Anyone who is working out could likely benefit from a pre-workout supplement, including women. If you’re serious about losing weight and making the most out of your workout, you need to consider a pre-workout supplement.
Of course, you shouldn’t just grab the first supplement you see on the shelf! Instead, you should seriously consider whether the supplement is designed for women and whether it works best in your situation.
In this article, we’ll help you do just that. We wrote reviews on the top pre-workouts for women currently available, as well as an in-depth guide to the benefits and side effects of these supplements.
1. Powher Pre-Workout for Women
Make the most of each workout with this specially formulated pre-workout by Powher. It is designed to increase your endurance capacity without caffeine, which can often lead to crashes shortly after your workout.
It is advertised to support intense workouts without encouraging your muscles to bulk or using stimulants. Plus, it tastes excellent as well!
2. RSP AminoLean All-In-One Pre-Workout
As the name suggests, this supplement is designed to be everything you need for an intense and effective workout. It is third-party tested and includes no sugar or calories. Instead, it is mostly made out of amino acids, helping with your energy levels and mental focus.
It is pink lemonade flavor and tastes quite good as well.
3. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout
While women usually benefit from a pre-workout specifically designed for them, this isn’t always necessary. This pre-workout by Optimum is an excellent choice for most women. It includes vitamin D for immune support, a bit of caffeine, and creatine.
It comes in various flavors as well, though green apple is our favorite.
4. Six Star Explosion Pre-Workout
This premium formula includes everything for creatine to beta-alanine. It does not include any sugars or carbs despite this, however. It does include caffeine, but the caffeine included is “ultra-clean.”
This supplement is engineered for athletes, but anyone doing intense workouts is likely to benefit from it.
5. C4 Ripped Sport Pre-Workout Powder
For only five calories, this supplement provides a big kick. It includes everything you should want in a supplement, including B vitamins and potassium. It is designed for both men and women.
We particularly liked that this supplement is sugar-free and doesn’t include vast amounts of caffeine – only 135mg per serving, which is only just above a regular cup of coffee. If coffee doesn’t make you jittery, this supplement probably won’t either.
6. Pre-Workout for Women by Sheer Strength Labs
This formula is custom-made for women. It is very clean and free from GMOs, preservatives, binders, fillers, dairy, gluten, soy, peanuts, and other common allergens. Instead, it just includes the things a woman needs to destroy, even the most challenging workouts.
It even comes with a money-back guarantee, so there is little reason not to give this supplement a try.
7. Alani Nu Pre-Workout Supplement Powder
Designed to provide endurance and energy, this supplement powder will work for most women. It is naturally flavored and very yummy, even if you’re picky about your supplements. All the ingredients included are entirely transparent, so you can see exactly what is in it.
There are multiple flavors available if you don’t like the mimosa one (though we absolutely did).
8. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy + Electrolytes
We would not call this supplement a complete pre-workout option. However, it may work for those who are looking for something a bit simpler. It only includes aminos and electrolytes, which are all essential ingredients for before your workout.
Each serving includes 100 mg of caffeine from natural sources. We liked that there were only five calories per serving and that there is no added sugar.
9. Legion Pulse Natural Pre-Workout Drink
This supplement is all-natural. It is designed to enhance strength and boost your energy. We liked that it includes a 100% money-back guarantee, removing all the risk from trying it.
While this supplement isn’t as complete as some other options, it may be suitable for women who only want to consume certain common pre-workout ingredients.
10. RARI Nutrition Infinity Pre-Workout Powder
Because it contains no creatine, this supplement will not cause your muscle to bulk as others might. It is designed solely to enhance your workout performance. Because it does not include lots of caffeine, it will not cause jitters and similar effects.
All ingredients included are entirely natural.
How We Ranked
All pre-workouts claim to enhance your workout performance. However, few have the science to back them up. In many cases, these supplements may act as a placebo. But we can do better. To help you choose only the best supplements out there, we made sure that they followed strict scientific standards.
Firstly, we did not necessarily require that the supplements on our list be specifically formulated for women. This is a big plus in some cases. However, the truth is that there isn’t a big difference between women’s pre-workout supplements and men’s. Many have very similar ingredients and perform the same functions.
Secondly, we took a look at the caffeine content of each supplement. While caffeine does have its place in a pre-workout supplement, some companies lean on caffeine a bit too much, though. This can lead to jitters and crashes after your workout, which is likely the last thing you want. Instead, we preferred balanced supplements.
