There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pre workouts for women on the market all proclaiming to maximize your performance and results. But given that the supplement industry isn’t closely regulated, it can be hard to decide which supplements are worthwhile. The good news is, there is science to back that certain ingredients can, in fact, boost performance, but even so, they’e not necessary for every person or workout. “There are countless types of pre workout supplement options available, and what’s in them varies. They’re not necessary for everyone, particularly not for people engaging in lower-intensity workouts,” says Jordan Hill, M.C.D., R.D., C.S.S.D., a registered dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching.
If you’re working toward a specific fitness goal, like increasing muscle mass, or completing an athletic event, pre workout may help give you a boost during your workouts to help you get there. That said, Hill emphasizes that supplements should always be used as supplements to a well-rounded diet, and not a replacement for a well-balanced diet. “Without proper nutrition—balanced meals and appropriate timing—supplements won’t deliver results to their full potential. It’s important to have food as the foundation and then you can bring in supplements to augment what you’re already getting through food,” she says.
Hill points to caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), nitric acid precursors including L-citrulline and nitrates as common, science-backed ingredients. And while many supplements are specifically marketed to women, you shouldn’t feel limited to selecting pre workouts for women because there’s not much research available to distinguish what supplements might be better suited for a woman or a man. “The majority of supplement research (and sports nutrition research, in general) has been done with male subjects,” Hill says. “More research would be needed to define any potential differences in the pre-workout needs of women versus men.” In other words, if you find a pre workout you love, and it’s geared to guys? Don’t sweat it. Or rather, do sweat it—enjoy the supplement and reap the benefits it offers.
Meet the Experts: Jordan Hill, M.C.D., R.D., C.S.S.D., is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach with Top Nutrition Coaching. Mary Wirtz, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.S.D., is a registered dietitian and consultant to Mom Loves Best.
Our top picks
Based on feedback from our experts and confirmation from third-party testing organizations, consider picking up one of the following best pre workouts for women.
Dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet. They are not medicines and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure diseases. Be cautious about taking dietary supplements if you are pregnant or nursing. Also, be careful about giving supplements to a child, unless recommended by their healthcare provider.