Looking for a pre-workout that maximises your workout without leaving you feeling jittery, unable to sleep, and even anxious? They’re all here, in this best caffeine-free pre-workout UK chart list.
Look at the ingredients list on most pre-workouts and you’ll see caffeine in there. It’ll be dosed up, too.
Anywhere from 200mg to 300mg of caffeine is standard in regular pre-workouts. With your average cup of coffee containing roughly 100mg of caffeine, a pre-workout can certainly pack a caffeine punch.
But what about if you’re training later on in the afternoon or evening, and don’t want caffeine to impact your sleep? What about if you’re caffeine sensitive at the best of times, or just want to avoid it altogether? Can you get a fantastic caffeine-free pre-workout that’ll still give you energy, focus and motivation?
Worry not. Although caffeine is a potent and research-backed ingredient, there are still options available and a number of great stimulant-free pre-workouts on the UK market.
I’ve tried a few caffeine-free pre-workouts in my time and they’ve done the job for me on the gym floor ─ focused, pumped up, and ready to smash a workout. What more do you want?
This article will take you through the best caffeine-free pre-workouts in the UK. We’ll then discuss what to look out for in terms of pre-workout ingredients and dosages when caffeine isn’t available, to help you make an informed decision to suit your needs.
Our Favourite Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout?
With this punchy list of intelligently produced pre-workouts, it was a really tough call – but we just had to go with Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train.
This product stands proud with its 19 natural ingredients that have been carefully yet powerfully formulated to not only maximise your workout performance, but also ramp up your focus, motivation, and mental stimulation, all without the use of caffeine.
Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train showcases some serious headlining ingredients ─ citrulline malate, beta alanine and betaine ─ optimised with some powerful amino acids and more to bring out the best in you and your workout.
Blackwolf is a very close second and is also highly recommended in a list of brilliant caffeine-free workouts – but Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train has just nabbed the top spot for us.
7 Best Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout UK
Let’s take a look at the best caffeine-free pre-workouts out there on the UK market to give you focus, energy, and stimulation before you hit a session.
Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train Stim Free
Crazy Nutrition’s Intensive Pre-Train Stim Free is a bold choice to kick us off for our caffeine-free pre-workout list.
Coming from the quality-first guys at Crazy Nutrition, this product is designed to provide intense energy, focus and motivation without the jitters, anxiety or crash commonly associated with caffeine-based pre-workouts.
The Intensive Pre-Train stimulant-free formula contains a blend of 19 natural ingredients to get your session well and truly revved up.
Key ingredients in Pre-Train (with dosages in brackets) include:
- Citrulline malate (7g)
- Beta-alanine (2.5g)
- Betaine anhydrous (1.8g)
- L-tyrosine (1g)
- L-taurine (1g)
- L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (1g)
- KSM-66 ashwagandha (300mg)
All the ingredients are natural-based and are included with good reason.
For example, alongside the key amino acids in the above list, Pre-Train also includes a vitamin B blend to help kick fatigue and increase determination. The formula also contains a rather mysterious ingredient labelled as ‘En-Xtra’. This is extracted from Alpinia galanga (a type of ginger) and is said to provide fast, effective, no-crash energy.
Equally as appealing as the ingredients it does boast, Intensive Pre-Train does not contain any unnecessary ingredients. However, to create its intense flavourings, Pre-Train does contain flavouring powder and sucralose.
I should point out that although it’s not entirely clear on the Crazy Nutrition website, the Green Apple flavour doesn’t contain caffeine ─ which is what we want here!
Simply add one scoop (25g) of Pre-Train to a shaker with a recommended 500ml of water around 30 mins before your workout. If you’re accustomed to taking pre-workout, you’ll be able to take this with less water.
This Pre-Train powder mixes in easily and tastes great too. All aboard the Pre-Train!
BlackWolf Caffeine Free
BlackWolf have brought three very good pre-workouts to the market. Two of them contain caffeine (Green Apple and Blue Raspberry), but the Fruit Punch flavour is the one to buy if you’re after a caffeine-free pre-workout.
The BlackWolf fruit punch pre workout contains zero caffeine. Instead it’s created with a blend of DMAE and huperzine. What are these, I hear you ask?
DMAE is short for dimethylaminoethanol – you can see why they shorten it, can’t you? DMAE is a pre-cursor to the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine. For this reason, DMAE is often used as a nootropic to aid focus and improve cognition.
