7 Best Low Caffeine Pre-Workouts in 2024

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko (5 years as FPA-Certified Nutritionist, MS in Sports Dietetics)

Looking for a pre workout that won’t give you jitters or keep you up at night? These are the best low caffeine pre workouts available today. 

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Transparent Labs STIM-FREE.


Transparent Labs STIM-FREE offers a complete stimulant-free pre-workout with effective doses of BCAAs, Beta-Alanine, Citrulline Malate, and other ingredients, available in various flavors without artificial additives.

While pre workout is one of the most popular supplements for strength athletes, one of the most common complaints is the high dose of caffeine in each serving. Luckily, there are plenty of high quality pre workouts that have either low doses of caffeine, or none at all. If you’re looking for such a pre workout, then keep reading to check out your best options. 

Best Low Caffeine Pre Workouts

Top 7 Best Low Caffeine Pre-Workouts Reviewed

ProductTotalStimulationTasteNutrition Label TransparencyPrice/
Quality
Stim-Free388101010
C4® Sport37.5109.5810
AminoLean37109810
Vega Sport36.59.5999
Red Leaf35.58.51098
Garden of Life359899
Genius338898
Stim-Free pre workout

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Diet Type: Bulking, Cutting, Maintaining Weight
  • Flavor: Cherry Limeade, Sour Grape, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Orange, Peach Mango, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: BCAA, Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Betapure, Taurine, L-Tyrosine, elevATP
  • Package Information: 684g
  • Serving: 22.8g
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

Our top pick for a low-caffeine pre workout is Transparent Labs’ Stim-Free Performance Formula.

Founded in 2015, Transparent Labs has quickly become one of the most well trusted and highly regarded supplement companies on the market. This is because of their commitment to creating products of the highest quality, and being 100% clear with their customers about what their products contain.

Stim-Free pre workout instagram

Photo by @mrviptsx

Overall, this is the most complete stimulant free pre workout available on the market. Combining BCAA, Beta-Alanine, Citrulline Malate and numerous other ingredients at effective doses, Transparent Labs’ product proves you don’t need caffeine to have a great pre workout. On top of this, the supplement features a wide range of flavors, all formulated with no artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives.

If you are looking for a pre workout with caffeine, Transparent Labs Bulk and Cut formulas are both great choices. Both of these supplements feature a very similar formula to the Stim-Free option with 200mg of caffeine per serving. Although these couldn’t be called “low caffeine pre workouts”, they still have a more reasonable dose then some other supplements on the market.

38Expert Score

Transparent Labs STIM-FREE is a caffeine-free pre-workout option with a similar formula to their Bulk and Cut formulas, providing a reasonable dose of ingredients without the stimulating effects of caffeine.

Stimulation:
8
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Price/ Quality:
10

Positives:

  • Long list of flavors

  • Formulated with no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives

  • Trustworthy brand

Could be better:

  • High serving size compared to other pre workouts

  • High dose of Beta-Alanine may cause adverse side effects such as itching

C4® Sport Pre Workout

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Diet Type: Bulking, Cutting, Maintaining Weight
  • Flavor: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, and Watermelon
  • Caffeine: 135mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-Alanine, Taurine
  • Package Information: 201g
  • Serving: 9g
  • Company Founded: 2011
  • Recommended by Athletes: Brittany Ann, Scott Mathison, Demi Bagby

Our runner up for the best pre workout with low caffeine is C4’s sport pre workout.

Founded in 2011 by Cellucor, C4 quickly became one of the most recognizable and iconic brands of pre workout on the market. Their current formula for C4 Sport is easily one of the most complete and effective supplements in the pre workout space.

This comes mainly from a combination of the C4 Sport Performance Blend, and the C4 Sport Energy Blend. The Performance Blend contains a solid mixture of ingredients including Beta-Alanine, Creatine, and various electrolytes to help with hydration. The Energy Blend contains things like taurine and 135 mg of caffeine. While this certainly isn’t a stimulant free pre workout, the serving size of caffeine is reasonable, and won’t likely lead to many adverse side effects.

