8 Best CrossFit Pre-Workouts (2024) Supercharged WODs

Supplements Considered 18
Supplements
Considered
Hours of Research 120
Hours
of Research
Reviews Examined 65
Reviews
Examined
Experts Interviewed 5
Experts
Interviewed
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

The majority of people I work with will always look for advice on a high-quality post-workout protein supplement. And while it is the first thing I make sure they take after muscle-burning CrossFit workouts, I always try to encourage them to invest in a pre-workout supplement as well.

Yes, it’s arguably more important to recover faster and help your muscles heal and rebuild, but so many of my clients are totally surprised by how much better they can perform during CrossFit classes.

Over the years, I have seen the good, the bad, and the awfully bad pre-workout supplements on the market.

So, our team here at Total Shape decided to put together a list of pre-workout supplements that we generally recommend our clients.

The Best Pre-Workouts for CrossFit

Editor's Choice
gorilla-mode-pre-workout
Gorilla Mode
Rated 5.0/5
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
transparent-labs-preseries-bulk-pre-workout
Transparent Labs Bulk
Rated 4.9/5
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
pre-lab-pro
Pre Lab Pro
Rated 4.9/5
Click For Best Price

Our Top Pre-Workouts for Crossfit (May 2024)

1 - Gorilla Mode Pre Workout for CrossFit (Best Overall & for Recovery)

Rated 5.0/5
5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
gorilla-mode-pre-workout

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good pre-workout contains full clinical doses per serving
  • It gives the best value for your money
  • Supports intense workouts
  • Promotes faster recovery

Cons

  • Mixing with water may get clumpy if not consumed soon

CrossFit demands immense physical strength, stamina, and mental toughness, making Gorilla Mode an ideal choice.

According to the National Institute fo Health (NIH), its full clinical dose of L-citrulline boosts nitric oxide, enhancing muscle oxygenation and nutrient delivery for intense workouts [1].

Citrulline also aids muscle recovery by clearing fatigue-inducing waste like lactate and ammonia.

Additionally, its potent stimulants and high-dose nootropics sharpen mental focus, concentration, and mood, complementing creatine's benefits.

After an hour of Gorilla Mode pre-workout consumption, I felt a surge of energy and stamina. My recovery time between sets decreased significantly, and I doubled my maximum reps per set without experiencing jitters or nausea.

Get 10% off using coupon code:  TOTALSHAPE

2 - Transparent Labs Bulk Pre-Workout (Best With Testosterone & for Strength)

Rated 4.9/5
4.9
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
4.9
Price
transparent-labs-preseries-bulk-pre-workout

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Boosts testosterone levels to promote muscle growth and aid recovery
  • Enhances physical performance
  • Helps build more muscle

Cons

  • Some flavors might have a strong taste

I've been using Transparent Labs Bulk for a couple of months now, and I can personally attest to its effectiveness. It not only fuels my workouts but also helps me feel more focused and energized, making every session more productive.

This pre-workout supplement aims to boost testosterone and aid muscle recovery with its vitamins and minerals.

It also enhances mental focus, drive, and energy, thanks to added nootropics.

BULK includes nitric oxide boosters and ergogenic aids, ramping up strength, stamina, and muscle pumps during training. Online reviews often highlight its role in helping users finish workouts stronger.

Get 10% off using coupon code:  TOTALSHAPE

3 - Pre Lab Pro (Best Vegan Option with Creatine for Endurance)

Rated 4.9/5
4.9
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
4.8
Price
pre-lab-pro

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Claims to raise NO for better pumps
  • Contains creatine to increase energy and speed up recovery
  • Stimulant free making it a good option for all times of day
  • Vegan-friendly pre-workout supplement with natural ingredients

Cons

  • You need to take 4 capsules rather than a good pre-workout shake

The first time I used Pre Lab Pro, the boost in energy was clear. I breezed through an extra set of deadlifts, and it's been a gym bag essential since.

For CrossFit's high intensity, maintaining peak muscle performance is key to avoid strain and injuries.

One method is enhancing blood flow via increased nitric oxide (NO) levels. Pre Lab Pro contains L-citrulline, which, according to NIH, has been proven to boost NO [2].

I've noticed creatine monohydrate in top pre-workouts, valued for its energy, endurance boost, and muscle soreness relief.

The one thing to be aware of is that this is not a pre-workout powder that you mix and enjoy before you hit the gym. You’ll need to swallow 4 capsules instead, which some review comments mentioned can be annoying.

