10 Best Caffeine Free Pre Workouts in 2021 [Without Stimulants]

By Nader Qudimat ·
Updated Apr 27, 2021

BEST OVERALL

BEST FOR PUMPS AND FOCUS

When it comes to pre workouts, caffeine isn’t a complete necessity.

You can have a pre workout that helps with energy and pumps without the stimulants.

You might be wondering…

Why would someone want such a pre workout?

What’s the point?

Caffeine is a long lasting stimulant and some people are super sensitive to it.

And some go through cycles where they avoid taking stimulants for a period of time.

You probably take time to deload from training heavy, (hopefully?), so the same concept applies to stimulants.

Tolerance can be an issue if you’re consistently taking pre workouts on a regular basis.

Once you take some time off, you will find your pre workout hits harder than ever.

But also you can have a pre workout with everything except stimulants, this way you can add in your own stimulants.

Like maybe you want something exotic like DMHA or DMAA, or maybe you just want to be able to adjust the caffeine amount.

Thanks to the advancements of supplement science and research, we can now have a decent amount of energy from non-stimulant sources, making caffeine-free pre workouts a nice option.

Use discount code FITFREK for any of these choices.

Contents

Best Caffeine Free Supplements

Transparent Labs has a great reputation for making completely disclosed formula's without the extra fillers or flavoring. 

Their pre workouts taste better than before and they don't use coloring or artificial flavoring. 

But you're probably not here for natural pre workouts. 

When you're looking for a pre workout, it should be well formulated and researched with clinical doses.

Stim Free is their caffeine free pre workout, that maximizes strength and athletic performance.

It doesn't have any caffeine and it has BCAA's to help prevent muscle breakdown, which is useful when you're working out in a fasted state.

Thankfully, Stim Free doesn't contain any creatine (it used to), instead it's been replaced with elevATP.

To help with mood and motivation it uses 70mg mucuna pruriens, which is a way for supplement companies to use L-Dopa.

PROS

CONS

When Apollon Nutrition makes supplements, they do a great job at making strong supplements.

Hooligan Bare Knuckle is a non-stimulant pre workout that's made to increase energy, pumps and focus without using any stimulants.

And knowing how Apollon goes all the way with their formula's, it's clear they used the same approach with Hooligan here.

It starts with a bang of pure citrulline at 8g, which is more than 99% of pre workouts out.

Citrulline is the most popular ingredient to have, because it's effective at increasing arginine levels, which increases nitric oxide levels and to keep those levels, it has 1.5g agmatine.

The doses here are huge for every ingredient.

And Vaso6 is typically dosed at 300mg, but here we have it at at 600mg!

It's followed by 600mg Alpha GPC for the mental enhancement and increasing focus.

For more focus and mood support Hooligan has 2g tyrosine, a strong precursor to neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine and adrenaline.

Typically tyrosine is added to a caffeine pre workout to further enhance the energy and mood support.

Hooligan is packed with everything you could dream for in a non-stimulant pre workout and it'll give some absolutely nasty pumps.

PROS

CONS

ASC supplements is one of the newer companies and they've built a solid foundation with great supplements.

Sicario is their designated non-stim pre workout and it's stuffed with multiple nitric oxide boosters to help with pumps at different angles. 

It's pump mix consists of citrulline, GlycerPump, agmatine, pomegranate, Vaso6 and pine park extract. 

Citrulline will help by increasing arginine levels, which can turn into more nitric oxide, and agmatine will protect those levels from dropping, keeping you pumped for hours at a time.

Pomegranate is naturally full of nitrates. 

For muscle fullness, GlycerPump is used as this ingredient can pull in more water into muscles. 

There's some great synergy between nitric oxide boosters but we haven't even touched the nootropics yet. 

With the combination of 600mg AlphaGPC and huperzine, you can expect to have elevated mental function as both of these ingredients can increase focus and keep it elevated all day long. 

Lion's mane also has mental support, as well as physical energy. 

So instead of using caffeine, lion's mane will help you feel energized quite well.   

Sicario is a great way to cycle off stimulants or even stay off them, thanks to it's well rounded formula with nootropics and nitric oxide boosters. 

PROS

CONS

Huge Supplements is a relatively new company, but they've started off with future proof formulas that really don't need changes. 

Pump Serum contains various ingredients to help maximize pumps from various angles. 

And not only pumps but there's also a nice combination of nootropics, like choline and huperzine to help enhance focus and concentration. 

