This post was made possible through my analysis of 300 different pre workouts. If you find this useful, you may also enjoy the original post.
For most people, pre workout is synonymous with high doses of caffeine. I can personally attest to this association. But for many others, especially those sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants or those that want a great workout without the buzz, caffeine free pre workout is the answer.
And as you’ll see, pre workouts without caffeine can still give great pumps and focus throughout a gym session.
I also provide recommendations for people looking for low caffeine pre workouts.
Best Pre Workouts Without Caffeine
For pre workouts with no caffeine, two pre workouts stood out above the rest:
- Apollon Nutrition – Hooligan Bare Knuckle ($1.67/serving for 30 servings; $2.50/serving for 20 servings)
- Ouroboros – Pre (-) ($0.73/serving for 30 servings)
- Pure Cut Supplements – Perma Pump ($1.75/serving for 30 servings)
Apollon Nutrition – Hooligan Bare Knuckle
The pump-heavy, caffeine free version of regular Hooligan, Hooligan Bare Knuckle is an “overdosed” pre workout with no caffeine. A full scoop of Hooligan Bare Knuckle delivers a whopping 8 grams of L-citrulline DL malate, 5 grams of glycerol powder, 3 grams of betaine anhydrous, 1.5 grams of agmatine sulfate, 1,000 milligrams of beet root (beta vulgaris), and 250mg of FitNox. Himalayan pink salt (100mg) and S7 (100mg), a patented blend of plants for boosting nitric oxide. Every non-stimulant, pump-friendly pre workout ingredient is fully dosed here. It’s the most impressive non-stimulant pre workout label I’ve seen.
Hooligan Bare Knuckle is the polar opposite of Ouroboros’s Pre (-), described below. Where Pre (-) seeks a minimalist ingredient profile with only the most essential ingredients (an approach that is reflected in the price), Hooligan Bare Knuckle throws in the kitchen sink, then throws in the bathroom sink for good measure (which is also reflected in the price). Apollon spared no expense here.
If you’re looking for absolutely gnarly pumps and you’ve tried other pre workouts without being satisfied, try out Hooligan Bare Knuckle. If you’re getting your first pre workout and don’t like caffeine, try out Pre (-) and save a few bucks.
But don’t just take my word for it…
Ouroboros – Pre (-)
I’m always disappointed that more people don’t talk about Ouroboros. I suspect poor brand name recall may be part of it.
I tried their pre workout when they went by Gnosis (…notice a pattern with these brand names?) and called their pre workout Singularity. For $1.00/serving, it was one of the best value pre workouts around and was super strong. Now they’re back as Ouroboros and still delivering insane value.
For Pre(-), the caffeine-free version of Pre (+), this means 8 grams of citrulline, 4 grams of beta alanine, and 5 grams of creatine monohydrate. All killer, no filler – for just $0.73 per serving (at least while it’s on sale… not sure when it’ll go back to $1.00/serving).
Pre(-) is only available on the Ouroboros site.
Pure Cut Supplements – Perma Pump
If you’re looking for something with agmatine, then Perma Pump is a great choice. While it only has 5 grams of citrulline, it also has 1.25 grams of agmatine sulfate to help boost nitric oxide for a nice, strong pump.
Finally, Perma Pump has 1.5 grams of creatine HCL (a typical daily dose) and 1.5 grams of creatine monohydrate (probably just thrown in for the hell of it), so you’re checking off your daily creatine needs too.
It has a few other ingredients: betaine anhydrous, hydromax glyercol, Alpha-GPC, and L-norvaline, but the research on these ingredients is a bit less solid than the ingredients I use to score each preworkout (L-citrulline, beta alanine, agmatine, and caffeine).
Best Pre Workouts with LOW Caffeine
Okay… what if you want a pre workout with just a little caffeine?
Unfortunately, a lot of pre workouts that have low caffeine are also just weak pre workouts, often underdosed across many ingredients and overpriced. You’d be better off grabbing a pre workout without caffeine from the list above and then adding your own amount of caffeine.
Because caffeine powder is only sold to verified commercial buyers, your best options are the Jet Alert 100mg caffeine pills (or coffee!).
I have used these for years to fine tune my caffeine consumption and have been very happy with them – especially because they’re so inexpensive. 240 100mg pills will cost you just $10 on Amazon, or $0.04 per pill.
Hooligan Pre Workout
If you prefer to avoid caffeine pills for whatever reason, I have another option for you. You could combine Hooligan Pre Workout with Hooligan Bare Knuckle Pre Workout (“Bare Knuckle,” the caffeine-free version of Hooligan).
Now, Hooligan has a ton of caffeine per serving – 700mg, in fact. So why would I recommend combining it with Hooligan Bare Knuckle for low caffeine users? If you add just 1/7 of a scoop of regular Hooligan to Bare Knuckle, you’ll have an amazing, pump-inducing pre workout (from Bare Knuckle) with ~100mg caffeine in total (from regular Hooligan). Plus, if you use tiny scoops of Hooligan, that tub will last a long, long time and really stretch your dollars.