8 Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts in 2020

Pre-workouts are one of the most effective and widely-used supplements on the market.

That’s because when you’re using a good pre-workout, you can train harder. You’ll experience improved focus and better endurance. Not to mention the energy! 

The thing is, not everyone likes the extreme energy most pre-workouts provide. The combination of caffeine and other stimulants is just too much for many users. 

Never fear, there are stimulant-free options available. And this guide will tell you what the best non-stimulant pre-workouts are. 

Let’s get started!

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

Quick Answer – 8 Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts in 2020

  1. NutraBio Pre Stim-Free – Caffeine Free Pre-Workout – Best Overall 
  2. Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Full As F*ck Overdosed Pre-Workout – Best For Pump
  3. Redcon1 Big Noise – Best For Pumps & Focus
  4. Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout – Best Clean Pre-Workout
  5. The Genius Brand Genius Pre – Best For Focus
  6. Staunch Pre Zero-Stim Pre-Workout – Best For Beginners
  7. Jungle Gym Nutrition Frog Juice – Best For Cell Volume
  8. Animal Pump Pro Powder – Best For Hydration

Review The Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts

1. NutraBio Pre Stim-Free – Caffeine Free Pre-Workout – Best Overall 

NutraBio really defines what full label transparency is all about. 

There’s enough in NutraBio Pre Stim Free to name it the best overall non-stimulant pre-workout. 

What makes it the best? Effective dosing for starters.

This stim-free pre uses a full 6g of pure citrulline instead of the citrulline malate used by many other products. There’s also 1g agmatine and 750mg nitrosigine for nitric oxide pumps.

There’s a Power, Strength & Endurance Complex that includes 3.5g of creatine and 2.5g of betaine. These two ingredients work very well together and also act as cell volumizers.

Beta alanine is correctly dosed at 3.2g, and there’s 1.5g of malic acid as well as 3.5g of leucine, the most anabolic BCAA. This is an especially impressive complex with well-chosen ingredients.

There’s also an excellent focus complex that includes 1.5g tyrosine, 500mg choline and 100 mcg huperzine. Finally, there’s an electrolyte complex that also includes 2g taurine.

The downside?

It’s dosed a little light in creatine, but not enough to make a big difference (there’s 3.5g of two kinds. The dose should really be 5g). The biggest downside is the use of artificial sweeteners.

This review really comes down to a very close battle between NutraBio and Transparent Labs. This time, it’s close but the nod goes to NutraBio Pre Stim-Free as the best overall non-stimulant pre-workout you can buy.

PROS

  • The Originators Of Full Label Transparency
  • Effectively Dosed
  • Includes Electrolytes

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Sweeteners
  • Could Be A Little Higher In Creatine
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

2. Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Full As F*ck Overdosed Pre-Workout – Best For Pump

This is an aggressive, fully disclosed formula designed to get you as pumped as possible. 

Full As F*ck pre-workout is mostly a nitric oxide stimulator but also produces water-based pumps. Its primary ingredients include 4g citrulline, 2g taurine, 1g agmatine, and 1g glycerol.

It can be used by itself as a good stim-free pre-workout, or stim lovers can combine it with the regular pre-workout of their choice. 

Full as F*ck comes in 5 flavors. 

The drawback of Full As F*ck is that it only targets pumps.

Yes, it does a great job but it lacks anything for focus or endurance. This is a problem with the stim free category in general, many of the products do not provide a complete pre-workout formula.

Also, glycerol is a little underdosed. Still, if you train for the pump, Full As F*ck pre-workout would be a great choice for you. It’s a solid pump-based non-stimulant pre-workout.

PROS

  • Effectively Dosed
  • Fully Disclosed Label
  • Includes N.O. & Cell Volume Ingredients

CONS

  • No Endurance or Focus Ingredients
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

3. Redcon1 Big Noise – Best For Pumps & Focus

Redcon1 Big Noise is a good combination of pump and focus ingredients. With alpha GPC and CDP choline, Rhodiola and huperzine, Big Noise has your focus needs covered.