C4® Sport Pre Workout instagram

Photo by @trevanion50

The one downside of C4’s ingredients being listed in these 2 blends is that it’s not clear how much of each individual ingredient you’re getting. With things like creatine specifically, it’s helpful to know how much you are consuming, especially if you’re already supplementing with creatine. Because of this, it’s hard to say if C4’s doses are as optimal as possible.

37.5Expert Score

C4 Sport by Cellucor is a popular low-caffeine pre-workout that combines performance-enhancing ingredients with an energy blend containing 135 mg of caffeine, although the exact ingredient doses are not specified.

Stimulation:
10
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
8
Price/ Quality:
10

Positives:

  • Great source of B Vitamins (B6 and B12)

  • Good combination of stimulation, and performance boosting ingredients

  • Different electrolytes promote hydration

Could be better:

  • Label is not clear about ingredient doses

  • Stimulation may be too strong for some

AminoLean Pre Workout

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Diet Type: Cutting
  • Flavor: Blackberry Pomegranate, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Pink Lemonade, Watermelon, Grape
  • Caffeine: 125mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-Alanine, Citrulline, Taurine, Tyrosine
  • Package Information: 270g
  • Serving: 9g
  • Company Founded: 2009
  • Recommended by Athletes: Lewis Echavarria, Nebby Fusco, Idris Doosi

Another great choice for the best low stim pre workout is AminoLean’s Pre Workout Powder.

Founded in 2009, AminoLean has been around for a while and has built up a solid reputation in the pre workout space. Ultimately, AminoLean is a very similar product to C4 Sport for several reasons.

Like C4, it contains a very similar level of caffeine, and its ingredients are listed in a set of blends – the Amino Acid Blend, the Weight Management Blend, and the Energy and Focus Blend. Again, this makes it difficult to determine exactly how much of each ingredient is in each serving of the pre workout.

AminoLean Pre Workout instagram

What mainly separates AminoLean from other pre workouts is that it is branded more as a diet/weight loss supplement. This comes primarily from their Weight Management Blend, featuring ingredients like L-Carnitine and Green Tea Extract. Ultimately, mileage will vary from person to person on the effectiveness of this supplement specifically for weight loss.

37Expert Score

AminoLean's Pre Workout Powder is a popular low-stimulant option that combines ingredients for energy, focus, and weight management, making it a versatile choice for those seeking a well-rounded pre-workout supplement.

Stimulation:
10
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
8
Price/ Quality:
10

Positives:

  • Specifically designed for weight management if this is your goal

  • Unique approach to pre workout focusing on Amino Acids

  • Wide range of flavors to choose from

Could be better:

  • Unclear doses of most ingredients

  • Weight management formula won’t align with everyone’s goals

Vega Sport Sugar Free Energizer

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Diet Type: Bulking, Cutting, Maintaining Weight
  • Flavor: Berry, Strawberry Lemonade
  • Caffeine: 100mg
  • Special Ingredients: Rhodiola Rosea Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract
  • Package Information: 122g
  • Serving: 3.2g
  • Company Founded: 2001
  • Recommended by Athletes: Javale Mcgee, Rachel McBride, Joe Gambles

Another great low stimulant pre workout is Vega Sport’s Sugar Free Pre Workout Energizer.

One of the most recognizable brands in the vegan supplement world, Vega has been a pioneer in the space making vegan specific products since 2001. This will be a great choice for vegans and vegetarians looking to support companies in line with their values.

As a pre workout, Vega’s product unfortunately does not contain many of the ingredients you would expect such as Beta-Alanine, creatine, L-Tyrosine, etc. Instead, the drink's ingredients are largely focused on the caffeine – derived from Coffee Berry and Green Tea Leaf extract – and electrolytes – coming from Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium.

This makes the product more akin to an energy drink than a pre workout. However, if you’re looking for a simple drink to get a reasonable hit of caffeine and some electrolytes before your workout, this is still a great option.

36.5Expert Score

Vega Sport's Sugar-Free Pre Workout Energizer is a vegan-friendly low-stimulant option that offers a caffeine boost and electrolytes for a convenient pre-workout drink.

