When gearing up to hit the gym for a serious workout, you need to stock up on energy resources — you’ll need them.
Now, don’t go around munching on everything in sight, you still have to be very careful. Some people like taking natural healthy meals, some prefer to sip down on meal replacement shakes like Kachava and Huel.
But for those of you who might not have enough budget to get a sachet of Kachava, this Lyfe Fuel Essentials here is more affordable although it's nutrient profile just can't compare to that of Kachava's.
However, if you want to kick things up a notch with a sudden surge of energy, then a pre-workout could be a real game changer.
The only problem with this is the many unreliable options out there. But that shouldn’t worry you; natural pre-workouts do the trick, and without those wearisome downsides to worry about.
If you’re out here to figure out which natural pre-workout is best for you, then this post is for you!
Here, I will be taking you through all you need to know about these products.
But if you’ve been using supplements and all you want is to experience something different, then just scroll down and check out some of my favorite; tried, tested, and proven natural pre-workouts.
My Top 3 Favorite All Natural Picks
Vintage Blast Pre-Workout
Naked Energy Pre-Workout
What Are Pre-Workouts?
Let’s start right from the basics; what are pre-workouts? Simply put, pre-workouts are products designed to boost your energy, ensure optimum muscle performance, and reduce fatigue; helping you hit harder, for longer.
They tend to differ in a variety of ways, ranging from the forms they come in (including meals, pills, and powder shakes), taste, to the ingredients. Although the result is pretty much the same, some are certainly better than others.
The main difference lies in the ingredients, and natural pre-workouts put the other variants to shame when it comes to quality, safety, and performance.
What Are Natural Pre-Workouts?
This isn’t some magic concoction from outer space; they are just a pre-workout like the other options you might have used already.
However, natural supplements mainly contain much less, or no artificial additives at all. And the main ingredients include caffeine, amino acids, and nitrogen.
These aren’t the only bits to look forward to in this type of a pre-workout though. It also features other ingredients that help with reducing fatigue, enhancing muscle fitness as well as sustaining you through strenuous exercises, like heavy weight lifting sessions, for instance.
The takeaway here is that you will have fewer side effects (or none at all) to bear with after using this type of supplement.
What’s in It?
Pre-workouts are meant to give you the push to burst through demanding workouts on your list, thanks to a supply of caffeine, sugar, and other beneficial elements that give you strength, better performance, and endurance.
Now, don’t be mistaken to think these supplements are harmless, at least not all are. Thus, it pays to take a closer look at the ingredients label before putting your money (and potentially your health too) on the line.
One of the ingredients to watch out for is caffeine, which can vary in amount from one pre-workout to another.
But caffeine isn’t fatal. No it isn’t, but even with that in mind, it’s worth noting that too much of it can lead to some serious health complications like high blood pressure, anxiety, or insomnia among others.
You also need to be careful with other ingredients like beta-alanine, which can cause such unpleasant side effects as itchiness or tingly feeling on the skin.
There are pre workouts without beta-alanine, we have an article reviewing the best options on the market you should check it out, if you worry about these side effects.
Are They Safe?
Well….it depends on how you look at it.
These supplements are largely safe, to say the least. However, they can be just as dangerous if not taken according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You should also be careful in picking which workouts you intended to do after taking these supplements, maybe your aren't physically fit to do them and you might hurt yourself, so measure your fitness level before doing any tough exercises.
Also, don't forget to always warm up - some stretches, jumps, and overall cardio before or after workout could help get your muscles fired up and ready for action or switch them back to "standby" mode.
One of the worst mistakes you can make with the use of a supplement, natural or otherwise, is over consumption. This could lead to serious upshots since some of these products can be highly potent.
It’s also important to factor in your tolerance level to the different ingredients in the package. If you are allergic to any of them, then look further afield.
After all, a less effective product is better than an insanely strong one that could compromise your workout, or even worse, land you in the ER.
That said, most pre-workouts are designed for use by people across a wide spectrum and are largely safe for users. The best thing to do is take responsibility for your safety when using one.
Are There Any Pre-Workout Ingredients I Should Avoid?
