The fitness community generally supports the use of pre workout to provide added energy and benefits to a fitness routine. Sometimes just referred to as “pre workouts,” these supplements can be especially useful for athletes and fitness enthusiasts that perform regular intense exercise.
Typically, they can be taken as a supplement in pill or powder form, and some are combined with protein powder to enhance muscle growth and repair.
Not everyone who wants to be fit needs to supplement with pre workout. Most ingredients found in pre workout blends can be obtained through whole foods. However, if you struggle to consume a well-rounded diet or feel that you need that extra boost for maximum efficiency during your workouts, there are many organic pre workout options with clean labels to choose from.
These days, consumers are demanding more transparency in their products, and supplements are no exception. It isn’t shocking that gym goers and fitness gurus are seeking organic pre workout supplements with clean ingredients to produce sustained energy to help them achieve their fitness goals.
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What Is Organic Pre Workout?
Supplements referred to as “organic” contain organically sourced ingredients, clean, or all-natural ingredients. The USDA is the regulatory body over the national organic program (NOP) in the United States. Products like dietary supplements can receive a USDA organic seal if it contains ingredients derived from organically produced plant or animal products and complies with NOP regulations.
While some of the pre workout supplements listed below do not have a USDA organic seal, all use clean, natural ingredients, and do not contain artificial ingredients or sweeteners.
While ingredients in organic pre workout will vary, below is a list of the most commonly seen (and most important) ingredients to enhance your workout.
Caffeine is a fairly standard ingredient in pre workout formulas because of its well-regarded benefits for improved concentration, alertness, and overall performance. However, too much caffeine can cause unwanted side effects for some people, especially those who are sensitive to caffeine.
Creatine, often sold as creatine monohydrate, is a very popular fitness supplement to help users build strength, maintain endurance through tough workouts, and cut down recovery time. If you’re wanting to learn more about this powerhouse supplement, check out our article on the best creatine gummies for building strength.
Nitrate (Beetroot Extract)
Nitrates are sometimes listed as “beetroot extract” since beets are a reliable source of nitrate, along with leafy greens. Dietary nitrates pave the way to nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is associated with improved sports performance and recovery by increasing blood flow.
L-citrulline & L-arginine
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) statement regarding B-alanine is that it improves exercise performance specifically at 1–4 mins, is safe, and the only reported side effects are a tingling sensation.
Since the B vitamins break down the foods we eat for energy production, it’s reasonable to include a B-complex or some B vitamins in a pre workout blend.
BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
found BCAA ingestion to lead to greater muscle protein synthesis after resistance training in participants. A 2017 systematic review also concluded that BCAAs seem to alleviate skeletal muscle damage associated with physical activity.
Minerals like calcium, sodium, chloride, and magnesium may be included in organic pre workout blends as electrolytes. Electrolytes are lost through sweaty workouts, yet staying hydrated is crucial to successful performance and recovery.
Best Organic Pre Workout Supplements
Below is a list of the best organic pre workout supplements based on ingredients, customer reviews, third-party testing, and additional certifications. While not all products on this list are certified USDA organic, each company claims to have had their product tested by a third-party laboratory.
The products produced by Transparent Labs appear to be evidence-based and tested for effectiveness for peak performance. Though this one has more ingredients than the others, their product page lists all ingredient descriptions and the scientific research to back them. Additionally for all of its products, the site offers links to the certificate of analyses (CofA) produced by an independent laboratory.
- Available in several flavors to choose from
- Contains additional adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients
- Contains organic caffeine (200 mg), citrulline malate (a nitric oxide enhancer) (8 g), beta-alanine (4 g), betaine anhydrous (2.5 g), taurine (1.3 g), L-tyrosine (1 g), alpha-GPC (300 mg), L-theanine (200 mg), theobromine (50 mg), adaptogenic blend (500 mg), and black pepper extract (5 mg)
- Contains natural flavorings
$49.99 (30 servings)
Though this pre workout supplement does not contain USDA organic ingredients, the manufacturer is transparent (as implied in the name) about what goes into the product and its testing procedures. It has potentially added benefits compared to other organic pre workouts due to its addition of other ingredients. However, the serving size is just one scoop and contains four grams of beta-alanine, which may create an uncomfortable tingly sensation for new users.
Do Vitamins is committed to creating supplements with the cleanest and most well-studied ingredients. The company claims its products are tested by multiple third parties. The only real negative reviews on PurePump are about its taste.
- GMP certified
- BSCG certified drug free
- Labdoor tested and certified
- Certified vegan
- Contains natural caffeine (200 mg), beta-alanine (2 g), L-citrulline (2 g), creatine (1 g), L-arginine (500 g), BCAAs (1 g), L-carnitine L-tartrate (500 mg), and alpha lipoic acid (100 mg)
$42.95 (60 scoops)
Since PurePump is unflavored, it apparently doesn’t taste very nice. If you’re looking for a fruity or sweet powder, this isn’t the one. But if you take peace in knowing that there aren’t flavorings and sweeteners added to the product, you may enjoy using this supplement.
Ora Organic is a unique plant-based nutrition brand with high standards for what goes into their supplements. Their performance pre workout is one of the best organic pre workouts on the market that also contains adaptogens for added benefits.
