Rankings

The Top Pre Workouts without Creatine in 2018: Our Tested No B.S. Reviews

By October 23, 2018 March 25th, 2019 No Comments
Best Creatine Free Pre-Workouts

While many fitness enthusiasts take creatine regularly and swear by the results, not all supplements are a good fit for everyone.  Despite this substance’s popularity, there are creatine-free pre-workout options if you decide to go that route.  Fitness Informant is here to provide you the best options available on the market.

The following products on our top creatine-free pre-workout rankings list were used by the author of this article. 

He used each of these pre-workout supplements through the duration of a full container. Sample packs were not used in determining the rankings.

Stop relying on faulty information that is influenced by outside writers and money. This zero creatine pre-workout list is the real deal.

Here at Fitness Informant, we don’t steer you wrong. If you're looking for a creatine free pre-workout option that you can trust, look no further than our top 5 picks below.


A Comparison of Creatine-Less Pre-Workouts

OUR #1 RATED

NTel Nutra Arez

NTel Nutra Arez
God of the Gym

Our Top Pick For:


  • Overall Best Creatine-Free Pre-Workout

8.8 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

OUR #2 RATED

Sparta Kraken Reformulated Version

Sparta Nutrition Kraken

Our Top Pick For:


  • Pump

8.7 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

OUR #3 RATED

VMI Sports K-XR bottle

VMI Sports K-XR

Our Top Pick For:


  • Taste

8.7 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

OUR #4 RATED

clinical labs galvenize

Clinical Labs Galvanize

Our Top Pick For:


  • Hard Hitting Energy

8.5 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

OUR #5 RATED

REPP Sports Reactr bottle

Repp Sports
Reactr

Our Top Pick For:


  • Value

8.5 out of 10

in the Pre-Workout Category

PRODUCT

DETAILS

OUR RATING

NTel Nutra Arez

NTel Nutra Arez
God of the Gym

Our Top Pick For:


  • Overall Best Creatine-Free Pre-Workout

Highlights:


  • 0g Creatine
  • 300mg Caffeine
  • 5mg Grains of Paradise
  • 300mg Lotus Leaf Extract
Fitness Informant Logo

Our #1 Rated

8.8 out of 10

in the Pre-Workouts Category

Sparta Kraken Reformulated Version

Sparta Nutrition
Kraken

Our Top Pick For:


  • Pump

Highlights:


  • 0g Creatine
  • 300mg Vaso6
  • 2g HydroMax
  • 15mg Cocoabuterol
Fitness Informant Logo

Our #2 Rated

8.7 out of 10

in the Pre-Workouts Category

Our Top Pick For:


  • Taste

Highlights:


  • 0g Creatine
  • 3.3g Pump Blend
  • 632.5mg Energy Blend
  • 53mg Focus Blend
Fitness Informant Logo

Our #3 Rated

8.7 out of 10

in the Pre-Workouts Category

clinical labs galvenize

Clinical Labs Galvanize

Our Top Pick For:


  • Hard Hitting Energy

Highlights:


  • 0g Creatine
  • 200mg DMHA
  • 300mg Caffeine
  • 1,500mg Nitrosigine
Fitness Informant Logo

Our #4 Rated

8.5 out of 10

in the Pre-Workouts Category

REPP Sports Reactr bottle

Repp Sports
Reactr

Our Top Pick For:


  • Value

Highlights:


  • 0g Creatine
  • 322mg Energy Blend
  • 555g Focus Blend
  • Pump/Strength Blend
Fitness Informant Logo

Our #5 Rated

8.5 out of 10

in the Pre-Workouts Category



What is Creatine?

Whether your medicine cabinet is full of dozens of the latest workout supplements or you’re just starting your journey to better health at the gym, you’ve likely heard about or even been recommended the popular supplement creatine. You ingest natural creatine with seafood and red meat, but people who want more of it take it in powder or pill form. It has a number of different functions in the body, but athletes and exercise enthusiasts use creatine to boost their performance and increase muscle mass.

