GAIN MUSCLE

4 Best Pre-Workouts Without Artificial Sweeteners [Tested 2023]

by Nader Qudimat
Updated May 26, 2023

If you've been taking supplements for some time, then you'll realize how unhealthy the artificial stuff can be. 

Even if you're new to supplements, you'll find way too many supplements with overly sweet sweeteners that can't be good for general health. 

Here, we've collected the best naturally flavored pre-workouts without artificial sweeteners. 

That means you won't find:

  • Saccharin (Sweet'N Low®, SugarTwin®)
  • Acesulfame K (Sunett®, Sweet One®)
  • Sucralose (Splenda®)
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet®, Equal®)

Instead, you'll find the naturally sweetened pre-workouts here without fake sugar. 

If you want something for fat burning, then we recommend Lean by Transparent Labs but if you want something without caffeine, then check out Stim-Free

There are lots of options though and you can find them below...

SAFE PICK
Altius Pre-Workout | Jacked Factory

Jacked Factory is a company you can rely on for safe pre-workouts as well as effective formulas without putting your health at risk.

Highlights:
  • Simple but effective formula
  • Made with only one stimulant
  • Moderately high dose of caffeine (325mg)
Ingredients: 8g Citrulline Malate, 3.2g Beta Alanine, 3g Creatine Monohydrate, 2.5g BetaPower, 300mg AlphaSize, 30mg AstraGin
Stimulants: 325mg Caffeine Anhydrous
Discount code: FITFREK
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Fat Burning Pre Workout
PreSeries LEAN Pre-Workout by Transparent Labs

Lean is designed to support weight loss from multiple angles, including improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

Ingredients: 6g Citrulline Malate, 2g Beta Alanine, 1.5g Betaine Anhydrous, 1g Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl, 500mg Choline Bitartrate, 180mg Theanine, 5mg BioPerine, 100mcg Huperzine
Stimulants: 180mg Organic Caffeine, 50mg Theobromine, 40mg Infinergy Caffeine
Highlights:
  • Increases thermogenesis
  • Improves glucose metabolism
  • Increases fat metabolism for energy
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
NO CAFFEINE
PreSeries STIM-FREE Pre-Workout by Transparent Labs

Stim-free is naturally sweetened with Stevia while still using highly effective ingredients to boost mental and physical performance in the gym.

Highlights:
  • Improves ATP production
  • Enhances focus without stimulants
  • Properly dosed formula
Ingredients: 6g Citrulline Malate, 4g Beta-Alanine, 4g BCAA, 2.5g Betaine Anhydrous, 1.3g Taurine, 1g Tyrosine, 500mg Choline Bitratrate, 150mg elevATP, 5mg BioPerine, 50mcg Huperzine A
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
NATURALLY FLAVORED
PreSeries Bulk Pre-Workout by Transparent Labs

Containing over 20g per serving, Bulk contains complete doses of ergogenic aids and a range of nootropics and stimulants to help enhance energy.

Highlights:
  • Smooth energy and focus
  • No crash
  • Reliable and time-tested
Ingredients: 8g Citrulline Malate, 4g Beta Alanine, 2.5g BetaPure, 1.3g Taurine, 1g Tyrosine, 300mg Alpha GPC, 200mg L-Theanine, 50mg Senactiv, 5mg Bioperine, 3000mcg Boron Citrate
Stimulants: 200mg PurCaffeine, 50mg Theobromine
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

These pre-workouts below are carefully reviewed and selected for having the following:

  • Must not contain artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, saccharine)
  • Completely safe and doesn't contain ingredients banned by the WADA or FDA. 
  • Ingredients are fully disclosed 

Below are the best naturally sweetened pre-workouts:

  1. Lean (Fat burning pre-workout)
  2. Stim-Free (Caffeine free natural pre-workout)
  3. Bulk (Muscle building pre-workout)
  4. Altius Pre (Affordable pre-workout)

Best 4 Pre-Workouts Without Artificial Sweeteners

FAT BURNING POWDER

Thermogenic Pre-Workout Hybrid  

Fat Burning Pre Workout
PreSeries LEAN Pre-Workout by Transparent Labs

Lean is designed to support weight loss from multiple angles, including improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

Ingredients: 6g Citrulline Malate, 2g Beta Alanine, 1.5g Betaine Anhydrous, 1g Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl, 500mg Choline Bitartrate, 180mg Theanine, 5mg BioPerine, 100mcg Huperzine
Stimulants: 180mg Organic Caffeine, 50mg Theobromine, 40mg Infinergy Caffeine
Highlights:
  • Increases thermogenesis
  • Improves glucose metabolism
  • Increases fat metabolism for energy
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Many of us have trouble maintaining cravings and keeping them at bay.

