Reviews Pre-Workout Supplements

10 Best Non-Stim Pre-Workouts In 2024

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski (Certified Nutritionist, S&C specialist, M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology)

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Looking to avoid caffeine but still want the benefits of a great pre-workout supplement? In this list we’ll be covering the best non-stim pre-workouts available today.

Whether you’re caffeine sensitive, want to train late at night, or are under 18, there are plenty of reasons to opt for a stimulant free supplement. Although caffeine is the main ingredient in most pre-workout powders, you can still get a great supplement without it. It can be difficult to know where to start, which is why we’ve compiled this list of the best stim-free pre-workout powders available today.

Our team of certified nutritionists and professional athletes has reviewed 32 products and 10 of the best ones made it to this list. We’ve based our evaluations on 5 key factors and we have spent 6 weeks testing most of these products out. Additionally, we have also analyzed hundreds of online user reviews. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section because our list is regularly updated.

Best Non-Stim Pre-Workouts

Top 10 Non-Stim Pre-Workouts Reviewed

  1. Pre-Kaged® Stim-Free – Top Pick
  2. STIM-FREE by Transparent Labs – Runner-Up
  3. Pulse Caffeine-Free
  4. NutraBio Pre-Workout Performance Igniter
  5. Genius Pre
  6. Animal Pump Pro
  7. ProSupps Hyde Max Pump
  8. Pump Serum Stim-Free by Huge
  9. Promix Stim-Free
  10. Stim-Free Naked Energy
ProductTotalIngredient BreakdownErgogenic EffectsTaste/FlavoNutrition Label TransparencPrice/Quality
Pre-Kaged48.510109.5109
Transparent Labs48.59.59.510109.5
Pulse4891010109
NutraBio4810109109
Genius Pre47.59910109.5
Animal47999.5109.5
ProSupps469999.59.5
Huge Supplements45.58.599.58.510
Promix4389989
Naked Energy42.5888.599
TOP PICK

1. Pre-Kaged® Stim-Free

Pre-Kaged Stim Free
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Training Volume, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Cherry Bomb, Fruit Punch
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-Alanine, Betaine, L-Citrulline, Creatine
  • Package Information: 1.23lbs (20 Servings)
  • Serving: 27.9g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.25
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by AthletesAndrea SomerColt NicholsKris Gethin

First on our list is Kaged, which is one of the most popular supplement companies around. So, why is their non-stimulant pre-workout at the top of our list?

In terms of ingredients, Kaged is top-notch, containing solid doses of betaine, beta-alanine, and citrulline, and creatine. This means it’s one of the only supplements on our list to contain all 4 key ingredients to a superior stim-free pre-workout.

Without caffeine, stimulant-free pre-workouts need to rely on other ingredients for their effects on performance. Some of the most effective ingredients in stimulant free pre-workouts include creatine, beta-alanine, betaine, and citrulline. 

In the formula you will find other active substances, according to the manufacturer they increase the effectiveness of the complex. However, we focus only on the proven effective components, so we do not go into an in-depth review of all the components of this and other supplements.

First, Beta-Alanine has been shown to increase total power output and reduce fatigue. These results were shown at a dose of 10mg/kg of bodyweight (~680mg for a 150lb person), so Kaged’s serving of 1.6g is fairly low. 

Similarly, betaine has been shown to improve force production and muscular endurance. This study’s results were shown with 2.5g of Betaine supplemented daily, which is the same amount found in one scoop of Kaged’s pre-workout, also implying similar results. 

Finally, citrulline has been shown to improve exercise performance and endurance. These results were shown with 8g of citrulline malate. Kaged’s dose of 8g of pure L-Citrulline will be sufficient for an ergogenic effect. This is one of the only non-stim pre-workout ingredients that will have a genuine acute effect, making its presence important for this list!

It’s also worth noting that this product contains Citrulline Malate, instead of the L-Citrulline found in other products. Although these are effectively the same ingredient, Citrulline Malate is L-Citrulline bound to malic acid, leading to a slower release in the body, as well as slightly lower potency.

Essentially, if a product contains citrulline malate, there needs to be more for the same results as L-Citrulline. Kaged contains 6.5g of L-Citrulline, which is a very strong dose compared to similar amounts of Citrulline Malate. 

Next up is creatine. This is one of the most popular and well-researched sports supplements on the market, with its main benefits being improvement in high-intensity exercise performance. The presence of creatine is one of the main reasons Kaged takes the top spot on our list. 

The standard dose of creatine is 3-5g daily, so Kaged’s dose of 1.5g is relatively low. However, even a small dose of creatine is better than none at all! In addition, in a pre-workout complex, the dose of creatine should not be too high, so as not to cause stomach discomfort during intense workouts.

Kaged also has a solid dose of taurine which has some proven pre-workout benefits. You can also expect a solid amount of B Vitamins in each serving. 

While Kaged has an outstanding formula, there are some minor flaws. This product contains artificial ingredients, which, while not a major con, may be something some consumers prefer to avoid. Second, Kaged offers only 2 flavors which is fairly low for our list. Finally, it’s just a more expensive product, at well over $2 per serving. 