Stimulation:
9.5
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Price/ Quality:
9

Positives:

  • 0g of sugar in each serving

  • Completely vegan company

  • Solid, mid-range dose of caffeine

Could be better:

  • Does not contain many ingredients you would expect from a pre workout

  • Not many flavors to choose from

Red Leaf Pre Workout Energizer

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Diet Type: Bulking, Cutting, Maintaining Weight
  • Flavor: Cranberry Lime, Blueberry Acai
  • Caffeine: 40mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-alanine
  • Package Information: 162g
  • Serving: 5.4g
  • Company Founded: 2018
  • Recommended by Athletes: John Loeffel, Wellness by Sav 

Up next for another excellent lower caffeine pre workout, we have Red Leaf’s Pre Workout Energizer Powder.

Founded just 5 years ago in 2018, Red Leaf is one of the newest brands featured on our list. This pre workout is their main product, showing that they believe in its effectiveness. Some of the other products they offer are collagen peptides, recovery balm, and an immunity support supplement.

As a pre workout, Red Leaf’s product is simple yet effective. At only 40mg of caffeine per serving, this is a pre workout with less caffeine than any other option on our list, while still having some stimulation. It is right in the sweet spot of having enough caffeine to give a mild boost without going overboard. Featuring a similar amount of caffeine to a cup of coffee, it is promoted as an effective substitute for the drink.

The supplement features most of the ingredients you would expect in a pre workout, focussing on Beta-Alanine, and BCAAS. With 1g of Beta-Alanine per serving, you can get an effective dose without the intensity of some other pre workouts featuring 4 times as much.

35.5Expert Score

Red Leaf's Pre Workout Energizer Powder is a newer brand that provides a simple and effective low-caffeine option, delivering a mild energy boost with only 40mg of caffeine per serving.

Stimulation:
8.5
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Price/ Quality:
8

Positives:

  • Very mild dose of caffeine

  • Company that is focussed primarily on this product

  • Flavored with natural fruit juices

Could be better:

  • Ingredient profile could be more complete with ingredients like creatine and L-Tyrosine

  • High price tag per serving considering the ingredients

Garden of Life Pre Workout

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Diet Type: Bulking, Cutting, Maintaining Weight
  • Flavor: Blackberry, Blackberry-Cherry
  • Caffeine: 85mg
  • Special Ingredients: Nitric Oxide Blend
  • Package Information: 432g
  • Serving: 6g
  • Company Founded: 2000
  • Recommended by Athletes: Nate Diaz, Santia Deck, Lauren Reid & Kelly Collins

Another excellent choice for a pre workout with little caffeine is Garden of Life’s Sport Organic Plant Based Energy supplement.

Similar to Vega, Garden of Life is a completely vegan company targeted towards people on a plant based diet. Like the other company, they have been around for a while, being founded in 2000.

Garden of Life Pre Workout instagram

At 85 mg of caffeine per serving, Garden Of Life’s product will provide a solid level of stimulation without being too high. Its formula focuses on providing energy through not only caffeine but a combination of antioxidant and nitric oxide rich ingredients. This means the product will not contain many of the ingredients you may expect in a pre workout, instead providing a unique profile of vegetable ingredients to create a stimulating effect.

Because of this, however, the distinct effects of the pre workout may be more difficult to notice. Ultimately, this supplement appears to be designed to promote overall health more than helping you get a better workout.

35Expert Score

Garden of Life's Sport Organic Plant Based Energy supplement is a vegan-friendly pre-workout with 85 mg of caffeine per serving, providing a balanced level of stimulation while emphasizing overall health benefits.

Stimulation:
9
Taste/Flavor:
8
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Price/ Quality:
9

Positives:

  • Completely clean and natural formula

  • Only supplement on the list that contains dietary fiber (2g)

  • High Vitamin B12 content

Could be better:

  • Doesn’t contain many classic pre workout ingredients

  • Only 2 different flavors to choose from

Genius Pre Workout Powder

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Diet Type: Bulking, Cutting, Maintaining Weight
  • Flavor
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Betaine, Tyrosine, Taurine
  • Package Information
  • Serving: 17g
  • Company Founded: 2018
  • Recommended by Athletes: Nate Robinson, Chris Hyppa, Aaron Lee

Ending off our list of the best pre workout for caffeine sensitive people is Genius Pre Workout Powder.

