Best Organic Pre-Workout: Scientifically Proven (2022)

December 11, 2021

Some pre-workouts can be filled with so much filler and other unwanted ingredients. It may even upset your stomach because of these ingredients. If this is you, trying an organic pre-workout might be the answer to everything you’ve wished for.

Not only am I giving you the best three organic pre-workouts, but I will be providing a scientific breakdown of the active ingredients. Hence, you know exactly what you are getting.

Header
Power Coffee

Best Organic Pre-Workout

Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train

Best Organic Vegan Pre-Workout

Transparent Labs Stim Free

Best Organic Pre-Workout Without Caffeine

Product

Size

195 g

250 g

744 g

Caffeine

150 mg

200 mg

0 g

Serving

13 g

25 g

22.8 g

Price

Best Organic Pre-Workout

The Paleo Pro Power Coffee pre-workout is by far the best organic pre-workout I have come across. It literally has six ingredients. Yes, only six.

  • Grass-Fed Pasteurized Beef Collagen
  • Arabica Ground Coffee
  • Beet Root Powder
  • MCT Oil (Coconut Oil)
  • Natural Flavor
  • Monk Fruit Extract

That’s what I love about this organic pre-workout. You know you are getting only what you need. But what makes this organic pre-workout so effective if it only has six ingredients? Let me explain from top to bottom.

Collagen protein is the new trendy protein powder on the market. In the past, collagen was the cheap filler used in cheap protein bars and powders to increase the protein number on the nutrition label for unsuspecting shoppers to buy.

The reason it's so cheap is that when companies take shortcuts, they can use the off-cuts of an animal. Further, collagen protein does nothing to spike muscle protein synthesis (aka the building of new muscle).

However, as the research progresses, we have learned many benefits when taking collagen on health and performance. Further, after talking with Paleo Pro personally, I've been assured they use the highest quality animal products instead of cheap off-cuts for collagen.

Their beef is sourced from my home country in New Zealand, where you can drive 30 minutes out of the city in any direction, and you'll see many cows freely roaming the paddocks. So, why have collagen in an organic pre-workout?

Firstly, 10-20 g of collagen is enough to increase new collagen formation within the tendons and ligaments, especially before exercise [1]. Leading tendon research Dr. Keith Barr has stated taking collagen before targeted tendon training using very slow movements (e.g., long-duration isometrics) allows the collagen fibers to re-orientate. This helps to "fix" the tendon and pain associated with it.

Further, just taking 10 g of collagen can potentially reduce knee pain from standing and walking [1]. So, suppose you suffer from any tendon pain. In that case, the Paleo Pro Power Coffee organic pre-workout is likely a great choice.

But the benefits don’t stop there. You can enhance eccentric force capabilities and rate of force development (how quickly you can produce force) by taking 20 g of collagen with 50 mg of vitamin C 60 minutes before heavy strength and power training [2].

Improving these performance metrics can transfer to jumping higher, sprinting faster, and being more explosive.

Guess what else also helps you become an explosive beast? Caffeine. Power Coffee has 150 mg of caffeine directly from Arabica Ground Coffee.

Caffeine is the most effective performance-enhancing supplement you can take. There’s a reason it’s not just used in the sporting world! How effective, might you ask?

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the available research found a 6.5% increase in sprint and power, a 9.4% increase in the number of reps lifted, a 2.22% increase in endurance performance, and a 2.9% increase in power output [3,4].

Suppose you're wondering how much you need to take to see these performance improvements. In that case, doses range between 3-6 mg per kilogram of bodyweight. For an 80 kg individual, that would vary between 210-480 mg of caffeine.

It's important to note that taking a dose at the higher end of the range does not lead to more significant performance benefits compared to the lower end, so it will come down to your caffeine tolerance. Further, those who don’t habitually drink caffeine can take much lower doses and see performance enhancements.

The last active ingredient in the Paleo Pro Power Coffee organic pre-workout is beetroot powder. You'll see how red the powder is when you open the tub because of this beetroot.

Organic Pre Workout

It is known as a natural nitrate source that converts to nitric oxide. This nitric oxide is a vasodilator meaning it expands the blood vessels.

Larger blood vessels mean more blood can flow to and from the working muscles, delivering more oxygen to create energy, increasing the time to fatigue.

Not to mention you’ll get epic pumps for the bro’s looking to fill out their sleeves.

One advantage with the Paleo Pro Power Coffee is the scoop equals only approximately 1/3rd of a serving size. So, depending on the days of training, you can easily dose the right amount of caffeine. If you don’t like the taste of coffee (like me), then you will not like the taste of this organic pre-workout.

It has a strong earthy taste. However, I mix it in my protein smoothie with milk, fruit, and protein powder which disguises most of the taste. It doesn’t take long to get used to.

Pros

  • All organic ingredients so it won’t upset your stomach.
  • No artificial coloring. The color comes from the beetroot.
  • Includes collagen protein for health and performance benefits.