Creatine is one of the most studied and researched amino acids on the planet, with hundreds of scientific studies exploring the potential benefits of daily supplementation for all types of people. Touted as a substance that provides extra energy with low risk and few side effects, it’s become an increasingly popular choice among gym goers, professional athletes, and those looking for extra energy to navigate their day.

When choosing to take any supplement, it’s important to be able to make a fully informed decision on whether or not it is right for you. In its most basic form, creatine is often purchased in powder form and then mixed with either water or milk in hopes of getting an energy boost in the gym, during a run, or even just going through a typical day.

While many fitness enthusiasts take creatine regularly and swear by the results, not all supplements are a good fit for everyone. Despite this substance’s popularity, there are creatine-free pre-workout options if you decide to go that route.

As with most fitness and supplement recommendations, you should never simply follow the common mainstream advice without first doing your research and determining if a particular supplement fits nicely with your goals and body composition. Fortunately, if you do decide to invest in a pre-workout supplement, there are plenty of creatine-free options available for you to choose from.


Our Testing Process

We examined five different areas of each pre-workout supplement when we compiled our rankings:

  1. Ingredients Profile
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Taste
  4. Mixability
  5. Value

preworkout powder in bottleIngredients Profile

When we review each pre-workout supplement on their ingredient profile, we look at the ingredients used and the dosage they are being used at.

Many pre-workouts include a variety of beneficial ingredients, but under dose them proving to be non-effective. This section also looks at how many of the sub-categories are being hit (energy, focus, strength and pump).

Effectiveness

Effectiveness is an extension of ingredient profile. If the product uses proven ingredients at clinically suggested dosages, then typically the product should be effective.

Everyone is different. Everyone takes to different ingredients differently at varying dosages. We have tried and tested each of these products throughout the full duration of their container to ensure these products are effective over their life.

Taste

We review taste on two different components. First, how close does the pre-workout taste to the actual name printed on the label. For example, does Blue Raz actually taste like blue raspberry. Second, we review it on overall taste (in our opinion) versus others in the same flavor category.

Mixability

Mixability refers to how well does the product mix in 8-12oz of water. The testing process for a pre workout drink we use here is a generic Blender Bottle with the chrome spiral ball. We use regular tap water with no ice.

Value

Value is a combination of ingredient profile, effectiveness, taste, mixability and cost. We do not just look at the price tag like a lot of others do. If a product is priced at a premium, we inform you if it is worth the premium price or not based on all the categories. We look at the overall picture of the pre-workout supplement, and how it compares to other pre-workout supplements on the market.

Click here to see our list of top pre-workout supplements overall.

Why We Test Like This

In an industry with so many players and choices choosing the right supplement for you can be difficult. The pre-workout category is no different. Pre-workouts are a staple supplement for many brands.

Many new start-up brands start with them because it is easy to copy other’s formulas and slap a label on a container and call it your own.

All of this for a minimal investment.

We’ve all read the hype about pre-workout supplements. The bark is way louder than their bite. Cool marketing slogans and product package designs make it difficult to select one that is correct for you. This is especially true if you’re just starting out in the game. We test so you know what’s legitimate and what is not.


2018 Pre-Workout Rankings with Zero Creatine: Our Top Rated Picks

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, here’s who topped our list of the 5 best creatine-free pre-workout supplements of 2018:

  1. NTel Nutra Arez The God of the Gym
  2. Sparta Nutrition Kraken
  3. VMI Sports K-XR
  4. Clinical Labs Galvanize
  5. REPP Sports Reactr

#1 NTel Nutra Arez God of the Gym

8.8 out of 10

NTel Nutra Arez

The Highlights:

  • Fully transparent label
  • Effective dosages
  • 300mg Caffeine for great energy
  • Numerous stims to contribute to energy
  • Top of the line workouts
  • plus
    Unique combo of proven ingredients

Arez God of the Gym by NTel Nutra is our #1 rated pre-workout without creatine. Creatine free pre-workouts are important to people, but what is also important is finding one that kicks major ass in the gym for you. This product from NTel Nutra is our #1 rated pre-workout overall.