Although choline bitartrate is an inferior form, it's still a decent form when it's dosed correctly, which it is with Pump Serum. 

And they spared no expense when dosing the nitric oxide boosters.

The big dose of GlycerPump along with the 1.5g agmatine will ensure long lasting pumps. 

And one thing we rarely see is both beet root and pomegranate.

They are both dosed at 1g each, and these ingredients are naturally high in nitrates with lots of vasodilation benefits. 

Pump Serum is excellent for pumps, focus and will have lots of health benefits because of the beet root and pomegranate content. 

PROS

CONS

While NovaPump Neuro has the word “Neuro” in it's name, it's nootropic portion of the formula is no different than the other choices here. 

It has the same combination of 600mg Alpha GPC, along with 200mcg huperzine A, a great, tried and true combination for focus and concentration. 

The only difference is that it has 1g Acetyl-L-carnitine, which isn't found in the other non-stimulant pre workouts in here. 

Tyrosine along with acetyl-l-carnitine will result in some great non-stimulant energy.

Another unique part about NeuroPump is the nitric oxide boosters. 

We won't say no to new nitric oxide boosters. 

PegaPump is a new one that has some promise to be a vasorelaxant. 

Super Spinach is extracted from red spinach leaf which is rich of vasodilation enhancers.

It's marketed to be better than beet root extract, as one study found red spinach extract to be 50 times more potent for nitric oxide than beet root. [1]

What's more is that the elevated nitric oxide levels last for an entire day of 24 hours!

PegaPump is an interesting one as well as this is extracted from Syrian rue, which is a cardiovascular health enhancing herb.

It's typically used to treat high blood pressure and increase blood flow with some immune system boosting benefits.

NovaPump Neuro is an excellent non stimulant pre workout for that energy, pumps and long lasting focus. 

PROS

CONS

When it comes to affordable pre workouts, Rich Piana's supplements are a good choice.

Their formula's are usually kitchen sink type where everything gets thrown in at big doses, making it perfect for people looking to get every angle covered.

Full As F*ck is loaded with several ingredients, starting with a full 4g dose of citrulline, andd continues with 2g taurine, 1g agmatine, 1g glycerol monostearate, beet root, norvaline and even hesperidin.

The only ingredient in here that may be outdated is glycerol mono but the patented form of agmatine, AgmaMax makes up for it.

There's plenty of vasodilation enhancers in here and muscle volumizers that you'll be ridiculously pumped for hours.

Full as F*ck makes for a great budget option.

PROS

CONS

If you're tired if the typical citrulline and agmatine formula, then you'll like this one.

Hydrualic has 5 nitric oxide boosters, of the best forms, along with decent ergogenic aids and mental enhancers.

The nitric oxide boosters aren't just cheap one either.

It uses 5g of citrulline in it's pure form, along with 3g GlycerPump and 1g Nitrosigine.

These 3 ingredients alone will give pumps for days.

And, it has 1g agmatine to help prolong the pumps, as this ingredient can prevent N.O. levels from dropping.

What's interesting is that Axe and Sledge has gone with both forms of tyrosine, tyrosine and n-acetyl l-tyrosine.

The cheap form seems to be more bioavailable but we won't say no to NALT as an additional ingredient.

Hydraulic is fantastic for pumps, increasing strength and did we mention pumps?

PROS

CONS

When it comes to pumps and energy without using stimulants, Alpha Lion makes a good contender here with their Pump formula. 

This is a 8 ingredient formula that's designed to increase nitric oxide for hours at a time. 

The combination of 8g citrulline malate, 3g HydroPrime and 150mg S7  will lead to nasty pumps. 

And forget caffeine. 

Alpha Lion combined 600mg lion's mane, with 300mg AlphaSize, and 300mcg huperzine. 

Huperzine will help keep acetylcholine production high while AlphaSize will help increase it. 

This means your mind to muscle connection will be stronger, as this is often used with pre workouts that contain stimulants. 

The big dose of beta alanine, 3.5g, will help with endurance and power, and it's a big dose as usually pre workouts will only have 3.2g.

All in all, the pumps will be strong and the mental connection to muscle will be strong. 

PROS

CONS

This one is currently out of stock, it's wildly popular, look at that formula. We'll update this as soon as they make more.

When it comes to non stimulant pre workouts you'll often see a pattern…

Lots of nitric oxide boosters, some nootropics and that's about as far most will take it.. 

