Alani Nu, short for Alani Nutrition, is a supplement brand with a popular pre-workout that comes in playful flavors like “Cosmic Stardust” and “Galaxy Lemonade.” The brand markets this supplement with three simple words: “Energy, Endurance, Pump.”
But does Alani Nu Pre-Workout contain ingredients shown in medical studies to improve workout performance or are these just marketing claims? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? What retailer sells this product for the best price? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Alani Nu Pre-Workout?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Alani Nu Pre-Workout based on medical studies to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective for improving power, endurance and mental focus or if it’s a waste of money.
We’ll also provide a cost breakdown featuring the retailer currently selling this supplement for the best price, and feature real, unsponsored Alani Nu Pre-Workout user reviews.
The ingredients in Alani Nu Pre-Workout are shown above.
The active ingredients, or the ingredients proposed to have a physiologic effect, are above the dark dividing line, while the inactive ingredients like fillers and flavoring agents are below that line.
This supplement does contain some effective active ingredients.
Caffeine is included in most pre-workouts, and for good reason. A medical review published in the Sports Medicine journal reports that caffeine can improve one-rep maximum force, and muscular endurance.
Alani Nu provides 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per serving, equivalent to around 2 cups of coffee. The minimum effective dose based on the above-linked review was 2 mg per kilogram (kg) body weight, and since the average man and woman weigh significantly under 100 kg, we consider this ingredient to be effectively dosed.
Beta-alanine is clinically shown to improve power output during exercise, as we referenced in our Total War Pre Workout review article on another supplement containing this ingredient.
L-citrulline malate 2:1 can help increase pumps because of its effect on blood flow according to a 2021 medical review.
This ingredient refers to a combination of citrulline (an amino acid) and malic acid, and citrulline is a nitric oxide precursor. This means it increases nitric oxide levels in the body which widen and dilate blood vessels.
L-theanine and l-tyrosine are both amino acids, and when combined with caffeine they may further improve exercise performance. A 2019 clinical trial tested the effects of caffeine, l-theanine and l-tyrosine on mental and physical performance in athletes.
Movement accuracy improved by around 5% in the group taking the supplement, which is impressive given that highly-trained athletes already have good movement accuracy.
Alani Nu Pre-Workout clearly has some effectively dosed active ingredients, but we consider some of its inactive ingredients to be questionable from a health perspective.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener shown to cause negative changes to insulin function in healthy adults in a clinical trial published in the Nutrition Journal.
Acesulfame potassium is another artificial sweetener that was clinically shown to cause negative changes to gut function, as we documented in our review of another pre-workout containing this ingredient called Alpha Lion.
Natural flavors is a broad categorical term that fails to describe the specific flavoring compounds used. A medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal suggests that safety data is lacking regarding natural flavoring compounds and that some may be toxic.
Based on the available research, we consider Alani Nu Pre-Workout likely to be effective for improving physical power and endurance, and for improving movement accuracy in the gym. From an efficacy perspective alone, we consider this to be one of the best pre-workouts on the market, as we consider every active ingredient to be effectively dosed.
We don’t currently recommend this supplement due to the inactive ingredients.
But how do real users rate and describe the effects of Alani Nu Pre-Workout? We’ll review in the next section.
Does Alani Nu Cause Liver Failure?
In 2019, an individual named Emily Goss was rushed to the hospital with strange symptoms like weakness and yellowing under the eyes.
After evaluation, doctors found her to be experiencing acute liver failure, and suggested that an Alani Nu supplement called “Balance” may have been the cause, according to NBC5.
This is a different supplement than Alani Nu’s pre-workout, and there’s no definitive way to prove that the Balance supplement caused the liver failure, but we believe this is information worth sharing and that prospective Alani Nu consumers should be aware of.
