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Best Caffeine Free Pre Workout Supplements

last updated Apr 17, 2019

There’s a lot of hype surrounding pre-workout formulas; often you’ll see promotional copy that makes all sorts of outrageous claims. Inevitably the copy will be accompanied by images of bodybuilders growling as they tear through their workout. All of this is achieved, naturally, as a result of taking a stimulant heavy pre-workout.

However, there is also a growing market for stimulant free - and specifically caffeine free - pre-workout supplements. These gym goers have no desire to endure the jittery, unnatural “wired” feeling that comes with a caffeine-heavy pre-workout or the post-workout crash that is also part of the deal. In this article, we identify the top 10 caffeine free pre-workout supplements on the current market. We’ll also highlight just what’s wrong with taking a caffeine-heavy pre-workout supplement and we’ll let you know just what you should be looking for in a good caffeine free pre-workout supplement.

Researched Sources
5
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
2553
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
5
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Use Effectiveness Materials Side Effects Durability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Use
95%
Effectiveness
96%
Materials
97%
Side Effects
97%
Durability
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Use
93%
Effectiveness
93%
Materials
92%
Side Effects
92%
Durability
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Use
89%
Effectiveness
88%
Materials
88%
Side Effects
87%
Durability
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Use
87%
Effectiveness
88%
Materials
87%
Side Effects
89%
Durability
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Use
85%
Effectiveness
86%
Materials
87%
Side Effects
87%
Durability
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Use
83%
Effectiveness
84%
Materials
83%
Side Effects
85%
Durability
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
Use
80%
Effectiveness
81%
Materials
81%
Side Effects
79%
Durability
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
Use
79%
Effectiveness
79%
Materials
80%
Side Effects
78%
Durability
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.2
Use
76%
Effectiveness
75%
Materials
76%
Side Effects
77%
Durability
77%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
Use
75%
Effectiveness
74%
Materials
76%
Side Effects
74%
Durability
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.04.19)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Pump Surge
  • Vasoblitz Dual
  • Labrada Super Charge
  • BPI Sports Shredded
  • Controlled Labs Purple Wraath
  • BSN N.O.-XPLODE
  • NutraBio PRE
  • Genius All Natural
  • N.O. Pro Beetroot
  • REDCON1 Big Noise
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Pump Surge

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Pump Surge
Use
95
Effectiveness
96
Materials
97
Side Effects
97
Durability
96
best offer for today
Pros:

Increases Power Output

Boosts Nitric Oxide

Naturally Colored

Premium Ingredients

Transparent Label

Cons:

​Contains Artificial Sweeteners

Chalky

PumpSurge is a pre-workout from Canadian company Jack’d Factory. It contains no caffeine or other types of stimulants. Still, it promises to deliver laser-like focus, powerful pumps and endless endurance. Each serving of PumpSurge provides citrulline malate (4g), betaine anhydrous (2.5g), glycerol powder (1.25g), Rhodiola rosea (200mg), alpha GPC (100mg), black pepper fruit extract (5mg) and Huperzine A, made from toothed clubmoss aerial parts extract (50mcg).

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It should be noted that this product does contain both natural and artificial sweeteners. These include sucralose and acesulfame potassium. The product is naturally colored with both fruit and vegetable juice. Quite of few of the ingredients in PumpSurge have been shown to increase power output, while others, such as citrulline malate are effective nitric oxide inducers. Rhodiola rosea is also included and is a proven nootropic that promotes focus while also reducing fatigue. Most flavors are pretty tasty, though many of them leave quite an aftertaste.

2. Vasoblitz Dual

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Vasoblitz Dual
Use
93
Effectiveness
93
Materials
92
Side Effects
92
Durability
93
best offer for today
Pros:

Great Value

Simple Ingredients

2g Calcium Lactate

Big Dose Of NO3

Rich Flavor

Cons:

Too Much L-Citrulline

Build Fast Formula might not be the most recognized in the world, but if you are familiar with the popular supplement Jack3D, then you will be happy to know that the people behind Build Fast Formula were the ones who had a hand in the creation of Jack3D! Vasoblitz is a simple, yet quite effective great pump product.