Kaged offers a non-stimulant pre-workout with betaine, beta-alanine, L-Citrulline, and creatine, though it’s the runner-up due to artificial ingredients, limited flavors, and higher cost per serving. 

48.5 EXPERT SCORE

Ultimately, while Kaged has a fantastic formula, featuring all the key active ingredients that should be in a stim-free pre-workout, it does still have a few minor flaws.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Solid doses of betaine and beta-alanine
  • Contains creatine, albeit at a lower than optimal dose
  • Super high l-citrulline content

Could be better:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Contains several artificial ingredients
Runner Up

2. Stim-Free by Transparent Labs

stim-free-by-transparent-labs
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect, High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Cherry Limeade, Sour Grape, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Orange, Peach Mango, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Citrulline Malate
  • Package Information: 1.5lbs (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 23g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.67
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

Next on our list of the best stimulant-free pre-workouts is Transparent Labs. If you’ve read some of our other supplement reviews, you likely already recognize Transparent Labs. That’s because they consistently deliver some of the highest quality supplements on the market. Their stim-free pre-workout is no exception. 

While this pre-workout doesn’t contain creatine, it does contain the three other ingredients of interest for stim-free pre-workouts. 

You can expect 2.5g of betaine which is the same as Kaged. You’ll also get 8g of citrulline malate, which is less than Kaged’s 6g of pure L-Citrulline. Finally, you’ll be getting significantly more beta-alanine with 4g per serving. 

This is all not to mention the solid variety of 8 different flavors to choose from, as well as the solid price point of ~$1.67 per serving. Like all of Transparent Labs products, their pre-workout also contains no artificial ingredients whatsoever.

Overall, with solid doses of all these ingredients, Transparent Labs has one of the best all around formulas of any stim-free pre-workout available. 

48.5 EXPERT SCORE

Transparent Labs provides a potent stimulant-free pre-workout with effective ingredients, substantial doses, diverse flavors, budget-friendly pricing, and a natural ingredient commitment.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Solid doses of active ingredients
  • Large variety of flavors to choose from
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Solid value for money

Could be better:

  • Slightly low dose of citrulline malate
  • Relatively large serving size

3. Pulse Caffeine-Free

Pulse Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue, High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Grape, Strawberry Kiwi, Sour Candy, Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Tropical Punch
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Citrulline Malate
  • Package Information: 1.04lbs
  • Serving: 23.5g (20 Servings)
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.25
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by AthletesGage ClarkGrant TinsleyMachaela Brabham

Next on our list of no-stim pre-workouts we have Legion’s caffeine-free pre-workout, Pulse. Like Transparent Labs, Legion is one of the most trustworthy supplement companies out there, backing up their claims with genuine research. However, does this mean their pre-workout is as solid as the previous two options on our list?

First, this supplement contains the main active ingredients beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and betaine. It contains 3.6g of beta-alanine placing it in between Transparent Labs and Kaged. At 2.5g of betaine, it has the same amount of this ingredient as the 2 supplements before it. Finally, with 8g of citrulline malate, it has a slightly higher dose than Transparent Labs, while still being below Kaged.

What separates this supplement from the previous entries on our list is the inclusion of Alpha-GPC (short for alpha-glyceryl phosphoryl choline). While this is a fairly common supplement ingredient nowadays, it doesn’t appear to have many significant effects on performance. This is why we aren’t focusing as much on this ingredient compared to things like beta-alanine and creatine.

This product does contain all natural ingredients, as well as coming in 7 different flavors, making it very similar to Transparent Labs in these regards. However, it has a very similar price point to Kaged, making it rather expensive for the product.

Overall, this is a solid stim-free pre-workout, with its main downside being the price, and the heavy inclusion of a less than ideal ingredient in Alpha-GPC.

48 EXPERT SCORE

Legion's caffeine-free pre-workout, Pulse includes beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and betaine, along with Alpha-GPC. While offering natural components and various flavors, Pulse is priced higher due to the inclusion of Alpha-GPC.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Solid doses of betaine, beta-alanine, and citrulline malate
  • 7 different flavors to choose from
  • All natural ingredients

Could be better:

  • Alpha-GPC likely has few advantages
  • Relatively expensive for the formula

4. NutraBio Pre-Workout Performance Igniter

NutraBio Pre-Workout Performance Igniter Dragonfruit Candy
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Muscular Endurance, Muscular Strength, Reducing Fatigue, High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Blue Raspberry, Dragonfruit Candy, Grape Berry Crush, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemon Bomb, Watermelon
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Betaine, Creatine
  • Package Information: 573g (20 Servings)
  • Serving: 28.4g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.50
  • Company Founded: 1996
  • Recommended by Athletes: Jennifer Rabbitt, Naima Body Sculpt, Liana Martinez

Next up, we’ll be covering Nutrabio’s Pre-Workout Performance Igniter. While Nutrabio is likely better known for its vitamins, it still delivers a solid supplement as shown by this product. Let’s take a closer look.

Nutrabio contains a similarly solid dose of L-Citrulline to Kaged. Each serving has 6g of pure L-Citrulline, which should produce more noticeable effects than the same amount of citrulline malate. It also has fairly standard doses of beta-alanine at 3.2g and betaine at 2.5g per serving.