Founded in 2018, Genius is a company focussed on creating products that not only aid in physical performance, but mental activity as well. This is a nootropic based pre workout, meaning it is designed to help with focus as well as energy.

Genius Pre Workout Powder instagram

Photo by @gabecuello

Containing many of the ingredients you would expect from a pre workout – Beta-Alanine, L-Tyrosine, ElevATP, etc. – it also contains some nootropic ingredients designed to help with focus – Rhodiola Rosea, Huperzia Serrate, Astragin, etc. This will give the supplement an effective balance between energy and mental clarity in the gym.

Of course, with no caffeine it won’t provide as much pure stimulation as some of the other options on our list, but it is still a great choice for an all around pre workout.

33Expert Score

Garden of Life's Sport Organic Plant Based Energy supplement is a versatile nootropic-based pre-workout that combines energy-boosting ingredients with focus-enhancing nootropics for a well-rounded workout experience.

Stimulation:
8
Taste/Flavor:
8
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Price/ Quality:
8

Positives:

  • Unique blend of classic pre workout ingredients and nootropics

  • No artificial flavors, and sweeteners, and filler ingredients

  • High doses of its proprietary blends (AlphaSize, elevATP, CarnoSyn, & AstraGin)

Could be better:

  • No caffeine will lead to less pure stimulation

  • Very high price per serving

Why Do You Need Pre-Workout With Low Caffeine?

You Have a Caffeine Sensitivity

Many people inherently have troubles with large doses of caffeine Given that caffeine is found in many beverages like tea, coffee, cocoa, cola, and others, as well as in foods like chocolate, with an already high intake, the extra servings from the pre-workout may be excessive. Some even exhibit symptoms of caffeine intolerance.

Caffeine intolerance is a condition in which a person experiences negative side effects after consuming even small amounts of caffeine. These side effects can range from mild to severe and may include symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, heart palpitations, gastrointestinal discomfort, and irritability.

Many pre workout supplements have about 200 mg of caffeine per serving. This dose is well tolerated by most adults, but if you are caffeine-sensitive, then you’ll definitely want to avoid this kind of supplement. Choosing an option that has no caffeine or around 100 mg of caffeine or less, you’ll have a significantly lower chance of the negative side effects associated with high doses of caffeine. This way you can still enjoy the benefits of pre workout supplements without all the associated negatives.

wbcm athlete lifting workout

You’re Having Sleep Troubles

One of the most common complaints with caffeine is that it affects people’s sleep schedules. Especially if you’re someone that works out in the evening, this can be a real concern. This is where choosing a stimulant free option will be your best option, as caffeine can seriously affect your sleep if you’re consuming it within 6 hours of going to bed. Even if you choose a low caffeine pre workout, it’s still best practice to not consume it in the evening. It’s common advice to avoid caffeine past 2 p.m. if you’re looking to establish better sleep habits.

Tips From the Champ

When choosing a women's weightlifting belt, there are a few key things to consider. First, make sure that the belt is designed specifically for women or conforms to the curves of the female body. Second, look for a belt made of high-quality materials to ensure comfort during lifting. Also, consider the width of the belt, which will help distribute pressure more evenly and provide more support in the back. An available self-locking mechanism can be useful for easy adjustment and secure attachment.

For example, the WARM BODY COLD MIND weightlifting belt. It offers a contoured fit for women, is made of durable materials, measures 4" wide, and features an auto-locking buckle for quick and secure adjustment. This belt is ideal for beginners or intermediate weightlifters.

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

You’re Still a Young Teenager

While most adults can choose how much caffeine they want to consume, teenagers are different. It’s common medical advice for people between the ages of 12 and 17 to have less than 100mg of caffeine per day. This means choosing either a stimulant free option, or a low caffeine option will be a good decision for teens in this age range.

gym athlete running

How to Find the Best Low Caffeine Pre-Workouts?

