Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women 2020 (Top 10 and Buying Guide)

Best Pre-Workout Supplement for Women (Top 10 and Buying Guide)

There’s more to a workout than heading to the gym and hitting the machines. A workout is a process, and a good one involves preparation. If you’re a woman new to working out or are looking to refine your existing regimen, this article is for you. I’ve pulled together the ten best pre-workout supplements for women, along with information on finding the best one for your needs.

Preparing for a workout involves giving your body energy to use as fuel, as well as boosting your focus, concentration, and motivation. Ingredients that facilitate smooth recovery are good, too, because they reduce the risk of injury and increase your ability to work out regularly.

Combining a healthy lifestyle with a carefully-chosen pre-workout supplement puts you in good stead to see the results you want from your gym visits, whether that’s losing weight, toning up, building muscle, or some mixture of the three.

So, here are ten of the best pre-workouts for women that will deliver results when taken as part of a lifestyle prioritising holistic nutrition, proper hydration, and good sleep hygiene.

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10 Best Women’s Pre-Workout Supplements Reviews

#1 Powher Pre-Workout for Women

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The Powher Pre-Workout for Women is manufactured by Ultimate Life, a leading supplement manufacturer based in the UK. It’s part of the four-supplement Powher range, which also includes a fat burner, a sleep aid, and a nootropic, all of which can be stacked to help you achieve your lifestyle goals.

The Powher range is backed by science, with ingredients and dosages carefully chosen to deliver optimum effects. You can expect an effective formula at a competitive price.

This pre-workout claims to deliver improved motivation and endurance capacity, and thanks to a low-stimulant formulation, it won’t deliver the caffeine crash that typifies so many pre-workouts on the market.

The formulation also avoids muscle-pumping ingredients in favour of natural vitamins, minerals, and extracts designed to support your workout. I find this aligns better with women’s workout goals: More often than not, women are looking to get toned rather than jacked.

The key ingredients in the Powher Pre-Workout for Women include:

  • 5g coconut water powder to provide a rich mixture of minerals and electrolytes, to keep your body in balance before, during and after your workout.
  • 100mg natural caffeine: Enough to deliver positive effects in the form of motivation and increased endurance, while avoiding negative side effects of high doses.
  • 3g EnXtra: One of the most premium pre-workout ingredients you’ll find, designed to amplify the natural positive effects of caffeine.

And here’s a top-level summary of why the Powher Pre-Workout for Women takes the top spot on my best women’s pre-workout list:

  • Simple formula built around natural ingredients.
  • Avoids muscle-pumping ingredients in favour of those that support endurance and motivation.
  • Formulated specifically for women.
  • A lower dose of stimulants than many generic and male-focused product to reflect female physiology.

The Powher Pre-Workout for Women is safe, effective, and well-designed to reflect the needs and goals of women. It’s a great choice whether you’re working out already and want to boost your results, or whether you’re just starting out.

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#2 4 Guage Pre-Workout

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“LOAD UP YOUR GUNS” emblazoned across containers that look like shotgun shells isn’t the most immediately feminine pre-workout packaging we’ve ever seen, but 4 Guage deserves a spot in our list.

Their website notes that many pre-workouts are made for men, with stimulant levels that cause you to “crash quicker than a cruise missile.” (They love the military imagery!)

The 4 Guage Pre-Workout for Women, though, claims to provide all the gains you’d expect from a supplement in this category, without the crash. It offers “machine gun motivation” along with “more muscle, less fat, and a better look.”

So if you’re looking for clean energy, higher workout motivation, and toned muscles to boot, then the 4 Guage Pre-Workout could be right for you.

The key ingredients in the 4 Guage Pre-Workout for Women include:

  • 6g L-Citrulline DL-Malate to ramp up your endurance and power during a difficult workout, by boosting your nitric oxide levels and allowing more efficient nutrient delivery.
  • 100mg Rhodiola Rosea, a plant extract linked with decreased fatigue and increased cognitive function. Both vital ingredients for a long gym sesh.
  • 300mg red beet, another plant extract crammed with vitamins and minerals to boost your performance while working out, and your skin health afterward. Double whammy.