Nutrabio also has a solid 3g dose of Creatine Monohydrate in each serving. It should be noted if you’re not taking this supplement every day, we recommend taking creatine on its own as well to maximize its effects. A daily dose of 3-5g total should be enough to maximize effects over time.

NutraBio Pre-Workout Performance Igniter instagram
Photo by @nutrabio

While Nutrabio arguably has the best formula on our list, the major downside here is its price at ~$2.50 per serving. This makes it the most expensive product on our list by a fairly wide margin. It should be noted that the 6 unique flavors are enough to rival Transparent Labs and Region.

Overall, this is one of the most effectively dosed pre-workouts on our list. The only reason it’s ranked so low on our list is that its high price point makes it less ideal than a similar, yet cheaper product like Transparent Labs.

48 EXPERT SCORE

Nutrabio's Pre-Workout Performance Igniter is notable for its potent blend featuring L-Citrulline, beta-alanine, betaine, and Creatine Monohydrate, making it a solid option among pre-workout supplements.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • High dose of Citrulline
  • Effective doses of creatine, betaine, and beta-alanine
  • Plenty of flavor variety

Could be better:

  • Most expensive option on our list
  • You may still need to take an additional creatine for optimal effects

5. Genius Pre

Genius Pre-Workout
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue, High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Blue Raspberry, Grape Limeade, Sour Apple, Sour Cherry
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous
  • Package Information: 315g (20 Servings)
  • Serving: 15.7g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.90
  • Company Founded: 2018
  • Recommended by Athletes: Nate Robinson, Chris Hyppa, Aaron Lee

Next on our list we have The Genius Brand’s signature pre-workout supplement, Genius Pre. What’s interesting about this pre-workout is that Genius doesn’t actually offer a stimulated version, unlike most of the other products on this list. So, does Genius’ focus on their stim-free pre-workout lead to a higher quality product?

In terms of formula, Genius’ product is most similar to Legion based on all the products we’ve covered so far. It contains a solid 6g of citrulline malate, 2g of beta-alanine, and 2g of betaine. It also contains 600mg of Alpha-GPC, which as we’ve covered, likely won’t have any major ergogenic effects.

Overall, the doses of Genius’ main active ingredients are solid, although not quite as high as the competition.

Genius Pre instagram
Photo by @carnosyn

Some major pros is that Genius’ formula is made up of all natural flavors, and that it comes at a relatively affordable price point of under $2 per serving. This means it is still slightly more expensive than Transparent Labs, while being quite a bit cheaper than Kaged and Legion.

Also, with 4 unique flavors to choose from, there’s a decent amount of variety here, although not as much as Transparent Labs or Legion.

Overall, although this pre-workout is similar to the top spots on our list, it ranks slightly lower for having less ideal doses of its key ingredients. With this being said, Genius is still a solid all-around pick for a stim-free pre-workout.

47.5 EXPERT SCORE

The Genius Brand's stimulant-free pre-workout, Genius Pre includes essential ingredients for a non-stimulated boost, accompanied by all-natural flavors, affordability, and flavor variety. A reliable choice for your workout needs.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Decent doses of it’s key ingredients
  • Solid amount of flavor variety
  • Decent value for money

Could be better:

  • Contains Alpha-GPC which is largely unnecessary
  • Doses of key ingredients could be higher

6. Animal Pump Pro

Animal Pump pro
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Strawberry Lemonade, Green Apple
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Creatine
  • Package Information: 440g (20 Servings)
  • Serving: 22g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.90
  • Company Founded: 1983
  • Recommended by Athletes: John Jewett, Evan Centopani, Shawn Smith

Next up, we have Animal and their Pump Pro Powder. Animal has been around the longest out of all the companies we’ve covered so far, being founded in 1983. However, does this longevity mean they’re able to deliver a superior product?

Right away, what separates Animal from the previous entries on our list is its excellent creatine content. At 5g per serving, Animal functions as a standalone creatine supplement, offering a serving on the upper end of the recommended daily dose.

For those who tolerate high doses of creatine well, this is a great way to ensure muscle creatine saturation and higher training power.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t contain betaine or beta-alanine, but it does contain a very solid dose of l-citrulline at 4g per serving. Like some of the previous entries on our list, Animal also contains 600mg of Alpha-GPC as well. Overall, this supplement functions primarily as a source of creatine with the added benefits of L-Citrulline.

Animal Pump Pro instagram
Photo by @suppleman.ba

Like Kaged, this is another supplement that features several artificial ingredients. Although this isn’t a major issue, it’s something that consumers should be aware of. Also similar to Kaged, there is little variety in flavor, with only 2 options to choose from.

At just under $2 per serving, it falls around the same price range as Genius’ pre-workout, around the midrange of our list.

Ultimately, this is largely a creatine based supplement, only containing one of the other key ingredients we’re looking for in a non-stim pre-workout supplement. With standard creatine supplements being much cheaper, it will be up to the individual consumer to decide if the presence of l-citrulline in Animal’s product is worth the price.

