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The definition of what a pre-workout supplement is isn’t written anywhere in stone. But generally, anything claiming to be a pre-workout supplement should work to boost your stamina, energy, and focus when working out.
Pre-workouts usually come as drink mixes, sometimes flavored. The organic ones generally don’t contain shady, questionable ingredients and won’t give you a huge (but temporary!) artificial boost followed by a nasty crash.
Our Top 3 Picks for Organic Pre-Workout Supplements
A relative newcomer to the world of pre-workout supplements, Genius Pre Workout, is backed by solid scientific research. The product is certified for sport and third-party tested, meaning it has no banned substances such as DMHA and DMAA.
What we love the most about it is that it’s a nootropic, and clinically dosed at that. A nootropic is any supplement or other substance that has properties thought to improve our cognitive function.
What it does is to boost your mind too, not just your body. Nootropics build your mind-to-body connection, helping with focus.
Another great point with Genius Pre Workout is that it’s stimulant-free. It contains zero caffeine or any other stimulants. Often pre-workout supplements loaded with stimulants can cause a crash after the initial pump.
To round it off, Genius Pre Workout contains only stevia as a natural sweetener. No junk fillers and unnecessary sugar calories. It may not give you as much energy as a caffeine-based supplement, but Genius offers better focus and pumps.
As a side note, for those of you who feel that stimulants are an absolute must, there is Genius caffeine. It can be easily stacked with Genius Pre Workout to achieve the extra energy oomph that comes from using a stim.
We could have easily ranked this supplement first but for the caffeine content. At 200 mg per serving, it’s still under the recommended daily dose of 400mg, true. But it’s there, and a stim is a stim.
You’re better off boosting your mental and physical performance without stimulants whenever possible.
Caffeine content aside, this is a quality product, verified in an FDA-registered lab and third-party tested. No dangerous or banned substances are used in the formula. It’s also vegan- and paleo-certified.
Pure Pump is unflavored and unsweetened and contains no artificial ingredients. It contains no added sweeteners, fillers, sugars or flavors, and is zero-carb. The ingredient list is all-natural, and every component is calculated to boost your energy, focus, and pumps.
The taste is not the greatest as a result, but you can always add your own flavors when mixing your drink.
This supplement contains pharmaceutical-grade amino acids to help boost your performance. It also uses a natural nitric oxide booster. The only ingredient we’ve noted some issues with is vitamin B3. Some users have reported suffering from niacin flush because of it.
Much as Pure Pump contains caffeine, the formula is designed to give clean, sustained energy. There is no crash after using this supplement, unlike many others that contain stims.
It is an excellent choice of supplement not only for pre-workout but also for post.
Built with real, food ingredients and no weird stuff, this supplement delivers what it promises, the natural way.
Clean Machine’s Clean BCAA is designed to build lean muscle mass, strength, and performance. A single serving delivers 4 grams of L-leucine. This ingredient works to reduce muscle breakdown and increase muscle protein synthesis, promoting muscle gain and recovery.
We’ll also point out that Clean BCAA doesn’t contain any caffeine. In fact, it doesn’t contain any stimulants at all. It relies on a range of natural ingredients derived from fermented, non-GMO corn, and other food to boost energy and recovery.
The supplement also contains dehydrated coconut water. It is perfect for replenishing electrolytes lost during a strenuous workout. This is why this supplement works great after a workout as well, not just before.
Clean BCAA is 100% unflavored. There are no added sugars, sweeteners, or other fillers of any kind. You can easily add it to any smoothie, protein shake, or even another pre-workout drink.
If you do prefer to have some kind of taste but don’t want to hassle with creating it yourself, there is another version of Clean BCAA available.
This one comes with fruit punch flavor but otherwise contains all the same ingredients as the unflavored one.
It is a good pre-workout supplement with a relatively short list of easy-to-understand ingredients. The only reason it didn’t make it to our top 3 is the higher sugar content. One serving scoop has 6 grams of carbs and is equivalent to 30 carbs, thanks to the sweeteners and flavorings used.
