man drinking pre workout without creatine

This is our review for the best Pre-Workout without Creatine in . 

The pre-workout industry is huge and growing. Creatine is one of the top nutrients that finds a place in pre-workout supplements. Even though it is a widely researched and certified-safe nutrient, many people prefer a pre-workout without creatine.

The reasons could range from the fact that they are already consuming a dedicated creatine supplement or they want to avoid the side effects it could cause.

Nevertheless, today, there are many pre-workouts available that do not include creatine in their formula. After reading through and researching a long list of creatine-free pre-workouts, here are my top 9.

Considering all factors necessary and armed with my expertise as a nutritionist, I consider Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement to be the best pre-workout supplement without creatine. It has a fantastic formula with an excellent muscle-supporting matrix.

But look at our other top supplements to pick the one that suits you best.

Best Pre-workout without Creatine (overall)Legion Pulse Pre-Workout Supplement
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Muscle Pump)NITROSURGE Pre-Workout Supplement
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Muscle Recovery)Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy Pre-Workout
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Weight Management)AminoLean Pre-Workout Powder
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Women)Vitamin Bounty Gx7 Sugar-Free Pre Workout Powder
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Stim-Free)Genius Pre-Workout Powder 
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Immune Support)Red Leaf Pre-Workout Energizer Powder
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Vegan)RARI Nutrition – Infinity Pre-Workout Powder
Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Premium Formula)Vintage Blast Pre-Workout Powder

We have also covered what to look for when buying a creatine-free pre-workout, and some of the most commonly asked questions about these supplements. So, do read the whole article for all this information. 

9 Best Pre-workouts without Creatine Reviewed

Note: All nutritional facts mentioned below are for a single serving, as mentioned on the product label.

Legion Pulse Pre-Workout Supplement – Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Overall)

Key Ingredients: L-Citrulline DL-Malate, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Caffeine Anhydrous, L-Theanine (from Green Tea)

If you are someone who is really serious about training hard and getting a good pump, Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement is for you. This product literally checks all the boxes that are required in a pre-workout.

With a massive 350mg dose of caffeine, you get phenomenal energy and focus to workout. This kind of dose could have got you all jittery if not for the L-Theanine component. I love that they included this because this ensures a smoother rush and a calmer mind.

For strength and endurance, they have an impressive combination of Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous and Alpha-GPC. They specifically work on helping you train harder and for longer. Beta-Alanine is especially ideal for hard trainers and helps to delay fatigue and build lean mass. Alpha-GPC is another wonderful addition that takes care of muscle fatigue and optimizes muscle output.

A colossal 8g L-Citrulline dosage ensures faster and more efficient blood flow to muscles, giving them a swole and pumped-up look that stays.

I’d also like to add that the makers are very confident about this product because they have a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the results. A pretty nice way to round off a claim of guaranteed results.

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Phenomenal energy boostNot for caffeine-sensitive people
Great for improving muscle endurancePoor taste
No added sugars
C-GMP certified 

Summary of Customer Reviews

Users are delighted with the energy-boosting, fatigue-delaying and pump-developing capacity of Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement. However, some customers have complained of headaches because of the high caffeine dosage, while a few others are unhappy with the taste.

NITROSURGE Pre-Workout Supplement – Best Pre-workout without Creatine for Muscle Pump

Key Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Beta Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Caffeine Anhydrous, L-Theanine, Theobromine, AstraGin

For those of you whose primary focus (pun not intended) is to develop skin-tearing pumps, NITROSURGE Pre Workout Supplement fits your requirements perfectly.

This formula is especially great for muscle pump because of three key ingredients.

L-Citrulline and Betaine Anhydrous are a classic combination that gives a nitric oxide boost and improves blood flow to muscles. These, with the addition of AstraGin, completes the pump complex well. AstraGin is a patented extract of two plants, and has been proven to be of immense benefit in increasing muscle circulation and improving training capabilities.