47 EXPERT SCORE

Animal Pump Pro Powder offers a creatine-centric option with added l-citrulline and Alpha-GPC benefits, despite some artificial ingredients and limited flavor choices, making it a contender for those prioritizing creatine supplementation.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Highest creatine content on our list
  • Solid dose of l-citrulline as well
  • Decent price point

Could be better:

  • Fairly simple formula missing beta-alanine and betaine
  • Only 2 flavors to choose from

7. ProSupps Hyde Max Pump

Prosupps Hyde Max-pump Cherry Lime
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Training Volume, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Creatine
  • Package Information: 280g (25 Servings)
  • Serving: 11.2g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.40
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Kamaru Usman, Tilly King, Derick Ansah

Next on our list we have ProSupps Hyde stimulant-free pre-workout. Let’s take a look at all the factors that earned ProSupps a spot on our list, and how it stacks up compared to your other options.

The 3 main ingredients featured in ProSupps supplement are l-citrulline, beta-alanine and creatine. It has very solid doses of l-citrulline at 4g and beta-alanine at 3.2g, rivaling some of the top spots on our list.

While creatine is a nice addition, it does come at a very low dose at only 1g in each serving. However, as we mentioned in our section on Kaged, even a small dose of creatine is better than nothing!

ProSupps Hyde Max Pump instagram
Photo by @prosupps

Like Kaged, Animal, Jacked Factory, this is one of the supplements on our list with some artificial flavorings. It also contains very few flavors, with only 2 to choose from.

However, the main pro for this product comes from its solid price point. It’s one of the cheaper pre-workouts on our list at only ~$1.40 per serving. While there’s some cheaper options still to come, this is still a decent price point.

Ultimately, this is a simple, yet effective pre-workout. While some additional ingredients – namely betaine – as well as higher doses would have improved its ranking on our list, it’s still a solid pick.

46 EXPERT SCORE

ProSupps Hyde stimulant-free pre-workout features l-citrulline, beta-alanine, and creatine with solid doses of the former two, albeit a low dose of creatine, offering affordability and simplicity in its formula.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Great doses of L-citrulline and beta-alanine
  • Contains creatine, even though its at a low dose
  • Reasonable price

Could be better:

  • Could benefit from betaine as well as a higher dose of creatine
  • Only 2 flavors to choose from

8. Pump Serum Stim-Free by Huge

Pump Serum
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Jungle Juice, Cherry Berry, Strawberry Mojito, Island Dream
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Betaine Anhydrous
  • Package Information: 1.37lbs (40 Servings)
  • Serving: 15.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.38
  • Company Founded: 2019
  • Recommended by Athletes: Matt Greggo, Tren Twins, Max Taylor

Next up on our list is a product from another one of the most popular supplement brands on the market, Huge. This brand has a ton of high profile influence partnerships and lots of flashy branding, but let’s see if their stim-free workout is able to compare to the rest of the products on our list.

First off, Huge’s Pump Serum has a fairly simple formula. The 2 main active ingredients here are l-citrulline and betaine. L-citrulline comes at a solid dose of 4g, while betaine is slightly lower at 1.5g per serving.

There are a decent amount of other ingredients such as huperzine, and l-tyrosine – we’ve chosen not to focus on ingredients like these because there is limited evidence to support their efficacy in pre-workout supplements.

Huge Pump Serum instagram
Photo by @iamjuto

This supplement does come in a solid 4 flavors, giving its buyers a decent amount of variety. This is also one of the supplements on our list that contains artificial ingredients such as sucralose, and other flavorings.

Finally, one of the main pros of this product is its price point. It’s the cheapest pre-workout we’ve covered so far, just narrowly beating out ProSupps by a few cents per serving. While the formula could certainly be improved with higher doses and more effective ingredients, this is still a solid budget pick for a non-stim pre-workout supplement.

45.5 EXPERT SCORE

Huge's Pump Serum offers a simple formula featuring l-citrulline and betaine, providing a budget-friendly option with a variety of flavors, although it includes some artificial ingredients and other less proven components.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Solid dose of l-citrulline
  • Good amount of variety in flavors
  • Great value for money

Could be better:

  • Could use higher dose of betaine
  • Would benefit from ingredients like beta-alanine and creatine

9. Promix Stim-Free

Promix Stim-Free
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Raspberry Lemon
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-Alanine
  • Package Information: 279g (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 9.3g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.07
  • Company Founded: 2011
  • Recommended by Athletes: Odell Beckham Jr., Audrey & Nicole Nourse, Rashaad Slowley

Next up we have a product from Promix, which is another well-known supplement company for their high quality, natural products. So, does their pre-workout live up to the brand’s reputation?

This is easily one of the most barebones formulas on our list so far. The only effective active ingredient it contains is beta-alanine, albeit at a solid dose of 3.2g per serving. It also contains l-tyrosine and taurine, but as we’ve mentioned, we’ve decided not to focus on these ingredients for their lack of proven ergogenic effects. Of course, this supplement would have benefited greatly from l-citrulline, betaine, or creatine as well.

Promix Pre-Workout Instagram
Photo by @trailjenny

It’s clear that Promix didn’t make a custom formula for their stim-free option, and just removed the caffeine from their already simple formula. It seems odd that they’re able to charge the same price for the non-stim version as the caffeinated formula without adding some more active ingredients.

If you’re looking for flavor variety, you’re also out of luck, with the stim-free version only coming in raspberry lemon flavor. However, there are still some upsides to this product. It’s made with all natural ingredients, using things like lemon juice, and raspberry extractives for its flavoring.

