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Creatine has become a popular go-to supplement for athletes who want to make gains in the muscle mass department. Longstanding research1 shows it’s considered a generally safe supplement for the average healthy adult. But there may be a few reasons why you’d prefer to limit or avoid added creatine monohydrate in your sports nutrition routine—specifically in your pre-workout supplements.

For example, creatine supplementation may cause discomfort due to bloating. And the last thing we want before we hit the gym is to be riddled with bloating and gas. So, if you need a pep in your step before your workout, you might be searching for the best pre-workout without creatine.

We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the top pre-workout products sans creatine. We’ve considered their nutrition profiles, scientific claims, customer reviews, and prices, and we’re glad to share the breakdown with you. So, let’s get to it.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine Overall: Transparent Labs BULK

Good for: Anyone looking for a high-quality pre-workout to help them build muscle

Best Overall

Transparent Labs BULK Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Formulated to help support muscle gain 
  • 20 grams of research-based active ingredients per serving 
  • 8 flavor variations are available
 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Transparent ingredient list
  • No artificial sweetener or color
  • Moderate dose of caffeine
  • 8 flavor options
  • 60-day money-back assurance

Cons

  • No creatine
  • Some users report it tastes bad

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs’ BULK supplement is attractive to those whose primary focus is split between potential muscle gain and a pre-workout pump. While the taste is questionable, the product works well for most users.

Transparent Labs’ BULK pre-workout formula is designed to enhance muscle strength and improve stamina by supporting your workout. It uses a comprehensive list of evidence-based ingredients to boost energy and focus that you can take into your training.

It does not contain artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives. And what else is missing from its list of ingredients? You guessed it—creatine. 

Instead, BULK contains 2,500 milligrams of betaine anhydrous to help reduce fatigue and trigger a muscle growth response. You’ll also find 4,000 milligrams of beta-alanine to help support carnosine levels and increase muscle endurance. And you can’t forget about the 8,000 milligrams of citrulline malate included in every serving to help improve strength,2 muscle endurance, and aerobic performance, plus the 200 milligrams of caffeine from organic green coffee beans.

transparent labs bulk scoop into bottle

Transparent Labs BULK is vegan-friendly and available in a variety of flavors, including Strawberry Kiwi, Pina Colada, Blue Raspberry, Black Cherry, Peach Mango, Tropical Punch, Watermelon, Sour Grape, Green Apple, Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, and Lemon-Lime.

Bulk, like all Transparent Labs products, is tested by third-party labs. In addition, and in line with the company’s mission of transparency, all certificates of analysis and composition are available for customer viewing on the website.

To use, mix 1/2 scoop into 8 to 10 ounces of water approximately 20 to 30 minutes before your workout. If you need more intensity from the pre-workout supplement, you can mix a full scoop into 10 to 12 ounces of water.

GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly has used BULK and generally likes it. He does think the caffeine content is a bit low for his liking, but he got a great pump and was focused during this workout. Read his full Transparent Labs BULK review for more thoughts on this pre-workout.

Price per serving$1.67
Caffeine content200 mg
FlavorsStrawberry Kiwi, Pina Colada, Blue Raspberry, Black Cherry, Peach Mango, Tropical Punch, Watermelon, Sour Grape, Green Apple, Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, Lemon Lime
Third-party tested?Yes

Best Budget Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

Good for: Those with less cash to spend who still want a quality pre-workout

Best Budget

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4.14 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Pre-workout formula with B vitamins
  • 300 mg of caffeine per serving
  • About $1 per serving
  • Third-party tested
  • 5 flavor options

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Contains B vitamins
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Affordable price per serving

Cons

  • Not enough research to support the ingredients that claim to support cognitive function
  • Caffeine content may be too much for some folks

Bottom Line

Nutricost Pre-X is an affordable pre-workout at about $1 per serving. There are five flavors to choose from, each with a light and refreshing taste. Each serving contains 300 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to about 3 cups of coffee.

At about a dollar per serving (or less if you purchase a larger container), Nutricost is a pretty inexpensive pre-workout, making it our pick for the best budget option without creatine. Although it doesn’t cost much, it’s still packed with plenty of ingredients for energy, focus, and a nice pump.