We’ve already mentioned that high levels of caffeine in your pre-workout are sure going to be bad news for your health in the long run. But that isn’t the only ingredient to watch out for.
There are several other more serious ingredients to avoid;
Excess amounts of caffeine
Excess caffeine is going to give you more than just the energy you need for your workout, it can make you jittery, nauseous, and cause even more health problems further down the road.
This is a natural extract from the bark of a tree, and thus it is considered natural and safe, even marked so in some supplements. However, research has shown that it still poses a risk for seizures as well as a heart attack.
This ingredient is great when used in supplements as it helps with weight loss — by suppressing appetite. That’s the cool side; the ugly side is that Synephrine can lead to dizziness or even anxiety.
It isn’t uncommon for manufactures to use artificial colors to make their products eye-catching. But those captivating blues that give you the impression of the ultimate power and strength have a dark side. They can be potentially toxic, and some have been said to cause cancer.
Manufacturers want their products to look awesome, and taste just as good. And this is where ingredients like aspartame come in, helping sweeten your supplement. The thing is, this ingredient has been said to increase obesity, which can be the polar opposite of your fitness goals.
If you have been in fitness sphere long enough, you already know sweeteners and sugars shouldn't be on your list of favorites. Sure, it isn't easy to ditch them so easily, but it's just hard, not impossible. Hey, I managed to stop eating sugar after resolving to give it the boot, and so can you.
You will see this labeled on supplements as methylhexanamine. And yes, it is good at giving you energy and those insane pumps.
That said, be careful with DMAA, as it can cause some serious side effects such as tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, or even heart attack in the worst-case scenario.
What Natural Pre-Workout Ingredients Should I Look for Then?
If you’re hell-bent on getting a pre-workout that is as natural as it gets, here are several ingredients to give everything for.
- The right amounts of caffeine to give you the energy you need
- Citrulline for reduction of acids — and thus eliminate that burn you get during intense reps
- BCAAs for building muscle from amino acids
- Creatine for enhancing strength and power
Now, these ingredients will vary in amount depending on the pre-workout you go for, but for the best results, you should get one with the best amounts and type for your training needs.
For athletes with the need for endurance, citrulline will be a must-have for acid reduction. On the other hand, athletes running to gain weight, or bodybuilders lifting to build muscle and strength will need more BCAAs.
How Long Should I Wait for My Pre-Workout to Kick In?
When it comes to getting the most out of your pre-workout, timing is an indispensable factor. Waiting until the last minute to take your pre-workout will cut short its benefits.
However, taking it hours before your session will mean your body will metabolize them before you get to use them.
The best time to ingest your supplement is anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes before your exercise session. This allows the ingredients to be absorbed into your system and be available when you need them.
How Can I Use Pre-Workout Effectively?
These supplements come in different forms so you may consume them in a variety of ways.
However, most fitness enthusiasts prefer consuming their pre-workouts with a smoothie or a meal rep or protein shakes., both of which are also great for your fitness journey. This helps make the pre-workouts easier to ingest, especially the ones that aren’t very tasty.
Besides, you shouldn’t take a pre-workout on an empty stomach, as otherwise you’d risk feeling nauseated or jittery. After all, as much as dieting and fasting are good for your weight loss & fitness journey, you know too well this just isn't the time to be grinding it out with heavy weights in the gym.
Thus, taking your supplement along with something like a smoothie helps alleviate the unwanted effects.
How Long Will a Pre-Workout Last?
Pre-workouts don’t need long to start working, 30 minutes or thereabouts should be enough. Thankfully, they last a bit longer in the body.
Remember, however, this will boil down to several factors, including the user’s age, and your exercise. That said, most pre-workouts last as long as up to over 2 hours in the body.
Granted, it shouldn’t be a surprise to have some supplements last for up to 6 hours,. After all, the different ingredients in the pre-workout are going to metabolize at varying rates - again, depending on the factors at play.
It's a no-brainer really, but different workouts tax your body in varying levels. For instance, the energy you will need for cable pec flys will differ from when doing the alternating dumbbell press, or when sprinting on a treadmill.
Best Natural Pre-Workouts
All said and done, it’s time to look at some of the best natural pre-workouts in the market right now. So let’s jump right in!