Another great inclusion is Theobromine. It helps to improve mental focus and alertness. The formula is completed well with Beta Alanine, Caffeine Anhydrous and L-Theanine.

What I immediately noticed, and did not like, was that they have added artificial colors and flavors. Apart from being unhealthy, they do not even really enhance the product’s taste. 

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Ability for skin-tearing pumpsContains artificial colors & flavors
Better mental focus and alertnessPoor taste
Well-thought-out key ingredients

Summary of Customer Reviews

Many users love that NITROSURGE Pre Workout Supplement gave them great pump and muscle strength. Some users, however, recommend starting with a single scoop to prevent jitters, while others reported a bad after-taste.

Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy Pre-Workout – Best Pre-workout without Creatine for Muscle Recovery

Key Ingredients: Amino Blend, Caffeine, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Green Coffee Bean Extract

The main focus of a pre-workout is to ensure that you have enough energy to sustain for the duration of your workout. However, when a pre-workout also contains something that helps with muscle recovery and quicker comeback, compliance with it becomes much better.

That is why I love it when a pre-workout goes over and beyond its actual duty. The Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy Pre-Workout Supplement is a fine example. 

There is caffeine, green tea leaf extract, and coffee bean extract to fulfill its pre-workout duties. Where the former delivers a quick energy surge, the latter two help to smoothen out the rush and offer better focus and alertness.

They have even kept the caffeine level limited (100mg). This helps prevent jitters and is a suitable supplement for those sensitive to caffeine. This also makes it one of the best supplements to consider if you prefer working out late evenings or nights.

What I love the most about this supplement is the group of amino acids present. They have included BCAAs, beta-alanine, l-citrulline, l-glutamine, taurine, and other amino acids. They help muscles recover faster from the workout, readying you for your next day’s training.

Since the amino acids are present as a blend, with no individual dosages mentioned, I am unsure about their role in improving endurance and pump.

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Great for muscle recoveryBlend-based formula
Apt for late-evening/night workoutsContains artificial flavors
Ideal for those who are caffeine-sensitive

Summary of Customer Reviews

Users have reported better focus and recovery after starting ON Amino Energy Pre-Workout. They also love the taste of the variety of flavors. However, some customers are not happy with the addition of sucralose (synthetic sugar), while a few others did not experience much of an energy boost.

AminoLean Pre-Workout Powder – Best Pre-workout without Creatine for Weight Management

Key Ingredients: Amino Acid blend, Weight Management blend (L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, INNOBIO, Green Tea, Green Coffee), Energy and Focus blend (InnovaTea, Theobromine), Vitamin C, Sodium Chloride

AminoLean Pre-Workout Powder has an interesting formula. At the outset, the ingredient combinations are unique, unlike those you usually find in most pre-workout supplements.

Their weight management blend is almost perfect. I say almost perfect because of the fact that it is a “blend” and we don’t know the individual dosage. The ingredients are great. L-Carnitine, Green Tea, Green Coffee, and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) are huge names in the weight loss industry, with each of them enjoying an excellent standing on their own.  

This supplement contains all of these ingredients together. So, theoretically, losing excess weight or maintaining an ideal weight is almost a given. But the fact that we do not know the exact quantities of each ingredient makes it difficult to determine scientifically how quickly or efficiently you may lose weight. Yet, it is a well-conceived nutrient list.

The energy part is taken care of by caffeine and theobromine. Again, a unique way to include caffeine is through tea and not coffee. This makes the energy rush smoother and minimizes jitters. 

They also included BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) and EAA (essential amino acids) in the supplement for improved training performance and muscle recovery. Again, the amino acids are present in the form of a 5g blend. 

All in all, this product does have a great weight management complex. But I would have been happier if they did not have blends in their formula.

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Great ingredients for weight managementContains blends
Jitter-free energyNot suitable for lactose-intolerants or vegans
Zero-sugar formula

Summary of Customer Reviews

Many users love the clean energy rush they experience after they take AminoLean Pre-Workout Powder. Other users mentioned that the flavors were great. However, some customers complained of mild digestive upset and skin irritation.