Cons

  • If you don’t like the taste of coffee, you won’t like the taste of this on its own.

Best Organic Pre-Workout - Paleo Pro Power Coffee

Best Organic Vegan Pre-Workout

Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train

Best Organic Vegan Pre-Workout

This is a newer supplement on the market. Surprisingly, Crazy Nutrition has done very well in formulating its vegan pre-workout. That is why I named it the best pre-workout for beginners. As a science nerd, I always read nutrition labels. It’s the only way to tell if the pre-workout you’re going to buy is legit.

Firstly, the Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train has no animal products and is formulated to be vegan friendly. But instead of being filled with random plant roots that will do nothing for your performance, they have actually used ingredients and dosed them adequately to give you the boost you need.

Here is a quick look at the active ingredients within the Intensive Pre-Train organic vegan pre-workout.

Ingredient

Dose

Citrulline Malate 2:1

7 g

Beta-Alanine

2.5 g

Betaine Anhydrous

1.8 g

L-Tyrosine

1 g

Taurine

1 g

Caffeine

200 mg

I’m going to start from the top. Citrulline Malate is a commonly underdosed ingredient in pre-workout formulas. You see many with doses ranging between 3-6 g per serving. However, for an acute dose to have a performance-enhancing effect, closer to 8 g is needed.

Taking 8 g 60 minutes before lifting increases the number of repetitions performed in both upper and lower body exercises and improves maximal grip strength while reducing muscular soreness 24 and 48 hours after [5].

Crazy Nutrition’s Intensive Pre-Train is the highest dose I’ve seen on the market, so you know someone there is doing their research.

But even at lower doses, when taken consistently, it can have performance-enhancing benefits. For example, 6 g over seven days increases time to exhaustion when cycling, and doses as low as 2.4 g improve cycling performance and average power output [6,7].

How does Citrulline Malate do this? Little research has investigated Malate, but it seems to work synergistically with L-Citrulline to increase ATP production (an energy source for the muscles to contract) and reduce lactic acid production prolonging fatigue.

However, plenty of research has investigated the mechanisms behind L-Citrulline. Just like how beetroot powder acts as a natural vasodilator by converting to nitric oxide, L-Citrulline does the same thing.

L-Citrulline is a precursor to L-Arginine. Instead of L-Arginine being absorbed in the gut, L-Citrulline converts to L-Arginine in the kidneys.

Nitric Oxide

Unfortunately, the absorption rate of L-Arginine in the gut is poor, so little to no nitric oxide is produced. Therefore, taking L-Arginine supplements is doing very little for performance enhancement. L-Citrulline bypasses the gut, so you get increases in L-Arginine that can be converted into nitric oxide.

The following active ingredient is Beta-Alanine which is dosed at 2.5 g per serving. Acute performance benefits are seen at doses of 30 mg per kilogram of body weight 60 minutes before exercises which makes this Intensive Pre-Train pre-workout perfect for those that are 84 kg or less.

Regardless, you will find some benefit from the Beta-Alanine. That is extending how long you can sustain high-intensity exercise within the 1–4-minute range [8,9]. For example, if you were running an 800m race, you would be able to sustain a higher intensity for the race improving your 800m performance.

How does it do this? Beta-alanine increases carnosine levels. Carnosine buffers or removes hydrogen ions accumulated in the muscle as a by-product of high-intensity exercise. The hydrogen ions create an acidic environment within the muscle. An acidic muscle environment causes fatigue due to negatively affecting the muscle's ability to contract.

By buffering or removing these hydrogen ions, the pH of the muscle remains neutral for longer, increasing the time to fatigue. Both Citrulline Malate and Beta-Alanine combined will allow you to get many more reps in the gym to promote greater muscle growth.

Betaine is the third active ingredient that some supplement companies are starting to catch on to. Taking two doses of betaine per day of 1.25 g (2.5 g total) with a sports drink in a fasted state increased the number of reps performed on the bench press by 6.5% while attenuating the increase in lactate (and therefore, hydrogen ions) [10].

The same dose may potentially reduce the involvement of the AMPK pathway after exercise increasing the anabolic (muscle growth) environment [11]. The AMPK pathway is switched on with endurance-based exercise. It inhibits the muscle growth pathway known as the mTOR pathway.

By reducing the involvement of the AMPK pathway, the mTOR pathway can be activated for longer, potentially leading to more significant muscle growth.

As supplement companies look to gain an edge over the competition, nootropic ingredients have slowly made their way into pre-workout supplements. Nootropics are known as brain drugs. Enhancing your cognitive function is also known as your mental performance. This is likely why Crazy Nutrition has added L-Tyrosine.

It has been shown to protect against cognitive stress and may even improve mood [12]. However, large doses of 50-150 mg per kilogram of body weight are needed based on the current research [13].