- Transparent third party testing practices
- USDA organic
- NSF certified
- Contains an energy and electrolyte blend (6.24 g)
- Contains a nitric oxide blend (1.5 g)
- Contains an adaptogenic blend (385 mg)
- Contains natural sweeteners
$36.99 (20 servings)
This organic pre workout powder comes from a reputable brand in the wellness industry. If you’re concerned about company ethos and vegan supplements, this option may be appealing. However, it does not contain beta-alanine, creatine, or BCAAs, so you may have to add extra supplements if you’re after more than increased alertness and energy from your organic pre workout.
Organic muscle pre workout contains a plethora of organic superfoods and adaptogenic herbs in each blend, including mushroom extract for focus and turmeric for metabolism, for example. Overall, this organic pre workout powder is rated 4.5/5, but some of the negative customer reviews indicated that they didn’t like the taste or they required more than one serving to achieve their desired effects.
- USDA organic
- Three flavors to choose from
- Contains natural caffeine (150 mg), a circulation and pump blend (2768 mg), a energy blend (1844 mg), and a metabolic boost blend (545 mg)
- Contains natural flavorings (800 mg)
$49.99 (20 servings)
If you want a more subtle energy boost, or are sensitive to caffeine, this may be a good option. However, this product contains some added sweeteners like rice syrup and a gum blend that increases its calorie content and may cause bloating in some people.
Legion pulse pre workout prides itself on only using evidence-backed formulations. They even list the studies used to back the efficacy of the ingredients used. Legion mentions that their products are third party tested in the US and are manufactured in FDA approved and GMP compliant facilities. Some users commented that the flavor was a bit sweet for them, but it can be diluted with water.
- Comes in a variety of flavors
- Can select with or without caffeine
- Labdoor tested and certified
- Contains Alpha-GPC (300 mg) for a nootropic effect
- Contains caffeine (350 mg), citrulline malate (8 g), beta-alanine (3.6 g), betaine (3.6 g), L-theanine (350 mg)
- Contains natural sweeteners
$35.99 (20 servings)
Pulse is one of the popular organic pre workouts on the market, and for good reason. The product has over 3387 verified positive reviews. If you prefer a flavored supplement and like the addition of Alpha-GPC, this one may be a good choice to fuel your workouts.
Similar to other brands, Naked Nutrition places a huge emphasis on transparency in their products. Naked energy’s motto for this product is “pre workout with nothing to hide.” Their site has an extensive FAQ section, which is helpful. Naked Nutrition claims that their products are third-party tested and manufactured in a GMP certified and FDA approved facility. This one doesn’t contain BCAAs, but Naked Energy recommends pairing their BCAAs with this pre workout to aid in muscle recovery and repair.
- Contains natural caffeine (200 mg), beta-alanine (2 g), l-arginine (1 g), and creatine (1 g)
- Certified vegan
- Cost effective price to servings ratio
- Third-party tested and certified
$44.99 (50 servings)
Customers admit they don’t use this organic pre workout for the taste, but due to its efficacy and transparency, people are raving about this product. This one doesn’t contain BCAAs and though its ingredient list is clean, the supplement isn’t NSF or USP certified.
Why Choose Organic Pre Workouts?
Organic foods or supplements are typically touted as superior to non-organic products and oftentimes come with a higher price tag. Organic workout supplements are no exception; they will typically be pricier than products not marketed as “clean,” “natural,” or “organic.”
Synthetic ingredients mimic the way natural ones perform in the body. Companies often opt to use synthetically developed substances to cut costs as the procurement and processing of natural ingredients are more intensive.
Since dietary supplements aren’t closely regulated like medicines, brands that don’t place emphasis on organic and clean ingredients may have hidden ingredients in their products that aren’t researched for human consumption or can cause damaging effects to health. Additionally, hidden artificial additives and fillers may trigger allergic reactions or gastrointestinal issues.
A product doesn’t have to be organic to be good, but it can add an extra layer of peace of mind when you’re ingesting a substance frequently, or even daily. It’s always wise to speak to a doctor or nutritionist about what supplements you’re taking or would like to take so they can give you individualized advice.
Whole Food Alternatives to Supplements
Some experts recommend a banana and a cup of coffee before a workout to act as a pre workout snack. For the most part, a protein and carbohydrate fueled snack will do the trick to fuel your workout, like oatmeal or a peanut butter sandwich, for example. If you enjoy the added mental stimulation of caffeine, some people experience positive effects from drinking coffee or tea before a workout.
Additionally, other common ingredients found in organic pre workout blends like B vitamins, BCAAs, and electrolytes are found in a variety of plant and animal-based foods.
However, if you feel food isn’t doing the trick and you want more of a boost, consider adding a pre workout supplement to your diet. Pre workout is a convenient and reliable way to potentially level up your workouts.
Taking an organic pre workout supplement may be a convenient way to enhance your workout regimen by providing a natural energy boost and muscle repair capabilities, though they are not necessary to reach the same fitness goals without supplementation. Consider consulting with an expert to discuss whether an organic pre workout supplement may benefit you.