Caffeine in Workout Supplements
Workout Supplements can be a great way to help athletes get those few extra reps in at the gym.
Most of them make some extraordinary claims like “massive gains” and “extreme endurance”, however, we aren’t going to address the accuracy of those claims, but instead, focus on the caffeine content.
Most workout supplements contain a large dose of caffeine as one of the main active ingredients, which is primarily responsible for any “energy rush” experienced by the consumer.
Caffeine Content of Workout Products
|Supplement||Caffeine (mg/serving)||Caffeine source|
|ABB Speed Stacked Pumped||300/bottle||Caffeine Anhydrous, Guarana|
|About Time AUX||60/scoop||Yerba Mate’, Guarana, Green Tea|
|BANG Energy Drink||300/can||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|BreinFuel||360/bottle||Green Tea, Coffee Beans|
|Hyde Power Potion||350/can||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|BPI B4||300/capsule*||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Adrenaline Shoc||300/can||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|BSN Endo Rush||300/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous, Green Tea, Green Coffee Beans|
|Celsius Heat||300/can||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|BSN N.O. Xplode 2.0||275/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Reign Total Body Fuel||300/can||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Rockstar Xdurance||300/can||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Speed Stack||250/bottle||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|C4 Performance Energy Drink||200/can||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Cellucor C4 Extreme||200/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout||150/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Cellucor C4 Ripped||150/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Nitro Surge||180/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Insane labs Psychotic||300/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Promix P||200/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Evolution Nutrition ENGN||300/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous/ VitaShure Caffeine|
|Naked Energy Pre-workout||200/scoop||Green coffee beans|
|DyNo by RSP Nutrition||300/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|EndurElite PerformElite||225/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous/ Caffeine Pterostilbene Cocrystal|
|Vintage Blast Pre-workout||250/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous/ Micro-encapsulated caffeine|
|GNC Hyper-Ripped||150/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Legion Pulse||350/2 scoops||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|IdealLean Pre-Workout||150/scoop||Natural caffeine|
|iForce Maximize Intense||200/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Pre-Kaged||274/scoop||Purecaf organic caffeine|
|Beyond Raw LIT||250/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Six Star Explosion||135/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Mr. Hyde Icon||250/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Mr. Hyde by Pro Supps||196/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous/ Dicaffeine Malate|
|Mr. Hyde Nitro X||375/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous/ Dicaffeine Malate/ Caffeine Citric Acid|
|Muscle Pharm Assault||250/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|MuscleTech Neurocore||110/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Transparent Labs Lean||180/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|NANO Vaporx5||190/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|RARI Nutrition Infinity||350/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Octane Energy/Sports Drink||225/ scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|ON Gold Standard Preworkout||175/scoop||Green coffee and green tea extract|
|ON AMIN.O. Energy||100/2 scoops||Green coffee and green tea extract|
|Oxyelite Pro||100/capsule||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Pre JYM||300/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Redline RTD||250/bottle||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Cobra Labs The Curse||155/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Recon1 Total War||350/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous/ Dicaffeine Malate|
|Nutrex Research Outlift||350/scoop||Caffeine Anhydrous|
|Jesse’s WakeUp Bar||350/bar||Natural Caffeine|
*This is the approximate amount of caffeine.
The Most Caffeinated Pre-Workout Supplement?
Of the pre-workout products we’ve been able to track in the list above, Mr. Hyde Nitro X by Pro Supps comes out as the leader.
Its 375 milligrams of caffeine per serving is from 3 different variations of caffeine.
- Caffeine Anhydrous– The “typical” caffeine source found in most products.
- Dicaffeine Malate- This is a combination of caffeine and malic acid. It is reported to be easier on the stomach and faster acting than caffeine anhydrous.
- Caffeine Citrate– Caffeine is combined with citric acid in this version, which causes it to have faster results. This version has been used to treat asthma and severe migraines.
Be careful with Mr. Hyde, never take more than the recommended dose, and consider other caffeine sources you may be consuming.
Most of the workout supplements that we researched disguise the exact amounts of their active ingredients with the term proprietary blend. This simply is to prevent competitors from knowing exactly what their formulas are.
However, this isn’t very good for the consumer. Luckily, many of the brands have begun at least disclosing the caffeine content in their secret blends like the ones listed above.
With some other popular brands, it’s still a mystery.
Props to Cellucor and a few other brands for clearly displaying their caffeine content on all of their labels.
Too Much Caffeine?
With many of these products delivering 300mg of caffeine/serving, users should be cautious.
Especially if other caffeinated beverages or products are also being consumed during the same day such as coffee, tea, soda, and/or energy drinks.
It’s important for consumers to be aware of how much caffeine they’re consuming daily while using workout supplements. People with certain heart conditions, women who are pregnant, or those sensitive to caffeine should be extremely cautious when using these supplements. Consider caffeine-free alternatives and here’s a good list of the best pre-workouts without caffeine.
Research: More Caffeine Does Not Mean Better Performance
A 2020 study published in the Human Kinetics Journal showed that moderate caffeine had the same performance-enhancing benefit as larger doses of caffeine.
In other words, more caffeine didn’t equate to greater performance levels. You can use a resource like AnabolicBodies to find out about other supplements that will help you better reach your fitness goals.
The DMAA Warning
Some of the workout supplements above may have once contained DMAA. This substance has been banned by the FDA who says the following:
DMAA, also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine or geranium extract, is an ingredient found illegally in some dietary supplements and often touted as a “natural” stimulant. DMAA, especially in combination with other ingredients such as caffeine, can be a health risk to consumers. Ingestion of DMAA can elevate blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to heart attack. Dietary supplements containing DMAA are illegal and FDA is doing everything within its authority to remove these products from the market.
While most of these products are off the shelves, they could still exist online or in products that may have been sitting around awhile. Consumers should double-check the label before consuming any workout supplement.
If you would like to see your favorite brand listed here, please leave a comment and we’ll do our best to add it to the list of workout products above.
A special thanks to GNC for doing such a great job of posting product labels for all the products they sell.
- Eudy, A. E., Gordon, L. L., Hockaday, B. C., Lee, D. A., Lee, V., Luu, D., ... & Ambrose, P. J. (2013). Efficacy and safety of ingredients found in preworkout supplements. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 70(7), 577-588. Study link
- Smith, A. E., Fukuda, D. H., Kendall, K. L., & Stout, J. R. (2010). The effects of a pre-workout supplement containing caffeine, creatine, and amino acids during three weeks of high-intensity exercise on aerobic and anaerobic performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 7(10), 10-1186. study link
- Morrison, L. J., Gizis, F., & Shorter, B. (2004). Prevalent use of dietary supplements among people who exercise at a commercial gym. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, (14), 481-92. Study link