Vitamin Bounty Gx7 Sugar-Free Pre Workout Powder – Best Pre-workout without Creatine for Women

Key Ingredients: Beta Alanine, Citrulline Malate, Caffeine, Theobromine, Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, Mucuna L-Dopa 20%, Niacin, Taurine, Yohimbe HCL

I have observed quite frequently in my practice as a nutritionist that men and women respond differently to the same supplements. There are various reasons for this. 

One, the hormonal makeup of men and women is different. Two, because of this, their guts respond differently in terms of digestion and absorption of nutrients. Three, women tend to have comparatively lighter bones and a more medium build.

This is probably why many women find that many pre-workouts are “hard” on their bodies. Vitamin Bounty Gx7 Sugar-Free Pre-Workout Powder is among the few products that fit well with a woman’s needs and physical demands.

The dosages of Citrulline malate, Beta-alanine and Caffeine have been attenuated to some extent, and are less than what you would find in most other pre-workouts. This makes it easier for women to adapt to this pre-workout.

This supplement also includes some other interesting ingredients. Mucuna L-Dopa 20% is one of them. Mucuna L-Dopa is the bioactive substance in Mucuna Pruriens, also called Velvet Bean. It is said to help in performance enhancement and maintaining hormonal balance.

Yohimbe HCL is another unique ingredient. It is claimed to be instrumental in boosting focus and energy, and helping sore muscles recover faster post-workout.

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Formula suited to female bodies & hormonesDosages less than those of other pre-workouts
No added sugar or carbsMay cause itchiness in the beginning
GMO-free

Summary of Customer Reviews

Many users loved the energy Vitamin Bounty Gx7 Sugar Free Pre-Workout Powder gave for their training performance. Others loved the quick recovery they experienced post-workout. However, some users found the product underwhelming, its effect lasting only for a short while. Some others complained of an itchy sensation on the skin after taking it.

Genius Pre-Workout Powder – Best Stim-Free Pre-workout without Creatine

Key Ingredients: L-Citrulline Malate, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, AstraGin, AlphaSize, HICA, ElevATP, and others

Most pre-workouts contain caffeine for its ability to boost energy and improve focus and alertness before a training session. However, many people are sensitive or even allergic to caffeine. 

This is why Genius Pre-Workout Powder is godsend for them. It is among the few pre-workouts with absolutely no caffeine and still delivers the way caffeinated pre-workouts do.

The reason behind this is the presence of ingredients that work as nootropics, substances that help to increase mental focus and facilitate better coordination between the brain and the body. This supplement uses natural extracts from Huperzia Serrata and Rhodiola plants to work as the nootropic combination.

Aside from these, this pre-workout also contains some patented ingredients, each of which has common and distinctive functions. 

ElevATP helps in boosting muscle performance and focuses mainly on lean muscle building. HICA (an abbreviation for a-hydroxyisocaproic acid) is another contributor towards muscle building. AlphaSize helps to delay muscle fatigue and promotes longer training sessions.

Aside from these, they have also included the most essential ingredients, L-Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine and Betaine Anhydrous in optimum doses.

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Ideal for caffeine-sensitive peopleOn the expensive side
Optimum dosages of primary ingredientsPoor tasting
No artificial sweeteners or flavors

Summary of Customer Reviews

Users are delighted with the stim-free formula and especially mention experiencing jitter-free workouts. They are also happy with the inclusion of more natural ingredients. However, some customers found Genius Pre-Workout Powder more expensive than its competitors and complained of a fishy after-taste.

Red Leaf Pre-Workout Energizer Powder – Best Pre-workout without Creatine for Immune Support

Key Ingredients: L-Glutamine, CarnoSyn Beta Alanine, L-Arginine Alpha Keto Glutarate, BCAA, Cranberry Extract, Green Tea Extract, Raspberry Ketone, Caffeine Anhydrous

Right at the outset, let me tell you that Red Leaf Pre Workout Energizer Powder is a much milder version of other pre-workouts. Compare the dosages, and you will understand why.

