Coffee VS Pre-Workouts (Simple Guide)

coffee vs Pre-workout

Coffee isn’t exactly a substitute for pre-workouts since it only contains caffeine. Pre-Workouts are body-building supplements that are designed to give your muscle the strength and energy to perform better. It gives you proper energy, improves endurance and muscle stability.

Caffeine can be proven beneficial to provide you an ultimate mechanism boost for a time therefore, Coffee and Pre-workouts are marketed to be the best ones in the industry to give you a boost.

But the question here lies is if the caffeine from one cup of coffee is the same as you get from Pre-workouts? Do they give you energy? And which one is better to take before a workout?

In this article, I’ll be addressing all of your queries so you can be spontaneous in your decision and make the right choice.

Note: This post is for informational purposes only and an individual’s opinion, it should not be considered as advice.

What Is Coffee?

Lots of coffee beans are scattered around and black coffee is being poured in a white cup.
Caffeine can be addictive

Coffee is a widely consumed beverage, it ranges from an espresso to a latte and cold coffee.

It usually contains caffeine, sugar, milk, and cream and its color vary from black to golden brown mostly.

Around 64% of the population of America consumes coffee every day, not only this they consume coffee 2 to 3 times a day. This can be fair because one cup of coffee contains around 70 mg to 95mg of caffeine and the daily advised limit by the FDA is advised not to exceed 400mg per day.

Coffee can boost your energy and make you more focused and alert for your day, it can be beneficial if consumed in moderation and under limits.

Benefits Of Coffee

The word "BENEFITS" written with wood blocks
Caffeine can stimulate the brain and central nervous system

Coffee has caffeine, a natural boosting element and a stimulating agent which stimulates the brain and central nervous system of the body.

It works as the blocking agent which blocks the adenosine receptors from getting attached and makes you feel more alert, awake, and energized.

Coffee is generally calorie-free, but with the addition of sugar, milk, and cream you can expect to put on some calories. The benefits of consuming coffee are:

  • It boosts your energy levels
  • It may be associated to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • It may protect brain health and protect against neurodegenerative disorders
  • It promotes weight management
  • It enhances athletic performance
  • It lowers the risk of depression
  • It can fight of liver condidtions
  • It supports heart health
  • It can imrove longevity

What Are Pre-workouts?

A guy drinking pre-workout
Pre-workouts are the drinks that provide you energy before a workout

The common question I hear is ‘What does a pre-workout do?‘ Let me address that.

Pre-workouts are supplements designed especially for gym enthusiasts to provide you energy right before your intense workout. It is a generic term for body-building supplements.

Apart from the caffeine content, it contains certain elements that can help you perform better and push through your limits.

It helps you increase your endurance, energy, and focus during the workout. Now let’s take a look at the ingredients that Pre-workouts have.

What Are Pre-workouts Ingredients?

The ingredients typically depend on the company making the pre-workouts, but the ten most common ingredients of Pre-workouts are:

  • Caffeine
  • BCAA (Branced Chain Amino Acids)
  • Beetroot or Pomegranate Extract
  • Beta-Alanine
  • Carbohydrates
  • Creatine Monohyhydrate
  • L-Citrulline
  • L-Glutamine
  • Vasodilators
  • Vitamin B

The above ingredients make up a perfect Pre-workout drink that you can look for to give your performance the boost and energy it needs.

Now let’s look into the benefits that these Pre-workouts provide you.

Benefits Of Pre-workout

Pre-workouts are designed to be consumed before a workout session, its concept is to increase your performance and your endurance for a time.

Apart from the caffeine boost, its purpose is to help you recover and ease your routines, some of the benefits that you can get from Pre-workouts are:

  • Beta-alanine helps you with high intensity exercises, it enhances the recovery of spinters and lowers the risk of fatigue.
  • Cretanine is a substance that helps you gain strength, it gives your muscles energy to contract.
  • The branched chain amino acids helps increase lean the body mass and it has been shown to promote muscle growth.
  • Citrulline another amino acids helps increase blood flow to muscles, this boosts oxygen levels to muscles so they perfom well under stress.

Pre-workouts can be great to provide you overall boost and improve your strength, it’s proven to be more beneficial to athletes, bodybuilders, and gym enthusiasts who have a tough training routine.

Will a Pre-Workout Give You More Energy?

A woman is running up the stairs.
Pre-workouts can improve your overall energy and health

Yes. Pre-workouts will give you more energy than a regular cup of coffee. Since it contains special ingredients which can not be found in coffee.

Coffee can only provide you with a mental boost, it can help you stay awake, concentrate and perform better mentally.

Whereas, Pre-workouts have antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and carbohydrates that can strengthen your immune system, improve your muscle contraction, build up your stamina and delay fatigue.

Beta-alanine, citrulline, and creatinine can help promote muscle growth, strength and remove any excessive stress.

Is Coffee Better For Workout Than Pre-Workouts?

Depends. If you’re not someone with an intense workout or an athletic routine, you can opt for coffee to help you with your daily work or college stress. You can read about how you can use coffee for a pre-workout in my other article here if you’re interested.

Coffee contains caffeine and antioxidants, it does not only provide you with energy but also cleans out your system.

Coffee is not a substitute for pre-workouts since it only contains caffeine and lacks all other ingredients that pre-workouts are giving you, it won’t be enough to boost your overall performance.

You can refer to the following video if you want to learn about the nutritional differences between Black Coffee and Pre-Workout.

Coffee Vs. Pre Workout

Does Pre-Workout Contain More Caffeine Than Coffee?

Pre-workouts usually contain about 150mg to 300mg caffeine per serving, so according to this table, pre-workouts have more caffeine than coffee.

Type Of CoffeeServing Size(ml)Caffeine Per Serving(mg)
Espresso3030-50
Instant Coffee15040-108
Brewed Coffee15090-150
Decaffeinated1502-5
The caffeine content of different types of coffees

Are There Adverse Effects Of Coffee?

Yes, you can experience adverse effects if you overconsume coffee.

According to the FDA, healthy individuals can have no more than 400mg of caffeine daily.

So if you’re caffeine-sensitive or consume more than 400 mg of caffeine every day you may experience:

  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Chest Pain
  • Anxiety

You can learn more about caffeine overdose here.

Are There Adverse Effects Of Pre-Workouts?

Pre-workouts are referred to as dietary supplements but they should be consumed within the limits as it may result in some side effects.

A study shows that 54% of people who consume pre-workouts daily tend to report problems such as heart abnormalities, nausea, and skin conditions. However, the research also adds that these side effects were seen noticed because it was consumed beyond the advised limits.

So it’s better that you consume the pre-workouts in moderation to avoid potential health risks.

What To Look For In Pre-Workouts?

Some of the nutrients that you can be looking for should be:

  • Caffeine
  • BCAAs
  • Creatine
  • L-Citrulline

Pre-workouts have a huge competition within the industry, you can find many alternate brands who are spending millions of cash only on the branding of other supplements.

However, for health purposes, there are certain ingredients that you should look at in the Pre-workouts when you want to pick one. The quality and quantity of these ingredients range from company to company.

Summary

Coffee can increase your energy and help you concentrate better with all the caffeine but it can not provide strength to your muscles.

However, Pre-workouts are designed specifically to provide you with energy, endurance, stamina, and strength for your workout sessions.

Coffee does have benefits if you’re caffeine sensitive and looking for a low caffeine amount, which can give you a boost for about 2 to 3 hours.

With this, I hope all your queries have been resolved.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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