Coffee vs Pre Workout

Coffee vs Pre Workout – Is Pre Workout or Coffee Better Before Exercise?

Coffee and pre-workout supplements are excellent drink options before workouts or training sessions if you want an extra energy boost.

However, is coffee better than pre workout, or should you drink pre workout instead of coffee?

Personally, I use both from time to time. I love drinking coffee, but there are some benefits of pre workout supplements that I can’t ignore!

There is no more potent option for a natural pre-workout boost than drinking coffee before exercise, but numerous pre workout supplements are “stronger” than coffee and contain other ingredients that support workout performance

However, the debate about coffee vs pre workout before workouts does not only involve milligrams of caffeine.

Drinking coffee or a pre workout supplement before exercising is an excellent way to improve your workout quality by providing short-term energy and amplifying your abilities in the gym.

However, outside of caffeine, these pre workout drink options contain many completely different properties.

Although you can drink either a pre-workout supplement or coffee before exercising, you have to choose one or the other.

If you want to know whether drinking coffee or pre workout supplements before your workouts will be better, keep reading below!

Coffee vs Pre Workout Supplements – Important Differences

While both options can provide an energy boost, there are important differences between these two drinks.

First, let’s explore some key differences between coffee and pre-workout supplements.

Caffeine Content

Unless you use a stimulant free pre workout, pre workout supplements usually contain at least twice as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

However, the magnitude of the caffeine difference depends on which pre workout supplement you use and how many cups of coffee you drink.

Most cups of coffee contain around 60-80mg of caffeine, and you could drink two or three cups before your workout if necessary.

Contrarily, most pre workout products contain 150mg-300mg of caffeine, which is significantly more.

If you need a stronger jolt of energy, choose a pre-workout supplement with more caffeine.

For example, Pro Supps Mr. Hyde contains a “caffeine matrix,” which totals 420mg of caffeine!

You would have to drink around five cups of coffee to reach that level of caffeine intake.

Nutrient Content

A main difference when comparing pre workout vs coffee is that coffee contains natural antioxidants (such as chlorogenic acid), and pre workout supplements contain performance-enhancing ingredients such as amino acids, creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, and citrulline malate.

Depending on your regular diet, you can decide which is more important.

Suppose your diet already consists of many foods high in antioxidants.

In that case, you might not need the extra antioxidants from coffee and prefer the components of a quality pre workout supplement.

Keep reading below to learn a few more specific benefits of coffee and pre-workout supplements, and see my decision on which product wins the battle of coffee vs. pre-workout!

Coffee Before Workouts

drinking pre workout vs coffee before workouts

While the majority of coffee options can provide similar benefits, it is important to note that organic coffee is a preferred choice due to its lack of harmful additives.

However, I strongly suggest avoiding “coffee drinks” from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, which contain loads of artificial sugar.

According to a report from the University of Delaware Food & Nutrition Education Lab, coffee drinkers who add artificial sweeteners tend to have higher BMIs and larger waists than those who do not.

Comparatively, coffee drinkers who use healthy sweeteners or no additives benefit from better blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight maintenance.

In fact, drinking black coffee can help you lose weight, even if you are not exercising very often.

If you drink coffee before workouts, coffee can be very influential in promoting weight loss!

If you drink coffee instead of a pre-workout supplement, drink black coffee, coffee with only small amounts of sugar, or Bulletproof Coffee.

Benefits of Drinking Coffee Before Workouts

Coffee Before Workout Benefits

Now, check out these benefits of drinking coffee before you head to a workout!

Improved High-Intensity Exercise Performance

Although coffee has numerous other health benefits, the most pertinent to our current topic is that coffee improves performance when performing high-intensity exercise.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, results showed that the ingestion of caffeinated coffee decreased the time it took to run 1500 meters, increased the speed of the finishing burst of the test, and increased VO2 max during a high-intensity 1500-m run.

Although this study only focused on running, the benefits likely apply to other forms of high-intensity exercise as well.

I often drink coffee before basketball practices, weight lifting sessions, morning walks, and other activities.

Increased Fat Burning and Weight Loss

One of the other main benefits of drinking coffee before workouts is that it can help you burn more calories and lose weight.

Although coffee has additional useful properties, the caffeine content in coffee alone can help you increase your ability to lose weight.

According to a study in Obesity Reviews, caffeine ingested from coffee before an exercise bout significantly elevated fat oxidation rates and performance.

Fat oxidation is not the only component of fat loss and weight loss, but it is a primary aspect.

