I'm always on the lookout for new pre-workout supplements. After so many years of regular exercising, you often need a physical and mental boost.

I first heard about deer antler velvet supplements about 10 years ago when legendary NFL player Ray Lewis allegedly used a spray containing deer antler velvet extract.

Find out if this supplement is worth your money in the Bucked Up Pre-Workout review by the Garage Gym Pro experts.

Brothers Ryan and Jeff Gardner founded Bucked Up supplements in 2016.

A few years earlier, Ryan purchased the deer antler spray that became so popular after Ray Lewis was accused of taking the spray before the Super Bowl.

The spray was a best seller on GNC, and then he decided to make a pre-workout, and that's how Bucked Up was born.

Today it is a well-known brand in the supplement industry that offers accessories, apparel, and various dietary supplements.

Bucked Up Pre-Workout is a pre-workout powder supplement with 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon and almost 4.5 thousand ratings. That is a very good rating, especially when you consider the percentage of 5-star reviews.

One scoop is 10.21 grams and there are 30 servings per container. Bucked Up products are offered with a 45-day money-back guarantee if you buy them on the official website.

Bucked Up Pre-Workout

Bucked Up Pre-Workout







Overall Rating


My Experience Taking The Deer Antler Pre-Workout

I always test pre-workout supplements for at least a month. Testing only a few days could not be trustworthy.

Sometimes we're in top shape for days, and sometimes we can't get out of bed because we haven't eaten enough, we've caught the flu, or something similar.

In such situations, one could unfairly praise/criticize a certain supplement. After 20 workouts, this is my Bucked Up Pre-Workout experience.

1. Flavor

You can find the full selection of flavors only on the official website, while Amazon and GNC only carry a selection.

For the first time, I've encountered a supplement available in so many flavors - 16. Needless to say, I haven't tried every single one of them.

The three that seemed the most delicious to me and which I ordered were:

  • Gym N Juice
  • Breezy Blast
  • Caramel Apple

Gym N Juice is a citrus blend that is my favorite, so I would order it even if I am not a huge Snoop Dogg fan. Kudos to Bucked Up for this creative name. Of the three, that one is the tastiest for me.

I chose Breezy Blast because I was curious about the taste of a rum-flavored pre-workout. It is surprisingly tasty, I can tell you.

Caramel Apple is just too sweet and aromatic, so it is not the best flavor before a workout.

This pre-workout dissolves quickly even in cold water, with no clumps. You can mix it with orange juice too.

The general opinion of customers is that this is one of the best-tasting pre-workouts.

The other 13 flavors are:

  • Swole Whip
  • Rocket Pop
  • Blood Raz
  • Blue Raz
  • Blue Raz Lemonade
  • Grape
  • Killa OJ
  • Strawberry Watermelon
  • Sour Gummy
  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Watermelon
  • Watermelon Lemonade
  • Miami

2. Performance Increase

One scoop should be enough for most people to feel workout performance increase. I felt an improvement in almost every area - stamina, endurance, and power output.

However, it wasn't a major improvement, especially after a week of use.

Sporadically, I took two servings, and then I experienced a huge muscle pump and overall performance increase, but it is too much caffeine and citrulline for most.

That leads me to the conclusion that Bucked Up Pre-Workout is a much better choice for beginners and intermediate exercisers than for advanced ones.

How To Use Bucked Up Pre-Workout

3. Pump

The pump is noticeable. After checking the ingredients, I expected a great pump with increased blood flow, and Bucked Up Pre-Workout did not disappoint.

Advanced exercisers will not feel skin-splitting muscle pumps, but they will certainly be satisfied with the improved blood flow.

Beginners will probably be surprised to see how much bigger their muscles are after taking just one dose.

4. Focus

Sometimes focus is the main difference between great resistance training and an average one.

Several ingredients affect mental clarity and cognitive abilities, so this solid pre-workout supplement will help you maintain focus throughout the training.

5. Energy

There is no doubt that 200 mg of caffeine will give you extra energy. How much extra energy you will get depends not only on this pre-workout but also on your caffeine sensitivity.

Those who drink several coffees a day will certainly not feel the same adrenaline rush as those who do not consume caffeine at all.

In any case, the energy boost is good and smooth. It helped me get through the training easily and follow my exercise program.

6. Side Effects

Barring any unusual caffeine sensitivity, Bucked Up Pre-Workout won't make you nervous, restless, or anxious.

What you will feel is a completely harmless beta-alanine tingle. If you take two scoops, the pre-workout will set your ears on fire for a few minutes.

As for stomach issues, I've experienced bloating a couple of times, but I'm not sure whether to blame the supplement or the food.

