Pre-Workout for Women: Ingredients, Benefits, and Options
Okay, babe, so you want to increase your gains, but you’re not sure where to start. We’ve got you!
Pre-workout supplements can help you improve and boost your workout performance. The right pre-workout supplement can spell the difference between merely working out and pushing your body to its limits.
We’ll discuss what a pre-workout supplement is, why pre-workout for women is key for success, what ingredients to look for in a pre-workout supplement, and how to choose your pre-workout supplement.
Grab your favorite blender bottle and read on.
What Is a Pre-Workout Supplement?
Pre-workout supplements (or sometimes simply called “pre-workouts”) are supplements made to improve one’s physical performance, energy level, and stamina when working out. And we all want that, don’t we?
The ultimate goal of pre-workout supplements is to help boost and maximize one’s physical and mental exertion during their workout sessions. Because you can’t get those #bootygains without energy, right?
Unfortunately, most pre-workout supplements are geared towards men and loaded with stimulants. Luckily, some pre-workout supplements are made for women.
Unlike pre-workouts for men, pre-workouts for women typically include less caffeine, which makes them milder in formulation. That being said, just like other supplements, pre-workout supplements are not made equal. While it's easy for them to stimulate an energy boost, they can also come with adverse effects like jitters and high blood pressure.
Therefore, it is important to do a little research and trial and error to find out which pre-workout is “right” for you and your body.
There are a few factors to consider when choosing your pre-workout supplement. The main one is ingredients. By knowing the ingredients, you’ll be able to assess if a pre-workout supplement is potentially effective and safe for you.
So, what are the ingredients that you must look for in a pre-workout supplement? Let’s find out below.
Ingredients to Look for in Pre-Workout Supplements
When you’re considering a pre-workout supplement, finding one with high-quality and effective ingredients is key. This list of the best ingredients will help you pick the most powerful pre-workout.
1) L-Citrulline Malate
L-citrulline malate is a compound that can boost exercise performance. It is linked to an increase in blood flow to our tissues and more oxygen to our muscles. The more and better the blood flow, the more oxygen and nutrients our muscles receive, which translates to peak performance in the gym.
Aside from improving physical performance, citrulline can also aid in muscle recovery as it decreases post-workout muscle soreness. This addition allows us to get back to the gym sooner.
Our body naturally produces citrulline, but you can experience greater benefits if you increase your citrulline level through supplementation.
Beta-alanine is a type of amino acid that is responsible for managing and fighting off muscle fatigue. Beta-alanine is one of those amino acids the body naturally produces. But if you want to maximize its effects, you can get more beta-alanine through supplements.
Beta-alanine works by combating the acid buildup that happens when your muscles go through intense workouts. To get the most of it, take more beta-alanine through supplementation so you’ll have a higher concentration of the amino acid in your body. Once that happens, this maximizes its effects against the acid buildup in your muscles, allowing you to do a few more reps and maximize your sets.
That being said, this does not mean that you should take a lot of beta-alanine. If you take too much beta-alanine, it could cause paraesthesia or the “tingling of the skin.” On average, 5-6g of beta-alanine is generally considered safe.
3) Betaine Anhydrous
Betaine anhydrous is a compound derived from beetroot. This compound has a specific ability to increase water retention within our cells. This protects our cells from damage due to physical stressors, including intense workouts.
But what does it mean for our workouts? A lot. Some of the exercise-related benefits of anhydrous betaine include improved muscle endurance and body composition. Betaine anhydrous can increase our power output for exercises such as the bench press.
L-tyrosine is a conditionally essential amino acid found in various foods such as meat, dairy, nuts, and other protein-rich foods. L-tyrosine is typically used in pre-workouts because it improves physical and mental performance in times of stress.
L-tyrosine is linked to improving the production of adrenaline (noradrenaline or norepinephrine) and dopamine, two hormones that can help us deal with stress — this includes the physical and mental stress brought by working out.
When adrenaline and dopamine are released, they reduce stress caused by intense workouts. This stress reduction also allows us to be more focused and to have more endurance for our workout.
Talk about energy levels, and one cannot dismiss caffeine. We all know that caffeine can boost energy. This explains why the psychoactive substance that we look for in our coffee is also used in many workout supplements, such as a pre-workout for women.
As an energy booster, caffeine can also boost physical performance. It can help us push for more reps and maximize every set. Not only that, but caffeine can aid in post-workout recovery.
However, caffeine is not suitable for everyone, which is where stim-free pre-workouts can be helpful. Suppose you have low sensitivity and tolerance to caffeine. In that case, it’s best to take low caffeine or caffeine-free supplements. Do not force yourself to drink caffeine if you have a low tolerance. It can lead to side effects such as irregular heartbeat, restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is found in a variety of foods like green and black tea. This amino acid is known for its therapeutic benefits as it helps people to feel more relaxed, and it can reduce one’s anxiety.
