If you're a fitness newbie or even if you're an experienced fitness enthusiast, then you'd agree one of the hardest parts of going to the gym is getting the most out of your workouts.
Heck, it can be a mental battle to show up. On some days, you just feel too tired to work out. However, if you're a regular gym-goer and you want to compliment all your hard work in the gym, you need to push yourself to the maximum.
Luckily, they're many pre-workout drinks that can boost your energy before your gym session.
Basically, you have 3 options – Coffee, Pre-workouts, and Energy drinks.
Although they all promise to amp up your strength, not all pre-workout drinks are the same.
Unfortunately, it can be tough choosing between pre-workout supplements, energy drinks, and coffee.
But which one is more effective?
We know how important your choice can be, especially since you’re looking to step up your fitness.
To make things easier for you, we've weighed the pros and cons and come up with the most effective pre-workout drink.
Let's dig right in!
Coffee for Pre Workout
Millions of people drink coffee every day. In fact, about 4 out of 5 Americans swear by this daily routine. The good news is that coffee does more than make you alert in the morning – It's also can be an effective pre-workout drink if you’re looking for pure energy.
Asides the tremendous health benefits of coffee, drinking a coffee cup before your workout boosts your overall energy level and makes you stay focused and highly motivated throughout your workout session. Depending on the strength, an average cup of coffee contains 80mg-130mg of caffeine.
Caffeine increases the rate of your metabolism and allows you to stay in the gym longer. So for energy, coffee ticks off all the boxes
Strength and Pump
When it comes to increasing your strength and getting a solid pump, caffeine may not be the best choice. Caffeine in general is a vasoconstrictor, which means it will shrink your blood vessels, allowing less blood to get to the muscle reducing your pump. This is why many pre-workouts either focus on energy or pump because they somewhat counteract each other. For strength, it won’t help much other than the spike of energy.
You may drag yourself to the gym and yet, find yourself feeling tired and staring at your clock, counting the minutes before you can leave and hit the sack.
Luckily, caffeine being a natural stimulant, does improve your focus before the gym.
The caffeine in coffee blocks the neurotransmitters that cause drowsiness and improve mental performance. If you're in great mental shape, it'll reflect in your workout. Just keep in mind that once you begin coming down from your caffeine “high”, you’ll notice fatigue to set in.
Top tip: Luckily, you don't need to search through thousands of products looking for coffee.
It's always readily available in stores. You may already have it right in your kitchen.
However, taking too much coffee can cause more harm than good.
You don't have to take 10 cups of coffee, taking as little as 150mg is enough to keep you amped without any side effects. You can also have straight black coffee, or use some sweeteners and milk, it won't make a difference.
Pre Workout Supplements
Pre-workout supplements became even more recognized in 2010 – and appetites for these impressive pre-workout drinks don't seem to be slowing down, either.
When you decide to use pre-workout supplements, you may notice you're getting pretty serious with your gym goals. With such a huge market and countless consumers touting its benefits, pre-workouts must be effective enough to warrant the attention of even the most casual gym-goer.
Pre-workout supplements work by boosting your energy and increasing your focus.
How exactly do pre-workouts work?
Pre-workouts supply your body with caffeine, creatine, and other energy stimulating ingredients.
Undoubtedly, there's some jolt to it that it leaves you wondering what exactly in it.
These energy-boosting supplements push you to the limit when you hit the gym.
Pre-workouts are a popular go-to product when it comes to enhancing performance and giving you that extra boost you need during a tough workout.
It's also one of the well-researched supplements within the fitness industry, with several studies backing its effectiveness in increasing training volume and boosting muscular endurance. Most pre-workout energy sources will be caffeine, although some add other sources to the mix such as synephrine.
Strength & Pump
Most pre-workout contains creatine, a muscle power ingredient. The creatine functions by improving your muscles' performance, allowing you to last longer and lead to better muscle growth in the long run. Pre-workouts also come with many pump ingredients such as arginine, citrulline, agmatine, and glycerol. This is what makes pre-workouts special compared to coffee. If your pre-workout comes with a moderate dose of caffeine, but high-dosed of these pump ingredients, your muscles will feel as if they’re about to burst in the gym.
Well, along with caffeine, pre-workout supplements also have ingredients known as nootropics These nootropics help you reduce anxiety & stress and increase your cognitive performance in the gym, so you can get better mind-to-muscle contractors, breaking down the muscle tissue further.
Coffee Vs. Pre-workout?
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Ultimately, it depends on what you prefer.
You're forgiven for thinking coffee and pre-workouts are similar.
In your defense, they have one thing in common - The caffeine.
However, unlike coffee, Pre-workouts are made solely to improve your time in the gym.
What’s more? Pre-workout boasts of other remarkable ingredients, which may range between the muscle-boosting creatine and the L-Glutamine or pump ingredients like citrulline and agmatine, which supports muscle growth, repair, and vascularity.
Although coffee and Pre-workout contain caffeine, black coffee has a lot more caffeine.
Naturally, coffee has unique fat burning property since it uses fat as a source of energy instead of glycogen, so if you're also looking for a pure energy rush, coffee is an excellent choice and a lot cheaper.
If you’re looking for an overall performance enhancement before the gym, pre-workout is by far the best option. Pre-workouts will give you intense energy, focus, strength, and pumps, which is usually what is wanted before working out to be the most effective.
Alternative: Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are a third option if you aren't a fan of coffee or pre-workouts.
Energy drinks undoubtedly increase your energy level, but the risks outweigh the perks.
First, unlike coffee, energy drinks contain too much caffeine and way too much sugar.
They may contain other artificial sweeteners and all the other ingredients that may be bad for you.
After the initial energy buzz, your system may go haywire and crash. Energy drinks can be an option, but with the increased side effects and cost, it’s not worth it.
Our Favorite Pre Workout
We know how important your fitness is, so we've done all the heavy lifting and found a list of the best pre-workout that'll help you achieve your fitness goal in record time. Scout's Honor!
Let's get to the good stuff.
If you're a fitness junkie, then you shouldn't be surprised B-NOX Androrush has bossed the pre-workout industry for this long. B-Nox is the first pre-workout to offer a testosterone boosting blend promoted to enhance aggression and the pump during training.
What sets this pre-workout apart is its impressive ability to keep you focused on your workout.
It's energizing, potent, and actually gives you everything you need to build muscle.
It blends N-Acetyl Tyrosine, Glucuronolactone, Caffeine Anhydrous, and Theobromine and fills you up with enough energy and testosterone to go beast mode in the gym.
If you need the extra edge and you're not a fan of caffeine or you workout later in the evening, then you'd love RAGE PUMP.
To make up for the caffeine, Enhanced Athlete stacked up Rage pump with high-dosed performance ingredients gives insane pumps and focus. The most notable ingredients in this formulation are L-citrulline malate, glycerol, L-ornithine, beet powder, alpha GPC, and the best, VASO6.
For non-stimulant pre-workouts, Rage Pump is the best based on the ingredients and reviews.
Pre-workouts undeniably boost your workout and maximize your time in the gym. Unfortunately, it's not a magic pill; you still must work hard if you're planning on achieving your fitness goals this year.
Coffee is another excellent option that'll increase your energy during your gym sessions; however, asides the caffeine, there's no added benefit.
Our least favorite option is Energy drinks; they contain too much sugar and caffeine.
So, the final verdict – Pre-workouts win by a landslide.