Pre workouts have quickly become as fundamental to fitness culture as a good tank top.
You know that fitness model who shows up every day at 7 am sharp to workout like a beast? She probably takes a pre workout to stay consistent and last longer.
The same goes for the guys, too. however, their pre workout use is often less disciplined and more for fun.
What are pre workout supplements?
The simple definition of a pre workout is: any supplement that you take before exercise to increase performance or results.
You could consider the oldest pre workout to be a good old cup of black coffee!
The most popular reasons women take pre workouts:
- 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 of the right stuff…
The most reliable pre workout ingredients are:
- Caffeine: the surefire way to increase energy and mood. Look for 150 to 225 mg per serving.
- L-citrulline or l-citrulline malate: increases nitric oxide to improve circulation for better oxygen and nutrient movement. Look for 6 grams per serving.
- Vitamins, minerals and electrolytes: to increase energy, endurance and hydration. Look for 50%+ DV%.
- Beta-alanine: Preserves the correct pH balance in your muscles by neutralizing lactic acid build-up. Look for 2.5 grams and up.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids: simply referred to as BCAAs, they fuel your muscles during exercise and promote enhanced recovery. Look for at least 2 grams for improving performance.
- L-theanine: unique to green tea, l-theanine adds a blanket of calm focus to caffeine producing a more enjoyable experience. Look for a 2:1 ratio of l-theanine to caffeine for best effect.
Any reasonable combination of the ingredients above at their outlined dosages should indicate a proper pre workout. However, we found that many pre workouts designed for women undercut key dosages. Likely since women are newer to the pre workout market.
How to pick the right women’s pre workout:
Here are our buyers-notes that we follow when purchasing women’s pre workouts to review and how we ranked them.
- Caffeine is in all pre workouts 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 (1). It has also been found to increase strength and endurance (2).
- Nitric Oxide is a common pre workout term, which functions to increase blood circulation (3). Nitric oxide is responsible for the ‘muscle pump’ (4). Basically, this is a byproduct of ingredients like L-Citrulline Malate, L-Arginine, Nitrosigine, Grape Seed Extract, or Beet Extract.
- Watch out for big claims and under-dosing of ingredients in pre workout supplements. This is especially true for pre workouts directed towards women. If you are paying for an ingredient to be in there, then they should include enough of it to help you! So, we encourage you to do some tactical googling of key ingredients to see if they are taking care of you or not!
- Watch out for artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives in your supplements (5)! It is a little ironic that supplement companies would put harmful additives in products designed to help you get healthier (6)(7)… But it’s more common than not! 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 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 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 ‘testosterone.
Follow that advice, and you should be all-set as a savvy pre workout shopper.
Top 10 Best Pre Workouts for Women
#1 Transparent Labs: LEAN Pre Workout Supplement
If you are the type of girl that always wants the best of the best, then Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean is exactly the pre workout for you.
What separates this pre workout from others is:
- Ethical and effective ingredient choices for women and men.
- All natural flavors and sweeteners, no dyes, no preservatives.
- Super-clean feel good energy complex that lasts for hours.
- Thyroid support complex for all-day metabolism support.
Overall, we can tell that a lot of time and care went into developing this premium pre workout supplement. Whereas other brands are more concerned with the labels shade of pink.
What to expect from PreSeries Lean
When you start out taking LEAN, we recommend that you start with ½ a serving. Compared to other pre workouts for women, each serving of LEAN is about 4X bigger.
With that bigger per serving dosage comes really awesome results! That means more focus, energy, endurance, strength, mood, and increased metabolism. Much more enjoyable and useful compared to straight-caffeine and sprinkles pre workouts that just give you the jitters.
How to get our top rated pick:Learn more at Transparentlabs.com
#2 Alani Nu Pre Workout
Alani Nu is the stylish supplement line created by Katy Hern. It has all the ‘flair’ that we watch out for with women-specific advertising, however this pre workout isn’t like the rest.
