Reviews Coffee Supplements

4 Best Pre-Workout Coffees in 2024

A lot of people can’t imagine starting their day without a cup of coffee. It’s something that we almost don’t think about – it’s the morning, so let’s have a cup of coffee first and then we’ll deal with whatever the day throws at us. But did you even try having a cup of coffee before a workout and have you ever wondered what the best pre workout coffee is?

You know that feeling of being awake you get from your coffee? Well, that comes from caffeine, and caffeine can actually help you get the most out of your workouts. How exactly does it do that? Well, that’s something we’ll deal with a little bit later. First, let’s see what kind of coffee is best to drink before a workout.

Bottoms up!

Our team of certified nutritionists and professional athletes has tested 15 different types of coffee and only 4 were considered to be the best and have made it to this list. The coffee was evaluated on 5 key factors (coffee intensity, blend quality, coffee taste, caffeine ratio, price & quality) and our team spent 6 weeks testing most of them. They’ve also analyzed hundreds of online reviews. This list is updated all the time, so feel free to share your experiences in the comment section!

best pre-workout coffees

Top 4 Best Pre Workout Coffee Reviewed

  1. Death Wish Dark Roast Ground Coffee – Best Overall Ground Coffee
  2. Caffeine Army Smart Energy Coffee – Best Coffee Powder Blend
  3. Cold Brew Lab Coarse Ground Coffee – Best Pre Workout Cold Brew
  4. Kimera Koffee Organic Medium Roast Ground Coffee
ProductTotalCoffee IntensityBlend QualityCoffee Taste Caffeine RatioPrice/Quality
Death Wish501010101010
Caffeine Army49.5101010109.5
Cold Brew Lab499.5109.51010
Kimera Koffee489.5109109.5

Best Overall Ground Coffee

1. Death Wish Dark Roast Ground Coffee

DEATH WISH Dark Roast Ground Coffee
  • Item form (ground / beans): Ground
  • Item weight (unit count): 16 ounces
  • Roast shade (dark, medium, light): Dark
  • Bean type (Arabica / Robusta): Blend of Arabica and Robusta
  • Caffeine content: High

When you see the skull and bones on the bag, and then the brand name “Death Wish”, you may be a bit apprehensive about trying this coffee because it sounds like you’re going to be brewing a piping hot cup of heart attack rather than coffee. In reality, though, this is a wonderful, flavorful coffee that has quite a kick to it, but it’s not too strong.

When opening the bag, you’ll be overwhelmed by a beautiful, strong coffee smell. You’ll probably need to use scissors to open it because it’s hard to rip open and you may risk the coffee spilling everywhere. This is a blend of Arabica and Robusta, and its taste is very smooth, with hints of black cherry and dark chocolate. 

The caffeine content is high so it’s pretty potent. Death Wish recommends you use 2.5 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water, so try to stick to that and don’t go over. As soon as you start to brew it, the room will be filled with its scent, so if you’re drinking it in the morning, it’s going to be a perfect way to start your day. 

As far as its effects, it’s quite potent. It will give you a kickstart in the morning or help you power through that midday slump. It’s great to drink before a workout because the effects kick in quickly and last for a while.

 Of course, it’s suitable for both vegans and vegetarians, it’s gluten-free and free of nuts and allergens. Death Wish made some big claims in their name, but this coffee lives up to the hype and it’s the best coffee for pre-workout.

50 EXPERT SCORE

As soon as you start to brew it, the room will be filled with its scent, so if you’re drinking it in the morning, it’s going to be a perfect way to start your day.


Coffee intensity (strength):0
Blend quality:0
Coffee taste:0
Caffeine ratio:0
Price & quality:0

Positives:

  • Smooth flavor
  • Doesn’t cause jitters
  • High caffeine content

Could be better:

  • The bag is hard to open
Best Coffee Powder Blend

2. Caffeine Army Smart Energy Coffee

CAFFEINE ARMY Smart Energy Coffee
  • Item form (ground / beans): Powder (ground)
  • Item weight (unit count): 7.76 ounces or 13.40 ounces
  • Caffeine content: High

If you like flavored coffee, it's highly likely you will like this one because, unlike many others, with the Smart Energy Coffee, you can taste both the coffee and the added flavor. This one comes in the original flavor (which is just plain coffee), choconilla, chocolate, and vanilla – which is the one we’re focusing on.

