Pre-workout supplement manufacturers promise everything from intense energy and explosive lifting, to hyperfocus and extraordinary recovery. However, these claims often fall flat when users are subjected to a rigorous gym session. Worse, pre-workouts often have a larger variety of ingredients than most other supplement classes. This is why sifting through numerous brands to identify the right pre-workout is an overwhelming and mind-racking task.
Apart from offering nice flavors and a dash (or sometimes a lot) of caffeine, the right pre-workout should boost exercise performance and help you make the most out of your gym workout. We have evaluated the leading pre-workouts in the market to select those that demonstrate significantly better outcomes than their peers.
So, which pre-workouts made the cut for the top four? Which ones can help transform your gym routine from a dreary, lethargic chore to an exciting, productive activity? Read on to find out.
Best Pre-Workouts Women
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A product of Crazy Nutrition, Intensive Pre-Train is a pre-workout supplement formulated from 19 research-backed and clinically-proven natural ingredients. It is suitable for anyone who works out but has found more widespread acceptance among athletes that regularly engage in resistance training, competitive running, CrossFit and outdoor sports.
Intensive Pre-Train is designed to boost determination, sharpen focus, build strength, enhance lifts, improve drive and speed up nutrient absorption – without the jitters, crashes and stomach problems often associated with pre-workouts. It is vegetarian-friendly as well.
Its ingredients include alpinia galanga, ashwagandha, beta-alanine, betaine, caffeine, citrulline malate, glucuronolactone, iron, l-arginine AKG, l-phenylalanine, l-taurine, l-tyrosine, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and black pepper.
About the Manufacturer
Intensive Pre-Train is a product of the Crazy Nutrition sports nutrition brand owned by UK-based Wolfson Brands, a leading beauty and wellness company. Other Crazy Nutrition products include 100% Tri-Protein, Ultimate CRN-5 and Mass Gainer. Its parent Wolfson Brands is behind established supplement brands such as PhenQ, NooCube, TestoPrime, Hår Vokse, Proactol XS, Smart Protein, Battle Ready Fuel and XYZ Smart Collagen.
Pros and Cons
Why Buy Intensive Pre-Train
Pre-workouts have widely varying efficacy. The more hardcore ones are best suited for the rigorous exercise sessions of pro athletes. Intensive Pre-Train is one of those. The ingredient mix is substantially more diverse than that of its peers. It’s not just composed of conventional pre-workout agents like beta-alanine, betaine, caffeine and citrulline malate. Intensive Pre-Train also contains a raft of vitamins, amino acids and minerals.
A product of Ultimate Life, Powher Pre-Workout is a supplement formulated to provide women with that extra boost they require to lift their motivation, focus and workout intensity. Low on caffeine and other aggressive stimulants notorious for crashing, it is meant to make your time at the gym count and achieve the results you aspire to.
Powher Pre-Workout gives an energy boost that makes you look forward to training. It enriches exercise performance, stimulates day-long metabolism, sharpens thought clarity and fights off fatigue. Unlike the four other supplements we cover here, Powher Pre-Workout is specifically made for women.
Its ingredients include alpinia galanga, beetroot, beta-alanine, coconut water powder, green coffee bean caffeine, l-leucine, l-tyrosine, terminalia arjuna, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folic acid (vitamin B9) and cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12).
About the Manufacturer
Powher Pre-Workout is made by the health and wellness supplement manufacturer, Ultimate Life Limited. Founded in 2015, the UK-based company has taken a different path from many leading supplement makers by choosing to focus on women’s fitness and weight loss products. Ultimate Life has only one other brand – the fat burner, Leanbean. If the market success of Powher and Leanbean is anything to go by, it does appear Ultimate Life’s specialization gamble has paid off. Apart from Powher Pre-Workout, other products under the Powher brand are Powher Cut and Powher Multivitamin.
Pros and Cons
Why Buy Powher Pre-Workout
There are hundreds of pre-workout brands but few can claim to specifically being formulated for women. Powher Pre-Workout is a women-centric product. Also, while it contains caffeine, it has kept the quantity low in order to avoid the peak-crash cycles that caffeine use is notorious for.
Made by Transparent Labs, PreSeries LEAN is a pre-workout supplement with ingredients designed to stimulate healthy metabolism and accelerate fat burning.
On top of supporting high-intensity gym workouts and instigating a surge in energy expenditure that you would expect from the average pre-workout, it also helps get rid of stubborn fat while minimizing muscle loss. PreSeries LEAN enhances endurance, strength and workout recovery. It is therefore most suitable for women looking to maintain lean muscle mass while shedding excess fat.
PreSeries LEAN contains nootropic agents that promote self-drive, clarity of mind and mental/physical energy. Its ingredients include acetyl l-carnitine, beta-alanine, betaine, branched-chain amino acids, caffeine, choline, chromium, citrulline malate, copper, dicaffeine malate, iodine, l-theanine, selenium, theobromine, zinc and black pepper.
