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The right pre-workout can make the difference between a good workout and a great one.
And while these supplements have a distinctly masculine heritage — washboard abs, big biceps, and so on — the category includes formulations suitable for everyone.
Browse pre-workouts online and you’ll find drinks, powders, capsules, and more — each tailored to suit the physical needs of a specific user.
So if you’re a woman on a fitness mission, you’re in luck. Here are five of best pre-workouts for women in 2021.
Some of the best pre workout supplements
1. Powher Up
5. Women’s Best
What Is a Pre-Workout Supplement?
Pre-workouts are supplements formulated to improve energy, motivation, and endurance during a workout. They tend to include ingredients to promote better mental and physical performance, with a focus on vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other natural substances.
Male pre-workouts often include high levels of stimulants to facilitate a longer, harder workout with increased strength and fat burning. Female pre-workouts, however, are tailored toward a lower caffeine sensitivity, and use ingredients to bolster motivation and endurance without a big stimulant hit.
Best 5 Pre-Workouts for Women: A Selection
Choosing the best pre-workout can be difficult. Below are five pre-workout supplements that work for women.
You’ll find information on their ingredients and claims as well as any potential side effects.
1. Powher Up
This pre-workout is formulated to break your gym deadlock by increasing motivation and focus, while avoiding muscle-pumping ingredients or stimulant side effects.
Here are the Powher Up pre workout ingredients and their claimed effects:
● Natural caffeine to provide safe energy
● EnXtra to boost caffeine uptake and maximise impact
● Vitamin B5 to reduce tiredness and fatigue
● Vitamin B6 & B12 to support energy-driving metabolism
● L-tyrosine to cultivate improved focus and concentration
● L-citruline malate to improve bloodflow and oxygen supply
● Coconut water powder to maintain electrolyte balance
● Oxyjun to support cardiovascular performance
● Rednite to support your natural energy cycles
● Beta alanine to support aerobic exercise
● Taurine to help break down fatty acids
The formulation is simple and efficient, with scientific backing.
How to take it
Powher Up is easy to incorporate into your workout routine, too: Just take one 10 g scoop 30 minutes before working out.
Anything else I should know?
A month’s supply costs $45
● Refreshing pink lemonade flavor
● Many positive reviews from happy customers
● Stacks with other supplements in the Powher range
● Multi-buy discounts when you buy 2+ months’ supply
This pre-workout promises "explosive" power and "relentless" energy, without any caffeine jitters. The website is geared quite heavily toward men — but don’t be fooled: The PreFIERCE formula is suitable for women, too.
Here are the PreFIERCE pre workout ingredients and their claimed effects:
● Betaine anhydrous to promote homocysteine metabolism
● Green tea leaf extract to boost muscular nitric oxide levels
● L-norvaline to enhance your physical strength
● Acetyl l-carnitine to reduce exercise-based muscle damage
● Black pepper fruit extract to amplify absorption of other ingredients
PreFIERCE also includes some ingredients featured in the Powher Up section: L-citrulline malate, beta alanine, caffeine, and coconut water powder.
How to take it
The manufacturers recommend assessing your tolerance by mixing half a scoop with 8-10 oz water to see how you get on. You can then go anywhere up to a full scoop with 10-14 oz. water. Take 15-30 minutes before your workout either way.
Anything else I should know?
A month’s supply costs $59.95
● Approved by industry experts
● Money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied
● Special offers available for multiple purchases
● Comes with muscle growth ebooks to support your workout
3. Pre-Kaged® Sport
No matter how you like to stay fit, Pre-Kaged® Sport is a pre-workout formula made to help athletes and active adults take their performance to the next level. What’s Inside
Organic Caffeine: Just enough to energize your body and mind without overstimulating.
Fermented Vegan Citrulline: The perfect amount to enhance blood flow, without the movement-limiting muscle pumps.
CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine: With regular use, there’s nothing better to fight muscle fatigue and enhance endurance.
BetaPower® Betaine: Widely researched for its potential to enhance performance and body composition.
Magnesium + Sodium: Premium electrolytes helping you achieve optimal performance through hydration and fluid balance.
Coconut Water Powder: One of nature’s superfoods, coconut water powder contains electrolytes like potassium, making it helpful for promoting hydration.
B-Vitamins: B6 and B12 to support cellular energy production and metabolic function.
Taurine: Studies on taurine supplementation demonstrate that it increases overall endurance and performance.
Tyrosine: Studies have shown tyrosine can enhance cognitive performance under stress.
How to Take It
Mix one scoop with 8-12 ounces of water, 20 to 30 minutes before workout.
Anything Else I Should Know?
Two refreshing and tasty flavors: Mango-Lime and Glacier Grape
Can be used for variety of activities like running, cycling, rock climbing or hiking
Perfect replacement for coffee or energy drinks
Clean formulated with no colors or flavors from artificial sources
Zero added sugar
An all-time best seller with a 5-star rating
4. NLA For Her Uplift
This pre-workout promotes clean and sustained energy, with a focus on activation of fast-twitch muscle fibers. The formulation claims to help you overcome feeling sluggish or demotivated, to achieve the workout results you’re looking for.
