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Coffee vs Pre Workout: Which is Better for Working Out?

Coffee vs pre workout: what is actually better for working out? Is what many others, like yourself, are wondering. Pre workout has some undeniable benefits upon consumption, while coffee still provides some benefits but not all the benefits that pre workout can do.

So let’s settle this debate once and for all and find out if pre workout actually has some serious benefits.


What’s the Difference Between Coffee and Pre Workout?

Coffee only contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that helps us reduce sleepiness, while pre workout can contain caffeine, increased blood circulation compounds, BCAA’s, EAA’S, fatigue reducing ingredients, and mood boosters.

Pre workout, incredibly enough, can have a lot of ingredients in it that makes each pre workout different from each other.

Coffee on the other hand, has caffeine which is known for reducing fatigue during exercise and getting rid of feelings of tiredness. However, each cup of coffee contains about 95mg of caffeine.

One serving of pre workout can contain up to 400mg+ of caffeine to as low as 150mg of caffeine. Coffee definitely wins in caffeine because it is much less expensive than pre workout and by drinking just 3 cups of coffee you will be consuming nearly 300mg of caffeine.

So how much a difference does pre workout’s extra ingredients really make?

The simple answer is: a lot.

What Benefits Does Pre Workout Provide for Working Out?

Less Fatigue

Huge benefits involve reducing fatigue not only in caffeine, but ingredients such as: beta-alanine, theobromine, malic acid, taurine, and l-tyrosine.

Fatigue can not only be physical, but most often mental. This is what pre workout works best in, reducing physical tiredness and mental tiredness.

Not only can pre workout reduce mental fatigue, but it can also better your mood and increase motivation. L-tyrosine is one of the ingredients responsible for increasing dopamine receptors resulting in more motivation to push harder.

Better Blood Flow

L-citrulline is the most common ingredient found in pre workout that increases blood circulation.

Caffeine on the other hand, is known to reduce blood flow by restricting blood circulation so it’s very important that the other ingredients work to allow blood to flow freely.

When we work our muscles blood begins to flow into that muscle making it look bigger and leaner. This is often what we call a “pump,” which pre workout gives unlike with coffee.

Pink Himalayan Salt is becoming increasingly popular in pre workout and can greatly increase blow circulation resulting in increased vascularity as well.

Mood Booster

Multiple ingredients in pre workout produce a better mood. Specifically, L-tyrosine increases dopamine production while DMAE, found in some pre workouts, increase dopamine receptors.

Having a better mood will lead to more motivation and work being put into your workouts. As one who uses pre workout, it makes quite a big difference than you might think.

What Benefits Does Coffee Provide for Working Out?

No Tiredness

Caffeine is responsible to halt feelings of sleepiness to give us more energy. That does not mean we are less tired, it simply means we feel less tired.

Having caffeine during a workout provides benefits to:

  • Muscular endurance
  • Anaerobic endurance
  • Muscle Strength


The only problem with having caffeine during a workout is that it can cause restless nights if taken too late during the day.

Since caffeine is what makes coffee good for working out, you can’t take the caffeine out of it: unlike with pre workout, which there are pre workouts that won’t keep you up all night by not containing any caffeine but still providing for reduced fatigue.

Very Cheap

Being cheap is what makes coffee an option when compared to pre workout. If you are on a lower budget, caffeine is much cheaper when compared to pre workout.

However, it is not the choice if you’re going purely for performance based reasons.

Pros and Cons for Coffee vs Pre Workout


Pros and Cons of Pre Workout


Taking pre workout will reduce muscle fatigue allowing yourself to push further during your workouts. Not only that, but a great thing about pre workout is being able to switch between high stimulant or non-stimulant pre workout. Topping off pre workouts benefits, it will give you a boost of motivation and greatly increase blood flow, which caffeine restricts. But the only downside is the fact it is slightly expensive.


  • Reduced muscle fatigue
  • More flexibility and choices
  • Makes for a better mood with increased motivation
  • Greatly increased blood circulation


  • Slightly more costly than coffee

Pros and cons of Coffee


The main point of taking coffee for workouts is the caffeine intake. Caffeine will increase energy by decreasing feelings of tiredness. What makes coffee a choice to stand against pre workout is the fact it is cheaper than pre workout. Of course, the drawbacks to coffee is the fact you can’t take it in the evening otherwise you won’t sleep well. And caffeine is known to restrict blood flow.


  • Less feelings of tiredness
  • Cheaper than pre workout
  • Better endurance


  • Can’t use in the evening
  • Caffeine restricts blood flow

Final Argument: Coffee vs Pre Workout

Ending results conclude that pre workout is much better for performance with the main downside being more expensive than coffee. While coffee can still provide some results to benefit workouts, it simply just doesn’t contain as much ingredients as pre workout.

One of the best things being about pre workout is the amount of flexibility and options you have between tons of different kinds of pre workouts.

If you wish to get started with pre workouts, consider starting with beginner friendly pre workouts.

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