Reviews

3 Best Pre-Workouts for Women – Updated 2020 Review

We’ve ranked and reviewed the very best pre-workout for women so you can find the perfect product for you and your workouts. 

Overall, we rated the Powher Up Pre-Workout as the best option for women. You can buy it here, or read on to find out why we rated it so highly. 

Our top pick for best pre-workout for women

Powher up pre-workout review

We’ve looked into the ingredients used and the quality of pre-workouts on this list to find the best pre-workout for women. We’ve kept in mind scientific research, along with the fact that many women don’t react well to high caffeine, intense pre-workouts.

Essentially, we’re looking for something effective, safe and suitable for women. These three should help you to raise your game in the gym, stay energized and focussed, and shouldn’t come with any nasty side effects. 

Take a look at our top picks for the best pre-workouts for women below. 

The best pre-workout for women – The list

 

1. Powher Up Pre-Workout

 

Powher up pre-workout review

Powher Up is relatively new to the market, but one of the few that has been created with women in mind. 

Upon reviewing the caffeine levels and the supplement label, we found it offers up well-researched ingredients at safe levels, that should help you to take your workout up a notch. 

Overall, we were very impressed with this new product, and felt it deserved a place at the top of our review of the best pre-workout for women.

No only should it help to improve your performance, you may feel stronger, more focussed and benefit from increased endurance too. Powher Up really does tick all the boxes for the best pre-workout for women.

Take a look at what we found. 

How does Powher Up Pre-Workout work? 

Based on the ingredients within this formula, we found Powher Up might offer the following benefits for a woman. 

Increased energy: PowHer Up contains caffeine. While a lot of male-focussed pre-workout supplements offer a high amount of the stimulant, Powher Up provides a much lower amount, which is perfect for women [1]. Caffeine has also been linked to improved strength [1]

Heightened performance: Ingredients like l-Citrulline and the RedNite have been linked to vasodilation, which may help to improve endurance and work output [2] [3]. 

Better endurance: The branded ingredient Oyjun has been linked to improved cardiorespitory performance, which could help to improve endurance. Aka, more time on the treadmill [4]

Lower caffeine levels: compared to other supplements on this list of the best pre-workouts for women, we found that Powher Up offered a lower serving of caffeine, while still providing great results, so it may be more appropriate for a lot of women.

All of these elements combined helps to make this an amazing choice for best pre-workout for women. With all of these results, presented with a good amount of safety, we can’t fault it.

Powher Up Pre-Workout ingredients

During our review of the best pre-workouts for women, we took a closer look at the research surrounding each of the ingredients in this formula to get a good idea of what it can realistically offer a woman.

  • Natural caffeine (100mg) – 100mg serving provides you with a good amount of energy, that won’t overwhelm or give you any negative side effects associated with many pre-workout supplements. It could also help to improve your strength and endurance. [1] 
  • EnXtra® (300mg) – This is a branded product which has been proven to help safely amplify the affects of caffeine to give your alertness a boost  [4]. When taken with caffeine, it should help to give you a  smooth lift without any caffeine crashes [4].
  • Vitamins B6 and B12 –  As you probably guessed, vitamins are essential to your health, and are even more important to your fitness. By adding B6 and B12 to the mix, this supplement could help you to fend off fatigue and help you create energy more effectively [5] .
  • RedNite® – This is another branded ingredient. It’s basically a beetroot concentrate powder, which is standardized to offer 25x more nitrate than beetroot and 10x the antioxidants [6]. This makes it a very powerful vasodilator which is important to your workout, as it should help to delay the point of fatigue and even take your endurance to the next level [7].
  • L-Citrulline – Found in watermelon,  this is an extremely popular amino acid in pre-workouts, as it’s a proven vasodilator which could help improve your endurance [8].

These are all well-known ingredients that have been proven to aid women in their workouts in one way or another. Overall, it’s a fantastic set of ingredients.

Buy Powher Pre Workout

At the official Powher website

How to take Powher Up Pre-Workout

To get the most out of this supplement, you need to take Powher Up Pre-Workout by following the manufacturers instructions. Take a 10g scoop of the powder and mix with water around 30 minute before you go for your workout. 

On top of this, we’d also recommend you aim to take Powher Up Pre-Workout at least five hours before you usually go to bed, as the caffeine content could impact your sleep. 

Powher Up price and value

Each container of Powher Up Pre-Workout offers 25 10g scoops. This should be enough to last you around a month. 

One bottle of Powher Up pre-workout: $45 or £29.99

Two bottles + free UK and US shipping: $90 or £59.99

Three bottles + one free bottle + free UK and US shipping: $135 or £94.99

The way to save the most money, and get the best deal is to go for the multibuy bundle. While it’s a larger upfront cost, the free bottle and free shipping greatly improves the value of the supplement. 