Here’s a sample of the NLA For Her Uplift pre-workout ingredients and their claimed effects:
● Vitamin A to support healthy levels and reduce deficiency risk
● Niacin to support energy-yielding metabolism
● Calcium to regulate muscle contractions
● Potassium to help move nutrients into muscles and waste out
● Glycine, l-phenylalanine, and l-lysine HCI for protein synthesis
● L-arginine alpha and theobromine to support vasodilation and blood flow
● Inositol and schizandra berry powder to regulate blood sugar levels
● Para-amino benzoic acid to ease potential exercise-related indigestion
How to take it
This is another pre workout whose dosage varies based on your tolerance. To assess, start with a scoop mixed with 4-8 oz. water. If after 3 days you feel like more, take 1.5 scoops. Take around 30 minutes before exercise.
Anything else I should know?
A month’s supply costs $42.99
● Four tasty flavors: Hawaiian Sunset, Cherry Limeade, Guava Passion, Raspberry Lemonade
● Sugar-free formulation
● Stacks with other supplements in the range
● Free gift if you spend over $75
5. Women’s Best
This pre-workout booster is formulated to improve your stamina, mental focus, and muscle pump. Take it as directed, and the manufacturers claim you'll get 110% from your workout.
Many of the active ingredients in the Women’s Best pre-workout we’ve seen previously: L-arginine alpha, beta alanine, l-citrulline malate, l-tyrosine, and caffeine.
It also contains creatine monohydrate to improve strength, muscle mass, and recovery.
How to take it
You can take one scoop with 10-12 oz. water 30 minutes before a workout. The manufacturers also make reference to an “extreme” dose, which is two scoops with 20-24 oz. water.
Anything else I should know?
A month’s supply costs $39.99
● Four fruity flavors
● Two dosing levels to help you achieve your optimal workout
● Formulated to boost performance and mental clarity
● Frequent discounts available on the official website
What Goes into a Pre-Workout Supplement?
We’ve already introduced pre-workout ingredients and their claims in the reviews section. Here we’ll delve a little deeper into the most popular pre-workout ingredients.
Generally, women and men look for different things from a pre-workout supplement. Men tend to favor high stimulant levels and lots of muscle-pumping ingredients, with a focus on achieving muscle growth.
But, if you’re a woman you might prefer a natural pre-workout to aid your weight loss goals, and to provide a noticeable but not overwhelming energy boost.
You may also be more drawn to an organic pre-workout, something that’s free of artificial ingredients and animal products.
While it may not look like it at first glance, some common pre workout ingredients have animal origins, meaning people wanting a vegetarian or vegan pre-workout should take extra care when choosing.
One of the most commonly used pre-workout ingredients, and world-famous for its impact on energy, motivation, and focus. You’ll often find caffeine in your pre-workout, but the key is checking the amount.
Women often have a lower caffeine tolerance to men, meaning that a male-oriented product may cause negative side effects like anxiety and jitters.
This compound has been widely studied for its ability to reduce fatigue and improve performance during exercise.
There are also links between citrulline malate supplementation and improved muscle recovery after exercise, meaning it may help to alleviate pain arising from muscle damage.
Another of the most common pre-workout ingredients, creatine monohydrate is involved in the resupply of phosphate to ADP molecules. By recharging ADP to ATP, creatine monohydrate helps your body to maintain aerobic performance for longer, resulting in better endurance.
Women may want to take care when using creatine monohydrate. It can be very effective, but is linked with water retention, which may be undesirable.
Various naturally occurring minerals act as electrolytes in your body. They’re used in all sorts of bodily functions, from muscle contraction, to transmission of nerve signals.
Supplementing electrolytes like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and others helps your body to function correctly. The risk of electrolyte imbalance increases during exercise and can cause many adverse effects, so it’s important to keep your levels in check.
Vitamins B5, B6, and B12 make frequent appearances in pre-workout formulations thanks to their combined benefits of increasing energy-yielding metabolism, and reducing tiredness and fatigue.
Maintaining and promoting good energy levels is paramount for a strong workout, and B vitamins are one method you can employ to try and achieve this.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid linked to many positive health benefits, including better physical performance. While your body uses most amino acids to build proteins, taurine is different.
Instead it's used to help you stay hydrated and to keep your electrolytes in balance, as well as supporting digestion, immune function, and regulation of minerals. In short, it's an all-arounder!
This amino acid is in tons of workout supplements. Like taurine, it's not used to synthesize proteins. Instead, it's used to build carnosine, a compound that lowers lactic acid build-up during workouts.
If you've ever felt the burn while working out, that's lactic acid burning your muscles. So in theory, supplementing with beta alanine should enable you to push harder while working out.
Benefits: What is a Pre-Workout Supplement Good for?