Jacob Penner, USAW-L2, tested Pre-X, and liked the effects he felt, giving the effectiveness of the pre-workout a 4 out of 5. Jacob has a high tolerance to caffeine, but he still says, “I felt motivated and focused during my workouts.” 

Part of that probably has to do with the 300 milligrams of caffeine and 200 milligrams of alpha-GPC in each serving. Alpha-GPC3 has been shown to increase neurotransmitters for learning and memory, as well as possibly aiding in endurance performance.

Man drinking Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout comes in five flavors; Jacob tried out Blue Raspberry. The pre-workout tasted great, one of the better blue raspberry flavors Jacob has had. It mixes well, too, although it’s not as soluble as other pre-workouts. “This mixes nearly all the way, but there are still little bits left over—like tiny granules or beads,” Jacob adds. He rates the solubility a 4 out of 5.

Price per serving$1.09
Caffeine content300 mg
FlavorsBlue Raspberry, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Grape, Peach Mango
Third-party testedYes

Best Natural Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Legion Pulse

Good for: Those who dislike artificial stuff in their pre-workouts

Best Natural

Legion Athletics Pulse Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 100% nature-based
  • Free from added sugar, food dyes, and other chemicals
  • Full refund if not satisfied
  • Can get with or without caffeine
  • 15 flavors available

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • All natural ingredients
  • Free from dye and chemicals
  • Naturally sweetened
  • Intended to avoid the dreaded crash
  • Full refund if not satisfied
  • Can get with or without caffeine
  • 15 flavors available

Cons

  • Natural sweeteners make for a different taste—it may not be your cup of tea
  • Only 21 servings per tub

Bottom Line

Formulated with all-natural ingredients, each of which are present at a high level, Pulse is a fan-favorite. If you’re trying to avoid artificial flavors and chemicals, this may be a good choice.

Legion Pulse is a pre-workout powder formulated with 100% natural ingredients to help produce more energy, focus, and strength without the jitters and post-workout crashes. It’s free from artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and flavors.

Each serving of this powerful pre-workout supplement provides 350 milligrams of caffeine—a pretty solid pick-me-up. It also provides 350 milligrams of L-theanine, an amino acid shown to improve mood, memory performance, and attention when combined with caffeine.4

Legion-Pulse

You won’t find any creatine in the Pulse formula, but you will discover beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and betaine. Together, these ingredients work to support your athletic performance and help you get the most out of your workout.

Legion Pulse is available in quite a few flavors including Apple Cider, Blood Orange, Strawberry Margarita, and Tropical Punch. An independent lab tests Legion Pulse for heavy metals, microbes, allergens, and other contaminants. Want to see for yourself? Legion shares the lab results on its website.

While Pulse is pricey at $2.25 per serving, you can set up a subscription to save 10%. GGR senior editor Nicole Davis is a fan of Pulse, and wrote about it in our full Legion Pulse review if you want to learn more.

Price per serving$2.25, $2.02 with subscription savings
Caffeine content350 mg
FlavorsApple Cider, Arctic Blast, Blood Orange, Blueberry Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, Frosted Cranberry, Fruit Punch, Grap, Green Apple, Mojito, Pink Lemonade, Sour Candy, Strawberry Kiwi, Strawberry Margarita, Tropical Punch, Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, and Peach Ring
Third-party tested?Yes

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Men: XWERKS Ignite

Good for: Men looking for a high-quality pre-workout with nootropics

Best for Men

Xwerks Ignite Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Designed to provide sustainable energy without the crash
  • Uses a blend of caffeine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, rhodiola rosea, DMAE, L-tyrosine, carnosyn beta-alanine, L-citrulline malate, as well as calcium and magnesium lactate.
  • Xwerks claims that this product increases muscle growth and repair, enhances focus, and expands muscular endurance and work capacity
  • Available in 4 flavors

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • Less caffeine than other pre-workout supplements on the market
  • No crash
  • Great-tasting

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May make you feel jittery or experience other side effects like headaches or digestive problems

Bottom Line

Xwerks Ignite is an all natural pre-workout supplement with both energy-boosting and focus-enhancing ingredients. It may be a good choice for those who want a clean and effective product with a dose of vitamins.

