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Keeping up with your training days can be a struggle. If, like most women, you find it hard to stay motivated, you might want to look into supplementing with a pre-workout.
These energy-boosting elixirs work to provide you with a mental and physical edge, to help you take your workouts by storm and get the best possible results from your time in the gym.
When picking a pre-workout, you have the option of having one with or without stimulants. For most women, a stim-free or low-caffeine option would be the best option, since women tend to be more susceptible to the effects of caffeine. If your chosen blend contains around 200mg or less of caffeine per serving, you’re safe and should avoid the jitters or energy crashes. Using a blend of the right ingredients, a good-quality pre-workout should help you stay energized through your workouts and for the rest of your day.
Finding the right pre-workout for women, however, can be quite a task. Many contain an array of ingredients at different dosages, all with their own ways to improve your athletic performance and mindset.
In such a saturated market and with so many pre-workouts for women claiming to be the best, how do you know whether you’re making the right choice?
Here, we look into the very best pre-workouts for women, analyzing their formulas and effects to help you find the safest and proven-to-work products to supercharge your workouts.
Keep reading to find the top pre-workouts for women available now.
⦁ Smart caffeine and L-theanine blend – no energy crashes
Performance Lab Pre
⦁ Caffeine-free formula
⦁ Sensible energy hike
What is a pre-workout?
Pre-workout supplements work to improve how you perform in the gym, delivering a boost in athletic ability to help you reach your fitness goals quicker.
You usually mix the powder with water and take it around 15-30 minutes before training, to put you in the right frame of mind to smash your targets.
Regular exercise and eating a great range of nutrient rich foods are the proven ways for a woman to get healthy and experience great workouts. However, pre-workouts can potentially give you a nudge in the right direction by providing a short-term energy burst. Some may even help with the recovery process after you’ve completed a workout.
Why take a pre-workout?
If you’re trying to increase your athletic ability, get focused, or experience a pick-me-up during your workouts – pre-workouts are the ideal supplement to help. Staying motivated isn’t easy, especially if you’re a regular in the gym.
Pre-workouts aren’t a necessity and every woman will have different reasons for using them. For some women, juggling a busy work-schedule and family life can take its toll and they may find a pre-workout helps them get in the zone.
A pre-workout could be ideal for any woman looking to:
- Boost their energy to maintain their training schedule
- Get the most out of their time in the gym
- Increase their rep count and get fitter
- Safely and legally improve their physical and mental performance
>>READ: Is Taking Pre-Workout Before Cardio a Good Idea?
Best pre-workout ingredients
Here we list some of the best and most tested ingredients to look out for in pre-workouts for women.
Caffeine is quite a potent pre-workout ingredient and for this reason, we recommend women especially take care when choosing a caffeine-powered pre-workout. While it can boost your energy and drive, women tend to absorb it faster than men and can experience adverse symptoms. Caffeine stimulates parts of the brain and nervous system to boost feelings of focus and motivation[Source 1 and 2 ]and may help you work out for longer [source 3].
L-citrulline is a key amino acid known for raising levels of nitric oxide in the body. Taken from watermelons, this ingredient has been shown to be a powerful vasodilator. L-citrulline is a favorite component found in many pre-workouts and can offer benefits in power by boosting blood flow and increasing muscle pumps [source 4]. Research suggests that increased muscle pumps may support muscle growth [source 5].
Delaying muscle fatigue is one core benefit of pre-workouts and beta-alanine is the ingredient to look out for to do just that. There’s nothing worse than experiencing that overwhelming burn halfway through your workout which makes you feel like packing it in. Beta-alanine blocks this fatigue, working to power your muscles through the most demanding workouts. Beta-alanine helps your body make carnosine, a molecule which reduces acid levels in muscles through exercise, decreasing overall fatigue [source 6]. If you’re one of the people who don’t like the tingling feeling that beta-alanine can give you, then you might consider pre-workouts without this ingredient.
Creatine is one of the most studied-supplements in the world. It works to deliver much needed energy to your muscles by increasing your natural energy reserves (ATP) [source 7]. Creatine is commonly used in pre-workouts as supplementing with it is the quickest natural way to regenerate your ATP stores. Evidence also suggests that creatine may help with sports that require sudden bursts of activity [source 8].
L-theanine is a key ingredient to look out for in female-friendly pre-workouts since it works well with caffeine to increase mental focus, without the associated jitters. L-theanine has been shown to allow caffeine to work its brain-boosting magic without letting it raise your blood pressure or induce anxiety [source 9]. This can help you stay focused on the task in hand – your workout. Pre-workouts that use this smart-caffeine combination should promote increased levels of motivation during exercise [source 10].
Read more on pre-workout ingredients in our in-depth article here.
