What’s the Best Pre-Workout for Women?
A quality pre-workout for women can be tough to come by, which is a bit ironic considering how rapidly this supplement niche has grown in recent years. Thankfully, we’ve done the leg work to help you weed through the nonsense and hype to find which women’s pre-workout powder is truly the cream of the crop.
If you’re already familiar with pre-workout supplements, click here to skip to the product rankings. If not, we strongly encourage you to read the following sections so you have a better idea of how pre-workouts work.
What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?
You could consider a good ol’ cup of black coffee as being the primordial pre-workout!
Reasons to Take a Pre-Workout for Women:
- Increasing energy and the will-to-workout.
- Burning more calories while in the gym.
- Lasting longer and going harder.
- Improving overall exercise performance.
Pre-workout supplements aren’t 100% necessary, but boy do they help you get up and move! You just need to ensure that your pre-workout is made with the right stuff…
The Best Pre-Workout Ingredients
In reality, the best pre-workout ingredients don’t discriminate between genders. What works for men generally works for women and vice versa. The main difference is the doses might vary a bit since men tend to carry more bodyweight (and muscle mass) than women.
Here are some of the tried-and-true ingredients to look for in a women’s pre-workout supplement:
- Caffeine: Being the most proven stimulant, caffeine is a surefire way to increase energy and mood. A dose of 150 to 225 mg per serving should be plenty.
- L-citrulline (or L-citrulline malate): This amino acid boosts nitric oxide production to improve circulation, thereby enhancing oxygen and nutrient delivery to your muscles during training. Research suggests that a dose of 6,000 mg L-citrulline is most effective for workout performance (1).
- Beta-alanine: An isomer of alanine (a non-essential amino acid) that preserves the correct pH balance in your muscles by neutralizing lactic acid and hydrogen ion build-up. Appears to be effective in a dose range of 1,600 to 4,500 mg per day (2).
- Vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes: You can’t go wrong by taking a pre-workout for women that provides these essential micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals are crucial for energy, endurance, and hydration during exercise.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): A group of three essential amino acids that regulate muscle protein synthesis, the process by which your body creates new muscle tissue. BCAAs can help promote recovery between sets and allow to push further in the gym. Look for at least 4,000 mg BCAAs for improving exercise performance.
- L-theanine: A plant-derived amino acid that adds a calming complement to pre-workout formulas containing caffeine (or other stimulants). Look for a supplement with a 2:1 ratio of L-theanine to caffeine for optimal results.
Any reasonable combination of the ingredients outlined above, in proper dosages, is indicative of a quality pre-workout supplement for women. However, we’ve found that many women’s pre-workout supplements undercut consumers on doses of key ingredients (likely since women are not as familiar with the pre-workout powder niche).
How to Pick the Right Women’s Pre-Workout:
Here are our buyers-notes that we recommend following when purchasing women’s pre-workouts:
- Caffeine is in all pre-workouts for women except for stimulant-free versions. Caffeine is included in nearly all pre-workouts as it’s one of the most popular ways to get your energy up (3). It has also been found to increase strength and endurance (4).
- “What the heck is nitric oxide?” Nitric oxide (NO) is responsible for the proverbial “muscle pump.” It helps expand blood vessels so your muscles get the nutrients and oxygen they desperately need during exercise (5). Basically, NO is the molecule governing the ergogenic effects of ingredients like L-citrulline malate, L-arginine, Nitrosigine®, grape seed extract, or beet extract.
- Watch out for bombastic claims and under-dosing of ingredients in pre-workout supplements. This is especially true when shopping for a pre-workout supplement for women. If you are paying for an ingredient to be in there, then the product should include enough of it to help you!
- Watch out for artificial colors and preservatives in your supplements! It is a little ironic that supplement companies would put harmful additives in products designed to help you be healthier, but they often do (6, 7, 8). To find these ingredients, check the ‘other ingredients’ section at the bottom of the ingredient label.
- You don’t have to take a pre-workout supplement to get in the best shape of your life. We’ve mentioned this before in other articles, but it’s important to point it out again: Pre-workouts are not a requirement. If you have plenty of natural energy, don’t sweat taking a pre-workout. You’ll do great on your own just by lifting hard and eating healthy!