Additionally, coffee has appetite-suppressing effects, which can help with calorie intake throughout your day if you are trying to lose weight.

Chlorogenic Acid

One of the main benefits of drinking coffee is its chlorogenic acid content.

Chlorogenic acid is one of the most abundant polyphenol compounds in the human diet due to our habitual coffee consumption, and evidence demonstrates that it exerts many biological properties, including antibacterial, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic activities.

Consuming chlorogenic acid through drinking coffee is an excellent way to improve your health and is one of the main reasons you should try drinking coffee before your workouts.


Coffee is widely available and relatively inexpensive, making it a convenient option for people who need a quick pick-me-up before a workout.

Cons of Coffee Before Workouts

Limited Endurance Benefits

While caffeine can provide an energy boost, it does not have the same endurance-enhancing benefits as some pre-workout supplements.

Digestive Issues

Some people may experience digestive issues, such as acid reflux or diarrhea, after consuming coffee.

When to Drink Coffee Before Workouts?

The ideal time to drink coffee before a workout can vary depending on caffeine tolerance, workout intensity, and personal preferences.

Generally, it is recommended to consume coffee about 30 minutes before your workout to allow time for the caffeine to be absorbed and provide an energy boost.

However, some individuals may prefer to drink coffee up to an hour before their workout, while others may find that consuming coffee too close to their workout can cause digestive discomfort.

It is important to listen to your body and adjust your timing accordingly.

How Much Coffee Should You Drink Before Workouts?

The amount of coffee you should drink before a workout can depend on several factors, such as your body weight, caffeine tolerance, and the intensity of your workout.

Generally, consuming 1-2 cups of coffee (8-16 oz) about 30 minutes before your workout is recommended.

The caffeine content of an average cup of coffee can vary depending on factors such as the brewing method and type of bean used.

On average, a cup of coffee (8 oz) contains about 95 mg of caffeine, while a shot of espresso (1 oz) contains about 63 mg of caffeine.

Based on this, consuming 1-2 cups of coffee or 1-2 shots of espresso (equivalent to 2-3 cups) about 30 minutes before your workout can effectively boost energy without exceeding recommended caffeine intake levels.

The most effective amount of caffeine for increasing workout performance can vary depending on individual factors such as body weight, caffeine tolerance, and the intensity of the workout.

However, research suggests that consuming 3-6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight (or about 1.36-2.72 mg per pound of body weight) about 30 minutes before a workout can improve endurance, power, and overall performance.

For example, a 150-pound individual should consume around 204-408 mg of caffeine for optimal performance benefits.

However, it is important to listen to your body and not consume more caffeine than you can tolerate, as excessive caffeine intake can cause negative side effects such as jitters, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.

Additionally, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before increasing your caffeine intake for workouts.

Best Coffee Brand for Pre Workout

There are a few options for what I would consider my favorite coffee to drink before training.

Puroast Low Acid Coffee

In my opinion, the best pre workout coffee brand is Puroast Low Acid Coffee.

I love Puroast Low Acid Coffee, and I also believe it is the best fat burning coffee brand.

The main reason that I chose this as my favorite pre workout coffee is that it contains 70% less acid than other coffees!

The reduced acid content of Puroast Low Acid Coffee helps you avoid any gastrointestinal issues from drinking coffee that may arise during your workouts.

Besides the acid content, Puroast also contains 7x as many antioxidants as the average cup of green tea due to the unique processing of Puroast Coffee.

Last update on 2023-03-21 / I earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. / Thank you for your support!

You can watch my YouTube video to learn more about the best pre workout coffee brand:

Kicking Horse Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee is a great pre workout coffee brand for several reasons.

First, Kicking Horse Coffee uses high-quality organic Arabica beans, which are perfectly roasted to bring out the maximum flavor and aroma.

This ensures you get a premium quality coffee free from harmful chemicals and additives, making it a healthier choice for your pre workout routine.

Second, Kicking Horse Coffee has a high caffeine content, which is crucial for enhancing workout performance.

One cup of Kicking Horse Coffee contains around 110-130 mg of caffeine, which is within the recommended range for a pre workout coffee.

Caffeine helps to boost energy, increase focus, and delay fatigue, allowing you to exercise longer and harder.

Finally, Kicking Horse Coffee comes in various flavors and blends, allowing you to choose the one that suits your taste preferences.

Whether you prefer a bold and strong flavor or a milder and smoother taste, Kicking Horse Coffee has a blend that will satisfy your cravings.