This coffee comes in powder form, and it’s more than just your average cup of joe. It’s a blend of high-quality coffee and energy-boosting components like collagen, caffeine, MCT oil, and L-carnitine. It combines 20 super ingredients into coffee, so it’s a very functional alternative to typical coffee and it claims to be healthier than standard energy drinks. As far as pre-workout coffees go, this definitely deserves its place on the list.

It causes no jitters and there’s no caffeine crash, but it’s potent and its high caffeine content gives you the kick you need for your workout. It’s pricier than some other options on the list, but this has a ton of beneficial additional ingredients in it.

 When it comes to this pre-workout coffee recipe, it’s really straightforward. You mix one scoop into hot water or plant-based milk and your energy booster is ready to go. It’s supposed to be consumed on an empty stomach and it’s suitable for everyone, except pregnant and lactating women.

Another thing worth mentioning is that it breaks the calorie fast (for intermittent fasting) due to the fats present, but it doesn’t affect the insulin fast.

49.5 EXPERT SCORE

This coffee comes in powder form, and it’s more than just your average cup of joe. It’s a blend of high-quality coffee and energy-boosting components like collagen, caffeine, MCT oil, and L-carnitine.


Coffee intensity (strength):0
Blend quality:0
Coffee taste:0
Caffeine ratio:0
Price & quality:0

Positives:

  • 20 super ingredients combined with coffee
  • Suitable for almost everyone
  • 4 flavors available

Could be better:

  • Pricey
  • Breaks calorie fast
Best Pre-Workout Cold Brew

3. Cold Brew Lab Coarse Ground Coffee

COLD BREW LAB Coarse Ground Coffee
  • Item form (ground / beans): Ground
  • Item weight (unit count): 16 ounces
  • Roast shade (dark, medium, light): Dark
  • Bean type (Arabica / Robusta): Arabica
  • Caffeine content: High

Not everyone likes their coffee hot, so if you’re one of those that like seeing ice cubes in your cup rather than steam coming out of it, this one is ideal for you.

Cold Brew Lab prides itself on delivering a perfect coarse grind for cold brew coffee. It’s carefully sourced, roasted, and blended, and promises an optimal slow extraction that’s bold in flavor but low in acidity. 

This coffee uses dark Roasted Arabica beans and has a high caffeine content. It’s packaged and roasted in New York, and to ensure you always get a fresh batch, the coffee is made right before shipping. It has a smoother and sweeter taste than hot coffee but gives the same energy boost. The taste is not as intense as you may be expecting from a dark roast. 

All you need to do is to combine the coffee and cold, filtered water in a French Press at a 1:4 ratio. Stir it gently, cover, and refrigerate for 12-15 hours. Then steep it, press, and separate the grounds. If you’re making it in a pitcher, add the same mixture of coffee and water, cover, and refrigerate for 12-15 hours, and then strain it using a mesh filter bag. 

Overall, as far as cold brews go, this one is by far the best. It’s easy to make, has a high caffeine content, and you’ll always get a fresh batch.

49 EXPERT SCORE

Cold Brew Lab prides itself on delivering a perfect coarse grind for cold brew coffee. It’s carefully sourced, roasted, and blended, and promises an optimal slow extraction that’s bold in flavor but low in acidity.


Coffee intensity (strength):0
Blend quality:0
Coffee taste:0
Caffeine ratio:0
Price & quality:0

Positives:

  • Roasted and packaged right before shipping
  • Can be made with a French press and Mason Jar/pitcher methods
  • Lower acidity than hot coffee

Could be better:

  • The taste is not as strong as you would expect from a dark roast
  • Leaves a lot of residue in the pitcher

4. Kimera Koffee Organic Medium Roast Ground Coffee

KIMERA KOFFEE Organic Medium Roast Ground Coffee
  • Item form (ground / beans): Ground
  • Item weight (unit count): 12 ounces
  • Coffee origin: Brazil
  • Roast shade (dark, medium, light): Medium
  • Bean type (Arabica / Robusta): Arabica

This is another coffee that has supplements mixed in it, but it’s a medium roast, so its taste is milder, although the aftertaste is a bit bitter. It’s marketed as the “World’s most productive coffee” and, although it does give you a boost and helps you focus better, the claims are a bit of an overstatement.

