Can You Use Pre-workout Instead Of Coffee?

Coffee has been one of the most in-demand beverages since its commerce spread widely. Not only the unique taste of coffee makes people partial to it so much, but also the benefits it brings thanks to the caffeine content in it. 

Besides coffee, there is a supplement that is rich in caffeine as well. Pre-workout nutritional supplement use has sharply expanded in recent years among both amateur and professional athletes. 

Is it safe or suitable to use pre-workout as a substitute for coffee in a daily routine? Or we just simply ask the question “Can you use pre-workout instead of coffee?” in the name of normal people or general sports enthusiasts. 

This article will analyze coffee and pre-workout to answer the main question. Let’s find out. 

What is Pre-workout in a concrete way?

3D render of pre-workout powder with dumbbells and kettlebell isolated over white background

Pre-Workout supplements (PWS) or Multi-ingredient Pre-Workout (MIPS), is simply explained as a well-known category of nutritional supplements that aim to enhance exercise performance. Pre-workout supplements, or “pre-workouts,” are a staple of fitness that are just as crucial as a great sports bra and a great pair of shoes. 

It comes in a variety of packaging options, including chews, capsules, canned beverages, powders, and vibrant liquid in shaker bottles, all of which promise to improve your workout. However, they now may not be presented on the shelves at every supermarket. 

According to research named “Common Ingredient Profiles of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements”, the supplement data committee’s reported ingredients and amounts for the top 100 commercially available pre-workout products were examined. 

The main ingredients and their amounts included are Beta-alanine (87%), Caffeine (86%), Citrulline (71%; ), Tyrosine (63%), Taurine (51%), and Creatine (49%). A proprietary combination including unspecified proportions of each ingredient included nearly half (44.3%) of all the ingredients. 

The most prevalent energy drink ingredient, caffeine, has been proved to be a powerful ergogenic aid for endurance exercise by preventing fatigue and lengthening the time until exhaustion. (Astorino and Roberson, 2010).

Caffeine in coffee and pre-workout 

Both coffee and pre-workout contain caffeine as the main ingredient. Sometimes pre-workout supplements are comparable to coffee. You consume more caffeine when you drink coffee, which gives you more energy. 

As you consume 100 grams of coffee, 40 mg in it is absorbed. Caffeine amounts in pre-workout depend on the brand and product. Some kinds are caffeine-free but the others provide the caffeine content measured equal to a few cups of coffee.

Keep in mind that different coffees have different amounts of caffeine, based on the kind of bean, the time of roasting, and even the brewing technique. For instance, 100 mg of caffeine is found in one cup of black coffee, but 150–470 mg are present in several pre-workout supplements per serving.

In Australia, the caffeine amount of selected pre-workout supplements ranged from 91 to 387 mg in each serving. This caffeine content in pre-workout can be transformed into one to three cups of coffee. 

According to the article “The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance”, most pre-workout supplements contain caffeine, a moderate nervous system stimulant. This has been demonstrated to improve endurance sports performance by lengthening the time to exhaustion, maintaining muscle glycogen levels, delaying sensations of weariness, and reducing perceptions of pain and effort. 

The combination of caffeine and other chemical ingredients is confirmed to enhance ergogenic potential, provide a synergistic impact, and maximize the probability of resulting in performance from energy drinks like coffee and pre-workout. 

Comparison between coffee and pre-workout supplements

When coming to the comparison of coffee and pre-workout, they have their advantages and disadvantages once you regard them. Apart from a similarity which is containing caffeine, these two energy drinks are different in aspects. 

Coffee also has antioxidants as an ingredient. The antioxidant activity of coffee is associated with chlorogenic, ferulic, caffeic, and n-coumaric acids in it. Antioxidant-rich diets may lower the risk of several illnesses (including heart disease and certain cancers)

However, if you’re not used to it or if you take a big dosage, caffeine may produce gastrointestinal problems, jitteriness, or anxiety. Similar to this, it could be a good idea to avoid coffee before evening exercises because it may interfere with sleep.

Young smiling sporty woman with headphones and a baby stroller in warm clothes drinking hot tea from a thermos cup after a workout outdoor in the park

Creatine pre-workout is crucial for maintaining healthy muscles and generating energy. In essence, creatine is used by your body to produce the kind of energy needed for brief, intense workouts like high-intensity, low-rep strength training.

Pre-workout supplements often include a nitric oxide agent to encourage the body to manufacture more nitric oxide naturally rather than nitric oxide itself. L-arginine, L-citrulline, and natural sources of dietary nitrates like beetroot are a few examples. Nitric oxide aids in blood vessel expansion, which improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. 

In some workout scenarios, some study has shown that beta-alanine in pre-workout can improve performance and postpone exhaustion.

Of course, pre-workout supplements have disadvantages as well. You might be more prone to have negative side effects like jitteriness or stomach distress because certain pre-workout supplements can contain more caffeine than a cup of coffee. 

The skin may flush and tingle in response to beta-alanine dosages that are too high. By taking pre-workouts with lower beta alanine dosages, this can be prevented.

Can you use pre-workout instead of coffee?

In the current world of sports and fitness, the utilization of nutritional supplements to promote training adaptations and performance is on the rise.

However, in terms of price, coffee has a more reasonable price to afford. You can purchase or you are also able to make it yourself at home by coffee grounds. 200mg of caffeine is just about 15 cents. Pre-workout supplements cost around $1-2 each serving according to different brands and compounds contained. In general, it is about $1.5 per 200 mg of caffeine.

Blond beautiful girl sitting on the mat on the stone ground drinking coffee or tea, resting after sport outdoors in the mountains near the river

Coffee is nearly ten times less expensive than pre-workout supplementation when calculated by price per mg of caffeine.

Black coffee, for instance, has just one natural component. There aren’t many potential problems. The other elements you add are likewise under your control. Pre-workout pills, however, might include a large number of chemicals, including additives and fillers. Furthermore, the real components and quantities are hidden by proprietary mixes. 

If you’re careful about what you put in your body, coffee is a safer bet.

However, due to different purposes, the choice depends. In case users are athletes or prepare to have physical exercises at a higher level, coffee cannot be undertaken. Even if a cup of coffee contains a lot of caffeine, it won’t significantly improve how well your workout in general. 

In addition to caffeine, pre-workout supplements may also contain additional compounds that enhance muscular strength, development, and repair. This becomes an advantage when you work out or play sports.

For example, mountain climbing is a sport that requires endurance as well as both physical and mental power. To conquer a high mountain such as Kilimanrajo, pre-workout is a recommended drink you should use to boost your spirit and strength. Besides pre-workout, you should also regard other external factors like temperature, the density of the climbers, difficulty level, and safety as pre-workout is not everything.

Therefore, pre-workout supplements might be excessive as a substitute for coffee if you do not plan to work out after.

Bottom lines

Grab a cup of coffee when you need a natural energy boost without a lot of pricey components. However, a pre-workout pill will be more effective for you if you want to maximize your performance at the gym.