Pre-workout supplements are designed to boost energy, increase focus, and increase blood flow, allowing you to workout harder and longer.
But not everyone responds well or even likes caffeine as part of their pre-workout.
Fortunately, there are a ton of excellent non-stim pre-workouts that can give you the perks of stimulant pre-workouts, including increased energy, focus, blood flow, and enhanced recovery, without the jitters.
In this guide to the best non-stim pre-workouts, we’ll look at the top options on the market, their benefits, ingredients, and the science behind how they work.
By the end, you’ll be fully armed to conquer the gym with a crystal-clear idea of which stim-free pre-workout is best for you.
Let’s get started.
Best Non-Stim Pre-Workouts – Quick Look
The best non-stim pre-workout on the market is the Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout.
Why we love it:
· Transparent Labs manufactures supplements in a GMP-compliant facility and has their supplements third-party tested for purity
· The Stim-Free Pre-Workout comes in 8 different flavors
· No artificial sweeteners or artificial coloring
· Save money with a subscription (10% off and free shipping)
[Link for image: https://transparentlabs.sjv.io/Mm2oOn]
The Transparent Labs Non-Stim Pre-Workout also has over 900 five-star reviews, with people consistently loving the taste, extra energy, and increased focus when working out.
The Best Stim-Free Pre-Workouts
Now, we will look more closely at all of the stim-free pre-workouts we’ve tested over the years, highlighting the things we liked most about them, who they are perfect for, and much more.
According to the evaluations we’ve done and our experience as sports nutritionists, here is a detailed look at the top stim-free pre-workout supplements:
#1. Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout
⭐ Best overall non-stim pre-workout powder
The Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout is our top choice, and the competition is not a close one. They get top marks based on a superior and transparent manufacturing process that includes third-party testing, tons of flavor options, and research-backed ingredients.
Each serving of Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout includes citrulline malate, Beta-alanine, instantized BCAAs, BetaPure Betaine, Taurine, and L-Tyrosine.
The active ingredients that boost performance in the gym include:
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that produces carnosine, a key driver in reducing lactic acid in your muscles, allowing you to workout harder and longer during intense exercise (Derave et al., 2007).
Taurine is an amino acid that has been shown to increase the intensity of muscle contractions, allowing you to lift more, while also delaying muscle fatigue. Taurine also has thermogenic effects, burning more fat while exercising (Kurtz et al., 2021).
And L-Tyrosine boosts focus and cognitive function by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels, giving you that added focus when working out at the gym (Zaragoza et al., 2022).
Beyond the scientifically backed ingredients, the Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout simply tastes great. I’ve added the grape flavor pre-workout to my supplement stack.
The pre-workout also mixes really well—no big, chalky clumps in your shaker cup.
In sum, the Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout gets my top recommendation thanks to quality manufacturing, excellent taste, and long-lasting energy and focus without the jitters of caffeine.
Transparent Labs sells it for $49 per container, but you can save money by subscribing (they offer multiple subscription options) and getting 10% off the purchase price plus free shipping.
#2. Legion Pulse Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout
⭐ Best caffeine-free pre-workout for flavor choice
The Legion Pulse Pre-Workout is available in both caffeinated and caffeine-free formulas.
Unlike many supplement brands that use a sneaky “proprietary blend” that masks a bunch of additives and fillers, the Legion Pulse pre-workout has every last ingredient listed on the label.
The pre-workout is also vigorously third-party tested by Labdoor to ensure purity and that you aren’t getting any surprises in your supplements.
Key workout-boosting ingredients in this stim-free pre-workout include 8g of L-Citrulline, 3.6g of Beta-Alanine, and 2.5g of Betaine Anhydrous, which increases naturally occurring creatine stores for stronger workouts.
The combination is a pre-workout that increases muscle endurance, reduces soreness, and sharpens focus for more engaged workouts.
The Legion Pulse Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout comes in a ton of different flavors, including Strawberry Kiwi, Tropical Punch, Grape (my go-to flavor!), and more.
Legion is almost always running sales on their supplements, as well. At the time of writing, Legion was running a BOGO 40% off sale.
