When it comes to starting and maintaining an effective exercise routine, you should look for every advantage that you can. They are hands-on. As such, pre-workout supplements are virtually a must – especially given the robust reputation among athletes and committed gym rats. They are the definitive legal way to improve performance, and do so through a concoction of natural ingredients that reliably lack negative side effects.
Out of all of the benefits that they confer, the one that is most relevant to you is the boost that they provide to help you undergo incomplete intense workout sessions. Although there are many ingredients, some of the most common will be very familiar to you: a spate of B vitamins, stimulants – among them the most popular, which is caffeine – as well as the muscle-building branched chain amino acids that are present in full-spectrum proteins like the kind you get from lean meats and whey protein.
The usual form factor of the pre-workout supplements on the market is a powder. You can also get them pre-mixed as a liquid; but generally we preferred the powdered form because of its longevity and stability. You can mix it with water, fruit juice or milk yourself right before a workout to provide you with that extra edge you need to reach your fitness goals.
Now you may have some questions pertaining to the efficacy of pre-workout supplements – just in case the glowing reviews published by reputable magazines and athletes are quite enough for you. You should know that there have been many medical research studies sponsored by universities in the government that show unequivocally the effectiveness of certain pre-workout powders. Despite this, you should still carefully read the labels for transparency; in fact, this article will include reviews of the best pre-workout supplements for women to help you cut through the chaff. Usually, the problem with pre-workouts are the superfluous ingredients that unscrupulous manufacturers will list; these ingredients are usually present in such small quantity that they do not discernibly lead to improvements in athletic performance.
The popularity of pre-workout supplements is at an all-time high, and the lucrative market has given way to too many products to count. As you can expect, there will inevitably be some manufacturers that specialize in promoting extravagant benefits for any extra edge they can obtain in being sold over their competitors. That puts extra pressure on the prospective consumer to investigate the claims they make by researching the listed ingredients. Sometimes these ingredients are hidden in the label “proprietary blend”.
Our hope in this article is to help you choose the best pre-workout supplements; although the ones will certainly work for men – in this particular article we compiled the ones that show the most promise for women in our study trials. We will first introduce you to the mechanism that you should use when searching for a good pre-workout supplement, before launching into the specific examples that we tried ourselves.
How to Pick The Right Pre Workout Supplement
Although sustained popularity is a fair marker when you’re looking for a good pre workout supplement – it shouldn’t be the only one. Many people are simply unaware of the potential for new manufacturers to include “filler” ingredients, or proprietary blends comprised of amounts of nutrients that are too tiny to be of much use. Luckily for you, there’s an official mechanism that can help you navigate the minefield of pre workout supplements: every single brand you consider and take seriously should be verified by well-known organizations such as NSF International or Informed Choice. They are not associated with the FDA, and use their funds to validate the ingredients of dietary supplements. These third-party organizations are so well-regarded that manufacturers seek them out and submit their products to them for review.
To facilitate the identification of validated pre-workout supplements, the containers in question will have a seal of approval from one of these third-party organizations. The seal basically means that the ingredients that are listed have been deemed trustworthy by a panel of nutrition experts. However, keep in mind that just because a supplement does not have such a seal doesn’t mean it’s not potentially aboveboard; the seal of approval doesn’t disqualify insomuch as qualify the supplement. In fact, if the seal is absent and you can still find the supplement in a list of products produced at a so-called cGMP facility, then it means that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has certified that it passed the rigorous process of inspection.
Depending on how well versed you are in the nutrients that are beneficial to a workout regimen, you can also discern the utility of a supplement by simply checking out the primary ingredients. If you can find beta-alanine, the stimulant caffeine, taurine, and arginine and tyrosine (the last two or the active agents in nitric oxide, which is responsible for shuttling blood faster through your body to deposit crucial nutrients and muscle sites), then it is almost certainly a viable pre-workout. As for other ingredients that are less common but still quite useful, look for L-carnitine and the naturally-produced creatine. Any pre-workout worth the name should definitely have the first batch of ingredients, and should often have the second batch. If you can’t find any of these ingredients then you should look elsewhere.
The primary activity of these ingredients when working together is to elevate your energy levels. This is the reason why any pre-workout that lacks them is simply ill-equipped to do the job. Despite giving your system an infusion of energy, all of the ones on this list lack sugar and minimize carbohydrates; as a result, you won’t have any issues using them in the midst of a keto diet or any other diet that emphasizes low carbs.
