This article may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.
Pre-workouts are some of the most popular supplements on the market. Designed to provide you with a surge of energy, they contain a variety of ingredients to help you get the most out of your workouts.
While you’d normally find caffeine as a pre-workout’s primary ingredient, another inclusion is becoming more common. This ingredient is a performance enhancing amino acid known as beta-alanine.
Beta-alanine is thought to delay the onset of muscle fatigue because it’s a precursor to carnosine, a molecule which works to reduce acid levels that build up in your muscles from intense exercise [source 1]. Increased levels of carnosine may allow the muscles to perform for longer periods before they become fatigued [source 2]. With beta-alanine, however, comes a minor (and harmless) side effect – an excessive tingling feeling all over your body.
The tingling sensation, AKA paresthesia, is loved by many gymgoers however many people may disagree with it and its effect on the body. If you’re part of the few who don’t like beta-alanine, you shouldn’t have to put up with it in your pre-workout.
It can be pretty challenging to find a pre-workout that isn’t packed with the ingredient. This is where we can help. To help you find an alternative, we’ve listed the best pre-workout without beta-alanine right here!
⦁ Uses smart caffeine and L-theanine blend to delay fatigue
What is beta-alanine?
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid. Your body uses it to create carnosine, a molecule that reduces lactic acid accumulation in your muscles while exercising.
This then leads to improved exercise performance. According to Examine, beta-alanine is the ‘building block of carnosine, a molecule that helps buffer acid in muscles, increasing physical performance in the 60–240-second range. Beta-alanine can aid lean-mass gain.’ [source 3]
You’ll find beta-alanine in food sources such as [source 4]:
- Lean beef
- Poultry (especially turkey and chicken)
Potential side effects of beta-alanine
Beta-alanine isn’t necessarily a bad ingredient, and its performance benefits come from its ability to boost the production of carnosine. The ingredient is highly useful for reducing fatigue, especially during high-intensity exercises [source 5].
However, there are side effects associated with taking it. Chances are you’ve experienced the major ones first hand.
Paresthesia (i.e. tingling) is the most commonly known side effect of beta-alanine. It’s also more prevalent in people who consume more than 800mg of beta-alanine in a non-sustained release form. You can experience paresthesia in the neck, face and hands.
While it’s not harmful in any way, the sensation can put you off your workout. The tingling feeling can be highly distracting. This isn’t ideal when the idea of taking a pre-workout is to stay focused and energized throughout your session.
What is a pre-workout?
Pre-workouts are designed to heighten your workout experience and help you perform at your absolute best. The trouble is, so many of them contain many of the same ingredients, and it can be difficult to find one without beta-alanine. However, it’s important to know, pre-workouts without beta-alanine do exist!
To use them, you usually mix the powder with water and take it around 15-30 minutes before training, to help you get in the zone and smash out personal bests in the gym.
Why take a pre-workout?
If you’re looking to boost your athletic ability, increase your focus or get your head in the workout game, pre-workouts can help. Some people can’t get themselves to the gym without a pre-workout, however they’re not a necessity. They may work as a missing link to help improve your motivation to exercise.
A pre-workout could be ideal for anyone looking to:
- Improve their commitment to their training schedule
- Get more out of their workouts
- Increase their rep count and power output
- Safely and legally improve their physical and mental performance
Best pre-workout ingredients
If you’re looking for a pre-workout with beta-alanine, look out for ingredients like these to get a complete formula.
Caffeine is quite a potent pre-workout ingredient and for this reason, we recommend women, especially, should 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. Saying that, caffeine can really boost your athletic performance as it 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].
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 because supplementing 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 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].
Betaine is an amino acid that has been studied for its effect in improving power and endurance for better athletic performance overall [source 11]. It’s thought to provide numerous benefits, from improved liver function to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Betaine may also accelerate muscle growth and fat loss, contributing to better body composition [source 12].
Rhodiola has been used as an adaptogen for thousands of years. An adaptogen is a natural substance known to improve your body’s resistance to stress. Studies have shown it can combat low mood while boosting cognition and focus, helping you train harder for longer [source 13].
Advantages to using a pre-workout
Pre-workouts are designed to be taken as part of a balanced diet and alongside regular hydration to help push your training to the next level. Benefits of taking a pre-workout include:
- Enhanced physical performance – The role of many pre-workouts is to raise your energy levels and focus. By combining a range of natural compounds like creatine, caffeine and beta-alanine, a pre-workout can enhance mental preparedness, deliver power to your muscles and help you feel more motivated to hit the gym.