XWERKS Ignite offers a blend of ingredients based around nootropics to support your energy levels and mental focus. It can deliver sustainable energy without the post-workout crash that comes with many other pre-workout supplements.

xwerks ignite preworkout

These clinically studied pre-workout ingredients include Rhodiola rosea and dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE, which have been connected to improved mental focus. Additionally, Ignite contains beta-alanine, L-citrulline malate, and calcium and magnesium lactate to support muscular endurance. And, of course, we can’t forget that each serving of XWERKS’ Ignite provides 150 milligrams of caffeine in addition to vitamins B6 and B12 to help support energy levels.

RELATED: Best Pre-Workout for Men

XWERKS Ignite is gluten- and dairy-free and is available in four flavors. It’s important to note that third-party testing is not mentioned on the XWERKS website. However, XWERKS has graciously linked supporting research for all the product’s listed ingredients.

Not happy with your experience taking Ignite? XWERKS offers a money-back guarantee, no questions asked.

Price per serving $1.63
Caffeine content150 mg
FlavorsGreen Apple, Watermelon, Orange, Blue Raspberry
Third-party tested?No

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Focus: Onnit AlphaBrain Pre-Workout

Good for: Those who want a pre-workout with research-backed ingredients

Runner-Up

Onnit Alpha BRAIN Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 3.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 200 mg of caffeine
  • Includes beta alanine and L-citrulline
  • Priced around $3/serving; subscribe-and-save option available
  • 2 flavors currently available

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 200 mg of caffeine
  • Tiger's Blood flavor tastes great
  • Includes 225 mg of ashwagandha extract
  • Contains beta alanine and L-citrulline
  • Subscribe-and-save option is available

Cons

  • Only 2 flavors available, and Yuzu Peach isn't popular among our product testers
  • $3/serving is expensive
  • Key ingredients like citrulline and beta-alanine are under-dosed

Bottom Line

Onnit's Alpha BRAIN Pre-Workout is a unique blend of ingredients that our testers enjoyed for workouts where they wanted to be focused and energized. It only comes in two flavors; the Tiger's Blood flavor is our preferred choice.

The label on Onnit AlphaBrain Pre-Workout looks a little different from what you typically find in pre-workout. Sure, there are 200 milligrams of caffeine, as well as beta alanine and L-citrulline. However, there is no creatine, and there are ingredients like African palm oil extract and ashwagandha extract.

The formulation is what drew us to this product, and it’s also what we love about it. Take NooGandha, which is a patented form of ashwagandha. This nootropic has some benefits for both mental and physical performance. You’ll also find Dynamine on the label, which is a stimulant purported to enhance the effects of caffeine.

To run AlphaBrain Pre-Workout through our testing, we turned to GGR Head of Content Kate Meier and her Olympic weightlifting team. Five competitive weightlifters tried Yuzu Peach and Tiger’s Blood, the only two flavors available. Yuzu Peach was not a crowd favorite, though some weightlifters said it grew on them over time. Tiger’s Blood, however, was a hit.

Woman Drinking Alpha Brain Pre Workout

As far as effects go, everyone noted an increase in focus. “This brings great focus and clarity to your workout,” Kate says. “It’s not overly stimulating; it’s more of just feeling very present and ready to do the work. Two of our testers said they got a good pump from this pre-workout.”

One downside to AlphaBrain Pre-Workout is the price: At $3 a serving, it’s one of the more expensive products on our list. However, you can save a little money if you opt to subscribe with Onnit. Also, Destini Moody, registered dietician and GGR writer, points out that key ingredients like beta alanine and L-citrulline are under-dosed compared to what we typically like to see in pre-workout.

Price per serving$3
Caffeine content200 mg
FlavorsTiger’s Blood, Yuzu Peach
Third-party tested?Yes

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Athletes: Jacked Factory NitroSurge

Good for: Recreational or beginner athletes looking for a pre-workout for a small boost of energy

Best Budget

Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout Powder

GGR Score: 4.23 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Vegan pre-workout 
  • 180 mg of caffeine per scoop 
  • Manufactured in USA in cGMP certified facility

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Available in multiple sizes: 30 or 60 servings
  • Subscribe and save 15%
  • Available in 11 flavors
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Manufactured in USA in cGMP certified facility
  • Vegan
  • Affordable at under $1 per serving (1 scoop serving)

Cons

  • Mixed reviews on taste
  • Mixed reviews on effectiveness
  • Contains sucralose

Bottom Line

Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout is a generally positively reviewed pre-workout with 180 milligrams of caffeine and a large variety of flavor options.