Nevertheless, having L-Tyrosine in the pre-workout may carry over some cognitive benefits. You can't expect a pre-workout supplement to have 7 g or more as that would take up most of the serving size, reducing the room for physical performance-enhancing ingredients.

Finally, there is Taurine and caffeine. I’ve already discussed caffeine in the first section and its epic performance-enhancing benefits. Taurine is like caffeine’s best friend. The higher the taurine dose, the less caffeine is needed for performance benefits, with higher taurine doses equaling greater performance [14].

It is sweetened with sucralose and colored with beetroot making it a powerful organic vegan pre-workout. Further, you can save $8 per tub just by subscribing, so you receive a tub every single month. There is no need to get to the last scoop before you realize you need to buy another!

Pros

  • It is formulated using vegan ingredients.
  • A 60-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
  • It is adequately dosed, so you get the performance benefits from each ingredient.

Cons

  • Currently, only one flavor.

Best Organic Vegan Pre-Workout - Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train

Best Organic Pre-Workout Without Caffeine

Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout

If you train in the afternoon or late in the evening, caffeine is the last thing you want in your pre-workout. You'll end up lying in your bed past midnight with your eyes wide open. If this is you, you need to try Transparent Labs Stim-Free Pre-Workout.

It has no artificial, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, and gluten-free. Further, you will gain all of the benefits from the ingredients because they are correctly dosed.

Ingredient

Dose

Citrulline Malate 2:1

6 g

Beta-Alanine

4 g

Betaine Anhydrous

2.5 g

L-Tyrosine

1 g

Taurine

1.3 g

Caffeine

0 mg

Smartly, Transparent Labs has added Taurine so you can get a caffeine-like performance enhancement without keeping you up at night. The benefits of the ingredients in the Sim Free Pre-Workout have been explained in the article above.

Pros

  • No caffeine or stimulants to keep you awake at night.
  • Adequately dosed for performance enhancements.
  • Multiple flavors and ships worldwide.

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than the other options.

Best Organic Pre-Workout Without Caffeine - Transparent Labs Stim Firee

Summary

If you’re looking for the best organic pre-workout, you can’t go past Paleo Pro Power Coffee. It’s literally just coffee with added benefits. As pure as it gets. Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train has next-level benefits for those wanting that extra kick with added ingredients.

References

1. Close, G. L., Sale, C., Baar, K., & Bermon, S. (2019). Nutrition for the prevention and treatment of injuries in track and field athletes. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 29(2), 189-197.

2. Lis, D. M., Jordan, M., Lipuma, T., Smith, T., Schaal, K., & Baar, K. (2021). Collagen and Vitamin C Supplementation Increases Lower Limb Rate of Force Development. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 1(aop), 1-9.

3. Astorino, T. A., & Roberson, D. W. (2010). Efficacy of acute caffeine ingestion for short-term high-intensity exercise performance: a systematic review. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(1), 257-265.

4. Southward, K., Rutherfurd-Markwick, K. J., & Ali, A. (2018). The effect of acute caffeine ingestion on endurance performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 48(8), 1913-1928.

5. Gonzalez, A. M., & Trexler, E. T. (2020). Effects of citrulline supplementation on exercise performance in humans: A review of the current literature. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 34(5), 1480-1495.

6. Bailey, S. J., Blackwell, J. R., Lord, T., Vanhatalo, A., Winyard, P. G., & Jones, A. M. (2015). l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology.

7. Suzuki, T., Morita, M., Kobayashi, Y., & Kamimura, A. (2016). Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13(1), 1-8.

8. Hobson, R. M., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R. C., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino acids, 43(1), 25-37.

9. Saunders, B., Elliott-Sale, K., Artioli, G. G., Swinton, P. A., Dolan, E., Roschel, H., ... & Gualano, B. (2017). β-alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(8), 658-669.

10. Trepanowski, J. F., Farney, T. M., McCarthy, C. G., Schilling, B. K., Craig, S. A., & Bloomer, R. J. (2011). The effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance, skeletal muscle oxygen saturation and associated biochemical parameters in resistance-trained men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(12), 3461-3471.

11. Apicella, J. M., Lee, E. C., Bailey, B. L., Saenz, C., Anderson, J. M., Craig, S. A., ... & Maresh, C. M. (2013). Betaine supplementation enhances anabolic endocrine and Akt signaling in response to acute bouts of exercise. European journal of applied physiology, 113(3), 793-802.

12. Banderet, L. E., & Lieberman, H. R. (1989). Treatment with tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans. Brain research bulletin, 22(4), 759-762.

13. Shurtleff, D., Thomas, J. R., Schrot, J., Kowalski, K., & Harford, R. (1994). Tyrosine reverses a cold-induced working memory deficit in humans. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 47(4), 935-941.

14. Souza, D. B., Del Coso, J., Casonatto, J., & Polito, M. D. (2017). Acute effects of caffeine-containing energy drinks on physical performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European journal of nutrition, 56(1), 13-27.

About the Author

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your training.

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