Sugar issue aside, all the ingredients used in this supplement are sourced from USDA organic, eco-friendly farms.
The ingredient list is 100% non-GMO. It also doesn’t contain any gluten or dairy products, and there are no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives used.
The formula reads relatively short, containing only ingredients that really do something to boost your workout.
On this list, there is beta-alanine, which helps with increasing muscle endurance and stamina. There is also L-leucine, important in building lean muscle and speeding up muscle recovery time.
This supplement does contain anhydrous caffeine. At 150 mg per serving, it falls within the recommended daily range of 300 – 400 mg. It also contains green tea extract and matcha green tea.
If you like your supplements with a higher dose of stimulants, this is a good choice. It’s also a good option for anyone that wants a decent flavor to their drink, provided you don’t mind the extra calories.
Certified USDA-organic, this energy booster is gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free. It is made 100% vegan. It is also non-GMO and certified for Sport by NSF. That’s as good a guarantee as a dietary supplement can get in terms of not containing banned substances.
The energy boost in this supplement comes from clean organic coffee berries. One serving packs 85 mg of the extract, working to boost your mental clarity and focus. It contributes to the fast burst of energy that comes about 20 minutes after taking the supplement.
Garden of Life Sport Organic also has a unique nitric oxide blend. Here the ingredient list reads veggies like spinach, beets, and kale, all of which are a rich source of nitrates. We also liked that this supplement contains vitamin B12.
It is a nutrient involved in metabolizing fat and carbs. It also helps to reduce fatigue by optimizing energy production.
Our only quibble with this supplement is the high carb content. At 6 grams per single serving, that’s 20 extra calories consumed. These carbs mainly come from the cane sugar used to enhance the flavor. On the positive side, the cane used is organic.
If you’re looking for an organic pre-workout energy booster that has good flavor, this is a good choice.
It is a good quality supplement with a well-balanced formula. It delivers good energy, focus, and pumps without the jitters and crash. Also, it is our pick for the best pre-workout supplement for women. It boosts energy and pumps without bulking up, as is the case with many formulae designed for men.
This formula contains a good set of amino acids, among them AAKG, L-glutamine, and BCAAs. These are necessary for a variety of functions in the body, from improving muscle recovery to delivering oxygen, blood, and nutrients where needed.
Red Leaf’s Pre Workout Energizer uses some natural antioxidants to boost energy and support overall health and the immune system. It contains extracts from cranberry and green tea.
The formula contains some caffeine, but it’s a modest amount.
At 40 mg, it is well below the recommended dose of 300-400mg and is not enough to cause jitters for the majority of people. All it will do is help sharpen your focus some.
The ingredient list reads short and sweet, with no fillers or artificial preservatives. However, it does contain one artificial ingredient. This supplement uses sucralose, an artificial sweetener. On the bright side, you don’t get any carbs, calories, and artificial colors.
It is another excellent pre-workout supplement choice. It works exceptionally well for people that would like to have some caffeine included, but without the crash-and-burn problem. The formula does contain caffeine but balances it out with other (natural) ingredients.
This non-GMO, vegan- and keto-friendly supplement is made from natural ingredients sourced in California. 100 % organic, it is entirely free of any artificial fillers, sweeteners, colors, and the like.
The caffeine content in Ora Organic comes from green coffee beans, yerba mate, and matcha. These ingredients combine to give 90 mg of caffeine, which is feelable, but way lower than the 300-400mg recommended dose found in other stim-based supplements.
To combat any possible jitters resulting from the caffeine, the formula includes so-called adaptogenic herbs such as Rhodiola.
These are supposed to keep you focused, support stress relief, and promote endurance without spiking your energy levels. This, in turn, keeps the crash from happening.
This supplement doerolytes during and after a strenuous workout.
This pre-workout supplement from Legion Pulse has a few things that push it closer to the bottom of our list. But it also has several great features to recommend it. It’s all a matter of perspective.
