Top 7 Best Pre Workout Supplement for CrossFit Athletes: Reviews to Crush The WOD

It doesn’t matter if you are new to CrossFit workouts or if you are an elite CrossFit athlete...

The intensity of the workouts is always sky-high and requires non-stop strength and muscular endurance to perform to your highest abilities.

woman using battle ropes in crossfit box

But on the flip side, you probably wake up with barely enough drive to hit the gym or fatigue easily just halfway through the WOD (Workout of the Day).

Not to worry.

One almost perfect way to make sure that you’re always ready to hit the box is to find the best pre workout supplement for CrossFit reviewed to fuel you up. 

There are lots of options to pick from to provide you that added push - almost too many to list down, unless you prefer snacking on grilled chicken with a nice mixed salad, sweet potato and the likes, before doing your exercise routines. 

You are in luck.

To make things easier for you, we’ve reviewed them all and made a list of the best pre-workout nutrition drinks for CrossFit.




Net Wt



Musclepharm Creatine

5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate per serving



Primaforce Citrulline Malate Powder

L-Citrulline DL-Malate



Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy with Green Tea and Green Coffee Extract

5 Grams of Free Form Amino Acids per serving



Cellucor C4 Pre Workout Supplements with Creatine, Nitric Oxide, Beta Alanine and Energy

NO3-T Creatine Nitrate



Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Caffeine for Energy

L-Citrulline Malate



Pre-WOD's 7 Best Supplements for Crossfit

Effective workouts are possible without a supplement, but adding one of the best pre-workouts for Crossfit to your routine before working out is a great way to attain the following benefits:

  • Fuel up your strength
  • Protect and support your muscles from damage
  • Reduce fatigue to recover faster
  • Grow bigger & stronger muscles
  • Get more done during your workout so you can hit a home run!

All it takes is the right supp.

There are so many different choices on the market you can shop for, and I know that it can be hard to figure out which one is right to use as the best creatine pre-workout supplement.

1. Musclepharm Creatine

MP Essentials Micronized Creatine, Ultra-Pure 100% Creatine Monohydrate Powder, Muscle-Building, Protein Creatine Powder, Creatine Monohydrate Powder, 300 g, 60 Servings

Our Verdict: Best Overall

Musclepharm Creatine is the first pre-workout supp to take into consideration for your CrossFit needs today.

Musclepharm has many active ingredients that will improve the degree of your performance, but the main thing it provides for you is creatine, which can give you the explosive energy that you need to get through a tough crossfit day. 

This has been a controversial ingredient in the past, but CrossFit athletes regularly shop for this ingredient to see the performance that they know they are capable of achieving.

This product is easy to use as it has no taste, and you’ll see the results it has on building lean muscle for you body in no time. I did find that this product caused some bloat in the first week of use but have not had this problem since then.


  • Tasteless and has great mixability with solids and fluids
  • All-natural
  • Trusted quality control
  • Great bang for your buck


  • Gritty texture in recent products
  • Check for allergens

2. Primaforce Citrulline Malate Powder

PrimaForce Citrulline Malate Powder Supplement, 200 Grams - Enhances Strength Performance / Improves Muscle Recovery

Our Verdict: Best for Endurance

Next up is the Primaforce. Products like these are meant to be used for versatile training purposes, which matches up and supports greatly with the needs of any crossfit athlete.

This gets your body keep up the energy in a slow, maintained way that is more beneficial than caffeine based boosts for someone who needs to keep working out with any crashing.

It also assists your body process nutrients more effectively while under high stress so that your muscles do not become deprived during a workout.

The main reasons to use Primaforce are to fight off any chance of exercise fatigue while also increasing workout endurance, and this product definitely achieves that!


  • Guarantees increased strength and endurance
  • Enhances muscle recovery
  • Decent value
  • Mixes well with supplements or alone


  • Strong sour taste but it’s just as expected

3. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy with Green Tea and Green Coffee Extract, Flavor: Watermelon, 65 Servings

Our Verdict: Best for Power & Strength

Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy is another one of the best pre workouts for crossfit athletes who want to work out longer and strong.