All in all, you don't have to worry because side effects are rare and negligible.

7. Post-Workout

I didn't have any crash after taking it. My energy levels were usual, and I had no problem getting through the rest of the day.

My only advice is to avoid taking it two or three hours before bed since it can keep you awake longer than you would like, the same as every other high-caffeine product.

8. Cost & Availability

The price per serving is around $1.50, which is not cheap. One container, approximately 30 servings, costs from 45 to 50 dollars, depending on where you buy it.

It is available on the official website, Amazon, GNC, and even less usual places such as Walmart. It's a bit cheaper on Amazon compared to the official website and GNC, but the price fluctuates.

Bucked Up Pre-Workout

Bucked Up Pre-Workout







Overall Rating



  • Tasty
  • High-quality ingredients and zero sugar
  • Good pre-workout even for the beginners
  • Improved focus
  • Visible pump


  • Artificial flavors
  • Not potent enough for advanced or heavyweight exercisers, with trace minerals

Bucked Up Pre-Workout Nutritional Facts

Bucked Up Pre-Workout Supplement Facts

The formula contains nine ingredients and two proprietary blends.

You will find the majority of them in most pre-workout supplements. Let’s break down each one individually.

Citrulline (6 Grams)

When you look in the mirror and notice a muscle pump, you can thank citrulline for nitric oxide production.

L-Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid and one of the most clinically researched vasodilators.

Citrulline and malic acid are combined to improve absorption.

6000mg of L-Citrulline Malate in a 2:1 ratio will open your blood vessels and thus maximize blood flow in less than 20 minutes after taking the dietary supplement.

Beta-Alanine (2 Grams)

Beta-alanine is one of the key ingredients.[1] Lactic acid accumulation is the biggest enemy of successful training.

Consumption of beta-alanine before a workout can prevent cramps because this amino acid delays the accumulation of lactic acid.

It has antioxidants and many other beneficial properties that will reduce muscle fatigue.

My advice is to take BCAAs, too, and then you will avoid cramps and delayed onset muscle soreness.

Vitamin B12 (100 Mcg)

Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient that affects your nervous system, DNA repair, and red blood cells.

Since red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs, they play a key role in sports activities. It may also support your bone health.

I'm not sure why the manufacturer decided to put a gigantic dose of vitamin B12 in this supplement, way above the upper limit.

However, there is no reason for concern because high doses are also safe. Your body will absorb only the necessary amount, and the rest will be excreted through urine.

If you experience slight nausea, it may be a side effect of vitamin B12.

Sodium (39 Mg)

Sodium and table salt are not synonymous because sodium is a mineral, and table salt is a chemical compound.

When you exercise, you lose electrolytes, and sodium is the electrolyte you lose the most.

Therefore, it is recommended to take sodium before physical activity to achieve electrolyte balance. You can trace mineral sodium in different foods.

The amount of sodium in Bucked Up Pre-Workout is very low, but the next ingredient is important too.

Himalayan Rock Salt (100 Mg)

Himalayan salt originates from Pakistan and, in recent years, has been everywhere.

Many potential benefits compared to regular salt have not been proven, but it is certainly good for maintaining sodium levels.[2]

100mg of Himalayan rock salt plus around 40mg of sodium should help you avoid dehydration and cramps. Effective muscle growth is impossible if you struggle with cramps regularly.

Alpha GPC (200 Mg)

Alpha-glycerophosphocholine is a natural compound that has an effect on the brain chemical that is vital for memory.

That's why Alpha GPC is a part of dietary supplements for slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and similar diseases, and not just a part of pre-workout supplements.

Although people can take over 1000mg, this dose is enough to improve exercise performance, power output, and mental abilities during training.

Caffeine Anhydrous (200 Mg)

Probably no other plant extract is boosting workout performance as caffeine anhydrous and yet is totally safe.

Caffeine gives you alertness and energy, which is why coffee is a favorite beverage worldwide.

Bucked Up Pre-Workout contains 200mg of caffeine anhydrous, the average dose in pre-workouts. The caffeine content is usually between 150 and 350mg.

According to FDA recommendations, consuming up to 400mg of caffeine is safe daily, so you can take this pre-workout and drink coffee too. How much caffeine exactly will suit you is individual.

Deer Antler Velvet Extract (50 Mg)

I would not say that deer antler velvet extract is a controversial ingredient because deer antler velvet supplementation has been part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and has been present in Western countries for a long time.

But since it contains IGF-1, it somewhat changes the purpose of Bucked Up Pre-Workout.

The primary reason deer antler extract is added to this pre-workout is athletic performance, but you may also benefit in other ways, such as increased testosterone levels.[3]

AstraGin (25 Mg)

AstraGin is also available as a separate supplement. This natural blend consisting of panaxnotoginseng and astragalus membranaceous increases the absorption of nutrients.