Lean has got you covered. 

It contains minerals and vitamins that won't only help with insulin production but also with glucose and fat metabolism. 

This means you'll be less likely to crash your diet.

It also has lots of ergogenic aids consisting of citrulline, beta-alanine, betaine anhydrous, and caffeine. 

For converting fat into energy, it has acetyl-l-carnitine, which will increase fat metabolism. 

It's similar to Bulk but has more ingredients for weight loss support. 

If you're sensitive to caffeine then Lean may be the best choice as it also has theanine, an ingredient that works in synergy with caffeine as it can smooth out the energizing effects of pre-workouts.

Lean is a naturally flavored thermogenic pre-workout hybrid that will enhance endurance and strength while also encouraging fat metabolism.

CHECK IT OUT
AFFORDABLE

Altius by Jacked Factory 

SAFE PICK
Altius Pre-Workout | Jacked Factory

Jacked Factory is a company you can rely on for safe pre-workouts as well as effective formulas without putting your health at risk.

Highlights:
  • Simple but effective formula
  • Made with only one stimulant
  • Moderately high dose of caffeine (325mg)
Ingredients: 8g Citrulline Malate, 3.2g Beta Alanine, 3g Creatine Monohydrate, 2.5g BetaPower, 300mg AlphaSize, 30mg AstraGin
Stimulants: 325mg Caffeine Anhydrous
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Altius looks like something of a simple formula, but it still uses effective doses of nootropics, muscle builders, and stimulants. 

It doesn't contain any sucralose or artificial sweeteners as it uses stevia extract to be naturally sweet. 

Citrulline will also help with pumps and help you appear bigger and fuller. 

With a big 8g dose of citrulline malate, it has a bigger dose than most pre-workouts containing this one ingredient. 

It also has betaine and creatine, which will both increase ATP production. 

Alpha GPC will also provide long-lasting focus as it can increase acetylcholine production. 

CHECK IT OUT
MUSCLE BUILDING PRE-WORKOUT

Bulk by Transparent Labs

NATURALLY FLAVORED
PreSeries Bulk Pre-Workout by Transparent Labs

Containing over 20g per serving, Bulk contains complete doses of ergogenic aids and a range of nootropics and stimulants to help enhance energy.

Highlights:
  • Smooth energy and focus
  • No crash
  • Reliable and time-tested
Ingredients: 8g Citrulline Malate, 4g Beta Alanine, 2.5g BetaPure, 1.3g Taurine, 1g Tyrosine, 300mg Alpha GPC, 200mg L-Theanine, 50mg Senactiv, 5mg Bioperine, 3000mcg Boron Citrate
Stimulants: 200mg PurCaffeine, 50mg Theobromine
Discount code: FITFREK
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Bulk is a muscle-building pre-workout by Transparent Labs.

It doesn't use any artificial sweeteners or coloring so you can use it without worrying about your health. 

It's also packed with useful ingredients to help you push at your best effort without overdoing it with caffeine.

With different forms of caffeine, it also has nootropics to help you stay focused for long periods of time.

CHECK IT OUT
CAFFEINE-FREE

Stim-Free by Transparent Labs

NO CAFFEINE
PreSeries STIM-FREE Pre-Workout by Transparent Labs

Stim-free is naturally sweetened with Stevia while still using highly effective ingredients to boost mental and physical performance in the gym.

Highlights:
  • Improves ATP production
  • Enhances focus without stimulants
  • Properly dosed formula
Ingredients: 6g Citrulline Malate, 4g Beta-Alanine, 4g BCAA, 2.5g Betaine Anhydrous, 1.3g Taurine, 1g Tyrosine, 500mg Choline Bitratrate, 150mg elevATP, 5mg BioPerine, 50mcg Huperzine A
CHECK IT OUT
FitFrek earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

If you want to exercise late in the evening and still take a pre-workout while being able to sleep at night, then Stim-Free is your choice. 

This pre-workout has stevia but it still promises not to have any artificial sweeteners at all. 

It also uses a natural source for coloring (beetroot) and so overall this is a healthier pick than the sugar-packed pre-workouts you would typically see on the market. 

If you're trying to train without caffeine, then Stim-Free is a great choice because it not only has creatine but it also has other ergogenic aids that support strength and hypertrophy training. 

CHECK IT OUT

Go Naturally Flavored with Pre-Workouts

The best pre-workouts for strength and endurance don't need to have artificial sweeteners.