Here’s why the 4 Guage Pre-workout for Women earns second spot in our best pre-workouts list.

  • A variant of a popular and effective pre-workout, specially formulated for women looking to boost their workout gains.
  • Built on a selection of natural ingredients, leaning heavily toward plant extracts for clean energy, motivation, and endurance.
  • Caffeine dosage tailored to provide a good amount of energy without the dreaded caffeine crash.
  • Cool packaging: Let’s be honest, no one else is selling pre-workouts in shotgun shells.
  • Serving size can be adjusted based on your build, meaning this pre-workout is suited to women of all shapes and sizes.

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#3 Transparent Labs PreSeries LEAN Pre-Workout Supplement

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Save 10% Transparent Labs Coupon: SYN10

Transparent Labs are a noted supplement manufacturer who emphasise science and expertise when formulating their products. A team of licensed nutritionists, dieticians, and researchers contribute to the formulation and promotion of their supplements, giving you peace of mind.

Thanks to this scientific underpinning, the ingredients in this pre-workout have been shown to have a statistically significant impact on strength, endurance, resistance to fatigue, reduced muscle wasting, and improved cognitive performance. What more do you need from a supplement?

The PreSeries LEAN Pre-Workout for Women claims to deliver all the things required to help you work out harder and for longer, and to see higher returns on your workouts.

The key ingredients in the Transparent Labs PreSeries LEAN Pre-Workout include:

  • 6g Citrulline Mallate 2:1 to raise your strength, endurance, and performance.
  • 2g BCAA 2:1:1, or 1000mg leucine, 500mg isoleucine, and 500mg valine. These amino acids contribute to metabolism and muscle growth, meaning you’ll feel stronger and experience less muscle degradation.
  • 50mg Synephrine HCL to boost metabolic rate and encourage the burning of fat – the goal of any workout.

There’s a lot that stands out about this pre-workout for women. Here are some of our highlights:

  • A real focus on scientific underpinning, so you can feel confident in the knowledge that each ingredient has a basis in science.
  • Backed by a team of qualified nutritionists and dieticians.
  • A holistic formula containing numerous ingredients linked to increased performance.
  • High reviews and ratings from across the board.
  • All-natural ingredients with nothing artificial.

Save 10% Transparent Labs Coupon: SYN10

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#4 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

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This pre-workout is designed to get your body ready for an exercise session. It claims to provide energy, focus, power, and performance, with the view to helping you achieve your workout goals, whatever they are.

The formula consists of amino acids, vitamins, and caffeine, and the supplement is manufactured by a reputable name in the sports nutrition niche. I’ve seen their name pop up over and over, always accompanied by positive reviews and testimonials.

The key ingredients in the Optimum Nutrition God Standard Pre-Workout include:

  • 175mg natural caffeine per serving, to provide energy, motivation, focus, and endurance. Caffeine features in pretty much all pre-workouts, but this one contains a bit more than others in the list.
  • B-vitamins, all of which are associated with healthy energy-yielding metabolism to keep your energy levels where they need to be during your workout.
  • CarnoSyn® – a patented format of beta-alanine whose manufacturer claim will give you “more reps, speed, muscle, focus, and more personal records.”

Although this pre-workout isn’t formulated specifically for women like some others in this list, the ingredients will help women looking to improve their workout. Here’s what we like about it –

  • Manufactured by reputable supplement makers, Optimum Nutrition.
  • Available in a range of flavours to suit any palate.
  • Packed full of ingredients that will ramp up your endurance and workout performance.
  • Reviewed by pro-athletes.
  • Can stack with other supplements in the manufacturers’ range.

