If you want to achieve lean gains and boundless energy during your workouts, a pre-workout for women is your solution. After all, you can’t become fit and toned if you’re suffering from exhaustion and muscle fatigue. Taken before a workout, a pre-workout for women contains ingredients to boost energy, enhance strength, and increase endurance during exercise.

With all the gimmicks surrounding workout supplements for women, finding the best pre-workout for your fitness goals can be difficult.

The good news is, we’re here to help! In this article, we’re going to walk you through what you should look for in a pre-workout for women, sorting through the myths. We’ll also go through seven of our picks for the best pre-workout supplements for women, and make your pre-workout journey safe and affordable.

What is a Pre-Workout for Women?

What is a Pre-Workout for Women?You’re probably familiar with the advice to eat a lot of healthy carbohydrates before exercising—and for good reason! When you work out, your muscles need energy to work hard and produce results. Carbohydrates are the muscles’ natural pre-workout fuel, offering energy they can use during and even after your workout.

But often, especially if you’re on a diet or low-carb routine, your body doesn’t have enough extra carbs for fuel. This depletes your drive and motivation during both cardio and strength exercises, and can even cause sluggishness and exhaustion. Many female athletes alternatively find that their carb stores aren’t enough to bulk up and reach their fitness goals. Other women eat too many unhealthy carbs and want a boost of energy to help them power through their workouts and lose weight.

This is where a pre-workout for women formula comes in. By taking a small dose of carefully-combined ingredients, you can give your body an extra shot of energy and strength to achieve your fitness goals… more effectively and faster than before.

Myths Surrounding a Pre-Workout for Women

Because pre-workout formulas are often advertised for male bodybuilders, there are plenty of myths surrounding women’s use of pre-workout supplements. It is important to note that most of these are completely false. Here are some examples:

1. “Pre-workout supplements are only for men.”

Actually, research shows the opposite to be true! Women especially can take advantage of pre-workout supplements to mildly increase their testosterone levels by building muscle (to increase focus and drive), encourage nitric oxide production to promote blood and oxygen flow, give more power to their muscles, and increase their energy.

2. “I can’t take the same pre-workout supplements as men.”

A pre-workout for women doesn’t have to be formulated specifically “for women.” In fact, the type of pre-workout you take depends more on your fitness goals than your gender. For example, certain ingredients will specifically help you build muscle and give you some lean gains, while others will focus more on providing you with energy to get through endurance training.

3. “There are different ingredients in a women’s pre-workout than a men’s pre-workout.”

Most pre-workout supplements apply to both men and women. There are some pre-workouts that apply primarily to men because of their elevated levels of testosterone and creatine, which your body doesn’t necessarily need. But beyond this, don’t be fooled by the “manly” packaging many pre-workouts come in. Not to mention, pre-workout products advertised as “women-specific” are often much pricier for the exact same ingredients!

4. “Taking a pre-workout for women will make me too big.

Happily, pre-workout formulas don’t include steroids, which push your body past its limits to create huge muscles and strength gains. Instead, pre-workouts work with your body to build your muscles or give you energy, depending on your fitness goals. There’s no need for you to worry about becoming The Hulk!

5. “I should stay away from a pre-workout for women with creatine or testosterone in it.”

Of all the ingredients in pre-workout supplements for women, creatine and testosterone are the most controversial. This is because they’re typically considered “manly” hormones. But in actuality, everyone’s body produces them. As long as you’re taking the recommended amount of creatine (5-10 grams/day), it’ll help your muscles grow and give you endurance and focus. You can also enjoy the benefits of increased energy and competitive drive from testosterone. Just make sure there aren’t elevated levels of testosterone in your pre-workout (i.e., your supplement isn’t made for men exclusively).

Important Ingredients in Pre-Workouts for Women

Woman Reading Important Ingredients in Pre-Workout SupplementsMany of the best female pre-workout products include their own blends and ingredients. Still, there are a few substances you should look for when you’re considering the most effective mix for your needs:

