Top 10 best pre workouts for Crossfitters 2021

Crossfit is not like bodybuilding, fitness, or any other type of working out. Crossfit workouts are very intense and more demanding mentally.

If you want to do your best, you need to be primed to succeed. The right pre-workout can make all the difference when it comes to Crossfit.

You need jitter-free and crash-free energy. You need focus, power, endurance, and strength.

This guide will reveal the best pre-workouts for Crossfitters. Let’s check it out!

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk

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Quick Answer – The Best Pre-Workouts For Crossfitters

  1. Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk – Best Overall
  2. PreWOD Pre Workout – Best Creatine Free Pre-Workout For Crossfitters
  3. NF Sports Pre-Workout – Best For Beginners
  4. Equip Pure WOD – Best For Slow Release Caffeine
  5. SFH PUSH Pre-Workout – Best For Motivation
  6. Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged – Best Balanced Formula
  7. Sheer Strength Rise Pre Workout – Best For Less Beta Alanine
  8. NutraBio Pre Extreme – Best For Carbs
  9. Old School Labs Vintage Blast – Best Dual Stage Pre-Workout
  10. TRUWILD Motion – Best For Extended Endurance

Reviews – The Best Pre-Workouts For Crossfitters

Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk – Best Overall

Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk

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Here’s our pick for best overall. Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk is a pre-workout with everything you need for your Crossfit workouts. There’s a patented form of beta alanine. There’s also citrulline malate, and BCAAs.

Also, there’s caffeine anhydrous and buffered caffeine for smooth, even energy. Focus is important for Crossfitters and Bulk provides a patented form of alpha-gpc and tyrosine.

This formula is fully disclosed and is another company featuring extreme label transparency. It’s naturally sweetened and flavored.

PROS 

  • Fully Open Label
  • Features Patented Ingredients
  • No Artificial Ingredients

CONS

  • May Not Fit Everyone’s Budget

PreWOD Pre Workout – Best Creatine Free Pre-Workout For Crossfitters

Here’s a pre-workout that will provide intense focus and concentration. Driven Nutrition Pre WOD is formulated for Crossfitters that want intense mental clarity. 

PreWOD also provides good endurance and performance. This formula combines 200mg caffeine with DMAE for energy and focus. There’s also citrulline malate and beta alanine for endurance. PreWOD contains betaine for strength and power but does not contain creatine. 

This is an ingredient that fits Crossfit and works well with betaine. Still, Driven Sports PreWOD is a well-rounded product. It checks all the boxes in terms of focus, endurance, and energy.

PROS

  • Combines Caffeine, DMAE & Huperzine For Concentration & Focus
  • Promotes Endurance & Performance
  • Well-Dosed, Open Label

CONS

  • There’s No Creatine

NF Sports Pre-Workout – Best For Beginners

NF Sports Pre-Workout increases energy, focus, endurance, strength, and power. This formula consists of two prop blends. 

The first is a Performance Blend featuring creatine, beta-alanine, betaine, and citrulline. This Blend also includes agmatine, rhodiola, and creapure creatine monohydrate. 

The second is an Energy Support Blend with taurine, alpha-gpc, tyrosine, and caffeine. NF Sports is a popular brand among Crossfitters. However, the use of prop blends makes it difficult to know how much you’re getting of any ingredient. 

Still, it’s a good formula that fits Crossfit needs very well. It’s our pick for individuals new to Crossfit and the use of pre-workouts. Beginners can benefit from a highly rated pre-workout like this, even if it uses prop blends. Advanced users are more discriminating, and will want specific doses and full disclosure.

PROS

  • Popular Crossfit Brand
  • Covers Most Crossfit Pre-Workout Needs
  • Provides Energy, Focus & Endurance

CONS

  • Two Prop Blends – Users Have No Idea How Much They’re Getting Of Any Nutrient

Equip Pure WOD – Best For Slow Release Caffeine

This is a clean, all-natural pre-workout. Equip Pure WOD contains 200mg natural caffeine from green tea. It’s 100% slower digesting caffeine from natural sources. 

