Plenty of products out there promise to increase your gains at the gym. But what if you’re looking for a pre-workout supplement that enhances your cardio routine?

That’s where a cardio supplement can come in handy.

Yes, cardio supplements are a thing, and they can provide real benefits to your cardiovascular and athletic performance.

This article covers what to look for in a cardio supplement and the 8 best cardio supplements on the market.

What Are Cardio Supplements?

Cardio supplements are supplements designed to enhance cardiovascular and aerobic performance. They can double as a pre-workout supplement or serve as an aid for post-workout recovery. Often they’re even fat burner supplements designed for your cardio sessions so you can get the most out of them from a physique standpoint.

Because the term “cardio supplement” is pretty vague, it can be hard to figure out which products are worth trying. To make matters more complicated, what you look for in a cardio supplement will vary depending on your fitness goals.

Luckily, we broke down which ingredients are best for cardio supplements (and why).

9 Best Cardio Supplement Ingredients

Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid that helps regulate your energy levels. Studies show that taking a supplement with creatine can improve endurance and high-intensity athletic performance.

Carbohydrates

It’s no secret that carbs give us energy. These macronutrients fuel the heart and muscles during exercise. Therefore, a carb-loaded supplement can give you all the energy you need to crush your workout. However, you’ll want to stay away from low-quality carb sources like maltodextrin, and instead look for better options.

Beta-alanine

The amino acid beta-alanine is a popular pre-workout ingredient, and for good reasons. Research shows that beta-alanine might support exercise performance and help increase muscle mass.

BCAAs

BCAAs, short for branched-chain amino acids, play a role in supporting muscle health. Studies show that BCAAs can reduce fatigue and aid muscle recovery, allowing you to get the most out of your cardio session.

L-Citrulline

L-Citrulline is an amino acid that has been shown to encourage nitric oxide production. This can simultaneously improve blood flow and reduce fatigue during exercise.

Similarly, simple ingredients like l-arginine, beetroot extract, and other can support this as well. For more on these ingredients, check out our article on the best nitric oxide supplements.

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a chemical that plays a role in converting fat into energy. Taking a supplement containing L-carnitine may improve cardiovascular health and reduce fatigue during exercise.

L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is believed to reduce appetite and aid in fat loss. Taking an L-tyrosine supplement can help you reach your weight loss or fitness goals.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes, like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, help the body stay hydrated and energized during exercise. They’re especially helpful for workouts where you work up a sweat.

Caffeine

This one’s a bit of a no-brainer. Various studies have shown that caffeine can enhance endurance and exercise performance during HIIT workouts. Some research suggests it may also increase fat-burning during exercise.

The Best 8 Cardio Supplements

Now that we’ve covered what ingredients to look for in a cardio supplement, let’s take a look at the best products on the market.

*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.

1) Best Cardio Supplement Overall: Thermogen Pre-Cardio Powerhouse

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Price: From $56.00

Thermogen Pre-Cardio Powerhouse from Morphogen takes our top spot because it includes everything you could want in a cardio supplement. In fact, it’s one of the few designed specifically to support your cardio performance as well as support healthy weight loss. It contains 2 grams of L-Tyrosine, 2 grams of Choline L-Bitartrate, 1 gram of L-Carnitine, and over 200 grams of caffeine. Combined, these ingredients can enhance focus, promote muscle growth, and reduce exercise fatigue. Its additional ingredients, like L-Theanine and Kava extract, only enhance these energy-boosting effects.

Every bottle contains 20 servings. The lemonade flavor is also on-point.

2) Best Cardio Supplement for Fat Loss: Kaged Clean Burn Powder

Kaged Clean Burn with Apple Cider Vinegar

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Price: From $44.99

Kaged Clean Burn Powder has everything you need to help you reach your fitness goals.

It contains 1500 mg of L-carnitine and 375 mg of L-Tyrosine in every serving. L-Carnitine helps the body transform fat into energy. It also includes energy-boosting caffeine and apple cider vinegar. ACV has been used as a remedy for centuries. The ancient Greeks treated wounds with it. In recent years, people have explored ACV for its wellness benefits.

Kaged Clean Burn is a health-first fat burner with 1500mg of Carnipure® l-carnitine l-tartrate, alongside other powerful fat loss ingredients like CapsiMax, Chromate chromium, organic guayasa, and more. If your goal is fat loss, then look no further than Kaged Clean Burn. It’s an ideal fat burner for your cardio workout.

If you’re in competitive bodybuilding, that 5% difference in fat loss can make a huge difference, and that’s where Clean Burn can come in.

Kaged third-party tests its products and includes only non-GMO, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free ingredients. Its Clean Burn Powder contains 30 servings. The orange mango flavor is delicious.

3) Best Cardio Supplement for Hydration: Kaged Hydra-Charge

Kaged Hydra-Charge

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Price: From $29.99

Kaged Hydra-Charge helps you stay hydrated during even your hardest sessions. It contains one gram of taurine and five essential electrolytes to support hydration levels during exercise. It also includes the patented blend Spectra, a rich antioxidant and energy source containing 29 fruits and veggies.

