If you’re about to hit the gym and you have two options sitting in front of you, a tub of pre-workout and a bottle of caffeine pills, which should you take? When it comes to pre workout vs. caffeine pills, I personally would choose to take a dedicated pre-workout over a generic caffeine pill.
The most notable effects of pre-workout come from the caffeine. Caffeine helps improve concentration and focus, in addition to the benefits of stimulating your central nervous system.
Benefits of Pre-Workout
Pre-Workout is specifically formulated to improve athletic performance. Caffeine isn’t the only ingredient in pre-workouts. There are other ingredients that aid in endurance, vasodilation, and pump.
The additional ingredients of pre-workouts stacked with caffeine give you more benefits than taking caffeine alone. For example, combining L-theanine with caffeine has greater benefits for mood and cognitive performance than just caffeine.
Nootropic stacks (like L-theanine and caffeine) deliver additional benefits by working together synergistically. This means that the combination of two or more compounds work together to improve cognitive or physical benefits. In some cases, stacking multiple nootropics can help to minimize the side effects from one or both of the compounds. For example, if you find that high doses of caffeine leave you feeling anxious or jittery, taking L-theanine can help offset that negative side-effect.
Benefits of Caffeine Pills
Caffeine pills are easier to increase or decrease your dosage. With pre-workout you basically just have to eyeball the scoop you’re using. If you have a bottle of 100mg caffeine pills, you can easily increase or decrease your intake in 100mg increments.
Caffeine pills deliver the majority of the benefits of pre-workout without any artificial or sketchy ingredients. While I think there are plenty of great pre-workouts out there with clean, clinically tested ingredients – there are certainly some pre-workout options with with questionable ingredients.
If you don’t like overly sweet drinks, caffeine pills are a great alternative to pre-workout supplements. Pre workout drinks can be super sweet with some nasty artificial flavors, so if that isn’t your thing try caffeine pills instead.
Conclusion: Pre-Workout Is Usually Better
If you’re looking for peak athletic performance, pre-workout is probably the better option here. At the end of the day if all you’re looking for a jolt from some caffeine, either will work fine. However, the synergistic effects of a pre-workout’s ingredients will probably give you a small additional benefit.
Read More: Best Pre-Workout On a Budget