It also comes in at a very low price point, being just over a dollar per serving. This makes it the cheapest option we’ve covered on our list so far – even if it’s the most barebones formula as well.

43 EXPERT SCORE

Promix's stimulant-free pre-workout offers a minimalistic formula primarily based on beta-alanine, lacking some key active ingredients found in other products, but boasting a natural ingredient profile, a single flavor option for an affordable price.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
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Positives:

  • High beta-alanine content
  • Made with all natural flavors
  • Solid value for money

Could be better:

  • Beta-alanine is the only effective active ingredient
  • Only comes in one flavor

10. Stim-Free Naked Energy

Naked Energy
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Unflavored
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-Alanine, L-Citrulline Malate
  • Package Information: 250g (50 Servings)
  • Serving: 5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$0.72
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Daniel Victor

Closing off our list is Naked, which is another supplement brand that regularly features on our lists for their high-quality, all-natural products. Let’s see how their stim-free pre-workout compares to the rest.

As you may expect from its placement on the list, this product has a similar barebones formula to ProMix’s product.

Although it contains 2 active ingredients in beta-alanine, and l-citrulline malate, they both come in very low doses. You’ll only be getting 2g of beta-alanine in each serving, and a very disappointing 1g of citrulline malate. While the beta-alanine content is solid enough, the citrulline content is low enough to where there will likely be little noticeable effects.

It’s worth noting that this product only comes in an unflavored variety. While some people may prefer the fruity flavor of the other supplements, this will be a pro to those who want a simple, flavorless powder.

Naked’s product is also all-natural, containing no artificial ingredients whatsoever. Finally, this is the cheapest supplement on our list by far, being the only one that’s less than a dollar per serving.

42.5 EXPERT SCORE

Naked's stimulant-free pre-workout features a minimalistic formula with low doses of beta-alanine and citrulline malate, unflavored option, all-natural ingredients, and an affordable price point, making it a budget-friendly choice.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Ergogenic Effects:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Decent dose of beta-alanine
  • All natural ingredients
  • Cheapest product on our list by far

Could be better:

  • Very low dose of citrulline malate
  • Only comes in unflavored

Experts Who Contributed To This Article

Sergii Putsov

Sergii Putsov

20 years of Oly Lifting & Training experience

Ernesto Mendez

Ernesto Mendez

Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)

Dina Al-Rubaye

Dina Al-Rubaye

Professional Nutritionist and Certified Coach

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What Are Non-Stim Pre-Workouts?

You may be asking, what is stim-free pre-workout? If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology and are confused as to the difference between traditional pre-workout and pre-workout without stimulants, we’ve answered all your questions below.

CriteriaNon-Stim Pre-WorkoutStimulant-Based Pre-Workout
Caffeine Content0mg~100-250mg+
Best ForTeenagers
Caffeine sensitive individuals
People who train late at night
Those who want extra stimulation
Those tolerant to high doses of caffeine
People who train in the morning
BenefitsLess Enhanced Focus
Ergogenic effects of additional active ingredients
Increased stimulation
Enhanced focus
Ergogenic effects of additional active ingredients

The main active ingredient in most standard pre-workout supplements is caffeine. While caffeine does provide a significant boost in energy focus, making it a very effective pre-workout ingredient, there are plenty of reasons someone may choose to avoid caffeine.

Whether they are prioritizing their sleep, are under 18, experience stomach upset from caffeine, or are just generally sensitive, caffeinated pre-workouts aren’t for anybody.

Luckily, there are still plenty of very effective active pre-workout ingredients that don’t contain any caffeine. These mainly include beta-alanine, creatine, l-citrulline, and betaine. Pre-workouts that omit caffeine and focus on these ingredients instead are non-stim pre-workouts.

Essentially any pre-workout with no stimulating effects can be classified as non-stim. These pre-workouts are useful because of the ergogenic effects of their ingredients instead of the raw energy provided by caffeine. These ingredients are mainly responsible for improving total power output, as well as increasing recovery, and muscular endurance.

Our expert Dina Al-Rubaye added:

"Non-stimulant pre-workout supplements, like creatine and electrolytes, offer performance benefits without caffeine. Creatine enhances strength and endurance, recommended for strength training. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are crucial for muscle and nerve function. They become essential in endurance sports like long-distance running, where sweat causes significant electrolyte loss."

Beta-Alanine increases total power output, and reduces fatigue; betaine improves force production and muscular endurance; l-citrulline specifically improves muscular endurance; and creatine improves high-intensity exercise performance.

Any combination of these 4 ingredients should provide serious benefits to your overall performance in the gym. While many pre-workouts contain additional ingredients as well, we’ve decided to focus on these 4 in our reviews because they are the most well-studied and proven pre-workout ingredients available.

Ultimately, caffeine is not at all necessary for a solid pre-workout supplement, with the active ingredients found in non-stim pre-workouts having serious benefits as well.

As our exper Sergiy Putsov said:

"I will use non-stim pre-workouts from time to time when I want to avoid caffeine. They’re especially beneficial during late-night training to get the focus benefits without any jitters or sleep trouble."

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What Are the Reasons for Choosing Pre-Workouts Without Caffeine?

