Best Pre Workout Supplements for Crossfit

By | September 19, 2015

Crossfit was once seen as a trend that would be short lived and die out quickly like so many others. Athletes, body builders and fitness models etc were very quick to dismiss it and also very critical. However the Crossfit movement has gained a lot of momentum and what was once seen as a trend has now established itself as a legitimate form of best preworkout for crossfitexercise. In fact it has gained so much authority that it now sits alongside ‘weights’ and ‘cardio’ as one of the major exercise categories, and has gained so much popularity that it is now a serious competitive sport and I expect we will soon see it in the Olympics. Whether to beat themselves or their competition, many people want to boost their performance. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by taking a pre workout supplement. Taking the right pre workout before a WOD will definitely increase your chances of recording a new personal best. Some people say that using a pre workout and doing Crossfit is a bad idea. This is true if you use the wrong pre workout and this will be discussed below but if you use the right one then there is absolutely no reason not to. It is not easy to say what the best pre workout for Crossfit is as it depends on many individual factors but the ones listed below are definitely the top performers and cover the full spectrum for anyone looking to increase their Crossfit performance.

Should I Take a Pre Workout for Crossfit?

crossfit preworkoutThe things to consider when deciding whether to take a pre workout are the same for Crossfit as they are for other forms of working out. You have to ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Specifically, do you want to run faster? Want to lift heavier? Want to jump higher? Want to perform more repetitions? It is likely that you will want all of these things. If this is the case then the right pre workout supplement will definitely help you.

When is Your WOD?

There are a few practical things you will need to consider too. One of these is the time of day that you work out. If you work out in the morning it doesn’t matter but if you work out in the evening you have to be careful which supplement you use. This is because if you take a strong pre workout supplement in the evening then there is a good chance you will have difficulty getting to sleep. It is not unheard of for people who are not accustomed to the effects of pre workout supplements to take some in the evening and be kept up for many hours after they would usually go to bed. If you are a coffee drinker this will be less of an issue. Crossfit pre workout supplements should have a low stimulant component anyway which we’ll talk about now.

Take it Easy With the Stimulants!

crossfit pre workoutMany pre workout formulas contain central nervous system stimulants. These components are responsible for the jittery nervous energy that many people associate with products like this. The energy and motivation that this brings is in most cases very beneficial and in line with most people’s exercise goals but due to the high intensity nature of Crossfit this is less desirable. This is because of the way that the central nervous system stimulants in many pre workouts raise the heart rate. This is before even doing any sort of exercise and when this is coupled with a very high intensity activity such as a Crossfit workout then the heart rate can reach dangerous levels and take much longer to come back down. Not only is this dangerous but it is also counterproductive as once your heart rate gets too high it is hard to recover and your endurance is greatly reduced.

Boost Your Performance With the Right Supplements

For this reason above the best pre workouts for Crossfit are the ones that do not affect the heart rate too much. The desired effects from a Crossfit pre workout supplement are more like increased vO2 max, increased blood flow and increased muscular and aerobic endurance. There are not that many pre workouts in this category at the moment but their use is becoming more popular and so the range is increasing all the time. The top pre workouts (in my opinion)  that provide these benefits at this point in time are listed below.


Best Pre Workout Supplements for Crossfit

I need to note (for legal reasons) that I am not a doctor and am not qualified to give medical advice. The information below is based on my opinion. For health advice relating to your circumstances you should speak to your doctor.


Number 4 – Cellucor C4 Extreme

Cellucor C4 extreme pre workoutCellucor’s C4 Extreme is one of if not the most popular pre workout supplements available today. This is a great product but it does have a stimulant component so I would advise only taking half a serve if you are sensitive to caffeine or if you are taking it in the evening. This is a proven performer and you may well already be familiar with it but if you’re not then it can be summed up as a great all round pre workout that boosts energy, motivation, blood flow and endurance. If you’d like to know more I have done a detailed review of it here: Cellucor C4 review

Cellucor C4 Extreme Pre Workout Supplement
One of the best selling pre workout supplements of all time! Try it for yourself and see why!

Number 3 – Controlled Labs Purple Wraath

Best pre workout for Crossfit #3 - Controlled Labs Purple WraathIf you are looking for something to get you through that WOD but don’t want any caffeine then this is a great product to consider. You can read my review of it including details of the formula in the link below but in summary it is a high performing product aimed at assisting with muscle growth and repair but also contains ingredients that will help with both training intensity and endurance. In my opinion all of these things are important when it comes to WOD-killing. It has heaps of amino acids and could definitely help you set a new personal best.

Controlled Labs Purple Wraath Pre Workout Review

Controlled Labs Purple Wraath Pre Workout
"Purple Wraath is a staple for many people. It can be used pre, intra and post workout to help you get the most from your body. See why for yourself!

Number 2 – HIT Supplements Peak Perform

This is a slightly more advanced pre workout and is suitable for someone who has a higher level of fitness and is looking to take their training to the next level. It has a solid formula with solid amounts of proven ingredients that are known to boost performance and endurance. Further information on the formula and composition can be seen in my review here: HIT Supplements Peak Perform Review If your body is already performing highly then this product would be suitable to increase your performance, recovery and results.

HIT Supplements Peak Perform Pre Workout
Want more power in the gym? More endurance? Better recovery? Peak perform is said to help with these and many other aspects. Try it for yourself and see why!