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We’ve all learned to be wary of products that have a lot of marketing hype around it, but this supplement does deserve it. It uses NO3-T Arginine Nitrates to create that awesome pump boost we all crave. They give you simple ingredients with easy to understand dosages that deliver just what they promise. It also has 2 grams of Calcium Lactate, an ingredient that boosts the relaxation of muscles.

3. Labrada Super Charge

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Labrada Super Charge
Use
89
Effectiveness
88
Materials
88
Side Effects
87
Durability
89
best offer for today
Pros:

No Artificial Colors

Great Ingredient Ratio

Strength Powerhouse

Effective Formulation

5 Grams Of Creatinine

Cons:

Tough To Mix

May Cause Bloating

Labrada Nutrition has been regarded as a reputable nutrition company for a long time. This supplement serves as proof, packing great formulations to keep you going no matter how hard the workout gets.

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This supplement is an excellent example of a stim-free pre-workout supplement. The laser focus you will be getting from this supplement is all thanks to the nootropic Huperzine A. The Super Charge is also a strength powerhouse; with each scoop, you will be getting 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, and 5 grams of BCAAs in a great ratio of 2:1:1. This is all you need to power through the toughest of sessions. It does have a lot of creatine though, so you will need to drink plenty of fluids. It also must be mixed thoroughly, as it might not dissolve all that well at first.

4. BPI Sports Shredded

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
BPI Sports Shredded
Use
87
Effectiveness
88
Materials
87
Side Effects
89
Durability
88
best offer for today
Pros:

Contains 5 Grams Of BCAAs

Mixes Well

Tastes Good

Optimizes Recovery

Burns Fat

Cons:

​Contains Maltodextrin

Solidifies

As can be seen, the three branch chain amino acids make up the major ingredients to a total dosage of 5 grams per serve. These ingredients act primarily as anabolic boosters and energy enhancers. The next three ingredients are the key fat loss enhancers - L-Citrulline, L-Carnitine and L-Valine. Unlike many similar products, the ingredients are not listed as proprietary formulations so you know exactly how much of each ingredient you are getting.

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This product does contain maltodextrin, which is used as both a sweetener and a fast-acting carbohydrate. That means that if you are trying to follow a low carb diet (such as keto), you will want to limit your consumption of this product. However, the carbs will help to boost your glycogen. The formulation mixes well with water and provides a pleasant if somewhat sweet taste. The product is effective in terms of its BCAA effects, such as promoting energy and muscle building effects. However, the fat loss benefits are not so pronounced. This is no doubt due to the lower than ideal dosages of the key fat burning ingredients.

5. Controlled Labs Purple Wraath

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Controlled Labs Purple Wraath
Use
85
Effectiveness
86
Materials
87
Side Effects
87
Durability
86
best offer for today
Pros:

PurplEAA Complex

Contains Ginger

Zero Calories

Three Flavors

Tryptophan Free

Cons:

Weak Flavor

Does Not Mix Well

This supplement is said to be the “Holy Grail” of bodybuilding. True or false? It’s up to you to find out! It maximizes lean gains and fat loss, and it increases strength endurance and energy at the same time, without the drawbacks of caffeine! It was made to be the most complete EAA/BCAA complex on the market, that keeps you constantly in the anabolic state.

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It also boosts your energy, thanks to the added super endurance complex. The Purple Wraath PurplEAA Complex is a super efficient formula based on the science behind the muscle protein found in the human body, and clinical studies on the assimilation of human amino acids. The amino acids found in whey can take hours to be properly digested, while this solution is fast-acting and free-form. The formula is also maltodextrin and tryptophan-free, negating the sedative effects these two can sometimes have. The formula also has ginger, which enhances digestion, aids in nutrient absorption, and it produces a nootropic effect.

6. BSN N.O.-XPLODE

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
BSN N.O.-XPLODE
Use
83
Effectiveness
84
Materials
83
Side Effects
85
Durability
84
best offer for today
Pros:

Effective Dosages

Extra Vitamins And Electrolytes

Well priced

Powerful Creatine Blend

Endura Shot

Cons:

Proprietary Blend

Artificial Flavors And Sweeteners

BSN Xplode Pre-Workout is a pre-training formula which provides you with a powerful blend of caffeine free ingredients to match what you would expect from caffeine including products. It includes a powerful creatine blend, which provides you with a mixture of creatine monohydrate, creatine anhydrous, and creatine peptides. However, because the ingredients are listed as proprietary blends, we do not know exactly how much total creatine is contained in the product.

