Quick Links to Info on this Page
- 1 Pre Workout Supplement Without Creatine – Why/Why not?
- 2 The Top 3 Pre Workout Supplements Without Creatine
- 3 #3 – Jack3D Micro Pre Workout
- 4 #2 – Controlled Labs White Flood Pre Workout
- 5 #1 – Neon Sport Volt Pre Workout
- 6 Bonus gym fails!
2015 will forever be known as the year of the fitness model. There are so many people with really low body fat percentages today that visible abs are almost the rule rather than the exception. With all these amazing bodies in our faces all the time everybody now wants to be one of these beautiful people. Don’t get me wrong, I think that pretty much everyone is a beautiful person INSIDE but the criteria and almost the new standard for what defines a beautiful outside now includes a chiseled body; the type that would previously belong to elite gymnasts and the like. The average Joe like myself (and pretty much everyone) has to work/study/have a life outside the gym and so cannot devote the time to training and diet that is required to maintain this type of body and this can be quite disheartening. The good news though is thanks to science we now have all sorts of tools such as pre workout drinks that can make achieving and maintaining a finely sculpted body easier than it ever has been. So where does Creatine fit in to all this, what are the best pre workout supplements without Creatine and why would I want a Creatine free pre workout anyway? These questions and many more will be answered below. There are so many supplements on the market now that pre workout supplements without Creatine are becoming an increasingly popular category of their own and the best ones are listed below.
Pre Workout Supplement Without Creatine – Why/Why not?
To understand this, we first need to know what role Creatine plays in our body, what the effects of Creatine supplementation are and why anyone would want to take a Creatine supplement in the first place.
Why Take a Creatine Supplement?
The main reason for taking a creatine supplement is to increase the energy available to our muscles during a workout where the primary objective is to work the muscles to failure in order to tear the fibres so they grow back larger hence making you stronger. Phew, that was a mouthful! For a more detailed explanation of how creatine does this read the next paragraph. If this will put you to sleep I suggest you skip it and move on.
Creatine phosphate turns ADP (adenosine diphosphate) into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is what the cells in our muscles use for energy. When we’re working out our muscles are constantly contracting and when our muscles are contracting they are losing phosphate molecules hence turning ATP (adenosine triphosphate) into ADP (adenosine diphosphate). The using up of this phosphate molecule is key to the process by which the muscles contract and the adenosine needs two phosphate molecules so ADP cannot be used to contract the muscles, only ATP. The thing is that there is only a limited amount of ATP available and once this is used we are fatigued and worn out. This is where the Creatine comes in. Creatine exists in our muslces as Creatine phosphate and the ADP left over from the muscle contraction can easily use a phosphate molecule from the Creatine phosphate hence enabling us more to perform more muscle contractions at a higher intensity before we become fatigued. There is only so much creatine we can hold in our body so unfortunately there is still a finite amount of energy available but by supplementing with creatine we are maximizing the amount of ATP available for our muscles. This is mainly for our type 2 muscle fibers by the way. (the ones we use for explosive high energy movements like lifting heavy weights)
Why Not Take a Creatine Supplement?
Apart from the muscle boosting effects described above, Creatine supplementation causes a few other things to happen in our bodies. For many people, these secondary effects contradict their training goals. Let’s just quickly explore the other effects Creatine can have on our bodies.
Side effects of Creatine Supplements
There aren’t really any side effects of Creatine supplementation that are harmful to your health, but a couple of the secondary effects of taking Creatine may conflict with your exercise goals. These effects are weight gain and muscles that look less defined. Both of these have to do with the fact that Creatine is rather hygroscopic. This means that it attracts and hold water. So the net effect is that muscles with elevated Creatine levels draw in and hold more water than muscles with normal Creatine levels. How much, you ask? Research states that in the first few days of taking it, about 70% of people put on about 0.8 to 3.0 % of their body weight in extra water. So for someone that weighs 150 lbs, that is potentially an extra 4.5 lbs registering on the scales. This water is held in the muscles so it has the often undesired effect of making muscles look less defined. This is often described as softer or mushy looking muscles.