4 - Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout (Best Tasting)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Taste
4.8
Ingredients
4.9
Price
nitrosurge-pre-workout

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The primary claim is that it can increase blood flow for better pumps
  • Includes beta-alanine for more power and less fatigue
  • Combination of caffeine and L-Theanine can help with weight management
  • Available in 3 tasty flavors (Cherry, Watermelon, Fruit Punch)

Cons

  • Doesn’t include creatine

Initially skeptical about Nitrosurge, I quickly became a convert after the first sip. The energy surge was immense, making me feel unstoppable.

My muscle pumps intensified, and vascularity improved noticeably within a week.

Nitrosurge, living up to its name, boosts NO levels with 3 g of L-citrulline, a claim backed by science [3].

It energizes and oxygenates muscles for enhanced strength and pumps. Many reviews, including feedback from Connor, our resident bodybuilder, confirm these benefits.

One pre-workout ingredient that is generally ranked highly for CrossFit pre-workout is creatine. But the lack of creatine in this ​pre-workout powder is made up by the muscle pumps so many online review comments highlight.

Also, if you have any blood pressure or cardiac issues, then speak to your doctor before considering this pre-workout powder.

5 - Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout (Cheapest & Most Vitamins)

Rated 4.6/5
4.6
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
C4 Original

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Designed for CrossFit athlete
  • Contains creatine for increased energy
  • A good boost of vitamins linked to muscle endurance
  • Possibly one of the largest selections of flavors
  • Very good subscription options at an affordable price

Cons

  • Some amounts of ingredients are hidden behind proprietary information

I’ve been a fan of Cellucor for years, and their C4 pre-workout didn’t disappoint. The first time I used it, I felt an instant surge of energy, and my focus was laser-sharp. Every rep felt easier, and my endurance was on another level.

However, their pre-workout supplement is the product that stood out for me the most.

With the two main goals of CrossFit being muscle strength and fitness, Cellucor pre-workout claims to address both of those through the inclusion of creatine in their pre-workout supplement.

One interesting study showed that creatine’s effects build up over time, which is ideal for an aggressive training plan [4].

On the downside, it does have one of my pet-hates, which is hiding behind proprietary pre-workout labels for some of the ingredients. Overall though, the positive review comments convinced us to put this pre-workout powder on this best-of list.

I would also suggest that you take a look at ​other Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout Supplements.

6 - PRE WOD Pre-Workout

Rated 4.5/5
4.5
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.4
Price
PRE_WOD_Pre-Workout

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A strong dose of beta-alanine can boost performance and muscular endurance
  • Includes caffeine from natural sources for better mental health
  • Vitamin C boost to help improve nutrition delivery to muscles
  • Many review comments say it’s easy to mix

Cons

  • The amount of stimulants means you have to be careful taking it later in the day

Introduced to PRE WOD by a fellow CrossFitter, it transformed my workouts. The beta-alanine effect was potent, boosting my endurance and speeding up recovery.

Driven Nutrition claims it's ideal for 1 to 4-minute high-intensity training sessions.

Online forums are filled with people noticing increased power. I tested it with my colleague Connor; he lifted more and completed more reps using PRE WOD than without.

Many reviews also highlight its refreshing flavors and the powder's easy mixability.

While caffeine has a positive effect on your motivation for optimum performance, just avoid taking this pre-workout supplement later in the day. I’m speaking from experience with a sleepless night.

7 - Naked Energy Pre-Workout (Best Subscription Based)

Rated 4.5/5
N/A (unflavored)
Taste
4.5
Ingredients
4.4
Price
Naked_Energy_Pre-Workout

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Contains a protein blend of beta-alanine and creatine
  • Has no artificial or unnecessary ingredients
  • A large amount of caffeine for a mental boost
  • Good subscription discounts available

Cons

  • Has a slightly bitter taste

I stumbled upon Naked Energy last summer, and it’s been my go-to for clean energy ever since. It feels light, yet powerful and gets me through the most grueling WODs without the jitters or crash.

This pre-workout has a short list of active ingredients without artificial crap that is so common to make things taste better.

The combination of beta-alanine amino acids and creatine is great for CrossFit and any other workout designed for muscle building goals. And these benefits are highlighted in a lot of online reviews.

The reason I don’t use this pre-workout powder too often is that it does have a bitter taste to it and I just found it a bit difficult to swallow.