Let me first begin with what I really liked about it. I was amazed to see L-Glutamine as part of the formula because this is not an ingredient you expect to feature in a pre-workout. L-Glutamine not just helps in exercise performance, but is also of great use in building immunity and gut health.

They have also added several natural ingredients like cranberry, green tea and raspberry. These are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that are vital to immune support. 

Coming to the other ingredients, the caffeine dosage is extremely mild. At just 40mg per serving, I am unsure whether a high-energy rush could be expected unless you are caffeine-sensitive or just starting out.

The presence of BCAAs is also good and can help with muscle recovery. However, again, the dosage is less than standard. The same goes for Beta-Alanine. At 1g per serving, I agree it will contribute to building endurance, albeit slowly. But hey, this would eliminate the unpleasant itchiness some people feel after taking Beta-Alanine.

I would say this is a formula for someone who is in the absolute initial stages of pre-workouts. 

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Great for immune-building and supportMild formula that may not suit hard trainers
Good alternative for caffeine-sensitive peopleExtremely pricey

Summary of Customer Reviews

Quite a lot of users love Red Leaf Pre Workout Energizer Powder for its mild formula and jitter-free energy rush. They also find the addition of antioxidants thoughtful. However, some customers complained of an underwhelming effect while others questioned the expensive pricing.

RARI Nutrition Infinity Pre-Workout Powder – Best Vegan Pre-workout without Creatine

Key Ingredients: Caffeine Anhydrous, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Agmatine Sulfate, L-Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, Black Pepper Extract

With vegan awareness and preferences on the rise, it is obvious that vegan-friendly pre-workout supplements are in greater demand today. RARI Nutrition Infinity Pre Workout Powder is an excellent choice for people following a vegan lifestyle.

350mg of caffeine anhydrous is sure to give a massive energy burst with hyper-focus and alertness. An extra addition for an energy boost is black pepper extract. Black pepper extract is also suggested to improve the absorption of different nutrients in the body.

L-Citrulline malate (6g/serving) and agmatine sulfate (1.5g/serving) take care of better blood circulation and pump. Beta-alanine helps increase muscle endurance, and NALT (N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine) functions as a nootropic, helping to improve mental focus.

A single serving consists of 2 scoops of the powder. However, considering the specifications of the formula, I would advise starting with a single scoop. This is because the fully-loaded dosage may lead to temporary unpleasant effects if you are not already used to pre-workouts. Starting with half the dose helps your body adapt to the supplement better.

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Vegan-friendlyPoor tasting
Ideal for moderate to hard trainersMay cause tingling and itchiness
Great energy boost

Summary of Customer Reviews

Many users loved the instant energy burst they got for a workout after taking RARI Nutrition- Infinity Pre Workout Powder. They also love its vegan-sensitive formula. However, some customers did not like the flavors, and others complained of tingling of the skin (the effect of beta-alanine).

Vintage Blast Pre-Workout Powder for Men & Women – Best Pre-workout without Creatine (Premium Formula)

Key Ingredients: L-Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, L-Carnitine Tartrate, Caffeine Anhydrous, D-Aspartic Acid, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Microencapsulated Caffeine, assorted vitamins and electrolytes

Vintage Blast Pre Workout Powder for Men & Women has the most fascinating and distinctive formula I have come across.

To start, it has a great nutrient-complex. Each of the vitamins and electrolytes included work symbiotically towards better muscle and nerve health. They help to ensure better nerve connections and muscle responses and even assist in recovery from wear-and-tear.

The other ingredients in the formula fulfill a bi-phasic approach. The first phase of ingredients (L-Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, L-Carnitine Tartrate and Caffeine Anhydrous) gives the body and mind the initial boost of energy, focus, alertness, pump and endurance needed.

