If you are reading this article is probably because you have been having this argument with your fellow gym-goers for a while.
What is really better, a steaming cup of just brewed coffee or a compounds-packed pre-workout supplement?
Well, the answer is not always that obvious, but it ultimately depends on what your goals really are.
Each of the two options has appealing benefits that can make you go for it, but it is not all about the energy!
If you are really serious about lifting, you would have probably noticed that your usual double espresso is not doing the trick anymore.
So how are you going to navigate among the thousands of pre-workout options on the market?
Let’s have a look at some specifics that can help you decide which is the best solution for you and your fitness goals.
Pre Workout or Coffee? The Differences…
There is no secret that the key to getting more energy and lift heavier weights is in the caffeine. So why is a cup of coffee not good enough anymore? Here is what you need to know about caffeine and the effects of pre-workout supplements.
Caffeine and athletic performance
Caffeine is an extremely powerful supplement that, if taken properly, can really improve your mental and physical performance. In fact, studies found that even a small dose can increase mental focus, resistance, exercise performance, and fat burning.
When you drink a cup of coffee, caffeine is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Your energy levels will reach a peak after 90 to 100 minutes of drinking the coffee. After a 3 hours effect, you will then notice a sudden drop.
Caffeine acts on both your cerebral and muscle cells and has effects on your nervous system as well as on your fat-burning abilities, muscle strength, and endorphins production.
Caffeine has been seen to be able to increase your workload by 7.4%, making you faster and more prone to endurance.
The differences between pre-workout supplements and coffee
- Coffee: Coffee and green tea are the main natural sources of caffeine. This is a powerful ergogenic aid that can boost performance and endurance in athletes.
Unless using specific supplements, the main difference between coffee and pre-workout supplements is that coffee can aid your fat burning process. If you are looking at improving your performance to get rid of some extra weight, coffee might be an easier solution for you.
- Pre-workout supplements: They are usually a blend of 7 plus ingredients that are designed to not only improve your endurance levels, but also reduce fatigue, improve muscle wellbeing, and boost your strength. The concentrated caffeine in them, makes it easier to consume larger doses of caffeine without having to drink 2 liters of coffee!
Lastly, pre-workouts have been seen to be more efficient if you are looking at doing some serious weight lifting!
Pre-Workout Vs. Coffee: Who Is It For?
Both coffee and pre-workout supplements are valid options, and we are about to see below the ones that would be the best work for you.
However, as we have seen above, the choice should be yours and depends on whether you are going to the gym to lose a couple of extra kilos or whether you want to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.
So what is the best option for you?
- Coffee: perfect for anybody that follows fitness classes or needs an extra push to get ready for a morning run. It gives you the energy you need to get your workout going, and its effect will last long enough for a 1hour long HiiT class.
If you are going to the gym because you are trying to burn off some fat in preparation for that Ibiza holiday, the fat burning fat properties of coffee can help you out.
- Pre-workout supplements: if you are looking at taking your gym sessions to the next level, lift heavier weight, and fill up that new t-shirt you just bought, these supplements can help you reach your goal faster.
They are, in fact, designed to include beta-alanine, creatine, amino acids, and L- Citrulline. These ingredients help you recover faster from a tough workout.
Pros and Cons of Pre Workout supplements
- They are more effective for serious gym-goers
- You are getting more than just high doses of caffeine
- Most workouts supplements contain nutrients that can help you recover faster from a workout.
- Some compounds introduced in these supplements can help you stay focused and alert for longer.
- Some pre-workout supplements might include chemicals and artificial ingredients, which are sometimes not safe for continued use.
- They can produce overstimulation.
Pros and Cons of Coffee
- There are no hidden ingredients – it is completely natural.
- Long coffees keep you hydrated
- Can help you burn fat faster
- A cup of coffee might not be enough to reach your next fitness goals
- You will experience a drop in energy levels
- It does not have any benefit on your muscles’ wellbeing.
3 Best Pre Workout Supplements for Everyone
Now that you have decided that pre-workouts supplements might just be the right solution for you, here are some of the best on the market for everybody.
Transparent Lab – Bulk Pre Workout
If you are looking for an all-natural alternative to caffeine, but you won’t trust any brand that hides the ingredients used, head for Transparent lab. As their brand suggests, every supplement used in their blends is stated clearly in the list of ingredients.
