Top 5 Caffeine-Free & Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout Supplements For Clean Energy (Without The Crash)
When it comes to getting energized before a workout, a lot of people immediately believe that they need to run to the power pill market 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 volume of caffeine in it. Even women most likely will opt for something which is free from caffeine.
The best part:
I’ve taken the time to research and compile this guide for the best caffeine free pre-workout supplements so that you can get your workout in without feeling unnaturally wired. Let’s dive in below and get yourself a good peek at one of our pre workout reviews for this particular topic!
- 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 Caffeine Free Pre workout Powder
- Why Should I Consider Caffeine Free & Stimulant Free 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 in boosting your system.
It is possible to buy a pre-workout that has a less shocking form of energy. The best caffeine free pre-workout supplements 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 supplement in this list I want to introduce is the BPI Sports Best BCAA Shredded Caffeine Free Thermogenic Recovery Formula which comes in flavors you'd surely love.
While technically formulated as a recovery formula, this product has been shown to be a great option for those who want a caffeine-free pre workout choice of formula, which we consider the best thermogenic in this review.
The product is high in Citrulline, an amino acid component which will help improve your performance and increase blood flow to your muscles throughout your entire workout. Additionally, it has BCAAs which help in muscle building of stronger, more powerful, lean muscle better than any other amino acids combined.
This formula also includes Carnitine, which is also classified as an amino acid known to help burn fat cells although not mainly for weight loss goals. Carnitine helps your body’s core temperature rise a bit higher, which allows fat cells to be more effectively burnt during your workout.
So if you're into your goal of building muscle and at the same time going for a caffeine free pre workout ... this one's your best bet!
2. GAT Clinically Tested Nitraflex, Testosterone Enhancing Pre Workout
Another great caffeine free pre workout supplement is GAT Clinically Tested Nitraflex Testosterone Enhancing Pre Workout.
It comes in different flavors that would surely click with your taste buds.
This stim-free pre-workout supplement will do a great job of improving your performance by increasing your muscle growth levels and your mental focus all throughout.
On top of that, it will increase your vascular performance, which will help you with great muscle pumps through its nitric oxide precursor complex that includes citrulline malate, l-arginine malate and more.
This is also a great option for those who want to go for a completely stimulant free as it doesn’t contain ingredients like creatine or caffeine. This pharmaceutical grade product comes from a reliable company that you can trust to help your pump 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 N.O.-XPLODE Caffeine Free Pre Workout Supplement with Creatine, Beta-Alanine and Energy. Its Nitric Oxide Alpha Fusion contains folic acid and citrulline malate which help fight fatigue and give you more pump. Its got fruit extracts with vitamins and minerals that act as antioxidants. 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 boost with long endurance so that you can perform at your highest levels during every workout.
One of its active ingredients include a power blend of creatine monohydrate, creatine anhydrous and creatine peptides which when converted and then stored in your muscles, provide energy for your pump routines.
On the endurance front, this formula has included Creatine and Beta-Alanine one of the known types of amino acids, which will help keep you going even with the fact that it's a no caffeine pre-workouts supp mix.
4. MRI NO2 Full Cycle
Next up on the list of the best caffeine free pre workout supplements is MRI NO2 Full Cycle. Whether you are just cycling off stimulants or you want to stay with a stimulant free pre-workout supplements with no caffeine pre-workout for good, this worry free supplement is a great choice to pick.
Its active ingredient mix and combinations are designed as a nitric oxide booster while also helping oxygen delivery to your muscle building and pump process for more efficient muscle growth, thus getting optimum results through a better pump workout. The product also has ingredient blends meant to help your body build up more protein and sustain itself through difficult recovery days.
5. Genius Pre Workout – All Natural Nootropic Caffeine Free Pre workout Powder
Last of the best caffeine free pre workout supplements is Genius Pre Workout – All Natural Nootropic Preworkout Powder.
This all natural pre workouts powder is good for those looking to keep their diet as natural as possible, even while they are on a pump sesh. This formula leaves out all cheap stimulants like caffeine. It has no unnecessary added ingredient, includes l-citrulline which enhances fat loss, and is naturally sweetened with stevia.
And it doesn't stop there... Genius Pre; as one of the best pre workout supp contains Alpha GPC for increased performance and enabling more power for mind to muscle connection, which is what Alpha GPC is known for. Add to that another one of its key features being a really significant nitric oxide booster.
Even though this product is all natural, you can really feel it kick in and work during your cardio or pump, like as if it is not some caffeine free pre workout supplements that you've just taken. The company focuses on proper dosage to achieve this effect with no proprietary blends, and they’re doing an awesome job at it.
Why Should I Consider Caffeine Free & Stimulant Free 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 at your best pre pump mode to be amped up, crushing 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 and get your mental focus and strength at its peak.
Sounds great, right?
While this feeling is admittedly awesome, like all good things it is not without its own set of issues when you find out…
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 nice in the moment but inevitably leads to the dreaded crash in a few hours...
Caffeine works by inhibiting and suppressing 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 disadvantages—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 disadvantage 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, which belongs to the list of non-essential amino acids, 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 and seriously focused in your muscle growth and other solid goals for training 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 stimulant free pre workouts 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 great pump boost from caffeine 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 a full pump 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 stimulant free / caffeine-free pre workout formulas in order to be making a difference in your next training session whether it be in your home gym doing your routines, outdoors or even at your favorite fitness center where you can do more with all the gym equipment surrounding you.
With that creativeness comes new and more effective 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 workout.
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 routine, 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 boost, which is exactly what you DON’T want to experience.
On the flip side, natural energy foods like beets are known for opening up your blood vessels resulting in getting you into the mood for a pump mode.
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 drawbacks.
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 your routine, 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 post workout and 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 but will give you a boost of energy, 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 the ones that are stimulant free or even caffeine free pre-workouts and a variety of ones without creatine that we have found here.
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 non-stimulant pre-workout? Let me know in the comments whether or not caffeine is part of your pre-workout routine.