That means there are no jitters, no crash, just extended energy. It’s our pick for the best

slow-release caffeine pre-workout. There’s also creatine, beta alanine, and BCAAs. Pure WOD adds coconut water for hydration. This product is paleo-approved and fully disclosed. There are no prop blends here! 

In addition, there are no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Equip Pure WOD is designed to be added to smoothies or mixed in water. You can also use it to replace your coffee.

PROS

  • Fully Transparent Label
  • Well Dosed, Effective Ingredients
  • All Natural 

CONS

  • Pricey

SFH PUSH Pre-Workout – Best For Motivation

Here’s a popular Crossfit pre-workout that’s been studied to improve motivation, performance, energy, and hydration. It’s our pick as the best for motivation. 

SFH PUSH Pre-Workout features well-dosed ingredients that are fully disclosed. There’s a moderate 115mg caffeine for energy without jitters. The caffeine is combined with B vitamins such as B6, B12, and niacin. This combo improves motivation. 

There are also BCAAs, citrulline, glycine, and beta alanine. Besides motivation, PUSH is formulated to promote hydration and muscle protection. It also supports endurance and increased blood flow for better nutrient & oxygen delivery.

PROS

  • Popular Crossfit Pre-Workout
  • Fully Open Formula
  • Increases Energy & Performance

CONS

  • May Not Have Enough Caffeine For Some Users

Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged – Best Balanced Formula

Here’s our pick for the best balanced pre-workout formula. Pre-Kaged is a comprehensive pre-workout for Crossfitters with six nutrient complexes. 

Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged has a Pump Matrix, BCAAs, and extra leucine. There’s also a Strength & Power Matrix, a Neuro-Focus Matrix, and electrolytes. Pre-Kaged also has an ORAC antioxidant blend. There’s 274mg organic caffeine per serving. That’s a good amount for energy but not enough to cause jitters. 

Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged is naturally flavored but it’s sweetened with sucralose. Still, this pre-workout features 8 patented ingredients and it’s 3rd party tested for quality.

PROS

  • Comprehensive Six-Complex Formula
  • Features Eight Patented Ingredients
  • Contains Organic Caffeine

CONS

  • Artificially Sweetened

Sheer Strength Rise Pre Workout – Best For Less Beta Alanine

Sheer Strength Rise Pre-Workout will provide energy, hydration, and endurance for Crossfit athletes. There are no beta alanine-associated tingling effects because it’s dosed at a mild 1.5g per serving. This provides benefits without the itching and tingles stronger doses cause. The effects of beta alanine can be a turn-off for a lot of Crossfitters. That makes this the best choice for those users. 

There’s also a moderate 150mg caffeine complexed with theobromine and theanine to provide smooth, clean energy. There’s no creatine but Rise contains betaine and citrulline malate. Finally, Rise features red ginseng for the endurance to push through your Crossfit training sessions.

PROS

  • No Beta Alanine Tingles Or Itching
  • Features Smooth Energy
  • Naturally Flavored & Sweetened

CONS

  • There Are Not Many Focus Ingredients
  • May Be Dosed Too Low For Some Users

NutraBio Pre Extreme – Best For Carbs

NutraBio Pre Extreme

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Carbohydrates are important for Crossfit training energy. NutraBio Pre Extreme contains 15g of cluster dextrin for fast-acting carbohydrate energy. That makes this exceptional quality product the best choice for a carb-based pre-workout. 

There’s also a Focus & Stim Matrix with 350mg total caffeine from slow and fast release sources. Pre Extreme supplies 3.5g creatine from two sources and includes betaine. This is an ingredient that works well with creatine. 

There’s also a full dose of beta alanine and a nitric oxide complex. Finally, there’s a hydration complex. NutraBio is effectively dosed and features extreme label transparency.  