Athletes are always looking for the best supplements to help with their athletic performance, but also don’t want to break the bank. Nitrosurge is Jacked Factory’s creatine-free pre-workout option, and it’s friendly on the wallet—definitely one of the best cheap pre-workouts.  Plus, it’s formulated to support your energy levels and power output and is available in some very yummy flavors like Watermelon, Cotton Candy, and Black Cherry all at $0.83 per serving—a steal for an effective pre-workout.

Each serving of this creatine-free pre-workout powder provides 180 milligrams of caffeine. It also contains L-citrulline (3 grams), betaine anhydrous (1.25 grams), beta-alanine (1.6 grams), and L-theanine (90 milligrams) to support your fitness goals, but at dosages that would be great for a beginning athlete. USAW Level 2 Trainer and member of the GGR expert panel Jacob Penner has tried NitroSurge pre-workout and said that for him, it’s not quite strong enough, but it would be great for an athlete who isn’t looking for a really hard-hitting formula. 

jacked factory nitrosurge

Unfortunately, there is no mention of third-party testing on Jacked Factory’s website, but Nitrosurge uses research-backed ingredients to help boost energy, increase focus, and provide muscle pumps. However, for elite athletes who are regularly drug-tested, this will not have been tested for banned substances.

To use, mix one scoop into 8 to 10 ounces of water approximately 25 to 35 minutes before your workout. Jacked Factory recommends a maximum dose of two scoops daily mixed into 12 to 20 ounces of water.

Price per serving $0.83, $0.71 with subscription savings
Caffeine content180 mg
FlavorsCherry Limeade, Blue Raspberry, Pineapple, Watermelon, Arctic White, Fruit Punch, Grape, Cotton Candy, Sour Peach Rings, Blueberry Lemonade, Black Cherry
Third-party tested?No 

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Beginners: C4 Ripped

Good for: Those new to taking pre-workout

Best for Beginners

C4 Ripped Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 3.9 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • Contains 135 mg of caffeine per serving
  • 30 servings per container
  • Contains beta-alanine and citrulline malate
  • Available in Fruit Punch and Arctic Snow Cone

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • Inexpensive
  • Contains beta-alanine and citrulline malate
  • Can take 1 or 2 servings, depending on caffeine tolerance

Cons

  • Lower caffeine content per serving
  • Only two flavors available
  • Key ingredients are underdosed for 1 serving

Bottom Line

C4 Ripped Pre-Workout is a great pre-workout option for those new to pre-workouts or who are new to fitness in general. With a small serving size of 7 grams, you can double the serving based on your caffeine tolerance. It contains beta-alanine and citrulline malate, although it’s a bit underdosed for one serving when compared to other pre-workouts. C4 Ripped comes in two flavors: Fruit Punch and Arctic Snow Cone.

If you’re a newbie to pre-workouts it’s important to start conservatively, picking a product that’s not super high-stim or chock full of pre-workout ingredients so you can gauge how your body will react. We generally like C4 pre-workout products for beginners, mostly because they have low dosages of ingredients, but also because of their affordability.

RELATED: C4 Pre-Workout Review

C4 Ripped, of course, does not contain creatine, but does contain 1 gram of citrulline malate, 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, 200 milligrams of caffeine, and 1 gram of a proprietary Performance & Thermogenic Blend. While we don’t love proprietary blends in supplements, its relatively low dosage, as well as the low dosages of beta-alanine and citrulline could be good for a beginner. There is a significant amount of caffeine in this—about the equivalent of two cups of coffee—so be mindful of that. Overall, C4 Ripped earned a 3.5 out of 5 for formulation. 

Image of C4 Ripped Sport pre-workout shaken in glass

Lindsay Scheele, lead reviewer on GGR Everything, tested C4 Ripped Sport, which has slightly higher dosages, and says that while there was nothing stand out about this pre-workout, she thinks it’s a good one to start with if you’re new to the product category.

