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Energy Drinks Vs. Pre Workouts (Full Comparison)

Pre-workout drinks and energy drinks are both famous names in the fitness field. The former, most especially, is music to the ears of workout beasts. The latter is also hyped but in more general fields.

It’s easy to confuse energy drinks with pre-workout drinks because they have the same goal and target market. This is also why it can be quite a shocker to know that the two have a lot of differences. From the ingredients to the possible side effects, expect that each drink type will have varying offers.

At the same time, the two also have a fair share of similarities. This is what we’re going to discuss in this article about energy drinks vs. pre-workout drinks.

Let’s get started.

What Does An Energy Drink Do?

Energy drinks, from the name, boosts the energy levels of the individual who will drink it.

A variety of energy drinks
Some of the Best Energy Drinks

No matter the brand, energy drinks are designed to either give or increase the drinker’s energy. This is why it’s commonly used by those who will soon engage in heavy activities like manual labor, all-nighter tasks, and sports.

On a side note, there are also energy drinks, specifically powder formulas, that focus more on enhancing mental performance. A study even showed that individuals who drink this kind of beverage improved their cognitive functions.

The main energy-boosting ingredient of energy drinks is caffeine.

What Does A Pre-Workout Drink Do?

Pre-workout drinks or supplements are designed to prep your body for your workout routine. Same as energy drinks, these can also boost energy levels.

People doing step-up exercises
Pre-workout drinks aid in workout routines.

Like energy drinks, pre-workout drinks will give you a good energy kick. This specifically works best for fitness enthusiasts because it’s mainly marketed as a booster for stamina and overall physical performance.

It doesn’t stop there. The drink also improves the body’s oxygen flow and posture throughout routines.

What makes pre-workout supplements different is it is designated for only one purpose. Although you can still drink this for other events like gaming or non-fitness-related tasks, it may not be as effective as energy drinks.

To add, the drink type at hand doesn’t necessarily need caffeine to work.

Usual Ingredients Of Energy Drinks

The usual ingredients of energy drinks include caffeine, carbohydrates, amino acids, and B vitamins.

Energy drinks are usually made up of caffeine and a variety of vitamins.

Like what is said in the previous sections, energy drinks mainly work through the stimulating properties of caffeine. However, it’s not all that. Below is a list of the most common ingredients that you can expect:

  • Taurine
  • Sugar
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Glucuronolactone
  • Amino Acids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Trace Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Carbonated Water
  • Preservatives

It’s uncommon for energy drinks to provide a lot of vitamins and nutrients in just one serving. This is its main disadvantage if compared to pre-workout beverages.

On a side note, energy drinks can also come in all-natural ingredients. This is a known healthier option for drinkers. You can turn to brands like Live+28 Black, and Guru.

Usual Ingredients Of Pre-Workout Drinks

The common ingredients of pre-workout drinks are caffeine, vitamins, creatine, and a ton of other nutrients.

Here is an overview of the usual ingredients used in the supplement at hand:

  • Caffeine
  • Carbohydrates
  • Amino Acids
  • Vitamins
  • Creatine
  • Beta-Alanine
  • Electrolytes
  • Citrulline
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Beet Root Powder

Just like energy drinks, pre-workout drinks also have stimulants. The difference is they don’t focus on this area. Instead, they mainly include vitamins and nutrients in their content. This goes down to their primary purpose: to enhance physical performance and ensure that the body endures the whole workout routine.

Who Should Drink Energy Drinks?

Any healthy individual who wants an energy boost should have energy drinks for the day.

Since energy drinks are designed for various purposes, you don’t have to limit your intake to specific events.

This means that as long as you are not:

  1. Sensitive to caffeine and sugar.
  2. A mental or health patient.
  3. Pregnant or lactating.
  4. Under 18, there’s no reason for you not to have energy drinks.

Who Should Drink Pre-Workout Drinks?

People who engage in workouts and exercises often should drink pre-workout drinks.

A pre-workout supplement will be ideal for fitness enthusiasts.

Although you can have pre-workout drinks, whatever the event is, you will be able to make the most out of its effects if you use it for preparing for exercises. Have it between 15 to 30 minutes before your activity for best results.

This means that if you’re an athlete or work out regularly for whatever reason, you should have pre-workout supplements. Doing so will ensure that you will get all the necessary nutrients your body needs.

Though this may also be possible with energy drinks, you’ll need a lot of time researching brands, and thus, the former will be a much safer option.

Can You Use Energy Drinks As Pre-Workout Drinks?

You can use energy drinks as an alternative to pre-workout drinks.

Since energy drinks are made to boost one’s energy levels, you can freely drink them in place of pre-workout beverages. These are generally cheaper, and if you have the right brand, you can also get the same (if not better) effects.

Note, though, that regular energy drinks won’t provide the same amount of nutrients as pre-workout supplements. At the very least, you should only expect an energy kick.

Below is a video that will explain more about the difference between energy drinks and pre-workout drinks.

Are Energy Drinks The Same As Pre-Workout Drinks?

Energy drinks aren’t the same as pre-workout drinks. 

Both drink types at hand are different in terms of content, sometimes appearance, and their overall focus.

Content-wise, energy drinks contain more stimulants and flavorings, whereas pre-workout drinks provide more nutrients and a more comprehensive range of vitamins for the drinker.

The former can come in both liquid and powder forms in terms of appearance. On the other hand, pre-workout drinks usually only come in powder. Hence, you will be required to mix it with water before drinking it.

The most significant difference between energy and pre-workout drinks lies in their focus. The first one focuses on giving an additional energy boost, while the latter aims to aid the body in workout exercises fully.

Although the two drinks seem similar, they have several key differences. 

Best Energy Drinks Before A Workout

Powder energy drinks are the best kinds if you want a good alternative to pre-workout drinks.

Here are some brands that you can check:

You can also check the article that I made about the best energy drinks for workouts if you want a more in-depth reference.

Conclusion: Which Is Better Between Energy Drinks And Pre-Workout?

The question as to which is better between energy drinks and pre-workout drinks will depend on your goals and preferences.

If you want a somewhat all-purpose drink that will give you a good energy boost, then energy drinks are the way to go. You can have this before or after a workout, before studying, or any other activity that requires an enhanced physical and mental performance.

On the other hand, if you prefer a drink that will give you the full potential for your workout routines, then there’s no doubt that pre-workout supplements will provide you with a higher advantage.

Either way, you can expect each one to give you a particular set of pros. Just remember to monitor your intake to ensure that you will only get the sound effects of the drinks.

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