PROS

  • Features Two Types Of Creatine
  • 350mg Slow & Fast Absorbing Caffeine
  • 15g Low Glycemic, Fast Absorbing Carbs

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Ingredients

Old School Labs Vintage Blast – Best Dual Stage Pre-Workout

Old School Labs Vintage Blast appeals to Crossfitters because of its unique dual-stage release system. 

Stage One gives Crossfit athletes a great start to their workout with 150mg caffeine. Stage Two has more caffeine to help you finish strong. This formula is our pick for the best dual-stage pre-workout. This formula has another unique ingredient, DAA. 

This is a well-known testosterone booster. Overall, Vintage Blast promotes endurance, performance, focus, and energy.

PROS

  • Features An Exclusive Dual Stage “Start Strong” & “Finish Strong” Formula
  • Contains D-Aspartic Acid To Boost Testosterone Levels
  • Good Energy, Focus & Endurance Ingredients

CONS

  • Does Not Fully Dissolve 

TRUWILD Motion – Best For Extended Endurance

This is an all-natural pre-workout designed to help Crossfit athletes stay active for longer periods. TRUWILD Motion is not like most pre-workouts. Many of them are designed to get you through only an hour of training. 

Motion features a six-complex formula with five trademarked ingredients. These ingredients provide long-lasting energy, keep you hydrated, and improve WOD performance. There’s 160mg of natural caffeine from three sources. 

The downside to this pre-workout is that it uses prop blends. Still, it’s a complete formula. It features patented ingredients that are meant to carry you through your longest training session.

PROS

  • Features Five Patented Ingredients
  • 160mg Natural Caffeine
  • Six Complex Formula Designed To Improve Endurance, Hydration & Energy

CONS

  • Uses All Prop Blends

Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Pre-Workout For Crossfitters?

What Is A Pre-Workout For Crossfit?

A pre-workout formula for Crossfit athletes is a powdered supplement that you can mix with water. It should be taken 30 minutes before your training session for the best results. It will improve energy, endurance, focus, intensity, power, and strength. 

Unlike regular pre-workouts, it will have less caffeine and stims. A good pre-workout for Crossfit should feature more endurance ingredients, moderate caffeine, and should be long-lasting. 

Why CrossFit Athletes Should Take Pre-Workout Supplements

  • Increased Energy – It’s not always easy to find the energy you need to train. A pre-workout drink can help by providing a moderate amount of caffeine. Ideally, it will be enough to increase energy and alertness. Yet, the caffeine content shouldn’t be high enough to cause jitters or a crash. 
  • Elevated Focus – Crossfit athletes can benefit from improved focus, mood, alertness,    and concentration during their training sessions. This is important for getting the most out of your training.
  • More Strength & Power – Most Crossfit athletes like to hit PRs and improve their workout performance. A good pre-workout can help. Look for ingredients such as creatine and betaine. This is a good combination for power output and strength.
  • Improved Endurance – Beta alanine is the ingredient that can give you the endurance to finish strong. As noted above, Crossfit athletes like to improve training performance. This is the ingredient that gets it done. Look for the full clinical dose of 3.2 grams. Don’t worry about the temporary side effect of tingling. It’s harmless, and it won’t last long.
  • Increased Metabolism – Any pre-workout with caffeine boosts the metabolism. This in turn helps you burn fat. Combining a pre-workout with high-intensity Crossfit training sessions supports fat loss goals. 

What You Should Look For In A Pre-Workout For Crossfitters

When you go into the Crossfit box and begin your training session, you want energy, endurance, and focus. Crossfit demands different training styles. You train for strength as well as endurance. 

A pre-workout for Crossfit is not the same as a pre-workout for bodybuilding or powerlifting. Compared to other pre-workouts you’ll need one that provides long-lasting energy and focus.

Key Ingredients

Here are the primary ingredients you should look for in a pre-workout for Crossfit.

Caffeine

There’s no doubt that caffeine is the most popular stimulant in the world. Caffeine provides a good energy boost that helps power you through your workout. Many regular pre-workouts can contain very high amounts of caffeine. It’s not uncommon to see 400mg or more per serving. That said, you’ll want a moderate dose of caffeine. Many of the pre-workouts in this guide have 200mg or less per serving. 