The following list is a table of contents of sort for the best pre-workout supplements for women that we’ve compiled in this article:
- XWERKS Ignite
- STEEL PRE Workout
- Alani Nu Pre-Workout
- IdealFit IdealLean Pre-Workout
- Pre Lab Pro
- Cellucor Pre-Workout Powder
- PowHer Pre-Workout
- Ladder Pre Workout
- Legion Athletics Pulse Pre Workout
- Onnit Total Strength Performance
Our list is the distinctly black-clad container with bold white lettering. Out of all of the excellent options that we tested, XWERKS Ignite may be the very best one due to the fact that it has been optimized for performance. They don’t care about taste or any of the other ancillary properties; the ingredients contained therein are solely there to increase endurance and energy, bolster your stamina and focus, and pretty much ensure that you get the most out of your exercise routine.
One thing you can be confident about is that XWERKS Ignite does not use the term “proprietary blend”. It has a long label of all the ingredients contained inside, and a simple Internet search can show the extent to which these ingredients have been scientifically certified for utility. You undoubtedly experience elevated energy levels due to the moderated stimulants used. Because they are at a moderate level, XWERKS Ignite is a very good choice for women since the substance will cause the jitters which are finished working out. The most robust ingredients contained in XWERKS Ignite include L-tyrosine, some caffeine, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, a trademark form of beta-alanine known as CarnoSyn, and Rhodiola.
The combination of the above ingredients are tailor-made to provide you with a steady stream of energy for the duration of your workout. Additionally, you can expect to notice that you’re capable of being even more focused than you normally are – that’s due to the beta-alanine synergizing with the stimulants. You cannot go wrong with this top of the food chain pre-workout supplement.
Alani Nu Pre-Workout is very much a favored supplement due to the excellent taste that it promises – all without compromising the top-notch ingredients. Among these is included a large quantity of L-theanine when combined with some of the other substances incorporated into the powder, it significantly minimizes the jitters and post workout excitability often caused by the same stimulants that help you power through your workout routine. Although Alani Nu Pre-Workout powder isn’t chock-full of ingredients like some of the other pre-workout on this list, it possesses significant quantities of the preferred options that it has.
If you look at the transparent label, your find plenty of citrulline, hundreds of milligrams of L-tyrosine, enough caffeine to equal about 5 cups of coffee (for reference, this 200 mg is about half of the safe daily dosage of caffeine for the average person). Alani Nu Pre-Workout also possesses several hundred milligrams of L-theanine and a lot of beta-alanine. It is so highly rated because consumers appreciate the fact that there are no fillers inside. For women in particular, this is an excellent option to consider.
Our first review is in reference to the simply-named PRE; made by Steel PRE and touted as a pre-workout supplement that’s useful for increasing your energy and focus for the task at hand. The most popular flavor is Blue Sky; you can also choose Grape Bubblegum, Candy Bliss or Peachy.
More to the point, PRE employs a host of clinically-backed ingredients that deliver vibrant energy and improved endurance to your system at a premium price. It’s one of the pre-workout supplements that keeps women in mind, producing doses that are geared towards the female system – but strong enough for men.
As a result, PRE is an excellent intermediate stimulant that will leave you crashing afterwards. You can power through your workout using it, and have confidence that it will let you down easy as you rest and prepare for the post workout recovery phase.
One of our favorite pre-workout supplements – especially for this particular review – is IdealFit IdealLean. Although all of the ones on this list can be used by women, this one in particular was formulated especially with the fair sex in mind. If you’re anything like our test subjects, then you’ll simply fall in love with the Blue Raspberry flavor as well as the agreeable price point. Basically, you get the best bang for your buck with IdealFit IdealLean pre-workout powder. And you can expect to have top-notch ingredients mixed together to provide everything you need to get through your workout.
In a single serving of IdealFit IdealLean pre-workout powder, you will get 310 mg of a concoction of substances conducive to fat burning and weight loss, 3000 mg of citrulline, an impressive and safe 1500 mg of beta-alanine, a moderate 150 mg of caffeine, as well as 1500 mg of betaine. These strong ingredients combined to form a pre-workout supplement that can be used by everyone from the consistent gym-attendee, to the elite female athlete competing in rarefied air.
The best thing about IdealFit IdealLean is that you can trust the reviews from thousands of women who swear by it and pepper the online forums with their exuberant reviews.
