How much Caffeine in a pre workout? The answer ranges from amounts more than enough to give you the jitters, to none at all. Most people purchase their first container of pre workout based on the picture or the crazy name. There are powerful names such as Mr Hyde Nitro X, C4 Ultimate Shred, B-Nox Ripped and NO Xplode Pre Workout.
These just so happen to be some of my favorites, and the name is representative of the strength of these pre workouts. However, there is not a one size fits all pre workout supplement. Our bodies each react and process nutrients differently.
Caffeine is one of the biggest factors in a pre workout, since this ingredient gives us the most prominent effects. The Caffeine in a pre workout brings not only a great amount of energy, but also increases focus and motivation.
The issue with caffeine is it’s reactions to different people. Some aren’t phased by massive amounts, while others can have extreme discomfort with it. That is why many nutritional supplement manufacturers have created products in all different pre workout Caffeine contents, including Caffeine Free. Caffeine and pre workout go hand in hand for most, but not for all.
We are going to discuss how much Caffeine is the right amount in a pre workout, the positives and negatives of consuming Caffeine, the deceiving names that Caffeine can be disguised as well as some of the best Caffeine Free pre workouts.
The majority of us first became familiar with Caffeine through our parents, who typically couldn’t start their day without a cup of coffee. Later in life, most of us eventually got into the coffee habit or Starbucks routine. Coffee and Caffeine are truely lifesavers for some of us in our daily life.
Unfortunately, coffee is not a great substitute for performance and endurance factors that a pre workout brings. You can read more about this in Coffee Vs Pre Workout.
With the exception of a Caffeine Free pre workout, Caffeine is the foundation of a pre workout supplement. At low dosages, Caffeine is shown to trigger increased focus and attention, all the way to higher doses which significantly boosts energy levels and performance. You can read more at Caffeine for Sport.
Caffeine is a naturally found stimulant that brings energy and drive into our lives. Studies have even shown that Caffeine is healthy. Caffeine helps with vitality, motivation, a positive outlook and can even fight depression (once again, when consumed in normal amounts).
This stimulant is healthy for our minds and bodies when taken in these reasonable amounts. Not to mention the performance and increased stamina that takes you through a workout without fatigue. However, too much Caffeine can be a negative thing for almost anyone. It is very important to start a new pre workout with the correct serving size or less. More is not always better. so start out slow.
The most prominent advantage of Caffeine is the convenience of this energy source. Pre workouts along with Caffeine are one of the best and healthiest solutions for weight loss. Pre Workouts for weightloss naturally increases your metabolism which burns more calories. Between exercising, eating right and burning through calories, losing fat is a for sure thing.
For on of the strongest amounts of pre workout Caffeine, check out my post, C4 Ultimate Pre Workout Review.
Caffeine can come with some negatives, but most of these can be avoided. The worst thing that one can do with Caffeine that I mentioned earlier, is taking too much. Some fitness junkies including myself, will take more of their pre workout that they should.
Usually, this is because we are over-ambitious, and at the moment feel that the more pre workout we take, the more powerful our workout will be. Many times this does not work to plan, and this is not a good idea. Too much Caffeine can result in upset stomach, headaches, jitters, anxiety and sleepless nights.
The most serious problem caused by Caffeine consumption is if the person is Caffeine Intolerant or has a Caffeine Allergy. We will talk more about this.
One last thing is that Caffeine is a stimulant, so some Coffee “addicts” can suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they give it up. This much more common in coffee drinkers than those taking pre workouts. These effects are not drastic, but more of a discomfort. It includes irritability, tiredness, and possibly slight headaches.
Other Names For Caffeine
Some pre workouts actually have more Caffeine in them than what the label says at first glance. There is usually a specific line item for “Caffeine” or Caffeine Anhydrous. But some products don’t stop there. Look for a special “Energy Blend” or Caffeine that is labeled with alternate names.