Huperzine plays a similar role, but from the other side of the coin. It’s known to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine (acetylcholinesterase), so you have more of this neurotransmitter in your central nervous system.
Although it hasn’t been fully tested in individuals during exercise, huperzine is a common nootropic. Other notable ingredients in the caffeine-free BlackWolf pre-workout include:
- Citrulline malate (6g)
- Beta-alanine (3.2g)
- Creatine monohydrate (3g)
- Betaine anhydrous (2g)
- L-taurine (1g)
- L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (1g)
- L-tyrosine (600mg)
- Coconut water powder (320mg)
- DMAE (150mg)
- Huperzine (10mg)
- Dynamine (125mg)
This last ingredient, Dynamine, is an interesting one. Dynamine is structurally similar to caffeine and is found in coffee beans. However, it’s thought to be faster-acting to give you a boost of energy and focus without the big caffeine high and jitters. Once you’ve finished your workout, the effects of Dynamine will already be wearing off.
What I like about BlackWolf is that everything is transparent and clear. Each 18.5g serving gives you good dosages to get you fired up for your workout.
CrazyBulk Nitric Max
CrazyBulk Nitric Max is a pre-workout supplement designed to improve strength, energy and performance during workouts.
The active pre-workout ingredients in Nitric Max are:
- AAKG (1.5g)
- Citrulline malate (750mg)
- Beta-alanine (360mg)
In each four-capsule serving, you also get hawthorn berry extract, green tea extract and grapeseed extract.
All the ingredients together are designed to boost nitric oxide levels, which has the benefit of improving your blood flow and oxygen circulation. As well as helping to shuttle the right nutrients to your muscles for increased performance and recovery during exercise, the act of improved vasodilation leads to fantastic muscle pumps.
It’s recommended to take Nitrix Max 20 minutes before your workout, as is the case with most pre-workouts. Being in tablet format, there isn’t a range of flavours with the Nitric Max, which some people prefer.
Bulk Pre-Workout Caffeine Free
Bulk, formally known as Bulk Powders, is one of the most popular sports nutrition brands in the UK. It’s created a pretty potent caffeine-free pre-workout to help lifters get the most out of their workouts, without the added, and sometimes unwanted, CNS stimulation.
Each serving of Bulk’s Pre-Workout Caffeine Free packs in 13g of active ingredients including:
- AAKG (3g)
- Citrulline malate (3g)
- Beta-alanine (3g)
- Creatine (3g)
- Taurine (1g)
- Choline Bitartrate (700mg)
- Vitamin B6 (5mg)
This stimulant-free pre-workout matrix looks pretty good to me. Bulk have included 3g of AAKG, which is at least double the amount of the three pre-workouts above.
This will certainly deliver brilliant muscle pumps and help to boost those nitric oxide levels. Over 300 reviews on Bulk’s official website have verified its efficacy of this pre-workout.
Bulk’s pre-workout also contains a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, which is known to help reduce tiredness and fatigue. It also contains choline bitartrate, which is known as an effective nootropic ingredient for enhanced focus.
You can get the Bulk caffeine-free pre-workout in a few different flavours. This includes the great-tasting Lemon & Lime and Orange & Mango ─ it wouldn’t be a pre-workout if it didn’t come in a zingy flavour!
The added benefit I like with Bulk is its focus on sustainability. Over 87% of their pouches are now home compostable and they’ve worked to remove as much plastic as possible from their operations. Good work all round.
Freak Athletics Pumped Stim Free Pre-Workout
Looking for performance and pump without the caffeine? Freak Athletics Pumped Pre-Workout could be the one.
This non-stimulant pre-workout supplement is designed to help gymgoers and fitness enthusiasts get motivated for their workouts and increase lifting prowess. This UK-made supplement contains a range of ingredients that work together to support energy, focus and endurance during exercise.
In one scoop of Freak Athletics Pumped you’ll get:
- L-Citrulline (3g)
- Betaine Anhydrous (1.25g)
- Taurine (1g)
- L-Tyrosine (500mg)
- Beetroot extract (500mg)
- Norvaline (150mg)
One ingredient on the Freak Athletics list we haven’t come across on our list yet is norvaline. In the body, L-norvaline’s main role is to help regulate nitric oxide levels and promote better blood flow. As we’ve seen previously, enhanced NO and blood flow helps with the nutrient flow into muscles during your workout, which leads to better pumps.
