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Best Pre-Workout and Recovery Drinks for CrossFit + TOP 15 Supplement Reviews 2021
Should you or shouldn’t you?
Do you really need a pre-workout to bang out your next WOD or Metcon? Is a pre-workout for CrossFit worth it?
Arguably, a pre-workout is not a necessity to achieve success at the box, and with the bad rap pre-workouts have it is understandable if you are leery of giving them a go.
I will tell you what I know:
Personally, the right pre-workout drink has been a helpful tool for me to meet fitness goals and get a little boost or pick me up right when I need it.
The best pre-workout for CrossFit can increase strength, endurance, cardio capacity, lean muscle and give you a little stimulation to finish the WOD as strong as you started it.
I will go over 5 benefits the right pre-workout can offer the CrossFit Athlete, share with you what top CrossFit Athletes use to power up, and review 15 of the best pre-workout for CrossFit formulas on the market today.
The Super 5 – Key Elements to Look for in a Pre-Workout for CrossFit
When you are reaching for a new PR on the deadlift, clean and jerk or snatch, strength and form are key.
Look for pre-workouts with strength increasing ingredients like Beta Alanine, Alpha GPC, Creatine and Citrulline Malate to give you a boost and gain a new personal best on your lift.
CrossFit is no joke, it’s tough, and you probably already know that.
If you have ever found yourself lagging and dragging near the end of the workout you can appreciate how important endurance is.
When you are AMRAPPING a round of Box jumps, kettlebell swings and ring dips, even 15 minutes can seem impossible.
Enter the endurance PreWOD drink.
Endurance supplements like Betaine, Caffeine, Tyrosine and Beta-Alanine (again) allow you to go the extra mile and finish strong.
During the 2015 CrossFit Games Annie Thorisdottir was forced to abandon a workout during the games because she overheated during a Murph routine. She could not stand up and her vision began to blur.
The episode eventually caused her to withdraw from the CrossFit games that year as her body took a few days to recover.
Too much heat and not enough hydration. CrossFit athletes are known for pushing their body to the extreme, which leads to heat and sweat, buckets of it.
Sweating leaches important electrolytes from your body such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium and so on.
It is not enough to drink just water. You need to replace these important electrolytes, and pre-workouts like SFH PUSH Pre-Workout and Ascent Pre-Workout are carefully crafted to replenish these electrolytes using natural sources like coconut water powder.
Branch chain amino acids include leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are called essential amino acids.
They are essential because our bodies do not make them, they must come from the food or drinks we consume.
Branch chain amino acids work to build lean muscle, and consequently, strength. They also help prevent catabolism, which is when your body uses muscle tissue for energy.
BCAAs preserve existing muscle.
Can’t I just eat my BCAAs?
Yes, BCAAs are found in meat, seeds and other food sources.
But if your diet is not on point, or does not include a lot of BCAA rich food, supplementing can be a good way to get these amino acids in.
Let’s be real here.
Sometimes you just don’t want to get up and go to the box. Some days you are too tired to make the effort.
Some folks find a little stimulation in the liquid form really helps. Some people drink coffee, or even green tea.
But a good pre-workout with a modest dose of stimulants may be just the thing to get you off the couch and on the way to the box.
Not all of the pre-workouts in this list contain stimulants, but I did include a few that can give you a small nudge, and there are one or two on the list that can give you a giant push, if that is your thing.
No judging here. Do what works for you.
Now I present to you, my list of the best pre-workouts for CrossFit!
TOP 15 Best Pre-Workouts and Recovery Drinks for CrossFit 2021
Review: This gentle pre-workout is a real food bases supplement that stands out among pre-workouts for the electrolyte content.
It can replenish electrolytes lost during your workout, it has a modest but helpful energy boost from just 150 mg of caffeine to give you the motivation to power through your WOD without making you feel sick or jittery.
This is a favorite of Katrin Davidsdottir, 2x Fittest Woman on Earth and one of the best pre-workout for crossfitters.
Modest 150 mg of caffeine.
250 mg or replenishing and hydrating electrolytes.
No artificial colors or flavors.
No added sugar. Sweetened with Monk Fruit.
Taste sour, odd texture.
Clean natural energy and replenishment all in one useful pre-workout.
Xendurance FUEL-5 Pre-Workout
Review: This stimulant free pre-workout can be used before, during or after your workout to keep you hydrated and replenish essential electrolytes lost during your WOD or Metcon.
It also contains a carb complex to keep you fueled up and enhance endurance.
Carb complex supplies 17 g of carbs and 99 calories from Sweet potato and other sources.
B vitamin complex assists your body in restoring neurotransmitters.
Includes Lactate, said to support mitochondrial function and regulate glucose metabolism.
Contains sucrose, or standard white sugar.
A great drink to replenish electrolytes and fuel your cells for an intense workout without using harsh stimulants.
Contains several good supplements for CrossFit training, especially days when lifting is involved.
Onnit Total Strength + Performance
Review: Onnit Total strength Pre-workout is a stim free pre-workout that improves strength and power output, raises testosterone, reduces fatigue and works as a recovery supplement all without shaky, jittery stimulants.
5 grams of muscle building and preserving BCAAs.
Stimulant free formula.
Contains Testosterone boosting Longjack root.
Gritty and does not taste great.
Get Onnit and increase your lifting by as much as 10%. One of the best pre-workout for CrossFit 2021.
Review: PureWOD Pre-workout is a completely natural yet potent drink to power your WOD.
With a generous dose of caffeine from green tea, hydrating Coconut water powder and several muscle building, fatigue reducing and power increasing ingredients, you will be on your way to your next PR in no time.
Powerful 200mg of Caffeine from Green tea. Wow.
Coconut water powder provides a shot of electrolytes to replenish and hydrate.
Review: All natural and stimulant free, this pre-workout will have you breaking new PRs and finishing strong thanks to innovative and scientifically proven ingredients like Beta Alanine, Alpha GPC and Ginseng.
This formula contains nothing artificial, no sugar, no calories, and it will get you results without giving you jitters.
Includes Alpha GPC to raise choline and put your mind in connection with your muscles.
With Carnosyn Beta Alanine to increase muscle strength and endurance.
Only 20 servings per container.
Get results with this clean stim free pre-workout.
Review: If you want a pre-workout that will pump you up and give you explosive, stimulating energy, C4 is one of the best.
It contains Beta Alanine, proven ingredients for endurance, Caffeine for energy, and arginine for muscle fullness, increased NO and aerobic capacity. The C4 formula is used by CrossFit athlete Brook Wells.
150 mg of Caffeine.
Contains CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine for muscle endurance and increased cardio capacity.
Tyrosine and L-dopa increase dopamine for extra motivation.
Clumps up after a while.
This top rated pre-workout is one of the best pre-workout for HIIT and CrossFit.
Kill Cliff Ignite - Lemon Berry
Review: Kill Cliff Ignite energy blend pre-workout energy drink rivals anything you can buy at 7-11.
It has no added sugar and is Keto, Paleo and Vegan friendly. It contains green tea and Ginseng for added energy and pep. Sold as a 12 pack of convenient single serve cans.
150 mg caffeine.
Just 25 calories.
Contains replenishing electrolytes and B vitamins.
A little pricy.
Delicious, natural and invigorating energy drink, much better for you than the junk you find at a convenience store.
Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!