- Powher—Best Overall
- 4 Gauge—Best for Clean Energy
- IdealLean Pre-Workout for Women—Best on a Budget
- Black Wolf Pre-Workout—Best for Serious Athletes
- Naked Creatine—Best for Bulk
Pre-workout supplements can help with energy, gaining muscle, and losing weight. But you won’t get the best pre-workout for women among those made for men.
Men have more testosterone and build mass quicker during workout, which means women require different ingredients like vitamin B12 and a modified dose more appropriate for the female body.
Learn how to use pre-workout supplements and get the lowdown on the best pre-workouts for women. Our science backed pre workout reviews will help get you there.
Best Pre Workout for Women
The best pre workout for women is one that contains ingredients to get you energized before you hit the gym.These supplements should also contain nutrients and minerals to help you build muscle mass fast. Some help with losing weight, too, so if that’s something you’re after, mind this requirement while you’re shopping for a workout.
In our pre workouts review, with the help of research, we lay down the ins and outs of these supplements for women and what you can expect from each one. This should help you choose a good pre workout, suitable for you.
This pre-workout supplement is a pink lemonade powder with caffeine, and it makes for a popular product on the market. The Powher manufacturer makes a variety of supplements for women, including Leanbean, which you may have seen before in a TV ad.
If you’re watching your weight, Powher contains only 3 grams of carbohydrates per dose, as opposed to some other supplement options that pack a greater caloric punch. Powher exists to help you get toned and lean, here’s how.
How Does It Work?
Powher features seven components, we delve into the most important ones:
- Vitamin B
- Coconut water
- Beta alanine
- Enxtra (rights reserved)
Vitamin B complex features three ingredients including B12 (cyanocobalamin), B6 (pyridoxine) and B5 (pantothenic acid). B vitamins support a healthy digestive system, an important part of losing weight. They also promote better energy levels in the body .
Coconut water provides a dose of hydration with its electrolytes, also necessary for a successful workout session. Coconut water is considered to be an antioxidant and might help you get lower stress levels as a result .
Enxtra (rights reserved) is a substance made from Alpinia Galanga, which is a ginger species. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the body. This means it helps in fighting the aging process, water retention, swelling and bloating. It might help stave off stress brought on by intense workouts, too.
Powher Side Effects
The side effects of Powher should be limited, given the natural ingredients it contains. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, though, you may get irritability or difficulty sleeping. The latter could be tamed with a smart dosing schedule, though, before your morning workout.
What Do Users Say?
User reviews of Powher are limited, mainly because you won’t find it sold at big retailers that collect customer feedback. We have found some positive comments from women on the internet who seem happy with their results.
Details include appreciation for the lack of creatine, so you don’t receive an overly “bulky” feeling after a workout. Others mention that the balanced caffeine content doesn’t cause a strong negative reaction, either.
4 Gauge is another caffeine based pre workout supplement. It shouldn’t hurt your weight loss goals considering it only contains five calories in total per serving.
You can trust that the supplement is legitimate because it’s made in labs with GMP and FDA certifications. This indicates a tight production process. 4 Gauge doesn’t contain any harmful additives, either, including artificial sweetener and sugar. According to the manufacturer, 4 Gauge improves stamina, focus and muscle growth.
How Does It Work?
There are eight ingredients in 4 Gauge including:
- Rhodiola rosea
- Coconut water
- L citrulline
- Red beet
- Acetyl L carnitine
- Creatine monohydrate
Rhodiola rosea is a strong rooted herb that grows in cold regions within Europe, it’s also known as the “arctic root” because of this. It’s considered an “adaptogen” which means it helps the body adapt to stressors, such as shedding pounds and intense physical activity.
L-theanine is a crucial ingredient in 4 Gauge. It works in tandem with caffeine to increase energy, but it does so smoothly and helps direct your focus . This should cut back on the caffeine jitters. L-theanine is a common component in green tea, and it’s an amino acid (AA).
Creatine monohydrate is for muscle building and recovery. You’ll often find it in supplements for this reason. It’s an AA that aids in rehydration, energy, and helps fight off fatigue brought on by pumping iron .