The second phase of ingredients (D-Aspartic Acid, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Microencapsulated Caffeine) takes over when the action of the first-phase ingredients starts to de-escalate. And this is the real game-changer. 

The reason is that many people experience a crash once the initial effects of the pre-workout wear off. Here, the crash is avoided because a second, smoother surge comes on, which weans gradually. This takes the edge off of the inevitable energy slump.

Also, the ingredients used are of premium quality and are GMP-certified. What I did not really like was the powder’s taste and mixability.

Why do we love itWhat you need to consider
Premium, bi-phasic energy formulaPoor tasting
GMP-certified ingredientsPoor mixability
Great nutrient complex

Summary of Customer Reviews

Users are thrilled with Vintage Blast Pre-Workout Powder for the prolonged energy burst they get for workouts. They trust the quality of the supplement thanks to its third-party certification. However, many customers are really disappointed by the product’s taste and blending capability.

What is Creatine? And how does Creatine work?

Creatine is a compound naturally present in our muscle cells. Its primary function is to help muscles produce energy during strenuous workouts.

Creatine is stored in the muscle as phosphocreatine. During high-intensity exercises, when the muscles need more energy to function, these phosphocreatine stores are put to use and converted into ATP. ATP, or Adenosine Tri Phosphate, is the body’s primary energy source. The more creatine that is present, the faster energy conversion happens.

Why do people use Creatine?

Creatine can benefit training enthusiasts and athletes in numerous ways:

Muscle power

Creatine helps to quickly produce ATP, the primary form of energy in the body. When muscles are more energized, they can lift better, train for longer, and endure high-intensity workouts.

Pumped look

Creatine pulls water into muscles, preventing dehydration, and helping muscles get a pumped and fuller look.

Improved cognition

Creatine helps to improve mental focus and alertness. It does this by improving the brain-to-body connection, especially during exercise.

Prevention of injury

Creatine helps to prevent muscle dehydration and cramps, and delays muscle fatigue during workouts. Thus preventing injuries. 

Fights muscle loss

Creatine, being an anabolic (body-building) substance, helps to fight age-related muscle loss and decrease in bone-density.

What are the side effects of Creatine?

Creatine is one of the most well-researched ingredients in sports nutrition. When consumed in the prescribed quantities, it is safe and beneficial. However, sometimes a few side effects may be experienced, such as:

Weight gain

Creatine causes the body to hold on to its water, leading to retention. This could lead to weight gain because of the water weight.

Dehydration

You should never take creatine if you are dehydrated. The reason is that creatine pulls water into the muscle cells and may lead to a further dip in accessibility to water by cells of the body.

Digestive problems

Creatine supplements may cause loose motions, bloating and digestive upset in people who are sensitive to it.

Does having creatine in your pre-workout supplement make a difference?

Creatine is a very well-studied ingredient, and we know its benefits. However, this does not mean that every supplement needs to have creatine. Many other well-researched ingredients can perform the same functions that creatine does.

Who should buy pre-workouts without creatine?

Pre-workout supplements without creatine are ideal for those who:

  • Allergic or sensitive to creatine
  • Already suffer from bloating and water retention and do not want to add to it
  • Are not looking to bulk up
  • Already consuming another creatine supplement

Buying Guide: What to look for while buying a Pre-workouts without Creatine?

When deciding on which pre-workout without creatine suits you the best, consider the following:

Main ingredients to look for in a Pre-Workouts Without Creatine

Go for supplements that contain L-Citrulline, Beta-alanine, Betaine anhydrous, taurine and caffeine. Each of these can successfully fulfill some or most of the functions of creatine. Additionally, go for a product that has amino acids for better muscle support.

Ingredients to avoid

Any ingredient that has the word “creatine” in it needs to be avoided. Creatine could be present in supplements in the form of monohydrate, citrate, HCL, ethyl ester, anhydrous, etc.