While most pre-workouts are a variation of something already on the market, Arez God of the Gym is completely different. We have not seen a formula like this out there yet. It is interesting, unique, but most importantly, it works. For energy, you get the nice combination of 300mg Caffeine mixed with several stems including Lotus Leaf Extract and Grains of Paradise, again, without the added creatine that you are trying to avoid.

You get more than just a stim high, you also get 4.3g of pure Citrulline (pump), 100mg of Alpha GPC (focus) and Chinese Skullcap (mood/memory). We’re not the only ones on the internet who thinks this is the #1 rated pre-workout. NTel did something special with this pre-workout and it has to be good to beat out #5-#2 on this creatine free pre-workout list.

Who Makes It?

NTel Nutra makes several different supplements, but their Arez series is by far their most popular. Each supplements in the NTel Nutra line up utilizes unique combinations of not-so-common ingredients which makes you believe they take their time to study these ingredients and the synergies between them. We’ve had several NTel products and have liked them all so far.

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 0g Creatine
  • 4.3g L-Citrulline – increases your body nitric oxide production increasing your pump
  • 3.2g  Beta-Alanine – maximizes your strength, power and endurance while fighting fatigue – clinically dosed
  • 1g Betaine – increases endurance and strength output
  • 300mg Lotus Leaf Extract – burns fat and increases energy
  • 200mg Beta Phenylethylamine HCl – happy molecule
  • 300mg Caffeine Anhydrous – you know what this does!
  • 5mg Grains of Paradise – cognitive enhancer – focus fat burner/energy enhancing ingredient
  • 225mcg Rauwolfia Vomitoria Extract – another fat burner/energy enhancer
  • 100mg Alpha GPC – nootropic designed to increase focus
  • 20mg Hordenine HCl  – stimulant to burn fat and increase energy
  • 100mcg L-Huperzine A – cognitive enhancer
  • 200mg Chinese Skullcap – enhances mood, relaxer
  • 50mg N-Methyltyramine HCl – used as a stim to burn fat
  • 185mg Velvet Bean Extract – anti-crash
  • 100mg Rhodiola Rosea – anti-fatigue
NTel Nutra Arez Label

Bottom Line:

Arez God of the Gym is a great creatine free pre-workout designed to improve energy, endurance and focus…with pump to boot. Unique ingredients uniquely combined, without the added creatine, produces one helluva workout that you will love. We’ve had a lot of pre-workout supplements over the years, this one is one of our highest rated in the history of creatine free pre-workouts.

Arez deserves our #1 spot for all these reasons. It hits on profile, effectiveness, flavor, mixability and price, all the while keeping creatine to a big old ZERO. I am not sure why you’re still waiting, run, don’t walk to get your Arez now! Check out our in-depth Arez review here.

90%
Ingredients Profile
90%
Mixability
90%
Effectiveness
90%
Value
80%
Taste
88%
Overall Rating
NTel Nutra Arez


#2 Sparta Nutrition Kraken 

8.7 out of 10

Sparta Kraken Reformulated Version

The Highlights:

  • Combination of HydroMax and Vaso6 provide amazing pumps
  • Replaced DMHA with Caffeine, TeaCrine and stems
  • Clinically dosed Beta Alanine
  • Great flavors
  • Option between 40 and 20-servings

Kraken by Sparta Nutrition has constantly been a creatine free pre-workout that ranks high on a lot of lists. Kraken is ranked so high due to how great this creatine free pre-workout is. The unique combination of other ingredients outside of creatine, makes this an attractable pre-workout without creatine supplement.

Kraken is also, overall, a great pre-workout on top of a best creatine free pre-workout. Packed with pump and energy ingredients. Kraken excels on pump with the addition of Vaso6 and HydroMax (not cheap ingredients). The pump is more than just a look, it actually serves a purpose to repair and rebuild damaged muscle tissue.