There are many reasons why someone may choose to avoid caffeine, especially in a pre-workout. Although we’ve listed them briefly above, here are the 4 main reasons covered in more detail.

5 Reasons to Avoid Caffeine in Pre-Workout1

1. Issues With Sleep

One of the most common reasons someone may choose to avoid caffeine is that it disrupts their sleep. If you’re looking to get the most results out of your training, prioritizing rest and recovery is absolutely a necessity, meaning you need to be prioritizing your sleep quality.

For caffeine not to impact your sleep, it’s recommended you avoid any intake for at least 6 hours before going to sleep. With many people working out in the evening, or directly before bed, it’s clear how a caffeinated pre-workout would affect sleep quality. By choosing a non-stim pre-workout, you can be confident that your sleep won’t be affected at all, regardless of when you choose to take it.

2. Adolescence

Another common reason to avoid caffeine is if someone falls in the age range of 12-18. While children under 12 likely shouldn’t have any caffeine, it’s generally believed that teenagers can safely have around 100mg of caffeine a day – approximately 1 cup of coffee.

With most caffeinated pre-workouts containing anywhere from 200-400mg of caffeine in each serving, it’s clear that teenagers should opt to avoid such heavily stimulated supplements. While there are some milder stimulated supplements available that may be suitable for teenagers, it may be better to stick to completely non-caffeinated pre-workouts instead.

Preparing Pre-Workout Supplement

3. Upset Stomach

A common side effect of caffeine is indigestion or an upset stomach. This is commonly experienced by people especially when caffeine is ingested at a very high dose. With this potentially interfering with a workout, as well as causing general discomfort, you’ll likely want to avoid caffeinated pre-workouts if you experience this side effect.

Similar to the point above about teenagers taking pre-workouts, there may be milder caffeinated pre-workouts that won’t upset your stomach as much. However, if you find that caffeine causes indigestion even in mild doses, then a non-stimulated pre-workout is likely the way to go.

4. Caffeine Sensitivity

Finally, some people are just generally more sensitive to caffeine than others, and choose to avoid caffeine entirely as a result. Some negative signs of caffeine sensitivity include a pounding heartbeat, anxiety and nerves, jitters, and of course, sleep disruption.

If you’re somebody who experiences these symptoms from relatively mild caffeine sources like coffee, then you should most likely avoid heavily stimulated pre-workouts. As mentioned above, many pre-workouts contain 2 to 4 times as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

By opting for a non-stim pre-workout instead, you can get all the benefits of the supplement(except for the stimulation, of course) without any caffeine-related side effects.

Kaged Supplement Review

How to Find the Best Non-Stim Pre-Workout?

If you’ve decided that non-stim pre-workout is right for you, there are several factors you’ll want to consider before making a decision. These include the ingredients, the taste/flavor of the supplement, as well as the value you’re getting for your money.

1. Ingredients List

First, and the most important factor to consider are the main active ingredients found in the pre-workout. As you can see from our list, there are 4 key ingredients that provide the most measurable ergogenic effects. These are beta-alanine, creatine, l-citrulline/citrulline malate, and betaine.

IngredientEffective DoseEffects
Beta-Alanine3g+Training Volume
Muscular Endurance
Reduced Fatigue
Creatine3-5gHigh-Intensity Exercise Performance
Muscular Strength
Training Volume
Muscular Endurance
Reducing Fatigue
L-Citrulline/
Citrulline Malate
6g+ of L-Citrulline
8-10g of Citrulline Malate
Training Volume
Enhanced “Pumping Effect
Betaine1.25-2.5gHigh-Intensity Exercise Performance
Training Volume
Enhanced “Pumping“ Effect

We decided to highlight these ingredients more than others because they have been studied more in-depth, and have shown proven results more than almost any other ingredients commonly included in pre-workout formulas.

As you may have noticed on our list, each product contains a blend of several other “active” ingredients (Alpha-GPC, L-Tyrosine, Huperzine, etc.).

We’ve decided not to focus on these ingredients because either there aren’t enough studies to back up their efficacy, or existing studies show conflicting results regarding their utility. If you’re interested in any of these ingredients, definitely do your own research to determine whether or not they’re worth trying.

Overall, beta-alanine, creatine, l-citrulline, and betaine, have all been proven to measurably improve factors such as power output, recovery, and endurance. By prioritizing these ingredients when making a decision, you can ensure you’ll be getting the most effective non-stim pre-workout possible.

Also, it’s worth noting that you should consider the non-active ingredients as well as the active ones. Although artificial sweeteners and flavorings are largely considered to be completely safe, some people still prefer to avoid them in favor of natural ingredients.

Be aware that several of the products on our list contain artificial ingredients. If you prefer to avoid these ingredients, then double check the full ingredients list to be sure.

Types of Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts

2. Taste/Flavor

Next, it’s worth considering the taste and flavor of whatever supplement you choose to buy. This certainly isn’t as important as the ingredients list when it comes to making a decision, but it is an important factor nonetheless. After all, you’re going to be drinking your pre-workout before every workout!

While some people enjoy the taste of flavored pre-workouts, you may prefer a completely unflavored supplement, in which case you’ll want to seek out a product that has this option. Also, if there’s a specific flavor you enjoy, you’ll want to find a product that offers it.