Best of all, this company uses only naturally sourced ingredients!
Additionally, due to the stimulants added to this blend, you will never be short of energy during your workouts. The 13 active ingredients in the blend are designed to increase nitric oxide to the muscles and enhance focus and endurance.
Alternatively, the Transparent Lab stim-free Pre-Workout blend by the same company offers a valid alternative that does not include chemically-produced stimulants. This guarantees exceptional performances that will help you gain lean muscle mass.
Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, BCAA, BetaPure Betaine Anhydrous, Taurine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Choline Bitartrate, L-Theanine, Caffeine Anhydrous, Mucuna Pruriens, L-Norvaline, Synephrine, Hordenine, BioPerine, Testosterone Support (vitamin D3, boron, and zinc).
The stimulants-free pre-workout has a reduced formula which aims at offering the highest pre-workout experience for athletes who are in for high-intensity workouts.
What to expect
Each package contains over 30 servings, and it comes in a variety of delicious and natural flavors such as strawberry lemonade, tropical punch, sour grape, blue raspberry, and green apple.
Why is this pre-workout supplement for you?
These Transparent Lab blends are designed to avoid any artificial sweeteners, artificial colorings, and artificial preservatives. They are also gluten-free and non-GMO. Lastly, all the claims made by this company are backed by published scientific research.
NITROSURGE Pre Workout Supplement
This unique blend has been crafted to offer the highest-intensity pre-workout experience to expert athletes, both men, and women. The company claims to offer explosive energy without the addition of creatine in the blend.
The NITROSURGE blend is designed to boost nitric oxide (NO) levels and blood flow to the muscles.
This helps you improve endurance, strength, and power. Alongside this, you will notice increased lean muscle growth.
This brand offers everything you could possibly want for a pre-workout blend. In fact, it is manufactured in the US, boasting a unique transparent label.
While it is creatine free, this pre-workout supplement includes betaine anhydrous. Lastly, the company uses only highly bioavailable ingredients that are backed by science and clinically dosed.
L-Citrulline, Betaine Anhydrous, Beta-Alanine, Caffeine + L-Theanine, Theobromine, AstraGin
What to expect
Each tub contains over 30 servings, which are enough for a month’s consumption. NITROSURGE comes in a variety of flavors; these are the best ones: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Watermelon, Pineapple, Cherry Limeade, Cotton Candy, Arctic White, Sour Peach Rings, Strawberry Margarita.
Why is the pre-workout supplement for you?
This pre-workout supplement is the perfect one for anybody. It does not include creating, but the active ingredients added in it are guaranteed to offer you the focus that would usually derive from creatine.
Not only is this supplement created to give you enhanced endurance and performance, but it also guarantees you to be able to maintain high levels of focus throughout your workout.
Redcon1 Total War – Pre Workout
Named by the Vitamin Shopper, the best Pre-Workout supplement of 2019, this is the ultimate product for serious weight-lifters and gym-goers. If your goal this year is to reach fitness goals that you had never thought they were achievable, this is the product for you.
The company claims to offer ‘unstoppable power,’ ‘extremely high energy,’ and ‘laser-like focus.’
While the label and list of ingredients are readily available on the company’s website as well as on every single tub, they offer a unique blend of nutrients and compounds that you won’t find anywhere else.
With this blend, you will not only experience the highest pre-workout experience available, but the supplements will help you regulate your blood flow and muscle recovery as well.
Beta-Alanine, Agmatine Sulfate, Taurine, Caffeine Anhydrous, L-Citrulline, AMPiberry, Infinergy (D-Caffeine Malate), Cocoteanol, Naringin, Bioperine (Black pepper Extract).
What to Expect
Each tub contains over 30 servings, and it comes in the following flavors: Blue Coconut, Blue Raspberry, Grape, Green Apple, Orange Crush, Pineapple Juice, Rainbow Candy, Tigers Blood, Watermelon.
Why is this pre-workout supplement for you?
This pre-workout supplement has been voted one of the best ones on the market for professional athletes and serious gym-goers. It is designed for both men and women in mind who are looking at achieving high fitness goals. Read our full Redcon1 Total War review here Redcon1 Total War PreWorkout Review.
Have you tried any of these pre-workout supplements? Is there one that you are using that showed the best benefits? Or do you still prefer coffee before your gym session? Let us know by leaving a comment below!