Number 1 – Magnum Opus

magnum opus pre workoutIn terms of performance, this product by Magnum Nutraceuticals is at the top end of the market for pre workouts that contain no central nervous stimulants. It does however contain clinical amounts of scientifically proven ingredients that will enable you to push your body beyond what you thought was capable. While it doesn’t have any CNS stimulants for energy, it does have a host of things in the right ratio to give your muscles energy at a cellular level. It also increases blood flow and muscular endurance and has also been shown to increase vO2 max. If you are a high performing athlete then this is the product for you. I could write pages on this product and in fact I have already done so in my review which I think you will find quite useful.
Magnum Opus Pre Workout Review

Magnum Opus Pre Workout Supplement
Magnum Opus is commonly used by bodybuilders and fitness models. Try it for yourself and see why!

Video – What is Crossfit



18 thoughts on “Best Pre Workout Supplements for Crossfit

  1. Bobby

    Great review and a lot of great information on these pre workout drinks. You didn’t mention the taste or the flavors of any of the products. I like cellucor products because they consistently taste great. How do some of the others taste and do you have any flavors that you really like or dislike?

    1. Brad Post author

      Hi Bobby, thanks for pointing that out! I like the Hit supplements take on strawberry lemonade, it’s nicer than their other flavors. the Purple Wraath has a nice grape flavor (I’m a sucker for grape so that’s the only one I’ve tried) and the Magnum products aren’t as good as Cellucor but I find the cellular punch flavor to be pretty good.

  2. Kush1000

    Hey! Great post you have created here.
    I like the whole post but the I like the third picture the most LOL. Nice nice nice…and nice again:)
    I’m sure many people will find this article useful and interesting as I did.
    Thanks for sharing this and have a great day!
    Cheers and good luck

  3. Allen (Al) Williams

    Brad this a great article with lots of useful information. You definitely know what you talking about.

    Before now, I had a vague understanding of Crossfit. Now it’s more complete. With the information you’ve provided, it has me considering joining a Crossfit group.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Keep up the good work!


  4. Get Sport Supplements

    A nice detailed blog covering the all important pre workout supplement. I am a big fan of them along with casein protein at bedtime. For me I’m more into weightlifting but I did do a lot of crossfit last year. Believe me viewers when you do crossfit you need all the energy you can get. If a drink before your workout gives you that boost you need then wants the harm!.

  5. Travis Smithers

    When I read your post, it shows how little I know about the whole fitness world per say. These pre-workout supplements are all products I know nothing about at this time.
    The only name I recognize from the products is the magnum, but again I’m not familiar with the magnum opus.
    I’ve been away from supplements for some time, so I would need to go through your site more to get caught up with today’s products.

    I’ll bookmark your site to learn some more, later.

  6. Michael

    This was an awesome read with loads of great information. I personally have not tried anything that has to with crossfit and I would like that to change. Crossfit seems like a lot of fun. I do try pre workouts since I do like to spend my time in the gym with strength training and I do have to say that C4 is one of my go to pre workouts. It gives me great focus and muscular endurance. Now if someone was on a budget what would you recommend for them? Some of the pre workout supplements can get real costly if you’re using them a couple times a week. Again fantastic article and hope you have a great one! 🙂

    1. Brad Post author

      Thanks Michael. If you’re on a budget I think C4 provides great value for money

  7. Abod

    Great Review, Well explained and so much informative, I have used C4 pre-workout before and really liked it because of it’s taste was perfect and also gave me alot of energy, next I tried Code 3 pre-workout, the taste was cool but i didn’t feel any energy, it was just a waste of money.
    I really wanna try Peak perform but what do personally think of it’s taste? yay or nay?

    1. Brad Post author

      Hello Abod, personally I think Peak Perform tastes ok. I’ve only tried the non-stim strawberry lemonade but I thought it tasted great. Happy training!

  8. Michelle

    Hi Brad! Thanks for the great review. Previously, the only two pre workouts I have tried and liked are ACG3 Supercharged (really loved it – no complaints), and Cardio Cuts, which was pretty good as well. I am relatively new to Crossfit (started in April) but have been doing ‘boot camp’ style training for years now. I typically work out after a long day at the office and before dinner… I have read that ACG3 Supercharged has a lot of caffeine and stimulants, so while I would love to re-order that, I feel like maybe I should go a different direction. ?? (or should I stick with what I know and love?) Given that I liked the results of that one the most, which of the above 4 would you suggest or think I’d like the results of the most? I appreciate your help — supplements aren’t cheap so I’d like to get it right!!

    1. Brad Post author

      Hi Michelle,
      If you have been using ACG3 and cardio cuts that late in the day and have no issue eating or sleeping then you might want to stick with one of these, as I’m sure you would agree that the extra energy hit after a long day of workout can sometimes be completely necessary! However if you feel you might want to try a non stim pre workout, there is a lot more information you may find useful in this post:

      It would be great if you let me know what you choose and what you think of it, I’d love to keep up with your progress.

      Happy WODding!

  9. jeffrey16201

    Interesting article on crossfit and pre-workout supplements, lots of great information to help people choose weather to use one of these supplements and how to choose the best one for them.

    Supplements are very beneficial if you use them properly and wisely, many people abuse them and that is why they get into trouble.

    Just wondering are these supplements addicting?

    1. Brad Post author

      hi Jeffrey, I have not heard anything to suggest that any of these pre workouts are addictive


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