Do you want to try a pre-workout supplement but are sensitive to caffeine? Or maybe you are concerned with ingesting too much caffeine. Below we will go over some of the best caffeine-free pre-workout supplements, why they might be a good option to try and some advice on how to choose one.
For most of us, getting into the proper mindset to train isn’t exactly easy.
Maybe you’re just rolling out of bed, half asleep, and you need to get in a workout before you head to work.
Or, maybe you’re finishing up a busy day, wondering where you’ll find the energy to put in time at the gym.
Enter Pre-Workout Supplements
They are the tiny miracles that transform so many of us into superheroes minutes before we hit the gym.
Unfortunately, so many of the pre-workout supplements on the market provide us with a short-term solution that can result in long-term problems.
If we aren’t checking the ingredients in our supplements, we can feel that pump boost or pump surge, but at a terrible cost to our health.
It seems like each year, another supplement manufacturer is in the crosshairs of the FDA for including powerful and dangerous pre-workout ingredients in their supplements.
Fortunately, there are some options on the market that you can feel confident taking that is stimulant-free pre-workout supplements.
You just might not need caffeine pre-workouts after all. Kind of mind-blowing, right?
Top 3 Recommended:
What’s Wrong With Caffeine Pre-Workout Stimulants?
It’s no secret that stimulants like caffeine are among the most popular and powerful ingredients in pre-workout supplements. Often times, we feel it is the only stimulant that gives us the energy boost that we need for our workouts. Without the caffeine, we all lose that pump pre-workout. Maybe we can get a caffeine-free pump with a non-caffeine supplement.
Unfortunately, caffeine presents issues for many people. Some people with heart conditions or high blood pressure might not be able to tolerate caffeine at all which is why a stim-free pre-workout supplement might be just the ticket. We need to start getting our pre-workout pump elsewhere due to the side effects caffeine can have below. There are many vitamins and minerals found in a supplement’s ingredients that give us the best pre-workout boost we need.
Stimulants = Poor Sleep
Many of us, especially those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine, find it difficult or impossible to get a good night’s rest after taking pre-workout supplements.
This is especially true for those of us who work out in the late afternoon or evening. Besides the endorphins that give us a natural high from exercise, the pre-workout stimulants can make it hard to shut our minds off to sleep.
Many popular pre-workout supplements contain upwards of 300mg of caffeine per dose, which is roughly the equivalent of half a pot of coffee. That is a lot of caffeine to have in the morning. Think about ingesting that much caffeine pre-workout at 7 pm at night. Say goodbye to sleep.
While some supplements have low-caffeine pre-workout, it’s better to try to find a supplement for your pre-workout without caffeine if you can.
Addiction And Withdrawal
In addition to the physical boost that caffeine can provide, there’s also a mental boost associated with caffeine usage as well.
With that mental boost comes the potential for addiction. Caffeine addiction can result in some nasty side effects like horrible headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and many more.
Caffeine Stimulants Aren’t For Everyone
While most people have a positive reaction to caffeine, for some of us, that isn’t the case.
In some people, caffeine usage causes symptoms ranging from nausea and stomach pain to anxiety, tremors, and more. Your pre-workout helper just took a turn for the worst. Not a good thing.
Caffeine Pre-workout Stimulants are Potentially Dangerous
If you’re dealing with high blood pressure, you’ll want to steer clear of caffeine and other stimulants.
Stimulants like caffeine function through a process known as vasoconstriction, which is a tightening of the blood vessels. This leads to a spike in your blood pressure.
If you’re already dealing with high blood pressure, to begin with, this added spike can lead to potentially fatal complications such as heart attack or stroke.
Taking A Break from Caffeine
Even for those of you who enjoy the benefits of caffeine in a pre-workout supplement, it’s always a good idea to take some time off from caffeine periodically.
The reason for doing so is two-fold. First, since caffeine is habit-forming, it’s a good idea to take a rest every now and again to break your dependence on the drug.
Plus, like almost all drugs and supplements, our bodies build up a tolerance to caffeine over time. We need to find another nutrition pump like b vitamins to increase our mental focus pre-workout.
This means that over time, you’ll have to take more and more caffeine to experience the benefits you’re used to achieving. That is when one cup of coffee leads to another and another. Before you know it, you are making coffee in the middle of the afternoon to stay awake at work.
So, taking a break from caffeine has a few benefits you may want to look into. When you do take a break, you’ll want a stimulant-free alternative that you can fall back on when it comes to a pre-workout supplement.
When it comes to a caffeine-free pre-workout supplement, there are many different compounds and amino acids that make viable substitutes for caffeine. Ingredients like the ones below might increase blood flow and muscle pumps too. It is possible to have a pre-workout without caffeine. Here are some popular products on the market that have the ingredients below you may want to look for.
This amino acid is arguably the most well-researched and trusted workout supplement on the market.
Creatine has been proven to increase strength and promote muscle growth while also minimizing the muscle damage that occurs during a workout. In fact, creatine monohydrate (containing one molecule of water) is the most efficient way to take creatine as most of the studies performed have looked at it in this way.
While it seems that creatine is most effective as a post-workout supplement, there’s certainly some evidence that supports its use as a viable caffeine-free pre-workout supplement as well. Generally, five grams per serving is where you want to start when taking creatine.
L-Citrulline is an amino acid that allows the body to increase its nitric oxide (NO) production. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which widens blood vessels and promotes increased circulation and blood flow.
Studies have shown that 3-6 grams of l-citrulline per day can help to increase concentration while decreasing muscle fatigue. This is why many pre-workout supplements have these ingredients that mimic caffeine’s side effects.
The addition of malate, which is essentially just malic acid, has been shown to increase energy levels. This is similar to what you’d expect from stimulants like caffeine. It’s often that you will find a supplement that contains l-citrulline because of its many benefits.