On top of that, if you’re looking for a pre-workout that supports weight loss, then it’s essential you stay consistent with your supplementation over an extended period of time. By ordering a larger amount of the product, you should be able to support your goals.

Buy Powher Pre Workout

At the official Powher website

Pros

  • Fantastic formula
  • Created with women in mind
  • Safe serving of natural caffeine
  • Intuitive mix of elements
  • Should support strength and endurance
  • Multi-buy option available

What we think

Overall, we couldn’t be happier with Powher Up. It’s clearly been formulated with a woman’s body in mind, and should offer a strong, yet safe support for women.

What’s more, Powher Up made it to the top of our list of the best pre-workouts for women because it offers support in a range of different ways. A user should feel more focussed, stronger and could also benefit from more endurance.

Overall, we’d recommend this as one of the best pre-workout for women out there right now.

Buy Powher Pre Workout

At the official Powher website

2. 4-Gauge

4 gauge pre-workout review

Coming in second on our review of the best-pre-workouts for women is 4 Gauge.

Now, quite obviously, you can tell this supplement hasn’t bee designed for women specifically, but don’t let that fool you. The ingredients in 4 Gauge lend themselves perfectly to the needs of women’s bodies when in a workout.

The serving of caffeine is generous, yet safe and shouldn’t result in negative reactions. On top of that, it should also help to support endurance, stamina, strength and even weight loss workouts. As far as the best pre-workout for women goes, it’s up there as one of the top picks.

Check out our complete review below.

How does 4 Gauge work?

The 4 Gauge ingredients indicate it should help to support your workouts in a range of ways. After a careful review of the product, we deduced it may offer the following support.

Increased energy: The caffeine within this supplement should help to increase your energy levels ahead of a challenging workout.

Boosted endurance: Several of the ingredients within this formula have been linked to increased stamina in scientific studies.

Greater performance: Overall, the combination of ingredients within 4 Gauge should help to increase performance ability.

With these results, this supplement should help women to achieve new levels of performance in a workout, which is why it’s rated so highly on our review of the best pre-workouts for women.

4 Gauge Ingredients

The supplement ingredients within 4 Gauge could offer a range of fantastic benefits. According to research, we found they could bring the following to your workouts.

  • Caffeine Anhydrous (150mg) – Caffeine is common in the best pre-workouts for women, and has been linked to improved strength in a workout. [1]. Research indicates that a dose between 150-200mg can help to boost performance, while still being safe to consume [2]. 4 Gauge comes in at 150mg.
  • L-Theanine (200mg) – When paired with caffeine, this has shown properties of a nootropic that could help to calm jitters that can come with the stimulant [3]. This could be excellent for women as we feel the negative effects of caffeine prominently [4].
  • Creatine (1000mg) – Creatine is extremely well researched and has been linked to increased performance countless times [5]. Compared to other pre-workouts, 4 Gauge offers a very strong serving.
  • L-Citrulline DL-Malate (6000mg) – Naturally occurring within watermelons, this ingredient has been linked to improved endurance and power [6]. This 6000mg has been shown in studies to provide this improvement in performance.
  • Red Beet (300mg) – Another well-known vasodilator linked to greater endurance [7].
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine (500mg) – By reducing muscle damage, this could help you to recover after a workout [9].
  • Coconut Water Powder (300mg) – Often dubbed as one of natures super foods, coconut water powder has been linked to boosting electrolytes, so you can stay stocked up during your workouts [10].

Overall, the ingredients here make 4 Gauge another fantastic pre-workout supplement for women. We found some of the most well-known and highly researched ingredients, making it a great choice for a boosted workout. While it might not be specifically designed for women, we think the serving sizes make it appropriate for a female user.

Buy 4 Gauge

At 4Gauge.com

How to take 4 Gauge pre-workout

According to the serving instructions, simply take two scoops of 4 Gauge and mix with 10-12 fluid ounces of water. Aim to take the supplement 15-30 minutes before you plan to start your workout to get the most out of the stimulants.

We also suggest that you don’t take 4 Gauge within 5 hours of going to bed, as the stimulants within the mix could interrupt your sleeping pattern and ability to fall asleep.

4 Gauge price and value

One container of 4 Gauge provides you with 20 servings, which should provide you with enough of the supplement to last four weeks of five workouts a week.

A single bottle costs: $45/£25

Two bottles + free US and UK shipping: $90/£50

Three bottles + one FREE bottle + free US and UK Shipping: $135/£75

4 Gauge is more expensive per scoop than Powher Up, but it still offers good value in our opinion. We’ve based this on the quality of the formula, which helps to improve the overall value of the supplement.