It might not be 100% natural, but 4 gauge is as close as it gets when you want to go natural with supplements. After trying an assortment of options, I got hooked by this one; for good reasons.
It’s not only an all-rounder when it comes to performance, it also works the trick without throwing a barrage of side effects my way.
How do I know? I have personally used this pre-workout for years, and I can say without the slightest doubt, it beats even some of the most hyped natural pre-workouts by far.
This doesn’t happen by chance; the 4 gauge professional team has gone the extra mile to test and research this pre-workout.
And it turns out the efforts paid off — they came out with a product that delivers the expected performance from both body and brain.
The pumpsare out of this world. I can feel my muscles firing on all cylinders, giving me a burst of power and a lasting endurance I hardly ever notice with other pre-workouts I have tried out.
When it comes to explosive strength, this formula rightfully earns double thumps up, seriously. But what blows me away every time I use this pre-workout is the laserfocus.
No flushing to worry about, none of those itchy skin effects, I never have to worry about any jitters or any disappointing energy crashes. It flips on an auto-mode switch somewhere in the shadowy recesses within.
Other benefits I can’t seem to get enough of as far as this pre-workout goes include the great taste (no, it doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners) thanks to the fruit-blast flavor, and low-calorie count at just 5 per serving.
VINTAGE BLAST - The First 2-Stage Pre Workout Supplement
If you are looking for a blast of energy, this Vintage powder is going to give you just that. Among its long list of awesome ingredients is the L-Citrulline, which is pretty cool at keeping acid build-up in check.
The gluten-free nature is hands down something most users would appreciate, big time!
And the Vintage doesn’t leave it at that, it also packs in natural flavors as well as sweeteners for a great taste and a cool overall experience when using your pre-workout.
This isn’t one of those short-lived stims on the market, it has the right ingredients to give you clean, lasting energy and strength. And yeah, the endurance and pumps you get with this pre-workout are downright amazing.
It is keto-friendly, and packs a hoard of premium ingredients that make it perfect for just about any workout, from weight training to home workouts, cardio, and other exercises to boost your fitness levels.
The flavors are on another level; with the Vintage Blast made using only natural, 100% vegetarian flavors, you can bank on it for a top-notch sensory experience.
Above all, this two-stage formula is packs in essential micronutrients as well as electrolytes for better hydration, pH levels as well as lower oxidation, and thus ensuring faster recovery whenever you need it.
Naked Energy – All Natural Pre Workout Powder for Men and Women
If you’re looking for an all-rounded pre-workout with great ingredients, then check this one out.
It has just about everything you need to push your limits and achieve goals beyond your expectations. And it’s all thanks to the awesome ingredients like creatine, Vitamin C, Calcium, L-Arginine, and Vitamin B3 to mention just a few.
But don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you into thinking this pre-workout is full of all kinds of nasty stuff. It’s natural, without any added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or even fillers. And no, you won’t find artificial colors or flavors in this one either.
The 10 ingredients in this 50 servings supplement include vitamins, amino acids, as well as caffeine extracted from unroasted coffee beans. It’s as natural as it can get really.
How good is it in performance? Fantastic would be an understatement! This pre-workout is designed to take you to the next notch, with such benefits as enhancing athletic performance, give you a feel of natural energy when you hit the gym, and keep you focused.
Of course, without those pesky side effects to bother you, safety doesn’t become an issue when using this pre-workout, simply mix it up, sip away, and get down to business. By the way, did I mention it’s also super easy to mix?
Legion Pulse, Best Natural Pre Workout Supplement
Just like the pre-workouts I’ve listed above, this one is not only ideal for both men and women, it also boasts some top-of-the-line ingredients like L-Citrulline.
If you have a hard time dealing with gluten-stuffed pre-workouts, then you’d also be happy to learn that this Legion Pulse powder is free of any gluten.
Any sweeteners or flavors? Yes, you will find those in there too, but don’t panic just yet, they’re all natural additives. The only bit I would point out in this supplement is beta-alanine, which could cause some issues like itching and tingling on the skin.
