It can be difficult to choose from all the different pre-workouts out there. Deciding between stimulant or non-stimulant pre-workout is the main challenge. If you need help choosing between stimulant and non-stimulant pre-workout supplements, keep reading. Explained below are some pros and cons of each to optimize your next training session.
Stimulant Vs Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout: What’s The Difference?
The biggest difference between stimulant and non-stimulant pre-workout powders is caffeine. Typically, with stimulant-containing pre workouts, caffeine is the main ingredient responsible for giving you energy. Caffeine provides energy because it blocks the brain’s adrenaline receptors. This keeps levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine low. Since high levels of adenosine are responsible for feelings of sleepiness, blocking those receptors keeps you feeling energized and alert. Basically, tricking the brain into thinking you’re less tired than you are.
As non-stimulant pre-workout products can still give you energy, but they don’t have any caffeine. Instead, they increase alertness and focus with the help of other ingredients that improve blood flow, such as Beta-Alanine, TeaCrine, and Nitrosigine.
Who Benefits More From Stimulant Pre-Workouts?
For some, a stimulant pre-workout supplement is the way to go. If this applies to you, you might see better results when you use a pre-workout that contains caffeine:
You Enjoy Early Morning Workouts
Do you have a hard time getting out of bed and going to the gym in the morning? Do you regularly exercise in the morning but feel that you’re not as alert as you’d like to be during those sessions? If this applies to you, caffeine, thanks to its adenosine-blocking effects, will help you to combat this and feel ready to conquer your workouts!
You Metabolize Caffeine Quickly
Stimulant pre-workouts are best for those who exercise in the morning.
Caffeine usually lasts about 5 hours, which means you’ll have about 50% of it still in your system 5 hours after you consume it. Because of this, most people find that they can’t drink a stimulant-containing pre-workout later in the afternoon or evening without having sleep issues when bedtime rolls around. Some people metabolize caffeine faster than others. Which means they can consume it later in the day or consume it in large quantities without any side effects.
You’ve Established Fat Loss Goals
Do you have fat loss goals? If so, a stimulant-containing pre-workout may help you to see results faster. This is because caffeine has some fat-burning effects. It also can create appetite suppression to help with overeating. Caffeine appears to increase energy use even when you’re at rest. It stimulates thermogenesis – one way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food.
Who Should Use Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout?
Some people prefer using a non-stimulant pre-workout to get in the zone. Here are some situations in which a stimulant-free pre-workout is more appropriate:
You Prefer Afternoon Or Evening Workouts
If you exercise in the afternoon or evening, you’ll probably be better off using a stimulant-free pre-workout supplement. Remember, caffeine stays in your system for a while after you consume it, so it can impact your sleep and keep you feeling wired long after you’ve finished your workout.
Your Body Metabolizes Caffeine Slowly
Some people metabolize caffeine slowly or are sensitive to caffeine. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you might find that you experience these side effects when you consume it (especially in large quantities):
Of course, not everyone experiences these issues. They can happen, though, and it’s good to be aware of them so that, if they show up, you can trace them back to their potential source.
Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Even if you’re not particularly sensitive to caffeine, you might also choose a stimulant-free pre workout if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. For those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s generally recommended not to consume more than roughly 200mg of caffeine per day.
If you’re in the habit of taking in more caffeine than this each day, you might have to make some cuts and skip out on your pre workout or reduce the amount you use in your pre workout drink.
Note that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we recommend you check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Yes, you can take pump and pre-workout together, doing so is one of the most popular supplement stacks. Understanding what each product offers is important for knowing how and when to stack the two supplements together.
A pump product will increase nitric oxide production to boost blood flow, vascularity, and muscle pumps. An effective pre workout should be full of compounds to support energy, focus, muscle building, and endurance.
Stacking a powerful nitric oxide supplement with an effective pre workout can greatly enhance your training and growth! This combination can also improve recovery time and decrease muscle soreness.
Citrulline malate increases nitric oxide production, which increases blood flow to active muscles. In turn, citrulline malate is thought to increase nutrient delivery and clear waste products that are related to muscle fatigue, such as lactate and ammonia. - National Library of Medicine
Blood flow is critical during resistance and endurance training because it helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to working muscles. Increasing blood flow is important both intra-workout and post-workout because it has been shown to help with muscle growth and recovery.
Incorporating a nitric oxide booster pump product with a pre workout can improve vasodilation which can enhance the delivery of muscle-building nutrients to increase stamina, strength, power, recovery, and ultimately gains.
Whether you’re shopping for a stimulant or non-stimulant pre-workout, there are certain things to always look for when comparing different products. The following are some of the most important factors to consider, no matter what kind of pre workout you want to buy:
Calories And Carbs
How many calories and grams or ounces of carbohydrates does your pre-workout contain? Many pre-workout drinks, both stimulant and non-stimulant, are carb and calorie-free, but it’s a good idea to check before you buy them, especially if you’re trying to lose fat and are on a strict diet.
It’s important to consider the quality of your supplements so you can avoid taking in ingredients that may be banned in competitions or could potentially be harmful.
What kind of testing process does it go through before it hits the shelves? It’s important to note that products with certifications, such as Informed Choice, are certified but don’t guarantee a level of quality.
Which Pre-Workout Is Better For You?
Now that you know more about the differences between stimulant and non-stimulant pre-workouts, which one seems like a better fit for you?
If you exercise early in the day or aren’t sensitive to caffeine, a stimulant-containing pre workout might be a great choice. For those who are sensitive or who exercise in the afternoon or evening, though, a non-stimulant pre-workout could be a better fit.
Whether you want to shop for stimulant or non-stimulant pre-workout, we’ve got lots of options that will help you get pumped up and earn your results. Check out our MRI pre-workout line today to compare and start shopping!