This is another helpful amino acid that can help reduce muscle fatigue and muscle soreness. Inside the body, beta-alanine combines with the amino acid histidine.
Together, these two amino acids make carnosine.
Carnosine is helpful because it regulates the pH of our blood. As we work out, our bodies produce more acid leading to muscle fatigue.
Carnosine acts as a buffer that inhibits the acid in our bloodstream from causing muscle fatigue. Having beta-alanine in our stim-free pre-workouts allows us to work out for a longer period before we feel fatigue.
Betaine occurs naturally in certain fruits and vegetables, like beets. While it’s still in its relative infancy as a supplement, some studies have shown that it can help to increase strength and muscle endurance.
Made from the amino acid arginine, agmatine sulfate is a chemical found in plants, animals, and humans. It has been known to cause a pump boost for athletes by improving their performance.
Our Top Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout Supplement Recommendations
1. Genius Pre
- SYNERGISTIC MIND TO MUSCLE CONNECTION - Genius Pre is an all natural pre workout that includes key performance enhancers alongside various nootropics to support brain function. A great muscle pump pre...
- CAFFEINE FREE PREWORKOUT - Why are most pre workout supplements masked with proprietary blends? Many use high amounts of caffeine or other cheap stimulants with underdosed performance enhancers....
- NATURALLY SWEETENED, FREE OF JUNK - Whether it's a pre-workout for men or a pre workout for women, too many supplements are loaded with fillers and dyes that are worthless or detrimental to your...
One of our favorite stim-free pre-workout supplements is Genius Pre from the Genius Brand. Instead of focusing on caffeine and other stimulants to deliver a boost before your workout, Genius Pre focuses on providing a healthy dose of several different ingredients known to increase stamina, endurance, and nitric oxide production.
Genius Pre also includes plenty of fancy nootropic ingredients which are said to provide a mental edge similar to what you’d expect from caffeine, without any of the negative side effects.
To top it off, Genius Pre swears off artificial colors, sweeteners, and fillers to provide the cleanest pre-workout supplement possible.
What We Like:
- No artificial colors, sweeteners, or fillers
- Contains nootropic ingredients that may have a positive impact on brain health
- Packed with ingredients that increase nitric oxide production
What We Dislike:
- Does include other stimulants despite being a caffeine-free pre-workout supplement
2. Muscle Feast PUMPED Caffeine-Free
- Made from the highest quality US grown NON-GMO beets.
- Rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and beet nitrates to support your performance.*
- No added stimulants and zero caffeine so Beet Mode can be used anytime.
This simple and effective stim-free pre-workout supplement from Muscle Feast is available in both caffeine-free and regular varieties, and two different flavors.
Our favorite thing about PUMPED caffeine-free is its simplicity. The ingredients are laid out in plain English, and they aren’t hidden behind a proprietary blend.
Inside each serving, you’ll find Beta-Alanine, Agmatine, Betaine, L-Taurine, L-Tyrosine, and Higenamine HCL.
These ingredients combine to increase nitric oxide as well as overall energy levels during a workout.
If you opt for the flavored version, there are also some natural and artificial flavors and artificial sweeteners as well.
What We Like:
- Available in an affordable 250g size so you can try it out without breaking the bank
- Ingredients and dosages are easy to understand
- Provides a great pump for your pre-workout
What We Dislike:
- The flavored version includes several artificial flavors and sweeteners
3. NOW Supplements, Cordyceps
- FREE RADICAL SCAVENGER*: Modern scientific studies have shown that cordyceps possess free radical scavenging properties and may support a healthy immune system and promote normal vascular function.*
- ORGANIC INGREDIENT/ADAPTOGENIC PROPERTIES*: 1.5 G of organic Cordyseps sinensis per 2 vegetable capsules
- CERTIFICATIONS/CLASSIFICATIONS: Organic Ingredient, Soy Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Nut Free, Made without Gluten, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Kosher
This stim-free pre-workout supplement from NOW Supplements manages to include practically every ingredient you’d want in a pre-workout, except for caffeine.
It includes many powerful compounds that boost nitric oxide. NOW Supplements also claims that this non-stimulant pre-workout supplement boosts mood while helping to promote muscle endurance and delay fatigue.
It’s available in Vegetable Capsules, so you’ll probably be able to drink it with no hesitation on how it tastes.
While NOW Supplements includes practically everything you’d need, the doses of each ingredient are hidden behind the old “proprietary blend” which is certainly cause for an eyebrow raise or two.
That said, NOW Supplements still manages to perform well as a stim-free pre-workout supplement.
What We Like:
- Available in Vegetable Capsules
- Includes several different NO boosters, creatine, and more
- Great price
What We Dislike:
- Consistency seems to vary; sometimes the product can be a bit clumpy
- The active ingredients doses are hidden behind a proprietary blend
When it comes to any pre-workout supplement, it’s important to note that each person is different.
In fact, men and women often have different needs so if you’re a woman then consider some of these pre-workouts for women.
That said, each of these five pre-workout supplements provides a compelling option for those looking for a caffeine-free alternative to the popular pre-workout supplements on the market.
But, there can only be one winner, and with that in mind, we’ve chosen Genius Pre from The Genius Brand as a caffeine-free pre-workout supplement.
Genius Pre delivers on every level.
It provides energy, it provides a significant pump, and with all-natural ingredients. It’s nice to know that you aren’t taking a caffeine-free pre-workout supplement that’s packed with fillers and artificial flavors. That kind of negates the good behind it being stimulant-free.
If you’re looking for powerful caffeine-free pre-workouts, this may be the most viable option on the market.
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. Many times the content is not written by a single author, instead it is usually a team effort.
Last update on 2022-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API