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Best Pre-Workout and Recovery Drinks for CrossFit + TOP 15 Supplement Reviews 2022

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

Fit young woman drinking pre workout drink in the gym


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.

The problem?

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.

couple doing set of box jumps in crossfit gym


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.

Or you do have the motivation to go, but maybe you believe you won’t be able to give the workout your best 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 2022

Ascent Pre-Workout

Ascent Pre Workout - Raspberry Lemonade (Tart) - New and Improved Taste - 30 Servings…
  • New, unbeatable taste without a single artificial ingredient
  • If you like sweet flavors, we recommend our Watermelon. If you prefer tart flavors, try our Raspberry Lemonade
  • The clean way to boost energy with 150mg of naturally sourced caffeine from coffee fruit extract
  • 250mg of electrolytes for hydration
  • Certified Gluten Free and Informed Sport Certified

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

Xendurance® Fuel-5 | Pre / Intra / Post Workout | 5 Fuel Sources | 40 Servings | Berry
  • 5 forms of fuel, 4 carbohydrate fuel sources & lactate
  • Organic sweet potato used in proprietary blend
  • Energy, carbohydrate blend to help stabilize blood sugar levels during exercise
  • Electrolytes and vitamins b6 & b12 to assist in recovery
  • Helps to eliminate cramping and muscle burn

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.

Genius BCAA Powder with Focus and Energy

Genius Bcaa Powder with Focus & Energy – Multiuse Natural Vegan Preworkout Bcaas for Mental Clarity and Faster Muscle Recovery, Orange, 21sv, 286g
  • MORE THAN JUST BCAA POWDER - This all natural drink covers everything, focus & energy boosters make it a great preworkout for women and men! Fermented Vegan BCAAs make for healthy muscle recovery
  • MUSCLE RECOVERY AND MENTAL CLARITY – Proper Doses of vegan branched chain amino acids, rhodiola rosea, taurine and cognizin citicoline help boost focus, reduce stress and optimize yourself daily!
  • NATURAL AMINO ENERGY WITH STEVIA - If you’re looking for an amino pre workout or healthy coffee substitute, rest assured this is an alternative with absolutely no artificial flavors, colors or dyes
  • PRE, INTRA OR POST WORKOUT - Think of it as a natural energy drink that happens to benefit lean muscle growth, memory and stress management! Genius BCAA is beneficial anytime of the day
  • STACK FOR FASTER FAT LOSS & LEAN MUSCLE GROWTH - Genius Products Are Best Together, Genius BCAA is meant for lean muscle building & healthy weight loss, combine with products like Genius Burn for quick results!

Review: This Genius BCAA is one of my favorite BCAA supplements and a good pre-workout supplement for CrossFit because the BCAAs are fermented, which makes them easier for your body to use.

This drink contains just 100 mg of caffeine, just enough to give you a little push, without going overboard.

They add in focus enhancing citocholine so you stay present and in the moment during heavy lifts that need your full attention.


  • Light energy boost from 100 mg of Caffeine.
  • Fermented BCAAs build lean muscle making your next PR happen sooner.
  • Cognizin Citicholine gives you focus to concentrate & perfect your form.


  • Not the best tasting supplement.


Genius BCAA is a tool that will help you progress faster by encouraging focus and strength.

Naked Energy - All Natural Pre-Workout Powder

Naked Energy – Pure Pre Workout Powder for Men and Women, Vegan Friendly, Unflavored, No Added Sweeteners, Colors or Flavors – 50 Servings
  • CLEAN PRE WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT: Naked Energy is a vegan pre workout powder manufactured in the USA with 10 High-Quality ingredients using amino acids, vitamins and caffeine from unroasted coffee beans.
  • VEGAN FRIENDLY: A vegan pre workout energizer, with no added sugars, fillers, artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors. Pairs great with a post-workout shake using our Vegan Protein powders to build muscle.
  • YOUR BEST WORKOUT PARTNER: Designed specially to enhance athletic performance.** Take as a pre workout drink mix to get clean energy in the gym. Feel the pure, healthy energy needed for a workout, not like you may have a heart attack.
  • THIRD-PARTY TESTING: Like all Naked Nutrition products, our clean pre workout for men and women is independently third-party tested for purity, safety and nutritional value.
  • MAXIMUM NUTRITION: Our pure preworkout contains 333mg of Vitamin C, 40mg of Vitamin B3, 667mcg of Vitamin B6, 333 mcg of Folate, 47mcg of Vitamin B12, 27mcg of Calcium, 200mg Caffeine and 1mg of Creatine.