Unlike the previous version of Kraken, which was stim heavy with DMHA, this new version only uses 250mg of caffeine. This isn't a bad thing. They add in Cocoabuterol which is a new ingredient designed for weight loss and energy production. You still get great energy on-top-of a creatine free pre-workout supplement.

Who Makes It?

Sparta Nutrition is killing it in the game right now. They have a full conventional line and a keto line. Their products are high quality and great tasting, including this pre-workout supplement without creatine. Sparta keep releasing new products leveraging new ingredients, which propels them into one of the most respectable companies in this industry.

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 0g Creatine
  • 4g L-Citrulline – increases your body nitric oxide production increasing your pump
  • 3.2g  Beta-Alanine – maximizes your strength, power and endurance while fighting fatigue
  • 2g HydroMax – fantastic pump enhancer
  • 1g Taurine – increases muscle strength and endurance
  • 500mg N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – cognitive enhancing ingredient
  • 300mg Vaso6 – increases Nitric Oxide in the body
  • 250mg TeaCrine – increases energy and alertness much like caffeine
  • 250mg Caffeine – increases energy
  • 50mg Theobromine – blood vessel dilator to increase pumps
  • 30mg N-Methyl-Tyramine HCl – burns fats and increases energy
  • 15mg Cocoabuterol -increases energy through fat loss
  • DMHA – insane energy
Kraken V2 Facts

Bottom Line:

An awesome creatine free pre-workout with the epic kick of a pump. That sums it up, no? Kraken is a solid pre-workout without creatine with hard hitting energy, great pumps and is an amazing tasting pre-workout. We were worried when they reformulated, but they nailed this reformulation and made it more "safe" for all.

90%
Ingredients Profile
90%
Mixability
80%
Effectiveness
90%
Value
85%
Taste
87%
Overall Rating
Sparta Kraken Reformulated Version

#3 VMI Sports K-XR

8.7 out of 10

VMI Sports K-XR bottle

The Highlights:

  • Great tasting flavors
  • Awesome mixability
  • 400mg of Caffeine for sustained energy
  • Fantastic focus
  • High quality patent ingredients

K-XR is not only the best tasting pre-workout we've ever tried, it is also a solid option without creatine all around. Obviously you are here for a zero creatine pre, but it is important to know that this is our #1 tasting pre-workout, and one that tops our best of list all around.

Creatine free is important to many people, hence why you are here, but the overall effectiveness of the product should be more important. As we mentioned earlier, K-XR is actually a solid creatine free pre-workout all around. It features three different blends (yes, we wish these were broken out) for Pump, Energy and Focus. K-XR's best feature will be it's energy blend of 632.5mg containing three-stage caffeine.

The label can be intimidating, but know that this product works very nice. It tastes great, is creatine free, hits hard on energy and dials up the focus for your workouts. If creatine free is important and you also want a hard-hitting pre-workout, then K-XR is a solid pre-workout without creatine option.

Who Makes It?


VMI Sports has a lot of experience in this world. Their owners come from a wholesale account. They've seen many products come and go. With this experience, they are able to create great tasting, effective products. We have not had one bad experience with the brand. A creatine free pre-workout option is just another solid to add to the brand.

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 0g Creatine
  • 3,300mg Intense Pump Blend – contains patent CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, L-Taurine and Theobromine to enhance blood flow into your muscles to provide an epic pump
  • 632.5g Maximum Energy Blend – contains 400g of total Caffeine which provides an immediate energy kick, within 15-minutes of taking it and long lasting energy throughout your workout
  • 503mg Focal & Cognitive Enhancing Blend – provides great focus and increased cognitive functions
K-XR Label


Bottom Line:

This is going to be the best tasting creatine free pre-workout you can find. We understand that there is frustration trying to find pre-workouts without creatine, but no need to be frustrated any longer. VMI Sports K-XR will provide you with substantial energy and more.

