What Are the Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women in 2017?

When it comes to losing weight and building muscle, men have a slight advantage over women due to their physiological makeup (source). Men burn energy faster. The naturally-occurring testosterone in their bodies also makes it easier for them to build lean muscle mass. This in turn helps them burn even more calories.

How can we women catch up? Well, pre-workout supplements are a good start. More and more brands are coming out with formulas that cater specifically to women.

In this article, I’ll take a look at what’s out there and share a few of my picks for the best pre-workout supplements for women in 2017.

Men and Women Have Different Nutritional Needs

We women must remember that our bones naturally lose density as we age. Osteoporosis affects a staggering 200 million women worldwide (source). Being aware of how much calcium your body needs will help prevent problems later on. When evaluating the ingredients in your pre-workout supplement, take note of whether it includes calcium. If it does, you may not need to take an extra calcium supplement.

Women also need extra doses of iron, especially those who are still menstruating (source). Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. This essential mineral enables oxygen to travel throughout the body.

Many pre-workout products contain stimulants and are not recommended for women who are pregnant or lactating. Be sure to read all warnings on the label. Caffeine, for example, crosses the placenta barrier (source)

Changes in Women’s Exercise Habits

In the last few decades, common workout routines for men consisted of pumping iron in the gym and building impressive muscle mass. In contrast, women focussed on cardio-centered activities such as aerobics, dance, running, and cycling.

Nowadays, women are as likely as men to spend time pumping iron in the gym (source). The playing field has evened and it’s normal to find women playing basketball on the court, running marathons, competing in bodybuilding and playing other competitive and rigorous sports.

Fat Burner or Energy Boost?

The marketplace offers three kinds of pre-workout products for women. Which one to choose depends on the goals you have for your body.

If you are strictly looking to burn fat and drop pounds, search for products specifically formulated to accomplish these goals. Fat burners can help when trying to lose that stubborn post-maternity weight or after overindulging during the holidays.

Are you committed to getting to the gym several times a week in spite of having a rigorous schedule at home and at work? Look for products that are geared towards giving you a boost of energy that lasts throughout the day. Be wary of products that give such a strong boost of energy that they make you jittery or interfere with your sleep at night. You can always reduce the dosage on your own or switch to another product.

Some products try to offer the best of both worlds. They include ingredients that work towards building lean muscle and efficiently burning fat and calories.

What About All-Natural Products?

Many pre-workout supplements designed for women have a focus on all things natural. Perhaps because women are generally more concerned about their health and nutrition than men (source). However, just because something’s natural, it doesn’t mean it necessarily works. You should research each ingredient on its own merit.

Raspberry ketones (source) are a good natural ingredient that helps burn fat, which is why you won’t be surprised to find many raspberry flavoured powders and drink mixes. Chocolate is a natural antioxidant (source). You can even find natural sources of caffeine not only in chocolate, but also in green tea and kola nuts.

MB Nutrition F-16

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MB Nutrition F-16 has a formula that’s geared towards maximizing your energy and increasing your strength. Your body’s main source of energy is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The creatine in this formula helps regenerate ATP molecules to give you a boost of energy.

This product also contains amino acids to get blood moving into your muscles to prepare them to do the work of lifting, stretching, running, and strength building.

Another important ingredient in F-16 is the amino acid beta alanine. When you get too much acid in your muscles, you feel fatigued. Beta alanine helps your body produce carnosine. Carnosine acts as a buffer to control PH in your body, so you won’t tire out before your workout ends.

This product contains a small amount of caffeine to increase your alertness and focus. When combined with the other ingredients in this formula, the caffeine helps to improve your energy all day, without keeping you up at night.

The F-16 formula also contains vitamin B3 to help your circulatory system and energize your mind.

Pros


  • Enough caffeine to give you a boost, without a crash
  • Enough tingling to let you know that it’s working
  • No fillers
  • Made in USA in FDA registered facilities
  • Burns fat

Cons


  • Not recommended for pregnant or lactating women
  • Taste is not to everyone’s liking
  • Some find it a little difficult to dilute

Fitness Labs Pre-Workout Intensifier

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Fitness Labs Pre-Workout Intensifier increases your strength and endurance. It works by increasing your lean muscle mass while decreasing fat. One of the ingredients that helps accomplish that is beta alanine. It also delays muscle fatigue so you won’t have as much soreness after a workout. This would have been great when I was training for a race.

This formula includes citrulline and arginine, which open your nitric oxide pathway. The result is improved memory, boosted immunity and better digestion and sleep.

Each scoop contains 200 mg of caffeine to keep your energy high during your workout. It’s a good product for women who are non-coffee drinkers or those who stay away from caffeinated sodas. Women who take too much caffeine from additional sources may become irritable, nervous, and lose sleep.

This product is great for women who sweat a lot during workouts, because it contains electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium to help rehydrate your body. The Pre-Workout Intensifier also contains a good dosage of vitamin C, which helps to fight free radicals that your body releases during exercise.