Advantages to using a pre-workout
Pre-workouts work their best as part of a balanced diet and regular hydration to help push your training to the next level. Benefits of taking a pre-workout include:
- Heightened athletic performance – Pre-workouts work to raise your energy levels and focus. Formulas that blend a range of natural compounds like creatine, caffeine and beta-alanine can enhance mental preparedness and deliver much-needed power to your muscles.
- Better muscular endurance – Choosing a pre-workout with creatine can help your muscles access more energy, helping them perform better. This should allow for longer, more controlled workouts and intense HIIT sessions.
- Improved blood flow – Nitric oxide boosters should deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your working muscles, enhancing your workout intensity and motivating you to carry on.
- Better muscle recovery – Vasodilators and hydrating nutrients can help boost muscle recovery after your workouts, which can benefit muscle growth and shape.
Our Ranking Criteria
These three pre-workouts for women have been significantly researched, tested and reviewed under our strict testing criteria. We go into more detail in our individual reviews on this website, but to summarize what we’re looking for:
- The formula – Looking at not only the ingredients, but the doses too.
- Price – Ensuring the supplement offers good value for money.
- Testimonials – What do other customers think? It needs to have positive feedback from users.
- Trust – We want to be sure these products are completely risk-free and made by a reputable company, since you’ll be taking these daily.
- The Manufacturer – And the brand authority
- Where to Buy – We’ll direct you to these product’s websites, so you can learn more about them, and purchase if you’re interested in giving them a try.
The top 3 pre-workouts for women
Check out our highest rated pre-workouts for women that’ll give you a physical edge.
1. Performance Lab Pre
A completely stim-free option, Performance Lab Pre is one of the most raved about pre-workouts for women because of its gentle formula. The all-natural, well-dosed, caffeine-free formula makes it one of the safest options on the market and, with no stimulants in the mix, you shouldn’t have to worry about side effects.
Performance Lab Pre is designed to help you increase your power output at the gym, deliver energy directly to your muscles, improve endurance and hydrate your body for better muscle recovery. Using a collection of natural compounds and vitamins, you benefit from a formula that works to improve your general wellbeing too.
A ‘performance blend’ of L-citrulline, Kywoa and L-glutathione alongside additions like creatine and beta-alanine come together to delay fatigue, boost muscle endurance and help you make some real progress in the gym. The creators also say the completely natural formula can lead to better muscle growth, especially when taken before strength training, HIIT and endurance training.
Performance Lab is available in capsule form, making it a little different and potentially more convenient to consume. If you’re looking for something without any caffeine, Pre is one of the best options available. Due to its lack of stimulants, it’s one of the gentlest for women, however if you prefer the energy kick provided by caffeine, you might be best opting for a lower-caffeine choice.
Performance Lab Pre is a stim-free option designed to accelerate your performance in the gym with a list of natural, effective ingredients. Here are some of its best inclusions:
- Creapure Creatine (1250mg)
- CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine (800mg)
- Himalayan Pink Salt (350mg)
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract (100mg)
- Nutrigenesis Iron (2.5mg)
Performance Lab Pre has been well received since its launch to market, with men and women alike both praising it for its effects. Women in particular appreciate the clean energy boost and the fact it heightens their endurance levels during workouts.
“I love pre-workout that can get me through a tough workout. But this one is even better! I don’t get the jitters or itchy skin. It feels great and has helped me get stronger.”– Beth
“Very effective! I love these – they do help, my endurance has improved, and I can work out harder!”– Mrs C
- Completely stim free
- All natural and transparent ingredients label
- Works to delay fatigue
- Vegan and vegetarian friendly
- Boosts endurance levels
- Hydrates your body
- No added stimulants – not ideal if you prefer the caffeine ‘kick’
- Only available direct
Interested? Performance Lab Pre is available to buy direct on the official website
2. 4 Gauge
4 Gauge uses a transparent formula (with no proprietary blends) to ensure you know exactly what you’re buying. It’s one of the cleanest and safest pre-workouts on the market for women, and works to improve endurance, focus and stamina without causing any unpleasant side effects.
In the mix you get a blend of 11 natural ingredients, all with their own performance enhancing attributes, to ensure you achieve your goals in the gym. It’s one of the best for women as it’s naturally sweetened with monk fruit extract, excluding artificial sweeteners, flavors or stevia – which have become known for causing side effects such as headaches.
Because of the clever caffeine and L-theanine combo too, you can experience a clean energy lift without any of the associated jitters or crashes. Whereas most pre-workouts are packed with harsh stimulants and chemicals, 4 Gauge uses a transparent formula with 100% natural ingredients. As a result, this pre-workout shouldn’t cause any kind of discomfort or mess with your hormones.
With an effective and optimally dosed formula, 4 Gauge stands out as one of the safest for women.