Where Do Pre Workout Drinks Come Into It?
So considering the effects described above, there are many reasons why one would want to either include or not include Creatine in their supplementation routine. Traditionally almost all pre workouts contained Creatine in varying amounts but with the increased range available these days there is an increasingly large selection of pre workout drinks without Creatine available. The top 3 are listed below
The Top 3 Pre Workout Supplements Without Creatine
The top 3 pre workout supplements without Creatine (in this author’s humble opinion) are listed below. For legal reasons I must say that while I claim to know a lot about fitness and supplementation I am not a doctor and am not qualified to give medical advice so make sure you discuss your individual circumstances with your doctor. These top 3 pre workouts are my opinion only.
#3 – Jack3D Micro Pre Workout
This is a serious pre workout supplement. USPLabs are well known for their super strong powerful products and Jack3D Micro is no exception. While the ingredient that got the original Jack3D banned, DMAA (1,3 dimethylamylamine) is no longer in the formula of any USPLabs pre workout products you would be right to assume that they have not just replaced it with candy water. This high intensity fat burning pre workout will get you out of bed and off to the gym in no time. By all accounts it tastes good too.
Looking at the ingredients in the “eNOS Super Performance System” one would expect one hell of a vein busting pump. The L-Citrulline, Arginine Nitrate and Agmatine Sulfate work together to deliver a more intense and longer lasting pump. The Arginine is a slower acting NO booster which not only provides more NO towards the end of your workout but also enhances the effectiveness of the L-Citrulline. The Agmatine Sulfate also enhances the other two pump producing ingredients and another beneficial effect it has is to increase the amount of hormones that boost testosterone levels. You will find at least one of these three in most pre workouts but when combined and with the grapoe seed extract thrown in these ingredients cause super vasodilation which results in more blood to your muscles in less time which is what you want when you’re training your body hard.
Onto the stimulant blend – it’s not quite DMAA but it’s very very close. There is enough caffeine in there to do its job but not so much to make you jittery. (Pro tip: The amount is not listed but you can tell how much there is by the amount of water they recommend mixing with it – the more water the more caffeine.) If caffeine is not your thing then you may want to try a caffeine free pre workout. The “Norcoline” (also known as higenamine) is basically the replacement for DMAA. It is a compound that occurs naturally in a bunch of plants and is a very effective promoter of lipolysis. I think the 3,4-Dihydroxycinnamic Acid is a bit of a trick to make it seem like it is related to the original DMAA (1,3 dimethylamylamine) but actually it isn’t; it is Caffeic Acid. This is an effective antioxidant that increases the effectiveness of the other ingredients and helps to prolong fatigue.
#2 – Controlled Labs White Flood Pre Workout
This product is not that well known but would have to be one of the best Creatine free pre workout supplements available on the market. It is not only one of the best Creatine free pre workouts but it’s also up there as one of the top pre workout supplements in its own right. Many bodybuilders actually take this supplement and stack it with a pure Creatine supplement to get the best of both worlds. Controlled Labs have released another pre workout in this range called White Rapids but it is still possible to get the original White Flood and if you can I recommend getting as much of it as you can.
A look at the ingredients of White Flood reveals a blood flow enhancing formula that is sure to assault your arteries and pump those veins like never before. Individually the components of the ‘EnduroPump Complex’ are bound to provoke a massive pump but the synergistic effect when these substances are combined is reported to be out of this world – hence the popularity of this supplement with body builders. As well as this the ‘Reborneuro Complex’ is a strong enough stimulant mixture with enough caffeine and nootropics to give you an adequate amount of focus and energy without any jittery or nervous energy. This ‘clean’ energy is another reason that bodybuilders love it. You will notice the difference in energy and focus if you usually use pre workouts with central nervous system stimulants. You can thank me later.
#1 – Neon Sport Volt Pre Workout
On a scale of 0-10 in terms of energy, Neon Sport Volt pre workout sits at about 11. It is up there with the strongest supplements on the market. Most pre workout drinks with a stimulant blend this strong are fairly serious in terms of performance so they also contain a solid amount of Creatine. It is relatively rare to find a pre workout drink this strong that doesn’t contain any Creatine and this is the main thing that sets this formula apart. That and the big bird yellow packaging!
