Big Review: Gnarly Pump Pre Workout Lacks A Real Identity

Posted on April 28th, 2016 By Allie Lewis in Pre Workout Reviews Read Time: 12 mins.

Recently updated on September 26th, 2022 at 09:49 pm

Back to Back Gnarly Nutrition Reviews? Now that’s legit. Bro. Lol.


So as you know from yesterday’s GNARLY VEGAN FEAST Review, I am on a little bit of a Gnarly binge reviewing these products. But I can’t help it. One of my best fittie friends literally bought every single Gnarly product last week and once she finally revealed this to me, I like ran to her house immediately and stole half of her stash. She understands. Slash. She would have if she was home to watch me do it. Lol. So Gnarly Pump is my second Gnarly Nutrition review, and I’m SUPER excited to share my findings with you. It has a lot to live up to since I did really enjoy the first Gnarly product that I reviewed yesterday. So. In this, my NINETY FIFTH pre workout review, I’m going to discuss all the ins-and-outs of Gnarly Pump. And wow. I just took a second to reflect on how long it’s taken to write 95 pre workout reviews. Craziness. But it’s what I love to do. So. Just like all my other pre workout reviews, we’re going to grade Gnarly Pump on these four criteria: flavor, performance, formulation, and packaging. How does that sound? I already know the answer. Lol. Let’s get this Gnarly Pump review started.

I spent a little bit of time in yesterday’s review bagging on the name ‘Gnarly Nutrition’. I was saying I think their name and their whole branding in general seems like it’s a GoPro sort of feel. It’s like the GoPro company for the supplement world. It’s funny. It’s like that whole ‘Lake Tahoe’ skier slash hipster vibe. AKA California vibe. I’ve never really associated myself with that vibe but I do like Gnarly Nutrition supplements so maybe I’ll get more ‘gnarly’ myself. I took Gnarly Pump before today’s lunge workout, and I can tell you all about it right about now. 

But first we have to talk about the Gnarly Pump taste, right? Right. 

Does Gnarly Pump Pre Workout Taste Good? 

The answer to this is, well, no. Er. Not REALLY. I think taste is super important for pre workouts and I think I’ve just been spoiled by some of the crazy-good pre workouts that I’ve tried in the past three years. I mean. I’ve reviewed almost a HUNDRED of these pre workout supplements. I know the best and I know the worst tasting pre workouts on the market. Gnarly Pump falls somewhere in between all of it. I don’t think I would call it ‘good’ tasting, but, geez. I mean. It’s not bad either. It’s almost like it depends on what mood you’re in. I found it to be similar to the Vegan Protein Feast in that the flavors themselves are real, and they are there, but there’s not enough sweetness to keep your palette really coming back for more. But then again, the flavor of Gnarly Pump that I had was the Cranberry- which historically is not a very sweet flavor to begin with. I think next time I will try the orange mango flavored Gnarly Pump because Megan said that hers was actually much sweeter than the Cranberry. But if you really enjoy the taste of REAL cranberry- which is SUPER tart and not that sweet, than maybe you will enjoy the cranberry flavor of Gnarly Pump more than I did. I personally am giving Gnarly Pump a 7.8 out of 10 on taste. But then again I usually don’t like products that are flavored with erythritol. But now why don’t we take some time and discuss the performance. Because that’s what it’s REALLY all about. Right? Right. 

Does Gnarly Pump Pre Workout Work? 

I thought Gnarly Pump performed better than it tasted (that’s what she said) Lol. But no really. The taste was not great so I wasn’t SURPRISED that I like the workout experience more than the Gnarly Pump flavor. I took my scoop (well, scoop and a half) of Gnarly Pump super early this morning before my two hour HELL cardio and resistance training session. If you follow me on Twitter you know I just recently started training for the Spartan Alanstown Challenge. It’s going to be so freaking hard. But I’m dedicated to doing my best and so it all starts with preparation- like anything. 

My workout this morning consisted of lunging basically a mile up the beach, and then doing interval sprints on the way back. And then as if that wasn’t enough to damn near kill me, I had to do Sarah’s super hardcore HIIT circuit like twenty minutes later. 

