You might have been attracted to this article because you either already take a pre-workout or are interested in taking one. Do yourself a favor and take a look at the ingredients of pre-workout: artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and strange things you can't pronounce and don't really know what they do, and of course, loads of caffeine from unknown sources.
And that's just the stuff they list!
The last pre-workout that I experimented with ended up getting pulled from the shelves because it tested positive for amphetamines. WHAT!?
Pre-workout brands, with all of their colorful labels and silly names, are barely regulated and work with manufacturers that typically don't clean their equipment which causes cross contamination with undesirable ingredients. If you're living clean or just don't want to unknowingly take illegal drugs, perhaps you might want to stay away from these products.
But worry not, I have an answer!
Not only is it natural (one ingredient) and delicious, coffee contains caffeine which is known to improve cognitive function, mood, and energy among many other benefits. (Via Contemporary Athlete). So why wouldn't you want the most bang for your barbell and find a highly caffeinated coffee that is delicious enough to drink for the rest of your life? That's why I've always considered Death Wish Coffee to be "The World's Strongest Natural Pre-Workout." Of course, once you start dumping dairy and refined sugars in, you'll negate a lot of these benefits.
It only takes about 45 minutes for 99% of caffeine to be absorbed through the lining of your mouth, throat, and stomach and the half-life of caffeine is anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. (Via Caffeine Informer). So timing your cup of joe before your pump is key but not rocket science. I generally like to drink coffee about an hour before my workout so the caffeine is surging but I've digested it enough not to burp it up between burpees. I suggest experimenting with the timing of your caffeine intake because everybody's biology is different.
Here are the ways to use coffee as a preworkout:
1. Standard Drip Coffee
This is a great way to easily prepare your pre-workout. I like to keep a thermos full of black coffee next to me during long workouts to give my brain a vacation from the ever-present suffering. It also keeps me from dying out towards the end of the long haul.
If you're in a rush to make it to the gym in time for the morning class, this is the best way to engage your superpowers. Also, your stomach isn't full of hot liquid which can be distracting while you're trying to get that last rep in. Efficient!
3. Cold Brew
Low acid, hydrating, and refreshing. This is my favorite method of drinking coffee as a pre-workout. You can even chug it if your will is strong and the caffeine content tends to be a bit higher with a cold brew.
Having a belly full of hot buttered coffee is not the best idea right before your workout. I like to think of Death Proof Coffee as a way to recover from your workout the day after. The fat from the butter and oil contains MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) which is used by your body to rebuild muscle cells and is a precursor to testosterone. I also like to add in collagen protein for added bonuses like bone and joint strength.
In conclusion, ditch the rainbow-colored sherbert flavored meat head juice powder and come to the dark side.