As pointed out above, this product contains a decidedly decent dose of energy. The caffeine needs no explanation, but the rest of the ‘Electric Energy Blend’ is worth discussing. The combination of the root extracts, olive leaf extract and NADH (a more useful form of vitamin B3) is reported to have powerful nootropic effects. Nootropics are becoming increasingly popular in pre workout supplements and for good reason – they provide extra energy, focus and motivation that help many people get through those crucial few extra reps or miles.
In addition to this the Neon Volt Pre Workout also contains higher levels of Beta Alanine than most other products, so if you like to tingle then this is for you! Of course there are also pump enhancing ingredients in the form of L-Citrulline and Agmatine Sulfate. In my opinion this is by far the strongest pre workout without Creatine that you will find, and is well worth a try.
These are my top 3 pre workout supplements without Creatine for 2015 – do you agree? Feel free to weigh in with your opinion in the comments. If you found this article interesting, you may also like this post: The Best Pre Workout For Women 2015 – Top 5 Supplements for Females
Bonus gym fails!
photo credits: 114-1 via photopin (license) FS-29 via photopin (license)Feel it! via photopin (license)
Hi Brad This type of exercise is really good as I have friends who do similar programs. You see I followed a few similar ones on youtube. especially crossfire and I just started that to get fit. The problem which you helped me work out in your article is the protein aspect to really get ripped, that is something I don’t really know and would love to learn in the future to help my training.
Thanks for your comments. This site is mainly focused on the best pre workout supplements but I will be writing a post on protein soon so be sure to check back for an update.
You give some good reason why you shouldn’t have creatine in your pre workout supplements. Like muscles that are not defined, and weight gain are to big reasons for me not to take creatine.
You give a nice list of supplements that doesn’t have creatine in them.
Do the pre workout supplements without creatine work good on people over 60, or are they more for younger people?
I’m glad you got something from the article. It really depends on your fitness goals but I would personally recommend using Creatine if you are over 60 due to the way it enhances recovery of muscles.
The year 2015 has indeed been the year of six-packs it seems to me too! It does give me an extra bit of motivation to get the set I had back again and visible, so maybe not a bad thing!
Thanks for the build up and explanation of Creatine and why or why not we may want to use in our exercise program. I had not read such a detailed and simple to understand explanation until I read this…
The reasons not to use products containing Creatine are not of such severity for me to consider replacing the pre-workout. That said, I am intereted in trying new products that may also work for me, and if they do not have Creatine, no matter. Now I have some ideas on what to try…Appreciate that, thanks!
Thanks Dave, you’re welcome. Happy shredding!
Creatine is creatine. Just try to find the one that works best with your body. There are so many expensive creatine products sold in supplement shops – all you really need is creatine monohydrate and I recommend the Dr Max Powers Creatine Pills (even though they have 3 types of creatine). I’ve seen better results with the Dr Max Powers Creatine vs. the Optimum Nutrition creatine. I’ve seen an increase in strength and size as well but make sure you are careful. Always stay hydrated.
I also don’t do the loading cycles as well because I’ve seen results without it.
Thanks for your input Mark! I agree – you don’t need to worry about cycling Creatine. Due to the way it works in the body developing a tolerance to it will never be an issue. You also make another very good point, hydration is indeed important. I welcome any other comments you have!
Hey there it’s Alexey! Awesome post, awesome pics and video at the end 🙂
I really liked it because I a an athlete myself, hit the gym 4 times a week, and often times hear about creatine everywhere. You post gave some really good supps without it, that we can use – and thank you for that!
I will look into them
Hi Alexey, glad you liked it. Happy training!
I still only use the Dr Max Powers Creatine Pills – I have tried all of them, and the Dr max was the first one I tried – and I went back to ut cause it is really great. i was recommended to try this by a personal trainer, as I previously haven’t taken any supplements while training and I wanted to see what difference adding a few would make. After the first week or so, I notice that I could handle more weight than normally in my exercises.