It’s infused with Alpha GPC, DMAE, Taurine, and L-Theanine, so it promises cognitive improvements along with a rich coffee taste. The taste is indeed rich and smooth, and you’ll probably notice some cognitive effects, too. If you look through user reviews, you’ll see a decent number of them claiming it helps with focus and brain fog, and it’ll wake you up in the morning. 

Kimera koffee instagram
Photo by @dani.reardon

It's packaged very well because Kimera Koffee uses a Nitrogen Flushing system, so it keeps the coffee fresh and you don’t need to worry about receiving a stale bag. The issue is that the supplements are not blended very well, and you’ll notice inconsistent white chunks in the bag. This means that some servings will have more supplements while others contain less which is not ideal because we all want consistency.

48 EXPERT SCORE

This is another coffee that has supplements mixed in it, but it’s a medium roast, so its taste is milder, although the aftertaste is a bit bitter. It’s marketed as the “World’s most productive coffee”.


Coffee intensity (strength):0
Blend quality:0
Coffee taste:0
Caffeine ratio:0
Price & quality:0

Positives:

  • Added supplements for improved cognitive functions
  • Nitrogen-flushed packaging
  • Works with various brewing methods

Could be better:

  • Bitter for a medium roast
  • Supplements are not mixed well with the coffee

Subscribe!

The latest reviews of must-have home gym training equipment, apparel, and supplements that will enhance your performance and bring you new results.

Is Coffee Good for Pre-Workout?

Coffee may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of what to take before your workout, but it’s actually not a bad idea to have a cup before exercising. Caffeine, which is coffee’s main active ingredient, acts as a mild stimulant and it can improve your performance. 

A lot of people notice improved focus and a decent energy boost from drinking coffee, as well as feeling more awake – all of which can help you have a more effective workout. Think about coming home tired from work and knowing you have a workout to get through before going to bed. 

Man drinks coffee at home

How effective is your training session going to be if you’re feeling exhausted? Will you even work out or decide to postpone it? A simple cup of coffee can give you a temporary kick you need to feel rested and energized, and its effects won’t last so long that it gives you trouble sleeping. 

5 Benefits of Drinking Coffee Before Training 

It’s almost routine to have coffee after you wake up, but the benefits you get from it easily translate to your workout routine. Let’s see why coffee isn’t reserved for mornings only and why you may want to consider drinking it before exercising. 

Better Performance

Caffeine is a natural stimulant and prompts the release of adrenaline. This increases your heart rate and releases fatty acids into the bloodstream, which then leads to improved performance by providing extra energy and making you feel like you’re not working as hard as you are. 

Improved Focus and Alertness

Everyone knows coffee contains caffeine, but do you know how effective it is at acting on the central nervous system? It increases mental alertness, focus, and it can act as a cognitive enhancer, which means you can stay more concentrated and engaged during your workout. 

Fat Burning

Coffee can be your ally when it comes to fat loss because caffeine helps move fatty acids from fat tissues, makes them a source of energy during exercise, and contributes to increased fat oxidation

Reduced Perception of Muscle Pain

The pain you feel in your muscles during working out can be extremely distracting – you have to take breaks, you get tired, and you can’t push your limits. Caffeine can help you feel less discomfort during exercising, which can make your training sessions more effective because you won’t be as distracted. 

Convenient and Cost-Effective

You can get a cup of coffee pretty much anywhere, just like you can buy a bag at any store. It’s also cheaper when you compare it to a lot of commercial supplements that are meant to be taken before a workout. 

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Pre-Workout Coffee

Once you decide you want to have coffee before your workout, the next step is to decide what kind of coffee you should drink. The right kind of coffee can have all the benefits you’re after, but if you make the wrong choice, you’ll feel no effects and give the whole thing up. 

Here are the most important factors when it comes to choosing the ideal pre-workout coffee. 

1. Acidity Level

This is important because of your digestion, and you should pay special attention to it if you are prone to acid reflux or if you have a sensitive stomach. High acidity can cause issues, so it’s better to go with a coffee blend that has lower acidity levels. 

2. Roast Shade / Level

The coffee’s flavor and caffeine content are determined by the roast shade; lighter roasts usually have more caffeine, but they may have a brighter, more acidic taste. Medium to dark roasts have a bit less caffeine but they could be milder on your stomach and their flavor is usually richer. 