- Boosted blood flow – Pre-workouts contain compounds that boost levels of nitric oxide, which is used by your body to improve blood flow. This can deliver more oxygen to your working muscles, improving your pump and increasing your workout intensity.
- Better muscular endurance – Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that’s stored in muscle and provides your body with energy. By supplementing with a pre-workout containing creatine, your muscles can access more energy and will perform better.
- Improved muscle recovery and growth – Some pre-workouts contain vasodilators and other ingredients that can help increase blood flow to muscle tissue, improving recovery and growth. If you can push harder too, you’ll be able to increase your rep count and really challenge your body.
Our Ranking Criteria
We significantly research, test and review pre-workout supplements 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 best pre-workout without beta alanine
Check out our highest rated pre-workout without beta-alanine, ideal if you’re sensitive to particular ingredient.
1. 4 Gauge
4 Gauge is a completely natural supplement containing all of the ingredients you’d expect in a pre-workout – apart from beta-alanine. The transparent formula (with no proprietary blends), shows the creators’ dedication to safety, ensuring you’re aware of any ingredients you might not react well with.
With the formula, you can expect more energy, increased focus, intense muscle pumps and even a better mood. The smart caffeine combination with L-theanine should help provide a clean energy lift without the jitters and the extra adaptogen elements help tackle the body’s chemical and physical reactions to intense exercise regimes. This may also play a part in the recovery process and ensure healthy and lean muscle growth.
You shouldn’t need to worry about side effects with 4 Gauge. The formula is all-natural, excludes tingling-causing beta-alanine and is low in caffeine. It’s also naturally sweetened with monk fruit extract and excludes artificial sweeteners which are thought to cause side effects such as headaches. As a result, this pre-workout shouldn’t cause any kind of discomfort.
With an effective, safe and optimally dosed formula, 4 Gauge stands out as one of the best pre-workouts without beta-alanine.
4 Gauge is a well-dosed completely natural formula, with zero artificial sweeteners or flavors and no beta-alanine in the mix. Each inclusion has its own pre-workout attribute to help you smash your targets in the gym. Here are the some of the best inclusions:
- 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 pre-workout product with many users having a lot of praise for the supplement. Users note that it’s effective at increasing energy and concentration without any crashes or jittery feelings, whilst boosting muscle pumps for better workout performance.
“Since I have been using only 4 gauge as my pre-workout I have definitely made mass gains on all lifting and physical sports I do. It gives me a totally smooth and energizing power shortly after I take it.
I lost 30 lb and I have cut my body fat in half and finally can be confident at the beach with no shirt on. My wife also loves to take 4 Gauge before she does five mile runs preparing for a half marathon.” – Ryan, USA
“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
>>RELATED: The 3 Best Pre Workout Supplements for Women
“I heard about 4gauge on a top 10 supplements list and read the ingredient list. Boom. This is what I have been looking for. All natural and no artificial flavors or coloring.
I love this stuff. The pumps are of the charts and the taste is smooth and not gritty or unbearable. And there is no “crash”. I want to just hang out at the gym and kill the weights all night.” – Michael, USA
“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, effective formula free of side effects
- Clean and jittery-free energy hike
- Science-backed ingredients
- Manufactured in cGMP- and FDA-approved facilities
- Boosts endurance and power output
- Great testimonials
- Only available direct
- Just one flavor (fruit blast)
Want to know more? 4 Gauge is available to buy direct on the official website
Conclusion to best pre-workout without beta-alanine
Beta-alanine is a popular pre-workout ingredient used in many supplements. It provides some clear benefits to your performance levels, however its harmless side effects could be off-putting.
With so many pre-workout supplements containing beta-alanine, it can be rather difficult to find a product without it. However, 4 Gauge is a complete option, packed with tried-and-tested nutrients that can boost your workout potential and help you reach your fitness goals.
If you feel limited by your pre-workout options and want a completely clean, all-natural formula, 4 Gauge is worth your attention. It’s excellently dosed and contains significantly researched ingredients that work to boost motivation, delay fatigue, support muscle recovery and enhance focus.
It’s worth remembering that a balanced diet, good hydration and getting enough quality sleep are the key ways to get the best workout experience. If you’re ever in doubt, always speak to your doctor before adding a new supplement into your routine.