Thirdly, we looked at the other ingredients included. Science has proven that certain ingredients can enhance your workout performance or help you rebound afterward. Things like amino acids and creatine affect your soreness and how readily your muscles respond to your workout. We preferred supplements that had the optimal levels of these ingredients and less of those that aren’t necessarily proven to work.
Fourthly, electrolytes are essential to ensure that you are plenty hydrated for your workout. The last thing you want is to get dehydrated in the middle of a workout, so we rated supplements higher when they included the right mix of electrolytes. This is especially true if you’re doing cardio, one of the most common workout types done by women.
Cardio tends to cause you to sweat more than resistance training generally would, causing you to run through your electrolyte stores faster.
Finally, we considered whether or not the supplement had any ingredients that we consider low-quality. These are things like fillers, binders, and artificial preservatives. We preferred clean supplements that were free for GMOs and similar substances.
Overall, we prefer supplements that are well-designed and include high-quality ingredients.
Pre-workout supplements for women often include nitric oxide precursors. This compound is naturally present in your body. Its primary purpose is to relax your blood vessels and improve your blood flow. You cannot get this substance directly from your diet; your body has to make it out of individual ingredients.
Many pre-workout supplements include these ingredients your body needs to make nitric oxide. These include L-arginine, which is likely one of the most commonly used ingredients for this purpose.
Some studies have shown that these compounds may increase your overall athletic performance, including your workouts. This is likely because your muscles require blood flow for things like oxygen and nutrients. When they get more of these things due to increased blood flow, they can perform better (1).
However, the research on this topic is still pretty new and applies almost exclusively to young men who are athletes. It is unknown if your average woman would benefit from these ingredients. We are awaiting further research on the topic.
Pre-workout supplements for women sometimes contain creatine. Once again, creatine is a naturally occurring compound in the body. It plays a role in the building of skeletal muscles, where it is thought to play a hand in energy products as well.
This is a prevalent ingredient in pre-workout formulas because it may increase the bulk of your muscles. In other words, it may cause your muscles to build faster than they would otherwise. However, the research on this is relatively new, and we don’t have any answers on the specifics yet. We do not know for sure whether it works on women, for example.
Research has suggested that dietary creatine can increase creatine in your body, which is not true for nitric oxide. We aren’t sure if this increase actually improves your recovery time or muscle mass, though (2).
Pre-workout supplements for women often contain caffeine. Caffeine is a well-known stimulant, which may be helpful when working out. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard with the caffeine, or you may find yourself jittery. Caffeine is also associated with crashes, not what you want in the middle of a workout (or even afterward to be fair).
With that said, studies have shown that caffeine can improve mental alertness, exercise performance, and fat burning. These factors make it a good ingredient for a pre-workout supplement (3).
However, caffeine is also associated with some adverse side effects. This largely depends on your personal tolerance to caffeine, which can vary greatly from person to person. If coffee and other caffeine-rich products bother your stomach, a caffeine-containing pre-workout supplement probably will too.
Some supplements do not contain caffeine. If you can’t tolerate it, there is no reason to choose a supplement that contains caffeine.
Pre-workout supplements for women provide higher-quality hydration. Whether you’re lifting weights or doing cardio, hydration is essential. It is a bit more vital for cardio, however, since you tend to sweat more during aerobic activities. Some other exercise types, like hot yoga, may require extra hydration as well. Basically, if you’re sweating, you need to ensure that you’re replacing that liquid, or you may run into problems.
Studies have found that even a mild drop in hydration can result in a substantial decrease in performance. In other words, if you lose only a percentage of your body weight in water, your workout will not be as effective. Furthermore, it can also limit your ability to tolerate heat, which can be a problem if you’re running around outside or doing something like hot yoga (4).
Luckily, the creators of pre-workout supplements understand this and often add hydration-enhancing ingredients in their supplements. Of course, most supplements are drinkable. You usually add them to water. This is going to provide some hydration by itself. On top of this, though, these supplements also include things like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and other electrolytes.
Electrolytes control the transportation of water throughout your body. You lose electrolytes when you sweat, and they will then need to be replenished. Pre-workout supplements can help with this by fueling up your body before your workout. That way, you have more electrolytes available, to begin with.