There’s also ingredients for nitric oxide-produced pumps and water based pumps. However, there’s only one ingredient that stimulates nitric oxide – 1g of agmatine.

For water based pumps, there’s a huge 3g glycerol and 2.5g of betaine, which is a cell volumizer but also supports strength and power. But, there’s nothing else here for strength and nothing at all for endurance. 

Many stim free pre-workouts are designed to be stacked with a high stim pre-workout.

You won’t get a complete product unless you buy both. This is the idea with Big Noise, which is meant to be stacked with Total War. This tends to short-change users that don’t want stims.

Still, this is a good choice in a stim-free pre-workout if you are looking for a pump & focus formula.

PROS

  • Good Pump/Focus Formula
  • Effectively Dosed
  • Fully Disclosed Label
  • Good Flavor Choices

CONS

  • No Endurance Ingredients
  • Needs More Strength Ingredients
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

4. Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout – Best Clean Pre-Workout

Transparent Labs is a company that practices extreme label transparency with every product they make. 

One of the many positive things about Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout is that it’s not part of a stack. It’s meant to be a stand alone pre-workout.

With this product, you’re getting a complete pump, focus, and endurance pre-workout. 

You’ll also get 4g BCAAs to help the body maintain an anabolic state during your  training sessions. Of course, the label clearly states exactly what is in this product, right down to the “other ingredients”. 

The downside is a light (3g) dose of creatine as well as modestly dosed focus ingredients.

Otherwise, this formula contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners, making it the best all-natural, clean non-stim pre-workout. 

PROS

  • Extreme Label Transparency
  • Complete Stand Alone Pre-Workout
  • Effectively Dosed

CONS

  • Creatine Should Be Dosed Higher
  • The Focus Ingredients Should Be Dosed Higher
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

5. The Genius Brand Genius Pre – Best For Focus

The Genius Brand is one of the first companies to target emotional well-being with many of their products.

Genius Pre is a true stand alone stim free pre-workout. It’s a well balanced formula that targets pumps, focus, endurance, and strength.

With Genius, focus is the big thing and Genius Pre offers a complete complex of focus enhancing ingredients, such as tyrosine (1g), alpha gpc (600mg), Rhodiola (100mg), and huperzine (10mg). 

There’s also beta alanine dosed at 3g, just a little shy of the suggested 3.2g. There’s 2g betaine, 1g taurine, 1g arginine and 6g citrulline malate.

If you’re looking for a balanced formula with a heavy emphasis on focus, this could be the non-stimulant pre-workout for you.

PROS

  • Balanced Formula
  • Good Focus Ingredients
  • Full Disclosure Labeling

CONS

  • Only 20 Servings
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

6. Staunch Pre Zero-Stim – Best For Beginners

Staunch Pre Zero-Stim is a fully disclosed pre-workout that features a well thought out, 3 complex formula.

There’s a Pump Complex, with 4 ingredients including 6g citrulline malate, 600mg agmatine, 1.2g arginine akg, and 100mg norvaline. Then we have a Strength/Performance Complex with 2g betaine, 1.6g beta alanine, and 1.2g taurine.

This complex looks good but is unfortunately a little underdosed. Beta alanine causes short term, harmless tingles and now many companies have begun to drop the dosage to reduce that effect. The dose needs to be 3.2g, tingles or no tingles. 

Finally, we have an Energy/Focus Complex with 5 ingredients including two forms of carnitine (1.5g total), tyrosine (500mg), gaba (15mg) and evodiamine (10mg).

Overall, Pre Zero-Stim is a good formula that can be used as a stand-alone product or stacked with a stim-based pre-workout.

The downsides are the use of artificial sweeteners and colors as well as several underdosed ingredients.

