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To put together our Ascent pre-workout review, we did what we do best: We tried the supplement for ourselves first, so you don’t have to. Ascent is a pre-workout with its most notable ingredients being natural caffeine from coffee fruit extract, 5 grams of whey protein isolate, and an impressive electrolyte matrix.

Verified buyers love this pre-workout drink for its great taste and smooth energy without the jitters. However, given its formulation, is it really worth the price per serving? We rated and scored this supplement for ourselves using the GGR criteria. Read on to discover what we thought.  

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

We Test and Tell

Our product testers have tried nearly 60 pre-workout supplements in a continuing effort to find the best (and the worst) pre-workouts on the market and report the lowdown right back to you. We have a team of professionals specializing in powerlifting, endurance training, CrossFit, and sports nutrition to give you raw, honest feedback to help you get the most value out of your exercise supplements. 

Ascent Pre-Workout

Ascent Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4.07 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Gluten-free pre-workout
  • Informed-Sport certified
  • Made in USA
  • 150 mg of caffeine per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • Caffeine sources from coffee fruit extract
  • Third-party certified

Cons

  • More than $1 per serving
  • Produced in a facility with tree nuts and peanuts

Bottom Line

Ascent Pre-Workout sources caffeine from coffee fruit extract and does not contain artificial ingredients. It’s third-party tested certified and offers a gluten-free formula. Ascent notes that Orange Mango is tangy and sweet while the Raspberry Lemonade is more tart. Ascent also partners with Greenspark to plant trees in Honduras for every order placed.

A Quick Look at Ascent Pre-Workout

Ascent is a family-owned business based in Denver, Colorado, and has been making protein powder for 30 years. Ascent’s “hard work” story is described by the company as their determination to provide clean protein powder and other supplements that have zero artificial ingredients, natural added sugars, and ingredients you can pronounce. 

They also take pride in the fact that their products are third-party tested for banned substances. The hard work put into their pre-workout is shown in a gluten-free supplement without any artificial sweeteners or excessive ingredients; just a simple formulation designed to boost energy and hydration levels naturally. 

Before You Buy

  • This is not a typical high-stim, pump-inducing, shirt-ripping pre-workout. The dosages and effects are relatively mild compared to other pre-workouts.
  • The inclusion of whey protein powder in the pre-workout makes it unsuitable for vegans or those with a dairy allergy.
  • The scoop size is slightly larger than average for the number of ingredients it contains.

Is Ascent Pre-Workout Worth It?

Given the unconventional formulation of Ascent pre-workout, there are definitely people who would be more well-suited for it and others who may be disappointed with the ingredients it includes. At about $0.95 per serving, it’s likely worth a try for most people.

Front of Ascent Pre-Workout bag

Great for:

  • Those looking for a powder that can provide some hydration fuel without the excess carbohydrates
  • Individuals who are beginners or new to taking pre-workout
  • Athletes who need to stick to third-party-tested supplements

Not recommended for:

  • Experienced weightlifters who want a lengthy formulation of pre-workout ingredients full of nootropics, nitric oxide boosters, and amino acids
  • Vegans or those who do not eat dairy
  • People who want a completely sugar-free supplement

Ascent Pre-Workout Specs

Price per serving $0.95
Serving size11 g per scoop
FlavorsOrange Mango, Blueberry Raspberry, Raspberry Lemonade
Caffeine dosage150 mg
Beta-alanine dosageNone
L-citrulline dosageNone
Creatine dosageNone
Other key ingredientsWhey protein isolate, coffee fruit extract
Third-party tested?Yes, Informed Choice
BenefitsCertified gluten-free, no artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors, clean energy from natural caffeine source

Experience Using Ascent Pre-Workout

Our head reviewer on GGR Everything Lindsay Scheele tried Ascent pre-workout. She thought the formulation left a bit to be desired, but she overall enjoyed the product. 

“Do I wish this had other ingredients like creatine or beta-alanine, citrulline, or more, YES,” Lindsay says. “However their whole deal is clean ingredients and I can get behind that. I would for sure use this again though. I love Gorilla Mode and that is my go-to, but I am going to be using the rest of this and see how I feel after a month of use.” 

Ascent Pre-Workout in a glass

RELATED: Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Review

In addition, she says the price is reasonable and on par with the value you get. “It is way cheaper than Gorilla Mode and if you want the other ingredients you will need to supplement, but this was my favorite pre-workout I tried out of the ones I tested.”

Price Per Serving

Ascent costs about $0.95 per serving regardless of your flavor selection. Whether the value is worth it for you depends on what you are looking for in your pre-workout. If you’re trying to get absolutely jacked on energy with a major pump to boot, this likely isn’t the supplement for you and you can probably find a pre-workout with those ingredients for a similar price. 

RELATED: Best Pump Pre-Workout

However, if you just want to boost energy the clean way and improve your hydration levels with a tasty pre-workout drink, then Ascent can provide more value. 