Pre-workout supplements for women may help with fat burning. If you’re working out to lose weight, you’ll be pleased to know that many supplements include ingredients that can up the amount of fat you burn in a session. These ingredients vary widely, but they are often what you usually find in fat burning pills. Things like green tea extract are common.
Not all pre-workout supplements have these ingredients. So, if you aren’t trying to lose weight, it is easy to avoid these ingredients. If these ingredients are something you want to try, you should keep an eye out for them and specifically check for them while shopping. There are quite a few supplements on the market that include them, but you do have to check.
Just keep in mind that you may end up taking too much of these fat-burning ingredients if you’re also taking a fat burning pill or weight loss supplements. Double-check the ingredients to ensure you aren’t getting a double-dose of something, as that can be potentially dangerous.
Pre-workout supplements for women may boost anaerobic performance. If you’re lifting weights or doing some power-based exercises, some workout supplements may include ingredients that can boost your performance. These ingredients are usually things like beta-alanine, carnitine, and beetroot extract. All of these ingredients affect the amount of power your muscles bring to the table. If your muscle output is improved, then you’re going to perform better overall.
In fact, studies have shown that those who take beta-alanine and carnitine perform better on sprints and sprint-like activities, like the things you might see at Crossfit events, for example (5).
Pre-workout supplements for women may improve too much caffeine. Caffeine is a common stimulant. Stimulants may be helpful for improving your workouts simply because you’ll be more energized. Caffeine is also inexpensive, so it is something very accessible for a variety of companies. It isn’t tough to get your hands on some coffee beans.
These two factors make caffeine a player in almost every pre-workout supplement. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since caffeine is effective. However, some companies rely on caffeine a little too much. They may skip adding other more expensive ingredients in the supplement and just add plenty of caffeine instead.
This can lead to quite a bit of caffeine in each serving. For some people, this might not be that much of a problem. However, most people are going to experience side effects from extreme amounts of caffeine. You may get the jitters, anxiety, and a host of other side effects. Crashes shortly after your workout or even during your workout are also common.
Excessive intake over an extended period can lead to increased blood pressure, impaired sleep, and anxiety (6).
While a particular workout supplement may not include a lot of caffeine, those who drink coffee and other caffeine-containing drinks and foods may quickly get too much.
Pre-workout supplements for women may include artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. Some companies try to make their supplements taste better by adding plenty of artificial sweeteners. While these do not add calories and therefore, will not affect your weight loss, they can cause other side effects.
Sugar alcohols may cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, like gas and bloating. These are not symptoms you want to be having in the middle of your workout. Whether or not you experience these symptoms depends on a variety of factors, including your tolerance and your diet (7).
There is some anecdotal evidence that some artificial sweeteners may cause similar problems. However, nothing has been proven in a scientific study yet.
You should follow the directions on your supplement when taking it. Different supplements contain different ingredients, which means they need to be taken in different amounts. Some supplements are made to work almost right away, while others need a bit of time before they kick in. You’ll get the most benefit if you follow the directions carefully.
Generally, you should watch the ingredient amounts, however. Supplements don’t always get it right in the serving size, especially if they’re designed for men and not women.
When it comes to caffeine, you usually want to stay below 150 or 200, depending on exactly how much you weigh. Studies show this is the amount you need for the maximum effect. You shouldn’t go much higher, or you may begin to experience side effects.
As for creatine, you usually only need to have amount 15 grams a day. This includes the amount you take outside of your workout period as well. However, some studies show that you only have to take about 3mg a day for some benefits (8). Therefore, you should take around 3mg to 15 grams a day. Feel free to mess around with the dose, if possible, to find the best one for you.
For beta-alanine, you should only take a minimal amount at a time. You will notice optimal effects if you take one to two grams a day. However, you may experience side effects if you take your full dosage at once, so you should try to spread it out if possible.
These are the only ingredients where specific dosages matter. Electrolytes and antioxidants do not have specific dosages, so you don’t have to worry too much about them.
Should women take pre-workout supplements?
If you want to make the most of your workout, you should consider taking a workout supplement. These supplements include ingredients that help your body prepare for your workout, leading to increased performance. This increased performance not only helps your muscles bounce back after a challenging workout, but it can also help you set new personal records and burn more fat.
Women and men can take many of the same workout supplements. However, women may need a smaller dosage of many ingredients, which is why you may want to consider getting a supplement specifically designed for women.