Legion backs the Pulse Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout with a “no return necessary” guarantee, which means that if you aren’t loving the workouts from this pre-workout, you can get your money back.
One note: make sure to select the “without caffeine” option when selecting the pre-workout, as both caffeinated and non-caffeinated pre-workouts are on the same product listing page at Legion.
For people who want flexibility in flavors, the comfort of knowing they can get their money back if they don’t like the performance of the pre-workout, and who want to save some bucks, Legion’s Pulse is a killer choice for the top stim-free pre-workout in the gym.
#3. Onnit Total Strength & Performance Pre-Workout
⭐ Best non-stim pre-workout for elite athletes
Onnit is one of the best-known fitness and supplement brands around, manufacturing battle ropes, kettlebells, and yes, stim-free supplements for people who want the perks of pre-workout without the crashes of caffeine.
The Onnit Total Strength & Performance Pre-Workout is certified by Informed Sport, a third-party testing service, making it safe for athletes who get drug tested to supplement with.
The performance-boosting ingredients include BCAAs, glutamine, and beta-alanine. The stim-free pre-workout was actually tested with powerlifting athletes at Florida State University.
Those who took the supplement, compared to a placebo group, experienced significant increases in one-rep max improvement across their main lifts, including bench press, squats, and deadlifts (Kreipke et al., Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2015).
The stim-free pre-workout isn’t the best in terms of cost, with a single container costing $59. There are also limited flavors, and reviewers note that the taste isn’t great.
But the results don’t lie—this pre-workout will help you perform in the gym, helping you lift more, with increased focus, and recover faster after intense workouts.
For athletes who don’t mind a less-than-awesome taste and want the peace-of-mind of third-party testing will appreciate the Onnit Total Strength & Performance Pre-Workout.
#4. Swolverine PRE
⭐ Best stim-free pre-workout for transparent labeling
The Swolverine PRE is a stim-free pre-workout that has all-natural ingredients.
The proprietary blend includes the typical suspects when it comes to caffeine-free pre-workouts, including Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, L-carnitine, and more.
The combination of clinically studied ingredients work together to give you a big burst of energy, focus, and endurance when exercising. The increased blood flow also gives a great pump while lifting.
The Swolverine PRE is made to a high standard, with zero GMOs, no additional and unnecessary additives, and reviewers consistently rave about the taste and effectiveness.
While it tastes really good, Swolverine doesn’t offer the PRE in many flavors (I tried the strawberry dragon fruit), and it’s priced higher compared to the stim-free pre-workout made by Transparent Labs.
Overall, Swolverine's PRE provides a transparent, natural, and effective option for individuals aiming to enhance their gym workouts without relying on caffeine or proprietary blends.
#5. REDCON1 Big Noise Non-Stim Pre Workout
⭐ Best non-stim pre-workout on Amazon
The REDCON1 Big Noise Non-Stim Pre-Workout is designed to crank up the intensity and effort of your workouts without the crashing and restlessness that comes from caffeinated pre-workouts.
The non-stim pre-workout is formulated with a batch of all-natural and premium ingredients, including Choline bitartrate (for a big pump), CitraPeak (for increasing nitric oxide levels), and L-Carnitine (increased focus).
The Big Noise pre-workout comes in a bunch of flavor combinations (I recommend trying “Tiger’s Blood”) and is priced significantly cheaper compared to other premium non-stim pre-workouts on the market.
The main thing I don’t love about this pre-workout is that it has a bunch of artificial flavoring, including sucralose, an artificial sweetener that some people don’t respond well to.
Each container of REDCON1 Big Noise has 30 servings, is available on Amazon (which means Prime members save bigly on shipping), and ideal for people who don’t mind artificial sweeteners in their non-stim pre-workout.
How to Choose the Best Stim-Free Pre-Workout
Sorting through supplements can feel overwhelming, especially when combing through all the different ingredients, proprietary blends, and sometimes overblown promises of better workouts.