8 - Genius Pre All-Natural Pre-Workout (Best Caffeine-Free)

Rated 4.3/5
4.2
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
4.2
Price
Genius_Pre_All-Natural_Pre-Workout

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A good dose of L-citrulline and beta-alanine for muscular endurance and power
  • Claims to work well for physical and mental performance
  • Contains no caffeine or other stimulants
  • Comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free trial

Cons

  • Mixing it in a shaker can be difficult and may require blending

Curious about Genius Pre amidst its buzz, I gave it a try and instantly saw why. It's clean, potent, and the mental focus it brings is unparalleled, making it my go-to for late evening workouts.

The Genius Brand has carved a niche in health supplements, offering a wide range of benefits.

Its pre-workout stars L-citrulline and beta-alanine, which, according to NIH, has been shown to boost lifting power and reduce muscle fatigue over weeks [5].

I appreciate its caffeine-free formula, perfect for late-day training without risking sleepless nights.

One thing I would agree with in some reviews is that it’s not the easiest pre-workout powder to mix in a shaker.

9 - Battle Ready Fuel Pre-Workout

Rated 4.1/5
4.0
Taste
4.3
Ingredients
4.0
Price
Battle-Ready-Fuel-Pre-Workout

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Claims to boost energy for intense workouts through a combination of citrulline malate and beta-alanine
  • An effective dose of caffeine to provide mental focus
  • Contains whey isolate and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
  • The money-back-guarantee means you can try it risk-free

Cons

  • Strong dose of caffeine, so be careful with coffee intake

I gave Battle Ready Fuel a shot out of curiosity, and boy, did it prove me wrong. The energy hit is instant, and it feels like a warrior awakening inside me every time I take it. It’s not just a name; it genuinely gets you battle-ready for every workout.

However, Battle Ready Fuel Pre-Workout for CrossFit managed to surprise me when I started reading all the positive reviews.

Part of the official product description highlights that the “energy boost comes from essential amino acids beta-alanine and citrulline malate,” and my dietitian was able to point me to a study [6] that confirmed a link to aerobic exercise performance.

The only thing to be aware of this pre-workout supplement is the strong doses of caffeine. While this is effective for fat burning and motivation, you want to be careful not to take it too late in the day.

If you're looking for alternative options to take in the evening, check out our list of the top caffeine-free pre-workouts here.

How We Tested the Products

  • Initial research: We dove into the market, sizing up over 40 top-notch pre-workout supplements for CrossFit. Our deep dive looked at ingredients, user reviews, and brand trustworthiness.
  • Criteria establishment: We set tough standards, checking each supplement's quality, potency, taste, mixability, plus its effect on performance and recovery. Safety was key, ensuring no banned substances were included.
  • Hands-on testing: A mix of CrossFit buffs, from newbies to pros, got hands-on with our picks. They mixed these into their workouts, giving us the lowdown on how they really work.
  • Data collection: We tracked their workout gains, endurance, and recovery, while also getting their take on taste, mixability, and side effects. This gave us a full picture of each supplement's effectiveness.
  • In-depth analysis: We then took all this info, weighing up each supplement's short and long-term impacts on workouts and safety.

Our guidance is grounded in thorough, impartial research and testing. We're here to give you straight-up advice to find the pre-workout supplement that'll amp up your CrossFit game.

Buyer's Guide

Who Should Buy the Best CrossFit Pre-workout?

  • High-intensity athletes: Ideal for CrossFit athletes engaging in high-intensity workouts, needing increased energy, endurance, and focus.
  • Endurance trainers: Beneficial for those focusing on endurance training, as these pre-workouts can enhance stamina and reduce fatigue during prolonged exercise sessions.
  • Strength and power lifters: Suitable for lifters aiming to improve strength and power, as these supplements often contain ingredients that support muscle growth and energy production.
  • Individuals seeking improved recovery: Helpful for athletes who need faster recovery post-workout, as some pre-workouts contain ingredients like BCAAs and electrolytes that aid in muscle repair and hydration.

Who Shouldn't Buy the Best CrossFit Pre-workout?

  • Individuals with heart conditions: Pre-workouts often contain stimulants like caffeine, which can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Those with heart conditions or hypertension should avoid these supplements to prevent potential cardiac complications.
  • Pregnant or nursing women: The safety of many ingredients in pre-workout supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not well-established. To avoid potential risks to the baby, these individuals should steer clear of pre-workouts.
  • People with caffeine sensitivity: If you're sensitive to caffeine, pre-workout supplements can cause jitteriness, insomnia, and increased anxiety. Opt for caffeine-free alternatives or avoid pre-workouts altogether.
  • Those on medication: Certain ingredients in pre-workouts can interact with medications, especially those for blood pressure, heart conditions, or mental health.