With the one-scoop serving underperforming for me, I’d definitely be tempted to double-scoop Pumped for even greater motivation on the gym floor. As soon as you taste the Tropical Fruit Punch flavour, you’ll be ready to go.
Demon Labz Stim Free Pre-Workout Demon
Pre-Workout Demon. Sounds like it’ll do a good job, doesn’t it? And it certainly does.
The stim-free pre-workout from Demon Labz contains a good matrix to provide you with workout energy and get you fired up mentally. The Blue Raspberry flavour is one of my favourites too and mixes perfect with 200ml of water.
In each 15g serving of Demon you’ll get the following active ingredients:
- Creatine (3g)
- Taurine (2g)
- L-Glutamine (2g)
- Citrulline malate (1.5g)
- Betaine Anhydrous (1.5g)
The formula also has a collection of B vitamins to help reduce fatigue and feelings of tiredness to help you train harder and for longer. With each serving you get 2.5g of dextrose too, to help with a quick energy spike and to shuttle the ingredients into your bloodstream.
L-glutamine is a popular amino acid for gymgoers, but it’s the first time it’s featured here on our list. The benefits of consuming L-glutamine are that it helps stop muscle breakdown and improves protein metabolism. There are suggestions that it aids the recovery process too.
This supplement is tried, tested, and comes with good reviews across the board. It’s manufactured in Germany at a leading facility that’s accredited with the IFS Certificate.
The dosing of Demon Labz is good for a beginner, but again I’d be tempted to double up here with an extra scoop so you’re hitting better dosages of taurine, glutamine and citrulline malate. Now we’re talking.
Warrior Nutrition Pump Pre-Workout
Warrior Pump offers a good-quality, caffeine-free pre-workout. It’s marketed as a nitric oxide booster to get that blood pumping and muscles nice and full.
The main ingredients in Warrior Nutrition Pump include:
- Citrulline Malate (3g)
- Highly branched cyclic dextrin (1.7g)
- Glycerol monostearate (1g)
- Beetroot powder (750mg)
- Norvaline (200mg)
Although Warrior Pump doesn’t contain as many ingredients as some of the other caffeine-free pre-workouts here, it has a good matrix to do the job. Of the ingredients, I usually take cyclic dextrin as part of my intra-workout to provide an immediate energy source for working muscles.
After taking Pump you’ll feel focused, energised and, as the name suggests, pumped!
The flavours of Warrior Pump taste great (especially Strawberry Kiwi), and the product mixes excellently. With the dosages being a little on the low side, I go for a double-scoop of Pump and feel great. But it’s always advisable to test the water first with one scoop or even half a scoop to see your tolerance levels and how your body reacts.
Warrior Pump’s stim-free pre-workout is very reasonably priced and made at a UK facility.
Main Ingredients Behind An Effective Non-Stim Pre-Workout
When it comes to caffeine-free pre-workouts, there are several key ingredients that can help boost performance and enhance muscle growth. You’ll find some of these in standard caffeine-containing pre-workouts too, but some of the ingredients act as a caffeine substitute – all without the prolonged stimulation that you get with caffeine, of course.
Here are some of the main ingredients to look for in an effective non-stim pre-workout:
Citrulline malate is a very popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements. It’s known as a nitric oxide enhancer.
The main role it plays is to increase blood flow to muscles and improve endurance during exercise. The combination of the amino acid citrulline and malic acid has been shown to reduce fatigue and increase energy levels.
Scientific research suggests that an 8g dose before resistance training is one of the most effective approaches.
Beta-alanine is another common ingredient in all pre-workouts. This amino acid has been shown to enhance athletic performance through its ability to reduce muscle fatigue. This means you can exercise for longer periods of time.
Beta-alanine does this by increasing the levels of carnosine in the muscles. Carnosine helps to buffer lactic acid, which is responsible for the burning sensation you feel during intense exercise. Funnily enough, beta-alanine is the ingredient that causes that well-known tingling sensation when you’ve had a big pre-workout dose.
Betaine anhydrous is a naturally occurring compound that occurs in the body, as well as in beetroot, spinach and other vegetables. Structurally speaking, it’s the amino acid glycine, with three methyl groups attached.