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#5 Monster Girl Pre-Workout

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The guys who make this pre-workout are called “Angry Supplements,” which always strikes me as a bit unusual. Their mission, though, makes a lot more sense: “To promote a healthy and active lifestyle.” They do this by designing supplements to help men and women achieve their fitness goals.

Monster Girl Women’s Pre-Workout is a mainstay in the Angry Supplements range. It’s a pre-workout packed with ingredients to facilitate energy and endurance during exercise, with the end goal of helping women to lose weight.

The key ingredients in the Monster Girl Pre-Workout include:

  • Guarana extract to reduce fatigue and improve focus: Both critical components of an effective workout.
  • Caffeine: You’re well acquainted with this ingredient by now. Monster Girl contains enough to keep you working out longer than you would otherwise.
  • Apple cider vinegar, a natural ingredient associated with many weight loss effects.

Let me lay down a few of the reasons why Monster Girl Pre-Workout made it onto my list of the best pre-workouts for women:

  • Formulated especially for women, by a supplement manufacturer with a proven track record of female supplements.
  • Transparent ingredients: No proprietary blends in the formula.
  • Cheaper than some other supplements we’ve included in this list.
  • All-natural plant extracts feature heavily in the formula: Great sources of clean energy.
  • Positive reviews on Amazon and other review sites.

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#6 Kaged Muscle Pre-Workout for Women

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This pre-workout is formulated for men and for women, so if you’re looking for something specifically for women, be aware. As a result the caffeine content is a bit higher than in some other pre-workouts for women, but nowhere near as high as some of the super-macho pre-workouts for men.

I included Kaged Muscle’s pre-workout in this list because of the approach they take to formulation. Ingredients are split out into five matrices, one each to target pumping, muscle fuel, anabolic activation, strength, and hydration. It’s an interesting way to build a supplement. Bonus points for transparency with ingredient quantities inside these matrices.

The key ingredients in the Kaged Muscle Pre-Workout include:

  • 2.5g BetaPower Betaine, the core component of the Strength and Power matrix, and backed by scientific research.
  • 6.5g fermented BCAAs: Amino acids to target your muscles and provide them with clean, natural fuel.
  • 1g Spectra antioxidant blend per serving to protect against free-radical damage linked to extended physical activity.

This pre-workout is a bit different from others in the list, but here’s why I like it:

  • Five matrices to target different aspects of your workout, shows real attention to detail and diligence in formulation.
  • Emphasis on natural ingredients, especially where synthetic alternatives are available.
  • Built for men and women, and able to provide real benefit to both rather than feeling like women are an afterthought.
  • A slightly stronger muscle focus than previous supplements I’ve written about here: Great if you’re a woman looking to build muscle.
  • Lots of ingredients in the formula, but nothing feels surplus and everything is transparent.

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#7 Nutricost Pre-Workout Powder for Women

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This pre-workout may look fairly bland compared to some others in the list, but it’s definitely worthy of inclusion. nutricost have put together a no-frills pre-workout to appeal to women wanting to maximise their workout gains without breaking their bank balance.

Inside the tub you’ll find 60 servings at 11g each, all formulated to improve your physical performance and endurance. At $29.95 per tub, what more can you ask?

The key ingredients in the nutricost Pre-Workout Powder include:

  • B-complex vitamins to facilitate healthy energy-yielding metabolism, giving your body the fuel it needs to workout.
  • 200mg caffeine anhydrous to provide natural energy without negative side effects associated with higher doses.
  • 50mcg huperzine A to increase the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain, to support the cognitive aspect of your exercise.

This is a neat little pre-workout, and here are the main reasons it makes the list:

  • No-frills, with a simple formula and packaging. Not trying too hard to impress.
  • A lower price tag compared to some other supplements in the category.
  • A generous 60 servings for tub: Will keep you going for a long time.
  • Transparent ingredient list with no proprietary blends and holistic coverage.
  • Five flavours available.