Overall, Kicking Horse Coffee is a great pre workout coffee brand that provides high-quality coffee with a rich flavor and a healthy caffeine boost to help you power through your workouts.

Last update on 2023-03-22 / I earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. / Thank you for your support!

Pre Workout Supplements

Coffee is a great option before workouts, but pre workout supplements also offer many benefits!

Benefits of Pre Workout Instead of Coffee Before Workouts

There are many benefits of drinking pre workout supplements instead of coffee before your workouts, and I believe one of the most important benefits is the variety of pre workout supplements to choose from.

Unlike coffee, you can get pre workout supplements with a wide range of tastes, ingredients, and effects.

There are literally thousands of pre workout supplements!

Check out these benefits of pre workout supplements:

Pick Your Caffeine Content

Unlike coffee, which generally contains the same amount of caffeine in each cup, you can find an enormous range of stimulant levels in pre workout products.

You can find products that provide stimulant-free energy or a pre workout product with 400mg of caffeine per serving!

Whether you need more caffeine or less to get you in the gym and through your workout, purchasing a pre-workout supplement gives you the freedom you need.

Nitric Oxide Boosters (Get the Pump)

One of the main benefits of using pre workout instead of coffee before exercising is that pre workout supplements often contain nitric oxide boosters, which help you get a better “pump” in the gym and improve muscle growth in other ways.

For example, one notable nitric oxide boosting supplement is citrulline malate.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, citrulline malate ingestion resulted in a significant reduction in the sensation of fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise.

These results indicate that taking a pre workout supplement with citrulline malate can help you have more energy during your workouts and help you recover energy faster after your workouts.

There are other nitric oxide boosters, and this is just one example of what you can find in pre workout supplements.

Unique Range of Ingredients

Aside from these two standard components of most pre workout products, you can also find pre workout products with a variety of other ingredients as well.

For example, if you are also looking to lose weight, you can find a pre workout product that contains L-carnitine or other well-known metabolism-promoting ingredients.

If you want to build as much lean muscle mass as possible, you can use a product that contains creatine monohydrate and maybe some additional carbohydrates.

Regardless, I do not doubt that you can find a pre workout product with precisely the ingredients you are looking for because there are so many options!

Cons of Pre Workout Supplements

Side Effects

Some people may experience side effects from pre-workout supplements, such as jitters, nausea, and insomnia.

Additionally, some pre-workout supplements may contain ingredients not well-tolerated by certain individuals.


Pre-workout supplements can be expensive, especially if you are taking them regularly.


Over time, some individuals may become dependent on pre-workout supplements to perform well during workouts, which can be problematic if they cannot access them.

Best Pre Workout Supplements

Unfortunately, I cannot choose only one pre workout product that I would call my favorite.

However, I can narrow it down to a few options.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout

Based on what I believe are the best pre workout ingredients, one of my favorites is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout contains all of the best pre workout ingredients I suggest you have in a pre workout product, and it has many other great ingredients as well!

From my experience, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout gives you an awesome pump and incredible energy for your workouts.

Last update on 2023-03-22 / I earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. / Thank you for your support!

RSP Nutrition Amino Lean

My other favorite pre workout supplement is RSP Nutrition Amino Lean.

I like this pre workout supplement because it contains EAAs (essential amino acids), ample caffeine (from green tea), and additional metabolism-boosting ingredients.

Last update on 2023-03-22 / I earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. / Thank you for your support!

Genius Pre

Lastly, if you want to use a stimulant-free pre-workout supplement, I suggest The Genius Brand Pre Workout.

The Genius Brand Pre Workout is a high-quality pre workout supplement that offers several benefits to enhance your workout performance.

It contains natural ingredients such as caffeine, L-citrulline, and beta-alanine to boost energy, increase focus, and delay fatigue.

Additionally, it includes ElevATP, a unique blend of plant extracts that supports energy production at the cellular level, improving muscle strength and endurance.

The Genius Brand Pre Workout is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, making it a healthier alternative to other pre workout supplements.

Last update on 2023-03-06 / I earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. / Thank you for your support!

Concluding Thoughts – Pre Workout vs Coffee Before Exercising

As you can see, there are numerous unique benefits of pre-workout or coffee before exercise.

Depending on your goals and needs, you can decide whether to drink coffee instead of pre workout supplements or choose pre workout instead of coffee before your workouts.

Regardless, coffee and pre-workout supplements can positively impact your workout performance and can both be a part of achieving your fitness goals!

Read Next: Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

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