- Yes, you can probably take your boyfriend’s pre-workout supplement. Just because your boyfriend’s pre-workout for men has an aggressive label doesn’t mean it isn’t safe and effective for you. Just make sure it doesn’t have 300+ mg of caffeine or mentions anything about harsh stimulants like 1,3-DMAA.
Follow that advice, and you should be all set as a savvy pre-workout shopper. We used the same guidelines to rank the best pre-workout for women, found below.
Top 10 Best Pre Workouts for Women
#1 Transparent Labs: LEAN Pre Workout Supplement
If you’re the type of gal that always strives for her best in the gym, then look no further than Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean. We found this to be the best pre-workout for women (and men) due to its robust evidence-based formula and full-label transparency. There are no “hidden” ingredients since LEAN is free of proprietary blends.
What separates this pre-workout powder from others is:
- Clinical doses of proven ingredients like citrulline malate, beta-alanine, 2:1:1 BCAAs, and betaine anhydrous.
- Vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO formula.
- All-natural flavors and sweeteners; no dyes or preservatives.
- Super-clean feel-good energy complex that lasts for hours.
- Thyroid support complex for all-day metabolism support.
It’s obvious right off the bat that Transparent Labs put a lot of care into developing this premium pre-workout supplement. Whereas other brands are more concerned with the shades of pink and purple on their product labels, the team over at TL is perfecting what’s inside the bottle — and that’s what really matters at the end of the day.
We recommend that you start with ½ serving of LEAN to assess your tolerance. Compared to other pre-workouts for women, each serving of LEAN is about 4x larger. With its substantial per-serving dosages of active ingredients comes hard-hitting results!
That means LEAN delivers greater focus, energy, endurance, and strength to help you crush it in the gym. The end result is much more enjoyable and useful than pre-workout powders that are essentially straight caffeine supplements that leave you jittery and anxious.
How to get LEAN, our top-rated pre-workout for women pick:Learn more at Transparentlabs.com
#2 Cira Nutrition Pre-Game
Cira Nutrition is a new women’s supplement line that launched in 2021. It has a unique female veneer and is dedicated to creating evidence-based supplements geared towards active women. However, Cira Pre-Game isn’t your typical “women’s pre-workout” that shortchanges you on key ingredients like L-citrulline and beta-alanine.
Pre-Game pre-workout for women packs a comprehensive formula, including:
- 6,000 mg Fermented L-Citrulline for blood flow and endurance
- 200 mg Caffeine for mental energy
- 1,600 mg Beta-Alanine and 1,250 mg Betaine Anhydrous for strength and recovery
- Synergistic nootropics for focus, clarity, and mood
- 25 mg Astragin™ for optimal ingredient absorption
This is a complete stack of most of our recommended ingredients.
The flavors are extremely impressive. We tested peach bellini and pink rocket candy and thoroughly enjoyed both.Learn more about Cira Nutrition here
#3 Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Shred
Nitrosurge Shred is another top contender, coming in as the third best pre-workout for women. This formula has garnered tons of positive feedback, which is no surprise given Jacked Factory’s track record for creating fantastic supplements at an affordable value.
For women who want to trim and tone their body, this thermogenic pre-workout formula will do just the trick thanks to fat-burning ingredients like acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), caffeine, and theobromine. Nitrosurge Shred kills two birds with one stone by bolstering athletic performance and facilitating fat loss whether you’re pumping iron or doing cardio.
NITROSURGE SHRED HIGHLIGHTS:
- Ideal for active men and women that want to cut body fat and preserve lean muscle mass
- Promotes fat-burning while propelling athletic performance
- Enhances blood flow, endurance, strength, and energy
- Improves focus, mood, and concentration
- Zero sugar, fillers, or artificial food coloring
- Just $0.99 per one-scoop serving
- Six delicious flavors to choose from
Every 2-scoop serving of NITROSURGE SHRED contains:
- 4,000 mg of pure L-citrulline
- 3,200 mg of beta-alanine
- 2,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR)
- 360 mg of caffeine anhydrous
- 180 mg of L-theanine
- 100 mg of theobromine
- 5 mg of BioPerine®
We recommend starting with just one scoop, especially for women who might be more sensitive to caffeine.
To learn more about Nitrosurge Shred, click below:
#4 Gym Angel: Energy Angel
Energy Angel is a very simple take on women’s pre-workout, but there is no denying the fact that it will wake you up. It has a strong dose of caffeine, along with a modest amount of agmatine sulfate for enhancing the pump. But what really catches our eye is the 3 grams of betaine anhydrous (like in our top-ranking LEAN pre-workout).
