When you are trying to gain muscle mass but diet and exercise, but do not have good gains, you may need the help for pre-workout supplements.
As you are looking after your body, you will be looking for natural pre-workout supplements.
There are a lot of companies that supply pre workout supplements that have natural sources, with ingredients like caffeine, Panax ginseng, and l-carnitine.
For the list for the best natural pre workout supplements, keep reading.
All About Pre Workout Supplements
Studies have shown that pre-workout supplements help with performance during exercise (1).
The supplements help delay fatigue and improve the quality of training sessions when they have the proper dose.
It is also safe to use the short term, you can use them daily for 8 to 12 weeks with no ill effects (2).
Benefits of Pre Workout Supplements
Aside from delaying fatigue, natural pre workout supplements can help sharpen focus and power during resistance training.
If you want a good workout, taking pre workouts before your high-intensity interval exercise or resistance training will help take your workout to another level.
Most brands recommend taking the supplement 20 to 30 minutes before your routine for the best effect.
Key Natural Ingredients in Pre Workout Supplements
Creatine is a natural compound that exists in our body and is formed by L- arginine, glycine, and L- methionine.
It encourages muscle growth and helps produce quick bursts of power during sprints.
Studies show that it helps with recovery and increases endurance when exercising in the heat.
The recommended dose is 3g to 5g a day to promote general health. (3)
Panax Ginseng- the root of a plant famous in traditional Chinese medicine. Ginseng is an adaptogen that helps the body deal with stress. It is also a natural stimulant.
The doses used in research ranged from 200mg to 400mg a day, and it shows that ginseng helps improve performance and reduce mental fatigue during workouts. (4)
Caffeine is a common ingredient in many pre workout supplements because it helps delay fatigue. It helps with endurance exercise and sprints.
It is also proven to improve muscle strength in studies. (5)
Caffeine is not a prohibited substance under the World Anti-Doping Code, but it is in WADA’s Monitoring Program (6).
Natural sources of caffeine include coffee, green tea, and guarana.
Nitric Oxide is a natural component in the body that boosts blood flow in the body.
In pre-workout supplements, nitric oxide helps more blood to flow to the brain and muscles, helping with focus and performance.
The RDI can range between 150 to 1g. Sources include ginkgo biloba and green vegetables such as celery. (7)
Sour cherries contain anthocyanins that reduce muscle damage during resistance training, and it also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidants.
Sour cherry extracts have when shown to improve recovery and reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) (8)
Beta Alanine is a natural amino acid that boosts endurance in the muscles.
It counteracts acid build-up, as it is the reason you feel the fatigue when you exercise for long periods.
Another potential way beta-alanine helps with exercise performance is through energy production.
One of the known side effects of beta-alanine is paresthesia (tingling of extremities) and it is not dose-related. The maximum dose in studies is 2g. (9)
L- Citrulline can be found in humans and certain fruits. Citrulline improves blood flow by encouraging nitric oxide production in the body.
It also stimulates the production of arginine, which is a precursor for nitric oxide. The dose studied was 2.4g. (10)
L-Carnitine exists in the human body and food, supplementing with L-carnitine stimulates fat burning and helps muscle repair.
L-Carnitine has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, allowing muscles to use sugar as a source of energy more effectively.
L-Carnitine is depleted during exercise, and you can supplement between 2-3g during training. (11)
BCAA- Branched- Chain Amino Acid
BCAA contains three essential amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
It is a popular supplement for energy metabolism during exercise (12).
BCAA can reduce muscle soreness after strenuous exercise and reduce inflammation that precedes DOMS (13)
5 Best Natural Pre Workout Supplements
Product Description: The first pre-workout supplement that has Paleo and Vegan certification. It does not contain fillers, artificial sweeteners, and artificial components.
Ingredients: Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA), Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Beta-Alanine, BCAAs, Creatine Monohydrate, caffeine from green tea, L-Arginine, L-Citrulline, Vitamins B and C
Pros: Gives a clean and sustained energy boost. PurePump helps improve focus and endurance during workouts. It can also delay muscle and mental fatigue and speed recovery. There is 200mg of caffeine per serving of 2 scoops.