This type of preworkout supp is made to boost three aspects of your workout:

  • Your Mental Focus
  • Your Energy
  • Your Strength Levels

Some ingredients worth mentioning include citrulline, amino acids (BCAA), beta alanine, taurine, boron, vitamin d3, zinc.

With these nutrients backing you, you’ll be able to show off more power and strength during your workouts than ever before. Bonus: there are no harmful additives in Amino Energy!


  • Affordable
  • Optimum caffeine content for energy
  • More than enough flavors to choose from
  • Increases endurance and focus
  • Aids muscle recovery
  • Great but not delicious taste


  • Contains artificial sweeteners
  • Mixed with some irrelevant ingredients

4. Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout Supplements with Creatine, Nitric Oxide, Beta Alanine and Energy

Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Energy Drink Supplement For Men & Women with Creatine, Caffeine, Nitric Oxide Booster, Citrulline & Beta Alanine, Fruit Punch, 60 Servings

Our Verdict: Best Boosting Energy Levels

Another contender for the title of best crossfit pre workout is the Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout supplement.

This is easily one of the best supplements for crossfit workout in the market, and crossfitters are some of the most energetic buyers of C4’s products.

While this product does contain some caffeine, it’s a moderate dosage that does a great job of boosting your energy level without causing jittery feelings or a crash later in your workout.

What I love about this pre workout is that it gives you an all around high performance hit for energy focus, motivation, and endurance, which is a necessity when you are a crossfit athlete. Also, with its select ingredients, it decreases blood pressure and provides increased blood flow.


  • Good value per serving
  • Provides great stimulant effect
  • Good pump and endurance increase
  • Vitamin C may show some anti-oxidant factors
  • Available in twelve (12) flavors


  • Has a proprietary blend
  • Some products harden or form clumps
  • Some components aren’t backed by strong scientific evidence
  • Be cautious of its artificial flavors and sweeteners before buying

5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Caffeine for Energy

OPTIMUM NUTRITION Gold Standard Pre-Workout with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Caffeine for Energy, Keto Friendly, Fruit Punch, 30 Servings

Our Verdict: Best for Strength & Performance

Another option I’ll be briefly reviewing today is the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout.

This provides three important nutrients for your workout; all of which mentioned above. All three of these will give you more push while also helping your muscles work more efficiently without causing any damage.

Crossfitters need these supplements to have their best workout ever, and the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard can give you the best boost around.


  • Boosts strength & performance
  • Enhances focus and energy output
  • Its caffeine dosage is suitable for most
  • Renowned brand
  • Delicious taste


  • Expensive but not by a wide margin
  • Contains artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors
  • A few key components are under dosed or entirely missing

6. Pre WOD Pre Workout

PREWOD Pre Workout - Creatine Free Nitric Oxide (NO) Boosting Preworkout Supplement | Caffeine, Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine | Focus & Energy Drink Powder (Cherry Lime for Time)

Our Verdict: Best for Focus & Drive

Spotting the brand name at first gives you a feeling that the PreWOD pre-workout is an ideal product for CrossFit.

Nonetheless, that’s not enough to make it a good pre-workout supplement for CrossFit. But its ingredients surely make it one.

First, its brain-boosting elements will make sure you get out of bed and hit the gym with all revved up. Think 200mg of caffeine (about 2 cups of coffee) coupled with effective doses of Huperzine A, and DMAE Bitartrate. 

This fusion will keep you focused without suffering a crash at the end of your workouts, at least for an average caffeine-tolerant person.

For the sought-after muslce endurance and stamina in workouts, the PreWod pre-workout gives you the needed kick. It mixes an effective dose of beta-alanine with 500mg of taurine to reduce its niacin effect. Nonetheless, you should start out with trying half of a single serve to avoid the tingles completely.

On another hand, the dosage of betaine anhydrous is too low to see any significant results. However, they work hand-in-hand, alongside endurance ingredients to give a good pump.