A video published by the popular “The Doctors” YouTube channel interviews Emily Goss about her experience and about whether she’s able to sue Alani Nu:
Real, Unsponsored Alani Nu User Reviews
A YouTube creator named Vivi Lee used Alani Nu Pre-Workout in an unsponsored review, and it was her first time trying pre-workout at all:
A YouTube creator named Taylor Woods tried Alani Nu as one of three pre-workouts in a video she made testing the most popular pre-workout brands to pick her favorite:
Does Alani Nu Pre-Workout Cause Side Effects?
Alani Nu Pre-Workout doesn’t appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, so it’s difficult to say whether or not this product causes side effects. However, we can make an educated guess based on its ingredients and the patient case report outlined in the previous section.
Overall, we do not consider Alani Nu Pre-Workout likely to cause side effects in otherwise healthy adults. Its active ingredients are effectively dosed and non-toxic, and while we consider some of its inactive ingredients unhealthy, we don’t consider any to be acutely dangerous.
However, given the concerning case report from Emily Goss, we would advise consumers who suffer from liver issues to speak with their doctor prior to using this brand.
It may be useful for Alani Nu to publish contaminant testing, at least for the Balance supplement, to show consumers that their supplements are free of toxins like pesticides and lead that may be hard on the liver.
Where to Buy Alani Nu Pre-Workout for the Best Price
Alani Nu Pre-Workout is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a cost breakdown at the time of publishing this article:
GNC: $44.99 (link)
Brand website: $39.99 (plus shipping, link)
The Vitamin Shoppe: $39.99 (free shipping, link)
Amazon: $38.95 (free shipping depending on plan – link to official Amazon listing)
Alani Nu Pre-Workout is currently around 15% cheaper on Amazon than on GNC or on the brand’s website when considering shipping charges.
Real Customers Review Alani Nu Pre-Workout
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.
Alani Nu Pre-Workout has been reviewed over 17,000 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Loralee” who likes the taste and effects:
“This pre-workout is delicious, reliable great tasting, and with minimal itchiness (iykyk). My only qualm is that it will jack up your heart rate! So make sure you're drinking a lot of water with it!”
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Kayla Hodge” who claims the taste makes the product not worth the potential benefits:
“Unfortunately, I couldn't even drink this because of the flavor (I had the Hawaiian Shaved Iced). To me, it had an earthy taste like grass or bugs. I thought maybe it was too concentrated, so added some water - only for it to waste worse. I couldn't even drink it and poured it out in the gym parking lot. Now, I'm stuck with $40 worth of powder that I cannot return. Would not recommend.”
Alani Nu has an average rating of 1.7 out of 5 on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, and at the time of publishing this article the brand failed to respond to the majority of customer complaints and bad reviews.
We consider it a sign of a high-quality brand when the brand responds to all customer complaints and negative reviews attempting to resolve the situation.
Our Clean Pre-Workout Picks
The pre-workout supplement we recommend is Naked Energy by Naked Nutrition.
Like Alani Nu, it provides an effective dose of beta alanine and caffeine for power and stamina improvements.
The main difference is that it’s entirely free of questionable additive ingredients like artificial sweeteners and artificial colors. There are no inactive ingredients in this formulation at all, which makes it the healthiest pre-workout formulation on the market in our opinion.
Interested consumers can check out Naked Energy at this link to its product page on the official brand website.
Illuminate Labs sells a Panax Ginseng extract supplement for only $15 on a subscription basis which is highly potent (minimum 8% ginsenosides) and is third-party tested to ensure label accuracy and purity. Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract at this link to the product page on our website.
Pros and Cons of Alani Nu Pre-Workout
Here are the pros and cons of Alani Nu Pre-Workout in our opinion:
- All active ingredients have research backing
- All active ingredients appear effectively dosed
- Should improve power
- Should improve endurance
- Relatively affordable
- Contains two artificial sweeteners
- Contains natural flavors
- Doesn’t appear clinically tested
- Brand alleged to have caused liver damage to consumer of different product