Formulation

We gave Ascent pre-workout a 2 out of 5 rating in the formulation category, mainly because many of the common ingredients you would find to help boost weightlifting performance are simply not present. 

It’s great that there are zero artificial ingredients and it provides clean energy, but those looking for ingredients like l-citrulline, BCAAs, or beta-alanine would be disappointed. 

RELATED: Do BCAAs Give You Energy?

Below are the most notable ingredients:

  • Caffeine – 150 milligrams
  • Sodium – 250 milligrams
  • Potassium – 32 milligrams
  • Calcium – 25 milligrams
  • Whey protein isolate – 5 grams
  • Cane sugar – 1 gram
Back of Ascent Pre-Workout bag

The highlights of this formulation are definitely the Ascent protein and electrolytes, which aren’t commonly included in most pre-workout supplements. I don’t know exactly why whey protein is included considering the dose is too small to significantly signal muscle building and most people take protein post-workout, not before. 

RELATED: Should You Drink a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout?

Also, while being a source of “clean energy” is admirable, the amount is about half of what you would typically find in a pre-workout, so expect this supplement to boost energy to a modest degree.  

The good news is that the hydration matrix is pretty great. Sodium, potassium, and calcium are the main electrolytes needed for hydration and the amounts in Ascent’s formulation are very close to that of a standard Gatorade, which has a formulation that is responsible for hydrating elite and professional athletes. 

So, if you’ve ever wanted the hydrating effects of Gatorade without all the added sugars, Ascent is a natural, affordable alternative with only 1 gram of added sugars from cane sugar. 

RELATED: Best Electrolyte Powder 

Finally, sodium citrate and citric acid are also included. Both ingredients can be used as flavoring agents, but sodium citrate can also play a role in rehydration1. Sunflower lecithin is an ingredient added to help with the powder’s solubility. 

Taste and Solubility 

Lindsay rated Ascent pre-workout 4.5 out of 5 in the taste category. She says, “I ordered the Orange Mango flavor and it was delicious! After trying two other pre-workouts that tasted gross to just OK, this was a nice treat!”

Inside Ascent Pre-Workout bag

As far as solubility, she gave it a solid 5 out of 5. “No issues, mixed easily in my water bottle with a little shake,” she reports. “It didn’t even have bits at the bottom after sitting on the counter for a while before I drank it.”

Side Effects

Follow the instructions carefully to avoid any negative pre-workout side effects. If you suffer from heart problems, you should avoid pre-workout. Also, consult your physician before starting any supplement regimen if you are taking prescription medications or have liver or kidney problems.

Lindsay didn’t report any complaints with Ascent pre-workout in terms of side effects. In fact, she says, “It was a hard workout with a lot of volume and it really helped me get through it!”

Third-Party Testing 

Ascent’s pre-workout supplement is third-party tested by Informed Sport. So, it has undergone testing by an independent lab to establish the supplement is free from banned substances, contaminants, and other harmful ingredients, making it sport certified for athletes who are required to participate in drug testing. Third-party testing is also reassuring for those concerned with supplement safety and adulteration. 

Comparison to Naked Nutrition Pre-Workout 

Naked Nutrition Pre-Workout

Naked Nutrition Naked Energy Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4.13 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Naked Energy is a vegan pre-workout supplement formulated with just 10 ingredients and nothing artificial. 
  • Three flavors are available: Fruit Punch, Citrus, and Unflavored.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Formulated with just 10 ingredients
  • Affordable at less than $1 per serving
  • Available in unflavored option
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Small dose of creatine
  • No nitric oxide boosters, so don’t expect a muscle pump

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a vegan pre-workout supplement, Naked Energy may be a good choice. Made with just 10 ingredients and nothing artificial, it was designed to support increased energy without the fillers.

Naked Nutrition is another brand known for its use of natural flavors and lack of artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. Both Ascent pre-workout and Naked pre-workout are third-party tested, soy-free, and comparable in price and caffeine content, but Naked’s scoop size is much smaller. That said, Naked does contain some of the common pre-workout ingredients many weightlifting enthusiasts have come to expect.

The biggest difference between the two is that Naked is dairy-free and due to the Ascent protein coming from whey, it is not appropriate for vegans or those who are allergic to dairy. 

Ascent Pre-WorkoutNaked Nutrition Pre-Workout
Price per serving $0.95$0.90
Serving size11 grams per scoop4.8 grams per scoop
FlavorsOrange Mango, Blueberry Raspberry, Raspberry LemonadeFruit Punch, Citrus, Stim Free
Caffeine dosage150 mg200 mg
Beta-alanine dosageNone2 grams
L-citrulline dosageNoneNone
Creatine dosageNone1 gram
Other key ingredientsWhey Protein Isolate, Coffee Fruit ExtractL-arginine
Third-party tested?Yes, Informed ChoiceNo

RELATED: Best Natural Pre-Workout

Customer Experience 

If you need support while using Ascent pre-workout, you can contact the company’s customer service by filling out the contact form on their website. You can also use their chat feature with operating hours being Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-4:00 pm MST. If you purchase on Amazon, you will need to contact their customer service instead.

