How Much Caffeine Is in Pre-Workout?

The dosage of caffeine you can healthily consume before exercising is determined by various factors, such as your caffeine adaptation, genetic makeup, body mass, sensitivity, as well as timing and previous caffeine ingestion on the same day.

How much caffeine in pre-workout you should have? Studies have shown that the most effective amount of caffeine to enhance physical performance during exercise is between 1-5mg/kg with recommendation of 1-3mg/kg in a single dose.

But remember to use pre-workout supplements carefully and don`t mind consulting with a healthcare professional.

WBCM Caffeine in Pre-Workout

Caffeine in Pre-Workouts

Pre-workout supplements are designed to enhance performance and focus during training in many ways including providing required fuel, reducing fatigue, stimulating certain processes and more.

Is there caffeine in pre-workout supplements? How much caffeine is in pre-workout formulas? 

Sure, caffeine is one of the most common ingredients in pre-workout supplements. It is a stimulant and natural booster that has been proven to stimulate the brain and body and contribute with other health effects.

Caffeine is present in most pre-workout supplements, although its amount can vary greatly.

So, how much caffeine is in a scoop of pre workout? The caffeine content of a pre-workout scoop might vary based on the brand and formulation. A pre-workout caffeine content is around = 100-300mg per scoop/dose. Note that the most accurate supplement compound (in terms of what is on the label and what is actually in the powder) is usually a single ingredient formula.

The correct usage of caffeine can help to reduce tiredness, improve focus, and workout performance. However, it is vital to note that excessive coffee/caffeine use can cause jitters, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as ruin your workout ote that more than 5mg/kg in a single dose probably will have detrimental effects. Remember to stick to the suggested serving size and consider consulting your healthcare practitioner about taking pre-workouts.

The effect of pre-workout supplements can benefit many athletes and fitness lovers. Caffeine can boost mental focus, increase endurance, and lessen weariness during exercising. This improves overall performance and productivity during the training. It is crucial to remember, however, that the effects of caffeine may differ based on individual caffeine adaptation, genetic makeup and sensitivity.

 Caffeine in large quantities can have undesirable side effects such as jitters, anxiety, and insomnia in some people. You’d better start to use the average amount of caffeine in pre workout and gradually increase it if needed.

Caffeine dependency is another potential harm of pre-workout supplement stimulants. Caffeine adaptation develops with time, which means the greater doses might be required to feel the same effect. This can result in a cycle of dependence, which people believe that they require coffee to function normally.

To avoid this risk, consider using caffeine supplementation separately from your pre workout formula or/and incorporate caffeine-free days in a week.

WBCM front squat

The Optimal Dose of Caffeine in Pre-workout for Beginners

It is recommended to begin with a lower amount of caffeine in pre-workout supplements. Generally, the recommended dose is 1-3mg of caffeine per 1kg of body weight. Start with 1mg/kg (if you are 70kg athlete that would be 70mg of caffeine) and increase the amount with time, experiment a bit. Keep in mind that it’s only possible if you ingest caffeine separately from your pre-workout.

This amount of caffeine can provide you a notable boost of energy and concentration without headaches and anxiety. When using pre-workout supplements, it's also a good idea to test your caffeine sensitivity. Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others and may need to start with a lower dose, or avoid caffeine completely.

Timing is an important factor to consider when it comes to caffeine ingestion. To get the most out of caffeine, it is recommended to time your caffeine intake strategically.

Caffeine is absorbed rapidly by the body, and its effect can be felt within 5-10 minutes after consumption. However, the peak effect of caffeine are typically reached within 30 minutes, and the effect can persist for up to 60 minutes.

Consider taking no more than 5mg/kg of caffeine in a single dose, as the more dose in your body will probably do more harm than bring some benefit. However, it is critical to carefully analyze individual tolerance and avoid excessive caffeine use, as this might raise the risk of undesirable side effects and dependence. For instance, it’s like potential increase in adenosine receptors in the brain as a response to the blocking effects of caffeine on them.

Pre-workout supplements should be purchased from reliable manufacturers that disclose the amount of caffeine and other substances. It is better to contact a healthcare professional before using caffeine-rich pre-workout products, especially when they contain much more ingredients than just caffeine.

WBCM Resistance band exercises

Why Does Pre Workout Have Caffeine?

Caffeine can be found in pre-workout supplements since it has psychoactive characteristics. It is often ingested for its potential to promote alertness and cognitive function. Caffeine has been proven to offer several possible benefits in the context of exercise and health. It can significantly minimize tiredness and enhance durability, allowing individuals to be active for a longer time. 

