Increasing energy levels is sorely needed when you have long or hard workouts. A lot of articles suggest taking supplements like caffeine to help push through your gym time.
Some people say that taking straight caffeine pills is the best option, while others say pre-workout is what you need.
I dived into research mode to figure out which would be a better option.
Why Is Caffeine Important For Exercise?
A lot of people choose coffee to get their caffeine fix, but athletes may opt for something built for their needs. Choices like pre-workout or caffeine pills are popular.
Are Caffeine Pills Good For Pre-workout?
Caffeine pills may be a good option as a pre-workout. They will boost your energy levels and help you power through your workouts.
If you choose safe caffeine pills, then you miss out on some other vital nutrients that you can find in a pre-workout.
Ingredients like beta-alanine, creatine, and BCAAs can help with muscle growth and recovery.
Comparing Caffeine Caffeine Pills and Pre-Workout
The main difference between caffeine pills and pre-workouts is in the overall caffeine content.
Some pre-workouts contain as much as 500mg of caffeine per serving, whereas caffeine pills have a lower caffeine content at around 100-200mg.
For reference, an average cup of coffee is 95mg. You will get a lot of caffeine with energy supplements.
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What Other Differences Are There?
Besides the caffeine content, the ingredients for both can be vastly different.
A caffeine pill brand usually adds ingredients like green tea extract or l-theanine. The goal is to increase your energy and alertness.
A pre-workout supplement usually has four ingredients; creatine, BCAAs, beta-alanine, and caffeine.
Sure, it boosts your energy, but it does more than that. They work together to help support the muscles in your body for your gym routine.
It’s best for pre workout supplements to have the correct dosage of each ingredient. It’s something to be mindful of when picking a pre workout supplement for yourself.
Related: Energy Drinks vs Pre-Workout
What are the Benefits?
Let’s start by taking a look at caffeine pills.
Caffeine pills offer temporary benefits after consumption. They include:
Caffeine tablets are an excellent option if you are looking to avoid energy drinks like pre-workout or coffee. You have a lower chance of consuming extra calories, sugar, or artificial flavors by avoiding those drinks.So does pre-workout have different benefits compared to caffeine pills?
“Of all the legal supplements an athlete could take, caffeine has the biggest effect on performance.”
- Mark Glaister, exercise physiologist
The best pre workout products will have significant benefits for your muscles. It focuses on providing nutrients that help your body in the long-term. You could gain the following:
What Are The Side Effects?
There are a few similar side effects of caffeine pills and pre workout products. If you consistently take caffeine pills or pre-workout supplements, then you are at risk of developing a tolerance.
It can lower your ability to feel the energy “high.” I would recommend saving it for only an important exercise performance.
I would also suggest not taking it for an evening gym session. Caffeine can keep you awake for hours, and it’s hard to fall asleep that way.
You shouldn’t take either if you have high blood pressure or a heart condition. The extra caffeine can cause a lot of issues.
For those dealing with the side effects, you can try out some of the best caffeine-free pre-workouts.
When Is The Best Time To Take A Pre-workout Or Caffeine Pill?
The best time to take a pre workout or caffeine pill is before starting any exercise. It usually ranges from 20-60 minutes beforehand.
It depends on a lot of factors like your tolerance to caffeine. My advice is to follow the package instructions to get an idea of what works for you.
For a summary on the differences, check out this video:
Which Product Should You Pick?
There’s a lot of research on the health benefits of caffeine. You can boost your caffeine intake by taking caffeine pills or a pre-workout.
Both have different intentions on how they help you, though.
If you’re looking for a pure energy boost, then I would recommend taking caffeine pills.
If you’re looking for muscle strength, exercise performance, and quick recovery, then you should consider a pre workout supplement.
What are your thoughts about caffeine pills and pre-workouts?
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