2018's 10 Best
Pre-Workouts for Women
It’s that time again. You’re sick of the lethargy that eventually comes at a certain point for every athlete. You need a way to amp up your workout again. Everyone reaches this point, which is why there are products created exactly for this problem. Lucky you!
Pre-workouts are an awesome, clean, and easy way to boost your workout to the next level without picking up a ton of negative side effects. For many users, they replace the need for energy drinks and give a lot of added nutrients to help you feel better all around.
But problems have arisen with women who are looking to catch that extra umph in their workout. Those problems have led to several myths and lies about how pre-workouts work for women, and the need for female-centric properties. I.e. a pink sticker on the bottle doesn’t cut it.
Just to squash this myth from your mind before reading the rest of the article: any pre-workout can work for women. Most aren’t created based on sex, rather, body type and goals.
So when you are looking for a product you want to find something that will match your goals, your needed energy levels, and your body type. It’s not a difficult process to determine what will work best for you, you just need to know what to look for. Interested? Keep reading. Or you can Jump to our list of top 10 best pre-workouts for women right now.
Pre-workout Drinks: Should women take them?
This is the first question that most women ask who are looking to start supplementing. And the answer is, these supplements can be good or bad regardless of sex. Most won’t impact hormones in any way or be the reason for health disasters related to sex. They can have negative impacts though, depending on what your body is able handle.
Typically pre-workout supplements boost your metabolism, which causes your body to heat up. They energize you, which can impact sleep. And they can help rebuild muscle quickly. You’ll never get bulky expressly from taking them. If your goal is to be the slim instagram model type though, you’ll need to consider the type of product you choose.
Overall, yes, take them. But be considerate of the kind of product you’re choosing so that it matches your goals.
What is a Pre-Workout?
Pre-workouts are a formula of chemicals that have been proven to boost energy and mood while helping your body prep for the coming stress. Many of them will contain a mixture of ingredients aimed at boosting energy, endurance levels, physical strength, and focus.
They’ve been used in the bodybuilding world for decades and have progressively become essentials for any kind of athlete. Bodybuilder, crossfitter, doesn’t matter. Studies have shown that many people start using them in high school. It’s especially prominent in athletes like football and rugby players.
They get a bit of a bad rep because of some of the physical effects that they cause. People have had heart issues following years of using a high-intensity product. Supplement companies tackled this issue by changing recommended dosage and creating “stim-free” products.
That being said, they are still heavily recommended over energy drinks and excessive coffee usage. The thinking here is that as long as you know what you’re putting into your body, you’re more likely to be okay.
What Do You Want It To Do?
The reason many people take pre-workouts isn’t hard to figure out. They make you feel good, and they give you that extra boost before every workout. There’s nothing like the high after an awesome workout, and these products help to get you to that goal every single time.
But there are a few other good reasons to consider taking a pre-workout:
- They improve skeletal muscle, which improves performance
- They improve focus
- They are healthier than coffee and energy drinks
- They can burn fat
- They can also help facilitate muscle building
In order to achieve all of these things, you need the right ingredients. People take them because there is a chance that it will give you that extra edge they need to see real results, faster. And that’s what we all want, right?
The results you see are based off the ingredients included in each batch, which is where many companies have held their claim for prominence. The ingredients and dosages of those ingredients can heavily affect the way the supplement works in your system. A product that is heavy in stimulants, like caffeine, will undoubtedly wake you up and improve focus. It could also wreck your bladder and leave you with long-lasting “jitters” though. So be safe. Jump to our list of top 10 best pre-workouts for women
More than anything Pre-workouts should energize you. There are a lot of guys out there who like the zippy jittery feeling that comes from a heavily stim-based PRE. But there are many cases where the stimulants needed to get guys to that point will still be too much for a female body. This is something that only you will be able to decide on. If you’re getting more than 300mg of stimulants (caffeine or otherwise), it will be more powerful than 2 cups of full brew coffee.