Kaged’s products are third-party tested and Informed Choice certified. Each bottle contains 60 servings and comes in various flavors.

4) Best Cardio Supplement for Endurance: ALLMAX CARBion+ with Electrolytes

AllMax Carbion

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Price: From $26.99

ALLMAX CARBion+ with Electrolytes can help you go the distance. It contains over 25 grams of carbohydrates and a hydrating blend of electrolytes to support your cardio session. Importantly, they use high-quality forms of carbs. They come from trademarked forms of dextrins that will help you sustain your glycogen levels during your cardio workout.

ALLMAX third-party tests its products and uses vegan-friendly and gluten-free ingredients. It also is free of banned substances, making it safe for athletes.

Of course, though, not everyone needs carbs during their cardio. If you do, this is a great product for you.

5) Best for Muscle Preservation: Kaged In-Kaged

Kaged In-Kaged

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Price: From $23.99

In-Kaged will help you finish your workout as strongly as you started.

It contains a blend of BCAAs including L-leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-valine that can delay muscle fatigue and aid recovery. It also delivers 3 grams of L-Citrulline, an amino acid that can encourage nitric oxide production and improve blood flow. Lastly, its caffeine and L-tyrosine contents can pump you up while its taurine content can support cellular hydration.

All in all, these ingredients can help you work harder for longer. Every bottle delivers 20 servings and comes in various flavors.

6) Best Cardio Supplement for Long Sessions: Nuun Sport

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Price: From $7.49

Rehydrating has never been easier with Nuun Sport Hydration. These tasty tablets contain a blend of electrolytes and carbohydrates that help replenish the body and kick-start recovery during a long workout.

It’s vegan, gluten-free, and Informed Sport Certified, making it suitable for athletes and alternative diets. Every tube comes with only 10 tablets, but you can order the tubes in bulk or sign up for a subscription.

7) Best Cardio Supplement for Concentration: Mr. Hyde Signature 30

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Price: From $19.98

Mr. Hyde Signature 30 by Prosupps is jammed-packed with muscle and focus-boosting ingredients. It contains one gram of creatine and two grams of beta-alanine for optimal physical performance. It also delivers almost 200 mg of caffeine in every serving, which equals about two cups of coffee. Combined, these ingredients can give you the strength and focus you need to crush your workout.

Mr. Hyde is also Informed Choice certified, making it safe for athletes. Every bottle contains 30 servings. Its popsicle and lollipop flavors can cater to any sweet tooth.

8) Best Cardio Supplement for Tight Budgets: Now Foods Clinical Cardio

Now Clinical Cardio

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Price: From $20.87

You don’t need to break your budget for a high-quality cardio supplement. With 250 mg of Carnipure L-Carnitine, Now Foods offers an affordable option that promotes endurance and delays muscle fatigue. Its additional ingredients, like vitamins D3 and K2, support an array of bodily functions and are common deficiencies. Combined, these ingredients health support healthy blood pressure within the healthy range. For cardiovascular health overall, this is a simple supplement to look into.

Each bottle contains 90 veggie capsules, which equals just 23 cents per serving. It’s also vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

How We Ranked

Although we ranked these supplements, we want you to decide on the best product for you. Here’s what we took into consideration when ranking these products.

Strict Testing Standards

The supplement industry isn’t FDA-regulated, making finding a reputable supplement challenging.

That’s why we only select companies that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations and have their products third-party tested.

Ingredients

In general, we looked for products containing science-backed ingredients shown to enhance cardiovascular health and aerobic performance. That being said, the ingredients in cardio supplements can vary widely. We included a wide range of products to provide options for different cardiovascular fitness goals.

Value

Living our healthiest lives can get expensive. That’s why we selected high-quality products that won’t hurt your wallet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cardio supplements have side effects?

Cardio supplements are safe for most people with no reported side effects. That being said, it is best to consult a health professional before trying any dietary supplement.

What are the negative effects of taking creatine?

Creatine is considered a safe supplement with no serious side effects, even when taken in large doses. However, mild digestive discomfort or bloating may occur.

Is caffeine a good supplement for cardio?

Caffeine is a great ingredient for cardio supplements. It can boost energy levels and improve focus so you get the most out of your workout. That being said, too much caffeine can cause side effects like anxiety, shakiness, and dehydration.

When should I take a cardio supplement?

Most cardio supplement brands recommend taking their products thirty minutes before exercising.

Are these good options for aerobic athletes?

For athletes ranging from cyclists to soccer players, you rely on your aerobic engines. Yes, many of these are options that can support your performance.

What about protein powder?

While protein powder like whey protein is an awesome supplement, and you definitely can take it before cardio, it’s not going to give you the performance boost or potential fat loss like other ingredients and products we mention.

However, after cardio going for a post-workout protein is a fantastic choice.

Disclaimer: Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplements. We, on the other hand, are strangers on the internet.

About the Author

Kelly is a Hawaii-based wellness writer. She graduated with her Master’s degree in English and combines her background in health care, wellness, and fitness with her writing background to create content for various health-related companies. In her free time, you’ll find her reading on the beach or training for her next half marathon.

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