Finally, there is a slight difference in taste between artificial and natural flavors, so it’s worth considering this as well when deciding on which product to buy.

To see if a product has a generally enjoyable flavor, we recommend reading through user reviews to see people’s opinions. This is usually the best way to gauge whether or not a product mixes well, and tastes good as well.

Of course, taste comes down to a matter of personal preference, so it’s difficult to say if you will enjoy a pre-workouts flavor based on reviews alone. Some trial and error may be required to find a pre-workout that you truly enjoy drinking.

Putting Pre-Workout Powder in Shaker

3. Value for Money

Finally, it’s crucial to understand the value you’re getting for your money when buying a pre-workout. This not only includes the price per serving of a product, but the specific ingredients you’re getting, and their doses as well.

As you can see from our list, there’s a wide range of price points for non-stim pre-workouts. They can range from well under 1 dollar, to well over 2 dollars. So, how do you decide which price point is optimal?

You should be considering not only the price per serving, but what the ingredients list looks like as well. It is ultimately up to the individual to decide how much they’re willing to pay for the inclusion of a certain ingredient, or a more complete formula. Generally, the cheaper a pre-workout is, the more simple its formula will be.

We recommend choosing a product that comes at a reasonable price, while still having solid doses of all the ingredients you’re looking for.

Kaged Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout

What to Avoid in a Stim-Free Pre-Workout?

While there are several factors you’ll want to look for when buying a stim-free pre-workout, there are also several things you’ll want to avoid when buying these products. These include proprietary blends, useless ingredients, and unknown brands. We’ll be covering these points in more depth below so you can make a more informed decision.

1. Give Preference to Supplements Without Proprietary Blends

First, be sure to check if a supplement contains any proprietary blends in its ingredients list. These are mixes of ingredients without specific doses listed. This is a way for supplement companies to sneak ineffective doses past their customers and pad their bottom line.

Even if a supplement has high-quality ingredients listed, doses are often more important to determine if a supplement will be effective. As a general rule of thumb, it's best to avoid any supplements that aren’t upfront with their ingredient doses.

It’s worth noting that proprietary blends aren’t inherently bad as long as they list the amount of each ingredient included in the blend. This gives customers a better idea of what they’re paying for.

Non-Stim Pre-Workout Review

2. Avoid Products With a Huge List of Ingredients Without Scientific Support

Another common downside to stim-free pre-workouts is to have a long list of ingredients where the majority of them have little to no effect. Having tons of ingredients may make a supplement seem more useful even though very few will have any genuine effect.

As mentioned above, we recommend doing your research on common pre-workout ingredients so you know which ones will provide any significant result. Throughout this article, we’ve chosen to highlight Beta-Alanine, Creatine, Betaine, and L-Citrulline as they are common pre-workout ingredients supported by science.

While we recommend doing your research on other ingredients, these 4 ingredients dosed effectively will provide an effective foundation for a stim-free pre-workout. Most other ingredients are not backed by science and are effectively filler.

3. Do not Buy Pre-Workout Supplements from Unknown Brands

Finally, as with most supplements, it’s a good idea to avoid any unknown brands. The better a brand's reputation is, the more likely it is that they’re selling a high-quality product using high-quality ingredients.

Lesser known brands are more likely to use ineffective doses, or pad their formulas with filler ingredients. It’s also unlikely they have rigorous quality testing processes, which may result in their products containing contaminants.

Typically, the best way to gauge a brand’s reputation is to check reviews. If a product has hundreds to thousands of positive reviews, you can be confident it has a loyal user base who have gotten positive results from the product. If a brand has next to no reviews, it’s less trustworthy, and should probably be avoided.

What to Look for and What to Avoid in a Non-Stim Pre-Workout

How to Use Non-Stim Pre-Workouts for Best Results?

Because non-stim pre-workouts don’t contain any caffeine, the guidelines for taking them are slightly different from standard pre-workouts.

With caffeinated pre-workouts, we typically recommend taking them around half an hour before your workout to maximize the energy boosting effects of the ingredient. However, because you’re looking to optimize the other active ingredients, we recommend taking non-stim pre-workouts closer to an hour before your workout. This will maximize the effects of l-citrulline and betaine specifically.

In terms of how to take your pre-workout, we recommend following the instructions listed on the package. This will usually be something along the lines of mixing 1 scoop with 1-2 cups of your favorite beverage. Most pre-workouts are best mixed with water, however, you may prefer mixed in with juice – especially if they’re unflavored.

preparing creatine drink

Also, because non-stim pre-workouts don’t contain any caffeine, there’s less risk associated with taking multiple servings at a time. However, be aware that most pre-workouts are formulated with optimal doses in one serving, so double-scooping is most likely unnecessary and can even cause uncomfortable itching sensations from a high dose of beta-alanine.

If your chosen pre-workout has such low doses that you feel double-scooping is necessary, you’re probably better off just buying a stronger pre-workout instead.

Remember that stimulant-based pre-workouts aren’t for everybody. If you’re having trouble deciding between a stimulant-based or non-stim product, see what our expert Ernesto had to say said:

"When choosing between a stimulant-based or non-stim pre-workout, consider your individual goals and seek advice from healthcare or fitness experts."