Stimulation

This ultimately comes down to a matter of personal preference. When looking for a pre workout with lower stimulation, there is still a wide range of caffeine levels to choose from. The options on our list span from 0 mg to 135 mg per serving. For example, an 100mg caffeine pre workout will have very different effects than a 40mg or 0mg option. It’s up to you to decide what level of stimulation you’re looking for and what’s right for you.

Taste/Flavor

With many of the pre workouts on our list featuring a wide range of flavors, this is also a matter of personal preference. Some pre workouts will mix better than others and have an overall better taste than others. This is an area where trying several different options may be necessary to determine which one is your favorite.

wbcm lifting exercise

Nutrition Label Transparency

Arguably the most important aspect of choosing a pre workout is understanding the composition of ingredients in each supplement you’re looking at. Nutrition label transparency involves not only knowing the doses of each ingredient found in the supplement, but whether or not there are any unnecessary filler ingredients as well.

Value for Money

Finally, as with any supplement, you should ensure you’re getting your money’s worth in each serving. You can calculate how much each serving costs by dividing the price of the container by how many servings it contains. Keep in mind that the dose of ingredients per serving also plays a part in how much value you’re getting for your money as well.

wbcm athlete workout

Pre-Workout With Low Caffeine Tips

When to Take Pre-Workout

Pre workout should ideally be taken anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes before a workout to ensure maximum effectiveness. Some people prefer to drink their pre workouts throughout their workout, although this is only recommended for especially long workouts. Remember that if you’re taking a caffeinated pre workout consider the time of day as well to ensure you’re not disrupting your sleep schedule.

What to Mix Pre-Workout With

Most pre workouts are taken simply mixed with water as they already come with strong flavors. However, you can absolutely mix pre workouts with juice, or blend them into a smoothie as well. We only recommend this if you have a mild or unflavored pre workout, as the taste will likely be very unpleasant otherwise.

wbcm leg training

FAQ

What is the Lowest Caffeine in Pre-Workout?

The lowest caffeine available in pre workouts is 0mg. While most people associate pre workouts with incredibly high doses of caffeine, there are still many benefits to taking a pre workout with no stimulants, with ingredients like beta-alanine and creatine still providing serious benefits to strength athletes.

Is Non Caffeine Pre-Workout Better?

It depends on the athlete taking the pre workout. If someone is especially young or caffeine sensitive, then yes, non caffeinated pre workout will be better. However, if someone is looking for high amounts of stimulation in their pre workout, then they may want to look for a different option.

Conclusion

You can still get an absolutely fantastic pre workout supplement with little to no caffeine in it. Our top pick for a low caffeine pre workout is Transparent Labs Stim-Free Non Caffeinated Performance Formula. With no caffeine and high, efficacious doses of its other ingredients, this is a great pick for anybody looking for a stimulant free choice.

Do you have a favorite low caffeine pre workout? Have you tried any of the products on our list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  • Interindividual Differences in Caffeine Metabolism and Factors Driving Caffeine Consumption // NIH: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov /29514871/
  • Effects of caffeine on sleep quality and daytime functioning // NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/ PMC6292246/
  • 3 simple ways to get more restful sleep // Harvard: https://www.health.harvard.edu /staying-healthy/3-ways-to-get-more-restful-sleep
  • Caffeine and Kids // Columbia: https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu /news/caffeine-and-kids
  • Workout Supplements // Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ nutritionsource/ workout-supplements/
  • EFFECTS OF BETA-ALANINE ON ANAEROBIC PERFORMANCE // International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu /ijesab/vol8/iss8/67/
  • International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine // NIH: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov /28615996/

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All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
Transparent Labs CREATINE HMB

Oleksandr Maksymenko

Sports Nutritionist, MSc

Experience: 7 years

Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist, certified by FPA (Fitness Professional Association). Oleksandr adheres to the principles of evidence-based dietetics and instills in his clients a healthy relationship with food - without strict prohibitions on favorite foods and regular disruptions. His main task – not only get a result for you, but also maintain it for many years, enjoying tasty and delicious food.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.