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The Best Pre-Workout Without Creatine
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Written by Connor Sellers
Last Updated on
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​Creatine is one of the most popular and safe supplements in the industry. Despite this, not everyone is a fan of it.

Some people get side effects they blame on creatine, and others are simply not interested in the muscle growth benefits.

Luckily, there are a lot of creatine-free pre-workout supplements. It’s almost overwhelming how many options exist.

I did some research to find the best pre-workout supplements without creatine to share with you.

Our Top ​Products

Product

Supplement Facts​

Key Highlights

Transparent labs preseries bulk pre workout

#1 ​Transparent Labs ​(Editor's Choice)

  • L-Citrulline 6g
  • ​Caffeine 0.18g

  • L-Theanine ​0.36g
  • Great for bulking up
  • Contains Testosterone Support
  • Vegan-friendly
  • GET THE BEST PRICE until the end of ​April
3 Jacked Factory Nitrosurge

​#2 ​Jacked Factory

  • L-Citrulline 3g
  • ​Caffeine 0.18g

  • L-Theanine ​0.09g

  • Inexpensive
  • Contains betaine anhydrous instead of creatine
  • No caffeine jitters
CELSIUS Orange On-the-Go Powder Stick Packs Product

#3 ​CELSIUS Orange

  • Calories 10
  • ​Caffeine 0.2g

  • Total Carbs 3g
  • On-the-go packets
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No sugar

1 - ​Transparent Labs PreSeries Bulk Pre Workout (Editor's Choice)

At the top of my list of best pre workout supplements without creatine is Transparent Labs. It contains 19 active ingredients that increase nitric oxide, which claims to improve blood flow and pumps.

 If you’re an athlete or bodybuilder, then it’s one of the best creatine free options. It also contains a specialized ingredient called Testosterone Support complex, which may work for further increasing muscle mass.

Transparent labs preseries bulk pre workout

PROS

  • Great for bulking up
  • Contains Testosterone Support
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Contains nitric oxide

CONS

  • Not for you if you aren’t looking to mass build

​I did a lot of researching prior to buying this pre work out. Everyone had good things to say, I am another one with good things to say. This product gives you the energy you need but not the jitters you hate. After about 20 minutes, you can feel this product work. I highly recommend trying this for yourself.
- ​Nicholas T., Reviewer

​I liked how there are no artificial colors, preservatives, or ingredients. The powder mixed well, and the tropical punch flavor tasted great.


​2 - ​​Jacked Factory NitroSurge Pre Workout

​At 83 cents per serving, it’s one of the more affordable pre-workout supplements on the market. Do you get what you pay, though?

I didn’t experience any jitters from the caffeine, but I still got the energy boost to get me through my workout. It mixed well, and it got me the results I was looking for in a pre-workout.

3 Jacked Factory Nitrosurge

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Contains betaine anhydrous instead of creatine
  • No caffeine jitters

CONS

  • Some flavors don’t taste great

​I did have a friend who tried the pineapple flavor and wasn’t impressed. I had the watermelon flavor, which tasted great. So the flavors are a little hit-and-miss.

Instead of creatine, this product has betaine anhydrous. Jacked Factory says this ingredient helps with your strength routine.


​3 - ​CELSIUS Orange On-the-Go Powder Stick Packs

​The convenient packets help with ​burning fat, accelerating the metabolism, and energizing the body.

It doesn’t contain the ingredients you don’t want, like sugar, preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.

The one downside with the ingredients is that it has a proprietary blend. It’s hard to say if the ingredient amount matches how much I need for it to be effective.

CELSIUS Orange On-the-Go Powder Stick Packs Product

PROS

  • On-the-go packets
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No sugar
  • Boosts energy

CONS

  • Contains a proprietary blend

​One serving has 200mg of caffeine, so it provided an energy boost when I tried it.


​4 - ​​Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy

​Next on the list for workout supplements without creatine is Optimum Nutrition. It has two proprietary blends; one for amino acids and the other for energy.