Here’s yet another top option for the committed athlete: Pre Lab Pro pre-workout powder. It is very consumer-oriented, and it has plenty of flavors from which to choose-although berry seems to be the most popular. It’s actually quite delicious, and really makes you wonder how they were able to get such a robust berry flavor without using copious amounts of sugar. But upon reading of the ingredients and checking with the reliable sources, this supplement is sugar-free.
Pre Lab Pro is well known to help women see dramatic increases in their stamina-endurance and strength in the gym. You will even notice its effects if you are a strictly cardio-gal; by pumping energy into your muscles, it can increase your speed as well as allow you to run or cycle for longer periods of time in one go. The fact that it won’t break the bank is always a benefit, and you’ll find that Pre Lab Pro is one of the least costly options on any list from a reputable manufacturer. The list of supplementary ingredients are very appealing, and you can cross check them with official sources to see that they are all above-board.
Among other excellent ingredients, you’ll find beetroot powder for the purposes of increasing your nitric oxide levels and improving your blood flow; you also find copious amounts of natural caffeine (but not that close to the daily maximum value), a performance blend that flood your system with more nitric oxide and L-theanine. Pre Lab Pro is well known for using properly-sourced ingredients that are pure and won’t induce any side effects when you adhere to the recommended dosage.
Cellucor Pre-Workout Powder is about as professional as they come – as denoted by the high-quality container that looks like it was 3D printed. They go back almost as far as the supplement market, itself; and have successfully continued putting out their top-notch products. They couldn’t last as long if they weren’t effective, especially given the surging competition.
One of the reasons that Cellucor Pre-Workout Powder endures is the trend-setting mix of ingredients: you will find about a gram of creatine per serving, as well as 150 mg of caffeine, another approximate gram of arginine, and a trademarked brand of beta-alanine known as CarnoSyn. This ideal concoction is proven to help you get the most out of your gym sessions and athletic forays.
Despite its longevity and robustness, Cellucor Pre-Workout Powder still manages to deliver the goods at an excellent price point. And best of all, it’s proven! It will work well for both men and women, so don’t hesitate to give it a shot.
As you can quickly judge by the name, PowHer Pre-Workout is another one of the pre-workout supplements that have been tailor-made for women from the beginning of the process to the end. That’s not to say that women can benefit from the general fare that exists on the market; it’s just that there’s been a lot of demand for one tailored to the optimal dosages. One of the changes that you would find in PowHer Pre-Workout is that the caffeine doesn’t come from cocoa beans, but rather from a plant related to the Ginger root.
The trademarked concoction is known specifically as EnXtra, and it has the property that the caffeine is enhanced to remove the jittery side effect that sometimes attends certain dosages. Additionally, the formula is combined with vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. The lack of large doses is definitely a plus, and commensurate with that is an extremely affordable price that makes it all the more attractive to use consistently throughout the year and experience the benefits. All try your hand at PowHer Pre-Workout to see what thousands of other women have noticed.
And now we get to one of the first of our really big-name pre-workout supplements: Ladder Pre Workout. Founded by basketball megastar Lebron James, and former Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger, this is a relatively new addition to the spate of supplements on the market. It is highly touted for good reason; and what better reason than the fact that many users report it works!
The taste is fantastic, and it shines through in every single one of their many available flavors: you can get strawberry lemonade, tropical fruit and several others. Each serving contains 500 mg of citicoline, 100 mg of caffeine, 3 g of beta-alanine and 250 mg of theanine. It has some of the highest certifications that you’ll ever see anywhere, in particular the NSF touts its efficacy. Since it is actually used by these high quality athletes, you can expect it to go a long way in helping you get the best out of your workouts.
All of the other pre-workouts reviewed so far have distinctly promoted the enhanced physical abilities that they provide for your workouts; Legion Athletics Pulse, on the other hand, shifts the focus to the mental aspect. This is a lot more important than is often stated, since your ability to focus, concentrate and manager mood contributes at least half of whatever you’ve got to bring to bear on a workout session. The all natural ingredients (primarily) include about 3 1/2 g of meta-alanine and 8 g of citrulline malate. The excellent Blueberry Lemonade option is big on boosting energy, so don’t let it be said that it doesn’t take care physical attributes, as well.
We absolutely love the option to obtain a canister of Legion Athletics Pulse with or without caffeine; thereby making it a great pre-workout choice for exercise sessions conducted earlier in the day as well as those that might have to take place later after work. For the one with caffeine, it’s a big dose: 350 mg in a serving. Additionally, the cost is quite low per canister.
