The pre-workout industry is a hot topic, today. Some fitness professionals swear by them. Others are less confident for a few reasons.
Caffeine is one of these. High levels of caffeine are a common feature in top-selling products.
A pre-workout drink with no caffeine is a rare thing. Even the well-established (and NCAA approved) C4 from Cellucor contains 150mg per serving. Not to mention the C4 Extreme Energy line—you’ll see 300mg per serving, there! That’s 6 instant coffees in one little scoop.
I mention the C4 line because of its respected name. Division I college athletes use it. Fitness professionals, athletes, and your average Joe have used it. Why? For this very reason. Because of the name that goes with it.
And it is one of the better ones out there. When you compare it with something like Mr. Hyde (419mg caffeine per serving), it’s a cup of tea. However, the point is that caffeine-loaded pre-workouts aren’t necessary.
Maybe if they were 100% harmless, it wouldn’t be an issue. But the research says otherwise.
This is a big concern. Let’s put caffeine aside for just a second. Even without it, pre-workouts can pose a significant health risk. Other ingredients in these products can be even nastier. DMAA is one such threat. After an explicit warning from the FDA, this substance can no longer be found on the shelf.
I’ll put it plainly: It’s garbage for your cardiovascular system. We are talking elevated blood pressure. Shortness of breath. Tightening of the chest. Even heart attacks, in rare cases. Long-term usage of any stimulant-based supplements has been linked with these symptoms.
Caffeine is the most widely used (psychoactive) drug in the world. I’m not saying that you can’t drink your morning coffee. Research varies on this topic. Some say up to 5 coffees per day is fine. Others lean toward 3 or less. I’m only saying that adding 300mg of it to your pre-workout might not be the best.
Luckily, there are plenty of non stim pre workouts out there. Specifically, a large range of no caffeine pre-workouts that will still give you a real boost. Here’s a short list of the very best.
Starting us off is a stim-free pre-workout. This is likely the best stim-free workout on the market. And it isn’t cheap. But, if you are looking to do things the right way for your body, this is a great product to start with.
Purple Wrath: Another great caffeine-free option. And on top of that, one of the top 10 pre-workouts, overall. Particularly about value for money.
Pump by Core Nutritionals:
This is our most natural option. With only four active ingredients, it also has the shortest info list of any pre-workout on the market! Maybe. Plus, it adds a healthy dosage of Vitamin C in there, too.
Drinking non-caffeinated drinks is not the secret to good health. These things are complicated. My only recommendation is that you stay aware.
Read the labels. And always check for dangerous ingredients, like DMAA, which might have snuck through.