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

Supplement Caffeine (mg/serving) Caffeine source
ABB Speed Stacked Pumped 300/bottle Caffeine Anhydrous, Guarana
About Time AUX 90/scoop Yerba Mate’, Guarana, Green Tea
BANG Energy Drink 300/can Caffeine Anhydrous
BPI 1.M.R 300/scoop* Caffeine Anhydrous/ Yerba Mate’
BPI B4 300/capsule* Caffeine Anhydrous
BSN Hyper Shred 180/capsule Caffeine Anhydrous
BSN Endorush 200/bottle Methylxanthine
BSN Endorush Xtreme 250/bottle* Methylxanthine
BSN Hyper FX 270/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
BSN Advanced Strength N.O. Xplode 2.0 225/scoop Methylxanthine
BSN N.O. Xplode RTD 200/bottle Caffeine Anhydrous
BUILD N.O. 200/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
BUZZ EHPlabs 200/scoop* Caffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 Extreme 135/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout 150/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 50x 200/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous/ Caffeine Pterostilbene Cocrystal
Cellucor C4 Mass 150/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor C4 Ripped 150/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
Cellucor M5 Extreme 135/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
Craze 80/scoop* Caffeine Anhydrous
CytoSport Monster Pump 150/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
DyNo by RSP Nutrition 400/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous, Dicaffeine Malate
EndurElite PerformElite 225/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous/ Caffeine Pterostilbene Cocrystal
Force Factor BRX 100/2 scoops Caffeine Anhydrous
GAT Nitraflex 325/scoop ?
GNC Amp (Pre-Post) 400/3 tablets Guarana, yerba mate, tea, Caffeine Anhydrous
GNC Raw Ravage 200/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
IdealLean Pre-Workout 150/scoop Natural caffeine
iForce Maximize Intense 200/scoop Caffeine Anyhydrous
Image Sports ALARM 300/scoop* Caffeine Anhydrous
Jack3D  125/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
Juggernaut HP  150/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
Maximum Shred 50/capsule or 150mg/max serving per day Caffeine Anhydrous
Mr. Hyde by Pro Supps 419/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous, Dicaffeine Malate, Caffeine Citrate
Muscle Marinade 300/scoop 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine
Muscle Pharm Assault 300/scoop Pterostilbene-Caffeine
MuscleTech Neurocore 110/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
MuscleXplosion 60/pouch Caffeine Anhydrous
NANO Vapor Hardcore 156/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
No2 Red Hemo Surge 200/.5 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
Ripped Freak 200/scoop Caffeine Anhydrous
SportMax Preworkout Shot 140/bottle Caffeine Anhydrous
Panic 155/2 scoops Caffeine Anhydrous
*This is the approximate amount of caffeine.
optimindSome people find that nootropic supplements greatly help with their workouts. Optimind offers a free trial for those that want to try this route as opposed to a traditional pre-workout supplement that can be over-stimulating.

Optimind has 150 mg of caffeine and 11 other ingredients to help with focus and stamina.

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.

Written by Ted Kallmyer, last updated on November 19, 2018

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