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The creatine mix is part of one of a number of matrix blends in the product. As well as containing creatine, the Myogenix blend also contains taurine and astragalus extract. Another bend is called the Endura Shot, which contains beta-alanine and magnesium to provide a natural energy surge. The N.O. Alpha Fusion blend is the key pump inducing part of the product. It contains citrulline malate along with a number of plant extracts, including dan shen, grape skin, the gale of the wind, and hawthorn. The final blend is designed as a nootropic enhancer and is called Shock Composite. It contains DMAE bitartrate and toothed clubmoss extract. We are impressed that this pre-workout also provides you with in excess of 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance of Vitamins D, thiamin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.

What’s not so impressive is that the product also contains some artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. This product includes many impressive ingredients that will provide you with the energy and focus-inducing enhancements that you need in a pre-workout. The flavors taste pretty good but are rather strong, so you might want to mix it with a little more than the recommended amount of water.

7. NutraBio PRE

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
NutraBio PRE
Use
80
Effectiveness
81
Materials
81
Side Effects
79
Durability
80
best offer for today
Pros:

Quality Pumps And Endurance

Enhances Recovery

Hydration Optimizer

Green Apple Taste

Cons:

Can Cause Diarrhea

This supplement combines effective ingredients with the right dosage to deliver the best possible, fast-working results. The pump it delivers is insane, thanks to the combination of 6 grams of citrulline malate, 1 gram of agmatine sulfate, and 750 mg of nitrosigine.

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The combo of other useful ingredients also cuts down on your recovery time, making you ready to take on the world as soon as a day after your heavy session at the gym. It accelerates your gains too, giving you strength and size as soon as possible. It has a lovely green apple taste that you can enjoy drinking, without having a chalky aftertaste. This synergistic supplement will keep you training for a longer time, and will definitely make you stronger!

8. Genius All Natural

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
Genius All Natural
Use
79
Effectiveness
79
Materials
80
Side Effects
78
Durability
80
best offer for today
Pros:

Citrulline Malate

No Artificial Ingredients

No Proprietary Blends

Nootropics Based

Naturally Sweetened

Cons:

​Expensive

Causes Skin Tingling

Genius Pre-Workout is a stimulant free pre-workout that is manufactured by Genius, who are a nootropic rather than a sports supplement company. Still, this product is an effective and worthy pre-workout formula. It provides high dosages of a number of proven energy, mood and pump enhancers. These include citrulline malate, which is provided at 6 grams per serving. This is the most effective nitric oxide inducer that there is. It will also promote energy. In addition, it contains Betaine which promotes greater power output and increased mental focus.

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There are absolutely no artificial flavorings in this product. It uses stevia, natural flavors, some anti-caking agents and beetroot extract. The ingredient list is long and impressive. Some other highlights are Betaine, which is associated with better power output and focus;L-tyrosine which may help with focus and reduce the stressful effects of a workout;L-arginine, which is another nitric oxide precursor; Alpha GPC, which is linked to improved power output, cognition, and production of growth hormone; Taurine which helps promote focus and may improve recovery.

The range of flavors is quite varied, with such offerings as Grape Lime-Aid. For a naturally flavored product, the taste is pretty good. This is an impressive energy enhancing pre-workout that also provides real nootropic benefits.

9. N.O. Pro Beetroot

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.2
N.O. Pro Beetroot
Use
76
Effectiveness
75
Materials
76
Side Effects
77
Durability
77
best offer for today
Pros:

Clean Formula

Promotes Anabolism

Non-GMO

Convenient Capsules

With Beet Root

Cons:

​Not So Effective

As the name indicates, N.O. Pro is a pre-workout which primarily acts as a stimulator of nitric oxide production. They’ve been placed in a convenient jar, in the form of a capsule, that you can take with you wherever you want so you can always be ready for a session at the gym.

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The combination of arginine, citrulline malate, beetroot, and AAKG create a powerful blend that will stimulate the production of nitric oxide in order to bring about vasodilation of your blood vessels. This will, in turn, fast track blood and nutrients to the working muscle group to provide the energy and muscle building support that you need. It will also take away waste products. It will also precipitate the muscle building process. This is a clean non-GMO formula that does not contain artificial sweeteners.