Price per serving$1.33
Caffeine content200 mg
FlavorsIcy Blue Razz, Cherry Limeade, Raspberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch
Third-party tested?No

Best High-Stim Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Nutrition Cartel El Jefe

Good for: Someone who wants a big pick-me-up 

Best High-Stim

El Jefe Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • All-in-one high stim pre-workout 
  • Combines stim and pump ingredients 
  • Available in 4 flavors

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Flexible dosing: Can take 1 or 2 scoops
  • Combines stimulants and pump ingredients
  • Save when buying multiple

Cons

  • Contains sucralose
  • Limited reviews
  • Not third-party tested

Bottom Line

El Jefe Pre-Workout is a high stimulant pre-workout with limited but positive customer reviews for providing energy, focus, pump, and tasting good.

If you’re looking for one of the strongest pre-workouts on the market, check out El Jefe. El Jefe is a high-stim pre-workout supplement that provides insane focus, energy, and muscle pump. It’s available in four flavors.

El Jefe contains two patented ingredients, including its Jefe Stim Matrix. However, ASC specifies that two scoops of the pre-workout powder provide 400 milligrams of caffeine — 300 milligrams from caffeine anhydrous and 100 milligrams from Di caffeine malate. Therefore, ASC recommends that beginners start by taking one scoop of El Jefe, providing half of that caffeine.

The supplement’s performance and pump matrix includes citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and betaine anhydrous. It also contains taurine, an ingredient commonly found in energy drinks. While it may help with energy production, taurine may also support hydration in muscle cells.

El Jefe Pre-Workout

GGR head of content Kate Meier had a weightlifting teammate try out this pre-workout and he was impressed—which is saying something considering he’s tried up to 30 different pre-workouts himself.  

“I felt like I could breathe better. It definitely gives you a big pump and it’s quick to kick in. The biggest thing was the focus—this provided one of the best feelings of being “locked in” compared to other pre-workouts I’ve tried.”

There is no mention of third-party testing on the website, and, unfortunately, there is no linked research to any of the product’s ingredients. And the proprietary blends make it challenging to know how much of each component is consumed, so we really recommend steering clear if you’re a beginner, are sensitive to caffeine, or are an athlete that gets drug-tested.

Price per serving $1.37
Caffeine content200 mg
FlavorsTiger’s Blood, Sour Gummy Bear, Orange Creamsicle, Peach Rings 
Third-party tested?No

Best-Tasting Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Huge Supplements Pump Serum

Good for: Anyone who likes fruity, sweet pre-workouts

Best-Tasting

Huge Supplements Pump Serum Non-Stim

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Available in four flavors
  • Formulated to improve workout performance 
  • Claimed to increase pump and muscle fullness 
  • Claimed to enhance endurance and increase focus

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Reportedly effective
  • No post-workout crash
  • Taste is popular
  • Mixes well

Cons

  • Sucralose may cause GI distress
  • Artificial ingredients
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

Although it does contain artificial ingredients, the Pump Serum Stimulant Free Pre-Workout powder is designed to pump you up for your next workout without any post-workout crash.

Not a fan of pre-workouts containing stimulants? Huge Supplements’ Pump Serum might be the stim-free pre-workout you’ve been searching for, and it tastes absolutely delicious. This caffeine-free pre-workout is available in four flavors: Jungle Juice, Strawberry Mojito, Cherry Berry, and Island Dream. Our testers have tried Cherry Berry and felt it was the perfect amount of tart and sweet, but they did add more water than is instructed on the directions.  

huge supplements pump serum

With no caffeine or creatine, you might wonder how Pump Serum works. Huge Supplements has combined 13 potent ingredients, some patented, to increase your exercise performance. The pre-workout provides optimal doses of choline, L-citrulline, betaine anhydrous, GlycerPump, and L-tyrosine. Each serving also offers five milligrams of Bioperine to optimize your body’s absorption of other nutrients.5

Designed to help you maximize muscle pump, training capability, and mental focus, Pump Serum can help you experience high-intensity workouts without a post-workout crash.