Here are the key things to look for when choosing the right stim-free pre workout for you and your goals in the gym:
Ingredient profile – The best place to start is by taking a look at the ingredient list of the pre-workout. Look for research-backed and clinically-proven ingredients like beta-alanine, L-Citrulline, and other amino acids that are naturally occurring. Stick with ingredients that boost focus, endurance, increase blood flow, and speed up recovery.
Hormone optimization – Some stim-free pre-workouts include ingredients like longjack and nettle root, which can aid in hormonal balance and also promote muscle growth.
Third-party testing – Purity is crucial when it comes to supplements. You want to know that what you are putting in your body is what is on the label. Stick with supplement brands that third-party supplements to ensure purity.
Transparency – Supplement brands often hide behind “proprietary blends” to avoid full transparency with how they formulate a supplement. Scrutinize the label of the pre-workout and look for bland-sounding ingredients that avoid transparency.
Taste and Mixability – The performance of a supplement is obviously the primary consideration, but taste and mixability matter, too. Read reviews or sample the pre-workout at a local supplement shop to make sure the taste is palatable and easy to incorporate into your workout routine.
Dosage and Timing – Check the recommended dosage and timing frequency recommended for the supplement. Some supplements have a slower time release, so keep an eye out for recommended time-frames for supplementing with stim-free pre-workouts.
User reviews – The best way to get a sense of how effective a non-stim pre-workout is by analyzing user reviews across the internet. Real-world experiences can better inform your decision-making.
Cost – Supplements, by and large, are not cheap, and stim-free pre-workouts are no exception. Quality and transparent pre-workouts run around $50 to $60 per container, which includes 30 servings. You can save money by subscribing to the supplement once you find one you like, typically saving 10-15% per container. Many supplement brands, like Transparent Labs, will also pay for shipping when you subscribe, saving you even more money.
Stim-Free Pre-Workouts -- FAQs
Are stim-free pre-workout supplements better for you?
There are lots of benefits to stim-free pre-workout supplements, but whether or not they are “better” for you depends on your individual health needs, workout goals, and preferences.
Stim-free pre-workouts don’t use stimulants like caffeine, which can leave some users feeling restless, increased heart rate, and lead to crashes.
Non-stim pre-workouts are a preferable option for individuals sensitive to caffeine or who don’t like the jitters associated with the ingestion of caffeinated supplements.
How do stim-free preworkouts work?
Non-stim pre-workouts work by improving blood flow, promoting nutrient circulation, improving muscle endurance, and sharpening focus.
The specific active ingredients in non-stim pre-workouts vary by brand, but the most common “workout boosters” include Beta-Alanine, Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), Citrulline Malate, L-Arginine, and Betaine Anhydrous.
What’s the difference between stim and non-stim pre-workouts?
In “regular” pre-workouts, caffeine is the primary energy source for increased focus and vigor.
Non-stim pre-workouts often use ingredients such as Beta-Alanine that increase blood flow and can give you a better “pump” when exercising.
Is it safe to take non-stim pre-workout every day?
Non-stim pre-workouts are generally safe enough that they can ingested daily.
Pay attention to the recommended dosage, note that your tolerance to the supplement may rise over time, and remember to hydrate properly as many pre-workouts, even the stim-free ones, can have diuretic effects.
Of course, before starting any exercise program or supplementation, make sure to check with your physician or health care provider to make sure that it’s right for you and your needs.
Ultimately, getting the most from your workouts at the gym requires commitment, working hard, and focusing on progressive overload week-in and week-out.
Supplements like a stim-free pre-workout can be an excellent aid for helping you squeeze even more from your workouts, whether that means being more focused, increasing overall muscle endurance, and helping you contract your muscles more forcefully.
Fortunately for people who don’t like the effects of caffeine or who want a pre-workout that can be used later in the day, there are some excellent clinically-backed non-stim pre-workouts on the market.
To recap our top choice, we love the Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout as the best overall option because of:
· Transparent manufacturing process and third-party testing
· Lots of tasty flavors to choose from
· Research-back ingredients for better workouts
· No sneaky additives or “propriety blends”
· And increased savings when ordering a subscription
Order your first batch of Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout below and take your workouts in the gym to a whole new level.
Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.