4 Gauge Side Effects
4 Gauge might come with the following side effects:
- Stomach discomfort
Creatine, in particular, may lead to an upset stomach, gastrointestinal pain and or bloatation. The coconut water included in 4 gauge may help with this, given it hydrates the body.
What Do Users Say?
Negative reviews of 4 Gauge are minimal, but customers seem divided on the synthetic fruity taste. This should be easy to get past, though. Especially considering views are almost unanimously positive when it comes to the question of potency.
One thing worth noting is that this supplement is on the pricier end compared to some other pre-workouts for women.
IdealLean is another pre-workout caffeine supplement made specifically for women. It’s one of the most cost-effective options on our list. This supplement comes in a variety of flavors, including blueberry and watermelon among others.
According to the company, IdealLean could be ideal for increasing endurance, improved focus, better energy and physical performance overall. It also features IdealLean’s proprietary fat loss blend.
How Does It Work?
The ingredients in IdealLean include:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
IdealLean also contains the IdealLean fat loss blend:
- Green tea extract
- Beta Alanine
- L tyrosine
- Citrulline malate
- Betapure (Betaine anhydrous)
- Agmatine sulfate
- L norvaline
- Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA)
- Choline bitartrate
- Natural caffeine
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is beneficial for metabolism and energy, as it plays a role in helping the body make fuel from your calories. It might add in reducing fat deposits, as well, making for an additional benefit of a successful workout regime.
BioPerine makes for another beneficial ingredient here, as it’s used for “bioavailability” . This means it helps the body absorb nutrients and minerals, acting as a supportive component to the other substances in IdealLean.
Betapure is a branded form of betaine anhydrous, which is a naturally occurring chemical in the body and also found in foods including beetroot, spinach and seafood. It aids in metabolism and might also help in physical performance including strength training and body composition aka building lean muscle and dropping fat .
IdealLean Side Effects
IdealLean might cause:
- Upset stomach
- High blood pressure
Due to the number of ingredients and specifically those related to digestion, IdealLean makes for a potent combination. For those with stomach difficulties, it’s important to pay close attention to the possible effects.
What Do Users Say?
Reviews of the IdealLean pre workout are limited, though there were two downsides noted by various consumers: gastrointestinal difficulties and disappointment with the fat loss blend. This supplement could be useful for energy and metabolism, but beyond this it seems that the verdict’s still out.
The Black Wolf pre-workout supplement comes with caffeine and is a popular product among athletes from professional boxers to swimmers. It comes in a variety of flavors, including green apple and blueberry. Do note that each flavor contains a few differing ingredients detailed below.
This manufacturer claims that Black Wolf is suitable for those that need more energy, endurance and focus for their workouts.
How Does It Work?
The ingredients in Black Wolf include:
- Beta alanine
- Coconut water
- Betaine anhydrous
- L citrulline malate
- Creatine monohydrate
- L tyrosine
The fruit punch flavor includes huperzine, while the blueberry and green apple varieties also have caffeine anhydrous included.
Dynamine is an alkaloid found in certain teas and it functions as a stimulant, similar to caffeine but less intense. It could help with energy levels without increasing irritability.
Taurine comes in as an AA commonly found in pre-workouts. It helps with muscle contractions and it’s also known as an antioxidant. This indicates it could support you in workout recovery and muscle repair/growth .
DMAE is a naturally occurring compound in the body, also known as Deanol. This substance helps with mood swings and possibly depression, along with better focus and muscle ability, including muscular contractions. However, more research is needed around its effect on the latter being physical performance.
Black Wolf Side Effects
The Black Wolf pre-workout could lead to:
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Caffeine jitters
What Do Users Say?
This pre-workout supplement comes with positive reviews around the powder’s taste. It’s something to note given many similar items on the market come with a taste that’ll turn many off from the get-go.
It’s also one of the more affordable options available.
The vegan-friendly Naked Creatine makes for a concentrated pre-workout supplement for women. Given its name, you could guess it’s made for muscles. The best thing about Naked Creatine is that it’s a straightforward option opposed to supplements with loads of components to them.
The manufacturers developed this product for women and men alike and it contains just one ingredient: creatine. They made it for muscle gains along with better performance and strength overall.
How Does It Work?