Stimulation normally comes from a few key ingredients:
Caffeine: I’ve no doubt that you know what caffeine is and that it’s good for boosting mood and energy. But it also has ridiculously awesome effects on cardiovascular health and physical performances. By getting your heart pumping in the right way, physical performance climbs because of the increase in delivery of essential nutrients to your muscles, tendons, and cartilage. (4,5). While it’s not entirely necessary, many people find that they prefer it in their PRE because it gives them that little extra “umph”. You can find stimulant free pre-workouts, though, if you are extra sensitive to this particular ingredient.
Theobromine: This ingredient is often used as an alternative to caffeine and its effects are similar. It’s the “caffeine” you find in chocolate and tea. It’s main benefits are vasorelaxation (dilating your blood cells) which improves blood flow and amps you up. It’s a straightforward and lightweight stimulant.
Taurine: Taurine is the second most abundant amino acid you can find in the musculoskeletal system. It’s also super easy to deplete quickly when working out. You see it a lot in energy drinks, which is because it improves focus and energy without the extra jittery feelings. There are hundreds of studies that have come out of it that declare its importance in your daily diet for maintaining focus anyways.
Ephedrine: This is a heavy stimulant, and is only barely legal in supplements. It’s great for boosting energy, focus, and fat loss. It’s actually been used primarily for fat-burning reasons because it works directly on your metabolism. It can be a great stimulant because it dilates arteries and elevates breathing rate. It gives you that heart-pounding pump feeling that usually comes after a good workout, only without the exhaustion. It can be dangerous for your body though. So, we wouldn’t recommend it. None of the products listed below contain ephedrine, but there are some products that do. Jump to our list of top 10 best pre-workouts for women
Increase N.O. Levels
Pre-workouts should make you last longer at the gym. This is more than the initial energy you get at the beginning. This is the long-lasting endurance that will make you grit your teeth and pump out two more reps or a full set. It’s the nitty-gritty get-down-to-work feeling. You’ll still feel the burn and have to push your muscles, but this should give your muscles that extra bit of juice to match your best intentions.
You should feel stronger. As you’re going through your reps you should actually feel like you can do more (and you should do more). This is probably the best part about finding the right PRE. You’ll feel more-capable of doing the movement, and of adding weight consistently.
Beta-Alanine: This is a naturally occuring amino acid. It’s primary benefit is that it boosts endurance. This typically means an extra one or two reps per set, which can be the difference between gains and plateau. It’s also recommended for cardiovascular performance during activities like rowing or sprinting. Think HIIT programs. (1,2) It’s been used heavily in bodybuilding because it gives user a “clean-feeling” energy and increases carnosine levels. Carnosine helps prevent the effects of aging and the rebuilding of muscle tissue after stress. (3)
Creatine: Creatine is technically produced in your body, especially when you eat a heavy fish, egg, or meat diet. Supplementing more into your system has been shown to improve performance, muscle building, and recovery time. This is because it holds phosphocreatine, which is a chemical that has a ton of energy meant to help cells under stress handle the damage and rebuild. (6,7) Read more on Creatine here
BCAA’s: BCAA is short for Branched-Chain Amino Acid. BCAA’s aren’t always included in pre-workouts because many people already drink them during their workouts. Having them be a part of the formula is a smart move that has been made by many companies. What they’re best known for is the almost immediate effects on muscle reparation during your workout. This repair work helps boosts your performance and endurance in the near and short term. There are a lot of studies that look at the best time take them, and it’s a bit of a mixed bowl. Some suggest taking them 30 minutes before the workout (about when you would take the PRE), and others as your intra-workout drink. The benefits of taking them during your workout is that they will help retain water. That way you won’t have as many issues with dehydration.
What are Natural Pre-workouts?
Natural preworkouts are a popular option for some. What sets them apart from your typical product is the use of organic substances. So when you’re looking at caffeine content or other additives not only are they typically organic, but they’re devoid of all GMO’s, gluten, and artificial substances.