  • Beta-alanine. Beta-alanine packs one heck of a punch when it comes to keeping your muscles strong and ready to go. It delays muscle fatigue by promoting the formation of carnosine, which in turn buffers acid build-up in the muscles. That means you’ll be working out a lot harder, and longer, with beta-alanine in your pre-workout for women formula.
  • Bioperine. Also known as black pepper extract, this natural ingredient helps enhance the other ingredients by promoting increased absorption and usage.
  • Caffeine. Skip the coffee and take advantage of the caffeine contained in your pre-workout for women. Caffeine boosts your energy and focus, and several studies have confirmed the positive impact a dose of caffeine can have on your workout.
  • Citrulline malate. An amino acid, citrulline helps increase oxygen and blood flow to your muscles. Having this in a women’s pre-workout supplement helps combat muscle fatigue and allows you to work out longer.
  • Creatine (optional). Creatine is a muscle growth hormone that increases your strength and resistance. It isn’t a must-have for women simply looking for a boost to their cardio workouts and endurance, but is helpful for those who want to gain some lean muscle and crush their workouts.
  • L- arginine. This amino acid helps with vasodilation by initiating the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO). NO works to dilate the blood vessels, encouraging more blood and oxygen delivery to the muscles.
  • Protein. Protein has a better reputation than creatine, in that it doesn’t include some of the possible side effects such as water retention or bloating. It does, however, act like creatine to enhance muscle growth and increase strength.

Now that you know which ingredients to look for in the best pre-workout supplements for women, let’s take a look at our top seven picks.

Cardio Endurance Pre-Workout for Women

This type of supplement requires some heart—literally! Made especially for cardio and endurance training like running, aerobics, and other exercises that get your heart rate up, the following pre-workout products for women are sure to give you a boost of energy when you need it most.

Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement

Legion Pulse Pre Workout SupplementTopping off our list is Legion Athletics’ Pulse Pre Workout Supplement. This formula is creatine-free, which means you won’t bulk up too much with it. Its premium blend of caffeine, citrulline, and beta alanine make it the perfect women’s pre-workout supplement for cardio endurance training.

And we’re not the only ones who think this women’s pre-workout supplement is one of the best. It’s ranked #1 on Amazon’s bestseller lists of Pre-Workout Products and Powders, with 4.4 of 5 stars from 3,989 reviewers.

Highlights

  • Optimized for cardio endurance
  • Bestselling, top-ranked product on Amazon
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • $30.41/pound, reasonable compared to competitors
  • Creatine-free, powder formula

Who Makes It?

Founded on the promise to deliver safe, high-quality, and scientifically-backed products without junk fillers or unnecessary additives, Legion Athletics offers a number of workout supplements for both men and women.

The Bottom Line

Looking for a supplement that will take your cardio endurance to the next level, that’s also backed by thousands of reviewers? Look no further! This is one of the best pre-workout for women solutions out there.

Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

Optimum Nutrition Amino EnergyOptimum Nurtrition’s Amino Energy pre-workout supplements for women are clearly doing something right. They’ve got products ranking among Amazon’s bestselling Pre-Workout Products in the #2, #3, and even more spots, all ranked 4 stars or above. Like the Pulse supplement, Amino Energy products contain an abundance of amino acids like citrulline, beta-alanine, and even more, as well as a dose of caffeine equivalent to about a cup of coffee.

Like Pulse, this supplement comes in a powder that is easily mixed to create a delicious pre-workout drink for women… and it’s got a ton of different flavors!

Highlights

  • Cardio-friendly, creatine-free formula
  • Different options, all bestselling on Amazon
  • $25.95/pound, reasonable compared to competitors
  • Caffeine from natural sources
  • Delicious powder formula to mix with drinks

Who Makes It?

Optimum Nutrition makes not only pre-workout supplements for women and men, but also vitamins, protein products, and even workout apparel. They sell their products online, and also through a number of retailers around the U.S.

The Bottom Line

This pre-workout for women line comes in at a close second to Pulse, but generally contains about half the amount of caffeine. If you have a low tolerance to caffeine or want a cheaper option, Amino Energy might be for you.

Muscle-Building Pre-Workout Formula

Most bulking up happens through your diet, but a pre-workout for women formula with the right amount of creatine, protein, or other muscle-building supplements can go a long way in helping you gain some muscle tone.

And don’t worry—you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on “wonder pills” like DSN Pre-Workout or pure creatine powder. There are plenty of options that don’t break the bank!

SHEER N.O. Nitric Oxide Supplement

SHEER N.O. Nitric Oxide SupplementFar from being “wonder pills” that come at more than $5 a count (like DSN Pre-Workout), Sheer Strength Labs’ SHEER N.O. Supplement pre-workout capsules are affordable and effective. Ranked #1 for Amazon’s Pre-Workout Nitric Oxide Boosters, with a 4.2-star out of 5 rating, this pre-workout for women formula is meant to enhance muscle growth as quickly as the first week of use—without the need for creatine.

And never mind about the “male” advertising on this one. Sheer’s website and reviewers say it’s a safe pre-workout supplement for women and men alike.

Highlights

  • Nitric oxide booster for better blood and oxygen flow
  • Optimized for muscle growth and bodybuilding
  • Creatine-free formula
  • $0.23/count
  • Money-back guarantee

Who Makes It?