Unfortunately, third-party testing is not mentioned on the Huge Supplements website. However, Pump Serum is manufactured in an FDA-regulated facility following Good Manufacturing Practices.

Price per serving $1.37
Caffeine content0 mg
FlavorsJungle Juice, Strawberry Mojito, Cherry Berry, Island Dream
Third-party tested?No

Best Stim-Free Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Kaged Pre-Kaged Stim-Free 

Good for: Someone sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants

Best Stim-Free

Kaged Pre-Kaged Stim-Free

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Formulated to enhance focus, pump, and endurance 
  • Transparent list of ingredients 
  • No flavors or colors from artificial ingredients
  • Third-party tested and banned-substance free
  • Patented blend of 29 fruits and vegetable extracts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mostly clean ingredients
  • No post-workout crash
  • Third-party tested
  • Mixes well

Cons

  • Too sweet for some
  • Contains sucralose

Bottom Line

The Pre-Kaged Stim Free pre-workout powder features a blend of plant-based, clean ingredients to provide a boost before your next workout without the caffeine.

Kaged Pre-Kaged Stim-Free made it on our list of the best stim-free pre-workouts. It’s a non-stim pre-workout formula designed to help you maximize pumps, endurance, and mental focus. It combines high-quality sports nutrition with powerful, antioxidant-rich foods.

Image of woman pouring Kaged Pre-Kaged stim-free pre-workout into shaker

This caffeine-free pre-workout boasts a list of impressive ingredients. These include beta-alanine, L-tyrosine, and L-taurine, all working together to reduce muscle fatigue, improve body composition, and increase power output. In addition, Pre-Kaged Stim-Free also provides 500 milligrams of coconut water powder, aimed at supporting intramuscular hydration.

Kaged recommends mixing one scoop of Pre-Kaged Stim-Free in 12 to 16 ounces of water 30 to 45 minutes before each workout. You may notice improved physical performance, increased strength, optimized endurance, and enhanced recovery when taken correctly.

Price per serving$2.24
Caffeine content0 mg
FlavorsFruit Punch, Cherry Bomb
Third-party tested?Yes

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Women: Transparent Labs LEAN

Good for: Women in need of a sweet-tasting pre-workout

Best for Women

Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout

Product Highlights

  • Formulated for those looking to lose weight but maintain muscle mass
  • 14 grams of evidence-based ingredients
  • Naturally flavored and sweetened with Stevia
  • Available in 9 different flavors
  • Backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Includes vitamins/micronutrients to support thyroid production
  • High levels of citrulline to increase oxygen delivery to muscles
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No artificial colors
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Bitter and unpleasant taste for some consumers
  • Several reports of receiving wrong item

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs’ LEAN pre-workout supplement promises to deliver better endurance, power, alertness, and focus. The fat loss component is less of a guarantee with few reports of an actual change in body composition.

Transparent Labs LEAN is on our list of the best pre-workout for women for good reason: First and foremost, this is a third-party tested product that has a very transparent label. So we know what’s actually inside, and what’s in there is a bunch of clinically-backed ingredients and dosages.

LEAN, which was reformulated in 2023, now has all the makings of a solid pre-workout, touting 200 milligrams of caffeine, 2 milligrams of beta-alanine, 6 milligrams of citrulline malate, and 1.5 milligrams of betaine anhydrous. Nicole Davis, GGR senior editor and certified nutrition coach, tested LEAN and gave it a 5 out of 5 for its positive effeccts.

Scooping TL Lean into bottle

Additionally, LEAN purports to have a formula geared to aid in weight loss efforts. Will it actually make you lose weight? Meh. But it does have iodine, zinc, and selenium, which all aim to support healthy thyroid function (though research on this isn’t conclusive).

There are eight flavors of LEAN available. Nicole tried Tropical Punch. “It’s not overly sweet, which I appreciate,” she says, giving it a 5 out of 5. “Solubility is not the best, but that didn’t detract too much from the experience overall.”

You can check out our complete thoughts in our in-depth Transparent Labs LEAN review.

