Men are simple creatures. We see food, we eat it. We see heavy things, we lift it. We feel dirty, we take a shower…sometimes. Women, on the other hand, are far more sophisticated beings. When it comes to finding the best pre-workout for women, we have found the same principles to apply.
Before we reveal our list of top pre-workouts, make sure to consider the importance of a pre-workout energy supplement. As always, a proper nutrition and diet is of primary concern. But, for women that workout regularly, a pre-workout can be extremely beneficial to provide a boost in energy, focus, and strength.
Now, we want to be clear, pre-workouts that specifically cater to women contain many of the same core ingredients that pre-workouts men use. You will notice ingredients like whey protein, carbs, and beta-alanine. Why is this important? Because pre-workouts marketed towards females may or may not be the most effective supplement for you. For example, you may find that a half-serving of C4 (which is our #1 pre-workout for men) gives you a greater boost in energy and strength than a full serving of Chickpump. So, as we always say here, try out different products and different quantities to see what gives you the biggest bang for your buck.
|HiT Igniter Extreme
What’s Important in a Pre-Workout Drink for Women?
- Quality Ingredients: an effective and healthy pre-workout supplement will contain some key ingredients like caffeine, beta-alanine, carbs, and arginine. Get familiar with what ingredients are most important and the amounts included in the supplements you are considering.
- Not Packed with Stimulants: taking a pre-workout should not equate to stomach pains before your workout, so this is another call to action to check the labels for the key ingredients. Pre-workouts that are stimulant-heavy may give you great energy, but also result in an unhappy stomach.
- No Post-Workout Crash: a quality pre-workout should not result in a post-workout meltdown. Make sure you stick to a supplement that doesn’t leave you feeling tired and immobile.
- Boost in Strength, Energy, and Focus: a good pre-workout can be the difference between a “meh” workout and an “awww yeaa” awesome workout. Pre-workouts are highly effective in getting you in the zone to push through workout roadblocks.
Misconceptions Surrounding Women’s Workout Supplements
The biggest reason why women are hesitant to use PWOs or other workout supplements is that they have many questions about the potential side-effects. First of all, props to you for asking these questions unlike us guys who just start taking a bunch of sh*t and hope one sticks. But many of these concerns are unfounded and Here are some of the common concerns we’ve heard from women:
- Isn’t this a bodybuilding supplement for serious bodybuilders only? Yes, a pre-workout is technically a “bodybuilding” supplement, but don’t be thrown off by the connotation surrounding the word bodybuilding. In fact, bodybuilding is defined simply as “the developing of muscles and physique through exercise.” Aren’t all of us here trying to develop our physique to look and feel sexier? Well, I hope we’re clear on that one.
- Won’t I get huge, bulging muscles? No! This is probably THE #1 fear women have about taking workout supplements or working out in general. You will not look like those women you’ve seen in bodybuilding competitions unless you take some serious male hormones. Women simply do not possess the same testosterone levels that guys do, and it isn’t possible to develop a muscular male physique without the use of steroids, testosterone, or other male hormones.
- Will I feel bloated? If you are someone who does ample cardio during your workouts, you don’t need to worry about feeling bloated after taking a pre-workout high in protein. As far as stomach pains, certain pre-workouts heavy in stimulants may irritate your stomach. So, make sure to knock those off your list if you are someone who has a sensitive stomach and need a low stimulant or stimulant-free supplement.
- Will I gain weight? Au contraire, a top pre-workout will help you burn fat rather than putting on weight by allowing you to push harder during your workouts. Though some pre-workouts do containe creatine, the amounts are generally very small and unlikely to make a significant difference in weight gain.
- Is it ok for women to take creatine, beta-alanine, or other performance enhancers? Yes, it is perfectly fine for women to take creatine or other performance enhancers in conjunction with a solid diet and exercise plan. The idea is that these supplements enhance performance and increase strength, but for the same reasons as above, you certainly will not turn into She-Man.
Here is a helpful video discussing the use of workout supplements for women:
When and How to Use a Pre-Workout
By now, you know the importance of proper pre-workout nutrition to overcome plateaus in your workout and push you harder. In an ideal world, we could all prep a pre-workout meal consisting of proteins and carbs. A side of brown rice with chicken or a slice of whole wheat toast with some cottage are some sensible pre-workout meals. The reality is, we are busy and time is money. This is why pre-workouts serve as indispensable supplements for women working out.
You should take your pre-workout shake approximately 30-45 minutes before you begin your training session. This will give your body enough time to absorb the nutrients and begin to take effect. Keep in mind that pre-workouts often do contain caffeine, so adjust accordingly if you are someone who is sensitive to caffeine or works out right before going to bed.
As for serving size, read the directions as each product is going to be different in its recommendations. Also, note that you do not need to religiously follow the serving size suggestions. Remember, the manufacturer’s primary goal is to get you to buy more of their stuff. So they might up the servings so that you can blow through your tub and re-up as quickly as possible. You will often find that half the recommended serving size will be more than enough to give you a noticeable boost.