On top of that, if you opt for the multi-buy bundle option, you can also benefit from even greater value for money, which would be very useful in the long run.

After a careful review of the best pre-workout for women, and 4 Gauge, we believe this supplement provides good value for money and is worth your hard-earned cash.

Buy 4 Gauge

At 4Gauge.com

Pros

  • Great ingredients list
  • Suitable caffeine servings for women
  • Supports energy, endurance and performance
  • Well researched ingredients used
  • Thousands of reviews online
  • Well-known pre-workout

Cons

  • Not specifically formulated for women

What we think

This is a well-known, popular and well-reviewed supplement, which instantly makes it a reliable choice in our mind.

On top of that, the supplement facts shows some of the most highly-researched ingredients have been used, which may help to support your workouts and have a positive effect.

That, on top of it’s sensible caffeine serving makes it a safe and reliable pre-workout for women.

Overall, we’d definitely recommend 4 Gauge as one of the best pre-workout for women.

Buy 4 Gauge

At 4Gauge.com

3. Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean Pre-Workout

transparent labs preseries lean pre-workout review

This supplement has bee around for a while and, while it hasn’t been particularly marketed towards women, it has a very dedicated female customer base.

This is due to the fact that it’s a lean pre-workout, that has been designed to support weight loss and boost performance during workouts too.

After a close review of the best pre-workouts for women, we placed Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout third on our list, due to it’s great ingredient list and fantastic reviews online.

Read on to find out why we rated it so highly.

How does Lean Pre-Workout work? 

Due to the ingredients we found within this supplement, and the research we found surrounding these ingredients, we expect Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout could offer the following benefits:

Increased energy: The caffeine in this supplement should help to boost your energy levels before you start a workout.

Improved endurance: Some ingredients within Lean Pre-Workout have been added to help improve your stamina and boost endurance.

Could support weight loss: named a ‘lean’ pre-workout, we found the low calories and energy boosting combination in this supplement could indeed help with weight loss.

Lean Pre-Workout ingredients

To ascertain how effective this supplement could be, we took a look at the ingredients within Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout and compared what we found to the latest scientific research. This helped us to understand how effective it could be for women.

  • Citrulline Malate 2:1 – This is a proven vasodilator which has been shown to help keep fatigue at bay during a workout [1]. It may also help with recovery too  [2]. PreSeries Lean Pre-Workout provides a strong 6000mg serving which is the amount we see in alot of successful trials  [3].
  • BetaPure – Here, they’ve used a concentrated form of Beta Anhydrous, which has also been linked to less fatigue during weight training [4], and more repetitions too [5]. Basically, that means your muscles will feel better for longer, and you’ll be able to do more.
  • L-Theanine – This amino acid is often found in green tea and can help to combat stress [6]. In pre-workouts, it works alongside caffeine to avoid the jitters that can come from these supplements [7].
  • Caffeine Anhydrous – A study found a serving of 150-200mg of was optimal for enhancing the results of resistance training [8]. This may also heighten metabolism by around 11% [9].
  • Beta-Alanine – According to research, this could help to reduce muscular fatigue in women during intense exercise [11]. It’s also been linked to lean mass, rather than fat [12].This ingredient may cause tingling feelings in your arms and legs. This is completely natural and safe, don’t worry [13].

The selection of ingredients within this product are well researched and as such, have earned it a high place on our review of the best pre-workout supplements for women.

How to take Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout

To start yourself with this supplement, the people at Transparent Labs suggest you take half a scoop with a good 6-8 flu.oz of water. Then as you become accustomed to the caffeine, up that to a full scoop with twice the amount of water.

Drink this 20-30 minutes before you start your workout to allow time for the supplement to be absorbed into your body.

We’d recommend that you avoid taking the supplement too close to when you go to bed, as it could interrupt your sleeping pattern. We recommend leaving a minimum of five hours between drinking this pre-workout and your normal bed time.

Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout Price and Value

A single bag of Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout provides you with 30 servings, which should last you more than a month.

  • One bag costs: $49 / £39.59
  • Two bags costs: $89 / £71.91
  • Three bags costs: $119 / £96.15

As you opt to buy more than one bag, the price is reduced slightly. The more bags you buy, the greater the discount applied to the final cost.

Obviously, to get the best value for money, scoop for scoop, buying three bags at once is the most cost effective option. And, since this is one of the best pre-workouts for women, we’d recommend doing just that.