There’s a reason the pre-workout market is booming. No matter your goal, this supplement category claims to have a solution to amplify your results.
Here are some of the key pre workout benefits, and some science to support them.
● Improved energy and endurance: Caffeine is linked with improved energy and endurance by many scientific studies, including this one by Cappelletti et al.
● Improved concentration: The use of specialized pre-workout products was linked with improved concentration in physically active men and women in this study.
● Improved muscle mass: This 2018 study is one of many that demonstrated a positive relationship between ongoing pre-workout supplementation and increased lean muscle mass.
● Improved focus: This was found to be one of the most common reasons for taking pre-workout supplements in a social media study carried out by Jagim et al. Respondents noted that pre-workout supplementation aided their focus during exercise.
● Improved cardiovascular performance: While direct links between pre-workouts and cardiovascular performance are difficult to establish, research like this demonstrated that feelings of exertion are lower among participants who take a pre-workout before exercise.
Will a Pre-Workout Supplement Help Me to Lose Weight?
Your goal when incorporating a pre-workout product into your exercise program may be to lose weight, and you may be wondering whether a pre-workout will help with this.
For most pre-workouts, the goal is to help you exercise harder and for longer. This increased performance should lead to you burning more calories, which in turn should help you to create the necessary caloric deficit needed to lose weight.
In layman’s terms, this means that a pre-workout will help you to achieve a weight loss lifestyle.
Remember, their natural ingredients won’t cause weight loss directly.
However here are some of the mechanisms through which pre-workout ingredients may facilitate weight loss indirectly:
● Increased strength: Creatine monohydrate is linked to improved strength, higher lean muscle mass, and better muscle recovery after workouts.
● Increased endurance: Ingredients like beta alanine help to slow the onset of lactic acid accruing in your muscles, meaning you can work out longer before feeling the burn.
● Increased metabolism: By helping your body to transport and breakdown fats, pre workouts containing vitamins B6 and B12 may lead to less fat storage.
● Increased motivation and energy: By allowing you to keep working out longer than before, pre workouts with caffeine rev up your focus and motivation, helping you to squeeze more out of your training.
If you’re looking for a weight loss pre-workout, keep the concept of a caloric deficit in mind. Your body needs a certain amount of energy — from calories — to function. If you consume more than this amount, the excess will be stored as fat for use later on.
To achieve weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you consume each day: Exercise is one way to increase burned calories, and pre-workouts are a way to increase your exercise output.
Still got pre-workout questions? Hopefully they’re covered in this section.
Should I take a pre-workout drink or pre-workout pills?
This comes down to personal preference. Some people enjoy the convenience of a drink, as a way to take a pre-workout while keeping hydrated. Others find that too much liquid just before a workout is off-putting and prefer a small capsule instead.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’ll likely have to take many capsules to get the same dose as a pre-workout drink.
When should I take a pre-workout?
All of the pre-workouts in this list advise taking your dose about half an hour before your workout. This is fairly standard across the industry. This time frame allows the ingredients to enter your bloodstream and start getting to work.
Do pre-workouts have side effects?
It’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as all pre-workout formulations are different. The one piece of advice relevant across the board, however, is to stick to recommended doses.
Ingredients in pre-workout formulations are unlikely to cause side effects when taken as directed, but taking more than advised may take you over the recommended daily amount.
Some pre-workouts are linked with tingling sensations: This is considered a normal and safe response to beta alanine, and should subside quickly.
Are pre-workouts vegan friendly?
A few pre-workouts are organic as well as vegan friendly.
If you're a vegan, look out for these ingredients, which have animal origins: Fish liver oil, cysteine, collagen, carotene, lactose, progesterone, tyrosine, and vitamin B12.
It is advisable to check with supplement manufacturers, as they may source other ingredients from animal sources.
Can I stack a pre-workout with other supplements?
It varies: Some pre-workouts are designed to stack with other supplements in their range. In some instances, manufacturers take steps to ensure that stacking doesn’t exceed daily limits of any constituent ingredients.
As a result, stacking supplements by different manufacturers may be more risky, so make sure to check the label carefully beforehand. You may also want to talk to a doctor if you are taking separate medications.
If you’re planning to stack supplements from different manufacturers, talk to a doctor to check that it’s safe to do so.
Can I drink coffee whilst using a pre-workout?
You can, but be aware you may increase the likelihood of exceeding a comfortable level of caffeine. Because everyone’s caffeine tolerance varies it’s hard to provide a definitive answer for this question, so we advise you to err on the side of caution and only drink coffee if you’re sure it won’t tip you over the caffeine edge.
Now, good luck with your future workouts
Thanks for reading this guide to some of the best pre-workouts for women in 2021.
A good pre-workout should increase the intensity and length of your workout. But remember that it's your own motivation and self-discipline that are at the heart of your success.
Whether you’re taking the brave step of working out for the first time in years, or smashing another PB after months of training, a pre-workout supplement is simply designed to give you that extra little edge.