However Nuclear Pump takes it a step further and a level higher. 

Not only does it have epicatechin, but it has it in a patented form in a high dose of 300mg. 

Epicatechin comes from dark chocolate and it's a highly anabolic compound for muscle size and strength. 

It inhibits myostatin, which is a signal that prevents muscle from getting too big too fast. On the other end of myostatin is follistatin which allows for muscle to grow.

Studies have found this ingredient to reduce myostatin by 16% while increasing follistatin levels by almost 50%. 

So not only are you getting massive doses of pure nitric oxide boosters like 8g citrulline, 3g GlycerSize but you're also getting a full 300mg dose of epicatechin in it's best form. 

Epicatechin also has benefits for pumps, which get better with each use.

Nuclear Pump is actually quite a good non-stimulant pre workout that has caught us by surprise from this relatively new company. 

PROS

CONS

While most non stimulant pre workouts contain only nitric oxide boosters and muscle volumizers, Volugen takes it further with the endurance boosting ingredient, Peak02.

Peak02 is amazing for increasing oxygen uptake and allowing the heart to work a little less with intense sets while reducing soreness and increasing recovery. 

It also has some of the best nitric oxide boosters. 

From 8g citrulline, to 3g HydroMax, 1.5g Nitrosigine, 508 VasoDrive-AP and even 300mg Vaso6.

We've never seen this big of a dose with VasoDrive, but if you're lactose tolerant then you may want to go for another pre workout since this has casein in it. 

For nootropics and mental energy, it has a full gram of ALCAR along with a big dose of Rhodiola rosea at 680mg. 

Rhodiola rosea is great for reducing stress and increasing physical performance without being a stimulant. 

Volugen is a great choice for a non stimulant pre workout which will help with focus, pumps and size. 

PROS

CONS

Ingredients to Look For In Caffeine Free Pre Workouts

Pre workouts is made more than just stimulants. 

The best pre workouts takes advantage of multiple ingredients for different purposes, from increasing the pump, strength to focus and energy.

There are ingredients that can increase energy that are non stimulants, so it is possible to have a non-stimulant pre workout that can provide energy, focus and pumps without using stimulants. 

Here are the ingredients to look for and what they do…

Citrulline

Citrulline is one of the most used ingredients in pre workouts, and for good reason too.

It can reduce fatigue, improve performance and provides good vasodilation benefits.

It converts into l-arginine, which then gets used by nitric oxide synthase and converts it into nitric oxide. [2, 3]

Nitric oxide can increase the diameter of blood vessels allowing for more vasodilation, more nutrients get delivered into working muscles and lactic acid gets cleared out more efficiently.

Citrulline has plenty of benefits, making it a valuable ingredient to have in a pre workout:

  • Decrease fatigue
  • Enhance performance
  • Reduce post workout soreness
  • Lower blood pressure

A dose like 6g of pure citrulline is more than enough to get the most out of this ingredient. But the benefits can be noted from doses as little as 4g, which is about 8g when it's bonded with malate (citrulline malate).

Betaine Anhydrous

Similar to creatine, betaine is a osmolyte, meaning it increase the water uptake into cells.

And because it can function as a methyl donor, it reduces homocysteine.

Homocysteine has a negative impact on muscle protein synthesis as well as other physiological functions. [4, 5]

The studies typically use a dose of 2.5g, though higher dosages are not uncommon to see.

Beta Alanine

By now you're probably familiar with the tingles that you get after drinking a pre workout. 

That's caused by beta alanine. 

Right up with creatine, this is one of the most studied supplements in the industry.

It's a naturally occuring amino acid that playsy a role with carnosine production, a dipeptide molecule found in skeletal muscle. [6]

By increasing carnosine production, it can clear out lactic acid build up in working muscles allowing for greater endurance.

The lactic acid build up is what occurs from performing multiple reps and it can lead to exhaustion, especially when the set lasts for 1-4 minutes. [7]

Beta alanine can also help with lean gains but this is probably from the increased endurance. [8]

It needs to be taken daily at 3.2g for maximum benefits so it's worth investing in the bulk powder for best results, as your body needs to be saturated with it, similarly to creatine.

Taurine

Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid which can be taken from food but when you're training hard with intensity, it's a good idea to supplement with it. [7]

There are various benefits with taurine including:

  • Signals calcium
  • Scavenges free radicals
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Regulates cell hydration
  • Fat metabolism

Taurine is a super amino acid as there's quite a few benefits to it.