Review: Naked energy pre-workout may be ideal for Metcons with 200 mg of caffeine to fuel the cardio.

The addition of L-arginine increases NO and blood flow, along with improving aerobic capacity and reducing fatigue and fat.

Beta Alanine Increases muscular endurance if you happen to be doing heavy lifting. It also protects from the effects of lactic acid and fights fatigue.


  • 50 servings per container make this a great deal.
  • 200 mg of Caffeine, a decent energy boost.
  • Includes L-arginine which increases Nitric oxide, decreases blood pressure & increases blood flow.


  • Unflavored and unsweetened, tastes bad. Mix with a drink you like to mask the taste.


Best pre-workout before CrossFit Metcons with cardio and aerobic capacity enhancing ingredients.

NF Sports Pre-Workout

NF Sports Pre-Workout - Supports Energy, Cognitive Function, Strength, and Muscular Endurance to Optimize Workouts– Strawberry Lemonade Flavor - 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed - 25 Servings
  • INCREASED ENERGY LEVELS | This pre-workout has the perfect combination of Taurine, caffeine, and L-Tyrosine that helps with increased motivation, boosts performance for high-intensity exercise, and helps boost muscular strength and power output with a great strawberry lemonade taste.
  • ENHANCED FOCUS AND CLARITY | This pre-workout mix is made with Taurine which helps improve mental performance and athletic performance. It also has Alpha GPC which boosts memory, focus, and cognitive function in the brain allowing you to concentrate more on your workout and end goals.
  • BOOSTS MUSCLE STRENGTH AND POWER | Made with CREAPURE CREATINE MONOHYDRATE this pre-workout will improve strength by elevating creatine phosphate levels and improve muscle volume.
  • IMPROVES PERFORMANCE AND ENDURANCE | The CARNOSYN BETA-ALANINE increases exercise capacity allowing you to train harder and longer. It also helps increase anaerobic endurance and boosts your power and muscle output.
  • SUPPORTS YOUR BODY'S ABILITY TO COPE WITH HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE | This pre-workout has been tried and tested. With the ideal formula, this pre-workout mix contains the perfect combination of Taurine, Caffeine (200mg), Alpha GPC, L-Tyrosine, CARNOSYN BETA-ALANINE, and CREAPURE CREATINE MONOHYDRATE to keep your workout strong, meaningful, and successful.

Review: NF Sports Pre is used by Annie Thorisdottir and it is easy to see why. It has a nice kick with 200 mg of caffeine, and a host of performance supporting ingredients.

The formula contains Alpha GPC to help maintain focus, increase growth hormones and increase power output.

The addition of Betaine increases cell hydration, lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases IFG-1.


  • 200 mg of energy boosting Caffeine.
  • All natural, naturally sweetened with Erythritol and stevia.
  • Formula includes Creapure Creatine.


  • Taste is not the best.


The abundance of focus and performance supporting ingredients make this one of the best pre-workout drink for CrossFit.

SFH PUSH Pre-Workout

SFH Push - Pre-Workout

Review: Energy, Hydration and focus are what this pre-workout deliver. Used by CrossFit Athlete, Coach and Dietician Britt-Maughan, this science backed pre-workout will not disappoint.

SFH includes ingredients to reduce stress, increase endurance, energize your workout, replenish electrolytes and ward off dehydration and imbalance.

It is very low in calories and sugar and is made with natural ingredients. What’s not to love?


  • 135 mg Caffeine.
  • Coconut water powder supplies electrolytes and helps keep you hydrated.
  • Contains a generous dose of Quercetin, known to counter the effects of exercise induced stress.


  • High price per serving.


One of the best supplements for CrossFit training in terms of endurance.

BSN AMINO X Endurance & Recovery Powder

Review: Amino X is a popular recovery during in the CrossFit Community.

CrossFit athletes give it their all during their time at the box and this amino x can help give something back.

This recovery drink is a tool that allows your muscle to rebuild faster thanks to the inclusion of BCAAs, the muscles building blocks.

The amino acids lessen muscle soreness and sufficient levels of these critical amino acids can prevent your body from using its own muscle as fuel, and preserve your lean body mass.


  • 10 grams of amino acids in each scoop.
  • Amazingly, it tastes good.
  • Will not clump up or harden in the tub.


  • Some find the taste too sweet.


THE Recovery powder used by Rich Fronning, 4 time first place winner of the CrossFit Games.

PRE WOD - Cognitive Enhancing Pre-Workout Supplement

Driven PREWOD Energy Drink Powder, 50 Servings - Pre-Workout Supplement with Caffeine & Beta-Alanine - Energy, Focus, Strength, & Endurance for High-Intensity Training & Weight Lifting - Watermelon
  • SUSTAINED ENERGY LEVELS: No matter what time of day you work out, some days you get to the gym and you just don't have the energy to train. With PREWOD, you gain back control over your day. Each serving is infused with caffeine anhydrous, the easiest absorbing form of caffeine. With a boost in energy, you'll feel motivated to train.
  • INCREASE POWER AND DRIVE: Loaded with citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and betaine anhydrous, PREWOD helps you lift heavier for longer. Betaine draws water into the muscle cells which improves strength, while citrulline malate improves blood flow and reduces lactic acid build-up so you train with the intensity you need to see results.
  • ENHANCE MOOD AND FOCUS: Getting results in the gym requires more than heavy lifting. To truly maximize your results, you need the focus necessary to keep your muscles under tension. That's why we added a Hyper-Focus Fusion blend to each scoop of PREWOD. The mood-enhancing DMAE works to improve memory and overall brain function.
  • IMPROVE ENDURANCE: We formulated PREWOD with three different matrices that include science-supported properties shown to enhance athletic performance. From the caffeine anhydrous to the beta-alanine, a single scoop of PREWOD before your workout will help reduce muscle fatigue and allow you to sustain high-intensity workouts for longer.
  • FOUR DELICIOUS FLAVORS: Drinking PREWOD alone is a treat in itself. Toss one scoop into 4-6 oz of your favorite liquid, stir or shake, and drink. We offer two delicious flavors. Choose from WOD Candy, Watermelon Thrust, Cherry Lime, or Green Apple. Our calorie-free, gluten-free energy powder mixes easily without clumping and tastes amazing without being overly sweet.

Review: PreWOD has what it takes to help you focus and power through your WOD or Metcon.

Caffeine and DMAE work together to energize you while focus enhancing Huperzine A and Taurine keep your head in the game so you can perfect your form and build a solid mind-muscle connection.


  • 200 mg of Caffeine paired with DMAE Bitartrate for a decent energy boost without a crash.
  • Addition of Huperzine A allows you to focus.
  • Beta Alanine builds muscular endurance and lean mass.


  • Easily clumps and hardens from moisture and improper storage.


Heavy dose of energy providing and performance enhancing ingredients help you give it your all.


Onnit Total Strength + Performance

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 2022.



Genius Pre-Workout Powder

Genius Pre Workout Powder – All Natural Nootropic Preworkout & Caffeine Free Nitric Oxide Booster w/Beta Alanine & Alpha GPC | Boost Focus, Energy & NO | Muscle Builder Supplement – Essential Herbs
  • SYNERGISTIC MIND TO MUSCLE FORMULA – Unlock strength & power that will take you beyond raw capabilities and push you to new levels of excellence; Genius Pre is the World’s 1st Clinically Dosed Nootropics Based Pre Workout; Your physical capabilities are guaranteed to expand when your brain is engaged with the proper (all-natural) nutrients & your muscles are stimulated by scientifically proven ingredients
  • CAFFEINE FREE & SCIENTIFICALLY SUPERIOR - From a scientific standpoint; This is the absolute best pre workout for men and women. Don’t fall for flashy marketing hype and misinformation; Caffeine, DMAA & DMHA actually reduce blood flow. Find yourself mentally energized & esp focused with natural ingredients like huperzine a, taurine and l tyrosine; No heavily caffeinated powder or energy drink compares
  • ULTIMATE NITRIC OXIDE BOOSTING POWERHOUSE – With 6 Grams of l citrulline malate (6x the competition), beta alanine and ATP all brought together, you’re ensured rapid NO elevation; Go into full muscle pump mode where you can expect more endurance & faster recovery
  • NATURALLY SWEETENED WITHOUT THE JUNK – Genius Pre is 100% naturally flavored and sweetened with organic, vegan friendly stevia; Our formula is certified for sport and 3rd party tested for purity and potency

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.


  • Stimulant free.
  • 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.

Cellucor C4 Original Pre-Workout Powder

C4 Original Pre Workout Powder ICY Blue Razz - Vitamin C for Immune Support - Sugar Free Preworkout Energy for Men & Women - 150mg Caffeine Plus Beta Alanine Plus Creatine - 30 Servings
  • BUILD MUSCLE & STRENGTH - Formulated with a super creatine compound to support strength and performance. Whether you're just starting your fitness journey or you're striving for a new goal, C4 will help unlock your full potential
  • INCREASE REP COUNT - C4 pre workout for women and men is formulated with CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, a premium clinically studied beta-alanine, which has been studied to support muscular endurance and fight fatigue and may cause a harmless tingling sensation
  • MORE CAFFEINE, PLEASE - Formulated with a patented and clinically studied compound that may help the body prolong its caffeine tolerance buildup. Take 1 serving of sugar free pre workout mixed with 6 fl. oz of water 20-30 minutes before training
  • DELICIOUS FLAVORS UNLIKE ANYTHING ON THE MARKET - Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch, Icy Blue Razz, Orange Burst, Strawberry Margarita, Juicy Candy Burst, Watermelon, and Pink Lemonade

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

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.

PureWOD Pre-Workout

pureWOD PRE - Naturally Formulated Pre Workout Supplement, Natural Light Taste, Smooth Clean Energy, Paleo and Vegan Approved
  • Powerful pre-workout formula proven by research to increase energy, maintain hydration, and prevent fatigue.
  • No artificial chemicals, sweeteners, flavors, colors, dyes, fillers, or binding agents of any kind.
  • Vegan and Paleo approved supplement with a clean, light, natural taste.
  • No proprietary blends. Every ingredient is detailed accurately with complete transparency.
  • Effective ingredient dosing. Each ingredient used is at a level that actually effects your performance, meaning you get what you pay for.

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.
  • Includes Muscle Building BCAAs.
  • Vegan, Paleo and all natural pre-workout.


  • Packaged in an awkward zip lock bag that is hard to dose and seal.


Strong and natural strength increasing pre-workout.

PALEOETHICS Vegan High Performance Recovery

PALEOETHICS Vegan Recovery Matrix High Performance Nighttime Tea
  • RECOVER QUICKER - Naturally enhance your muscle recovery. Because your body heals while you sleep, taking Vegan Recovery Matrix can help you feel better following your workout which means you can optimize your performance in and out of the gym.
  • IMPROVED SLEEP - Natural peppermint and chai flavors induces a calming affect on your body. Recovery Matrix tea blend contains zinc and magnesium which helps you transition into REM sleep easier which improves the quality of your rest.
  • Official Sports Nutrition Sponsor of the CrossFit Games
  • USE AT ANY TIME - Vegan Recovery Matrix blend can be used both during the day and at night.
  • VEGAN - Vegan Recovery Matrix is compatible with a vegan paleo diet!

Review: This recovery protein tea is made by Paleoethics, sponsor of the 2018 CrossFit games. The tea contains Magnesium and zinc to promote restful sleep for better nighttime recover.

A dash of pea protein assists in muscle repair and with just 15 calories per serving, you can enjoy this hot beverage anytime.



  • The pea protein may settle out.


Calming recovery tea is great as a bedtime beverage.

FNX Recharge Pre-Workout

FNX Recharge PreWorkout Nitric Oxide Booster (Strawberry Lemonade)
  • Increased workout duration
  • Increased time to exhaustion
  • Increased peak strength
  • Increased exercise capacity

Review: FNX has powerful energy producing, nootropic and focus boosting compounds to make every session your best yet.

L-dopa increases dopamine and motivation. Beta Alanine increases power output and you will notice you can lift heavier with less muscle fatigue.

The three mushroom complex in FNX are unique to this pre-workout and they help your mind make new connections to strengthen the mind-muscle connection.


  • Mood elevating L-Theanine and L-Dopa.
  • Energy producing green tea and Yerba Mate.
  • Nootropic Mushroom complex helps build mind-muscle connection.


  • Contains sucralose.


Contains several good supplements for CrossFit training, especially days when lifting is involved.

As we enter into the CrossFit Games Qualifications, why don’t you pick up some of the best pre-workout for CrossFit as you get into the games.

Do you have your own favorite pre-workout? We would love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below what you drink before your workout.

Help me out. I want to write an article about the best pre-workout meal for CrossFit. If you have any ideas, or a favorite preWOD meal write me in the comments section.

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