Nutritional Facts labels may have additional Caffeines named as Caffeine Anhydrous, Caffeine Citrate, Methylxanthine, 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, Guayusa, Kombucha, Yerba, Green Coffee Bean, and TeaCrine.
One example of this is C4 Original Pre Workout. It contains an “Explosive Energy Blend” which includes other stimulants besides the 150mg of the Caffeine Anhydrous listed. This total energy blend is 425mg, so beware of this. I happen to get a lot out of this particular pre workout, but it will be too strong for some of us.
B vitamins are not Caffeine nor a stimulant, but I thought that I would mention them since they are a significant ingredient. Vitamin B is a natural energy source. It is recommended in a pre workout because of its less potent, healthy energy. Most pre workouts contain these and are listed as B-12, B-6, Niacin, Riboflavin and Folic Acid.
Reasons People Don’t Consume Caffeine
Most people that are Caffeine Intolerant simply have a Caffeine sensitivity. This is mainly determined by genetics or by the livers’ ability to process Caffeine. There are various levels of Caffeine sensitivity, ranging from normal to hypersensitivity.
The side effects for someone being Caffeine Intolerant are nervousness, nausea, racing heart, jitters and insomnia.
What is worse is a “Caffeine allergy”. This is when the body will mistake Caffeine molecules for an “enemy” to your body’s immune system. Some don’t know they are susceptible to this allergy until later on in life.
Caffeine allergies come with even worse effects, including difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat and breaking out in hives.
There are those that do not to consume Caffeine because of its highly addictive properties. Quitting can be very difficult. Lastly, some stay away from Caffeine simply because they don’t like the feeling it gives them.
So you know where to stand with your amount of Caffeine, an average cup of joe contains between 80-100mg. People with a normal tolerance, safely average between 200 and 300 mg per day.
This is around the average range of Caffeine in a serving of pre workout. Some pre workout supplements have as much as 400 mg or more per serving, so pay close attention to the label.
Let me know if you have any different reasons for staying away from Caffeine. Please leave a comment in the box below.
This brings us to a very important pre workout supplement category. A large percentage of people are either Caffeine Intoleralant or have a Caffeine Allergy. If you have one of these, you are in luck because there are now some great pre workouts without Caffeine. These are Caffeine Free or Stim Free Pre Workouts.
There are now top rated Pre Workouts that don’t contain Caffeine. These supplements use a larger concentration of other ingredients such as Amino Acids to make up for the lack of this stimulant. You don’t have to worry about any side effects such as anxiety and sleepless nights.
These additional Amino Acids are very important in a Caffeine Free pre workout: The essential Aminos include L-Citrulline, N-acetyl, L-tyrosine, L-arginine, Taurine, Glutamine and Betaine. They play an important role in improving endurance and strength. Aminos with give your muscles energy and increase recovery time between exercises.
If you are going Caffeine Free, you may also want to try an Intra Workout Drink to power your way through those workouts. Many weightlifters and athletes use Intra Workouts to give them the additional Amino Acids and nutrients that your body is quickly using up during a workout.
The Caffeinated Conclusion
To sum it up, Caffeine can be the most effective ingredient found in pre workout supplements if you are tolerant of this powerful stimulant. In general, Caffeine is a healthy, naturally found ingredient that has improved may of our lives.
The only way that Caffeine is unhealthy, is from overuse. Taking too much Caffeine whether it be coffee or pre workouts can lead to discomfort, headache and nausea.
Even if you enjoy your Caffeine, always check the Supplemental Facts label for the quantity of Caffeine. Some pre workouts can contain up to 400mg of this, which is more than the recommended daily dose.
However, if you are tolerant or have a lot of body mass, this higher amount is made for you. Also, be sure to check the label for the names that Caffeine can be disguised as
If you have any questions or comments on Caffeine in general or Caffeine in pre workouts, please leave a message below and I will respond.
Here is additional information on Caffeine and Sports Performance.