75%
Ingredients Profile
90%
Mixability
85%
Effectiveness
85%
Value
100%
Taste
87%
Overall Rating
VMI Sports K-XR bottle

#4 Clinical Labs Galvanize

8.5 out of 10

clinical labs galvenize

Galvanize from Clinical Labs is a hard hitting pre-workout powder featuring DMHA, but does not give you the creatine you are NOT looking for. This pre-workout without creatine doesn't need creatine, it hits you with so many other options makes it a top pick for creatine free pre-workout.

Just because you don't get creatine in a pre-workout, doesn't mean your pre-workout should suffer. Galvanize features all five pillars a quality creatine free pre-workout: strength, power, energy, pump and focus.

With each serving size featuring 17.2g, you know you are getting a packed pre-workout without creatine. To many of you looking for a creatine pre-workout, you may only look for the word creatine on the label. However, I urge you to look past that. Galvanize gives you DMHA, Nitrosigine, Caffeine, Theanine, Hordenine, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine and so many other useful ingredients that you will absolutely love this pre-workout. If a hard hitting pre-workout without creatine is your goal, you've just found it.

Who Makes It?

Clinical Labs has spent years perfecting their products. We've had the honor of testing two of them here at Fitness Informant, and both are solid products that are not made cheaply.

A creatine free pre-workout may sound "cheap" but the fact is that creatine is cheap, and it's a cheap way to fill up a product so many manufactures include it. Not Clinical Labs. You get quality supplements at a fair price.

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 0g Creatine
  • 3.2g Beta Alanine - helps with strength and endurance
  • 1.5g Betaine - improves power output
  • 6g L-Citrulline Malate - improves pumps
  • 1.5g Nitrosigine - quality pump activating ingredient
  • 1g Agmatine Sulfate - increases NO production, more pump
  • 200mg L-Norvaline - inhibits the arginase enzyme leaing to more NO production
  • 225mg Caffeine Anhydrous - hard hitting energy
  • 75mg Di-Caffeine Malate - longer lasting energy
  • 200mg DHMA - hard hitting energy, like caffeine but more powerful
  • 50mg Hordenine HCL - fat buring compound that increases energy
  • 1g N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine - improves focus
  • 100mg Theanine - anti-stressor, relaxes you
clinical labs galvenize label

Bottom Line:

This is going to be a hard hitting pre-workout without creatine. Simple as that. It is one of our favorite pre-workout powders, and it features DMHA. With 300mg of total Caffeine combined with 200mg of DHMA, you are going to feel this for hours without a crash.

It's more than just a creatine free pre-workout, it provides you with all five pillars of what we like to think is a solid pre-workout without creatine.

85%
Ingredients Profile
80%
Mixability
90%
Effectiveness
90%
Value
80%
Taste
85%
Overall Rating
clinical labs galvenize

#5 Repp Sports Reactr

8.5 out of 10

REPP Sports Reactr bottle

The Highlights:

  • Great tasting flavors
  • DMHA
  • Two forms of Caffeine
  • 45 servings
  • Great for Pump, focus, and energy

Reactr from Repp Sports is a solid creatine free pre-workout using three different proprietary blends (none of which contain creatine) to provide a very effective, tasty pre-workout without creatine supplement. Although we are not fans of proprietary blends, Repp Sports does something right with their combination of pump, focus and energy.

Reactr utilizes DMHA in their energy complex, which is essentially caffeine on steroids. Unfortunately, we don’t know the dosage, but we do know that it uses 322mg. Based on the amount of ingredients, we can assume DMHA is around 100mg (give or take) with caffeine being around 200mg (give or take) since the other ingredients used are typically dosed less.

Let’s not forget about pump and focus. The two blends do provide a solid combination of ingredients to give you a pump in which you still may want to supplement with a pump product, but a focus that works wonders. On-top-of-the effectiveness, Reactr comes in many tasty flavors and at a price tag we can all afford. At 45-servings, you get a preworkout that is bound to last you a while, even if you take two scoops.

Who Makes It?