Alani Nu’s pre workout for women contains:
- A full 6 gram dosage of l-citrulline malate
- 200 mg caffeine
- 200 mg l-theanine
This is a reasonable match-up to our recommended ingredients.
The only thing that we didn’t particularly like about this pre workout is that the l-theanine to caffeine isn’t a 2:1 ratio. But besides that we enjoyed reviewing Alani Nu’s pre workout.Learn more about Alani Nu on Amazon
#3 Gym Angel: Energy Angel – Fast Energy Support
Energy Angel is a very simple take on women’s pre workouts, but there is no denying the fact that it will wake you up. It has a decent dose of caffeine and Agmatine sulfate for pump – but, what really catches our eye is the 3 grams of betaine like in LEAN.
If you want something to take pre workout that’s a super small dose and tastes good, this is it.
Think of Energy Angel as the -“I just want a Red Bull caffeine rush on the cheap!” pre workout.
#4 Fit Miss Ignite Women’s Pre Workout
Ignite is a true designer pre workout. Fit Miss succeeded at developing a very unique and attractive bottle and box labeling. However, upon further inspection of Ignite pre workouts 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, for their easy access. But… We’re just not quite satisfied.Learn more about Ignite on Amazon
#5 NLA Uplift – For Her Series
NLA Uplift is definitely formulated for an uplifting high energy experience, from an assortment of caffeine-like ingredients.
In addition to standard caffeine, Uplift also contains phenylethylamine, PABA, choline, Schisandra, and higenamine – all designed to really get you going.
On top of the stimulant matrix, there are performance based ingredients like beta-alanine, l-carnitine, and agmatine – but they are low-dosed and will not have as much of a predominant effect.
Overall, NLA Uplift is a great tasting option for high-energy that has more character and pizazz than standard caffeine.Learn more about Uplift on Amazon
6-10 Women’s Pre Workouts
From here on, the overall quality of these women’s pre workouts starts to trend down. 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 workouts and also want to get a really, really cheap deal.
#6 AI Sports Nutrition Furious
This choice may be perplexing, but allow us to explain… Sure, this pre workout 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 we mentioned above.
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 sub-optimal ingredients for women.
Here’s a strongly stimulated pre workout that “breaks free from the mold”. Each serving of Furious is just a modest 6 grams, but is powerful enough to get you through a long workout.
#7 Clean Series Pre Workout Activator
Pre Workout Activator, by Twin Labs, is the only pre workout some men and women are willing to take because it’s a ‘natural’ pre workout supplement. Emphasized with the ‘clean series’ title, this simply implies that it’s an herbal-based blend that opts for natural ingredients.
This blend delivers energy and focus through ginseng, ginkgo, and caffeine; all while providing endurance and immune support with reishi, rhodiola, coconut oil, and beta-alanine.
Overall, this pre workout is a reasonable choice for both men and women who want a natural pre workout to add to their healthy diet. We expect this pre workout to rise in the rankings very soon.
#8 Lecheek Nutrition: Hottie
The pre workout Hottie improves on Promera Sports Women’s Elite in some ways; but overall is very, very similar. Like Women’s Elite, this pre workout has a small 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 in one tenth of their clinical dosage. If you want something, this will definitely work. But if you want top notch, 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 women that’s taken a few pre workouts – 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 women 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 best pre workout recommendations for women
We hope that if nothing else, we’ve shared with you some helpful tips on what you can expect from pre workout supplements. Making you a smarter consumer is our ultimate goal!
If you have any questions about pre workouts for women, please comment below.
If you have good/bad reviews on pre workouts you’ve tried, please share your feedback below. The community and other readers will gladly learn from your experience! We look forward to connecting with you!
Table of Contents
- What are pre workout supplements?
- How to pick the right women’s pre workout:
- Top 10 Best Pre Workouts for Women
- 6-10 Women’s Pre Workouts
- Thank you for reading our best pre workout recommendations for women