L-theanine is typically combined with caffeine, as these two make a great duo. Studies have shown that combining caffeine’s energy-boosting effects and the relaxing effects of L-theanine helps with alertness.
It also improves your cognitive performance in workouts regarding focus and reaction time.
Theobromine is a compound that belongs to the methylxanthine chemical family, much like caffeine. Theobromine is commonly used as a milder alternative to caffeine.
Research shows that theobromine can produce similar physiological effects as caffeine, such as improved energy levels, focus, and physical performance. These studies show that theobromine can improve mental performance, which can translate to better workouts.
Another popular ingredient for pre-workout is branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids make up 35% of the muscle protein in your body.
The reason they're referred to as "essential amino acids" is because your body does not make these amino acids. Instead, we have to get BCAAs from either food or dietary supplements.
These essential aminos are great in aiding in muscle recovery, which allows you to build more muscle mass.
Other Common Ingredients
The biggest thing that sets pre-workout supplements apart is their ingredients. Some common ingredients in popular brands include creatine monohydrate, L-arginine, nitric oxide, taurine, acetyl L-carnitine, alpha-GPC, and more.
Some pre-workouts will also include other more "household name" natural ingredients like potassium, ginseng, B-vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, Vitamin C, green tea, coconut water powder, natural caffeine, rhodiola rosea, and more.
Can Pre-Workout Ingredients and Supplements Trigger Weight Loss?
While pre-workout alone doesn't directly help with weight loss, adding it to your daily workout may help you increase your ability to lose weight. When you add a supplement that increases your energy to your pre-workout routine, you're increasing your ability to work out.
Pre-workout powders are typically low in carbohydrates, which can help with fat burning as well.
So while you can't just take a scoop of pre-workout to lose weight, adding it to your pre-workout regime can help boost your workout. This can help you reach your muscle growth goals and lead to a more high-intensity workout.
How to Choose a Pre-Workout Supplement
You should do your due diligence when searching and buying your pre-workout supplement. Here are some other tips for choosing and buying a pre-workout for women.
1) Look for High-Quality Supplements
One of the things that you should look for in a pre-workout supplement is its quality. Not only are high-quality supplements clean and safe, but they can also be more effective in delivering their benefits.
2) Choose Supplements With Few Additives
Aside from choosing high-quality pre-workout supplements, you should select a pre-workout that contains little to no filler ingredients, such as additives, gums, and other artificial ingredients. These ingredients can cause adverse side effects, like digestive issues.
One way to tell if a supplement is free of such additives is by checking if they are certified to be free of such ingredients. The easiest way to do so is by looking at the label and seeing what ingredients are included. Some of these can be labeled as fillers, binders, anti-caking agents, disintegrates, and glazes.
3) Read Reviews Carefully
Reviews are supposed to help consumers in deciding about the product they want to buy. Unfortunately, it is easy to alter reviews to show just the positive ones.
Some companies even pay people to write fake or false reviews about their products. False reviews can infect such third-party stores such as Amazon, too!
While it is essential to be cautious of reviews, there are still trustworthy reviews. One of the best sources of reviews includes a personal connection (if you have a family member or friend who uses a supplement, then simply ask her) and influencers and content creators you trust.
Of course, it does not mean that they are perfect, but the idea is not to trust reviews right away and take some time to know what consumers do and don’t like about the product you’re about to buy.
4) Find a Trustworthy Brand
Finally, check the company background and see their reputation. The supplement industry is a sneaky world, and if the company is already shady, don’t expect their product to perform well!
When it comes to choosing a pre-workout, or any other supplement for that matter, be wary of brands that make large claims around their benefits. For instance, if a brand says their protein powder promotes weight loss alone without exercise or a proper diet, they can’t be trusted.
One way to check a company’s reputation and trustworthiness is by going to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). There, you can simply look up your supplement’s company and check its reviews, such as if they are responsive to customer inquiries, returns refunds correctly, and some more.
Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women: Pre-Game from Cira
Over at Team Cira, we are obviously biased when it comes to pre-workout supplements, as we have our own pre-workout for women: Pre-Game.
Our pre-workout blend includes L-citrulline, beta alanine, betaine anhydrous, L-tyrosine, caffeine anhydrous, L-theanine, theobromine, astragalus root, and ginseng root.
Made with a range of powerful ingredients, Pre-Game helps you go harder, better, faster, and get stronger. It works by increasing your body's natural ability to increase energy, endurance, focus, and strength. Whether you prefer Peach Bellini or Pink Candy, it's a delicious addition to your workout.
If you're on the go, our Pre-Game Stick Pack can be a perfect fit. If you are looking for extra electrolyte benefits, try adding Pre-Game to coconut water.
Boost Your Gains With a Pre-Workout for Women
Whether you prefer to train in the gym or hit up barre classes with your friends, Pre-Game can help elevate your fitness goals, build muscle, and achieve lean muscle.
See you at the gym, babe!