Top 5 Stimulant-Free & Non-Caffeinated Pre-Workout Supplements For Clean Energy
When it comes to getting energized before a workout, a lot of people immediately believe that they need to take a supplement with caffeine in it or even take caffeine pills directly.
If you're like me, however, taking caffeine is more debilitating than not taking it.
Everyone has a different level of caffeine tolerance. If you take too much for your body, you might not be able to complete your workout due to the stress put on your system.
Common stimulants used in workout supplements include:
- Green Tea Extract
There are people who are allergic to these ingredients or very sensitive to their stimulating nature. Other people simply don’t like how they feel after using a product that has a high amount of caffeine in it.
The best part:
I’ve taken the time to research and compile the best caffeine-free pre-workout supplements so that you can get your workout in without feeling unnaturally wired. Let’s take a look!
- Best Pre-Workout Supplements Without Caffeine Comparison Table
- 1. BPI Sports Best BCAA Shredded Caffeine Free Thermogenic Recovery Formula
- 2. GAT Clinically Tested Nitraflex, Testosterone Enhancing Pre Workout
- 3. BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre-Workout Supplement with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Energy
- 4. MRI NO2 Full Cycle
- 5. Genius Pre Workout – All Natural Nootropic Preworkout Powder
- Why Should I Consider Caffeine-Free & Non-Stimulant Formulas?
- Benefits of Taking A Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout
- How Should I Take It?
- Key Ingredients Breakdown
- Get Your Exercise Without The Jitters
Best Pre-Workout Supplements Without Caffeine Comparison Table
Blue Raz, Cherry Lime, Fruit Punch, Snow Cone and Watermelon Ice
Black Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Green Apple, Orange, Pina Colada, Pineapple and Watermelon
Blue Raz, Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch, Grape, Green Apple, Watermelon, Caffeine Free Fruit Punch
Formulated with nitric oxide precursors
Naturally sweetened with stevia
In my experience, the number one stimulant to cause people to have the jitters, nausea, the inability to sleep, or simply an unwell feeling is caffeine.
That’s because most people are not used to taking in more than a cup of coffee or two worth of caffeine at a time. However, many supplements like Redcon1 Total War have much more caffeine than this in them and can overload your system.
It is possible to buy a pre-workout that has a less shocking form of energy. The best pre-workout supplements without caffeine will avoid the irritability, sleeplessness and the occasional rapid heartbeat that can come with ingesting too much caffeine.
1. BPI Sports Best BCAA Shredded Caffeine Free Thermogenic Recovery Formula
The first of the caffeine free pre-workout supplements I want to introduce is the BPI Sports Best BCAA Shredded Caffeine Free Thermogenic Recovery Formula.
While technically formulated as a recovery formula, this product has been shown to be a great pre workout option for those who want something caffeine-free.
The product is high in Citrulline which will help improve your performance and increase endurance throughout your entire workout. Additionally, it has BCAAs which help build strong, powerful, lean muscles better than any other amino acids.
This formula also includes Carnitine, which is known to help burn fat cells. Carnitine helps your body’s core temperature rise a bit higher, which allows fat cells to be more effectively burnt during your workout.
2. GAT Clinically Tested Nitraflex, Testosterone Enhancing Pre Workout
Another great pre workout supplement without caffeine is GAT Clinically Tested Nitraflex, Testosterone Enhancing Pre Workout.
This supplement will do a great job of improving your performance by increasing your muscle energy levels and your mental focus. On top of that, it will increase your vascular performance, which will help you have great muscle pumps.
This is also a great option for those who want to go completely stim-free, as it doesn’t contain caffeine or creatine. This pharmaceutical grade product comes from a reliable company that you can trust to help your workout gains.
3. BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre-Workout Supplement with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Energy
When you want to make pre workout drinks without caffeine, another great supplement is the BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre-Workout Supplement with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Energy. This product gives you a stimulant boost with creatine rather than caffeine.
The goal of this formula is to provide a high amount of energy with long endurance so that you can perform at your highest level during every workout.
On the endurance front, this formula includes 1.8g of Beta-Alanine which will help keep you going even without any caffeine being in the supplement mixture.
4. MRI NO2 Full Cycle
Next up on the list of the best pre workout supplements without caffeine is MRI NO2 Full Cycle. Whether you are just cycling off stimulants or you want to stay stimulant free for good, this supplement is a great choice.
The ingredients are designed to help boost your nitric oxide production while also helping oxygen delivery to your working muscles process more efficiently, leading to a better workout. The product also has ingredients meant to help your body create more protein and sustain itself through difficult recovery days.
5. Genius Pre Workout – All Natural Nootropic Preworkout Powder
Last of the best caffeine free pre workout supplements is Genius Pre Workout – All Natural Nootropic Preworkout Powder.
This all natural pre workout powder is good for those looking to keep their diet as natural as possible, even while they are training. This formula leaves out all cheap stimulants like caffeine. It has no unnecessary added ingredients and is naturally sweetened with stevia.
Even though this product is all natural, you can really feel it kick in and work during your cardio or pumping. The company focuses on proper dosage to achieve this effect, and they’re doing a great job of it.
Why Should I Consider Caffeine-Free & Non-Stimulant Formulas?
Before we dive into the “why” behind these alternative products, let’s talk about how the most popular pre-workout drinks work:
Basically, they hit you with a medium-to-high dose of caffeine or other stimulating substances and you can’t help but get amped up to crush it in your next training sesh.
These compounds take only a short time (less than 15-30 minutes in most cases) to seemingly get straight into your bloodstream to peak your focus and energy.
Sounds great, right?