Find Out More at Transparent Labs

 

Pros

  • Good list of ingredients
  • Strong, yet reasonable caffeine serving
  • Supports energy, strength and endurance
  • Well researched ingredients used
  • Well-known pre-workout for weight loss

Cons

  • Formula not entirely created for women
  • Discount not as good as others

What we think

This is a well-known and widely used supplement for women. The lean formula is designed to help support weight loss and we believe it could do that when paired with the right diet and exercise regime.

It’s one of our best pre-workouts for women and we believe it could offers some fantastic fitness support.

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as one of the best pre-workouts for women.

Find Out More at Transparent Labs

What is pre-workout?

In very simple terms, a pre-workout supplement is used to improve workout performance. Pre-workout supplements are usually taken around 30-45 minutes before a workout, and should be taken to stimulate both the mind and the body into improving a gym session.

Traditionally, a pre-workout was pretty much just a shake that contained a lot of caffeine, designed to make you feel energized ahead of workout. Nowadays, science has shown there are a whole host of ways to prep you to get the most out of your workouts.

Now, pre-workout for women is created with the intention of not only waking you up, but improving your physical performance, and even your ability to focus on a workout. But can they really do it? Let’s find out!

What do the best pre-workouts for women do?

For example, you can expect a pre-workout supplement to offer the following:

  • Energize you – usually through stimulants like caffeine, you’re more likely to finish a workout if you have the energy to do so
  • Heighten power – after research into ingredients like creatine, many supplements use ingredients to increase you power output. This then leads to bigger workouts and more results
  • Improve endurance – certain vasodilators have been shown to increase muscle endurance and delay the onset of fatigue so you can add extra reps to your workouts
  • Enhance focus – nootropic ingredients can improve your positivity and focus so you’re ready to take on a challenge
  • Improve strength – Science has shown that some ingredients can help to up your strength a little during a workout

In theory, these elements should combine to provide you with a bigger, better workout that should then lead to more results than you would normally achieve without the pre-workout.

[Related Article: Whey Protein for Women – What is it and Do You Need it?]

Do pre-workouts for women really work?

does pre-workout work

While all of the above sounds great, the question is does pre-workout actually work?

Well, the answer is a difficult one. Overall, it’s a bit of a grey area.

There are so many variables when it comes to pre-workouts. For example, one study might show an ingredient might be excellent for boosting power, but if the manufacturer of the product decides to use just half the amount used in the study, it’s not effective.

Certainly, there are many natural ingredients out there that are backed by science as having a positive influence over athletic performance.

For example, caffeine has been shown to improve both muscle endurance and strength when supplemented before exercise [1].

And supplementing with creatine has been proven to up bike sprint performance by around 15% and led to a 6% improvement on the bench press too [2].

Although these two are examples of positive influences over athletic performances, while the manufacturer may quote these studies, it’s often unlikely that they’re delivering the same servings used in the studies in their supplements.

However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Although they may be few and far between, there are some good pre-workout supplements that offer good servings of key ingredients and, while they may not be perfect they can improve performance.

Simply look out for the supplements with the most scientific backing (like creatine and caffeine for example) and ensure the servings are aligned with research and safety guidelines.

[Related Article: Powher Up Pre-Workout Review

Is the best pre-workout for women safe?

One thing you may have heard, is that pre-workouts can be dangerous.

The truth is, supplementation is an unregulated market and it’s completely possible for it to be dangerous when comes to caffeine.

As they’re mainly used to energize you before a workout, manufacturers often turn to the very lazy and sometimes dangerous approach of pumping their supplements with stimulants like caffeine.

This is dangerous, as high levels of caffeine can cause jitters, migraines, headaches, heart palpitations and even high blood pressure [3]. It’s also been known to cause lack of sleep and trigger anxiety [4].

Despite this, there are pre-workouts out there that offer safe experiences, that will energize you and give you enough of an energy boost to improve your workout. All of the best pre-workouts for women on our list offer a safe and manageable caffeine serving when taken as instructed. 

The US Department of Agriculture say 400mg of caffeine, spread throughout the day is the healthy upper limit [5].

You should also aim to avoid proprietary blends and unnatural ingredients. This is simply because a if these are included, you don’t know what you’re putting into your body or how you might react.

For example, proprietary blends can contain any ingredients, with any serving sizes without disclosing what’s inside. That is concerning for any health-conscious individual.

When looking for a the best pre-workouts for women, we recommend you follow these tips:

  • Ensure caffeine levels are no higher than 200mg per serving
  • Never buy a pre-workout containing a proprietary blend or synthetic ingredient
  • Always opt for a natural formula
  • Don’t take more than the recommended 400mg of caffeine in a day
  • If you do decide to take a pre-workout, adjust your caffeine intake accordingly
  • Never take a pre-workout supplement or anything containing caffeine if there is a chance you could be pregnant. Speak to your doctor first if you’re concerned.

