FOR
  15. PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY" GSSIWeb, https://www.gssiweb.org/docs/default-source/sse-docs/bowtell_sse_195-v3_final.pdf (2019)
  16. Poonam Mahendra "Ferula asafoetida: Traditional uses and pharmacological activity" NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459456/ (2012 Jul-Dec)
  17. Pedro Ferreira-Santos "Encapsulated Pine Bark Polyphenolic Extract during Gastrointestinal Digestion: Bioaccessibility, Bioactivity and Oxidative Stress Prevention" NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913864/ (2021 Feb)
  18. "Exercise Hyperemia and Regulation of Tissue Oxygenation During Muscular Activity" NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK57139/
  19. Emily Nock "What are Polyphenols? Another Great Reason to Eat Fruits and Veggies" CHHS, https://www.chhs.colostate.edu/krnc/monthly-blog/what-are-polyphenols-another-great-reason-to-eat-fruits-and-veggies/ (JUNE 2021)
  20. Matjaž Macuh "Effects of Nitrate Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Narrative Review" NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8465461/ (2021 Sep)
  21. A Prasad "Glutathione reverses endothelial dysfunction and improves nitric oxide bioavailability" NCBI, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10440166/ (1999 Aug)
  22. HERSHEY, Pa. "Research shows oral supplement increases body's storage of antioxidant" PSU, https://www.psu.edu/news/research/story/research-shows-oral-supplement-increases-bodys-storage-antioxidant/ (APRIL 22, 2013)

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
Pump by TL

Jacek Szymanowski

M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology,
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 20 years

With my 30 years fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, I bring a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a master's of science degree in biotechnology, I stay at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that my coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published