Think of Energy Angel as the “I just want a Red Bull caffeine rush on the cheap!” pre-workout.
#5 Fit Miss Ignite Women’s Pre Workout
Ignite is a true designer pre-workout for women. Fit Miss succeeded at developing a very unique and attractive bottle and box labeling. However, upon further inspection of Ignite’s pre-workout ingredients, you can tell that the Fit Miss team spends more time on graphic design software than in the lab, or in the gym for that matter.
There is serious value in being able to buy a box of Fit Miss stick-pack ignites purely for their convenience. But we’re just not quite satisfied with the formula as we are with the pre-workouts mentioned above.Learn more about Ignite on Amazon
Best Pre-Workout for Women: Top 6-10
From here on, the overall quality of these women’s pre-workout supplements starts to fall off a bit. While these products will help your workout compared to taking nothing at all, they simply cannot compete with the top rankers. So, consider them if you are brand new to pre-workout supplements and also want to get a really (really) cheap deal.
#6 NLA Uplift For Her Series
NLA Uplift is definitely formulated for an uplifting high-energy experience thanks to its assortment of stimulants. In addition to caffeine, Uplift features phenylethylamine, PABA, choline, Schisandra, and higenamine — all designed to really get your central nervous system going.
On top of the stimulant matrix, there are performance-based ingredients like beta-alanine, l-carnitine, and agmatine, but they are dosed fairly low and will not have as much of an ergogenic effect. Overall, NLA Uplift is a great-tasting option for a high-energy, albeit short-lasting kick before you hit the gym.Learn more about Uplift on Amazon
#7 AI Sports Nutrition Furious
Sure, this supplement looks intimidating, ferocious, and “manly,” but honestly, this is just a really strong energy-based pre-workout that doesn’t contain the ‘muscle’ and ‘testosterone’ ingredients you might find in a traditional pre-workout for men.
Above, you may recall that we discussed how some women prefer super-strong, energy-enhanced pre-workouts. The problem with that is that they’re typically loaded with sub-optimal ingredients for women.
Furious breaks the mold by being a strongly stimulated pre-workout despite a serving size of just six grams.
#8 Lecheek Nutrition Hottie
Hottie improves on Promera Sports Women’s Elite (listed below) in some ways, but overall is a very similar formula. Like Women’s Elite, this women’s pre-workout has a “concentrated” formula; it’s about twice the size of Women’s Elite coming in at about 1.7 grams of active ingredients.
This is adequate for energy, but most of the other ingredients are not even one-tenth of their clinical dosage. If you want a modest caffeine kick, this will suffice. But if you want a top-notch pre-workout for women, this isn’t it.
#9 Promera Sports Women’s Elite
Next, we have Women’s Elite by Promera Sports. Compared to other pre-workouts, this is a micro-dosed supplement. So much so, that there is literally less than one gram of active ingredients.
For someone that has never taken a pre-workout supplement, you may enjoy Women’s Elite Pre-workout. However, for the ladies who have decent experience with pre-workout supplements – this isn’t going to cut it.
#10 Athletic Edge Nutrition LIV
To finalize our 10 best pre-workout supplements for women, we have the unconventional pre-workout LIV hybrid. LIV isn’t actually a pre-workout supplement, by default. However, for certain types of women, this is a better fit than a traditional pre-workout.
Instead of a supplement that gives a few hours of really intense energy for working out, LIV offers a lower level of constant fat-burning energy. If you’re the type of woman that wants a fat burner to take in the morning to give you a boost of energy that will make you actually want to go to the gym later on in the day – this is a great option.
Thank You for Reading Our Guide to the Best Pre-Workout for Women
We hope this guide has given you some helpful tips on what to expect from pre-workout supplements for women. Making you a smarter consumer is our ultimate goal!
If you have any questions about pre-workout for women, please comment below. And if you have good/bad reviews on pre-workout powders that you’ve tried, please share your feedback below to help other readers learn from your experience! We look forward to connecting with you!
Table of Contents
- What’s the Best Pre-Workout for Women?
- What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?
- How to Pick the Right Women’s Pre-Workout:
- Top 10 Best Pre Workouts for Women
- Best Pre-Workout for Women: Top 6-10
- Thank You for Reading Our Guide to the Best Pre-Workout for Women