Last but not least for this review, we have Onnit Total Strength Performance in its rightful place nether top of the dominance hierarchy – and that entails for both women and men. It’s practically a household name by now, given the heavy promotion by health and wellness aficionados as well as gym gurus. The strong Strawberry Lemonade flavor certainly does not prioritize taste over the effectiveness; to test out the latter for yourself, pick up a canister and see how well it works for you for about 30 days. We’re wagering that you won’t look back.
There’s no caffeine in Onnit Total Strength Performance pre-workout powder, but you will get a strong dose of branched chain amino acids, several plant extracts, herbal extracts and quite a few other ingredients that are known for depositing energy on your muscles to make them work harder and faster. We trust and believe that you will experience the elite benefits just like our test subjects did.
Breaking Down the Pre Workout Supplement – Questions Answered
Who Should Use Pre-Workout Supplements?
Although you see professional athletes and serious gym-goers on television commercials and YouTube advertisements using pre-workout supplements, it is not relegated only to them for use. Basically, if you’re a women who’s looking to maximize your muscular efficacy in any exercise routine or workout regimen, then you can benefit from using a pre-workout. The ways in which can help you is to either make you perform for longer periods of time, or perform at higher intensities – some of them can do both if creatine is one of the ingredients. You don’t have to be an elite bodybuilder or professional athlete to benefit from the tremendous attributes of a good supplement.
No matter what your fitness goals are, a pre-workout can help you. Some of the supplements can enhance your endurance and durability, provide you with more explosive energy, and most importantly for bodybuilders – help you develop bigger and stronger muscles. You will find that pre-workout supplements that have stimulants will also help to reduce your propensity to tire quickly, as well as promote post workout recovery. They can essentially get you back in the gym faster than you would be able to go otherwise. Since pre-workouts are pervasively effective, you can even benefit from them if you workout only on the weekends, or if you workout every day as a member of an athletic team – amateur or otherwise.
We want to stress that you should not think of pre-workout supplements as only profitable for serious athletes or so-called gym rats. Even the casual runner, jogger or power walker can benefit from these; similarly, if you’re a cyclist, lacrosse player, soccer player, volleyball participant or any other energy-intensive activity that requires stamina. The main takeaway is that if you can benefit from being able to work out harder or longer consistently, then you are a prime candidate for pre-workout supplements.
Is There Solid Science Behind Them?
Anyone who is as invested in their health as you are would want to know if the science behind pre-workout supplements is above-board and reliable. The benefits and impact that the substances can have within the context of an exercise regimen are very attractive; as such, they have drawn a lot of attention from official medical research establishments. The studies that have been conducted display that pre-workouts used right before a workout undoubtedly improve mental and physical abilities. These have been double-blind studies that have undergone peer review, and have used the historically reliable method of employing placebos alongside the pre-workout supplements tested in controlled clinical medical trials.
A simple Google search with the appropriate title will produce a host of peer-reviewed studies on the benefits and effects of pre-workout supplements currently on the market from various manufacturers. In particular, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed conclusively that pre-workout powders are very effective when used before a workout. They can be of benefit whether you workout in a gym, at home or as a member of an athletic team out on the field. The increase endurance and power – among other attributes that are beneficial to continued physical exertion.
Indeed, not only do the supplements aid physical activities, but pre-workouts have also been shown to provide cognitive benefits. As you well know, the natural stimulant caffeine helps with focus and concentration when used in sufficient doses. In fact, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease contains a recent study showing caffeine’s benefits for mood enhancement, the improvement of concentration and more. These things clearly will benefit the athlete when used before a workout.
Caffeine is a common ingredient in pre-workouts for women because of its ability to induce both physical and mental arousal. The brain-body connection is just as essential in physical activities as it is and mental ones; arguably, more so in the former. In fact insofar as the physical attributes enhanced by caffeine are concerned, a recent study showed that imbibing caffeine before you exercise can lead to dramatically enhanced performance. One of the interfaces is the ability to sustain this performance at a high level for a lot longer than normal before fatigue setting. This can obviously result in more intense workouts that ultimately leave you with superior conditioning.
There’s another reason why caffeine is such a consistent addition to viable pre-workouts that are marketed to the public: the natural stimulant actually encourages weight loss. A research trial conducted on its effects show that caffeine can elevate your energy levels by well over 10% when taken prior to the workout. This allows you to train harder and longer, which can obviously burn more fat and result in beneficial weight loss.