About the Manufacturer
PreSeries LEAN is made by Utah-based Transparent Labs. Founded in 2015, the company manufactures more than two dozen pre-workout, protein and muscle-building supplements. Other products in Transparent Lab’s stable include PreSeries BULK, PreSeries STIM-Free, PreSeries PUMP, ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, ProteinSeries MASS GAINER, ProteinSeries Organic Vegan, StrengthSeries Creatine HMB, CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine and StrengthSeries ZMO.
Pros and Cons
Why Buy PreSeries LEAN
Fast but steady fat loss that eventually results in the body frame you have always hoped for is one of the main reasons you would go for a pre-workout. Fat loss should not be synonymous with muscle loss. If you are losing muscle, that does not bode well for your long-term wellbeing. Not all pre-workouts will protect your muscle mass while burning away fat. PreSeries LEAN is one of those that do.
Another pre-workout supplement from Transparent Labs, PreSeries STIM-FREE’s main selling point is just what its name suggests – it’s stimulant free. This is somewhat counterintuitive given how ubiquitous caffeine is among pre-workout supplements. It is recommended for women who are intolerant of or sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants.
Instead, PreSeries STIM-FREE leverages the capabilities of other clinically proven and less aggressive ingredients. The 13 ingredients increase nitric oxide availability to muscles, boost muscle mass, build strength, sharpen focus and extend endurance. PreSeries STIM-FREE has found widespread adoption in pro athlete and bodybuilding circles where high-intensity workouts are a routine necessity.
PreSeries LEAN also contains nootropic agents that promote self-drive, clarity of mind and mental/physical energy. Its ingredients include beta-alanine, betaine, branched-chain amino acids, choline, citrulline malate, elevATP (proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple fruit), huperzine A, l-tyrosine, potassium, sodium, taurine and black pepper.
About the Manufacturer
PreSeries STIM-FREE is made by Utah-based Transparent Labs. Founded in 2015, it manufactures more than two dozen pre-workout, protein and muscle-building supplements. Other products in the company’s stable include PreSeries BULK, PreSeries LEAN, PreSeries PUMP, ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, ProteinSeries MASS GAINER, ProteinSeries Organic Vegan, StrengthSeries Creatine HMB, CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine and StrengthSeries ZMO.
Pros and Cons
Why Buy PreSeries STIM-FREE
Nearly all pre-workouts contain caffeine or an alternative stimulant. Thus, it can be a challenge if you are caffeine-intolerant or are otherwise shopping for a pre-workout that does not contain stimulants. PreSeries STIM-FREE is one of the few that does not contain caffeine or any other stimulant. This pre-workout instead taps into the efficacy of more gentle pre-workout agents like beta-alanine, betaine, citrulline malate and taurine.
If you are an athlete, regularly go to the gym or are engaged in any form of routine exercise, pre-workouts can be an important stepping stone to get you in the right zone each time. They not only increase the energy you put into the workout but also help you extract maximum health benefits from the activity.
We sifted through dozens of leading pre-workout brands before we could eventually shortlist these four as the best in their market class. They offered the best value when evaluated on ingredients and action. We have not arranged them in order of importance.
Note however that no two people will necessarily experience the same result when they use the same supplement. Each individual has a unique health, fitness level and biochemical combination which plays a part in how their body responds to a particular supplement. Thus, when you find the one that works for you within or outside this list of four, run with it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Each of the four pre-workouts is formulated to work for the broadest possible segment of the population even though impact will vary from person to person. Like any other supplement, pre-workouts are only as effective as the quality of healthy habits they are paired with: robust exercise, balanced diet and restful sleep.
They are safe since they are made from extensively researched, clinically proven and widely used ingredients. That said, talk to your doctor before you use a pre-workout. This is an essential step for everyone, but more so women who are pregnant, nursing, under 18, diagnosed with a long-term illness or are on medication.
As a general rule, expect to wait for a couple of weeks to see the impact. Usually, the supplement’s money back guarantee window (where available) should be a pointer of the upper limit of how long you can realistically wait. Overall, the factors affecting speed of results include the supplement’s ingredients, your current state of fitness, adherence to recommended dosage and whether you stick to healthy lifestyle habits.
None of the supplements has known side effects. That said, three of the four contain caffeine. This may have an adverse effect on caffeine-sensitive persons. Such sensitivity may trigger symptoms of caffeine toxicity like rapid heart rate, headaches, anxiety, shivers, restlessness and sleeplessness.
You can use multiple pre-workouts but only with products that are part of a supplement stack recommended by the pre-workout’s manufacturer. Often these will be products from the same manufacturer.
Otherwise, only use one pre-workout at a time. There are multiple benefits for such focused use. For starters, the product’s efficacy and safety has only been tested with respect to its own ingredients. The results of its interaction with other products are unknown. Also, using more than one pre-workout makes it harder to tell the true impact of each and therefore which one you should continue to use.