Even though the blends have a lot of the right ingredients, I’m not sure if I was getting enough for my needs.

It also contained other ingredients that I wasn’t a fan of like artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors.

Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy Product

PROS

  • Useful for small energy boosts
  • Has no sugar
  • Tastes great

CONS

  • Contains proprietary blends
  • Has artificial flavors and colors

​It didn’t give me a crazy energy boost, but it did help with an afternoon pick-me-up without giving me jitters or insomnia.


​5 - ​​Vintage Blast Pre Workout

​It’s a creatine free pre workout that can help with boosting your energy levels and prevent muscle fatigue.

It’s a good option for anyone that is either physically active or is bodybuilding. Vintage Blast says their product can help with getting more energy, more focus, faster recovery, and staying hydrated.

I like its transparent label. It clearly shows how much ingredients you are consuming so you can know if you are getting enough.

PROS

  • Good for any physical activity level
  • No artificial sweeteners, flavor, or color
  • check
    Transparent label

CONS

  • Powder a little hard to mix

​I also am a fan that it uses stevia leaf extract to sweeten the formula, and there are no artificial sweeteners. Some people complain that the powder is hard to mix, but I found that you need to be a little vigorous for it to blend.


​6 - ​​Red Leaf Pre-Workout Energizer Powder

​One of the pre workout supplements without creatine is Red Leaf. It contains ingredients like green tea extract and cranberry to help with energy and overall health.

I appreciate that they had a clear label that listed everything in their product. It makes me trust the company more.

It doesn’t have a lot of caffeine. There's only 40mg in each serving, which is a good option if you are sensitive to caffeine or simply don’t want to risk getting jitters.

Red Leaf Pre-Workout Energizer Powder

PROS

  • Clear and transparent label
  • Useful if you are caffeine-sensitive
  • Contains ingredients like green tea and cranberry

CONS

  • Low caffeine amount isn’t ideal for everyone

​However, if you are looking for a massive energy boost, this product may not be for you.


​7 - ​RARI Nutrition Infinity Pre Workout Powder

​RARI Nutrition is creatine free because they don’t think it’s an excellent ingredient for everyone. Instead, they chose ingredients to help with power and strength like beta alanine and citrulline malate.

Even though RARI uses a proprietary blend, I was surprised that they still listed the exact ingredient amount anyway.

They don't need to do this legally, so it makes me think they care about the ingredients and the people who take them.

RARI Nutrition Infinity Pre Workout Powder Product

PROS

  • Vegan-friendly
  • No caffeine jitters or crashes
  • check
    Transparent label

CONS

  • Small tingly feeling

​I had a good experience, but I did get a small tingly feeling. Overall, I had great focus and long-lasting energy. The product tasted great, too.


8 - ​ALPHA GX7 Pre Workout

​I always check the ingredient list first when scooping out a new pre-workout supplement.

I immediately liked that it didn’t contain any blends, and there were no hidden ingredients. While I wasn’t a fan of the artificial flavors and colors, I appreciate that the core ingredients are still there.

The powder mixed well, and there wasn’t any gritty texture. I had the watermelon flavor, and it tasted great.

ALPHA GX7 Pre Workout Product

PROS

  • No hidden ingredients
  • Provides a lot of energy
  • Powder dissolves well

CONS

  • Contains artificial flavors and colors

​I had a friend who used this for fat loss and said it helped them get high energy during gym sessions.


9 - ​Cellucor C4 Ripped

​Cellucor C4 may be one of the most popular pre workout supplements without creatine.

It contains CarnoSyn beta alanine, which makes it a premium supplement for building muscle and creating energy. It can also help with fat loss.

Overall, it’s an excellent creatine free pre workout for a variety of physical goals.

Cellucor C4 Ripped Product

PROS

  • Has CarnoSyn beta alanine
  • Good for fat burning
  • check
    Good for muscle gain

CONS

  • Users report experiencing cramps, jitters, or tingling

​Even though I didn’t experience any side effects, I have heard people of getting side effects like cramps, jitters, and an intense tingling sensation.