Does Crossfit Require a Specific Diet?

Yes, CrossFit exercises require a specific diet in order to help you get the most out of it. As a CrossFit athlete, you'll need plenty of energy to boost your performance, and protein will be a key part of your recovery phase.

Load up on healthy carbs and a whey protein shake to rebuild muscle fibers.

But, the real game-changer in pre-workouts for boosting exercise performance? Creatine. It ramps up ATP production, the muscle's raw energy. Want to amp up your performance? Go for a pre-workout with creatine.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the most basic form of energy in your body's cells. It plays a fundamental role in metabolism and muscle function. Unfortunately, you can only store enough ATP for 8–10 seconds of high-intensity exercise. After this, your body must produce new ATP to match the demands of the activity.

- Rudy Mawer, Sports Nutritionist

The Role of Diet and Nutrition in Enhancing Pre-Workout Efficacy

A well-rounded diet is key to enhancing the benefits of pre-workout supplements for CrossFit, a sport demanding intense, varied activity and stamina.

  1. Energy: Carbs are vital for high-intensity workouts. Eating complex carbs provides lasting energy, while pre-workout supplements offer a quick boost with glucose or caffeine.
  2. Protein: Essential for muscle repair and growth, proteins in your diet, combined with amino acid-rich pre-workout supplements, enhance muscle recovery and endurance.
  3. Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals are crucial for health and performance. A diet rich in these nutrients aids energy metabolism, immune function, and post-exercise recovery.
  4. Hydration: Staying hydrated is essential. Adequate fluids, alongside pre-workout supplements, prevent dehydration and maintain peak performance.

Blending pre-workout supplements with a CrossFit-specific diet can boost endurance, energy, and recovery. It's important to seek advice from a nutritionist or fitness expert to tailor your diet and supplements to your training objectives.

FAQs

What Supplements Do CrossFit Athletes Take?

CrossFit athletes' most common supplements are pre and post-workout drinks and supplements and targeted branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). These help increase performance and speed up recovery so that you have a better chance of sticking with the CrossFit program.

If you want to ensure the benefits of a great pre-workout supplement, buy from reputable sources online. Check whether the brand website sells the products directly. If they do, buy there and enjoy their returns policy.

What Should You Eat Before CrossFit?

You should eat healthy carb-rich foods to boost your energy levels before CrossFit, but remember to watch your calorie intake if you have weight loss goals. It’s also good to get some extra magnesium into your diet to help with muscle performance and recovery. Use pre-workouts to secure your efforts.

What Should You Drink During CrossFit?

Only drink water during CrossFit and stay away from energy and carbonated drinks that are full of sugar. It’s also good to get some extra electrolytes in before your workout, as they are critical for hydration. Caffeinated drinks are a big no-no since it could leave you feeling more thirsty and dehydrated while doing your CrossFit exercises.

Bottom Line: Which CrossFit Pre Workout Should You Choose?

Our entire team recommends Gorilla Mode pre-workout for CrossFit because it produces an incredible amount of pump and muscle strength, allowing you to multiply your maximum rep count effortlessly.

The optimal combination of ingredients formulated in full clinical dosages provides clean energy and razor-sharp focus, allowing you to maximize and level up your gym performance.

You'll experience massive pumps, increased muscle strength, and continuous energy with these pre-workouts, which is everything an athlete could need from a pre workout supplement.

So, maximize your CrossFit workout today by giving Gorilla Mode pre-workouts a try. Click here to visit their official website.

Our #1 Pre Workout For Crossfit Athletes

Gorilla Mode Pre Workout for CrossFit (Best Overall & for Recovery)

gorilla-mode-pre-workout

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
Pros
  • Good pre-workout contains full clinical doses per serving
  • It gives the best value for your money
  • Supports intense workouts
  • Promotes faster recovery
  • Get 10% off using code: TOTALSHAPE
Cons
  • Mixing with water may get clumpy if not consumed soon
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Our ingredients score is based on 3 factors including: transparency, blend disclosure, and dosage accuracy. We conduct third-party lab verification of ingredients. The score is an objective measure of the lab test results compared to the product label. For more information see our ingredients score explanation here.
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