Are you a woman interested in a pre-workout that helps build muscle, burn fat, or improve health and wellness? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We all want to unlock our full potential, and finding the perfect pre-workout can be the key.
The problem is that many pre-workouts on the market are geared towards helping men. They include ingredients that could be counterproductive for a woman (and for men too, if we’re being honest). Lame. This is the 21st century. Aren’t we past that nonsense by now?
It begs the question, what should a woman look for in a pre-workout? Ideally, a pre-workout that propels a woman toward fitness emminence is one that’s rich in ingredients for blood flow, clean energy (without causing a crash later), focus, endurance, and even fat burning potentiates.
What you don’t want is one of those pre-workouts that’s laden with sugars, adds water weight, or boosts testosterone. By the end of this article you’ll be able to navigate through the minefield of mediocre supplements to find the treasure chests of pre-workouts.
What Ingredients Are Best For Women’s Pre-Workout? Know Your Goals
Although there are differences between men and women, when it comes right down to it, we all want the same things.
- Endless amounts of peanut butter
- Look good naked
- The ability to eat donuts without gaining weight
- Superpowers…wait, we do all want superpowers, right?
It’s an inarguable fact that we all want the ability to eat donuts while maintaining aesthetic, and endless amounts of peanut butter. If you try telling me otherwise I’ll think you’re either lying or you belong in a psych ward. Other than that, however, goals and results may look different.
Strength for someone who loves yoga won’t manifest itself the same way it would for someone who wants to squat double their body weight. A beautiful physique is also subjective; a bikini competitor that desires a plump peach emoji bum, wasplike waistline, and sexy shoulders won’t have the goals as a yogi, athlete, or someone whose ideal physique is one that they feel exemplifies health and longevity.
However different, all these physique goals are equally attractive. How you achieve them is where paths diverge; training, diet, and even supplementation. One thing stands true, though. Your pre-workout should be one that drives you forward without having adverse side effects.
Universal Benefits All Pre-Workouts Should Supply
As far as I’m concerned, there are some key universal benefits all pre-workouts should have, for any man, woman, or they.
In the bodybuilding world, blood flow is crucial for what’s known as the pump. However, increased blood flow provides more than just an opportunity to flex on your haters and master the selfie game.
Better blood flow is beneficial for anyone who’s serious about their fitness goals. It allows smoother travels for nutrients, delivering oxygen to the muscles and brain for better recovery and workouts.
A pre-workout that doesn’t supply this advantage can be ignored. Some of the ingredients to look for are what’s known as vasodilators.
- Arginine: A naturally occurring amino acid in the body, arginine relaxes blood vessels. Supplementing with arginine can elevate the arginine levels in the body for higher quality workouts.
- Citrulline: A precursor to arginine, Citrulline as a supplement is actually more effective than arginine supplements at increasing the body’s arginine levels, resulting in even better blood flow. I know, weird.
This needs no explanation. We want to feel motivated and unstoppable, without feeling “cracked out.” Most of us probably don’t know what that feels like, nor do we really want to know. Pre-workouts shouldn’t give us an idea.
No one wants to get halfway through a workout and crash either. This is why pre-workouts that do nothing more than flood your system with caffeine should be avoided. A truly energizing supplement is one that’s well-balanced, providing energy in more ways than just caffeine.
- Citrulline: The great thing about a lot of quality ingredients is that they often deliver several benefits. Even though Citrulline isn’t a stimulant, its powerful effects on blood flow can boost energy and thereby increase exercise performance.
- Vitamin B12: This famous vitamin is well known for its ability to provide a feeling of boosted energy. It works by effectively converting the food you eat into glucose, which is our body’s preferred source of energy.
In my personal opinion, mental focus is nearly at the top of the list since slaying a workout requires your full attention. You know your goal when you’re there. Seek and conquer. When we’re distracted, due to instagram notifications, lack of sleep, caloric deficits, etc. every minute of the workout feels that much harder though.
In particular, the gym can be annoying for anyone due to the excess stimuli that needs blocking out, and thanks to my partners I’m privy to some insider information — the gym environment is often ten times worse for women. Men trying to hit on you (probably not even with genuine or clever “lines’), self-important jerks asking how many sets you have left on the squat rack because they wanna do some hip-thrust curls and for some asinine reason assume their workout is more important than yours. You get the idea. On behalf of my gender, I apologize.