This product is a good choice for beginners partially because it won’t cause tingles. Despite the lighter dosing, it’s still a complete formula, making it the best non-stimulant pre-workout for beginners.

PROS

  • Full Disclosure Labeling
  • Complete Stand-Alone Formula
  • Several Well Dosed Ingredients

CONS

  • Several Underdosed Ingredients
  • Artificial Flavors & Sweeteners
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

7. Jungle Gym Nutrition Frog Juice – Best For Cell Volume

Jungle Gym Nutrition Frog Juice is a simple formula with only 8 ingredients.

It’s fully disclosed but only partially well-dosed. There’s 6g citrulline malate, leaving only 3g pure citrulline.

The best part of this formula is the 5g creatine monohydrate, 3g taurine and 2.5g glycerol. This is a great cell volumizing combination that’s effectively dosed. Add citrulline malate and you have a well balanced pump complex.

Creatine supports strength and endurance and works well with the slightly underdosed beta alanine (2.5g). If you’re going to use beta alanine, it really should be fully dosed. 

There’s also BCAAs, which is  great yet they are underdosed at 5g. And leucine is only 2.5g. Again, if you’re going to add in BCAAs, make it worth the effort with, say, 7g total and around 3.5-4g leucine. 

The other downsides to Frog Juice are the excessive use of artificial sweeteners, flavors and dyes, plus there are only 20 servings.

PROS

  • Strong Pump Complex
  • Good Strength/Endurance Ingredients
  • Fully Disclosed Label

CONS

  • No Focus Ingredients
  • Slightly Underdosed BCAAs
  • Artificial Flavors & Sweeteners
  • Only 20 Servings
  • Right Now, There’s Only One Flavor, Green Apple Candy
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

8. Animal Pump Pro Powder – Best For Hydration

Animal is a line of hardcore products made by Universal Nutrition, an old name in the sports nutrition business.

Pump Pro Powder is mainly a pump formula with 4 well-dosed, fully disclosed ingredients that include 5g creatine monohydrate, 4g citrulline malate, 3g glycerol and 2g nitrosigine.

There’s also a focus complex that includes 2g tyrosine, 600mg alpha gpc, and 100mcg huperzine. Finally, there’s 400mg sea salt for the electrolytes. 

This is not a bad formula even though it does not have enough endurance/strength ingredients.

The downside is that it’s only 20 servings. This is yet another product that tries hard but misses the mark.

PROS

  • Good Pump & Focus Ingredients
  • Fully Disclosed Label
  • Well Dosed

CONS

  • 2 Scoops Per Serving
  • Only 20 Servings
  • Artificial Sweeteners
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout?

How To Choose A Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout?

If you’re looking for a pre-workout but don’t want the high caffeine and other stimulants, you’ll find a wide range of non-stimulant choices.

Many products of this type tend to zero in on the pump, or if you’re lucky, pumps and focus.

To be effective, a non-stim pre-workout should cover every area that impacts training performance: pumps, focus, endurance, strength and hydration. 

The most important thing to remember when choosing a non-stimulant pre-workout is whether or not it’s meant to be stacked with a stim-based pre-workout.

As we discussed in the review, many companies market a non-stim pre but advertise it as part of a stack.

In other words, while you can use their non-stim pre if you don’t want the stimulants, the intention is to combine it with their stim-based pre to create a complete pre-workout stack. This short-changes the user in more ways than one.

If you don’t want stims, you want a product that does not need to be combined with anything else.

Benefits Of Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts

For some users, there’s nothing like the energy of caffeine and other stimulants.

For others, it’s just too much to handle.

Who likes the jitters, or the crash that always seems to come with a high stim pre-workout?