Also, some pre-workouts combine regular caffeine and buffered caffeine. This combo helps smooth the effects. As well, some include ingredients such as theanine or theobromine. Both of these work well with caffeine and help keep any harsh effects in check. What you don’t want is a pre-workout with so much caffeine it causes jitters. Additionally, a mid-workout crash from too much caffeine is the worst thing that can happen. (1)

Creatine

Creatine is a foundational supplement yet it’s not always included in pre-workouts. However, creatine has been extremely well-studied and shown to be effective for strength and power. Since Crossfit training involves strength, it makes sense to use a product that helps you achieve that. Creatine also supports endurance due to its involvement in ATP production. (2)

Betaine

This is a newer ingredient in many pre-workouts. It’s included here because it works well with creatine to help improve strength, power, and endurance. (3)

Carbohydrates

Most likely, you won’t find carbs in too many regular pre-workouts. Yet, Crossfit demands a great deal of endurance. Crossfit is more endurance-based than bodybuilding or powerlifting.  Carbohydrates in the form of glycogen are what the body uses for cellular energy. That means carbs can help you push through your workout. Look for a pre-workout that combines carbs with creatine. Additional endurance ingredients like betaine and beta alanine can help even more. 

Citrulline Malate

When you’re doing your WOD, you might not be looking for a pump. Still, you will be looking for endurance. Citrulline Malate is a blend of citrulline and malic acid. This combination improves endurance as well as blood flow from increased nitric oxide production. While that promotes a pump, it also increases nutrient and oxygen delivery to your working muscles. Additionally, citrulline malate helps you recover faster between workout rounds. (4)

Beta Alanine

This is a must-have endurance ingredient. Beta alanine works indirectly to reduce lactic acid build-up in the muscles. It works by increasing carnosine levels in the body. In turn, carnosine buffers lactic acid, extending endurance. (5)

Choline

Choline is usually included in B vitamin formulas. You will see this ingredient in many forms, such as alpha gpc or citicoline. It’s involved in the brain’s production of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter that lets the nerve cells communicate. It also helps regulate muscle contraction. Acetylcholine is also known as “the learning transmitter”. Choline supports this function, helps improve memory, and enhances mood. (6)

Tyrosine

There can be no doubt that focus and alertness are important in Crossfit workouts. The amino acid l-tyrosine supports alertness and focus. You will find it in most pre-workouts as a focus ingredient. 

Of course, several more ingredients can support your mental drive as well as overall performance. The above ingredients are the ones you will usually find in a pre-workout for Crossfitters. Make sure your pre-workout has most, if not all, of them.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a pre-workout for Crossfit, it needs to meet certain criteria. Our guide makes the choices easy for you. Our best overall pre-workout for Crossfitters is Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk. This formula features extreme label transparency. It also has a well-dosed formula that checks all the boxes needed for the best Crossfit pre-workout.

Are you someone that uses creatine, and likes to cycle it? Then you’ll want PreWOD Pre Workout. This is a well-designed product that covers Crossfit needs. The only thing it lacks is creatine. That means it will fit your creatine cycling protocol.

If you want longer-lasting caffeine than most of these provides, Equip Pure WOD is your best choice. With 200mg caffeine per serving, you’ll have plenty of energy and alertness. Yet, it’s slower releasing. This means you’ll have enough energy for your entire training session. 

The best pre-workout for Crossfitters is the one that meets your personal goals. Use this guide and make the choice for you!

References:

  1. Harpaz, E., Tamir, S., Weinstein, A., & Weinstein, Y. (2017, January 1). The effect of caffeine on energy balance. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27824614
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-creatine
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/3/539/4690529
  4. Bendahan D., Mattei, J. P, Ghattas, B., et al, (2002). Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 36, 282-89.
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/beta-alanine-101
  6. Choline – PubMed Central (PMC). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518394/
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