Best Pre-Workout for Women – Our Top 5 Picks
#1 HiT Igniter Extreme Women Only
Igniter Extreme Women Only is a pre-workout by HiT. As you can guess by the name, this is specifically geared towards women only (they have a male version). But, it essentially contains a similar nutrient profile as the male version and accomplishes the same goals.
There are a number of reasons why Igniter Extreme comes up as our #1 pre-workout for women. Like White Flood (listed below), Igniter Extreme contains 0 calories, which means no sugars and no carbs. The proprietary blend consists of a N.O. Blend/Fuel Blend and a Power/Endurance Blend. It also contains a ton of vitamins (Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B5, B12). Igniter Extreme also contains some creatine and beta-alanine. This pre-workout is very highly regarded by other women for its effectiveness in delivering gains in focus, energy, stamina, and endurance. And to top it all off, users really like the taste, which is a nice bonus when you have to take these suckers before every workout. Simply put, if you need a quality pick-me-up catered to you that comes at a good price and with great taste, take a long hard look at Igniter Extreme.
#2 Chick Pump by Hybrid Nutra
Ladies, stop using your significant other’s pre-workout! Chick Pump is perhaps one of the most well-known pre-workouts for females on the market. Chick Pump contains many quality ingredients we like to see in a pre-workout: beta-alanine, caffeine, and creatine. Chick Pump is a potent pre-workout that provides increased energy, focus, and endurance for your workouts. Just mix the powder (we recommend Grape-a-Licious) about 30-45 minutes before your workout then you should start to feel the tingle on your lips. That’s the beta-alanine working, so don’t be alarmed.
Women who use Chick Pump regularly say that it lives up to all their expectations and delivers what it promises to deliver in a clean and sustained release. Also, there is no post-workout crash or jitters with this product, and people generally have plenty of energy both throughout and after their workouts. This makes it another reason among many to choose Chick Pump as your go-to pre-workout.
#3 Muscle Pharm FitMiss Ignite
FitMiss is dosed and formulated specially for women and designed to increase energy and motivation, induce fat loss, and build a leaner physique. FitMiss is different from the other PWOs on this list in that it comes in Stick-Packs, which are individual packs instead of a huge tub. This makes it really convenient for you ladies who want to throw a pack into your purse or bag and then take it out when needed before you hit the gym.
As far as its effectiveness, FitMiss gets your primed and warmed up before your workout with beta-alanine. It also contains several fat-burning ingredients like carnitine and a Citrus Aurantium, a fruit extract. The vast majority of people like the taste, but some people say that the taste can be kind of chalky. So if that is important to you, make sure to try it out and see if you like it or not.
All in all, FitMiss comes in at #3 on our list due to its effectiveness, convenience, and overall value.
#4 USP Labs Jack3d Micro
Jack3d made the ingredient DMAA, or 1,3-dimethylamylamine infamous. Although it was shown to be a highly effective ingredient, the FDA banned the inclusion of DMAA in dietary supplements due to safety concerns. Jack3d completely reformulated their pre-workout, and we think they came back even stronger! And many women apparently agree, as Jack3d is one of the most popular pre-workouts for females.
The new Jack3d formula consists of a proprietary blend of two matrices: eNOS Super Performance System (2247 mg) and CNS Contractile Stimulant System (182 mg). Some of the key ingredients that we want to point out are agmatine sulfate and arginine nitrate, which both boost nitric oxide production and allow you to push harder during intense training. It also contains some caffeine as well as higenamine, which is the DMAA replacement. Higenamine is used to boost athletic performance and promote weight loss as well. Jack3d does not contain creatine and beta-alanine, if you are looking for a pre-workout without those ingredients.
Jack3d doesn’t provide an enormous pump like some other pre-workouts, but gives you great energy and strength gains. In their words, it delivers “clean, smooth energy that lasts.” Jack3d comes in a small container, and the serving size is comparatively small, but the punch it packs is undeniable. Bottom line, Jack3d is one of the most trusted pre-workouts out there, consistently ranking as one of the highest rated PWOs for men and for women.
#5 Controlled Labs White Flood
White Flood is not a pre-workout specifically for women, but many women utilize it as their pre-workout of choice. The thing that immediately stands out about White Flood is that it contains ZERO calories. What White Flood does contain is a proprietary blend of ingredients like beta alanine, tyrosine, citrulline, and arginine. White Flood does not contain any creatine. The nitric oxide enhancers will help you workout with greater intensity without muscle fatigue and for longer periods of time.
As far as performance goes, White Flood is one of the most effective pre-workouts available. It delivers incredible focus, energy, and a great pump for your workouts. Additionally, it is very fairly priced at around $65./serving for a 0.95 lbs tub, which means one tub is going to last you quite awhile.
The downside with White Flood used to be with its mixability and taste. However, they have a newer formulation that tastes much better than the old mix, which we found to be chalky.
- One of the top supplements for women is a pre-workout which increases your strength, endurance, focus, and energy to maximize your time training.
- Many of the fears that women have regarding workout supplements are unfounded and untrue.
- Our pick for the top pre-workout for women on the market is HiT Igniter Extreme Women Only.
It’s Your Turn: What’s your experience with pre-workout supplements? Positive/negative? Which ones that you’ve tried are most effective?