When your brain is on point, so is your body, then you’ll be ready to crush your training sessions painlessly. In addition to giving you energy, caffeine boosts mental alertness and sharpens focus, which can speed up your reaction time and enhance your overall performance as you push through heavy lifts.
Caffeine is an effective energy-boosting supplement that works best when taken one to two hours before your workout. That timing ensures you will have peak levels of caffeine in your bloodstream right when you hit those machines at the gym.
The infusion of energy caffeine provides can be sustaining enough to power you through long bouts of exercise. That can translate to better endurance on the treadmill, on the pavement, and in the weight room. “If your goal is to hammer out extra miles or push through extra sets and reps, caffeine can help you push a little longer before you tap out”.
Your life is busy. We get it. Your life can be draining. We also get that. “But think about all of those bodybuilders and strength athletes who grind and grind and grind in the gym while still functioning outside of it with family, friends, work, and just plain old downtime. Sure, they have a work ethic, dedication, and a real passion for their respective sports”. But physically, what allows them to power through the day? The idea around pre-workouts or coffee is interesting, for both contain caffeine, so where does this debate lie?
So, why are we talking about pre-workout or coffee if pre-workout does contain caffeine? Let’s take a look at this conversation a little more and find out why. Both will give you energy, but ultimately you want more than that. Real results. That’s why you grind in the gym anyway, right?
Benefits Of Pre-Workouts Supplements
Pre-workouts are incredibly popular supplements and athletes of all kinds have flocked to these products to give them real boosts of energy, as well as muscle pumps. The benefits of pre-workouts are hard to ignore and can really work to improve all your gains. Benefits of pre-workouts include:
- More focus and energy give you the intensity and drive to power through workouts (1).
- Less fatigue so you don’t feel as drained while pushing through that soreness that comes on during those grueling workouts.
- Better muscle pumps for increased size as a result of better blood flow through those muscles (2).
- Worthwhile recovery by promoting efficient growth and faster turnaround time.
Benefits Of Coffee
Let’s jump into coffee and see what makes this different. As said before, pre-workouts do contain caffeine, which is what you’ll get out of coffee, but as a clean source of caffeine, you obviously won’t have the added ingredients associated with your workouts. Benefits of coffee include:
- Improved energy levels for that nice boost to power you through workouts and your day (3).
- Helps your metabolism by kicking it into gear to burn some of those unwanted calories.
- Has nutrients like vitamins B2 and B5, as well as others like magnesium and potassium, to give you those vitamins and minerals.
When you look at both pre-workouts and coffee, what you will find at the core is improved energy and focus. This results from the caffeine in both. But the major difference is that with pre-workouts, you get those added ingredients to boost performance and provide for muscle pumps, as well as many others. Such ingredients include things like creatine, beta-alanine, L-citrulline, and BCAAs, among others. So while drinking coffee before a workout is helpful, for those looking for real gains, a pre-workout is something you will get the most out of (4).
Now, what if you are sensitive to caffeine? You can always drink decaffeinated coffee, but that won’t do as much for your workouts. “There are also huge benefits to caffeine pills since they help boost your energy levels and focus more at work. On the other hand, supplement companies have transitioned to create stimulant-free pre-workouts so you can get all those other ingredients to benefit your workouts”. With options, you are able to find success with a pre-workout at the end of the day over a cup of coffee.
To put one more potential wrench into this plan, coffee may be cheaper. Buying in bulk may save money over pre-workout supplements which tend to get expensive. Plus, those premium pre-workouts will cost more than some bottom-tier products that may contain ingredients you don’t want or need. So, depending on what you want to spend and how you want to allocate funds, this is something to absolutely consider.
Which One Is Better?
When all is said and done, a pre-workout will give you more benefits ultimately when it comes down to it. Of course, depending on price and what you’re looking for, coffee will give you great benefits to your workouts, but when looking to really maximize gains, with the caffeine and other ingredients included, you will get more bang for your buck with pre-workout supplements.
Finding the right pre-workout supplements can be challenging, and with so many on the market, the choices can seem daunting. We’ve put together a top list of the Best Pre-Workouts to make this decision easier for you. Some of our top choices deliver serious energy, powerful pumps, and better muscular endurance, all while offering the best in terms of focus.
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Best Supplements To Pair With Pre-Workouts
Along with the best pre-workouts, pairing these with other supplements can be of great assistance to you. A protein powder will cap either end of your workouts and as a great post-workout supplement, this will work to optimize growth and recovery for all your gains (5). While some pre-workouts do contain creatine, if it does not, finding a premium creatine product can really enhance your gains for the better as well. Plus, putting a multivitamin in the mix will keep you healthy overall so you only see those gains you want most.
At the end of the day, pre-workouts or coffee will give you energy and allow you to thrive with your workouts. But pre-workout supplements will prove to be more effective given they have great ingredients, along with caffeine, to maximize your gains. The right supplements can have great effects on you so definitely check out the right pre-workout products, for you won’t be disappointed with the results.
- Ellerbroek, Anya C.; Antonio, Jose (2019). “Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements on Strength, Endurance, and Mood”. (source)
- Kedia, A.; Hofheins, J.; Habowski, S.; Ferrando, Arny; et al. (2014). “Effects of a Pre-workout Supplement on Lean Mass, Muscular Performance, Subjective Workout Experience and Biomarkers of Safety”. (source)
- Cappelletti, S.; et al. (2015). “Caffeine: Cognitive and Physical Performance Enhancer or Psychoactive Drug?”. (source)
- Martinez, N.; et al. (2016). “The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance”. (source)
- Pasiakos, S.; et al. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
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