Price per serving $1.66
Caffeine content200 mg
FlavorsTropical Punch, Lemon Lime, Sour Peach, Sour Grape, Watermelon, Green Apple, Orange, Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Lemonade 
Third-party tested?Yes

Other Pre-Workout Without Creatine We Researched and Tested

Though we tried to include various pre-workout products, we know this list cannot be exhaustive. We all have unique fitness goals, and our bodies respond differently to dietary supplements. Here are some other pre-workouts without creatine that we’ve researched and/or tested.

  • Alani Nu: Alani Nu’s Pre-Workout powder supplement is available in 12 different flavors. It provides 200 milligrams of caffeine in every serving and a dose of citrulline malate, beta-alanine, L-theanine, and L-tyrosine. It boasts a competitive price per serving but contains artificial flavors and is not third-party tested.
  • PEScience High Volume Pre Workout: PEScience High Volume Pre-workout is a caffeine-free supplement. However, it contains arginine nitrate, which is said to improve nitric oxide production. It’s available in eight flavors and can be ordered on Amazon.
  • Pre Lab Pro: Pre Lab Pro is a nootropic pre-workout formula containing a moderate caffeine dose for a jitter-free energy boost. Its ingredients also aim to support hydration and stress resistance. It’s only available in one flavor, but you can order in bulk to save money per serving.
  • Genius Pre: Genius Pre is a clinically dosed, caffeine-free pre-workout supplement. You’ll likely experience rapid nitric oxide elevation with nootropic ingredients, improving your physical capabilities. It’s available in four flavors and can be purchased once or as a subscription.
  • Swolverine PRE: We like this one for a stim-free pre-workout, but it’s an expensive option.

How We Picked and Tested the Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine

Our team of testers here at GGR is made up of registered dietitians, certified personal trainers, athletes, and coaches. We’ve all experienced the benefits of pre-workouts firsthand, and some of us have experienced the discomfort that creatine can cause.

We spent countless hours reviewing and studying the many pre-workout supplements available today. We relied on our professional credentials and personal experiences to create a well-rounded, comprehensive list.

To provide you with this list of some of the best pre-workouts without creatine, we considered the following:

  • The list of ingredients
  • The dosing of ingredients
  • Third-party testing
  • Flavors
  • Customer reviews
  • Price per serving

Benefits of Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine

Creatine may come with unwanted side effects—most notably, the dreaded abdominal bloating. Using a pre-workout without creatine can provide you with all the benefits of a pre-workout supplement without discomfort.

Pre-workout supplements may:

Increase Blood Flow

Many pre-workouts contain compounds that support nitric oxide production, improving cardiovascular function and dilating blood vessels. Increased blood flow means enhanced transportation of oxygen and essential nutrients.

Increase Energy Levels

The stimulants in pre-workout supplements can act like energy boosters, giving you the power you need to rock your workout.

Improve Muscle Recovery

Many pre-workout supplements, even without creatine, can help enhance your muscle recovery. Some pre-workouts contain BCAAs that promote muscle protein synthesis6.

Improve Strength and Endurance

With improved focus and increased energy, you can maximize your workouts and develop your strength and endurance. Improved blood flow and muscle recovery also increase muscle strength and endurance over time.

coop-doing-a-barbell-curl

Support Weight Loss Efforts

Pre-workouts can help improve your athletic performance, allowing you to maximize workouts. As you’re able to optimize your training, you may notice a change in your body composition. You may see weight loss as a result of fat loss and muscle building.

Dosing and Interactions 

Be mindful of your pre-workout’s recommended dosing. For example, many pre-workout supplements contain caffeine that may interfere with certain medications. Furthermore, consider the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that may be included in your pre-workout supplement. Consuming these nutrients in excess may affect your overall health or waste your money when your body excretes what it doesn’t use.

It’s also important to remember that sports nutrition supplements cannot replace optimum nutrition. Pre-workout supplements should only be used in conjunction with a well-balanced diet and with your doctor’s or registered dietitian’s approval.

Third-Party Testing

We’re big fans of third-party testing here at GGR. It’s refreshing to see companies send their products to independent laboratories to ensure the safety and quality of their products before making them available to customers.

If a third-party lab has not tested a product, it’s important to research its ingredients to ensure they have been clinically verified. And be mindful of proprietary blends, as companies are not required to disclose the amount of each ingredient included.