Whether you are a man or a woman, the next attribute can benefit you greatly depending on your fitness goals. A common ingredient in the better pre-workout powders is L-citrulline; one research trial showed that an appropriate dosage over time increased the bench press by a truly exceptional 53%. For endurance athletes, L-citrulline was also shown to increase the endurance of cyclists by 12% before fatigue finally began to set in. In both cases, the pre-workout containing L-citrulline was taken at least 15 minutes before the activity.
Another of the top choices for ingredients included in pre-workouts is creatine. The data on its effectiveness is completely unquestioned: creatine is pervasively instrumental in enhancing muscular power. In fact, creatine is produced in small to moderate quantities by your very own body as little energy batteries within the cells. When you supplement with outside sources, it will build even more muscle cells whenever you place your muscles under load. You should take a very close look at any pre-workout supplement that lacks creatine and its ingredients, because it is simply not competitive.
As you go down the list of scientifically-approved ingredients, you also find many branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). You also find regular amino acids such as L-theanine, taurine and CDP choline. As you check the labels, you should be aware that the substance known as beetroot may supplant the specific naming of the above, because it naturally contains them. Going a little bit more in-depth, beet root extract is included in pre-workout supplements because it aids blood flow through the creation of extra nitric oxide in your system. The operational mechanism by which nitric oxide accomplishes this is validation of the blood vessels and thus a subsequent improvement of circulation through the veins. This has the added effect of course, of lowering your blood pressure.
In addition to the benefits that beetroot extract in conjunction with elevated nitric oxide levels have with lowering your blood pressure, the extract has also been determined by numerous studies to dramatically elevate your endurance and exercise performance. In a similar vein, the natural substance known as yohimbine can increase the circulation of your blood similar to beetroot. It’s also been shown in several trials to elevate the levels of energy to which you have access – which is obviously especially beneficial in the gym, or out in the field conducting athletic activities.
If you’re like most people, then it is unlikely that you’d ever heard of yohimbine until this article. It derives from an African plant, and is known to encourage fat loss. In fact, it is so prodigious and disability that it is often the chief ingredient in many supplements that are specifically used by people who want to burn fat and lose weight. Primarily for its blood-circulation properties, yohimbine can now be found in some of the better pre-workout supplements. Clearly it has an excellent combination of muscle building, endurance-increasing, and fat-burning properties.
What Are the Side Effects, If Any?
Of course, you always have to keep in mind exactly what a pre-workout supplement is – it is a concoction of ingredients mixed that are intended to increase your body’s physical and mental abilities. Because of this, most of them obviously have to contain stimulants such as caffeine; as a result, it is inevitable that some people will feel jittery and a general excitability even after the workout is concluded. Usually, this goes for people who don’t drink much coffee or use stimulants in general; as such, their bodies may take time to get used to them – or they simply need to take a smaller dosage of the pre-workout. Nonetheless, the side effects are minimal and won’t go much beyond what was gestated.
There is a note of importance however: the recommended dosages (usually one scoop or one serving) listed on the pre-workout supplement containers are there for a reason. If you consume more in one sitting there what is recommended, then whatever side effects there are will likely increase – sometimes linearly. For example, if you are a woman using some of these, then you may want to consider using slightly less than the recommended dosage if you experience an unwanted side effect such as post workout excitability. In very rare cases, excess consumption can even lead to headaches, vomiting and nausea, the aforementioned excitability, problems with your digestive system and sleep issues. Understandably, taking a pre-workout close to bedtime is not a good idea, generally.
Another side effect is increased tolerance – which often leads people to take more than the recommended dosage. It may be better in such cases to simply skip a day of using it and then use it for your next workout. You have to be very careful to avoid buying such supplements from non-reputable companies that lack certification, since the side effects are more common with those. In very, very few cases, it has even been reported that pre-workout supplements have induced liver damage or kidney failure by people who use them in truly exorbitant amounts. To say that this is extremely rare is an understatement – however, it has happened in the past.
However, for the diligent, it is noteworthy to take an account of some of the ingredients that may be more given to inducing side effects: the stimulant caffeine, too much creatine, magnesium, beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate. The primary “problem” with these is mostly that some people are allergic to them. Usually, however, the people with these allergies already know about them and so avoid the pre-workouts which contain the offending ingredients.
Lastly, some commonly beneficial ingredients such as L-arginine have been known to induce digestive problems when imbibed in excessive quantities. However, as mentioned above, use the pre-workout supplements responsibly to avoid this. The recommended dosage usually hovers around 6 mg for L-arginine; if you start taking triple or more of this, then you open yourself up to the possibility of bloating and diarrhea. The key take away, then, is to use these responsibly and make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.
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