10. REDCON1 Big Noise

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
REDCON1 Big Noise
Use
75
Effectiveness
74
Materials
76
Side Effects
74
Durability
75
best offer for today
Pros:

Plenty of 3G Glycerol Monostearate

Sharpens Mental Focus

Increases Muscle Volume

Can Be Mixed With Other Supplements

Cons:

Not So Effective

REDCON1’s Big Noise is the pre-workout vasodilator that many of you have been asking for, at least that’s what they promise. It also promises that you will reach your maximum blood capacity in just minutes, and will be able to maintain it long after your gym session. These are very good promises, and it’s up to you to discover whether they are true.

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All you need to do is take just one scoop and mix it well with water about half an hour before your appointment in the gym, and you will feel pumped and ready to go. This supplement increases your muscle volume, giving you gains faster and safer. It also enhances your mental focus, so you can concentrate on your lifts more, without worrying about hurting yourself.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

Caffeine free supplements replace the stimulant inducing ingredients that are found in caffeine-containing pre-workouts with other natural products that are designed to promote energy as well as bringing about such other desirable benefits as better mental focus, a muscular pump, and anabolic support.

Despite the many benefits of going caffeine free, there are still a large number of gym junkies who feel that they need to receive a crazy buzz like what that they get from stim based formulas to allow them to take their training to the edge. For those people, we advise cycling your stimulants. To do this, take your stimulant based product for 6 weeks and then switch to a caffeine free formula for 3-2 weeks.

You should take your pre-workout formula about 30 minutes prior to starting your workout. Often the pre-workout formula will be mixed with water. This is to ensure that all the ingredients are absorbed and working at their peak when you reach your gym!

Effectiveness

Stimulant free pre-workout supplements provide you with the same benefits as stimulant based products, but they do so without the side effects that are inherent with consuming caffeine. Let’s consider the benefits of switching to a caffeine free pre-workout supplement.

Let’s face it - that wired, off the wall buzz that you get from high stimulant pre-workout is hardly natural. And, as we’ve explored in the above section, neither is it good for your health. That post workout crash is also unnatural and undesirable. Going with a stimulant free option is a cleaner, greener, more natural option. It’s also healthier, which is the reason that you started exercising in the first place, right?

Stimulant free pre-workouts will replace caffeine with any number of substances. A popular option is amino acids. There are some key amino acids that will increase your energy levels. Two of them are Beta-alanine and Citrulline. They are most effective when used together as they produce a synergistic effect. Other amino acids, such as L-Carnitine, have an overall body enhancing the effect. In fact, L-Citrulline will enhance fat loss as well as producing an energy boosting effect.

Nonstimulant pre-workout formulas require the manufacturers to be a little more creative when it comes to producing an enhanced workout effect. As a result, they tend to use more and better ingredients. With more ingredients, you are able to choose the specific ones that are best for you.

The ingredients that are used in stimulant free formulas have been designed to provide a sustained release of energy throughout the entire life of your workout. This is in contrast to many caffeine-based products, where the crash will kick in after about 45 minutes, leading to a terrible end to your workout performance. Often, non-stimulant pre-workout formulas will include ingredients that are specifically designed to enhance the weight loss effect of your workout. This is in contrast to stimulant based formulas where the sole focus is on enhancing training energy.

Non-stimulant based pre-workouts will generally provide more ingredients with nootropic benefits than stimulant-based ones. Primarily, they allow for enhanced focus during your workout. This is, arguably, the most important aspect of the workout. When the mind-muscle connection is enhanced, your workout will be improved greatly. Amino acids have nootropic benefits, as do the B-complex vitamins.

Getting a great pump during your workout does not simply look and feel great. It also speeds up the supply of both blood and nutrients to the working muscle cell, while also taking such waste products as lactic acid away from the area. When you take a caffeine free pre-workout it will provide a greater pump effect than one with caffeine, regardless of the actual pump inducing ingredients. Caffeine, along with other stimulants, acts as a vasoconstrictor. That means that it actually closes up the blood vessel. This prevents the very thing that the pump is trying to achieve.