Naked Creatine comes with the shortest ingredients list in our reviews. As noted, it only contains creatine and nothing else.
At 5 mg per serving, creatine monohydrate is a common choice among many workout fanatics because it works. While it’s already found in the body, it decreases when you push your muscles beyond their usual limit. This is what leads to fatigue and difficulties recovering from a workout.
Supplementing with creatine lightens your load, post workout and helps you recover quicker, making for a smoother process between workouts and while you’re pumping iron.
Naked Creatine Side Effects
Naked Creatine might cause:
- Muscle cramps
- Weight gain
What Do Users Say?
Customer feedback for Naked Creatine is limited, unfortunately. We did find some minor reports of stomach difficulties, though this could have to do with dosage timing or beginner’s sensitivity to creatine.
Be cautious if you’re trying to watch your weight, though, because creatine alone might make that difficult.
Factors to Consider When Buying Pre-Workout for Women
Pre-workout supplements can be beneficial, so long as you choose a pre-workout supplement or product that’s right for you. Ingredients like caffeine matter, of course. You’ll also want to understand the basics of what some more popular substances have to offer.
Ingredients to Consider When Buying Pre-Workouts for Women
Pre-workout supplements often contain the following ingredients, beyond the energy jolting caffeine choices on the market.
BCAAs vs EAAs
These two components make for popular amino acid groups that you’ll often find on ingredient lists.
Branched-chain amino acid, or BCAAs, includes three parts: valine, isoleucine and leucine. These help in the protein production process and muscle repair post workout . This indicates it helps combat fatigue and soreness/stiffness, too.
EAAs also make for a group of amino acids that support muscle recovery, endurance and physical performance at large. Studies are still out on this, but many think that EAAs work better than BCAAs do, although they’re very similar.
Beta alanine is another amino acid you’ll often see on ingredient lists. Beta alanine is an organic compound already existing in the human body. It might help with building lean muscle and it also helps support the levels of carnosine in your body, aiding in endurance.
This naturally occurring chemical makes for one of the non-essential amino acids. The body converts citrulline into nitric oxide, an imperative process for the heart.
L citrulline relaxes your vessels and veins, benefitting blood flow . This also means it helps with transporting and absorbing nutrients for muscle growth.
Glutamine is another amino acid, like the nitric oxide form above, that aids in the production of protein. This nutrient also supports the digestive and immune systems, making it beneficial for those with a disciplined workout regime.
You’ll find L-arginine, an amino acid, in a variety of foods from red meat to dairy, fish and poultry. Studies show that it supports the hormone and immune systems .
You probably know by now that most pre-workouts contain caffeine. It’s not the same as you’ll find in a cup of tea or coffee, the exact form of caffeine differing from product to product.
Regardless of the specific caffeinated ingredient, caffeine not only provides energy but motivation as a result, which is a very necessary component when it comes to pumping iron.
Some caffeine forms will be cleaner than others, and opting for a supplement with L-theanine can help smooth out the process and decrease any jitteriness.
Theacrine is an essential component in many teas and coffees, making it a stimulant. Beyond that, it’s known as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic, too. This indicates it helps the body in lowering swelling and pain, aiding in recovery post workout.
Nitrosigine is a proprietary blend created for boosting physical performance. This compound includes a variety of ingredients such as potassium, inositol and arginine, the latter listed above. Two benefits of Nitrosigine include enhanced energy levels and better blood flow .
Adaptogens make for a classified group of plants and other organic matter used as herbal remedies. They include licorice, ashwagandha, rhodiola, and maca, among others. People use adaptogens to help the body lower stress at large.
Pre-workouts often include sweeteners to help with brief energy boosts and flavor, too. One supplement may contain natural sugars, whereas other supplements feature synthetic options like Stevia and Aspartame.
Artificial sweeteners, in particular, are often debated over in the health world because they come with a list of potential dangers like weight gain, heart palpitations and possibly even cancer. Another issue associated with these sweeteners is that they can cause you to desire unhealthy ingredients over other options .
If you can, avoid supplements that contain artificial sweeteners and opt for a more balanced substance instead.