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#8 Nuclear Armageddon Pre-Workout

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Another warfare-themed pre-workout for the list. Nuclear Armageddon promises boosted strength, intense energy and focus, and “explosive” power. Hopefully that’s where the nuclear comparison stops, though!

Names aside, this pre-workout packs a powerful punch that’ll help women looking to workout hard. It’s angled more toward the stimulant end of the spectrum, with 397mg of “stimulant blend” per serving. That blend is primarily caffeine – 395mg of it – and that’s a pretty hefty dose: Be aware of this before taking this supplement, and check it aligns with your goals and tolerance.

The key ingredients in the Nuclear Armageddon Pre-Workout include:

  • 395mg caffeine anhydrous to fuel your workout, giving you the energy you need to keep going way longer than normal.
  • 1.5g beta alanine to deliver nutrients to your muscles more effectively.
  • 40mg potassium to help regulate muscle contraction and keep you working strong.

Despite the macho packaging this pre-workout is designed for men and women. Here’s a summary of why I like it –

  • Packed full of caffeine: Great for women looking for a stimulant-heavy pre-workout, just be sure that’s actually what you’re looking for.
  • Focusses on muscle gains, which is great for women looking to build muscle during their workouts.
  • Contains 9g total pump activators per serving.
  • Low in carbs, meaning it’s compatible with dieting.
  • Boosts focus, motivation, energy, and performance.

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#9 Organic Muscle Organic Pre-Workout

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In case you didn’t guess from the name, this pre-workout is built around organic ingredients. If you’re a woman looking for the best organic pre-workout, this could be the one for you. It’s vegan as well: Result.

Billed as “the cleanest, healthiest, and most effective,” this pre-workout uses natural ingredients to deliver energy and pump to your exercise regimen, whatever it looks like.

And if you’re not sure what ‘organic’ entails, I’ll fill you in. This supplement contains no GMOs, fillers, colourings, gluten, chemicals, added sugar, artificial sweetener, artificial flavours, dairy, hormones, or preservatives. Sounds good!

The key ingredients in the Organic Muscle Organic Pre-Workout include:

  • Ginseng: A natural root known for stimulating effects, which promotes endurance and focus.
  • Beetroot: Packed with nitrate to relax your blood vessels and facilitate blood flow. This leads to better muscle function and stamina.
  • Yerba mate: A plant with lots of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It’s linked with boosted endurance and improved cardiovascular health.

This supplement is great if you’re looking for an organic pre-workout. Here are my highlights:

  • Rammed full of plant and vegetable extracts that provide clean and natural energy and endurance.
  • All-organic ingredients: This is hard to find in the pre-workout supplement category.
  • Still maintains the ability to provide energy and focus during your workout.
  • Huge amount of positive reviews on Amazon: Over 2000.
  • Available in a range of fruity flavours.

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#10 Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

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The observant among you will have noticed another supplement from Optimum Nutrition further up this list. Their Essential Amino Energy pre-workout is worthy of inclusion, as well.

On the container it says “use anytime,” so it’s not strictly a pre-workout, but lots of reviews mention how effective this supplement is when used in that capacity. Inside you’ll find ingredients to hydrate, boost focus, and aid  muscle recovery. All vital components of an effective exercise session.

The key ingredients in the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy supplement include:

  • 100mg caffeine per serving: Enough to provide a nice energy kick, but not enough to trigger negative side effects. Comfortably in line with average caffeine tolerances.
  • 5g amino acids to help build your muscles after a long workout.
  • Electrolytes to keep your body in balance, which is very important when working out. Restoring the chemical balance after losing sodium to sweat helps you to keep going.

These are my favourite things about this supplement:

  • Versatile: Performs as a pre-workout, or as a refreshing energy drink during your day-to-day life.
  • A simple, unpretentious formula that focuses on providing amino acids and electrolytes to keep your body balanced.
  • Good caffeine dosing which pays attention to the tendency for women to have lower caffeine tolerances.
  • Made by a supplement manufacturer with a solid track record.
  • Over 4.5k ratings on Amazon with a 4.3 star average: Huge positive feedback.