Cons: Taste bitter as it does not have added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Who is Best For: Vegans.
If you are conscious about what you are eating, then Purepump is the supplement for you. Purepump has BCAA that helps with recovery after exercise.
Best for people who do high-intensity interval exercise or high resistance training.
Product Description: Naked Energy All Natural Pre-Workout supplement is soy and gluten-free with non-GMO ingredients.
Ingredients: Vitamin B group, Vitamin C, calcium and folate, Beta-Alanine, Creatine Monohydrate, L- Arginine, Caffeine.
Pros: 50 serves per jar. It has 200mg per serving of 2 scoops.
Cons: taste bitter, does not have BCAA
Who is Best For: People who want the best value for their money.
Naked Energy’s Pre- Workout encourages endurance with beta-alanine and L- arginine. Best for people doing endurance-based such as marathons or cycling.
Product Description: Plant-based exercise drink with carbohydrates.
Ingredients: brown rice syrup, coconut palm sugar, flavors, beetroot powder as coloring. Vitamin A and C, calcium, and iron.
Pros: tastes pleasant and gives energy during a workout.
Cons: no protein. If you are going for ketosis, the carbohydrates will prevent that. It has 100mg of caffeine per serve.
Who is Best For: People who need an extra source of energy for a good quality workout.
Vega Sport will help focus and improve workout by giving fuel. It is suitable for low-intensity steady-state exercise routines where you can burn the energy over long periods.
Product Description: Pulse is a 100% natural pre-workout drink you can use to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. It can help sharpen focus and boosts strength. Pulse comes either with or without caffeine.
Ingredients: L- Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Betaine (to speed up lean muscle mass gains 14), Caffeine, L- Theanine (improves focus 15), Alpha- Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (improves power 16). It contains natural sweeteners, erythritol, and oligo sacca, natural flavors.
Pros: Pulse has flavor options. It also has 350mg of caffeine. Each ingredient is backed by scientific research.
Cons: It has 6 main pre-workout ingredients. It has ingredients derived from meat, so it is not vegan.
Who is Best For: if you want a quality product backed by plenty of research, Legion Pulse is your best pre-workout supplement option.
Legion’s pulse has the most caffeine content per serving, which is almost the maximum limit recommended by the FDA.
Product Description: It is made using plant-based organic ingredients. It contains 85mg of naturally occurring caffeine from organic Coffeeberry. Garden of Life’s pre-workout supplement is certified by USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. It also has NSF Certified for Sport and Informed-Choice for Sport Certified.
Ingredients: Vitamin C, K1, B12. Baobab fruit, Amla berry extract, Coffeeberry fruit extract, nitric oxide blend, vegetables (spinach, beetroot, kale).
Pros: it has 2g dietary fiber. It also comes with 2 options blackberry or sugar- free blackberry cherry flavors.
Cons: does not contain proteins and only 85mg of caffeine per serve.
Who is Best For: It is for meat-eaters who want energy and focus.
Garden of Life’s formula gives quick bursts of energy within 20 minutes, so it is suitable if you like quick workouts and have a busy lifestyle.
There are many blends of pre workouts in the market that will suit your needs. Each supplement has its own ingredients, as well as, strengths and weaknesses.
For the best result, make sure you pick one that matches your dietary habits.
The price range for good quality pre-workout supplements is close; hence choosing one that suits your budget will not be an issue.
How to Choose a Pre-Workout Supplement for Yourself
As most pre-workout supplements contain caffeine, if you like to have coffee, then choose one with a lower caffeine dose.
For healthy adults, the limit is 400mg per day, which is equivalent to 5 cups of coffee (17).
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, choose a pre-workout that contains BCAA or amino acids as an additional source for your workout.
And if you are eating plenty of protein but want a good quality workout, the Garden of Life Sport Organic’s Energy + Focus is a suitable option.
If you find this article useful and would like to find out more, please check out our other protein and supplement reviews.