While this feeling is admittedly awesome, like all good things it is not without its own set of issues…
Even the best-intentioned standard pre-workout is guilty of shocking your nervous system with upwards of 400mg of caffeine.
This more than 4 cups of brewed coffee level of caffeine can feel great in the moment but inevitably leads to the dreaded crash in a few hours...
Caffeine works by inhibiting and suppresses your adenosine receptors and essentially “tricks” your body into not feeling tired even if you should be.
Adenosine is basically your built-in sleep pressure mechanism which gradually increases throughout the day, and once it hits a certain threshold tells your body that it is time to get some shut-eye.
The Unwanted Side Effects of Caffeine
Now that we know how mainstream supps work, it’s important to realize they come with a plethora of side effects—especially if taken regularly without cycling usage and taking more than the recommended dosage.
In no particular order, here are the main downsides to this powerful stimulant:
Like most stimulants and addictive substances, when taken regularly your body quickly develops a tolerance. This results in needing to use a higher and higher dosage in order to experience the same effects.
Not only does this mean you will feel less energized over time, tolerances also lead to even the best-intentioned athletes to exceed the recommended dose in pursuit of that perfect pre-exercise feeling.
Messes With Sleep
As mentioned above, caffeine tricks your body into not feeling tired even when you should be. The “tired but wired” sensation is what leads to sleep deprivation from staying up later but also to lower sleep quality and more restlessness when you do finally fall asleep.
Since getting quality deep sleep is essential for recovery and maximizing your gains, this is one of the worst side effects of caffeine.
Caffeine stresses the metabolic functioning of your liver since it is completely detoxified by the liver (as opposed to being split between the kidneys and liver like most substances)
Jitters & Tingling Sensation
You’ve undoubtedly felt this jittery sensation if you’ve had a lot of coffee on an empty stomach. Also, stimulants and compounds like niacin and beta alanine are contributors to the common tingling sensation from pre-workouts, which you can learn more about here.
Another double-edged sword with caffeinated products is their dehydrating effect. Though counter-intuitive, drinking more things like coffee and soda are actually dehydrating you.
Since you are likely training hard while using a pre-workout, you will need to increase your water intake even more in order to maintain a solid hydration level.
The stress response caffeine generates in the body taxes your nervous and endocrine system and after prolonged usage leads to adrenal fatigue by shutting down the production of your adrenal glands. These glands produce vital hormones such as cortisol.
Benefits of Taking A Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout
While caffeinated products have their place, you will likely love the benefits of their non-stimulating counterparts even more.
Here are my favorite reasons to indulge in stim-free pre-workouts:
What goes up must come down...Hard.
While the exhilarating feeling of caffeine pumping through your veins can help push you to new personal bests, it also leads to an inevitable crash.
Stim-free formulas provide for a smooth surge of energy and leave you feeling ready to take on the rest of the day after you gym session, instead of wanting to take a nap.
Limited Side Effects
Caffeine has just as many side effects as benefits.
Or maybe more.
Just read the section above to see how caffeine affects your body, and to appreciate what you are avoiding by opting for a non-caffeinated product instead.
Manufacturers have to get more creative with stim-free pre-workout formulas in order to make a difference in your next training session.
With that creativeness comes new and better ingredients that you don’t usually see in typical ingredient lists.
These well-formulated ingredients are optimized to have a slower energy release over the duration of your training.
This is in stark contrast to caffeinated products where the crash starts kicking in 30 minutes to an hour into your workout (depending on the dose and your tolerance) which leads to a sub-par performance to round out your training, when you need to push the hardest.
As a vasoconstrictor, caffeine and other stimulants actually work to close up your blood vessels which limits your pump, which is exactly what you DON’T want to experience.
On the flip side, natural foods like beets are known for opening up your blood vessels resulting in massive pumps.
How Should I Take It?
Luckily, you can be more lenient with how you incorporate caffeine-free pre-workouts into your day since they have less side effects.
That said, you should still do your best to optimize the timing and dosage for maximum effects.
When Is The Best Time To Take It?
Generally you’ll want to shoot for taking it 15-30 minutes before you start training, or as instructed on the packaging.
You can even take it in the afternoons and evenings since there is no caffeine or other stimulants to keep you wired until bedtime.
Can I Cycle It?
For those of you out there who love the rush of caffeine (you know who you are!), there is still a way to achieve a yin and yang effect with your pre-workouts...
And that comes from cycling.
Cycling allows you to maximize the benefits of caffeine while limiting its detrimental effects.
You can use your caffeine-based supplement for 4-6 weeks, then switch to a non-caffeinated version for the 2-3 weeks.
This way, you cut off your caffeine intake before you develop any serious tolerances, and the first couple weeks you are back on the caffeine bandwagon will feel just like the first time again.
Key Ingredients Breakdown
What to Avoid:
- Caffeine Anhydrous
- Green Coffee Extract
- Green Tea Extract (EGCG)
What to Look For:
- Beta Alanine
- B Vitamins
- Cordyceps Mushroom
- Coenzyme Q-10
Get Your Exercise Without The Jitters
There you have it. Now that you have hopefully found your pre-workout supplement without caffeine, you should be able to get through a workout without the stress that a stimulant like caffeine can cause on your body.
Drinking a cup of coffee and taking a supplement full of a large dose of caffeine are two very different things. If your boy can’t take the intense impact that a burst of caffeine can have on your body, don’t force it! There are plenty of options for pre workouts that you can use instead, including ones without creatine we have found here at Health Listed.
Don’t force your body to overdo it with caffeine stimulation. You can have a great workout without this sleep-preventing substance.
Do you have a favorite stimulant-free pre workout? Let me know in the comments whether or not caffeine is part of your pre-workout routine.