Pre Workout Vs Coffee Vs Energy Drinks & Stimulant Alternative Options

The topic for today’s article will have us focusing on coffee vs energy drinks vs pre workout supplements & also some caffeine stimulates alternative options that are lesser known to most people.

The basis of this is about energy for working out mainly, however, this article can also relate for those just trying to get a boost when it’s not related fitness wise.

The latter will be pretty much cover all except the pre workout, which I’ll explain why more in this article.

Disclaimer: Most of us consider stimulants to be an everyday part of life but they can also be dangerous if not used correctly and/or can be for medical reasons, mainly your heart for example.

So please for your sake, never exceed the recommended dosage of any of these, pay attention to what your body is telling you and make sure to consult with your Doctor on what/if certain energy consumption is safe for you to take.

Let’s look into each of these options more thoroughly in regards to using them for working out.

Benefits Of Taking A Pre-Workout Supplement Before The Gym

One of the first few supplements you’ll most likely notice after you start working out is usually protein powder followed by something called a pre-workout supplement.

The pre workout is what you’ll take before your workout to help you gain energy & also a few other benefits to aid in your workout.

Now, most of these have a major difference in their ingredient profile so not all benefits mentioned here will apply to all of them but these are fairly common nowadays for most of them.


  • Great Energy
  • Better Blood Flow
  • More Focused On Your Workout
  • Slight Strength Boost
  • More Stamina

Disadvantages (Potentially)

  • Sleeping Issues
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Racing Heart
  • Stimulant-Dependent
  • Gas & Bathroom Issues

A good thing about pre workouts is that you can get ones nowadays that are mild or even completely free of stimulants that offer energy through a more natural vitamin ingredient approach.

In terms of overall results, pre workouts provide the most boost for your training session, so this is why you say most serious lifters take some sort of supplement related to this.

Most of these supplements come in powder based form where you mix it yourself with water, I mention this because you should always follow the recommended guidelines of each one you take which can be found somewhere on the container itself.

Drinking Coffee Before Working Out

Drinking coffee before you workout is nothing new and a lot of gyms I’ve been to I’ve seen a coffee pot usually somewhere close to the entrance of the gym.

This is probably more for the staff working there but I see tons of people grabbing a cup before they head into the gym.

Most often the people I see doing this are usually somewhat older, 50+ or so in age.

Essentially most people know how their body/mind reacts to coffee so they have a general idea of what to expect. Essentially you just getting a boost of caffeinated energy.

With that being said don’t think more = better workout results. Know when to draw the line because even though coffee is usually a safer option than a pre-workout supplement, going overboard on caffeine, especially before you work out can still lead to some bad side effects (potentially serious health ones).


  • Cheap
  • Easily Accessible
  • Usually, You’re Aware of How It Affects You
  • Good Boost Of Energy/Motivation
  • Improved Circulation


  • Doesn’t Contain A Lot Of The Benefits That Come With Pre Workouts
  • Additional Carbs/Calories If You Have To Add Sugar To It

Coffee can work wonders for helping you get up and go but for a lot of younger folks that hit the gym who have already seen what a pre-workout supplement can offer or even an energy drink can make coffee hard to go back to as a replacement.

It might be a great fit for you so give it a shot and see what your workouts like.

I recommend Black Rifle Coffee!

Drinking An Energy Drink To Help Your Workout

For a lot of the younger generation, we have made energy drinks our “coffee”.

Well mostly, I’m not counting the skinny jean Starbucks crew in that statement.

Not only are energy drinks used for staying up to study or helping get out of bed to cut the grass but it’s become a very common go-to item for pre-workout energy as well.

So where does energy drinks stand rank against coffee and pre-workout supplements in the overall energy side of things?

Right smack dab in the middle and I’ll explain why.

First, off coffee, you’re getting mostly a boost from caffeine alone.

Pre-workout supplements have not only caffeine related ingredients for the boost but also typically have a lot of extra goodies added in as well to help you push your workout harder.

With energy drinks, you get the caffeine obviously but they also tend to have a lot of B vitamins as well that also aid in energy. This varies depending on the brand you choose of course.

These usually tend to have more caffeine than your average cup of coffee as well.


  • Decent Boost Of Energy
  • Fairly Accessible (Most Gas Stations/Stores Have Them
  • Some Actually Taste Good


  • Doesn’t Contain A Lot Of The Benefits That Come With Pre Workouts
  • Can Be Pricey If You Buy One For Each One Of Your Workouts

Non-Stimulant Energy Boosters For The Gym

This is slightly tricky because energy and stimulant usually are one in the same but usually when we say stimulant we’re talking about something that is caffeinated.

Well, I found a few options for those who don’t want to consume any caffeine for whatever reason they have.


First up we have L-Carnitine which works by using the long-chain fatty acids that are in your body for energy.

I really like this option when dieting because the entire goal of dropping weight is to get your body to use the fat that it has so it goes away.

B Vitamins

If you look at the ingredients of a lot of energy drinks, you’ll notice they contain a good bit of B vitamins to help with energy. They make a good addition to stimulated ingredients like caffeine for a good source of clean energy.

Non-Stimulant Supplement Blends

Very similar to pre-workout supplements where they contain a mixture of ingredients, there are some supplements that do this with non-stimulant ingredients.