It can enhance nitric oxide levels, improve performance and endurance. [8], [9]

Agmatine

Agmatine is like the self defense to nitric oxide, it helps prevent the breakdown of it.

It's a metabolite of arginine as it's made from arginine metabolism. [9]

It functions as a arginase inhibitor, preventing the breakdown of arginine is what it's known for. [10]

When it's combined with citrulline, it'll help keep those elevated arginine levels higher for a longer period of time, which is why agmatine is usually paired with other nitric oxide boosters.

It also has some mental benefits for focus which makes it serve well as a neurotransmitter. [11]

The acceptable dose for this is anywhere from 1g to 1.5g but the benefits can be seen from doses as low as 800mg, especially when it's paired with other nitric oxide boosters.

Nitrosigine

Arginine is accepted to be the least bioavailable and worst form to take for boosting nitric oxide.

But Nutrition21 has solved the bioavailability issue by bonding arginine with inositol and silicate.

A dose as small as 1.5g of Nitrosigine can be as effective as 8g of citrulline malate. [12]

Research shows that Nitrosigine can decrease inflammation and reduce excessive damage done to muscle from exercise. [13]

Nitrosigine has been seen to increase:

  • Energy
  • Cognitive function
  • Focus
  • Recovery

[14, 15]

And Nitrosigine doesn't breakdown in the digestive system because of the inositol and silicate that it's bonded with.

And because it uses inositol, it plays a big role in mental function because it's highly concentrated in the brain and plays a part in cell to cell signaling through the phosphatidylinositol cycle (PI). [16]

The added inositol is the reason why Nitrosigine is known to be a good nootropic.

GlycerSize

GlycerSize, formally known as GlycerPump, is a excellent way to increase muscle size through cell hydration.

If you drink enough water with it, then you will make the most out of it as your muscles will absorb and hold on to the water for a while. [17]

Most the benefits come from the super hydration, especially when it comes to increasing endurance as the body acts like a sponge when using glycerol. [18]

You'll also be less likely to need to use the bathroom as much when taking glycerol as your body will hold on to more water. [19]

VasoDrive-AP

VasoDrive is a trademarked ingredient made by Novanutri.

It's made from two low molecular weight lactotripeptides, valine-prolyl-proline (VPP) and isoleucine-prolyl-proline (IPP), and both of these inhibit ACE ezyme, which is a angiotensin converting ingredient that causes vasocontriction. [20]

It also has cardiovascular benefits as it can support arterial health, studies show it's effective at decreasing blood pressure. [21]

It works well with other nitric oxide boosters.

If you're allergic to dairy then this is an ingredient that you may want to avoid because it's made from hydrolyzed milk casein.

Vaso6

This is another ingredient made by Compound Solutions.

VASO6 is made out of 6 green leaf extracts that promote more pumps and nitric oxide production.

In fact, studies show that it can do the same thing as citrulline when it comes to nitric oxide. [22]

It can increase the diameter of blood vessels by up to 15%. [23]

While this ingredient is relatively new, it shows a lot of promise.

The clinical dose for this is 300mg but rarely you'll see some supplements go as high as 600mg!

Alcar

ALCAR or Acetl-L-carnitine is made in the body by using two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine.

This is a popular ingrident in fat burners because it can help use fatty acids for energy.

Supplementing with carnitine can speed up the fat burning process. [24]

It also has a number of benefits for the brain, mood and more. [25, 26, 27, 28]

Tyrosine

Tyrosine is an amino acid that can boost energy by increasing catecholamine production (dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine). [29]

Tyrosine can decrease stress and anxiety so this makes for a perfect way to cycle off stimulants. [30]

It's also considered to be more bioavailable than N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine version.

Rhodiola Rosea

One of the best ingredients to have in a caffeine free pre workout is rhodiola rosea.

Rhodiola rosea is a herb considered to be an adaptogen because it can help the body and mind fight all kinds of stress.

Not all rhodiola is made the same though, as the effects can vary.

Although there's over 140 compounds found in the species of rhodiola, these are the compounds that help identify each species:

Rosavins (rosavin, rosin, rosarin) [31]
Salidroside (or rhodioloside) [32]
Phenolic constituents (tyrosol, catechins, gallic acid) [33]
Rhodionin (flavonoid) [34]

The salidroside of rhodiola has more stimulation benefits, helping with energy and focus with mental benefits, while the rosavin side has more calming effects.