Do women need a pre-workout supplement?
You don’t have to take a pre-workout supplement. However, a supplement will help you make the most out of your workout. A good supplement will be able to improve your workout performance, which can, in turn, help you tone your muscles faster and lose more weight. These supplements can also help you stay hydrated and replenish your muscles after a challenging workout.
Pre-workout supplements don’t come with many side effects, so there is little reason not to take them. You can also find quite a few excellent tasting supplements. If the taste is something you’re worried about, you can find many different flavors out there to try.
Are pre-workout supplements for women safe?
If you choose a high-quality supplement, they are very safe. These supplements have very few side effects when they’re well made. It is the ones with high amounts of caffeine that you have to worry about. While high levels of caffeine are likely not going to cause significant issues, they can cause gastrointestinal upset.
You should also be aware of the ingredient in other supplements you’re taking. If you’re also on a fat burner pill or weight loss supplement, you may get too much of some ingredients when you also add a pre-workout supplement to your lineup. Some pre-workout supplements include the same ingredients as weight loss supplements, so you don’t necessarily want to be taking both at the same time.
Not all pre-workout supplements contain these ingredients, though, so you do need to check the particular supplement you’re taking.
What should you look for in a pre-workout supplement for women?
Firstly, you should consider whether or not the supplement has caffeine. You should consider how much caffeine it has in it as well. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, this is very important. If you consume a lot of caffeine in your usual diet, this is also very important. You need to ensure that you aren’t consuming tons of caffeine overall, as this can cause significant side effects.
Secondly, consider the other energy sources involved. You want clean energy sources that aren’t going to make you crash in the middle of your workout. For example, look for B vitamins and that sort of thing.
Thirdly, we recommend checking for electrolytes and other ingredients. These aren’t necessarily required, but they can help keep your hydration at an appropriate level during your workout.
You should also keep an eye out for things that shouldn’t be in your supplements. Added sugar, sugar alcohols, preservatives, and artificial flavors should all be avoided.
Are pre-workout supplements for women all good for losing weight?
Yes and no. Pre-workout supplements for women are all designed to improve your workouts. If your workouts are better, you are likely going to burn more calories. This will make you lose more weight over time, though it may not be particularly significant. Some pre-workout supplements contain fat burning ingredients like green tea extract. These are going to pack a bit more power when it comes to helping you lose weight.
You should not pair supplements with these extra fat-burning ingredients with other weight loss supplements. It is possible to take too much of these ingredients, which is easy to do if you’re consuming two different supplements that contain them.
Can pre-workout supplements for women cause weight gain?
Not generally. Most do not contain significant amounts of carbs or calories. Quite a few are calorie-free and only contain things like amino acids. Because of this, they won’t add many calories to your overall diet.
The only instance when pre-workout supplements may cause weight gain is with water retention. Creatine can cause you to hold onto water, which may make it appear that you’ve gained weight. However, this will not be added fat, just water that your body is holding on to. Usually, this only occurs when you first start taking the supplement. After you’ve been taking it for a while, your body typically gets used to it and stops holding all the water.
Does creatine make you angry?
Some studies have found that creatine may make you more aggressive and nervous. However, this occurs only in a small subset of people. The one study that discovered this side effect was also providing creatine dosages of 25 grams a day, which is quite a bit higher than most pre-workout supplements contain (10).
Based on the evidence, we will say that creatine appears to make some people angry rarely. It might make you angry, but it is in no way a guarantee. We recommend being aware of your emotions after taking it the first few times. If you begin to get angry afterward, you may want to consider purchasing a supplement that is free form creatine. Many different supplements don’t contain this ingredient, so you should have a hard time steering clear of it if you need to.
Do pre-workout supplements for women boost metabolism?
Not directly. Pre-workout supplements usually do not contain ingredients that directly increase your metabolism. However, some of them do. For example, there are a few supplements out there that include green tea extract, which can increase your metabolism.
On a different note, working out can improve your metabolism. Since pre-workout supplements can improve your workout, they may also indirectly improve your metabolism.
Though they are commonly overlooked, pre-workout supplements for women can help improve your workout and increase your fat-burning potential. As long as you choose a high-quality option, these supplements are very safe and have very few known side effects.
For FitBug’s #1 pre-workout supplement for women, click here.