One of betaine’s main roles is to promote cell hydration and reduce stressors in muscle cells. It can also reduce methylate homocysteine in the blood, contributing to the normal functioning of blood and muscles.
In terms of training, the benefit of betaine anhydrous is to improve resistance training performance via its positive impacts on cell hydration and reducing stressors such as lactate.
AAKG is short for arginine alpha-ketoglutarate. This combination of l-arginine and alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is supposed to boost nitric oxide levels in the blood. Nitric oxide helps vessels relax for enhanced blood flow. This allows for the efficient delivery of substances and materials to muscles.
There isn’t concrete scientific evidence that AAKG has this impact on NO, but there’s certainly anecdotal evidence. Plus, it’s evident that both substances can have a positive impact on the body in their own right.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid that plays important roles in the nervous system and immune health.
When it comes to fitness, it’s thought that taurine enhances muscular contraction and can delay muscle fatigue. It’s for these reasons that taurine is still included in the Red Bull drink recipe.
Several studies on the effects of taurine on performance have backed up these benefits, as well as improved strength and increased oxygen uptake. A dose of 1-3g has been shown to be effective.
One of the newer kids on the block, nootropics are ingredients that help enhance cognitive functioning, focus, and brain health. They’re becoming more and more popular in the fitness world for the mental health benefits they supply.
There are lots of nootropic ingredients out there, including l-tyrosine, theanine, choline, DMAE and ashwagandha. It’s sometimes a case of trying out different ingredients and products to see what works best for you.
Is Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout Still Good?
There’s no doubt that caffeine is one of the most important ingredients in a regular pre-workout formula.
But that’s not to say it’s the only important ingredient. If this was the case, gymgoers would just have a coffee and nothing else before their session.
So, is caffeine-free pre-workout any good?
Yes, if you’re overly sensitive to caffeine or prefer to avoid it altogether, because a stimulant-free pre-workout can play an important role for your session.
Caffeine-free pre-workout supplements can still be effective at improving athletic performance and supporting muscle growth. They still often contain ingredients such as creatine, beta-alanine, and citrulline malate, which have been shown to improve strength, endurance, and recovery.
A major advantage of caffeine-free pre-workout supplements is that they can be taken at any time of day without interfering with sleep, sending your heart into overdrive or causing the jitters. They are also a good option for those who want to cycle off caffeine from more of a lifestyle perspective.
When Should You Take A Stimulant-Free Pre-Workout?
There are two ways to look at this question: short term and long term. Let’s take a quick look at both.
The short term answer is easier. Like with most pre-workouts, the best time to take it is around 20-30 mins before your workout. I tend to take mine in the car when I drive to the gym. It’s become a bit of a ritual. I know it takes 10-15 minutes to drive there, so by the time I’m in and warmed up, I’ll be raring to go.
Looking at a more zoomed-out perspective, there are a number of scenarios in which it may be beneficial to take a caffeine-free pre-workout. Here are some guidelines:
- Evening workouts: One of the main advantages of a caffeine-free pre-workout is that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep. If you tend to hit the gym in the evening, a stimulant-free option is ideal. As you know, sleep is your secret anabolic weapon!
- Caffeine sensitivity: If you’re sensitive to caffeine or experiencing palpitations when you have a strong coffee, try out a non-stim pre-workout for enhanced performance without the side effects.
- Cycling off caffeine: Some people like to take periodic breaks from caffeine to reduce tolerance or for individual reasons. It’s good to know that you can still buy a great non-caffeine-based pre-workout during these cycles.
When it comes to optimising your training without relying on caffeine, two leading options emerge: BlackWolf and Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train.
Both of these caffeine-free supplements are carefully formulated with enhanced pre-workout matrices to help you maximise your workout performance. Even caffeine absent, it’s still entirely possible to feel fully focused, pumped up, and mentally stimulated.
With both Pre-Train and BlackWolf, the dosing of the main ingredients ─ citrulline malate, beta alanine and betaine ─ looks optimal. The formulae of each also boast other powerful amino acids and ingredients to get you working out on top form.
So, which one should you choose? It ultimately depends on a few individual preferences, including price and how your body reacts to certain ingredients. All of the caffeine-free pre-workout options on this list are definitely worth trying out.