Buying Guide: What to Look for in the Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine

Pre-workouts aren’t just for bodybuilding or weightlifting anymore. Pre-workout supplements can be influential in many fitness journeys. Whether you want to focus on building muscle or fat burning, amping up your workout with the right supplement beforehand can make a world of difference.

But how do we separate the best pre-workout supplements from all the rest? Here are a few things to consider when searching for your best pre-workout.

RELATED: What to Look for In A Pre-Workout

Ingredient Lists

We want to know what we’re putting in our bodies daily. Therefore, we must read the ingredient lists of all our supplements. Many pre-workouts include creatine monohydrate. However, if you’re searching for a creatine-free pre-workout, be mindful of what’s taking creatine’s place.

Understanding which ingredients support our energy, improve our focus, and enhance our muscle recovery is essential. If you have questions about the role that ingredients play in a supplement’s effects, talk with your registered dietitian nutritionist.

Third-Party Testing

If possible, look for products that a third-party lab has tested. For example, many sports nutrition companies rely on independent laboratories to test their products for heavy metals and other contaminants. This ensures that products meet safety and quality standards.

If a product has not been tested by a third party, ensure that the ingredients are backed by science. For safety measures, it’s best only to use supplements that use evidence-based formulas.

Flavor and Taste

If you’re one to get bored with your supplement routine, consider searching for a pre-workout that comes in various flavors. Customer reviews can be especially helpful when finding a taste you’d enjoy regularly.

Woman drinking Ascent Pre-Workout

Cost Per Serving

Considering that pre-workout supplements are formulated for consistent use, finding a product that fits your budget can be a significant factor in your search. Many companies offer subscription savings, which can significantly improve the cost per serving and keep you stocked with your favorite pre-workout.

FAQs About Pre-Workout Without Creatine

Is there a pre-workout without creatine?

Yes! Many sports nutrition companies offer pre-workout formulas without creatine. Our top picks are:

Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine Overall: Transparent Labs Bulk
-Best Budget Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout
-Best Natural Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Legion Pulse
-Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Men: XWERKS Ignite
-Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Focus: Onnit AlphaBrain Pre-Workout
-Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Athletes: Jacked Factory NitroSurge
-Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Beginners: C4 Ripped Sport
-Best High-Stim Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Nutrition Cartel El Jefe
-Best-Tasting Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Huge Supplements Pump Serum
-Best Stim-Free Pre-Workout Without Creatine: Kaged Pre-Kaged Stim-Free
-Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine for Women: Transparent Labs LEAN

Which C4 has no creatine?

C4 Ripped from Cellucor is a creatine-free pre-workout supplement. It’s designed to support your training levels and fat loss goals.

Does Bucked Up have creatine in it?

Bucked Up Pre-Workout does not contain creatine. It is a keto- and paleo-friendly supplement, free from sugar and calories. It does have 200 milligrams of caffeine.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Kreider, R. B., Kalman, D. S., Antonio, J., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Wildman, R., Collins, R., Candow, D. G., Kleiner, S. M., Almada, A. L., & Lopez, H. L. (2016). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: Safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
  2. Gough, L. A., Sparks, S. A., McNaughton, L. R., Higgins, M. F., Newbury, J. W., Trexler, E., Faghy, M. A., & Bridge, C. A. (2020). A critical review of citrulline malate supplementation and exercise performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 121(12), 3283-3295. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04774-6
  3. Parker AG, Byars A, Purpura M, Jäger R. The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agility. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Sep 21;12(Suppl 1):P41. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-12-S1-P41. PMCID: PMC4595381.
  4. Dodd, F. L., Kennedy, D. O., Riby, L. M., & Haskell-Ramsay, C. F. (2015). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology, 232(14), 2563–2576. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-015-3895-0
  5. Fernández-Lázaro, D., Mielgo-Ayuso, J., Martínez, A. C., & Seco-Calvo, J. (2020). Iron and Physical Activity: Bioavailability Enhancers, Properties of Black Pepper (Bioperine®) and Potential Applications. Nutrients, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061886
  6. Neinast, M., Murashige, D., & Arany, Z. (2019). Branched Chain Amino Acids. Annual review of physiology, 81, 139–164. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-physiol-020518-114455

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