Focus is important for any type of training, not just in the gym. Speaking from personal experience, yoga is damn near impossible without focus. Trying to do a plank, float to full fold, then hold a crane, and finish the asana off with an eight-angle pose…sheesh. You yogis are crazy; I applaud your insanity.
Some ingredients that can work wonders for mental focus:
- AlphaSize® (Alpha GPC): Clinically shown to sharpen mental focus. Sadly, many pre-workouts don’t include this epic ingredient.
- Beta- Alanine: you might know it as the tingles. It’s in a lot of quality pre-workouts due to how many benefits it has. One of the lesser known ones is that studies have shown Beta-Alanine can be an effective tool for increasing focus when under stress, like when you’re training hard.
- Citrulline: Since Citrulline may also help to support better blood flow to the brain, it can help you to feel sharper, more energized, and more focused during your workout, especially if your nitric oxide levels are deficient.
This is fairly obvious. When it comes to physical training, we want to be able to push our limits. To become better, we must go above and beyond where we’ve gone before. That’s where the true results are discovered.
- Beta-Alanine: Going back to one of the ingredients that helps with focus, Beta-Alanine is one of the most powerful tools for increasing strength and endurance in athletes due to its ability to delay muscle fatigue.
- ActiGin®: May boost athletic performance, as well as increase VO2 max. VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise; that is, exercise of increasing intensity.
- Taurine: Touted by many researchers as the “wonder molecule,” Taurine has been heavily studied, resulting in suppositional benefits such as removing waste products that lead to fatigue and cause muscle burn, thereby increasing exercise performance and endurance.
I could spout off all the studies showing how detrimental to performance dehydration is, but if you’re reading this I’ll just go ahead and assume that you fall into one of two groups:
- You totally understand how necessary hydration is to quality of life
- You have a serious problem and rely solely on stimulants to counteract the fact that you can’t remember what water tastes like.
Some of the negative effects of dehydration are; brain fog, muscles that feel tight, lost reps, less strength, etc. Muscles require hydration for full contractile force. Our body’s require it for optimal blood flow. Need I go on?
This is why any pre-workout that doesn’t supply ingredients for hydration should be thrown out the window. Here are some ingredients to look for:
- Himalayan Rock Salt: Rich in trace minerals, Himalayan salt can improve nutrient absorption and is an excellent source for electrolytes.
- Taurine: Maintains proper hydration and electrolyte balance in your cells. BONUS: may also aid in weight loss by increasing your body’s ability to use fat for fuel.
Oh, and just for good measure, dehydration is mind bogglingly terrible to skin vibrance. I know societally induced toxic masculinity dictates that guys aren’t supposed to pay attention to beautiful skin, but I expect better of you, ladies. Hydrate.
Top 8 Pre-Workouts For Women
Now that you know what ingredients to look for in a pre-workout, it’s time to do a deep dive into the best pre-workouts for women. Consider the rest of this article the enchiridion for picking your sacred tool in the quest for self-betterment.
It will be organized from highest stimulant amount to lowest. This way all you stim junkies don’t have to sit still for any longer than absolutely necessary (even as I write this from my desk I can hear your over-caffeinated, fidgety fingers tapping [impatience so loud it travels through space and time] against the back of your iphone).
There might be some people who still believe women want a low stim, soft and gentle pre-workout. Maybe that was true long ago, but it certainly isn’t now.
Today’s women are master jugglers, life-architects, and managers. They might have goals to build an online business while studying for a masters in Accounting or tax law, two jobs, and two kids who can’t decide whether they wanna be the sweetest damn beings alive or mini-monsters. With all this, it’s no wonder so many women opt for high stim pre-workouts.
The prevailing issue for high stimulant products is a perceived lack of options, and caffeine alone won’t cut it anymore. You need a pre-workout that works as hard as you do, and sharpens your mind into a precision perfect blade.
No doubt, you understand that a solid foundation is key to architecting any structure — if you set out to build a uniquely beautiful mansion, you wouldn’t sacrifice a solid foundation for a little extra flare. Pre-workouts are no different. You start with concrete ingredients and build the perfect formula from there. As such, each of the following high-stimulant pre-workouts have the same foundational ingredients.
- Vitamin B12: Energy for days
- Caffeine: 333mg — anything higher might as well be a heart attack
- Citrulline: Clinically dosed at 6 grams.