[Related Article: 5 Pre-Workout Side Effects and How to Avoid Them

Identifying the best pre-workout for women

pre-workout for women

As a woman, there are a couple of other things you should be aware of when looking for the best pre-workouts for women.

Science shows that women often experience more negative side effects when taking caffeine compared to men [6]. So when we say look for something with caffeine levels no higher than 200mg, we mean definitely aim for something below this, as you may be more prone to side effects.

You should also manage your expectations when it comes to pre-workouts that are ‘made’ for women. More often then not, when you see a supplement claiming to be specifically for women, its usually just a marketing ploy.

Aim to approach the market with an open mind and analyse the product formula rather than the branding to find the best product for you. Don’t be put off if something is clearly marketed towards men, as there might be an excellent pre-workout for women behind the brash designs.

[Related Article: The Best Butt Workout for Women

How long does pre-workout last?

We’re going to define ‘how long does a pre-workout last’ by how long you feel energized when you take it.

To get the most out of your pre-workout, you should aim to hit the gym around 15-30 minutes after you’ve taken it. This should allow you to make the most of the peak caffeine levels you’ll be experiencing.

This should be enough to power you through a 1-2 hour training session.

However, the effects of the caffeine will usually continue after that. Even if you’ve pulled in a hard workout, you should expect the stimulant to still be in your system around 5 hours after you’ve taken it.

So, if you’re going for an evening workout, be aware that you will struggle to sleep if you’ve taken a pre-workout within 5 hours of heading to bed. The more time you can leave between taking your pre-workout and going to sleep the better.

Should I take pre-workout?

woman in gym class after taking pre-workout

If you believe you’ve found a safe pre-workout supplement for women that serves caffeine in a responsible way, and that seems widely backed by science, then you may benefit from taking it.

Certainly, the pre-workout market is a big one, and many people claim they feel energized and work harder whenever they take one, so the numbers would suggest it’s worth it.

If you do decide to take a pre-workout and think it ticks all the boxes for reliability and safety, be sure to test your tolerance to it before you go in for a full serving.

Start with a half serving and build up to the recommended amount. Otherwise, if your caffeine tolerance isn’t very high, you might feel the effects more strongly than you’d like.

What is the best pre-workout for females?

The best pre-workouts for women are safe, have a reasonable caffeine serving, are entirely natural and completely backed by scientific research.

We’ll say now – these types of pre-workout supplements are not the most common to find and they’re not the cheapest options available.

It’s very likely you’ll have to pay a little more for something that’s reliable, safe and effective. Having said that, we’d wholeheartedly recommend you pay extra for something that ticks all the boxes, as there are many potentially dangerous supplements out there.

Outside of that, here are the best pre-workout ingredients you should be on the look out for if you do decide to use one of these supplements. We’ve backed up all of our choices with science so you can rest assured they’re both safe and effective.

Best pre-workout ingredients

Caffeine Anhydrous – This is widely used throughout the world to provide energy, but it’s also a big player in the pre-workout supplement industry. It’s been proven to stimulate the nervous system, which can lead to increased endurance and strength during resistance training [7]. It’s also been shown to improve alertness and wakefulness, which can improve motivation ahead of a workout [8].

Creatine Monohydrate – Creatine is one of the most studied compounds in the world of supplements and has been proven to enhance power output and endurance during workouts [9]. This has been shown to lead to an increase in fat free mass over time [10].

L-Theanine – This is well known as a nootropic, however it can also be very beneficial in a pre-workout supplement. When paired with caffeine it helps to counteract the jitters you might feel, providing a clean energy lift and a more focussed mindset [11].

L-Citrulline – Taken from watermelon, this is known for it’s ability to boost nitric oxide levels, which dilates your blood vessels. Although commonly known as ‘muscle pumps’, it can actually offer performance enhancing benefits as well as aesthetic. Muscle pumps have been shown to enhance muscle protein synthesis to promote muscle growth [12].  L-Citrulline has also been shown to reduce the feelings of muscle fatigue [13]. 

Final word

After reading this article, we hope you have everything you need to answer the question: is pre-workout for women?

We’ve covered everything from what it’s used for to does it work, whether it’s safe to the best ingredients to use.

Now, when you go out to look for a pre-workout supplement for women, we hope you can find a quality product that will help you get more out of your training sessions, and accelerate your progress.

Our favourite pre-workout for women is Powher Up Pre-workout, check it out here. 

Lauren

Lauren is a health and fitness enthusiast, powerlifter and writer who's written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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