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Choosing the best pre-workout supplements for women

Taken right before you workout, a pre-workout should encourage better performance, more consistent energy, and a lower likelihood of injury or strain. They’re most effective when taken  15-30 minutes before your workout, as this gives the ingredients time to enter your bloodstream and begin to take effect.

This section breaks down three things that pre-workouts usually include. Not every pre-workout will include all three, so double-check the formulation of any supplement you’re planning to take to ensure it ticks the boxes you want ticked.

Pre Workout Ingredients to provide energy

Energy underpins every workout. If you don’t have enough energy, you’re not going to be able to work out as hard or as long as you want, period.

Caffeine is the most obvious energy-providing ingredient. This chemical can be found naturally in fruit and other plants, although most often it’s consumed in the form of coffee or energy drinks.

Supplements vary wildly in how much caffeine they contain. Some pre-workouts will contain north of 400mg – that’s about equivalent to five cups of coffee. Others will contain zero caffeine. It’s really important that you understand your caffeine tolerance when choosing a pre-workout supplement, as too much can trigger unpleasant side effects like jitters and anxiety. Caffeine takes effect within 30-60 minutes of consumption, and has a half-life of 3-5 hours.

Other ingredients that facilitate workout energy include B vitamins. These guys contribute to energy-yielding metabolism, helping your body to efficiently break down fats and carbs for energy. Smooth metabolism means a better supply of energy during your workout.

Pre Workout Ingredients to keep you hydrated and maintain body balance

Working out places a lot of demand on your body, and the harder you workout the truer this is. It’s important to keep yourself topped up with electrolytes and other compounds lost to sweat.

Many pre-workouts contain sodium, potassium, magnesium, and other minerals that your body needs to maintain its balance. These ingredients play an important role in all sorts of bodily processes, from neuron communication to muscle contraction and more. Let yourself get too unbalanced, and you run the risk of triggering negative symptoms.

Of course, one of the best things you can do to keep hydrated during a workout is to drink water. The more you sweat the more you need to drink, and this is true of whatever activity you’re doing.

Mixing your pre-workout water with a pre-workout supplement is a good way to give yourself a head start and help your body to keep itself balanced under strain.

Pre Workout Ingredients to promote muscle recovery

Working out places demand on your muscles, too. The aches and pains you feel after a good session are your muscles repairing themselves from the mild damage caused by the exercise, and it’s this repair and recovery that leads to muscle growth.

There are plenty of ingredients that can facilitate this recovery, along with boosting blood supply and nutrient supply to muscles while you workout.

Look out for things like –

  • Citrulline malate, which is linked to reductions in muscle soreness.
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which also reduce muscle soreness, along with minimising damage.
  • Beta alanine, which is linked to reductions in muscle acidity during a tough workout.

My final thoughts

A pre-workout can be the difference between a good workout session, and a GREAT workout session. They provide energy, they keep your body balanced, and they promote muscle recovery to ensure you consolidate your gains.

Taking a pre-workout can help you work out harder and for longer during a session, and can reduce recovery times between sessions. They’re not a golden bullet to help you lose weight or build muscle, but they’re definitely a helping hand.

Choosing the right pre-workout for your needs is important, as the marketplace contains all sorts of options. In this article I rounded up ten of the best pre-workouts for women, with a focus on those that facilitate weight loss more than muscle gain. I threw a couple in with a stronger muscle focus, if that’s what you’re into. Be sure to spend a bit of time researching what’s available before buying anything, though, as the right product for you will deliver more benefits than one you rush into.

Always stay hydrated while working out. Always keep a regular exercise schedule and try to eat healthy, and you’ll see progress toward your fitness goals. Back these things up with a pre-workout and you should see more progress than you would otherwise.

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