Grains of paradise, or aframomum, is another herbal remedy that comes from the ginger family. Some believe that aframomum boosts immunity and testosterone as well, but research is inconclusive.
Ingredients to Avoid
Most of the supplements on this list feature natural ingredients such as adaptogens, l carnitine, and caffeine anhydrous. It’s important to note, though, that one pre-workout supplement can vary greatly from the next and there are many on the market that feature ingredients with horrible side effects.
A good pre-workout won’t contain any of the following:
DMAA is also known as methylhexanamine, a common ingredient in nasal decongestants. It’s also used for athletic performance and losing weight because it boosts energy as an amphetamine.
In the United States, this group of drugs is illegal as it’s linked to dangerous consequences, including heart attacks, breathing difficulties and tightening of the chest.
DMHA is similar to DMAA insofar as it’s also a kind of methylhexanamine. The legality around this drug is more complex, not to dismiss any consequences that might arise from using it. It’s still an amphetamine, and you should avoid it at all costs.
Ephedrine is a stimulant, and medication designed for people with breathing problems. The substance is illegal in the United States, after being classified as dangerous if used in dietary supplements. Common side effects with this drug include gastrointestinal pain, insomnia, headaches and heart problems.
Phenethylamines / Phenylethylamines
This group of drugs also falls under the stimulant category. Individuals use phenethylamine for its euphoric affect and it works similarly to the amphetamines listed above. People have used it for dropping fat, but it could result in anxiety, irritability and a rapid heart rate among other things.
2-aminoisoheptane or Aconitum Kusnezoffii
If you find a supplement with this ingredient, it might indicate that it’s actually DMAA in disguise. It’s made to be an energy booster, stimulant and appetite suppressant, though given its amphetamine nature, you should avoid it.
Best Pre-Workout for Weight Loss
Some pre-workout supplements with ingredients such as caffeine work for both muscle building and losing weight. The best pre-workout here is IdealLean.
Aside from providing an energy boost, IdealLean features a proprietary blend made specifically for losing weight. This includes ingredients that provide a boost in energy and metabolism, along with BioPerine to help you receive the most out of each component.
What’s the Difference Between Male and Female Pre-Workout Supplements?
Some pre-workout supplements are geared towards both men and women, but many prefer a pre-workout supplement that contains ingredients made specifically for their gender. This is because men and women build muscle differently and the male body typically requires a larger amount of ingredients in general.
For women-friendly supplements, they usually contain a higher amount of stimulants and ingredients for building lean muscle while losing weight. This includes substances for metabolism and digestion.
Many pre supplements for men tend to have more bulk-building components like creatine, so they can make the must of their pump sessions.
What Are the Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements for Women?
One pre-workout supplement might focus on specific ingredients that help for a single purpose, like caffeine for improving energy, or creatine for building muscle.
Many come with the following essential benefits:
Jumpstart Weight Loss
Unfortunately for women, biology dictates that men have an easier time losing weight. Part of this predicament boils down to preference, where men tend to eat more meat and for women it’s carbohydrates.
It’s also hormonal. Testosterone provides men with the ability to manage more muscle and less fat in their bodies naturally.
Because of this, women require a higher level of support when looking to lose weight. Supplements that feature ingredients for better metabolism and energy levels are beneficial for this reason.
Improve Low Energy
Stimulants like caffeine exist in most of these products.
For young to middle-aged women, in particular, workouts can change dramatically based on what phase one is in the menstrual cycle. In the days leading up to the period, energy tends to drop organically, and stimulant based supplements can help offset such challenges.
Promote Muscle Gain
Another unfortunate truth is that men tend to gain more muscle, quicker. Blame it on the hormones, but this doesn’t mean that all is lost for women.
Females can still benefit from ingredients such as whey protein or creatine, but for women, consumption will be in smaller doses.
Longer, Harder Training Sessions
If stamina or endurance is low, chances are higher that you’ll face a plateau in your workout goals, especially high intensity training sessions. This is why some pre-workouts for women contain ingredients like the B vitamins and stimulants, of course, to keep you going for longer periods of time.
Concentration is imperative when you’re looking to make gains at the gym. Supplements can provide this and ingredients such as L-theanine can help smooth over any of the negative effects like caffeine jitteriness.