Materials

Something that all caffeine-free supplements contain are useful ingredients that boost your energy the natural way, and here is what you need to look out for.

First, we have BCAA’s, or branch chain amino acids. The Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are 3 of the essential amino acids and the main ones that drive muscle protein synthesis. BCAA supplementation is great for people who work out in a fasted state by having a workout first thing in the morning. Numerous studies show that BCAA supplementation significantly increases testosterone levels, growth hormone levels, and muscle protein synthesis. BCAA’s will also provide you with an immediate source of energy. They work best when administered in a ratio of 2:1:1 in terms of leucine: valine: isoleucine.

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is used to make carnosine (a dipeptide made from beta-alanine and histidine). Carnosine is an important pH buffer in the muscles – it buffers the acidity (hydrogen ions) produced during high-intensity exercise, thus allowing you to keep going longer and combat fatigue.

Creatine is used to produce phosphocreatine, which in turn is used to provide energy to cells. Phosphocreatine is particularly used to provide muscles with energy during high-intensity exercise of short bursts of 15-30 seconds. Using creatine supplements to increase stores of creatine in muscle may make more energy available to muscle cells when they need it. Creatine can help to increase lean body mass, reduce decreases in muscle strength and reduce cholesterol levels.

Panax ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to enhance longevity and the quality of life. The medicinal part of its slow-growing root, which is harvested after 4-6 years, when its overall ginsenoside – the main active ingredient in ginseng (the main active ingredient in ginseng) content is at its peak. There are 13 different ginsenosides in all. Ginseng has been shown to boost mental performance, improve Type 2 diabetes, increase exercise performance and lower blood pressure. The best form is Panax ginseng.

Guarana has long been used to boost energy, reduce appetite and increase libido, as well as to fight off malaria. It stimulates the central nervous system, allowing the brain to release neurotransmitters. It may also help to lose weight.

Tyrosine is one of many amino acids that acts as a building block of protein molecules. If you don’t have enough tyrosine your system, the thyroid can become inactive. The two thyroid hormones T3 and T4 affect almost every physiological process in the body, including proper growth and development. When taken as part of a pre-workout formula, tyrosine can aid in increasing energy and metabolism. It also has nootropic benefits.

Coenzyme Q10, produced by the body, belongs to a family of compounds called quinones. In the last decade, it has become one of the most popular dietary supplements around the world. Proponents of the nutrient use it to maintain general good health, as well as to treat heart disease and a number of other serious conditions. The primary function of coenzyme Q10 is as a catalyst for metabolism – the complex chain of chemical reaction during which food is broken down into packets of energy that the body can use. Acting in conjunction with enzymes, the compound speeds up the vital metabolic process, providing the energy that the cells need to digest food, heal wounds, maintain healthy muscles and perform countless other bodily functions. Look for formulations that contain coenzyme Q10 in an oil base. Because it is a fat-soluble compound, this nutrient is best absorbed when taken with food.

It is a great idea to include some kind of pump inducing complex in your pre-workout formula. This will include ingredients that help to boost nitric oxide production. You will get greater benefit from a pump complex in a stimulant free as opposed to a stimulant heavy pre-workout formula. The reason for this is that caffeine and most other stimulants are also constricting. This means that they actually make the blood vessels smaller. This is the exact opposite of what a pump complex is meant to achieve, which is vasodilation. Vasoconstriction, brought on by having caffeine in your formula, will decrease the ability of the muscle to achieve a pump. At the same time, it will lower the ability to bring much-needed blood and nutrients to the working muscle, while also slowing the removal of such waste products as lactic acid. There are plenty of ingredients that work on dilating your vessels, and beet is one of them. Beets are very rich in nitrates. When consumed these are converted into nitric oxide which has an enlarging effect on the blood vessels in your body. This allows more blood to rush to your muscle cells when you are working them, resulting in the pump effect. L-arginine is an amino acid which acts in the body arginine converts into l-citrulline via nitric oxide synthase. Nitric oxide is a byproduct of this process. L-Norvaline is another amino acid that modulates nitric oxide activity. The body does not produce L-Norvaline so it must be brought into the body through diet or supplementation. In the body, norvaline can deactivate the enzyme arginase. This leaves more free arginine to be converted into nitric oxide. Glycerol is not a nitric oxide enhancer. But it does bring water into the muscle cell to help promote the pump effect. It is believed that Agmatine Sulfate acts to downregulate nitric oxide synthase which leads to the production of more nitric oxide. Citrulline Malate is by far the most effective promoter of nitric oxide production in order to bring on a plum perfect. Citrulline alone does a great job of doing this. When combined with malic acid it is also a powerful energy enhancer.