It can also improve the ability to focus and minimize the feeling of tension during exercises, allowing people to push themselves further to accomplish greater outcomes. Caffeine has been connected to many other potential health benefits in addition to its effect on training performance. 

It has been discovered to enhance mental function, potentially lower the risk of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and even increase daily energy expenditure and higher metabolic rate.

There is also evidence that suggests that a regular caffeine intake is inversely related to depression levels in adults.

Caffeine should be used cautiously and with due regard for personal tolerance and sensitivity. It is also advisable to use pre-workout supplements from reliable manufacturers that indicate the quantity of caffeine and other ingredients.

Let's take a deeper look at 4 reasons to use caffeine in pre-workouts.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

One of the primary reasons for using caffeine in pre-workout supplements is to improve mental focus while exercising. When ingested before a workout, caffeine can assist to boost alertness and mental attention, improve reaction time (both physical and mental), allowing individuals to stay engaged and concentrated on their workout. 

This can be especially useful for people who battle with interruptions, or find it hard to remain motivated when exercising. Caffeine binds to adenosine receptors, while adenosine is linked to exhaustion and sleep. Caffeine can assist to boost mental alertness and lessen sensations of exhaustion and tiredness by inhibiting the effect of adenosine.

WBCM Bench Press

Athletes and gym goers who want to stay motivated and concentrated during their activities may benefit from the improved mental focus. Caffeine can help you stay motivated and push yourself harder to achieve greater outcomes, no matter whether you're aiming to enhance your endurance, grow muscle mass, or reach a specific fitness objective.

Improved Performance

Caffeine is often used in pre-workout supplements to boost performance during activity. It can assist to minimize weariness and potentially (more studies are needed) can have some beneficial effect on muscle soreness perception (DOMS), helping individuals to stay active for a longer period,and even increase the number of workout sessions in a particular period.

One meta-analysis results indicate that caffeine supplements reduce DOMS when compared to a placebo 48h after exercise. However, it shows that at 24h post-exercise, caffeine can reduce DOMS only in people who worked on resistant exercise.

Caffeine has been found to improve endurance by boosting the availability of glycogen, the principal fuel source utilized by muscles during exercising. Caffeine can aid to prolong exercise capacity and delay exhaustion by stimulating the release of certain hormones, potentially improve carbohydrate supply (data not fully clear, some data suggest that only during high-intensity exercise) and allow people to keep working out at a maximum concentration for longer periods. 

The increased durability can assist people who are out of sports and sportsmen who want to improve their physical health or engage in endurance events like races. Caffeine can help to gain fitness objectives and push oneself to new workout levels.

Reduced Fatigue

Pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. These supplements often contain caffeine, a natural stimulant that is commonly found in coffee, tea, and some energy drinks. Caffeine has been shown to have a variety of effects on the body, including reduced fatigue during exercises.

WBCM Back Squat

Caffeine works by blocking the action of a neurotransmitter called adenosine, which is responsible for promoting sleep,reducing, and “redirecting” brain activity. By binding to adenosine receptors, caffeine increases the activity of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which are associated with the sympathetic nervous system - fight or flight (although dopamine is also involved in the parasympathetic nervous system) - and promote alertness and attention.

During exercises, fatigue can set in as you put more stress on the body. Caffeine can help to counteract this fatigue by increasing the body's ability to use the stored energy by reducing the perception of effort during the workout.

The main motivation for using caffeine in pre-workout pills is to increase energy levels. Caffeine is an all-natural stimulant that can help to increase or borrow some energy making it a good choice for people who need an extra boost before exercising.Improved energy level can be especially advantageous for people who battle fatigue or find it difficult to encourage themselves to exercise.

However, it is important to know that there might be a reason for that fatigue. So, relying on caffeine to reduce fatigue can mask underlying health issues that may need to be addressed, such as bad nutrition, sleep deprivation, or anemia.

Caffeine can aid to increase overall performance during training and make exercises more pleasurable and successful by offering an extra rush of energy. Overall, the correct caffeine usage can help people push through their workouts and achieve greater outcomes, making it a popular element in pre-workout supplements.

WBCM preparing for clean

Caffeine as a Reinforcement Agent

Caffeine is a widely consumed stimulant known for its energizing effect. Being a positive reinforcer, it can increase the likelihood of certain behaviors that lead to its consumption. 