FAQ

Is Pre-Workout Bad if It’s Hard?

Not necessarily. If a pre-workout powder is hard, it’s most likely just been sitting for a long time or has absorbed some moisture leading to this hard or clumpy texture. Most pre-workout powders have a very long shelf life, so it’s unlikely that it’s gone bad. We recommend simply breaking the pre-workout up to the best of your ability and using it as normal.

Do Stim-Free Pre-Workouts Work?

Yes! Although stim-free pre-workouts definitely won’t provide you with the same raw energy you’ll get from a heavily caffeinated supplement, there are still tons of benefits to be found from a non-stim supplement. These mainly include the ergogenic effects found from ingredients such as beta-alanine, creatine, l-citrulline, and betaine.

The main benefits of non-stim pre-workout supplements include improved power output, recovery, and muscular endurance. 

What Is Non-Stim Pre-Workout Good For?

As mentioned above, non-stim pre-workout is not effective for providing the same high amounts of stimulation that caffeinated pre-workout gives. What it is effective for is maximizing your power, endurance, and recovery, which are all key components to getting the most out of a workout.

Kaged Stim-Free Powder Review

What Is the Best Pre-Workout That Doesn’t Make You Shaky?

The shaky feeling associated with pre-workout is likely caused by high doses of caffeine. Any pre-workout without caffeine will likely not make you shaky. Our recommendation for the best non-jittery pre-workout that won’t make you shaky is STIM-FREE by Transparent Labs. However, none of the pre-workouts on our list should make you feel shaky. 

Does Stim-Free Pre-Workout Break a Fast?

Most likely not. While some of the pre-workouts on our list contain around 10-20 calories, the vast majority are 0 calories. While most people wouldn’t consider 10-20 claories as enough to break a fast, if you are very strict about your caloric intake while fasting, then you may disagree. In this case, we recommend a 0 calorie pre-workout that you can confidently take while fasting.

Will Non-Stim Pre-Workout Make Me Itchy?

The itchy feeling associated with pre-workout is caused by the ingredient beta-alanine. While beta-alanine is one of the most effective pre-workout ingredients, it does cause this unfortunate side effect.

This is usually a result of your body not being accustomed to the ingredient, and will dissipate with regular use. If you experience discomfort from beta-alanine, we recommend choosing a pre-workout with a low beta-alanine dosage, or starting with a half scoop and gradually increasing your dosage until you don’t experience any itchiness.

Conclusion

There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to avoid caffeine in their pre-workout supplement. Luckily, thanks to a handful of active ingredients, non-stim pre-workouts can still be very effective at boosting your performance in the gym.

For the best pre-workout without caffeine, we recommend Pre-Kaged® Stim Free, however, all the supplements on our list have their own benefits. We hope our in-depth non-stim pre-workout reviews are able to help you make an informed decision!

Let us know if you try any of the products on our list. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. McGonigle, B; Arnold, J; and Lockard, M (2020) "EFFECTS OF BETA-ALANINE ON ANAEROBIC PERFORMANCE," International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8: Iss. 8, Article 67An update on magnesium and bone health //NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC8313472/
  2. Jenna Mae Apicella "The Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms" Master Thesis https://opencommons.uconn.edu /cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article= 1078&context=gs_theses 
  3. Lauren Wethington "The Ergogenic Effects of Acute Citrulline Malate Supplementation on Weightlifting P eightlifting Performance in T formance in Trained F ained Females" https://scholarworks.uark.edu /cgi/viewcontent.cgi ?article=1024& context=hhpruht
  4. Richard B Kreider "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18
  5. Lauren Wethington "Effects Of Alpha-GPC and Huperzine-A On Shor ects Of Alpha-GPC and Huperzine-A On Short Term Memor erm Memory, Anaerobic Power Output, P ower Output, Post Exhaustion Compar ost Exhaustion Compared To Caffeine And Placebo In Healthy College Age Students" https://encompass.eku.edu /cgi/viewcontent.cgi? article=1626& context=etd
  6. Eric T Trexler "International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Jul 15;12:30
  7. Jenna M. Apicella "The Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms" https://opencommons.uconn.edu /cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1078& context=gs_theses
  8. Adam M Gonzalez "Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Review of the Current Literature" J Strength Cond Res. 2020 May;34(5):1480-1495
  9. Richard B Kreider "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18
  10. Christopher Drake "Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed" J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 Nov 15; 9(11): 1195–1200
  11. David Buchholz "Caffeine and Kids" Columbia University Irving Medical Center https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu /news/caffeine-and-kids
  12. Amy Yang "Genetics of caffeine consumption and responses to caffeine" Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Aug; 211(3): 245–257.5.
  13. Photos made by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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Oleksandr Maksymenko

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko
Certified Sports Nutritionist,
MSc Sports Dietetics

Experience: 7 years
Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist certified by the Fitness Professional Association (FPA). He follows the principles of evidence-based dietetics and fosters a healthy relationship with food in his clients, ensuring there are no strict prohibitions on their favorite foods or frequent lapses. His primary goal is not only to achieve results for you but also to sustain them over the long term, all while enjoying tasty and delicious food.

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Jacek Szymanowski

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance architect
,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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