Believe it or not, even the most dedicated gym-goers have days when they don’t feel motivated to workout.
On those days, enjoying a pre-workout supplement before you hit the gym can give you a much-needed energy boost and help you feel focused and capable of handling whatever exercises your program calls for on that particular day.
Of course, if you want to experience the benefits of a pre-workout supplement, you need to make sure you’re taking the right one.
Finding a good pre-workout supplement — especially a good pre-workout for women — can be a daunting task. There are so many different supplements on the market, it’s hard to know which ones to use and which ones to avoid.
Luckily, we’re here to provide you with some clarity and simplify the supplement shopping process for you. Everything you need to know about choosing the best pre-workout for women is explained below.
Why Take a Pre-Workout Supplement?
Some people are on board the pre-workout train 100 percent. Others, though — many of them women — are a little unsure of whether or not it’s worth it for them to use pre-workout powders before their training sessions.
If you’re on the fence about pre-workout supplements, you might change your mind when you consider these benefits that high-quality pre-workout products have to offer:
The main benefit of a pre-workout supplement is the fact that it can help you feel more energized. If you need more pep in your step before hitting the gym, a pre-workout is a good supplement to have in your bag.
Improved Focus and Performance
In addition to increasing your energy level, pre-workout supplements can also help you to feel more focused. Many people notice that they feel sharper, have better reaction times and are less likely to waste time during their workouts after using a pre-workout product.
Some research suggests that pre-workout supplements can boost your anaerobic power (which enhances your your ability to perform exercises like sprints and Olympic lifts) as well.
Increased Blood Flow
Many pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that help to improve blood flow, too. When you experience enhanced blood flow, you’ll notice more of a “pump” during and after your workouts.
Improved blood flow isn’t just about aesthetics, though. When you maximize blood flow, you can deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This, in turn, can help to speed up your recovery.
Who Should Use a Pre-Workout Supplement?
Pre-workout supplements definitely have a lot to offer. Just about any woman can benefit from adding a pre-workout supplement to her daily regimen.
Some women will get even more out of these products, though, including the following:
- Busy women who have a hard time finding the energy for the gym
- Novice gym-goers who need a little extra help getting motivated
- Experienced and advanced gym-goers who need to push through plateaus and level up in their training
- Women getting ready for bodybuilding competitions who are having a hard time leaning out (many pre-workout supplements contain thermogenic ingredients)
- Women who are looking to build muscle and need additional assistance with repair and recovery
Regardless of your gym and fitness goals, there’s a good chance that using the right pre-workout supplement can help you achieve them a bit faster.
Types of Pre-Workout for Women
There are several different types of pre-workout for women. Generally speaking, though, you can divide pre-workouts into two camps: stimulant-containing and non-stimulant.
Stimulant-containing pre-workouts are made with stimulants such as caffeine. Many of them contain other energizing ingredients to balance out the caffeine’s effects and give you more, longer-lasting energy.
Non-stimulant pre-workouts do not contain caffeine or other stimulants. They do, however, contain other ingredients that help to enhance blood flow, improve focus and increase your energy in a subtler way.
Essential Pre-Workout Ingredients
When you’re shopping for any supplement, it’s important to be aware of the ingredients it contains. This is especially true when you’re shopping for pre-workout, though.
The following are some ingredients you ought to be on the lookout for when on the hunt for the best pre-workout for women:
Caffeine is a stimulant that blocks the effects of the neurotransmitter adenosine. This keeps you awake and helps you to feel more alert and focused.
Beta-Alanine is an amino acid. It increases energy and improves exercise performance while preventing muscle fatigue.
Creatine is a molecule found inside the cells of the body. It helps to provide them with energy so you can perform better and avoid fatigue.
TeaCrine has a similar structure to caffeine, but the body does not build up a tolerance to it as easily.
Nitrosigine is a performance-enhancing compound made by combining arginine, inositol and potassium silicate. It improves blood flow and helps you get a better pump.
Afromomum melegueta provides an increased thermogenic effect. If you’re looking to burn more calories, look for a pre-workout that contains this ingredient.
Adaptogens are plant-based compounds that help the body adapt to stress. Adaptogens can promote improved cognition and increase energy while also helping to expedite post-workout recovery.
Are All Pre-Workouts Created Equal?
In short, the answer is a resounding “no.” Some pre-workout supplements are definitely superior to others. It’s not always easy to tell which ones are worth investing in, though.
One way to tell if a pre-workout is worth your money is to consider the testing that went into it.
Pre-workout supplements that are Informed-Choice certified are a great option, especially for lifters who are worried about accidentally consuming supplements that contain banned substances. Informed-Choice certified supplements are tested on a monthly basis by the LGC’s anti-doping lab.
It’s a good idea to look into other types of testing a supplement company has done to ensure they’re putting out safe, premium, high-quality supplements. Verifying a product’s safety will help you see the results you’re after and avoid unpleasant side effects.
How to Use Pre-Workout Supplements
The way to use pre-workout supplements, in theory, is pretty straightforward. You take them before your workout — what more is there to know?
Quite a bit, actually. By refining your strategy and pre-workout routine, you can enhance the benefits you get from your supplements. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when you add a new pre-workout for women to your supplement stack:
As a general rule, it’s best to take a small dose (½ scoop is a good starting point) of any pre-workout supplement the first time you try it. This will help you get a sense of how your body responds to it, and you won’t have to worry about feeling over-stimulated because you took too much.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Make sure you allow time for the pre-workout supplement to take effect. In most cases, taking it about 20-30 minutes before your workout is sufficient. If you wait until you’re already at the gym, you might find that you’re a bit sluggish during the first part of your training session.
But Don’t Wait Too Long
That being said, don’t wait too long for your pre-workout to take effect, either. Taking it in the morning when you don’t work out until the evening won’t yield many — if any — benefits for you (although you may find that you’re more alert than usual while you’re at work).
Pre-Workout Cycling and Stacking
Many people also notice improved results from their pre-workout supplements when they cycle and stack them.
Cycling pre-workout supplements involves using different supplements at different times. For example, you might use a non-stimulant pre-workout for a while and then switch to one that contains stimulants.
Cycling through your supplements this way helps you to avoid adapting to one too quickly, which can cause you to experience diminishing returns and require higher doses in order to experience the same effect you noticed when you first started taking them.
Pre-workout stacking can be helpful, too. This involves combining two or more supplements (usually a non-stimulant pre-workout and a stimulant-containing pre-workout).
Doing this can help you experience greater benefits and avoid some of the potential pitfalls of certain supplements. When you mix a stimulant-containing supplement with a non-stimulant supplement, for example, you get to enjoy more sustained energy from the stimulant and an enhanced pump from the non-stimulant product.
Find the Best Pre-Workout for Women Today
As you can see, finding the best pre-workout for women can certainly be a bit of a process.
There’s a lot you have to keep in mind when you begin shopping, especially if you’re serious about finding a pre-workout supplement that will increase your energy without exposing you to any potentially harmful ingredients or banned substances.
If you want to use a pre-workout that has been tested by a third-party lab and is made with only the highest quality ingredients, you definitely ought to consider ProSupps’ pre-workout supplements.
Check out our Mr. Hyde line for stimulant-containing pre-workouts and our Dr. Jekyll line for stimulant-free products. You can also combine them for a more balanced effect that gives you the best of both worlds.