Side Effects

There aren’t many side effects you can experience when taking caffeine-free pre-workout supplements. The worst that could happen to you is some mild nausea, and perhaps diarrhea. When it comes to caffeinated supplements, the picture is completely different.

Taking a caffeine free supplement will spare you from some of the most obvious side effects of taking caffeine. The majority of mainstream pre-workouts contain anything up to 400 mg of caffeine. Most people who take these supplements will get an energy high, but this will be followed by a post-exercise crash. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulator. By inhibiting adenosine and dopamine, adrenaline levels are elevated. Adenosine promotes sleep and leads to the arousal of excitement. The consumption of caffeine suppresses adenosine, which leads to a sudden rush of energy, along with increased focus and performance.

The problem is that, as the caffeine starts to wear off, adenosine comes back and causes tiredness. This results in the infamous caffeine crash. Many people want to avoid the effect and so turn to caffeine free products. Many people also find that taking caffeine in their pre-supplement formula experience an unnatural tingly sensation that they do not enjoy. This makes them feel unnaturally “wired” during their workout. It can also produce excess sweating and shaking of the extremities. Not surprisingly, many people also wish to also avoid these effects of having caffeine in their pre-workout. Taken over a prolonged period of time, caffeine-laden pre-workouts can also shut down the production of your adrenal glands. This leads to adrenal fatigue. Taking a pre-workout that is caffeine free - or, at least cycling to a stimulant free pre-workout periodically - will prevent adrenal fatigue. When it comes to caffeine, it is a matter of weighing up the risk/benefit analysis. It is a proven fact that caffeine can assist your performance, but at what cost? Here are a dozen side effects of caffeine that you need to be aware of.

Caffeine is extremely acidic. Too much coffee will interfere with your pH balance. The more acidic your body, the more likely you will be to suffer from mood swings, and unnecessary food cravings. An acidic system will also make you more prone to stress, elevating your cortisol levels. Cortisol has been directly related to abdominal fat. Be especially aware of roasted coffee beans, which contains oils that will quickly become rancid and clog up the liver. This will make it doubly difficult for the liver to clear out toxins and burn fat.

Caffeine can be bad for your brain, your mood, and your psychological well-being. The main reason for this is that it disrupts your serotonin levels. Serotonin regulates your mood and regulates your sleep cycles and your appetite. Caffeine also blocks adenosine receptors in the brain. This prevents your body from receiving GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid), which is a neurotransmitter that enhances calmness without sleepiness.
Coffee stresses the liver. Most other drugs are detoxified by both the kidney and the liver. Caffeine, however, relies entirely on the liver. This places way too much stress on the liver, interfering with its metabolic functioning.

Caffeine actually robs you of energy. Prior to popular belief, you do not get energy from coffee. What it actually gives you is a state of stress. This leads to adrenal fatigue. After the initial buzz, your energy levels will plummet and you will feel like death warmed up. You won’t feel like cooking, and you certainly won’t feel like exercising.

Coffee interferes with the quality of your sleep. Coffee can reduce the amount of time throughout the night that we enter Stage Four deep sleep. This is the part of sleep that makes you feel refreshed when you open your eyes. In order to achieve a more restful, peaceful deep sleep – and you know how vital that is for fat loss and detoxification – you simply have to take control of your caffeine consumption, especially in the evening.

Caffeine increases your blood sugar levels as well as your insulin levels. Both of these things are inflammatory for your body, and disastrous for fat loss.

Caffeine can rob your body vital minerals such as iron. It also diminishes B Vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium and other important minerals and nutrients.

Research out of Harvard Medical School indicates that caffeine may help to reduce the incidence of skin disease basal cell carcinoma. Caffeine consumption also increases the amount of calcium that is excreted in the urine. For this reason, heavy coffee drinkers (four or more cups per day) should eat extra rich calcium foods to compensate for this potential bone loss.

