Honey Badger is the only sports nutrition brand we know of named for an early viral video, so they’ve got that going for them. Founded by Anthony Bonello in 2013, Honey Badger is inspired by the most fearless animal in the world (and viral YouTube sensation from 2011). With that kind of tenacity and verve, Honey Badger creates sports nutrition products designed for the kind of athlete who won’t quit, no matter the odds.
Honey Badger is proudly family-owned, founded by brothers and Special Forces veterans. Their products are vegan, keto, and paleo-friendly, designed in forms for maximum absorption and bio-availability.
Initial Impressions of Honey Badger Pre Workout
Honey Badger comes in a cute tub that doesn’t go over the top with aggressive imagery – even the badger icon is kind of cute. The design could make it more appealing to consumers outside of the jacked-up gym bro market.
PRE comes as a super-fine powder that mixes up very nicely, without solutes settling to the bottom. You won’t have to constantly shake it back into a solution like some pre-workouts.
Energy Ingredients in Honey Badger Pre Workout
- Caffeine Anhydrous 150mg
Most pre-workouts promising an energy boost focus on caffeine first and foremost. Honey Badger PRE actually goes easy on the caffeine, compared to other brands that seem intent on pushing the FDA recommendation to its limit. With just 150mg of caffeine anhydrous, Honey Badger’s pre-workout isn’t going to give you anxiety or the shakes, just around the same amount as a couple of cups of coffee.
That’s good news for users who have an aversion to caffeine, but it’s likely to disappoint hard-core athletes who want to see a surge in energy. Without any other caffeine extenders included in the formula, it’s a little too little.
Nootropic (Focus and Mood) Ingredients in Honey Badger Pre Workout
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine 350 mg
Like the caffeine, Honey Badger’s dose of tyrosine leaves something to be desired as well. First, the good – Honey Badger is smart to use N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, as the acetylated form is easier for the body to absorb and use. However, 350mg of tyrosine is well below an optimal dose (around 1.5g), meaning users can’t expect the benefits of nootropics.
As a nootropic, tyrosine is thought to improve memory and cognitive function, especially in stressful situations. That’s why athletes in intense workouts favor it for clarity and muscle memory. It’s too bad Honey Badger shorts it.
Anti-Fatigue Ingredients in Honey Badger Pre Workout
- Beta-Alanine 1600 mg
With a name like Honey Badger, you expect products that don’t give up made for athletes who don’t give up, either. One of the leading supplements for holding fatigue at bay, beta-alanine, shows up here in a respectable 1600mg dose. It’s a little short of the 2.5g optimal dose for effectiveness, but there’s probably good reason for that.
The copy on the packaging warns users that they may experience the tingling sensation often associated with beta-alanine, but frankly, at 1.6g, you’re only likely to feel it if you’re exceptionally susceptible to the skin-crawl. If you are, you probably already know to go for beta-alanine-free products anyway.
Pump and Blood Flow Ingredients in Honey Badger Pre Workout
- L-Citrulline Malate 2500mg
As seems to be the general rule here, Honey Badger PRE is a little short on the L-Citrulline Malate. Citrulline commonly shows up in pre-workouts because of its value in getting the blood flowing, but an optimal dose is more like 8g. With only 2.5g, Honey Badger isn’t offering enough of its pump support to really see serious vasodilation.
It’s worthwhile to point out how important good blood flow is for a good workout. Blood delivers oxygen to your cells and keeps your body moving. Cut off the oxygen, like an extremely intense workout can do, and you’re going to hit the wall. That has implications for endurance, quality, and overall performance.
Strength Support & Body Composition Ingredients in Honey Badger Pre Workout
Since Honey Badger seems intent on giving customers a push through an intense workout, it’s surprising that there are none of the typical strength and muscle support ingredients included in PRE. You’d usually expect to see at least a nominal amount of creatine or betaine on the ingredients list. Granted, a lot of serious athletes will supplement their creatine on their own throughout the day, so Honey Badger might have decided it’s not worth complicating the formula.
Electrolyte Ingredients in Honey Badger Pre Workout
- Sodium 26mg
Sodium and potassium are essential parts of any workout, as anyone who’s ever bonked from dehydration can tell you. Electrolytes keep your muscles contracting and your fluids balanced. Most pre-workouts will include some electrolytes to get you through a workout in the name of a well-rounded formula.
Most serious gym rats will make sure they get their electrolytes in, so it’s probably not a big deal that Honey Badger only includes 26mg of sodium (and no potassium) in PRE. Seems like an oversight, though.
The Extra Mile?
Additional Pre-Workout Ingredients in Honey Badger Pre Workout:
- Vitamin C 60mg
- Pterostilbene 10mg
The extras in Honey Badger PRE are well-chosen. A 60mg dose of Vitamin C is 100% of the daily recommendation. Studies have been done with far higher doses, but Vitamin C is important for recovery.
Honey Badger also includes a surprise: 10mg of Pterostilbene. Derived from blueberries, pterostilbene has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities that might have a value in recovery, helping rebuild tissue damaged by an intense workout. Again, studies have used far higher doses, though, so it’s hard to say how much effect 10mg might have.
Taste & Flavors of Honey Badger Pre Workout
Honey Badger PRE comes in 7 flavors, ranging from Peach Mango, Wild Berry, and Tropical Punch to the ambiguous “Candy Limited.” We tried Pink Lemonade.
When mixed up according to directions, Honey Badger PRE has a surprisingly light and delicate taste, with a hint of lemon. It’s not overwhelming, and there’s no icky aftertaste. The packaging proudly proclaims “No Sucralose,” and the stevia is not enough to be bitter.
Who Honey Badger Pre Workout is For
Honey Badger markets its pre-workout for intense, high-endurance athletes who want to push through their workout without getting slowed down.
Who Honey Badger PRE is Not For
Honey Badger is not for consumers who want strength support or blood flow support included in their supplement without having to add another product.
Potential Side Effects of Honey Badger PRE
- If you’re extremely sensitive to caffeine or beta-alanine, reconsider
Honey Badger PRE provides many of the important elements of a good pre-workout, including energy, nootropics, and anti-fatigue, but goes light on dosing and is missing what we consider some key components.