It's common to see both, something like 3% rosavin and 1% salidroside. Some companies will standardize for more salidroside than rosavins.

Lions Mane

Lion's mane is a mushroom used in traditional Chinese and Japanese mushroom for it's healing properties.

There are several benefits to lion's mane, specifically coming from the compounds like beta glucans (polysaccharides), erinacines, erinace lactones, glycoproteins, and hericerins. [35]

Here's some of the potential benefits:

  • Anti aging
  • Anxiety relief
  • Antioxidant
  • Antifatigue
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Optimizes immune system

What lion's mane is most known for is being able to increase nerve growth factor in the brain. [36]

This is where most of the mental benefits come from as it can improve brain health, reduce inflammation and more.

Users also report more energy when using lion's mane.

Peak02

Made by a well reputated company, Compound Solutions, who are involved with many patented and trademarked ingredients.

Peak02 is made out of everyone's favorite mushrooms, Cordeyceps, Reishi, King Trumpet, Lion's mane and Turkey Tail.

The combination of these ingredients will help with physical and mental stress to help improve power, performance and endurance. It'll increase oxygen utilization and decrease lactic build up. [37]

The accepted dose for this is anywhere from 1 to 2g.

Some studies show power output, VO2 Max and time to exhaustion improvement with 1.3g taken 3 times a day for 3 weeks. [38]

But you'll see benefits with just 1g.

Choline

Choline is important nutrient for optimal cell function.

There's various forms of this and the most popular form for strength and mental function is Alpha GPC because it seems to be the most bioavailable.

Alpha GPC is up there with citicoline, both of these forms are expensive though, which is why some supplement companies use cheaper forms like choline bitratrate.

Alpha GPC has a number of benefits from increasing cognition, acetylcholine production and preventing neurodegenerative dieases while optimizing memory. [39, 40, 41]

Huperzine

Huperzine works well with other choline sources because it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine. [42]

Research shows that acetylcholine plays an important role in maintaining brain and neruomuscular function.

Some studies show it has some neuroprotective properties. [43]

Why Use Caffeine Free Pre Workouts?

Caffeine is a widely used drug that can have a big impact on everything from sleep to your daily life. 

Using caffeine means you'll have more energy, but one day without it, and you'll likely feel the withdrawals from it, leaving you less productive than you were before using it. 

The problem with stimulants is that you're burrowing energy from your future self. 

Here's why you may want to go caffeine free:

No dependency

Once you use caffeine or any stimulant, you're going to have elevated energy and this can cause a dependency. 

The longer and more you use them, the more severe the withdrawals will be. 

Stable energy

Unlike stimulants, these pre workouts will provide energy from nootropics and beneficial ingredients like lion's mane and more. 

Your energy will be more stable throughout the day. 

Better sleep

Caffeine has a super long half life. For every 5-7 hours after you consume caffeine, the amount cuts in half. So if you consume 300mg at 12 pm, you'll still have 150mg at 6 pm. Then 75mg at 12 am. 

This affects sleep, although not by much, you'll sleep better without any caffeine at all in your system. 

Improved blood flow

High doses of stimulants can act as a vasoconstrictor. So without using stimulants, you'll have better blood flow. 

No jitters or anxiety

Stimulants as you may know, can increase energy to the point where your heart rate elevates above and beyond normal rates and you'll have fight or flight adrenaline throughout the day. 

You won't have this by using pre workouts without stimulants.

FAQs

Here's your frequently asked questions answered..

Do I need to cycle caffeine free pre workouts?

No but some people like to cycle whatever supplement they use, to make sure they go through a period where they can detox and reduce whatever tolerance they think they've think they have. 

It's optional and since you're not dealing with stimulants, you won't have to cycle. 

What's the best caffeine free pre workout?

So far we think Hooligan Bare Knuckle is the best overall pre workout. Pump Serum is also a good choice. 

What should I expect with non stimulant pre workouts?

You can get elevated energy, and focus from non stimulant pre workouts as long as there's nootropics like huperzine, tyrosine, ALCAR, etc.

Other than that you'll get more pumps and performance. 

Can I use my own stimulants?

Yes since these contain no stimulants or caffeine, you can add your own. 

You have many options from DMHA, to DMAA and caffeine and more. 

Can I stack this with stimulant pre workouts?

Yes. These don't contain any stimulants so you can stack them with any pre workout but look out for the ingredients that are already in your caffeine free pre workout.

Related Reads

Leave a Comment