Drinking coffee before running

3. Caffeine Content

Different types of beans and roasting processes affect how much caffeine the coffee contains, so this is a very important thing to check. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or just want to monitor your intake, opt for a darker roast – they have less mass because they’ve been roasted longer, and the beans are not as dense as you would find in a light roast. 

Who Should Not Drink Coffee Before Working Out?

Coffee has a lot of benefits and drinking it before a workout could be that extra something you need to help you push your limits, but that doesn’t mean pre-workout coffee is suitable for everyone. 

If you have any health conditions like cardiovascular issues or high blood pressure, coffee can do more harm than good and you should either refrain from drinking it altogether or drink it in small amounts and closely monitor how it affects you. 

Those who experience heart palpitations, anxiety, or gastrointestinal issues should also avoid drinking coffee. Caffeine is a potent ingredient and not everyone will react well to it. Like everything else, caffeine has side-effects, so if you notice any negative ones, it’s best to just give up on coffee or talk to your doctor before further consumption. 

cup of coffee

Pregnant women and those that are breastfeeding might not need to cut coffee out completely, but it would be good to check with a doctor how the caffeine might affect the fetus or the newborn.

Caffeine is known to keep you awake, so if you’re already having trouble sleeping, you really don’t need coffee to make matters worse. It can wreak havoc on your sleeping cycle, and with so many supplements on the market, you can easily replace coffee with something that won’t cause you problems.

FAQ

How Much Coffee Should I Drink Before Training?

There’s no specific answer to this because the ideal amount depends on how sensitive you are to caffeine and how well you tolerate it. Generally, it’s okay to take 8 to 16 ounces (240 to 470 milliliters) of coffee that contains 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine half an hour to an hour before a workout. But keep in mind that this is not a one-answer-fits-all type of situation, and it really comes down to what you can tolerate and how you respond to caffeine.

How Much Time Before Workout Should I Drink Coffee?

Aim for 30 to 60 minutes before you plan on starting your workout. This is going to be enough for the caffeine to reach peak levels in your bloodstream and give you the energy you need without causing problems.

Conclusion

If you’re a coffee drinker, you’re probably excited to learn that you can drink coffee before working out, not just as a temporary pick-me-up during the day. 

And if you already knew this, then you’ve probably been drinking homemade pre-workout coffee for ages, but you now know that the best one you can have is the DEATH WISH Dark Roast Ground Coffee. It has everything you want in a pre-workout coffee – fantastic taste, a lot of caffeine, and it’s super easy to make. 

Now, let’s sit down, have a cup of good ol’ joe and chat about this topic! There must be something you want to add to all of this, so don’t be shy and leave a comment or two!

Pump up pre-workout!

Also read:

References:

  1. Astrid Nehlig, “Is caffeine a cognitive enhancer?" Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 20, Suppl 1 (2010): S85-S94.
  2. Daniel Collado-Mateo, Ana Myriam Lavín-Pérez, Eugenio Merellano-Navarro, Juan Del Coso, “Effect of Acute Caffeine Intake on the Fat Oxidation Rate during Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Nutrients 12, no. 12 (2020): 3603.
  3. Darya Zabelina, Paul Silvia, "Percolating ideas: The effects of caffeine on creative thinking and problem solving," Consciousness and Cognition 79 (March 2020): 102899.
  4. James Lane, Carl Pieper, Barbara Phillips-Bute, John Bryant, Cynthia Kuhn, "Caffeine affects cardiovascular and neuroendocrine activation at work and home," Psychosomatic Medicine 64, no. 4 (July-August 2002): 595-603.

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Justin Estes

Author: Justin Estes
Coffee Consultant

Experience: 7 years

Justin Estes is an acclaimed finance writer, coffee consultant and fitness enthusiast based in Charleston, SC. He holds BS degrees in Finance and Accounting, fueled by several daily espresso shots.

Over 7+ years, Justin has cultivated specialty coffee expertise through roles spanning barista, trainer, roaster production assistant, competition judge, and brand strategist for leading companies. He thrives when connecting people over amazing coffee experiences.

View author’s page


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiries considering product reviews, you can reach out to us via email – [email protected]

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *