A Guide to Finding the Best Pre-Workout for Women

Find out exactly what you should be looking for when searching for the best pre-workout

Train harder, go further and maximize the potential of your body – all with the perfect pre-workout.

Sounds amazing right? Us lifting girls just want to reach our absolute peak in every workout, and a quality pre-workout can be an excellent way to get the most out of every lift. We’ve just got to find the perfect one.

Sounds simpler than it actually is sometimes girls. You might start your search, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of choice, the countless reviews and the promises of next-level results. But how do you know what’s actually going to work and what will just give you a next-level headache?

It’s information overload out there girls and it’s no wonder many of us just don’t know where to start.

At SMG, we know the struggle. We’re always on the look out for the best pre-workout for women and we’ve gathered all of our experience and expertise to bring you this guide on what you should be looking for as you explore this saturated market.


Best Pre-Workout article preview:

  • Transparency
  • Ingredients
  • Caffeine Dosage
  • Research
  • Quality
  • What pre-workout should you choose?



When you’re putting supplements into your body, the most important thing to think about is transparency. Just like food and medicines, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got the very best products in your blood stream.

Your first step is to look at the ingredients label. Fair enough, you’re probably no chemist and neither are we, but as you read, look out for ‘proprietary blend’. This is when a manufacturer groups a number of different ingredients together in order to sell it as a kind of ‘secret formula’.

The reality is, this secret formula is just a collection of unknown ingredients. At SMG, when we see proprietary blends on a label, our first thought is ‘what’s in this supplement?’.

Girls, transparency and honesty is often a far better policy. Our bodies are finely tuned, fitness machines and the thought of putting some unknown, mystery ingredient into our bodies just doesn’t feel right.

On top of not knowing what it is, you also don’t know how much is going in, or how effective it is. The more questions we have about the ingredients, the less confident we feel about it. It’s a hard no on mystery and secrets when it comes to pre-workout composition.

A good pre-workout will have all of their ingredients out in the open and should provide reasons on why they’ve chosen them.

Key point: Avoid mystery ingredients and proprietary blends



When looking over the ingredients label, you should keep an eye out for natural products. The world is full of naturally-occurring nutrients, designed by mother nature to help you smash your workouts. Well, she might not have designed them for that specific reason, but they really do work either way.

To put it simply, your body isn’t designed to process synthetic chemicals. Instead, it will more readily absorb natural products that won’t clog up your system. You’ll be surprised at how much more alert and fresh you’ll feel with a natural option.

If you’re looking at the list of ingredients and the names are just strings of numbers and letters, it’s probably fake stuff.  Watch out for these, you could just be jamming up your body with synthetic crap.

To give you an idea of what a quality, all-natural pre-workout should contain, here are a few ingredient examples:


Caffeine and L-Theanine: Caffeine alone is a great way to improve energy levels and boost performance, but the addition of L-Theanine (an amino acid found in tea leaves) takes it up a notch. According to the experts, these two ingredients work together in perfect synergy to boost power output and increase mental awareness.


L-Citrulline Dl-Malate: Extracted from watermelons, this can help you dilate the blood vessels, pumping up your muscles and delivering more oxygen to key areas for a longer workout.


Rhodiola Rosea: Traditionally used in Chinese medicine, this Scandinavian herb combats bad moods and even fatigue. So, your mood will be boosted and you’ll be motivated to smash your workout.

Key point: Stay away from synthetic ingredients and go for natural products


coffee beans pouring out of a cup

Caffeine dosages

Energy is key to getting the most out of your workout, and caffeine is a great way to power-up beforehand.

However, some products take it too far and pump their supplements full of the stuff, leaving you with shaky hands, a headache and sometimes an intense crash. Too much caffeine has even been linked to insomnia [1] and anxiety [2].

You don’t need hundreds of grams of the stuff for incredible results. Instead, it should be just enough for a sweet energy boost and improved focus. Look for a product that keeps caffeine carefully regulated, so you don’t feel the negative side effects of too much.

Key point: You don’t need loads of caffeine for an effective workout



After you’ve found the supplements with ‘real’ ingredients, you need to find out why they’ve been used. You don’t want to spend your hard earned money on filler ingredients, so head to the manufacturer’s website for more info.

Ideally, you should be looking for some science behind their decisions. Are they backing up their claims with studies and research or are they just putting it in there because most pre-workouts do?

Look out for the product that’s tried and tested, backed up by real science and heavily researched. Anything less than that is probably developed by a part-timer who’s looking to cash in on your fitness journey, and that’s not cool girls. We’re looking for experts only.



When it comes to a high-quality product, there are a few ways to tell the good stuff, from the shelf fillers. A quick and easy way is to look out for certifications.

 FDA approved: This means the U.S Food and Drug Administration has reviewed and tested the product to confirm that the benefits of it outweigh the risks of the items planned use.

cGMP certified: This notifies the purchaser that the product is created in a safe, controlled environment

With these certifications to their name, you can rest assured you’re looking at a product that’s made it through a rigorous quality examination.


What pre-workout should you choose?

To help you find something that ticks all the boxes, we’ve gone out into the busy world of supplements to find you the perfect product. There are lots out there girls, but we’ve analyzed them all and found one that ticks all the right boxes.

4 Gauge is an all-natural, effective pre-workout complete with high-quality ingredients and certified production processes.

two bottles of 4 Guage pre-workout

Sounds almost too good to be true right?

Well luckily this is the real deal and it provides amazing results so you can slay that workout.

It’s got all the right ingredients, the science and research behind the formula is solid. Every part of it has been carefully selected for an effective, powerful workout. Even the sweeteners in the delicious Fruit Blast flavoring are completely natural.

It’s made up of just eight ingredients and the creators over at Roar Ambition are proud to showcase each of them. They also justify how they all contribute to creating this powerhouse pre-workout.

Although it seems to tick all the boxes on the outside, we want to know if it performs. We ordered some and put it to the test.


Here are our main takeaways:

  • A clean, powerful boost – We took 4 Gauge before a work out and we experienced a controlled, clean energy boost that got us through an intense session. The lower caffeine content meant there weren’t any jitters or a nasty crash afterward – we just felt powerful and focused.
  • Motivation was improved – whenever we felt like we weren’t in the mood or felt like giving the gym a miss, we took 4 Gauge. Immediately our mood would improve and we were excited to hit the squat rack again.
  • Felt stronger – That L-Citrulline Dl-Malate works like a dream, because we felt incredible muscle pumps which helped us feel stronger and more capable when we were lifting weights.
  • Trained harder – with 4 Gauge, it felt like our fitness goals were that far off. We managed to smash some incredible workouts, stuck to our program more rigidly and worked harder than ever before.


Overall, we found 4 Gauge to be the safest and most effective pre-workout we’ve tried so far. When it comes to results, we wouldn’t look elsewhere. It did everything it said it would on the tin and we were impressed.

Find more fitness and nutrition tips and advice in these articles from SMG:



[1] Watson, E., Coates, A., Kohler, M. and Banks, S. (2016). Caffeine Consumption and Sleep Quality in Australian Adults.

[2] Winston, A., Hardwick, E., & Jaberi, N. (2005). Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(6), 432-439. doi:10.1192/apt.11.6.432

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