Sheer Strength Labs offers potent sports supplements, including some of the most popular workout supplements for women and men. They take pride in keeping their ingredients and dosages open to the public.

The Bottom Line

This pre-workout for women is great for athletes who don’t want the hassle of mixing up a pre-workout formula every day, or don’t need the caffeine boost most other formulas have.

Six Star Explosion Pre Workout

Six Star Explosion Pre WorkoutFrom the creators of the popular MuscleTech protein products comes the Six Star Explosion Pre-Workout formula. Six Star claims trial subjects gained 18.6% more strength in just ten days using this pre-workout for women. Surprisingly, it looks like reviewers agree! With 4.1 out of 5 stars and the #4 Amazon rank in bestselling Sports Nutrition Pre-Workout Powders, this mix adds to our list of the best pre-workout supplements for women.

Highlights

  • Optimized formula for muscle gain and energy boost
  • Includes creatine in the formula
  • Around $25.92/pound, cheaper than competitors

Who Makes It?

Six Star Pro Nutrition is known for providing affordable supplements through big-name retailers like Amazon and Walmart. They’re endorsed by several big-name female athletes, including Danica Patrick (professional racecar driver), Tobin Heath (professional soccer), and Candace Parker (professional basketball).

The Bottom Line

One of the cheapest options for a pre-workout drink for women, Six Star Explosion Pre Workout provides the most bang for your buck in terms of muscle-building and strength endurance.

MusclePharm Assault Pre-Workout Powder

MusclePharm Assault Pre-Workout PowderRanked “Amazon’s Choice” and #12 for bestselling Pre-Workout Powders, MusclePharm’s Assault Pre-Workout product offers similar doses of creatine and caffeine as Six Star’s Explosion pre-workout supplement for women. While the brand isn’t as recognizable, all sorts of athletes are beginning to warm up to this product, giving it a respectable 4 out of 5 stars.

Highlights

  • Ideal for muscle gain and increased energy
  • No proprietary blend—ingredients open to the public
  • Around $41.54/pound
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Who Makes It?

MusclePharm creates some of the best pre-workout supplements for women and men, and their products are banned-substance tested. Therefore, their ingredients are tested for safety and are not contaminated.

The Bottom Line

This pre-workout for women is a great option for athletes who don’t mind spending a bit more on premium ingredients. Its middle-of-the-road price and overall reviews help to rank it among our best workout supplements for women.

Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Energy Drink

Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Energy DrinkIf you’re looking to build muscle and still get a boost of energy from a trusted women’s pre-workout formula, Cellucor’s C4 Pre Workout Powder may be a good fit. Ranked #4 on Amazon’s Pre-Workout Products bestsellers list with 4 out of 5 stars, it’s got 1 gram of creatine nitrate along with a host of other muscle-building, energy-boosting supplements like beta-alanine and caffeine.

The best news is, Cellucor also sells other pre-workout supplements for women with different amounts of creatine to fit your exact needs.

Highlights

  • Perfect for both energy and muscle-building
  • Pill and powder options
  • Different doses available depending on diet and workout regime
  • Around $56.16/pound
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Who Makes It?

One of America’s most popular sellers of pre-workout for women and men, Cellucor makes products with flexible customization options.

The Bottom Line

While it’s quite a bit pricier than its competitors, the C4 line of workout supplements ranks high on our list as some of the best female pre-workout products available—especially due to their versatility, results, and customer satisfaction.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-WorkoutOptimum Nutrition enters into this list of best workout supplements for women again with its Gold Standard Pre-Workout supplement. Similar to Amino Energy but with the added elements of creatine, extra beta-alanine, and caffeine, the Gold Standard is just that for women looking to build muscle and increase strength.

Highlights

  • Muscle building supplement with caffeine
  • Trusted brand
  • Around $30.24/pound, a lower budget option
  • 4.1-star out of 5 rating from 1,621 reviewers
  • #16 for bestselling Pre-Workout Powders

Who Makes It?

Optimum Nutrition’s vast line of workout supplements have truly conquered the pre-workout market, both for endurance and strength training. Their versatility and affordable prices make them a popular choice among many athletes.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a lower budget option that has quality and a great reputation, this product is for you. It’s possibly the best pre-workout for women on our list in terms of bang for your buck, reliability, and results.

The Final Weigh In

You now know what to look for in a pre-workout for women, how to determine if it’s safe for you to use, and which one is the best option for your fitness goals. So, it’s time to get to crushing those workouts! Whether you want to increase your endurance, up your strength, or something in between, these best pre-workout supplements for women have you covered.

Do you use one of these pre-workout supplements in your workout routine? Have you tried different options? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!