Grab your cheat sheet…
No one wants to walk into the gym for a training session in zombie mode, eyeing up the bench and thinking, “I’m sure no one would mind if I just had a 10-minute nap before I start lifting weights”.
Whether you’re heading in first thing in the morning or after a hard shift at work, you’ll probably be tired to some degree.
So the prospect of a ‘quick-fix’ supplement to wake you up and put you in the zone is (no doubt) highly tempting.
Pre-workouts can enhance your training performance in a big way. This is the reason why it’s such a popular supplement for people who are hitting the gym regularly.
And what’s the common quick-fix ingredient for increasing energy?
Yeah, we get it: A caffeine-loaded pre-workout supplement can make you alert and ready for a heavy session in the gym, which is why so many pre-workout supplements (including some of ours) contain this common ingredient.
FYI: We’re going to preface this entire guide by saying that there’s nothing wrong with caffeine-filled pre-train supplements. In fact, they can be great under some circumstances.
But if you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake for whatever reason, you might be wondering how to power up your training sessions for maximum gains.
Don’t worry: There’s a solution if you are looking for an alternative…enter the caffeine-free pre-workout.
Why do pre-workouts contain caffeine?
You’re probably already best friends with caffeine. Whether it’s that morning coffee or a cheeky carbonated soda, you’ve been surrounded by it your entire life—so you know it’s safe.
And there’s no doubt that for most people, a shot of caffeine can be great for giving you a pre-workout buzz that pushes your gym performance to the next level.
So, if you’re looking to increase your energy levels when working out, a caffeine-loaded pre-workout can prove most appealing. It’s why so many products available on the market are ‘high-caffeine pre-workouts’.
But what happens if you’re sensitive to caffeine or just don’t want to consume it before working out later in the day? You might want to avoid it for many reasons while still boosting your performance.
Most people forget it’s not just about the pre-workout ‘lift.’ It’s about how you feel during and after your workout that’s the most crucial factor when it comes to building muscle, and this is where the caffeine ‘wonder ingredient’ story starts to break down.
The disadvantages of caffeine-filled pre-workout
We love caffeine in a pre-workout, which is why some of our favorite Crazy Nutrition pre-workout flavors contain some caffeine to fuel your performance.
But that doesn’t mean it will be a good fit for everyone, and we know that having an alternative is just as important.
A decent pre-workout supplement can boost energy levels, increase athletic performance, and won’t have any adverse effects on your health.
There’s little doubt that a high-caffeine pre-workout can provide a boost to get you moving when you need to—but there’s a lot more to consider than that for some people.
There are other factors to mull over with a high-caffeine pre-workout. You know, like the post-workout ‘crash,’ which can be heavy, depending on the amount of caffeine you’ve wolfed down. Then there’s the potential of a disrupted sleep cycle if you’ve taken your caffeinated pre-workout late in the day.
You may also develop a tolerance to caffeine over time, which means you’ll need to consume more each time you work out.
Oh, you might also enjoy a caffeine-loaded coffee during the day, which will interfere with your pre-workout and might even make you feel lightheaded or jittery.
Too much caffeine in your system can also affect your hydration levels. In some cases, a high caffeine intake has been known to cause irregular heartbeats and headaches, leading to caffeine dependence, and even addiction.
A 2015 study found many adverse effects of consuming caffeine regularly. These ‘undesirables’ include:
- An irregular heartbeat
- Agitation or restlessness
- Sleeping problems
- Issues with the nervous system
FYI: If you want to build muscle and look as well as feel better than ever before, your top priority should be your overall health. There’s no point in trying to raise one aspect of your health at the expense of another.
As the muscle-building phase happens after a workout (when the muscle tissue is repairing), it’s essential that you feel as well as you can after a heavy session.
Headaches or feeling lethargic because of poor sleep patterns will only ruin your future workouts.
So, while there’s nothing wrong with caffeine-filled pre-workouts, it’s good to know that there’s an effective alternative out there to get those epic gains.
What are the benefits of caffeine-free pre-workout supplements?
Taking a non-caffeinated pre-workout formula that contains natural ingredients with no known side effects will give you a massive advantage in the gym, and not just for those who are caffeine-sensitive.
A caffeine-free pre-workout (like Crazy Nutrition Green Apple) will give you all the benefits of an energy boost without the crash, sleep disruptions, and health issues that come with taking caffeine regularly.
Some of the things you can look forward to by taking caffeine-free pre-workout include:
- More energy
- Epic endurance
- Better hydration during workouts
- Increased nutrient and oxygen delivery
- Improved blood flow
- Sharper cognitive function
- Top-notch exercise performance (even with lighter training sessions)
- Quicker muscle recovery and reduced muscle soreness
- Reduced lactic acid buildup
So, really, all the body-boosting benefits of a standard pre-workout.
How does caffeine-free pre-workout help performance?
So, what ingredients should we look for in a pre-workout to replace the stimulation we expect from caffeine?
The good news is that a good pre-workout will be formulated with multiple ingredients that support the release of energy—it’s not just the caffeine doing the work, or else everyone would just have a cup of coffee.
This means that it’s perfectly possible to get a similar boost from a caffeine-free pre-train, provided it’s developed using quality, energy-boosting ingredients.
For example, Crazy Nutrition’s Intensive Pre-Train Formula contains 13 powerhouse ingredients specially formulated to help athletes at all levels increase energy, focus, and performance every time (without any side effects pre-workout often comes with, like those dreaded jitters or digestive issues).
Yes, we do have some pre-workouts with caffeine, but we also have stimulant-free pre-workouts that pack the same punch without the caffeine.
The best caffeine-free pre-workout ingredients
One of the ingredients that help with energy levels is En-Xtra® (Alpinia galanga), an award-winning, caffeine-free alternative clinically shown to support alertness and help focus.
PLUS: It’s packed with amino acids, including Citrulline malate and Beta-alanine.
Citrulline malate is the perfect example of an amino acid used to naturally raise nitric oxide levels. This epic ingredient improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your system, so you can push harder for longer.
Supplements that help increase this production in your body will help improve exercise performance for more muscle-boosting training power.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that helps to stop lactic acid buildup in the muscles by supporting the production of the molecule carnosine, which in turn helps improve exercise performance and reduce muscle fatigue. It will also give you a similar ‘wake up’ effect to caffeine without the crash or side effects.
Combine these with the powerful energy and endurance effects of l-taurine and ashwagandha, and you have a combination that will enable you to push your body to new limits and help you recover faster and progress more quickly.
Caffeine isn’t essential
So, really it’s important to remember that while caffeine can play a part in pre-workouts, it’s not the only ingredient that’s important for energy and performance.
Removing caffeine if you’re sensitive or working out late in the day can be smart, but choosing the right pre-workout packed with energy-boosting ingredients can still help ensure you get the most from your workout every time.
Ready for an intensive pre-train experience?
If you want to push yourself to the max and increase your gains continually, you’ll have to find a way to maximize performance even when you don’t feel like it.
You won’t feel like every workout—and a good pre-train can help boost energy while enhancing performance.
Getting every aspect of your workout right is essential, and choosing a stimulant-free pre-workout is very important if we want to head in the right direction.
Crazy Nutrition’s Intensive Pre-Train Formula combines all of the scientifically proven ingredients we’ve mentioned.
This powerhouse of a supplement boosts your pre-workout while promoting strength, endurance, and rapid recovery. Its 13 ingredients help athletes of all levels increase energy, focus, and performance every time without jitters, stomach cramps or digestive issues. Epic.