preworkout vs coffee

Coffee or pre-workout supplements? One of the most common questions from fitness buffs is whether they should drink coffee or take a pre-workout before hitting the gym.

If you are wondering whether or not you should supplement them into your diet and training; then there are some things to consider…

The main ingredient of a pre-workout supplement is caffeine, which has shown to increase energy and burn more calories throughout a workout. Caffeine is also heavily present in coffee, which is readily available and can be a cheaper alternative.

To boost your energy levels, then a hot Java can offer you some extra focus as pre-workout does. But the difference can lie in the supplement’s additional ingredients.

A Bit Of History

Coffee has been a common part of many people’s morning ritual for quite some time now, whether it’s desperado coffee or the fancy, $5 latte from your local coffee shop. It’s actually been linked to our daily lives since the days of the Ancient Egyptians.

Coffee has long been a controversial subject in America. Many people swear by the morning cup of coffee as a way to start the day off right; while others claim that drinking coffee throughout the day can be detrimental to your health in many ways.

Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements are becoming more and more popular as athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and even regular gym-goers begin to realize that they can enhance their training regimens with a carefully designed pre-workout supplement. Compared to coffee, pre-workout supplements have it all – they deliver energy, improve focus, enhance endurance, and even help with muscle pumps!

There are even crazy stories of some gym-goers snorting pre-workout, which is something we recommend you do not do!

The Curse pre workout

If you are not a bodybuilder, powerlifter, strength athlete or someone looking to improve workout performance or endurance in the gym, then you may not benefit from a pre-workout supplement as much. However, they can help you improve alertness and energy. While coffee and pre-workout supplements both have their own sets of pros and cons, we’ll take a look at how the two stack up against each other to see.

Common Pre Workout Ingredients

There are hundreds of pre-workout supplements on the market, with different ingredients, blends and target audiences. But the most successful pre-workouts always have similar ingredients which tend to work for the majority of people.


Caffeine is the most popular and effective ingredient found in a pre-workout and is known to increase energy and focus at the gym. If your goal is to lose body-fat, then caffeine can have thermogenic effects. This can help to burn additional calories during exercise and throughout the day.

Some pre-workout supplements can have upwards of 400 mg of caffeine per serving, which is equivalent to about 4 cups of coffee. If you are caffeine sensitive, then assess your tolerance first before you increase your dose.


creatine powder

You can expect your average pre-workout supplement to contain creatine. Creatine is another supplement that is better to take daily but many people decide to take either creatine or pre-workout and not both at the same time.

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate has shown to increase blood flow by increasing nitric oxide while also reducing blood pressure. This increase in blood flow will help you increase muscle pumps, vascularity and nutrition partitioning.

In layman’s terms, this means your muscles will look bigger and they will absorb more nutrients. If you don’t train for bodybuilding or strength, then citrulline malate may not be beneficial to you.


Beta-alanine can help you perform more reps in the gym, the body uses it to produce carnosine which delays lactic acid build-up in the muscles. This works best if you take it every day, but there are still benefits to taking it with a pre-workout too. But if you don’t plan on consuming your supplement every day, then you won’t get optimal benefits from these ingredients.


L-tyrosine helps to increase alertness and focus. It can also help you with indulging in fewer distractions at the gym. L-tyrosine can complement the caffeine present in pre-workout for an energized effect and laser-focus at the same time.

Why Choose Pre Workout Vs Coffee

Coffee Beans

The benefits of a pre-workout are plentiful; let’s talk about them in more detail:

Easy To Consume

Pre-workout supplements are quick and easy to make; all you need is a shaker, water and a scoop of your favorite powder to see a quick improvement in your exercise performance. The ease of making a pre-workout drink can come in handy when you are on the go and need something quick without stopping or preparing.

High Caffeine Content

Pre-workouts usually have higher stimulant content when compared to most caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks. If you are someone with a high caffeine tolerance, then you may benefit from a pre-workout tremendously.

Sweet Taste

Most of these supplements have been developed to have a nice taste with the use of sweeteners. Many gym-goers select their pre-workout based on taste alone! If you are not a coffee drinker, this makes pre-workout supplements a much tastier alternative. Caffeine pills are another option for those who don’t like the taste of coffee.

Better Focus

Pre-workout has many ingredients which increase your cognition and help you have a great exercise session. Ingredients like L-tyrosine work beautifully with caffeine and can give you the additional boost you might be looking for. The best pre-workouts for focus generally contain a number of additions to improve brain cognition.

Increased Muscle Endurance

man building biceps muscles

With the ingredients such as citrulline malate, beta-alanine and creatine, you can expect to squeeze out a couple of more reps than you usually do. The ability to get more reps can help you progress quicker in muscular strength and size.

Benefits Of Coffee Vs Pre Workout Supplements

Even though coffee might not be as sophisticated as a pre-workout, it still comes with many benefits:


Most coffee drinkers love the taste of coffee beans, and they may prefer to consume a cup of black coffee rather than a scoop of pre-workout. If you drink something you enjoy before a workout, then you will be in a better mood and complete your exercise routine with a big smile.


For the most part, coffee is less expensive per serving than a pre-workout. The only time coffee can be more costly than a pre-workout is if you purchase one from Starbucks or a fancy coffee shop. If you make your own coffee, then you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for very cheap.

Natural Caffeine


Coffee has natural caffeine, which is just as effective as the caffeine found in pre-workout. If you are cautious about your health, consuming lab-made ingredients or concerned about their side effects, then coffee is a great source. If you are looking to lose weight, then it can also make a good appetite suppressant too!

Tip: Take some L-theanine with your coffee to avoid the jitters but still have focus.

An Appropriate Amount Of Caffeine

The great thing about coffee is that it has the right amount of caffeine for most people. A cup of coffee has 100mg of caffeine which is sufficient enough to increase energy without overconsumption of caffeine. Drinking coffee can be a great energy booster for people who have low to moderate caffeine tolerance.

Can Coffee Be A Substitute For Pre Workout?

Yes! Coffee can be an excellent substitute for a pre-workout. Remember that pre-workout is ideal for people who have a higher caffeine consumption or are looking for additional benefits than just brain function.

If your goal is to be healthy and get the most out of your workouts, then coffee can be perfect. You can always take ingredients found in pre-workouts individually with your coffee if you would like to get the same benefits as you get from supplements while enjoying a tasty cup of pre-workout coffee.


You don’t need a pre-workout if you just need extra energy, you can get a similar energy boost from coffee. If you have high caffeine tolerance and or don’t enjoy coffee, then pre-workouts can be a great supplement to consume.