The manufacturer believes that 25mg of AstraGin would increase citrulline absorption, but there is no scientific research claiming that AstraGin can increase nutrient uptake.

Actigin (25 Mg)

Another natural blend made of hard-to-pronounce plant extracts. Accelerated muscle recovery, longer workouts, and even weight loss are what you can apparently expect from Actigin.

Taurine (100 Mg)

Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish, and dairy products. This amino acid is also available as a separate, very popular supplement and is often part of pre-workouts.

It can regulate fluid-electrolyte balance and digestion and improve the immune system. During intense training, it reduces muscle fatigue and thus boost performance.

Who Should Take Bucked Up Pre-Workout?

It can be safely consumed by all healthy adults. The formula is transparent and harmless, so I can't see any risk in taking it daily.

All those who want to reach their fitness goals quicker may benefit from Bucked Up Pre-Workout. It is keto and paleo-friendly.

Of course, anyone with even the slightest doubts about the product's safety or their health condition should consult their chosen physician.

Who Should Avoid Deer Antler Pre-Workouts?

In general, children under 18, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with chronic diseases, patients with high blood pressure, and the like should stay away from pre-workout supplements.

Bucked Up Pre-Workout is not recommended for several other groups of people.

IGF-1, a hormone that influences growth hormone (GH), is present in deer velvet.

Although I believe that the dose of IGF-1 in this pre-workout is very small, it can still cause you to fail a drug test.[4]

The insulin-like growth factor 1 is not classified as an anabolic steroid by sports medicine experts. Still, it has many of the anabolic effects of GH and is therefore banned for military personnel.

Those who have an increased risk of developing cancer should also stay away from any product containing IGF-1.[5]

How Does Bucked Up Stack Up Against Competitors?

We compared Bucked Up with two rather powerful products.

Bucked Up Vs Woke AF Pre-Workout

These two pre-workouts come from the same manufacturer and have almost the same ingredients.

The company offers other pre-workout products as well. Woke AF has everything Bucked Up has, plus dendrobium and Synephrine HCl.

Dendrobium is a plant extract for improving athletic performance.

Synephrine HCl can increase fat oxidation, which is why it is often part of pre-workouts and fat burners since it can cause reduction of body fat.

Woke AF has a significantly higher dose of caffeine and beta-alanine.

This leads us to a simple conclusion - all those for whom Bucked Up is not potent enough should try Woke AF. It is powerful even if you take just half a scoop of Woke AF.

Bucked Up Vs Ghost Pre-Workout

Ghost Pre-workout is more expensive and more powerful.

It contains a bigger dosage of caffeine and beta-alanine, but less citrulline, so the focus is on energy rather than pump. Nevertheless, expect a pump from Ghost as well.

Ghost contains proprietary blends that improve cognitive ability and endurance and minimize microtrauma.

There is no absolute winner between these two since both products are great, so the decision of which one to buy will come down to your needs.

Bucked Up Pre-Workout FAQs

Is Bucked Up pre-workout good for beginners?

Yes, Bucked Up pre-workout supplement is great for beginners.

Can females take Bucked Up pre-workout?

There is not a single reason why healthy women need to avoid this supplement.

How do you take Bucked Up (Deer Antler) pre-workout correctly?

You should mix one scoop with water and drink it approximately half an hour before the gym session.

Who makes Bucked Up pre-workout?

DAS Labs makes Bucked Up pre-workout.

Final Verdict

In our pre-workout review, Bucked Up proved to be a well-balanced supplement with deer antler velvet that will significantly improve performance and muscle growth for most exercisers.

Even serious athletes may notice muscle gains that support bodybuilding.

 If the taste is high on your list, then this one is a great choice because it is delicious and available in so many different flavors.

Avoid it if the workplace or sports drug test is looming. Keep in mind that it contains IGF-1, which can be identified in urine, but only the concentration of IGF-1 in the blood is valid.

we recommend this instead!

Transparent Labs BULK Pre-Workout







Overall Rating



1. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y
2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/himalayan-salt-good-for-you
3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-808/deer-velvet
4. https://www.usada.org/spirit-of-sport/education/igf-1-and-the-world-anti-doping-agency-prohibited-list/
5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17349798/

Last Updated on August 21, 2023

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Andrew White

Andrew White is the co-founder of Garage Gym Pro. As an expert fitness professional (gym building nerd) with over 10 years of industry experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern fitness & the newest market innovations for garage gyms. When he isn’t testing out products for his readers, he’s usually out surfing or playing basketball.