Caffeine in Workout Supplements

caffeine-workout-supplementsWorkout 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

SupplementCaffeine (mg/serving)Caffeine source
ABB Speed Stacked Pumped300/bottleCaffeine Anhydrous, Guarana
About Time AUX90/scoopYerba Mate’, Guarana, Green Tea
BANG Energy Drink357/canCaffeine Anhydrous
BPI 1.M.R300/scoop*Caffeine Anhydrous/ Yerba Mate’
BPI B4300/capsule*Caffeine Anhydrous
BSN Hyper Shred180/capsuleCaffeine Anhydrous
BSN Endorush200/bottleMethylxanthine
BSN Endorush Xtreme250/bottle*Methylxanthine
BSN Hyper FX270/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
BSN Advanced Strength N.O. Xplode 2.0225/scoopMethylxanthine
BSN N.O. Xplode RTD200/bottleCaffeine Anhydrous
BUILD N.O.200/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
BUZZ EHPlabs200/scoop*Caffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 Extreme135/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout150/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 50x200/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous/ Caffeine Pterostilbene Cocrystal
Cellucor C4 Mass150/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 Ripped150/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor M5 Extreme135/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Craze80/scoop*Caffeine Anhydrous
CytoSport Monster Pump150/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
DyNo by RSP Nutrition400/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous, Dicaffeine Malate
Force Factor BRX100/2 scoopsCaffeine Anhydrous
GAT Nitraflex325/scoop?
GNC Amp (Pre-Post)400/3 tabletsGuarana, yerba mate, tea, Caffeine Anhydrous
GNC Raw Ravage200/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
IdealLean Pre-Workout150/scoopNatural caffeine
iForce Maximize Intense200/scoopCaffeine Anyhydrous
Image Sports ALARM300/scoop*Caffeine Anhydrous
Jack3D 125/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Juggernaut HP 150/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Maximum Shred50/capsule or 150mg/max serving per dayCaffeine Anhydrous
Mr. Hyde by Pro Supps419/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous, Dicaffeine Malate, Caffeine Citrate
Muscle Marinade300/scoop1,3,7-trimethylxanthine
Muscle Pharm Assault300/scoopPterostilbene-Caffeine
MuscleTech Neurocore110/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
MuscleXplosion60/pouchCaffeine Anhydrous
NANO Vapor Hardcore156/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
No2 Red Hemo Surge200/.5 scoop*Caffeine Anhydrous
Octane Energy/Sports Drink225/ scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
ON Gold Standard Preworkout175/scoopGreen coffee and green tea extract
ON AMIN.O. Energy100/2 scoopsGreen coffee and green tea extract
Oxyelite Pro100/capsuleCaffeine Anhydrous
Pre JYM300/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
Redline RTD250/bottleCaffeine Anhydrous
Ripped Freak200/scoopCaffeine Anhydrous
SportMax Preworkout Shot140/bottleCaffeine Anhydrous
Panic155/2 scoopsCaffeine Anhydrous
*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 by Pro Supps comes out as the leader.

Its 419 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.
  • Caffeine Pterostilbene Cocrystal – Combining caffeine with Pterostilbene (a naturally occurring compound in blueberries) causes the caffeine to be released more slowly into the bloodstream over time.

Be careful with Mr. Hyde, never take more than the recommended dose and consider other caffeine sources you may be consuming.

Proprietary Blends

proprietary-blendMost 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. Brands like MusclePharm, Animal Rush, SuperPump, Black Powder, HemoRage, Muscle Warefare, and Bull Nox still do not disclose how much caffeine is in their products.

Props to Cellucor 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.

Pre-workout supplements made our Most Dangerous Caffeinated Products List as the 3rd most dangerous!

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, woman who are pregnant, or those sensitive to caffeine should be extremely cautious when using these supplements.

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.

See Also

Review and caffeine amounts of American Bodybuilding products.

Suggestions?

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.