Stay away from ‘Blends’ as much as possible

Always prefer supplements that display the exact dosage of each ingredient in it. “Blends” may feature important ingredients, but if their individual quantities are not known, we would be unable to understand the supplement’s effectiveness.

After a lot of research and consideration, I have recommended a few products with ‘blends’ in the above list. However, do stay away from blends as much as possible. 

Artificial additives

Choose products that are free of artificial colors and flavors. Also, avoid the presence of additives like synthetic sugars. Either go for a sugar-free product or one that has natural sugars.

Third-party tested

Go for GMP-certification supplements or Certified-Organic label from a trusted third party. Better quality ingredients mean a more efficient supplement.

Budget

And while you look for all of the above points, do not forget pricing. Buy a pre-workout that fits comfortably within your budget so you can keep consuming it and maximize its benefits. 

Final Words

If you are sensitive to creatine or already on a standalone creatine supplement, a pre-workout without creatine is a great way to start your workout sessions. 

Each supplement mentioned in this list has unique strengths and reasons to buy. But Legion Pulse Pre-Workout Supplement is my top pick for its all-rounded benefits. It provides a fantastic energy boost, improves muscle endurance, and is a c-GMP-certified, sugar-free pre-workout.

FAQs

If my pre-workout doesn’t contain creatine, can I have it on my rest days too?

A pre-workout is designed to give you a burst of energy and intensify focus for your workout session. However, you can take it if that is something you require, even on a rest day.

If I’m trying to lose weight, is a pre-workout without creatine a good idea for me?

Weight loss goals are one of the main reasons why many people choose pre-workouts without creatine. This is because creatine tends to cause water retention and increase overall body weight.

Is a Pre-Workout Without Creatine Safe for Pregnant Women?

No, pre-workouts with creatine are unsafe for pregnant women because they generally contain high doses of caffeine and other ingredients that are not considered safe during pregnancy. 

Fenugreek is a great supplement to consume post-pregnancy. For more details, you can check out our detailed review of the best fenugreek supplement

Is creatine-free pre-workout as effective as regular pre-workout?

The efficacy of a pre-workout does not depend on the presence of creatine alone. If other ingredients are present in the formula in optimum doses, a creatine-free pre-workout will be as effective as any other pre-workout supplement.

Is it bad to mix creatine and pre-workout?

You can take creatine and pre-workout together if your pre-workout does not already contain creatine. 

We have also reviewed the best pre-workouts with creatine, which can come in handy if you are looking for a common supplement. 

Is creatine a replacement for pre-workout?

Creatine is a single ingredient, while pre-workouts generally contain a variety of ingredients that take care of different functions such as energy and focus, muscle performance, muscle endurance and recovery. So, an only-creatine supplement may not be the best replacement for a pre-workout.

Can I get ripped without Creatine?

Yes. Ripped muscles result from improved blood circulation and hydration to muscles. Look for ingredients, L-Citrulline Malate and AstraGin if you want a ripped look. However, following a healthy diet and an active lifestyle are essential prerequisites. 

Does every pre-workout have creatine?

No. Many pre-workouts available do not contain creatine, as you can see in the products mentioned in this article.

How do I know if the pre-workouts without creatine are of good quality?

Quality depends on the sourcing of ingredients and third-party testing. If the ingredients have been sourced organically and if the pre-workout is third-party tested for quality, you are good to go.

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

Pre-workouts generally bring out the best results when taken 15-30 minutes before your training session.

Should I eat before taking a pre-workout?

This is not a necessary step. However, if you are someone who is sensitive to caffeine, sweeteners or any stimulants present in your pre-workout, eat something 30-60 minutes before. It would help to minimize the side effects.

Should I take pre-workout with milk or water?

Instructions for consumption are always mentioned on the box/bottle of the pre-workout supplement. However, it is usually recommended to take pre-workout with water.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be considered medical advice. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist before starting the consumption of any supplements. Always check the label before purchasing a product for potential allergic reactions.

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