Pros


  • Creatine-free, gives you the option to stack
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Sugar free
  • Doesn’t cause jitters
  • Your energy won’t crash suddenly
  • A little goes a long way
  • Good value for the money

Cons


  • Not safe to use if you are pregnant or lactating
  • Too large a dose of caffeine for some people

Natrogix Prime Burn

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Natrogix formulated Prime Burn to optimize for fat burning and losing weight, particularly in the belly area. This would have been great after I had my first child! The benefit to this approach is that you preserve more muscle tone on your way to achieving a healthier body.

This product was developed to be consumed by women in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise for best results. This product contains 98% raspberry ketones which is a natural substance that breaks down fat inside the cells. Raspberry ketones also increase your adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a hormone that helps to regulate your metabolism.

Another important ingredient in this formula is garcinia cambogia. Garcinia cambogia is derived from a tropical fruit in Indonesia. It has a pleasant fruity taste. More importantly, it is full of vitamins and minerals that are important for women’s health such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.

This product also contains enough caffeine to keep you alert and motivated to work out. It’s surprising that this supplement is all natural and somewhat mild, yet it does work well over time. The best thing is that I know it’s not going to keep me up at night after taking it. Many users found that they woke up feeling fully rested whether they worked out or not.

Pros


  • 100% money back guarantee
  • Veggie capsule absorbs more easily than other casings
  • All natural ingredients
  • Helps you lose a small amount of weight even when you don’t work out
  • Doesn’t cause sleeplessness

Cons


  • Some users reported burping after use
  • Some users reported that results are minimal if not combined with a healthy diet and exercise

Rad Pre-Workout for Women

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The product developers at Rad know that women perform many different types of exercise, including lifting at the gym, yoga, running, and aerobic exercise. They also know that women are squeezing exercise into their busy lifestyles wherever they can. This product keeps energy high during short or long workouts. It helps muscles recover after a tougher than usual workout.

This product is an all-natural pre-workout powder with caffeine from a natural source - green tea extract. In my experience, green tea keeps me alert during the day without interfering with my sleep at night. Green tea has also never given me jitters or caused a mid-afternoon crash.

Rad Pre-workout is loaded with B vitamins to help with blood flow. This product also contains coconut water, which I don’t often see in other pre-workout supplements. It also has fat burning elements like beta alanine, creatine, and citrulline malate which make this a well-balanced weight loss supplement.

Pros


  • Doesn’t have artificial sugars or sweeteners
  • No artificial colors
  • Doesn’t cause jitters
  • It is gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO
  • It doesn’t have any calories or carbs
  • Free bonus e-book with weight loss tips, recipes and workouts
  • 100% money back guarantee

Cons


  • Some users reported nausea
  • Raspberry flavor is unpleasant for some, but the fruit punch is better

Jamie Eason Signature Series Lean Body

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Fitness model and writer Jamie Eason developed this protein shake with all-natural ingredients. It’s more geared towards giving women enough energy for rigorous workouts than for actual fat burning and weight loss. It’s a good product to try if your primary goal is building muscle and getting fit with weight loss as a secondary goal.

The primary ingredient in this pre-workout powder is whey protein, which contains all nine essential amino acids. Among its beneficial qualities, it decreases hunger; eases stress; and improves immunity.

The calcium in the ingredient list caught my eye because women need more calcium as they age to keep their bones strong. This formula is naturally sweetened with Stevia and has a nice chocolate flavor.

I like that this powder provides a solid protein source. I can add caffeine or fat burners to it on the days that I need them. This powder is great for making smoothies. It tastes like dessert when you add bananas, strawberries, oranges, or other fruits. You can even bake with it and put it in pancakes for a delicious protein-packed breakfast.

Pros


  • Naturally sweetened with Stevia
  • Gets rid of mid-morning hunger pangs
  • No caffeine to make you jittery or cause a crash
  • Mixes easily with whole foods and cooks well in recipes
  • Has a rich, chocolate taste, also comes in vanilla

Cons


  • Mixture can be watery
  • Doesn’t contain casein
  • Contains milk, so not good for women who are lactose intolerant

The Best Pre-Workout for Women

The clear winner for the best pre-workout supplement for women is Jamie Eason Signature Series Lean Body powder. I like this product because it’s formulated specifically for women and it’s all natural. It make a good base for stacking on other products as you learn more about maximizing your workouts.

While I gave the other products good scores, this pre-workout powder doesn’t try to squeeze in every ingredient for fat burning and increasing energy all into one product. Its focus is on overall health and fitness.

As a competitive female bodybuilder, Jamie Eason developed this pre-workout powder with the particular needs of women in mind. She knows that in being fit, you will also lose weight and build muscle, and building muscle is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight.

Jamie added calcium to meet the needs of women that don’t already supplement with it and to protect bone health.

Women who are just beginning to exercise ywill find that this is a good product to use all on its own. As you get used to working out, you will get to know your own body. In short order, you will know if you need to supplement it with vitamins, calcium, fat burners, or other supplements.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!