Get Help Quitting Caffeine

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  • Ted

    I’m not sure since we only research caffeine, but I do know that some herbal substances can cause false positive drug test results. Google “chemicals that cause false positive drug test results”. And then compare your findings to what’s in BSN hyper x.

  • Doug

    How often is this list updated?

  • Ted

    Pretty often. We add new items when requested and change info as we hear of product changes.

  • Geronimo

    Very useful information. I’ve used this kind of supplements above recommended doses for a few years. Today I find myself becoming very nervous of one cup of coffee already. Before I could drink up to 5-6 cups without any problem. Looks like I’ve damaged myself quite severely by this so highly praised products.

    Hope others won’t make the same mistake. Thumbs up for this website.

  • Ted

    Thanks for sharing your experience Geronimo.

  • Daniel Leong

    Hi Ted, thanks for all the information above and it is really very helpful. I was on Craze for a while and it causes a bit of reflux because of my gastric history i guess. Thought it contain one of the least caffeine but…. any idea for the Magnum Nutraceuticals, Opus? Was claim to be caffeine free but is good to check with you, thanks.

  • Ted

    You’re welcome! Glad you found the above list useful. Yes, Opus is caffeine and stimulant free. I just checked the label.

  • Robbie Arnold

    Any way you could compare the old NO XPLODE to the 2.0? The history of it has been fascinating.

  • Daniel Leong

    Hi Ted, is nice to have guys like you around helping us the lay people to get the right info about caffeinated prework supplements. I would like your advise of a new prework -out supplement by Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Pump whether is the caffeine content high and how about Compete from Iforce Nutrition?

    Daniel

  • Ted

    Happy to help Daniel! I’ve contacted muscle pharm about Iron Pump caffeine amount and it does have caffeine. Compete is caffeine free. We’ll see if I hear back. My guess is 200-300mg per serving though.

  • Adolfo Medina

    Hi I been using bullnox for the last 3 months lately I started getting panic attacks I notice when I drink bullnox it’s when they trigger I afraid to even do c4 now is there any caffeine free good pre workouts out there ?

  • Ted

    I know there are some out there. I would have a look on bodybuilding.com. they seem to be one of the best resources for those types of products. You definitely don’t need the panic attacks, no fun at all.

  • Random Guy

    300 mg of Anhydrous Caffeine per scoop. I just found out today after calling their customer service. Can that cause chest pains, elevated heart rate, and bp problems?

  • Ted

    Thanks for getting that for us. I’ll add it above.

    Yes in some people who are really sensitive to caffeine. Assault also has a lot of other ingredients. Do you feel the same after drinking a Grande Starbucks? About the same caffeine wise and a good indication if it is the caffeine or some other ingredient in Assault.

  • tylerbns

    You’re better off just trying another product. Every preworkout hits everyone different. For me, Bullnox gives me diarrhea until my system is clean. It didn’t always but now I notice it happens when I take that. C4 however, was much better. But I am trying other products because I have a high tolerance to stimulants.

  • Adam

    Hey Ted I’ve been using the pre jym and recently switched over to nitraflex gat and I’ve been having shortness of breath is it due to the high content of caffeine?

  • Ted

    It could be, but there is also a lot of other ingredients in nitraflex. Perhaps compare the two and identify the ingredients that are different. The caffeine in the two is pretty similar.

  • Maxx Gainz

    I just bought a container of Mr. Hyde last week, and have had the best workouts of my life since then. I didnt know it was so dangerous,,, ill tell you though, after I take it, i can just be standing around, and ill start sweating like crazy, and ill feel it hit like a freight train!!

  • Ted

    yep that stuff is no joke and please use as directed.

  • Lab700

    If I could, I’d like to suggest my company’s pre-workout as a caffeine-free alternative. Take a look at our fully disclosed label and un-filtered reviews, then decide whether it’s right for you. http://www.supplementclean.com/supplements/natural-preworkout/amino-ignite/

Last Modified: October 16, 2017

References

  • 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