Getting the Most Out of the Pre-workout
The ingredients in pre-workout supplements are only as good as how you use pre-workout supplements. Meaning, you’ll need to follow the recommended dosing and scheduling, otherwise things like caffeine won’t do well when using pre-workout.
Time Yourself Right
In most cases, the best time to take a pre-workout supplement is around 15 to 30 minutes before your workout. This is the ultimate time frame, because it takes around this long for the substances to kick in, especially stimulants.
If you’re new to a specific pre-workout supplement, you’ll want to start small. This means taking the lowest dose possible and noticing how it affects you. Chart your journey and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to a T for the best results.
Pay attention to meal recommendations, as some supplements will require a partial to full stomach to avoid any gastrointestinal difficulties such as cramping, diarrhea or nausea.
Cycling and Stacking Supplements
Cycling and stacking refers to how you choose and consume your supplements, based on schedule and your needs.
One example: It’s common with cardio regimes to cycle between slow and fast-paced workouts for more benefit. Or for weightlifters who trade between high intensity, moderate and low-intensity periods for better bulk.
The same goes for supplements. With a stimulant like caffeine, for example, you might benefit from more one day, and less the next. Otherwise you could hit a wall where you don’t feel the effects the same as you did in the beginning.
Stacking refers to combining various supplements for the best results. Where one might focus on increasing endurance, the other could be for greater muscle gain.
Learning how to cycle and stack comes with a learning curve, it requires organization and forethought. While some may choose to opt out of this in the beginning, once you’re in a solid routine, it’s something to consider.
Clean Up Your Diet
Any legitimate supplement manufacturer will tell you that you won’t get very far with your supplements, regardless of the ingredients that help, if you don’t pay attention to your diet.
While this point differs from person to person, a few essentials include:
- Watch your calories
- Stay hydrated with basic water
- Limit sugar intake
- Minimize simple carbohydrates
- Opt for fibrous fruits and vegetables
- Limit alcohol consumption
Pre-workout supplements come with a host of details, from components like caffeine to effects, dosage, and more. It’s crucial that you understand as much as possible about any pre-workout supplement before investing and taking it.
We’ve gathered some of the top frequently asked questions about pre-workout supplements to round out our pre-workout research and reviews.
Every pre-workout supplement and their coinciding components, on our list, are perfectly legal. We wouldn’t promote them otherwise.
That’s not to say that every pre-workout on the market is this way, though. In fact, some will sneak in dangerous substances as already mentioned. Make sure of this when you’re shopping and use discretion when choosing a pre-workout for you.
While all the pre-workout supplements on our list are safe, safety will vary from person to person. This is especially the case with stimulants, such as caffeine, where some are more sensitive to it than others. Other natural ingredients, like those for digestion, might bother a gentle stomach, for example.
It’s important to understand your limits around any condition you might have and how that could be affected by using a pre-workout.
Depending on the natural ingredients, any pre-workout supplement could come with adverse effects. Some common ones include:
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Rapid heart rate
The best time to take a pre-workout supplement for blood flow is around 15 to 30 minutes before your workout. This ensures the ingredients kick in exactly when you need them to.
To our knowledge and based on our pre-workout research, none of the pre-workout supplements on our list will interfere with birth control.
This could depend on the specific pre-workout supplement and the natural ingredients within like amino acids, but also your specific birth control.
We can’t offer medical advice, so make sure to consult a trusted doctor before taking a pre-workout supplement to be safe.
Best Preworkout for Women in Conclusion
A best pre-workout for women will stand out among other pre-workout supplements for its inclusion of natural ingredients including: beta alanine, acetyl l and branched chain amino acids.
Take pre-workout designed to help with blood flow, fitness goals, and one that provides an appropriate energy boost. If you’re among the many women sensitive to caffeine or other stimulants, make sure to get a stimulant free option with no artificial sweeteners.
One of the best in our opinion is Powher. With just 3 grams of carbs, it’s a suitable option for losing weight while you build muscle. Many pre-workout options can help in other ways, too.
Choose a supplement with a money back guarantee if you’re concerned it might not work for you. Do remember, your best bet is to take the supplement 15 to 30 minutes before working out for the best results.