Not to mention, you can’t train late in the day and still expect to get a good night’s sleep. The benefits of a well-balanced non-stimulant pre-workout include:

  • No Jitters
  • No Crash
  • No Adverse Effects From Too Much Caffeine/Stims
  • The Ability To Use A Pre-Workout Anytime Of The Day Or Night
  • Improved Sleep
  • Good Overall Workout Support

Ingredients To Look For In A Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout

L-Citrulline – Citrulline is an amino acid that converts into arginine in the body. Since it’s better absorbed than arginine, citrulline actually does a better job of stimulating nitric oxide production than arginine does. Citrulline should always be the primary pump ingredient. Some products use citrulline malate, which is a blend of citrulline and malic acid, an ingredient involved in Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) production. That cuts the amount of pure citrulline in half. Dosing should be a minimum of 3g of pure citrulline but the best products go up to at least 6g. (1, 2, 3)

Betaine – Betaine is an osmolyte. In workout terms, that means it helps pull water into the muscle cells. In fact, it functions as a cell volumizer in much the same way creatine does. These two ingredients produce a pump because of an increase in fluid inside the muscle (glycerol and taurine also do this). A good pre-workout gives you both nitric oxide based and water based pumps. Betaine is also thought to help improve strength and power. (4) 

Creatine – This is the single most researched ingredient on the planet – and it has been proven effective time and time again. We’ve already discussed what it does in the above comments on betaine. High quality pre-workouts add creatine to improve endurance, strength and help promote water-based pumps. What’s more, creatine is thought to have recovery benefits as well. Dosing should be 5 grams. (5)

Focus Ingredients (such as Tyrosine and Choline) – These are ingredients that support cognitive function, thereby improving focus and alertness without the use of stimulants. Look for at least 1g of tyrosine and at least 600mg of choline. (6, 7) A good non-stimulant pre-workout will add other focus ingredients such as Rhodiola and/or huperzine.

Beta Alanine – This is a great endurance ingredient that can help you get more reps and sets. It does this indirectly by increasing levels of carnosine in the body. Carnosine then acts as a lactic acid buffer which increases your training endurance. (8)

Other good ingredients include electrolytes for hydration and BCAAs to help promote an anabolic state in the body. You won’t find these in every non-stimulant pre-workout, but the top quality ones will contain these. 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are some great choices in a non-stimulant pre-workout. 

Our pick for the best overall non-stimulant pre-workout is NutraBio Pre Stim-Free.

This product has it all and reveals the exact content of everything that’s in the container. If you want pumps, endurance, strength, focus and hydration, this product does it better than anybody.

If pumps are what it’s all about for you, Rich Piana’s 5% Nutrition Full As F*ck Pre-workout can’t be beaten. This is a seriously dosed pump formula with both nitric oxide boosters and water-based ingredients. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a balanced formula with a strong emphasis on focus, The Genius Brand Genius Pre is a good choice.

This is a company known for their cognitive enhancement products and they come through with a well formulated, high focus non-stimulant pre-workout.

If you want a good all-around formula that pushes NutraBio Pre Stim-Free hard and does not contain any artificial ingredients, Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout is the best clean non-stim pre-workout.

Finally, if you’re new to using a pre-workout, Staunch Pre Zero Stim would be a good place to start.

This product has a good focus complex. But it’s modestly dosed in ingredients such as beta alanine, which means beginners won’t be turned off by the tingling sensation.

With all these good choices, you’ll have to make the choice that’s best for you. Hopefully, this guide has made that choice a little easier.

Happy training! 

References:

  1. Figueroa, A., Wong, A., Jaime, S. J., & Gonzales, J. U. (2017, January). Influence of L-citrulline and watermelon supplementation on vascular function and exercise performance. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27749691
  2. Breuillard, C., Cynober, L., & Moinard, C. (2015, April). Citrulline and nitrogen homeostasis: an overview. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25676932
  3. Bahri, S., Zerrouk, N., Aussel, C., Moinard, C., Crenn, P., Curis, E., … Sfar, S. (2013, March). Citrulline: from metabolism to therapeutic use. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23022123
  4. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/3/539/4690529
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-creatine
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tyrosine
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-choline
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/beta-alanine-101
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