You can still have a great workout by using some of the best available options. 

If you want something with low caffeine, then check out Bulk or Lean by Transparent Labs.

For something very strong, Kaged Elite is a great choice. 

But if you want something with a moderate amount of caffeine then Altius by Jacked Factory is a good pick. 

These pre-workouts are naturally flavored and don't have artificial sweeteners so you can feel better about what you're putting into your health in the long-run. 

Types of Artifical Sweeteners

There are a few common types of artificial sweeteners that are commonly used in powder-based supplements.

If you want to make the most of your health in the long run, then it's probably best to avoid these:

  • Saccharin (Sweet'N Low®, SugarTwin®)
  • Acesulfame K (Sunett®, Sweet One®)
  • Sucralose (Splenda®)
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet®, Equal®)

Saccharin:

Saccharin is known to be Sweet'N Low, which is said to be 300-400 times sweeter than sugar and was first made in 1879 and it was produced on a massive scale during the shortage of sugar in world war 1. 

They are commonly used because they have a reputation for being the better option for diabetics and teeth health.

Saccharine is made in a lab by oxidizing o-toluene sulfonmide (or phtalic anhydride).

Although this is generally considered to be a safe artificial sweetener, it was linked to bladder cancer in rats in the 1970s. 

Since recent studies are not able to replicate this effect, it's one of the reasons why many are cutting out this artificial sweetener. 

Aspartame-Potassium (ACE-K):

Aspartame (or ACE-K) is also known as Sunett, Sweet One, NutraSweet, or Equal.

Being 200 times sweeter than sugar, it was first created in 1965 and was approved by the FDA in 1981.

It's a low-calorie option and is used in diet drinks. 

It's often used in combination with other sweeteners to provide a taste that's closer to sugar.

Ace-K is heat-stable, making it suitable for use in cooking and baking.

Like aspartame, Ace-K has been approved for use by major food safety authorities.

However, some studies have raised concerns about its safety, leading to ongoing debate.

Aspartame

Aspartame, on the other hand, has a taste that's closer to sugar than most artificial sweeteners.

However, it's not heat-stable, meaning it can lose its sweetness when heated.

This limits its use in cooking and baking.

Aspartame is a synthetic sweetener made of two naturally occurring amino acids, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid. 

Although our bodies turn this sweetener into methanol, it's toxic when in large amounts. 

Methanol goes further and breaks down into formaldehyde, which is a toxic carcinogen but it isn't noticeable as we tend to consume small amounts of aspartame. 

But studies on aspartame prove that it is concerning and should be avoided. 

Sucralose

First discovered in 1976, Sucralose is another zero-calorie artificial sweetener that is 200-400 times sweetener than sugar. 

It's made by replacing the hydrogen and oxygen bonds in sugar with chlorine.

Today, it's consumed as Splenda, which is a mix of sucralose, glucose, and maltodextrin and it's commonly used in baked goods as well as beverages. 

However, there are many concerns with sucralose as it's linked to many issues concerning health

It also has side effects on gut bacteria which can affect digestion. 

It's a sweetener to stay away from.

Stevia

Stevia is a tricky one as it's a natural sweetener but since it's heavily processed, it can have side effects. 

In its plant and natural form, it's a much better alternative to artificial sweeteners. 

But because it's bonded with sugar alcohols, it can have effects on the digestion system and it can have an impact on health for the long term. 

Stevia still has the lowest risk for side effects so if you do go with a sugar-free pre-workout then stevia is still a solid choice.  

Natural Sweeteners

On the other side of the spectrum, we have natural sweeteners.

These are sweeteners that are derived from plants, fruits, or grains.

They include sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit extract, and honey.

Natural sweeteners are often touted as healthier alternatives to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

However, it's important to note that just because a sweetener is natural doesn't necessarily mean it's healthier.

Some natural sweeteners, like honey and agave nectar, are high in fructose and can contribute to health issues if consumed in excess.

When choosing a sweetener, it's important to consider both its taste and its potential health impacts.

While artificial sweeteners can provide a low-calorie alternative to sugar, they're not without potential health concerns.

On the other hand, natural sweeteners can offer a more natural taste profile, but they're not always the healthier option they're made out to be.

As with most things in nutrition, moderation is key.

Why Avoid Artifical Sweetners? 

Artificial sweeteners have a wide range of side effects on health in the short and long term.

Not only can it affect appetite but it can also disturb healthy gut bacteria and can potentially increase the risk for diabetes. 

Anything that's as processed as artificial sweeteners surely won't have any benefit other than the sweetness it provides. 

