CrossFit workouts are not like your conventional gym floor training sessions. They are more intense, more gut-busting and more mentally demanding. If you don’t go into your workout primed both nutritionally and mentally you will fail, pure and simple.
That’s why pre-workout supplementation is especially important when it comes to CrossFit. In this article, we identify the best pre-workout for CrossFitters, along with the nine best alternative options to make it clear which brand you need to invest in to own your Workout of the Day every day.
The best pre-workout for CrossFit needs to provide you with a crash-free energy boost, peak your focus and alertness and boost your strength and endurance. The best pre-workout for CrossFit, which currently offers all of the above, is the Old School Labs Vintage Blast Pre-Workout supplement.
The 10 Best Pre Workouts for Crossfit:
1. Old School Labs Vintage Blast Pre-Workout
Old School Labs are relatively new onto the pre-workout supplement scene but have hit the ground running with this throwback-inspired blend. This pre-workout is extremely high in citrulline so will help you get through your workout even when you feel like you can’t go on.
Secondly, it contains no proprietary blends, all the ingredients are clearly listed along with their corresponding amounts. Finally, it releases caffeine in two stages, so you are pumped throughout your whole workout and not just at the beginning. CrossFitters love that this is a pure pre-workout that gives them the mental intensity they need while also boosting their strength and endurance.
Old School Labs Vintage Blast is fully GMO, 100% vegan-friendly, and keto-friendly. It provides you with 5 grams of citrulline to boost blood flow and provide the second burst you need halfway through your workout. You will be able to recover faster after each round of your workout with this ingredient.
You also get 1g of both arginine and beta-alanine to further augment your energy boost and enhance blood flow to the working muscles. In addition, the 2.5-gram dosage of carnitine will help your energy reserves by speeding up the burning of stored body fat for energy. To complete the impressive ingredient profile, you get 2 grams of aspartic acid, 250 mg of tyrosine, and 100 mg of microencapsulated caffeine.
The only negatives are the sour taste and price which is rather high. If you can ignore these downsides, Vintage Blast is a powerful pre-workout that can help you achieve real results.
2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout
Optimum Nutrition is much more established in the supplement world. This recognition means that we all expect the very best from them. Gold Standard Pre-Workout does not fall short of these high expectations. This pre-workout supplement is ideal for CrossFitters and is expertly blended so you are not overloaded with certain stimulants. For example, the caffeine level is not too high, it is just right to keep you pumped during your workout.
This pre-workout supplement also contains lots of vitamins which are usually ignored by most competitors. You also get a liberal dose of citrulline malate to provide that long-lasting energy you need to smash your WOD.
Once again, the price is the only real letdown, but if you want top-quality you cannot argue that this product delivers.
3. Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk Pre-Workout
The name of this brand gives away its aims. Transparent Labs want to ensure there is transparency in every blend they produce. This means there are no proprietary blends, just clearly labeled ingredients on all their products.
There are two versions of this Pre Series including the LEAN which is a suitable pre-workout supplement for those not looking to bulk up. This blend is quality throughout with well-balanced ingredients, which are all-natural, including third-party testing to ensure the product reaching you is the very best on the market.
This product provides every ingredient that CrossFitters need for peak performance, including 6 grams of citrulline malate, 4 grams of beta-alanine, 4 grams of BCAAs, and 2.5 grams of BeatPure Betaine. Once again expense and taste are a slight negative, but the benefits completely outweigh these negatives.
4. Legion Pulse Nitric Oxide Pre-Workout
Legion Pulse is a world-renowned pre-workout supplement that is available in an amazing 5 flavors. Not only is everyone’s individual taste catered for, but this product also has some distinct pre-workout benefits. It contains extremely high doses of ingredients.
Of course, this is not for everyone so use this product with discretion, but there is no disputing the real power and energy this pre-workout can give you. It can sharpen your focus and enhance your mood while also significantly boosting your strength and endurance.
The taste of these 5 flavors is also much better than most on the market. Give Legion Pulse a try; it really will give you and your workout a boost.
5. Pre Kaged by Kaged Nutrition Pre-Workout
Pre Kaged is in a league of its own when it comes to its formula. It contains very high doses of all its handpicked ingredients. Typically supplements stick to 1 gram of citrulline but Pre Kaged takes this much further by including 6.5 grams of this component. This will aid blood flow in your workout, making your workout feel easier as a direct result. In addition, you get very liberal doses of PurCaf organic caffeine, 2 grams of taurine, and 1.8 grams of tyrosine to boost mental focus and clarity. On top of all that you get 6.5 grams of fermented BCAAs.
There are no artificial colors and flavorings within this product. The only downfall we could find with this product is that it comes in small containers that only provide 15-20 dosages per purchase. This compares with 30-60 dosages with most competing pre-workouts. However, If you can ignore this Pre Kaged would be a real game-changer for your workout regime.
6. MusclePharm Wreckage Pre Workout
MusclePharm Wreckage contains two celebrated ingredients designed to give you the nutritional firepower to own your workout: Caffeine and Beta-Alanine, which will help with your workout and subsequent recovery. On top of those basics, they have added such ground-breaking compounds as Vaso6, Neurofactor, and Alpha GPC. MusclePharm produces a range of pre-workouts and this is the most powerful, which makes it ideal for hard training CrossFitters.