- Beta-Alanine: 3.2 grams — don’t be alarmed when it kicks in
- AstraGin®: increase citrulline absorption
- ActiGin®: Athletic performance
- AlphaSize®: mental sharpness
- Taurine: muscle hydration
- Himalayan Rock Salt: Electrolytes
WOKE AF High Stim Pre-Workout
WOKE AF™ is the pre-workout your mother warned you about. This stim heavy dose has been formulated for those with only the strongest of tolerances. 3 different stimulants combined with clinically proven cognition enhancers, and a potent delivery mechanism will help you stay WOKE through the most intense workouts, longest work shifts, graveyards, study sessions.
- Dendrobium: An ancient Chinese herb, used as an energy-boosting agent. Not only does Dendrobium work well with caffeine to increase work capacity in a training session, but it can also stimulate your central nervous system, enhance mood, and increase your metabolic rate.*
- Synephrine: A very potent stimulant, this compound has become a staple for stim junkies. Stacked with dendrobium, this formula has not just one, but two ingredients to mimic the effects of the banned ephedrine plant*
WOKE AF Black Pre-Workout
Equipped with the same foundation as WOKE AF, including the added stimulants, what makes WOKE AF Black so poignant is the addition of a stellar mineral blend, Humic & Fulvic acid.
Together, these compounds work similarly to Activated Charcoal, except that charcoal can strip the body of vital nutrients. Humic & Fulvic acid have none of those negative side effects. They promote nutrient absorption as well as aid in healthy detoxification. They’re kind of like activated charcoal
BAMF Nootropic Pre-Workout
Nootropics are ingredients that can improve focus, memory, and overall cognitive performance. This high-caffeine brain-fuel pre-workout is perfect for those who find themselves distracted during training, who battle mental fatigue, or simply for anyone who craves such benefits as; tunnel-vision, “flow” state, hyperfocus, and a strong mind-muscle connection.
BAMF accomplishes this massive feat by adding two powerful ingredients onto the already solid focus-enhancing ingredients (e.g. AlphaSize®, Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, you get the idea):
- Huperzine A: Improves working memory and boosts concentration
- Hordenine: A plant-based compound shown to increase all things nootropic, improve physical performance. It recently gained popularity amongst those with high ambitions for its positive effects on attention span, calorie-burning, mood, and productivity. The primary driving mechanism is the link between hordenine and the protection (and release) of norepinephrine, which in turn stimulates your central nervous system leading to countless benefits.*
Moderate Stimulant Pre-Workouts
Despite it being the 21st century, the modern day woman still deals with the oppression of the patriarch, battling chauvinism, listening to guys mansplain something, and biting her tongue because he has all his facts wrong and she knows it.
This is a tough spot to be in. Sure, it’d be nice to tell him off and explain to him his ignorance, but let’s be honest…how likely would he be to listen? You need to be energized enough to get through the task and own your workouts, without being so stim’d out you go aggro — even if someone deserves it.
These are the perfect pre-workouts for you. They’re loaded with enough energizing ingredients to propel you to the next fitness level without pushing you over the stimulatory edge.
The perfect amount of stim, Bucked Up is a pre-workout the whole family can agree on. Assuming everyone in the family is responsible enough to trust with pre-workout, of course. Don’t give it to your kids. Or do. We can’t be held accountable if they treat the walls like a trampoline though.
Bucked Up has the same base non-proprietary ingredient profile as our high stimulant pre-workout options; everything you need for energy, pump, focus, endurance, and hydration. The only difference is in the stimulants and tingles. 200mg of caffeine. 2.5g of Beta-Alanine.
Bucked Up Black Pre-Workout
The lower stim option in the Black Pre-Workout line, Bucked Up Black offers all the same benefits as regular Bucked Up, as well as the health and longevity promoting benefits of the Humic & Fulvic Acid mineral blend.
Low Stim and Caffeine-Free Pre-Workouts For Women
Maybe you’ve already had four cups of coffee and a Bucked Up energy drink by the time your able to train, and know adding anymore caffeine might cause a heart explosion. Perhaps you’re worried if you have too many stimulants you’ll be irritable — happens to all of us at one point or another. It could be you train at night, and have a hunch sleep is important to your overall health. Or maybe you just have a low tolerance and for that reason want a caffeine-free pre-workout.
Any number of things could factor into your choice. No matter what your reasoning is, I applaud the maturity that drives your decision, and strive to someday reach your level (9:30 am and I’m already three cups of coffee in).