10 - ​Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement

​Legion Pulse Pre Workout is not for the faint of heart. One serving has 350mg of caffeine anhydrous.

If you are looking for a boost in energy, then you are definitely going to get it. Legion Pulse does offer caffeine-free versions, though.

Even though Legion Pulse recommends two scoops per day, I think one scoop is sufficient. Well, it all depends on how intense your workouts are going to be.

Legion Pulse Pre Workout Supplement

PROS

  • Contains a lot of caffeine
  • Caffeine-free versions available
  • check
    Get high energy levels
  • No artificial sweeteners

CONS

  • Not suitable for caffeine-sensitive people

​I got a kick of energy with one scoop, and I didn’t get a crash afterward. I was happy with the taste, and I like how Legion Pulse sweetened it with stevia leaf extract to offset the bitter taste of the amino acids.


​Why Do People Take Creatine?

creatine molecule with white protein powder in black spoon

​Creatine is usually put in pre workouts because it helps produce more energy for lifting and high-intensity workouts.

The long-term effects usually mean an increase in muscle growth. It’s an attractive feature if you are looking to mass build.

One study even names creatine as the most beneficial pre-workout supplement that helps with muscle gain [1].

Creatine can also help you physically perform better in strength and exercise.

A study [2] showed that a creatine pre-workout supplement had the following effect on their study group:

What Are The Side Effects Of Creatine?

thermometer on top of various pills

​Despite creatine being a popular ingredient in workout supplements, many people don’t like using it mainly because of the potential side effects.

Some people report the following:

  • ​Dehydration
  • ​Cramps
  • Weight Gain
  • Digestive Issues

A lot of research claims that creatine is one of the safest natural ingredients on the market [3]. Despite this, the reported side effects can be worrisome, so let’s take a further look into what causes them.

Dehydration

man in black crew neck shirt drinking water

Creatine can move water stored in your body to the muscle cells.

It’s most likely where the popular theory that creatine causes dehydration originated.

Even though this shift occurs, it happens on a minor scale. Your dehydration may stem from not drinking enough water.

However, choosing a creatine free pre workout can help with feelings of dehydration.

Cramps

Cramping is one of the common side effects that lead people to choose a creatine free pre workout. Even though it gets reported occasionally, studies show that creatine is rarely the cause of cramping [4].

​Weight Gain

​Creatine can cause weight gain due to the body’s stored water content moving to the muscles.

Studies show that weight gain is from increased muscle and not increased body fat [5].  

If you’re not looking to gain muscle, then choosing a creatine free pre workout may be a better option for you.

person standing on white digital bathroom scale

​Digestive Issues

Digestive issues can occur if you don’t follow the recommended guidelines.

​One study showed that taking 10 grams of creatine led to an increased risk of diarrhea by 37% [6].

You want to choose a pre-workout supplement with the appropriate creatine amount or choose a creatine free pre workout to avoid it.

Why Should I Take Pre Workout Supplements Without Creatine?

You should take pre workout supplements without creatine if you are looking to avoid muscle gain. Creatine can cause water to move to the muscles, making them look bigger while also supporting your body with muscle growth.

Are Pre Workouts Without Creatine Healthy For You?

Pre workouts without creatine are healthy for you. As long as you take the recommended dosage, you shouldn’t experience any adverse side effects. It can still help you boost your energy, increase blood flow, and help with fatigue.

Is Creatine-free Pre-workout As Effective As Regular Pre-workout?

Creatine free pre workout is as effective as a regular pre-workout supplement, depending on your physical goals. A good pre workout without creatine will still give you an energy boost, support your body, and prevent muscle fatigue.

The only difference might be that it won’t increase your muscle mass as much.

What’s In Creatine-free Pre-workout Supplements?

The best creatine free pre workout supplements will have ingredients like:

Citrulline Malate

Pre workouts without creatine commonly have ​this ingredient. It helps increase blood flow, which can boost your gym performance [7].