Also, this pre-workout not only has a potent blend of citrulline - (2:1) – but also in an effective dosage (1000mg). This is not to say there aren’t better-dosed pre-workouts in this category, but its enough support to get the job done. In this case, it means going more reps than you’ll without fatiguing like you normally would.

A notable missing ingredient in this pre-workout supplement is creatine. This may help you decide whether to go for this product or not. On the bright side, its absence is the reason it contains zero calories.

In conclusion, Pre WOD is best to use to support you with more focus and drive to start and finish your routine. It comes in three flavors: Watermelon Thrust, WOD Candy, and Cherry Lime – with the candy flavor being a must-try for a naturally sweetened tooth.


  • Adequate dose of caffeine for energy and focus without a crash
  • Rare inclusion of Huperzine A for enhanced focus
  • Sweet tasting flavors
  • Contains zero calories


  • Clumps easily
  • Creatine-free

7. Equip Pure WOD

pureWOD PRE - Naturally Formulated Pre Workout Supplement, Natural Light Taste, Smooth Clean Energy, Paleo and Vegan Approved

Our Verdict: Best for Crossfit Training

Equip’s Pure WOD pre-workout is not one of the most popular products out there, but it surely is worth a consideration for Crossfit athletes.


This is an all-natural supplement with no trade secret of elements and effective dosage. This means that it’s safe for a vegan and paleo diet, and most importantly, you know the exact quantity of everything you’re going to ingest.

With its optimum dose of Green Tea, you get the energy increase and spur that you need to get through your WOD without jitters.

It pairs up fine with one cup equivalent of coconut water powder, which will help you rehydrate during intense workouts using electrolytes.

If you do a lot of powerlifting or strength exercises, these types of pre-workout supplements for crossfit training is more than capable of giving you a hand while lifting. Equip Pure WOD's dose of 4000mg creatine monohydrate is something you won’t find in many other supplements.

Furthermore, it helps you through more reps and muscle exercises with its pump ingredients all served up with effective doses.

What’s special about this feature is that it combines select components to give you one of the best “pump” effects. It also has a stronger dose of the more effective pump supp ingredient; L-Citrulline.

The only drawback with this pre-workout supp is its taste. Many customers have given it all sorts of bad-bitter names but remark its consistency. It doesn’t have that gritty or powdery feel you get from most PWOs.

All in all, Pure WOD is a great pre-workout supp option for CrossFit training if you are all about the results and not too bothered by taste.


  • Effective dose of ingredients
  • Hydrating
  • All natural pre-workout, no proprietary blend
  • Packs a sufficient dose of endurance and pump ingredients
  • Suitable for a vegan and paleo diet


  • Not the best tasting of supplements
  • Ziplock packaging

Key Questions to Consider

Why Should You Consider A CrossFit Pre-Workout?

You are probably still thinking twice about having a pre-workout drink before hitting the box.

This can be as a result of things you’ve heard (usually misconceptions) about using pre-workout supps for a high-intensity program like CrossFit.

More on that later...

Why not know the facts before you use pre-workout supplements first?

Taking a single dose before a workout can give you the pre-workout energy, resistance, and mental focus needed to complete the intense workouts at the box.

Not just that, with the aid of stimulants like caffeine, you get that extra fuel to hit the gym early in the morning or after a long day at work.

Now, to clear your mind...

Is It Bad To Do CrossFit Training Using A Pre-Workout?

It is definitely not a bad thing to use a pre-workout for CrossFit training.

But there are times where you just have to cautious about the type of supplements you use so you don’t become dependent on them as your main source of stamina - and make sure to use the correct one depending on what type of training you are doing.

Here are 3 reasons why pre-workouts can have ill reactions:

  1. Proprietary Component: Some may contain stuff that might cause dehydration or are outright banned. The latter is especially important if you are an elite athlete.
  2. Caffeine Content: You can become dependent on supplements if not taken properly or at the right time of day. Be aware of high caffeine content and avoid consuming caffeine later in the day. Also, you can quickly build a caffeine tolerance which will lead you to take more quantity to see the same effects in the longer run.
  3. Fast Heart Rate: Your heart rate can become very fast, a bit too fast when you use these supplements for some exercises. It is best used with strength and power workouts and unless it is needed for cardio.