Repp Sports debuted in 2017 releasing many products that were deemed “hardcore.” Reactr is evidence of this since it uses DMHA, which has been called into question by various supplement industry naysayers (as of this writing, it is still legal). They also produce other great products like Raze, Broken Arrow, Laxogenin and Hyper Sleep.

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 0g Creatine
  • 4,000mg Pump Blend – contains patent Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, Taurine and Cittruline Malate
  • 555mg Focus Blend – contains L-Tyrosine, Choline Bitartrate, Mucana Pruriens and Huperzine A
  • 322mg Energy Blend – contains Caffeine Anhydrous, DMHA, Caffeine Citrate Hordenine and Yohimbine
REPP Sports Reactr label

Bottom Line:

Even though Reactr is a proprietary blend pre-workout supplement, the combination of the three blends work well together to provide a solid, effective, tasty and affordable pre-workout without creatine powder that you will enjoy. With it being 45-servings, you can double your serving size to get more effective doses and still have close to 25-servings.

Check out our full Reactr pre-workout review here.

70%
Ingredients Profile
80%
Mixability
90%
Effectiveness
90%
Value
80%
Taste
85%
Overall Rating
REPP Sports Reactr bottle

What are the Benefits of Pre-Workout With No Creatine?

Despite many personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts using creatine with great results, for certain individuals, creatine can often do more harm than good. Here are a few of the benefits of taking a pre-workout drink without creatine.

Reduced Stomach Issues

Some individuals who take creatine report having significant stomach issues before, during, and after they hit the gym. Choosing a creatine-free pre-workout often reduces those stomach issues or makes them go away entirely.  Depending on how sensitive your stomach is, creatine can make it almost impossible to focus on the task at hand, whether that be at the gym or while you’re going for a run.

Certainly, some people can consume creatine with no stomach issues whatsoever, but if you’ve had a bad experience in the past or you know that your system reacts badly to similar substances, a creatine-free pre-workout is something you should consider.

Easier on Your Kidneys and Other Internal Organs

There is some recent research demonstrating that excessive consumption of creatine can place unwanted stress on your internal organs, specifically your kidneys. While the research is far from conclusive, for some, the risk just isn’t worth the potential reward. Creatine-free pre-workouts are an excellent alternative for those looking to still see gains in the gym without having to worry about any possible damage creatine consumption might causes.

Energy without Weight Gain

Though creatine can help increase your energy in the gym, those who consume it regularly often report seeing a slight increase on the scale. Of course, depending on your specific goals in your fitness regimen, weight gain in the form of muscle might be something you hope to accomplish.  However, if you’re happy with your weight and don’t want to add a few extra pounds, a creatine-free pre-workout is often the best way to go.

Why Do Some People Not Want Creatine in their Pre-Workout?

With so many options to choose from, there’s no reason you should take any supplement that you don’t feel comfortable with. Again, while there are certainly many people who love taking creatine, it ultimately isn’t right for everyone.  Here are a few of the common reasons certain people choose to go with a creatine-free pre-workout

They’re unsure of the long-term effects.

Though creatine usage is studied on a large scale across universities and other health institutions, some consumers aren’t completely sold on the long-term side effects of regular usage. Though there aren’t any significant bodies of research that ultimately prove creatine to be harmful in the long run, for many supplement consumers, the risk simply isn’t worth it.

It’s not necessary for great results.

Some fitness and health enthusiasts question the necessity of creatine, arguing that you can see massive results in the gym with a creatine-free pre-workout. Some creatine users swear by it, while others believe the potential gains (if any) are minimal. For many supplement consumers, it’s therefore an easy decision to choose the pre-workout that is creatine-free.

Ultimately, creatine just isn’t right for everyone. For some, creatine upsets their stomach; for others they might be worried about possible effects on the kidney and other internal organs. Regardless of the reason why you choose not to consume creatine, fortunately, there are plenty of fantastic pre-workouts that are creatine-free. If you find benefits in creatine, by all means, keep using it. If not, don’t feel bad about choosing a pre-workout that is creatine-free.

We'll keep this list updated as new products are tested and reviewed.

Thoughts? Comment below!

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