For instance, if someone drinks a cup of coffee and feels more alert and energy, they are more likely to repeat this behavior when they need a similar boost. This is because the positive effects of caffeine increase the value of the behavior that led to its consumption, making it more likely to be repeated in the future. However, it's important to note that the effect of caffeine on behavior can be complex and depend on individual differences in response to its effects.

Additionally, the reinforcing effects of caffeine can be influenced by various factors. Understanding how caffeine functions as a reinforcement agent can provide insight into the complex relationship between behavior and the consumption of stimulants like caffeine.

Large Coffee from well-known coffee vendors might contain even 1g (1000mg) of caffeine. That's why sometimes you can feel that it's the best coffee that works best for you because of that dependency, but also because caffeine reinforces the effect on experience. They can mask jitters and other side effects, with other compounds like theanine. So, note that having your double espresso before a workout might already be too much to enhance performance.

WBCM dumbell exercises

Caffeine Half-Life and Its Impact on Daily Caffeine Intake

Half-life is the time required for a quantity (of substance) to reduce to half of its initial value. Caffeine has a half-life of approximately 5-6 hours, which means that half of the caffeine you consume will be eliminated from your body in that time frame. The remaining caffeine will continue to circulate in your system, and the half-life will repeat until all the caffeine will be metabolized.

It is essential to understand that previous caffeine ingestion on the same day may add up and result in caffeine excessive intake. For example, if you consume 200mg of caffeine in the morning, after 5-6 hours, you will still have 100 - 150 mg caffeine pre workout in your system. If you take another supplement that contains 200mg of caffeine, you will have a total of 300mg caffeine pre workout in your system, which can lead to side effects such as jitters, anxiety, and insomnia.

To avoid caffeine excessive intake, it is recommended to keep track of your daily caffeine intake, including the caffeine in pre-workout supplements. It is also essential to know the caffeine content of the pre-workout supplement you are taking. Some products can contain up to 400mg of caffeine per serving, which might be even equivalent to one cup of coffee.

In summary, while caffeine can provide numerous benefits in pre-workout supplements, it is important to understand caffeine half-life and monitor your daily caffeine consumption to avoid caffeine excessive intake, which can lead to adverse side effects.

WBCM Sumo squat

What Negative Effects Can Be Related to Caffeine Ingestion?

While caffeine might be beneficial in pre-workout supplements, it can also be unhealthy if used in excess. Caffeine's negative effects include:

Jitters, Anxiety and Insomnia

Overconsumption of coffee can cause feelings of restlessness, jitters, and anxiety, which may negatively impact workout performance and hinder focus. Since coffee is a stimulant, it can interfere with sleep, and consuming it too close to bedtime can lead to insomnia and other sleep-related issues

It is worth noting that even moderate doses of caffeine, ranging from 200mg to 400mg, can have a considerable impact on sleep quality if ingested up to 6 hours before bedtime. It is also important to be mindful of the caffeine content in commercially available coffee from popular vendors, as they may contain higher doses than recommended.

Dehydration and Digestive Issues

Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which may lead to dehydration, especially during exercise, by increasing urine flow. To counteract this effect, it is advisable to consume water along with caffeine. Additionally, caffeine can increase sodium excretion, so it is important to monitor sodium intake to avoid potential side effects like jitters that are caused by sodium loss. 

Some individuals may also experience digestive discomfort, such as stomach pain or diarrhea, after consuming caffeine, which can negatively affect athletic performance. You should be aware of potential side effects and adjust caffeine intake accordingly.

Headaches, Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can have negative impacts on workout performance, as it may cause headaches. Additionally, caffeine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which may pose a risk to individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. It is important to be mindful of caffeine intake and follow the recommended guidelines to minimize potential negative effects.

WBCM stretching for runners

Pre-Workout Supplements We Recommend

When it comes to pre-workout supplements, we recommend using single ingredient formulas like Naked Creatine Monohydrate Powder (fuel), Transparent Labs fermented L-Citrulline powder (fuel - Nitric Oxide booster), Kaged Purcaf® Caffeine (stimulant), whenever possible. 

Single ingredient formulas contain only one active ingredient, such as caffeine, taurine, beta-alanine, AAKG, creatine and more, and are generally considered to be safer and more effective than multi-ingredient formulas.

Naked Creatine Monohydrate Powder

One of the main benefits of using a single ingredient formula is that it allows you to monitor your intake of stimulants easily. For example, if you already had a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage earlier in the day, you should avoid taking additional caffeine in your pre-workout supplement. With a single ingredient formula, you can easily check the label and adjust your dose accordingly.