It shouldn’t be confused with L-citrulline, which is a different version of the amino acids. Citrulline malate may be superior because it boosts energy production more [8].

​Beta Alanine

The best pre workout supplements will always have beta alanine. It has amino acids that have a lot of studies to back up its results.

It can reduce fatigue, increase endurance, and support your muscles for high-intensity exercises.

​Caffeine

The benefits of caffeine are well-known. It can give you a huge energy boost.

Unlike energy drinks or even cups of coffee, combining caffeine with other ingredients found in pre-workout supplements can have a more significant impact on muscle growth and exercise performance.


​Related Articles:

What Ingredients Should I Avoid If I Don’t Want Creatine?

Ingredients you should avoid if you don’t want creatine include:

  • ​Creatine Monohydrate
  • ​Creatine Ethyl Ester
  • ​Creatine Gum
  • ​Creatine Anhydrous
  • ​Creatine Citrate
  • ​​Creatine Malate
  • ​Creatine Phosphate
  • ​Creatine Hydrochloride (HCL)
  • ​Kre-Alkalyn Creatine
  • ​Creatine Tartrate

What Are The Benefits Of Creatine-free Pre-workout?

man flexing muscles

The benefits of a pre-workout without creatine include:

  • ​Increased energy
  • ​Improved strength
  • ​More endurance
  • ​Better “pumps”
  • ​Weight loss

Transparent Labs says that they make their pre-workout without creatine because the massive amounts of caffeine can affect its ability to work.

If you are looking solely for a supplement that can boost your energy and support your muscles, then this pre-workout is a good option.

What Are The Side Effects Of Creatine-free Pre-workout?

The side effects of a pre-workout without creatine are minimal as long as you follow the recommended serving amount.

If you don’t follow the serving recommendation of pre-workout supplements, then you might get side effects like insomnia, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and nausea.

​What Should I Look For In A Pre Workout Without Creatine?

​You want to make sure that you get the right dosage for you. Sometimes, pre workouts will have too little or too much of an ingredient per serving. For best results, take the time to figure out what nutrients you need.

I would also advise that you avoid proprietary blends if you can. Since they don’t reveal the exact ingredient amount, it can be challenging to determine if you are getting the correct dosage.


Other Resources You May Like:

FAQs

red question mark in question mark pile

​Can I Combine Pre-workout Products?

How Long Before My Workout Should I Take Pre-workout?

​Should I Eat Before Taking A Pre-workout?

​Should I Take Pre-workout On My Rest Days?

What Ingredients Should I Look For In A Creatine-free Pre-workout?

Is Pre-workout Without Creatine A Good Option For Weight Loss?

​Who Can Take Pre-workout?

Should I Take Pre-workout With Milk Or Water?

​What Are The Best Creatine Free Pre Workout Supplements?

Even though creatine is standard in the best pre-workout products, it’s not a product that everyone wants to consume.

After all of this research and testing, I’m a fan of Transparent Labs Pre Workout.

There’s no creatine, but it doesn’t stop your ability to pack on some serious muscle gain. It has a unique testosterone support formula that increases your muscle mass.

Better yet, it has the correct dosage you need for each ingredient to be active. It also doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners, flavors, dyes, or additives.

If you are looking for fat loss, then Transparent Labs also has a LEAN version. There’s something for everyone.

Related post: Top Creatine supplements

​​​I have used both Bulk and Lean. Both are superior products. Bulk gives great energy, focus and pump. Lean is non stop energy. Won’t use anything else.
- ​​​Brandon S., Reviewer

​Transparent Labs​

Our #1 Pre-Workout ​Without Creatine

  • ​ Great for bulking up
  • ​ Contains Testosterone Support
  • ​ Vegan-friendly
  • GET THE BEST PRICE until the end of ​April

About the author

Connor Sellers

Connor Sellers is a personal trainer and senior coach at Total Shape. His mission is to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their fitness and lifestyle goals. He believes staying fit has an overall positive effect on one’s body, mind, and spirit. Read more about him here​.

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