Caffeine will increase some of the normal stress responses as a result of the increased amount of adrenaline that is active in the body under stressful situations. So, caffeine users who find themselves under stress, or who use it during such stressful activities as working out, may experience more of the effects that stress can produce. Adrenaline release increases blood pressure during stress.

For some people, caffeine may contribute to the experience of panic attacks. These usually come on suddenly and involve powerful feelings of threat and fear. Caffeine is more likely to bring on panic attacks in people who have had them before. However, relatively high doses of caffeine (in excess of 700 mg) have been reported to lead to panic attacks in people who have never had them before.

Caffeine affects the heart in two ways. It acts on brain centers that regulate the cardiovascular system, and it acts directly on the heart. In people who are not tolerant to caffeine, a high dose (above 500 mg) can increase the heart rate by as much as ten to twenty beats per minute. In some people, this can result in brief periods of irregular heartbeat.

The well-known bathroom break that follows that morning coffee is probably caused both by a direct effect on the kidneys and by effects in the brain. There are adenosine receptors in the kidneys and caffeine acts on these, causing effects similar to those of diuretics, which increases urine production. Caffeine may also slow the release of an antidiuretic hormone from the brain that normally slows urine production.

Durability

We all experience breaks from our regular session at the gym - either due to injuries, illness, or a busy life. Since you won’t be going to the gym during that period of time, you also won’t be needing your supplements. But what happens when you want to get back in the game, can you still use the leftover pills in that jar you have stored away?

One thing you will certainly notice is that all of the supplements have an expiration date. These dates are not final though - they serve as a guideline for how long the active ingredients remain highly potent. Also, every jar must have the date stamped on, otherwise it won’t pass any food regulations and requirements. The good news is that you can still take your supplements after they expire, no harm done. The only problem is that you will not know how effective the supplement is, and it might not work the way you expect it to. Liquid supplements tend to degrade the fastest, but you will notice when they are dead. If mold forms on your supplements, if it turns into a solid mass, or changes the color or smell, it’s definitely time to say goodbye. You can extend the life of your supplements by storing them in a cool, dry place, like the fridge!

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More Is Not Better

Although it might seem logical that taking more than the recommended amount will give you even better performance, the truth is that this will do no such thing. Supplements are called that way for a reason - they are meant to supplement your diet, not replace the balance a healthy nourishing diet brings. If you simply stick to what the label says, you will be more than fine!

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

The caffeine-free pre-workout market has advanced rapidly over the last few years so that now there are plenty of quality products to choose from that are able to provide comparable results to stimulant based formulas. They all help you have a good time at the gym, and will give you that lovely energy boost you desire. We hope our comprehensive guide has helped you choose a supplement that caters to your needs, and that you will have fun using it!

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How much pre workout supplements do I need to take?
a:

All you have to do in order to take the right amount is to follow the instructions on the bottle! Usually, it’s one pill or capsule or measurement, depending on the type of supplement you have, before your workout. This is all it takes to feel those lovely benefits before hitting the gym!

q: Does the time I take my supplements at matter?
a:

Yes, indeed it does! You can often spot people taking their supplements right as they walk into the gym. You should avoid doing this, since they take time to work, just like regular medicine. Most of the ingredients found in your supplements take at least 30-60 minutes to reach their peak, and you should consider this before you head to the gym! If you wait before you take it, the effects can kick in well after you start, and you’ll feel all pumped up at the wrong time.

q: Can I eat before taking my supplements?
a:

It’s actually recommended you do! A small meal before you exercise, say 30-60 minutes before you do so, will absorb all the useful ingredients, and they will reach your blood faster. Also, you should always eat before going to the gym, but not too much.

q: Can I mix the supplements with water?
a:

That all depends on the form of your supplements. Pills and capsules are in the form they are for a reason, and you should down them with a glass of water. Powdery supplements are supposed to be mixed with water, and they usually have tasty flavors, fruity or chocolate, so you can enjoy them while you drink them!

q: Which caffeine-free supplement is the best?
a:

This all depends on what you need, and what your personal preferences are. Our guide is just that, a guide. You don’t have to follow it closely, but if you want the best results, you should! But something that works for the majority of people won’t necessary work for you, so your best bet is to actually try the supplement out before you say goodbye to it.