Using a single ingredient formula ensures that your consumption of specific ingredients, such as creatine, is not dependent on the consumption of a full pre-workout supplement. This means that you have the flexibility to consume each ingredient on its own, without being tied to a specific combination of ingredients or a specific timing of consumption. This can be particularly useful for individuals who prefer to tailor their supplement intake to their specific needs and preferences.

Transparent Labs Fermented L-Citrulline Powder

Another advantage of using a single ingredient formula is that the labels are usually more accurate. This is because manufacturers are not trying to combine multiple ingredients into one formula, which can sometimes lead to inaccuracies in dosage or ingredient listing.

Finally, if you are sensitive to certain ingredients, a single ingredient formula allows you to easily identify which ingredient is causing the sensitivity. This can be helpful in avoiding negative side effects and tailoring your supplement regimen to your individual needs.

Kaged Purcaf® Caffeine

In summary, we recommend using single ingredient formulas in pre-workout supplements whenever possible. Such formulas allow to monitor the stimulant intake easily, they have more accurate labeling, and assist to identify and avoid sensitive ingredients.

WBCM Lifting overhead


How Much Caffeine Is Good for Pre Workout?

The ideal dose of caffeine for pre-workout changes depends on many factors. Although,a single dose of 1-3mg/kg of body weight is generally considered to be safe and beneficial for most people.

Why You Should Not Take a Pre-workout at Night?

Pre-workout supplements are rich in caffeine, as well as other ingredients that might disrupt sleep and trigger insomnia. Consuming pre-workout too late will interrupt your sleep cycle and negatively impact your health.

What Happens if You Take a Pre-workout Without Working Out?

It highly depends on the formula, but taking a pre-workout supplement without exercising or a specific reason can have negative effect on your body. This is because many formulas contain even the highest caffeine preworkout rate, together with other stimulants can cause symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, and disrupt your sleep. It is important to use pre-workout supplements as directed and for the intended purpose, as misuse can lead to unwanted side effects.

Is 400MG of Caffeine in a Single Dose Too Much in a Pre-workout?

As always it depends.The appropriate dosage of caffeine in a pre-workout supplement relates to several factors, such as body weight, individual caffeine sensitivity, and previous caffeine intake on the same day. 

As a general guideline, for a 80kg athlete who has not consumed any caffeine that day, a single dose of 400mg caffeine pre workout (5mg/kg) would be considered high and may lead to negative side effects such as jitters, anxiety, and heart palpitations, especially for those who are highly sensitive to caffeine. 

It is important to be mindful of the amount of caffeine consumed in a pre-workout supplement and follow the recommended dosage guidelines to avoid unwanted side effects.


Engaging in any activity that disrupts or offsets regular high-quality sleep, or its duration, such as staying up late or consuming stimulants close to bedtime, will counteract the potential health benefits of that activity.

It is important to prioritize adequate and restful sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle to optimize the benefits of other positive habits and behaviors. Caffeine is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements due to its potential to increase energy levels, focus, and cognitive performance. You need to use caffeine correctly to enhance mental and physical performance.

The appropriate caffeine dose in pre-workout is determined by a variety of characteristics such as caffeine tolerance, sensitivity, and body mass. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a lower dose of caffeine in pre-workout supplements, that is about 1-3mg/kg in a single dose. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause dangerous side effects. To maximize performance you can try to limit ingestion of caffeine only to your training days.

Caffeine can improve exercise performance by lowering fatigue perception, improving reaction time, boosting endurance, and sharpening mental focus. It has also been linked to various potential health benefits, including lowering the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and assisting with weight loss. It is important to note that while caffeine may reduce the perception of fatigue, it does not actually decrease the physical effects of fatigue.

We hope this article provided helpful information about the amount of caffeine in pre workout supplements. However, we want to hear from you!

Do you have any questions about how much caffeine in pre workout supplements is needed to gain extra strength boost for lifting workouts? Or whether you have other thoughts to share about pre-workout formulas and caffeine in general?

Please leave a comment below and let us know. We're always happy to engage with our readers and continue the conversation.

Also read:


  • Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed // National Library of Medicine:
  • Effect of caffeine on delayed-onset muscle soreness: a meta-analysis of RCT // Springer Open:
  • Inverse association between caffeine intake and depressive symptoms in US adults // Science Direct:
  • The neuroprotective effects of caffeine in neurodegenerative diseases // Online Library:
  • Effect of Caffeine Consumption on the Risk for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders: Sex Differences in Human // National Library of Medicine:

With my 30 years fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, I bring a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a master's of science degree in biotechnology, I stay at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that my coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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