I’ve heard more than one person tell me that they stopped taking pre-workout (for a number of reasons). A few had started taking a scoop of beta-alanine and drinking a cup of coffee before their workouts. Is this optimal? Maybe not. But it’s definitely beneficial compared to drinking a glass of water before hitting the gym.
Should You Use Beta Alanine and Coffee as a Pre-Workout?
Regardless of why you don’t want to just take a standard pre-workout supplement, I think beta-alanine stacked with black coffee is a pretty good alternative pre-workout. I’ve used this before when I wanted to take a break from pre-workout to allow my tolerance to return to normal levels. I have also used this combo for endurance training, where I don’t see the need for all the extra stuff in many other supplements.
Benefits of Beta-Alanine
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid naturally found in the body. The primary benefit of beta-alanine for athletic performance is its impact on carnosine synthesis. Consuming beta-alanine can increase muscle carnosine synthesis which can aid in buffering against lactic acid buildup in your muscle tissues. Beta-alanine has been linked to a number of benefits, including improved endurance, speed, exercise capacity, and strength gains.
Typical dosage for optimal results is 2,400 to 5,000 mg of beta-alanine prior to exercise.
Benefits of Coffee (Caffeine)
Coffee, and more specifically caffeine, has to be the most widely used pre-workout supplement. Not only does it have benefits on exercise performance, it is also very easily accessible. You can pick up a coffee at the gas station or at Starbucks on the way to the gym.
At the most basic level, caffeine enhances performance and focus in the gym. As a stimulant, caffeine activates your brain and nervous system to improve focus and energy, while reducing signals of fatigue. Caffeine also increases the epinephrine circulating in your system. This hormone is responsible for “fight or flight” responses, which will generally improve your athletic performance.
Read More: Best Pre Workouts On a Budget
One of the lesser known benefits of caffeine for training is that it can actually improve your body’s fat burning abilities. This process works because caffeine spares your carb stores, and raises your core temperature – which can improve your body’s fat burning capabilities.