Guidelines for Taking a Pre-Workout for CrossFit Training

Once you’ve decided to try out a pre-workout supplement, you’ll need to have these tips at the back of your mind.

#1 Use Caffeinated Pre-Workout Supplements for Morning Workouts

No doubt, the caffeine content in most pre workouts will do its job and provide you that added energy you need in the gym.

But, the “boost effect” of caffeine can last for up to 6 hours depending on age, weight, and sensitivity to caffeine. 

Its negative effects on sleep can lead to accumulated fatigue in progression, so in order to avoid that, you will want to stick with stimulant free options if you are working harder routines later in the day.

#2 Don’t Mix & Match Your Drinks

Mixing preworkouts with some source of other caffeinated beverages is unnecessary and dangerous.

The most common and least harmful side effects are probably nausea and having jitters. But it could get much worse...

So, stick to either a pre-workout OR coffee – not both at the same time.

cup of coffee on a saucer

#3 Helps With Muscle Building, Not Weight Loss

Most worry free pre-workout supplements contain creatine, in addition to other components that fuel muscle mass gain more so than having a fat burner property.

So if your goal is to maximize fat burning, avoid food and drinks with ingredients intended to not only energize but also to help you build muscle.

#4 Avoid a Pre-Workout Supplement with Added Sugar & Shoddy Ingredients

Unfortunately, this means you have to avoid a lot of products on the market in order to stay out of trouble.

But we have compiled a list of the best pre workouts for crossfitters to ease you the stress of weeding out tons of products with unnatural, artificial contents and fillers.

Key Ingredients To Search For & Their Purpose

Now that you have a clear grasp of using pre workouts for CrossFit and how to avoid any negative factors, I’ll give you a short overview of the top components to keep an eye out for.

These ingredients will help you go for the right one that meets your needs.


These supplements provide you with strength and power to perform both weightlifting and resistance workouts.

It enhances high performance by restoring ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) during high-intensity programs.

What is Creatine


As previously mentioned, it is an almost inevitable component of pre-workout powder, or even pill in form, whether you like it or not.

This stimulant affects the neuromuscular system to increase strength and alertness at the gym, as well as focus, thus aiding mind-muscle connection .


If you quickly get muscle soreness and fatigue easily from the intensity of working out, this can be as a result of a build-up of lactic acid hydrogen ions in your muscles.

This is where beta-alanine comes in.

It will give your body the help to store carnosine which in turn gets rid of the excess hydrogen ions. This increases your training volume.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the guys that help you recover quickly after tearing up your muscles at the gym.

Leucine is the most dominant of the three amino acid types (leucine isoleucine and valine) and uses protein synthesis to aid muscle gain, reduce muscle breakdown and fatigue.

Pick The Right One For YOU

No matter which one you decide to try from this reviewed bests to add to your cart, you’re sure to see a marked difference in your performance the next training session you start a CrossFit workout.

To give you that extra push to complete your routine to the top, we recommend using MusclePharm Creatine. It’s great for both athletes and non-athletes and doesn’t get you bloated like most products on the market.

Remember to take into account that even the best pre workout supplement will not give you that powerful result you desire if you don’t work out efficiently or give enough time for muscle repair. While supplements can increase muscle endurance in lower recovery times, you still need to be smart during your workout.

We know the ladies out there are crazy about CrossFit too, which is why we've compiled the top picks specifically tailored for women right here on this page.

Which types of supplements do you prefer before doing CrossFit? What do you actually search for in the different types of supps? Let me know in the comments if you like one of these best supplements for CrossFit we reviewed as much as I do, and get to your workout with the much needed energy you’ve been in the search for!

And if you're in for both "pre and post; don't forget that while these preworkout supps are taken before or precedent your routine, and the ones that contain a good source of whey protein are made for after, or better called post workout. You can also take whey protein containing supps as a meal replacement.

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