4 Gauge is a well-dosed completely natural formula, with no added artificial sweeteners or flavors. Each ingredient should help to enhance your workouts and motivate you to power through. They include:
- Caffeine Anhydrous (150mg)
- L-Theanine (200mg)
- Citrulline DL-Malate (600mg)
- Rhodiola Rosea (100mg)
- Red Beet (300mg)
- Creatine Monohydrate (1000mg)
- Coconut Water Powder (300mg)
- Aceytl L-Carnitine (500mg)
4 Gauge is a popular product with many women and has helped many make serious changes to their body.
“What can I say, 4 Gauge blew me away. I felt so energised and powerful, but not shaky and itchy, it made me go a few extra sets in the squat rack that’s for sure! You feel like you could keep pushing the weights for hours and actually feel the muscle working. It feels incredible!
I’ve made some good progress on my physique and for the last few months I’ve only been using 4 Gauge as my pre-workout.” –Michelle, UK
“I was fed up of wasting my money on pre workouts that made me feel jittery or itchy. I’d nearly given up on them altogether. Then I heard about 4 Gauge.
What I love about 4 Gauge is that I get a clean surge of energy with a feeling of improved strength and focus too. I’ve never performed better during my high intensity resistance training. I also now am addicted to the pump feeling it gives me.
Most pre workouts I’ve tried make it so I can’t sleep. But 4 Gauge provides the perfect balance of energy and focus. All this might sound too good to be true…but it’s not.“
- Safe and gentle for women
- Clean and jittery-free energy hike with low caffeine dose
- Research backed ingredients
- Manufactured in cGMP- and FDA-approved facilities
- Heightens endurance and power output
- Great reviews
- Only available direct
- Just one flavor (fruit blast)
Want to know more? 4 Gauge is available to buy direct on the official website
3. Cellucor C4 Original
Low in stimulants and jam-packed with vitamins, C4 Original is a great pre-workout option if you want a sensible energy hike. C4 Original is developed by Cellucor, one of the biggest supplement brands in the world. The brand develops all of its supplements to a high standard – and this pre-workout is no different.
C4 combines a collection of performance enhancing ingredients like creatine, beta-alanine and caffeine to boost your workout potential. Alongside, vitamins C, B6 and B12 work to support your overall wellbeing and reduce fatigue. Inside the blend, you are provided with a 150mg dose of caffeine, a sensible amount which should provide a nice and clean energy surge.
While we don’t agree with the proprietary energy blend, the ingredients inside C4 are all well researched for their ability to give your body a motivational boost.
C4 packs a striking yet mellow punch, with lots of vitamins to support your overall health. Here are some of its best inclusions:
- Vitamin C (250mg)
- Vitamin B6 (500mcg)
- Folic acid (250mcg)
- Vitamin B12 (35mcg)
- CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine (1.6g)
- Caffeine Anhydrous (150mg)
This pre-workout is one of the most popular options on the market and, as such, has received high amounts of praise. Many of its female customers say it has helped them endure intense workouts after long days at work. The flavor is also a plus for many customers.
“Tastes great, a little on the sweet side but it’s good. I’ve noticed I’ve been able to do more cardio and my stamina is much better when I use this before a workout.” – Meg, USA
“Great taste, fast acting, gives a good drive to complete a workout. Not very strong. Few tingles in the hands every now and then but it’s not enough to bother me. I like this product.” Rebecca, USA
“I’ve been using C4 Preworkout for a while now, and absolutely love this product. I can’t say enough about it. It gives me the boost I need, right when I need it in my workout. AND IT TASTES GOOD! What more could a girl ask for? This preworkout is good for rookies just starting to work out.” – Maddy, USA
- Fully natural
- Transparent – no proprietary blends
- Added vitamins for overall wellbeing
- Sensible energy lift – ideal for women
- Great flavors
- Zero calories per serving
- Uses sweetener Sucralose
- Proprietary energy blend
Want to know more? C4 Original is available to buy on the official website
Conclusion to best pre-workout for women
If you’re keen to add a pre-workout for women into your supplement stack, always be sure to do your own research and be cautious of what you’re putting into your body. Look for the caffeine dose, checking it’s not overserved and be aware of undisclosed dosages.
With the right pre-workout for women, you could supercharge your workouts and finally get the results you want from the gym.
These top three pre-workout choices are all great if you’re just starting out and want as little caffeine as possible. They’re also all well-dosed and significantly researched to heighten motivation, delay fatigue, support muscle recovery and enhance focus.
Of course, sticking to a good diet, staying hydrated and getting enough quality sleep are the main things you can do to help support good health overall and get the best workout experience. If you’re ever unsure, it’s always best to speak to your doctor before adding a new supplement into your routine.