This pre workout started off the right way. I felt it kick in almost right from the last drop being swallowed down. There was an initial burst of energy, followed by that ‘get up and go’ feeling that usually accompanies my pre workout consumption. I found that this feeling waned a little bit faster than I would have liked, and also that their was never any sort of real focus element to Gnarly Pump. 

I think in terms of endurance- my performance was definitely enhanced. My sprints felt faster, and even during the hell cycle of kettle-bell swings that were the absolute finisher of the HIIT workout, I felt a little bet less inclined to puke. That’s significant, people. It really is. 

I guess the thing that kept me from REALLY loving Gnarly Pump was that it did seem to fade for me in terms of elevating my energy for the duration of an actually long workout. I think the creatine does help me in the short term, and the caffeine did as well, but really there’s not enough caffeine to keep me going for too long. I will give Gnarly Pump an 8.0 out of 10 on the performance side of things. 

What’s in Gnarly Pump Pre Workout?

The Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pre Workout Formula Grade is an 8.3 out of 10. I was not overly impressed with the ingredient profile, especially considering that your cost per serving is rather high (someone do the math for me- tub is $44 and the servings are 30 per container). Whatever it is, it’s well above average as far as pre workouts are concerned. There are just not enough raw materials for me to get very excited about taking Gnarly Pump consistently. Here’s what you are getting in each scoop of Gnarly Pump:

Vitamin C


Micronized Creatine Monohydrate




So…do you see what I mean? There’s virtually nothing to this formula! I don’t think there’s enough raw material in each scoop to get me really excited about Gnarly Pump from a formulation standpoint. Especially when you consider that one of the ingredients is Maltodextrin- which is simply a filler. 

If I had to call out one good thing about this formula I think I would tip my hat to the Lithothamnion. It looks like they use a branded form, called ‘Aquamin’, which is supposed to assist in joint and bone health. That is kind of a nice positive of the Gnarly Pump All Natural Pre Workout Nitric Oxide Activator.

The other thing I could chalk up to a positive of this formulation would have to be that, well, even though it is a rather boring formula, at least it does omit the things that you REALLY don’t want in your pre workout. Things like DMAA, Theacrine, AMP Citrate, and all those other ‘designer’ stimulants should be avoided at all times, and so I do appreciate that Gnarly did the responsible thing and kept it clean. That’s why I will give them a B on the formula. Let’s talk about the packaging now. 

Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pump Packaging Grade: 7.0

Well. Unfortunately things are not much better for Gnarly Pump than they were for the Vegan Feast protein. They really just put out a boring look. They really do. I said in yesterday’s review that Gnarly Nutrition products look like they are a hardware company or something like that. I mean. There is literally nothing that stands out with Gnarly Pump when you are talking about aesthetics. I hate the black and white theme. Like. Give me some color, please! There is some red, but even then it’s only used as an accent color and it is not a featured part of what’s going on here visually. It’s just kind of tucked away on the side. The flavor callout is also really poor. It’s just a boring little block of color. I mean. You don’t have to go all-out like Shakeology and print massive photo-realistic graphics all over this thing, but there’s plenty of space between Gnarly Pump and Shakeology where progress could be made. Yeah. That’s about it. There’s nothing to like about how Gnarly Pump looks. The biggest difference between Gnarly Pump and the protein is that the protein was a little bit of a better product on the inside.

Gnarly Pump Review Summary

  • Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pump Flavor Grade: 7.0
  • Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pump Performance Grade: 7.0
  • Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pump Formula Grade: 7.0
  • Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pump Packaging Grade: 7.0
  • Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pump Value Grade: 7.8

I’m hard to please when it comes to pre workouts. I really am. Gnarly Pump is not a BAD product by any means. It’s just not good enough to impress the super experience pre workout user. For me it lacks identity. To appeal to the ‘pump’ crowd- it’s not hardcore enough in terms of formula. To appeal to the more casual user, it’s also not the right product because they / we don’t care about Pump. So that’s why I think Gnarly has a little bit of soul-searching to do with their Gnarly Pump Pre Workout.*

Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Pump Final Value Grade: 7.8

Allie Lewis

By Allie Lewis

Hi, my name is Allie and reviewing products is my hobby. I am passionate about being fit and active, so making a blog about my experience with different products that help me stay healthy made sense to me. Please contact me at any time if you would like to guest post or advertise on-site.