Other than that, the pre-workout has all you need to enhance your strength and endurance, thanks to the L-Citrulline malate and beta-alanine boost on the nitric oxide. This will carry you through more reps and come out of your session with some gas left in the tank — guess we all hate that post-workout crash, right?
It sends you into overdrive with bigger and better pumps, not to mention the incredible results you can achieve when it comes to muscle gain and increasing strength.
Most importantly, it’s worth mentioning that this pre-workout isn’t chocked full of those harsh stimulants you find in most other options out there.
Genius Pre Workout Powder – All Natural Nootropic Pre-Workout
If you haven’t found the pre-workout that best suits your fitness needs, don’t give up, at least not without checking out this Genius Nootropic pre-workout first.
With L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, Taurine, and other great ingredients on board, this powder is designed to give you the best performance and results possible.
Speaking of which, you can’t go wrong with the insane nitric oxide boost that this pre-workout provides. It will switch you into beast mode with crazy pumps, withstanding endurance, and super-fast recovery.
It lacks such elements as caffeine, DMAA, and DMHA, all of which reduce blood flow and compromise your performance. You won’t have to risk any of that with this supplement.
As far as taste, this pre-workout tastes great enough. Now, this doesn’t come from any artificial additions that could put your health on the line.
It boasts 100-percent natural flavors and organic, vegan-friendly sweetening, giving you the best of both worlds in terms of taste and health.
What Should You Look for In a Natural Pre-Workout?
All said and done, when picking the best natural pre-workout for your fitness journey, there are several bits you just can’t afford to overlook.
Here’s a rundown of the things you need to be most keen on;
The Taste - Sweet Doesn’t Mean Good
When looking at all the finer details, the aspect of taste gets overlooked pretty easily. And as much as you would want that pre-workout to bring your taste buds to life, the chances of getting disappointed are pretty high.
We all know how some of the supplements out there taste like dung, and how others can be... just flat. Here’s the thing, while a great tasting pre-workout would come across as a big plus, you still need to consider one more thing; is it from artificial sweeteners?
If that’s the case, then you’d be better off with a pre-workout that lacks in the luxuries of an ordinary supplement but is all-natural and has the health benefits you need.
Thankfully, even some natural pre-workouts taste great thanks to natural sweeteners, (and I have shared a few with these perks in the list above) all you have to do is keep your eyes peeled.
The Ingredients - Distinguish the Good from The Junk
Let’s face it; the last thing you want is to spend your money on a supplement that chips away at your performance, or health, in the long term.
This shouldn’t be harder for you than it needs to be though. I have highlighted all the good stuff to go after, and the ones that you should stay away from at all costs.
One more thing, don’t be shy to take a second glance at the ingredients label to see how much is in each serving. Even some beneficial ingredients can be hazardous if consumed in high amounts.
Cost - You Don’t Have to Blow a Hole in Your Pocket
Of course, you will get to the cost when the time to get your final choice comes. There’s a good chance natural pre-workouts will most likely cost you more than the conventional ones.
Even then, the products in this tier vary in price, too! So if you want to try out several different types before deciding on the one to stick with, then consider going with the more affordable ones.
The good news is, some great natural supplements out there are unbelievably affordable. So if you are slightly tight on budget, just take the time and do some footwork.
You’ll be surprised at how cheap some of the best pre-workouts can turn out to be. That said, you don’t have to settle for less just to save a few bucks, if you have to dig deeper into your pocket for a worthy product, go for it.
Quality - Don’t Settle for Less!
Cost and quality usually go hand in hand. So don’t be surprised to end up with a cheap knock-off from a low-end price point.
To clear things up a bit here, all-natural ingredients do not magically turn into a wonderul supplement. It has to be processed into the final product — that’s what the manufacturers are for anyway.
The secret here is to take a keen look at the reviews to see if others have found the product useful to them or otherwise. This will help you make a more informed decision.
The Recap - Are Natural Pre-Workouts Worth It?
Pre-workouts (quality ones) are worth their weight in gold when it comes to helping unleash the best within, and none moreso than the natural ones.
If you are like me and you need the best for your fitness life, you need a reliable pre-workout that will fire you up to the next level. Natural pre-workouts could be all you need to fuel your efforts, experience better performance, and hit greater results.