Pre Workout vs Energy Drink Compared

man drinking energy drink

Ever wonder what the best supplement is to take before the gym? Some people prefer to mix pre workout with water, while others opt for an energy drink.

But you can even drink a cup of coffee to fuel your workouts. Learn which supplement is best in this pre workout vs energy drink comparison.

Pre Workout

Pre workout is dietary supplement, used to provide a temporary boost of energy. It’s most common in the bodybuilding community and can be taken around 30-60 minutes before a workout.

Pre workouts contain multiple ingredients designed to improve energy and give you a boost during your training session.

This supplement is offered in a powder, or tablet form. Users will mix the powder with around 4-6 ounces of water.

In the past couple of years it has become popular to consume pre workout without water. This is known as dry scooping. Most companies offer a variety of different pre workout flavors, in order to improve the taste.

What’s in pre workout?

The main ingredients in pre workout are creatine, amino acids, and caffeine. But not all products are created equal and they will vary by manufacturer.

The biggest source of energy in this supplement will be caffeine. Any pre workout labeled as high energy will always have large amounts of caffeine.

Another popular ingredient found in most pre workouts is creatine. This supplement can help those looking to build muscle, as it works to improve performance in high intensity exercises.

This is a perfect supplement for bodybuilding. As there are short periods of intense work, followed by short periods of rest.


  • Provides a quick source of energy
  • Will last the duration of your workout
  • Includes other ingredients to boost performance


  • Can make your skin tingle
  • Need a spoon and water to mix it with
  • Can be expensive

Energy Drink

An energy drink is a consumable beverage used to provides a source of energy, through physical stimulation.

Energy drinks have been around for a long time, but in recent years some brands have designed their own products aimed at bodybuilding.

Most of these drinks are carbonated, but there are also non carbonated options.

Energy drinks can fit into most diet plans, regardless of your fitness goals. Original energy drinks were loaded with sugar, which can have a negative effect when working out.

Most brands today offer sugar free, low calorie, and even caffeine free energy drinks. There’s also many flavors to choose from, depending on your personal preference.

What’s in an energy drink?

The main ingredients found in most energy drinks are caffeine, taurine, B vitamins, and ginseng. As previously mentioned, energy drinks will be loaded with sugar, unless they are labeled as sugar free, or low calorie.

These beverages also contain a variety of vitamins, which can provide other benefits to the body.

Ginseng is a very popular ingredient found in energy drinks. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to provide energy.

If you’re looking for more energy without the crash, ginseng is a great option. It is known to have anti-fatigue properties and can give you a natural boost of energy.


  • Has ginseng and Vitamin B
  • Energy can last for hours
  • You don’t need to deal with mixing powder


  • Sugar will come with a crash
  • Carbonation can make you feel full
  • Need to drink the whole can

What about Coffee?

One of the original pre workouts bodybuilders relied on was coffee. In fact, the old school bodybuilding diet included drinking a cup of black coffee, before an intense training session.

But why black coffee? Adding cream, milk, and sugar to your coffee before a workout can have negative effects.

As you we learned from above, too much sugar can result in a crash. Although there might be a temporary burst of energy from sugar, it won’t last long.

And you definitely don’t want to experience a sugar crash in the middle of your workout. Too much cream, or milk can also move around in your stomach and cause discomfort.

What’s the best?

Picking the best workout beverage can be controversial, because everyone has a different preference. But after this pre workout vs energy drink comparison, I would argue that pre workout is better.

Pre workout is designed for bodybuilders, and it contains other important supplements like creatine.

Most energy drinks are carbonated, so you will feel bloated and full during your workout. You also only need to drink around 4-6 ounces of water with your pre workout mix – which is much less compared to an energy drink.

Although many energy drinks taste good, they’re not the best supplement before an intense training session.

But if you really want to save money, there’s nothing wrong with coffee before a workout. Black coffee provides a natural boost of energy, won’t make you feel full, and it’s an old school bodybuilding diet hack.

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