These are typically a little more expensive, but many people enjoy the clean energy and knowledge of everything going into their bodies.
How to Pick the Right Pre-Workout
Now we’re to the fun part. Outside of ingredients, what do you want to look for in a good product?
- Safe ingredients
It’s up to you to decide what qualifies as a good product this way, but here are a few tips to help you check on each product to decide for yourself!
Does it Have a Decent Price?
This is a sore spot with a lot of supplement companies, especially those aimed at selling products for women. Many of those companies bump up their prices unreasonably because they include ingredients that are “especially for women”. These ingredients usually include extra vitamins and minerals that are likely already covered by your diet or multivitamin.
At that point, you are literally peeing away your money.
While shopping for the right PRE, there is nothing wrong with comparing prices. If the pink sticker adds an extra $5-10 when compared to a similar product, then it’s not worth your time or your money. The products we’ve included in our top 10 stick to the average cost of a non-specific PRE. Our top 2 are the top two because they’re awesome products for a killer price. Jump to our list of top 10 best pre-workouts for women
How Does it Taste?
Taste is easily one of the most important parts of a pre-workout. If it tastes horribly you won’t take it consistently. This needs to be something you’re okay with tasting almost every day.
Some of the best flavors are Blue-Raspberry or Fruit Punch, and they’re really hard to mess up. So when in doubt try one of those flavors first. Some of the best brands do have other better tasting flavors, and what we recommend is trying all of them as you go, if you decide you like the brand.
This is one of those things not worth sacrificing for gains, because instead you’ll be sacrificing gains to avoid a bad taste.
If you’re concerned about it when purchasing, the best thing you can do is look at Amazon reviews. Customers are typically ruthless and this will tell you if you’re going to like it too.
Are the Ingredients Safe?
Easily the most important part, above taste and price, are the ingredients safe for consumption? There are brands that thrive off the fact that their product has “almost banned” ingredients included. There is also the issue of how much of these ingredients are in the product.
If there’s mostly caffeine in it, it doesn’t matter what your tolerance is, that’s unhealthy. If you’re questioning the levels of any ingredients in the product you should probably just avoid it. Find something more mild, or contact a coach/health professional for recommendations.
The products in our top 10 are all safe, effective, and clean. It’s a great list to go off because we pick the best products with the best companies behind them.
BEST PRE-WORKOUTS FOR WOMEN
Our top 10 list of Diet Pre-workouts For Women is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All ten of our top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high quality supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our top ten list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping to ensure that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final shake.
- Hoffman J, et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise Int J Sports Med. (2008)
- Derave W, et al. beta-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters. J Appl Physiol (1985). (2007)
- Julie Y. Culbertson, Richard B. Kreider, Mike Greenwood, and Matthew Cooke Effects of Beta-Alanine on Muscle Carnosine and Exercise Performance:A Review of the Current Literature; Nutrients 2010, 2(1), 75-98; doi:10.3390/nu2010075 Review Received: 16 November 2009 / Accepted: 6 January 2010 / Published: 25 January 2010
- Desbrow B, et al. The effects of different doses of caffeine on endurance cycling time trial performance. J Sports Sci. (2012)
- Roschel H, et al. Creatine supplementation spares muscle glycogen during high intensity intermittent exercise in rats. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010) Physiol. (2001)
- Greenhaff PL, et al. Effect of oral creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle phosphocreatine resynthesis. Am J Physiol. (1994)
The Standout: Designed To Meet Women's Needs
Gym Vixen's Charge tops our list at #1, as the leader in women's pre-workout formulas. Designed specifically with women in mind, each serving contains 4 grams of Citrulline, 500 mg Agmatine, and 150 mg of natural Caffeine. The result? Smooth and steady energy, with no jitters or crashes, to encourage the best results. Charge contains zero calories or sugar, and is available in delicious fruity flavors. Get the energy and focus you need for your fitness journey, both in and out of the gym.