MusclePharm Wreckage provides you with 300 mg of caffeine per serve. This may be too high for some people, producing a jittery effect and leading to a post-workout energy crash. In that case, the dosage should be split between two servings.
7. NLA For Her Uplift Pre-Workout
Uplift is a pre-workout supplement for women which helps give you a big energy boost for your workout. It is renowned for giving gym goers real focus throughout their workout, without any side effects such as jitters and shaking. The ingredient profile includes essential amino acids, including beta-alanine, lysine, carnitine, arginine, isoleucine, and valine.
This pre-workout is a great option for female CrossFitters who are not into a hyper stimulant-based pre-workout but still need something to push themselves to their best performance on the gym floor. The combination of l-carnitine, caffeine, and Dynamine provides an energy boost, focus, enhances endurance, and improves strength levels.
One negative when reading the ingredients of this product is that it is a mixture of proprietary blends. This makes it hard to decipher the amounts of each individual ingredient inside this pre-workout supplement.
8. Cellucor C4 Extreme pre-Workout
Cellucor C4 Extreme provides you with a potent blend of 200 g of caffeine for explosive energy, 2 grams of beta-alanine for muscular endurance, 1 gram of the nitric oxide booster citrulline nitrate, and the creatine booster creatine nitrate. The result is a powerful pre-workout that will quickly deliver the strength boost, energy, and endurance enhancement, and mental focus that you need when you go into a CrossFit workout.
Cellucor is well known for being a transparent supplement company so that all dosages and ingredients are fully spelled out on the label. You won’t find any artificial dyes or other additives in this product.
9. FitMiss Igite Women’s Pre-Workout
IGNITE is another pre-workout for women that delivers focus, strength, and endurance boosts without being overly stimulatory. It is produced by Musclepharm. This blend is big on focus, with ingredients such as taurine, tyrosine, and glycine all included to help keep you zoned in on your workout. It delivers one hundred mg of caffeine, along with some powerful fat-burning ingredients. The price of this pre-workout is a real bonus as it is really inexpensive, with a fantastic taste as well.
10. ProSupps Mr Hyde Nitrox Pre-Workout
As you may have guessed from the name, Mr. Hyde is a serious stimulant-free pre-workout for heavy-duty CrossFit training. It provides you with a massive 400 mg caffeine matrix, which is at the top end of the range. It also includes large doses of Yohimbine, TeaCrine, Creatine HCL, and Nitrosigine. The product is available in 10 great flavors. Do not take this pre-workout if you are a beginner to pre-workouts or cannot handle large doses of caffeine.
CrossFit Pre Workout Buyer’s Guide
The supplement market is overflowing with pre-workouts, each one claiming to be the ideal formulation to provide you with the physical and mental tools you need when you enter the CrossFit Box. Knowing what to look for will allow you to wade past the masses of products and focus on the ones that really do the business. Here are 5 key considerations when buying a CrossFit pre-workout.
All CrossFit workouts involve an element of strength so having an ingredient that will allow you to push out those vital extra reps is extremely important. The most verified gym supplement to enhance strength is undoubtedly creatine. This ingredient has been studied more than any other and has been conclusively shown to make you stronger. It does it by renewing the ATP energy system so you can get those extra reps in.
While some people will want to take their creatine as a separate supplement, combining it in your pre-workout makes more sense – and saves you money. Look for a pre-workout that provides you with 5 grams of creatine per serving.
CrossFit workouts are more endurance based than a typical bodybuilding type training session. As a result, they require ingredients that will provide an ongoing source of energy. That means carbohydrates. Carbs provide the glycogen that your body needs to keep going through the workout. Look for a pre-workout that provides a decent amount of carbs. When you blend carbs with creatine, you get even greater endurance enhancement, so the combination of the two is a definite bonus in your pre-workout.
Citrulline Malate is an energy booster and nitric oxide enhancer that will provide you with extra energy and muscular boost. While achieving a muscular pump is more important in a bodybuilding type workout, enhanced blood flow to the working muscles will still provide you with enhanced performance and endurance. Citrulline will also help you to recover faster between rounds of your workout, which is a vital aspect of crushing your WOD.
When it comes to enhancing your training endurance, beta-alanine is a must-have ingredient. Its power lies in its ability to reduce the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles and to reduce mental fatigue. When combined with creatine and caffeine, the effects of beta-alanine are boosted even further.
Caffeine is the world’s most used stimulant. It will provide you with a clean energy boost to get you both mentally and physically primed for your workout. Look for a pre-workout that provides you a balanced amount of caffeine that will provide you with the boost you need without being so high that it will deliver a post-workout crash and/or jittery side effects. If you are not used to high amounts of caffeine, look for a pre-workout that keeps its caffeine dosage to under 300 grams per serving.
Choosing a high-quality pre-workout that will provide you with the strength, energy, endurance and mental boost that you need to smash your workout is a key aspect of getting the best performance out of your CrossFit workout. We’ve provided you with a breakdown of the 10 best pre-workouts for CrossFit. After a thorough analysis, we believe that the best pre-workout for Crossfitters on the market right now is Old School Labs Vintage Blast.
This article was last updated on December 13, 2022 .