Bumped Up Pre-Workout
Bumped Up Pre-Workout has been painstakingly researched to make sure that it not only enhances your workout, but each ingredient is naturally occurring and safe. Loaded with amino acids, pump, focus, and 100mg of all-natural caffeine, Bumped Up is the perfect fit for any mom who wants to claim Queen status in their local hot mom’s club.
Even if you’re not nursing, or even a mother, Bumped Up is still a fantastic option for a low-stim pre-workout. It’s also a great option for anyone who wants to lower their caffeine intake, without going through withdrawals. (Mix with our Stimulant Free-Bucked Up formula for any desired benefits)
Some of the ingredients that make this particular formula ideal are:
- L-Citrulline/L-Arginine: By now, you know how effective these ingredients are.
- Beta-Alanine: Some additional information: works by cranking up the L-Histidine in your body, and in turn increases the levels of carnosine. Carnosine is important in fighting the build up of hydrogen in your muscles; as well as improving the performance of fast-twitch muscles.*
- N-Acetylcysteine: In training NAC has been shown to have countless benefits from: accelerated recovery, blood flow, strength gain, and increasing anaerobic performance. With its strong antioxidative properties, studies have suggested that NAC may help reduce the chance of unexpected pregnancy loss, which may be caused by oxidative stress.* Antioxidants also promote healthy aging.
- Vitamin B12: Bumped Up is our highest dosed B12 pre-workout. Loaded with enough to deliver killer energy without making you feel stim’d out or jittery.
Bucked Up Stim Free
Our Non-Stim Bucked Up formula is the perfect caffeine-free pre-workout for anyone who works out late at night, has a low caffeine tolerance, or has recently come to realize they have a problem and need to lay off the stimulants for a while. It has all the same ingredients that make our original Bucked Up formula so powerful, just without the caffeine.
- Mental Focus: AlphaSize® (Alpha GPC)
- Hydration: Taurine & Himalayan Rock Salt
- Blood Flow: Citrulline & AstraGin
- Endurance: Beta-Alanine
- Athletic Performance: ActiGin
- Energy: Yup, even energy. I know, it seems crazy that it can come from anywhere but stimulants, but Vitamin B12 is well-known for its ability to deliver non-stim energy…as is beta-alanine, taurine, and increased blood flow.
Pro Tip: If you love the tingles and all the benefits found in our moderate-to-high stim pre-workouts, and crave more, but know better than to add more stimulants, you can easily mix a half scoop of our non-stim formula.
Designed to enhance every workout, PUMP-OCALYPSE is the perfect way to maximize your training. It’s formulated with nitric oxide boosters for blood flow, a potent blend of adaptogens for increased strength and power output, as well as two ingredients for cellular hydration.
- GlycerPump (Glycerol Powder 65%): GlycerPump is a patented supplement that causes Hyperhydration in the blood and tissues. Hyperhydration = better endurance and better pump
- Betaine Anhydrous: A compound derived from choline — a compound that plays several roles including brain and nerve function.
- Can increase power output.
- Optimal cellular hydration.
- May help fight anxiety and depression
- Increased energy levels:
- L-Citrulline + Arginine HCL: More blood flow.
- Agmatine Sulfate: A supplement with extensive scientific studies backing it, Agmatine is a naturally occurring derivative of the amino acid Arginine. It has some added benefits though; may ease aches and pains, and can even help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Peak O2 Blend: Scientifically developed blend of mushroom strains shown to improve performance and power output. These mushrooms are powerful adaptogens — a natural substance that help athletes adapt to physical and mental stress. Contains high levels of what’s called a “master” antioxidant. Helps fight oxidative damage. A decrease in oxidative damage = faster recovery, ability to train longer. Peak O2 can also improve oxygen uptake and oxygen utilization.
PUMP-OCALYPSE can be stacked with any one of the aforementioned pre-workouts or taken on its own.
Applying The Knowledge
To do a quick recap, what you want to look for is a pre-workout that’s tailored to your goals. If you want a high-stimulant pre-workout, check out: WOKE AF, WOKE AF Black, or the Nootropic Pre-Workout BAMF. If you’re looking for a moderately dosed one, Bucked Up and Bucked Up Black are your best bets. For low stim, Bumped Up will give you that clean, smooth boost of energy. And for caffeine-free pre-workouts, you can’t go wrong with PUMP-OCALYPSE and Non-Stim Bucked Up (both of the non-stim ones can be stacked with other pre-workouts too, which is cool).
All of these pre-workouts for women can be acquired at buckedup.com. Snatch up these gems and grind on. Thanks for stopping by!