Although artificial sweeteners like sucralose are approved by the FDA, there are still reasons to avoid using this in pre-workouts as the long-term effects are still being studied and it's basically a fake sugar. 

Mental Effects

There are studies that link aspartame to cognitive issues like headaches, moodiness, learning problems, and even seizures. 

It can also inhibit neurotransmitters that make you feel good, like dopamine and serotonin. 

Currently, these effects are not being linked to other artificial sweeteners but it's still a solid reason why to go with a naturally sweetened pre-workout and to avoid the ones using artificial sweeteners

Changes Appetite 

Artificial sweeteners have the same effect as sugar when it comes to affecting our food reward pathway. 

This means it can increase sugar cravings which can lead to weight gain. 

Although this is still being researched, this along with the other possible side effects makes naturally sweetened pre-workouts much more appealing.

Oxidative Stress

Using artificial sweeteners can increase free radicals, leading to elevated oxidative stress. 

While this hasn't been proven for humans, it's a solid reason to avoid artificial sweeteners. 

With more free radicals building up in our bodies, our cells become more likely to be damaged.

This can eventually lead to an increased risk for degenerative and chronic diseases and can increase the body's rate of aging. 

Benefits of Naturally Sweetened Pre-Workouts

Naturally made sweeteners are a much safer option when it comes to supplements. 

There are enough processed sweeteners in drinks to make us more conscious about what we consume even if it's in a health supplement like a pre-workout.

There are plenty of benefits to natural sweeteners such as:

  • Healthier for the brain
  • Won't affect mood or appetite 
  • Won't cause weight gain
  • Comes from natural sources and isn't artificially produced

Some of the pre-workouts in this list are ranked in the video below...

FAQs

Can I take pre-workout supplements every day?

Yes, you can take pre-workout supplements every day.

However, it's important to follow the recommended dosage on the product label.

Also, remember that your body might build up a tolerance over time, so it's a good idea to cycle your pre-workout supplements, meaning you should take breaks from using them every few weeks.

Are there any side effects of pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are generally safe for most people.

However, they can cause side effects in some individuals, including jitteriness, insomnia, stomach upset, and increased heart rate.

If you experience any adverse effects, it's best to stop using the product and consult a healthcare professional.

Can I take pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach?

This depends on the individual and the specific supplement.

Some people might experience stomach upset when taking pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach, while others might not have any issues.

If you're new to pre-workout supplements, it's a good idea to start by taking them with a small snack to see how your body reacts.

How long before a workout should I take my pre-workout supplement?

Most pre-workout supplements should be taken 20-30 minutes before your workout.

This gives your body enough time to absorb the ingredients and start feeling the effects.

Can I take pre-workout supplements for non-gym workouts like yoga or pilates?

Yes, pre-workout supplements can be beneficial for any type of workout, not just gym workouts.

They can help increase your energy, focus, and endurance, which can be beneficial for activities like yoga and pilates as well.

Are pre-workout supplements suitable for beginners?

Yes, pre-workout supplements can be used by both beginners and advanced athletes.

However, if you're new to these supplements, it's a good idea to start with a half dose to assess your tolerance.

Can I use pre-workout supplements if I have a medical condition?

If you have a medical condition or are taking medication, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, including pre-workout supplements.

Are all pre-workout supplements free from artificial sweeteners?

No, not all pre-workout supplements are free from artificial sweeteners.

It's important to read the product label carefully to check for any artificial sweeteners or other ingredients you might want to avoid.

Can I mix my pre-workout supplement with other beverages?

Yes, most pre-workout supplements can be mixed with water, juice, or other beverages.

However, it's best to check the product label for specific instructions.

Do pre-workout supplements replace a healthy diet and regular exercise?

No, pre-workout supplements are not a replacement for a healthy diet and regular exercise.

They are designed to enhance your workout performance and should be used in conjunction with a balanced diet and consistent exercise regimen.

Final Thoughts

The best pre-workouts for strength and endurance don't need to have artificial sweeteners.

You can still have a great workout by using some of the best available options. 

If you want something with low caffeine, then check out Bulk or Lean by Transparent Labs.

For something very strong, Kaged Elite is a great choice. 

But if you want something with a moderate amount of caffeine then Altius by Jacked Factory is a good pick. 

These pre-workouts are naturally flavored and don't have artificial sweeteners so you can feel better about what you're putting into your health in the long-run. 

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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Shelly
Shelly
6 months ago

You may want to recheck some of your products. The Elite product by Kaged actually DOES contain sucralose. I was glad I looked at the ingredients instead of just trusting the article.

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