This supplement has a short, useful list of proven ingredients. There is L-citrulline, beta-alanine, L-theanine, and AlphaSize all make an appearance. These ingredients combined act as a nitric oxide booster.
Basically, this formula is built to enhance endurance. The list also omits creatine, which, while useful, is best left for after a workout—all good things.
And here we come to one of the reasons why this supplement is way down on our list. It contains all of 350mg of caffeine.
While still within the accepted recommended range (300-400mg), this is definitely on the high side. If you are sensitive to caffeine or otherwise against stimulants, best choose another product.
The other thing we didn’t like about it is the sweeteners added. They raise the carb and calorie count, making it relatively high for a pre-workout formula. There is also all of 230mg of sodium per serving, which is very high.
But there is an upside to the whole sweetener business. It does make this pre-workout taste a lot better than many other organic supplements. No need to hassle with making your own flavor to mask the bitterness.
Our final choice is Ground-Based Nutrition’s Certified Organic formula. The name says it all. This product is a 100% plant-based, USDA-certified organic formula. It is designed to increase energy levels and enhance stamina, as well as sharpen mental focus.
One of the main reasons we ranked it last is the long, long list of ingredients. Yes, they’re all certified 100% organic, but it’s rather difficult to gauge what their combined effects, if any, are.
On a positive note, there are ingredients like matcha tea that contain natural antioxidants to boost overall health. There are also extracts from many other fruits and herbs with proven health benefits, such as turmeric, nettle leaf, goji berry, and ginseng.
We also like the nitric oxide booster blend this formula contains. Juice extracts from the acai berry, red beetroot and pomegranate are all high in nitrites, adding to the nitric oxide available for absorption in the body.
To go back a little bit, the other reason this is ranked lower is the high-ish caffeine content. Extracts from organic green tea and organic green coffee beans combine to give 100 mg of caffeine.
It’s less than the 300-400mg recommended dose, but it’s still quite high. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or generally don’t like stims, go for another pre-workout.
What to Consider When Buying an Organic Pre-Workout Supplement
There is no clear definition of what a pre-workout supplement should contain. One obvious thing to watch out for is what it should NOT have. Avoid any supplements that contain banned substances or ingredients that you may be allergic to, for example, soy lecithin.
When it comes to organic pre-workout supplements, there are a few things that you might want to consider when deciding what to buy.
– Formulated for Your Gender?
Many supplements claim to be equally suitable for both women and men, but this isn’t really the case. Quite often, the stimulant and energy boost effects may be too high for the ladies. You can try to solve the problem by reducing on the serving size. But for women, it may be best to go for a supplement designed specifically for your gender.
– Are There Artificial Ingredients?
Some organic supplements will still contain a couple of artificial ingredients, usually to enhance the look and taste. These could be artificial sweeteners, flavorants, or colorants. If your purpose is to buy truly organic, then this could be a reason to choose a different product.
– Does it Contain Caffeine?
Some people like stims, some don’t. Science and health researchers agree that going without stims is generally the healthier alternative. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
– Is it Certified Organic?
Certified organic means that the ingredients used in the formula have all come from farms tested and proven to follow organic, eco-friendly practices.
The idea is attractive and offers a measure of a surety that you’re really buying organic, but it does add to the cost.
Why Genius Pre is Our #1 Pick…
There’s a lot to like about this pre-workout supplement. First, it’s certified for sport and third-party tested. No weird ingredients here.
Second, it’s stim-free. No caffeine. And third, it’s a nootropic. That’s how it achieves the energy, focus, and pumps boost without the jitters and crash.To round it all off, Genius Pre doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, sweeteners or fillers. Zero calories here.
You only get ingredients with proven efficiency in clinical doses, backed by scientific research. The flavor is perhaps the only thing somewhat lacking, but this is the case with most organic supplements when compared to the non-organic ones. Click here to read reviews on Amazon.com