Ordering Ascent Pre-Workout

To purchase Ascent pre-workout from Amazon, you follow the typical flow of checkout as you would with any other product. On the Ascent website, checkout procedures are handled by Shopify. So, all you need to do is add items to your virtual cart, fill in your shipping information, and select a payment method. 

Shipping is a flat rate of $5.99 to the continental USA with free shipping if you spend more than $79. Ascent’s website states that they do not ship internationally and they actually recommend you place your orders through Amazon. 

Therefore, check the refund policy on Amazon prior to ordering, as supplements may not be eligible for return once opened. 

Customer Reviews

Currently, Amazon ratings average 4.2 out of 5 stars based on 1,012 global ratings. Most reviewers love the flavor, the fact that they get zero jitters, and that there are no artificial ingredients. However, negative reviews are mostly complaints about the solubility. 

On the Ascent website, the supplement is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars based on 182 reviews. The most critical reviews state dissatisfaction with the solubility and flavor, such as it being too sweet or too strong. 

Final Verdict of Our Ascent Pre-Workout Review

So, Ascent is a natural, no-frills pre-workout supplement with a modest content of stimulants and a great profile of electrolytes for hydration along with a dash of whey protein powder. However, for you more seasoned pre-workout enthusiasts, the formulation likely won’t measure up to the powders you’ve become accustomed to. 

  • Third-party tested
  • Certified gluten-free with zero artificial ingredients or sweeteners
  • Electrolyte content similar to premium sports drinks
  • Customer reviews love the flavor and clean energy it provides

Full Rating

Ascent Pre-Workout

Ascent Pre-Workout sources caffeine from coffee fruit extract and does not contain artificial ingredients. It’s third-party tested certified and offers a gluten-free formula. Ascent notes that Orange Mango is tangy and sweet while the Raspberry Lemonade is more tart. Ascent also partners with Greenspark to plant trees in Honduras for every order placed.

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 29.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.07

Ascent Pre-Workout Rating

Price per serving – 3.5
Formulation – 2
Taste – 4.5
Solubility – 5
Side effects – 5
Third-party testing – 5
Customer service – 3
Customer reviews – 4.6
Buy Now

Ascent Pre-Workout: FAQs

What is the highest-rated pre-workout?

There are a lot of pre-workout supplements that rate highly for different metrics. Here are our top picks in a variety of categories:
-Editor’s Favorite Pre-Workout: Onnit Alpha BRAIN Pre-Workout
-Best Pre-Workout Overall: Transparent Labs BULK
-Best Pre-Workout for Men: XWERKS Ignite
-Best Pre-Workout for Women: Legion Athletics Pulse 
-Best Pre-Workout for Weight Loss: Transparent Labs LEAN
-Best Pre-Workout for Beginners: Jacked Factory Nitrosurge
-Best All-in-One Pre-Workout: Kaged Pre-Kaged
-Best-Tasting Pre-Workout: Huge Supplements Pump Serum
-Best Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout: Onnit Total Strength + Performance
-Best Pre-Workout for a Pump: 4 Gauge
-Best Pre-Workout for Focus: Pre JYM Pre-Workout
-Best Non-Stim Pre-Workout: Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout
-Best Natural Pre-Workout: Naked Nutrition Naked Energy Pre-Workout
-Best Pre-Workout with Creatine: Gorilla Mode 
-Best Pre-Workout for Running: 1st Phorm Endura-Formance
-Best Vegan Pre-Workout: Genius Pre
-Best Budget Pre-Workout: Cellucor C4 
-Best Pre-Workout for Muscle Gain: Blackwolf 

Does Ascent pre-workout have caffeine?

Ascent pre-workout has 150 milligrams of natural caffeine from coffee fruit extract. 

What is the strongest pre-workout?

Some of the strongest pre-workouts include:

-Strongest Pre-Workout Overall: Nutrition Cartel El Jefe
-Strongest Pre-Workout for Strength and Power: Transparent Labs BULK Black
-Strongest Pre-Workout for Focus: JYM Supplements Pre-JYM
-Strongest Natural Pre-Workout: Legion Pulse
-Strongest Pre-Workout on a Budget: Huge Supplements Wrecked Enraged
-Strongest Pre-Workout for a Pump: Jacked Factory NitroSurge Max
-Strongest Pre-Workout with Best Taste: Redcon1 Total War
-Strongest Pre-Workout with Creatine: Kaged Pre-Kaged Elite

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Timpmann S, Burk A, Medijainen L, et al. Dietary sodium citrate supplementation enhances rehydration and recovery from rapid body mass loss in trained wrestlers. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012;37(6):1028-1037. doi:10.1139/h2012-089

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