- 4 Grams L-Citrulline
- 500 Mg Agmatine
- 250 Mg Caffeine
- No Crash Or Jitters
- Boosts Nitric Oxide Levels
- Promotes Energy
- Zero Calories Or Sugar
Charge helps boost energy and focus with a safe amount of caffeine anhydrous and B vitamins. Caffeine helps stave off fatigue while B vitamins increase metabolism, leading to a gradual increase of natural energy and optimal protein use for maximized performance.
Charge also consists of several performance enhancing ingredients that promote optimal nutrient delivery and energy. Agmatine has the ability to increase nitric oxide production, which dilate veins for enhanced blood flow to muscle tissue. Agmatine is also a neuromodulator, able to regulate and boost mood due to inhibiting the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, and helps improve motivation and overall mood.
Charge contains no calories or sugar, and is available in several delicious fruity flavors, making getting the energy and focus you need pre-training more enjoyable than ever.Keep Reading »
The Standout: High Quality For Low Cost
Providing an effective formula containing powerful ingredients, Nutricost's Pre-Workout for Women has everything an amplifying workout supplement needs to be top tier. Each serving supplies a combination of L-Citrulline, Taurine, Arginine, Caffeine, and other muscle pumping as well as energy boosting ingredients in this formula specifically made for women. Nutricost's Pre-Workout for Women is also only 67 cents per serving, making it one of the most cost efficient pre-workouts on the market.
- 6 Grams L-Citrulline
- 2 Grams Taurine
- 1.5 Grams Arginine
- 67 Cents Per Serving
- 30 Servings Per Bottle
Each scoop contains a heap of essential B-vitamins including Niacin, Folic Acid, and B12, all of which supports natural energy by serving as cofactors in the production of ATP (fuel for your cells). B Vitamins also support healthy metabolism, assists in converting fat to fuel, and boosts overall mood and well-being.
Amino acids are anotherkey player in Nutricost Pre-Workout for Women, and can promote lean muscle growth, boost hair, skin and nail health, and support a strong immune system. Combine all this with 150 mg of caffeine, and you have a recipe for more energy and motivation with Nutricost Pre-Workout for Women.
With 16 grams of straight forward ingredients, Nutricost's Pre Workout For Women is a high quality, affordable pre workout that is tailored specifically for women to help you achieve the most from each and every workout.Keep Reading »
The Standout: Squeaky Clean Pre-Workout Formula
Providing a transparent formula using potent ingredients such as Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Betaine HCl, and BCAA 2:1:1, PreSeries LEAN by Transparent Labs is designed to be a cutting-edge pre-workout supplement. With effective doses and no harmful additives or fillers, PreSeries LEAN helps promote focus and motivation for tackling each and every training session. This high-intensity formula can also increase energy levels for enhanced athletic performance while improving the loss of fat in every 15 gram serving.
- 6 Grams Citrulline
- 2.5 Grams Betaine
- 2 Grams BCAAs
- 30 Servings Per Bag
- Boost Fat Burning
PreSeries LEAN doubles as a pre-workout and fat burning supplement, and is designed to help burn unwanted fat while perserving lean muscle mass. LEAN contains a thyroid supporting complex that includes Iodine, Selenium, Zinc, and Copper, which helps regulate a healthy metabolic rate. Chromium, Hordenine, and Synephrine helps boost weight loss.
Ingredients like Betaine, BCAAs and Beta-Alanine help promote muscle growth and preserve existing lean muscle mass, along with enhancing recovery between workouts. Citrulline Malate 2:1 helps boost nitric oxide levels for optimal nutrient transport to muscle cells.
Overall, each serving of PreSeries LEAN exceeds 15 grams and includes 21 active ingredients that work synergistically to provide both men and women a high-intensity pre-workout experience, while boosting fat loss, performance, and muscle growth.Keep Reading »
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