The Best Low Caffeine Pre-Workouts
These days in the supplement industry most companies are putting out high stimulant or "high stim" preworkouts, with each company battling with the next over who can put out the most intense pre-workout or the highest stim pre-workout. While there are "stimheads" out there who love intense high stimulant pre-workouts, there's also those of who are are stimulant sensitive or caffeine sensitive who are looking for low stim preworkouts. In today's post we're going to be discussing low stim preworkouts and providing you with a few suggestions for our top low stim preworkouts.
WHAT ARE STIMULANTS?
Stimulants are a class of ingredients or drugs which speed up messages traveling between the brain and the body. Stimulants tend to make us feel more awake and more alert, they stimulate our central nervous system and make us feel like more energized. Many preworkout supplements contain stimulants as they can make us energized and improve our athletic performance, they can increase our focus and improve our "mind/muscle connection" and they can help get us ready for a workout early in the morning or later in the evening when we may not have a lot of energy. While something like Caffeine is probably the most popular and most common stimulant most of us think of, preworkouts contain a host of other stimulants including things like DMHA, Hordenine, Higenamine, Syneprhine, Yohimbine, and others.
WHAT DOES STIM SENSITIVE MEAN?
In the supplement world people are generally referred to as either stimheads meaning people love high energy intense stimulants, or people are referred to as stim sensitive, meaning people are easily affected by caffeine and other stimulants. People who are stim sensitive may experience anxiety, jitters, nausea or anxiety when they consume stimulants.
WHAT IS A LOW STIM PRE-WORKOUT?
When it comes to preworkout supplements there's no shortage of non-stim or non-stimulant preworkouts on the market, however there's not a lot of options for low stim preworkouts. Non-Stim Preworkouts are preworkouts which contain zero stimulants, these preworkouts typically contain ingredients which promote increased blood flow. Low Stim Preworkouts on the other hand are preworkouts which contain stimulants, just in lower amounts, and typically milder stimulants like natural caffeine as opposed to more intense stimulants like DMHA or Yohimbine.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE SHOULD A LOW STIM PREWORKOUT HAVE?
Everyone has a different tolerance to caffeine so there's no exact answer to this. These days your typical preworkout has around 300mg of caffeine, so anything less than that could be considered low stim. For reference keep in mind that a typical diner sized cup of coffee has around 95mg of caffeine, if you can drink 2 cups of coffee and not feel jittery, than you should be able to tolerate 200mg of caffeine. Keep in mind however that caffeine anhydrous is oftentimes more intense or stronger than natural caffeine found in coffee. One other thing to keep in mind is caffeine is just one of many stimulants, some preworkouts may have low levels of caffeine but may contain other stimulants like DMHA, Higenamine, Hordenine and others.
ARE "ENERGIZED AMINOS" PREWORKOUTS?
When it comes to low stim preworkouts there's not a ton of options on the market. Because of this a low of stim sensitive people will use "Energized Amino" supplements like Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy or Allmax ACuts, and while these do provide you with some amino acids and caffeine, it's not necessarily a true preworkout as preworkouts typically contain ingredients which support improve blood flow to the muscles, increase athletic endurance and nootropics to improve focus and concentration. Energized Aminos typically only contain caffeine and amino acids so they aren't full fledged preworkouts. We did however manage to find three true low stim preworkouts which promote blood flow, endurnace, and improved focus and concentration and we'll be sharing them with you below.
TOP 3 LOW STIM PRE-WORKOUTS
ZHOU Lite up Extra is a preworkout made with stim sensitive people in mind. Lite Up Xtra contains just 100mg of Natural Caffeine, not only a low caffeine content, but natural caffeine which is much smoother than caffeine anhydrous. This preworkout also however contains Citrulline and Arginine to promote additional blood flow to the muscles for a nice pump and increased muscular endurance.
NutraBio Amino Kick is a great low caffeine or low stim alternative to traditional preworkouts. While Amino Kick is technically an energized amino and lacks a lot of the nootropics and pump ingredients many preworkouts contain, it does have an Energy & Focus Matrix of 160mg which yields 100mg of natural caffeine. It also contains 6 grams of aminos which help with muscle endurance, protein synthesis and post training recovery, and unlike most other energized amino supplements on the market it also has a 624mg Electrolyte Hydration Matrix which does contain Pink Himalayan Sea Salt which should help a bit with your pump.
Allmax A:Cuts is another great option for a low caffeine preworkout supplement. A:Cuts would fall into the category of being an energized amino or a caffeinated BCAA supplemetn however in addition to 127mg of caffeine and aminos, ACuts also contains 500mg of CLA to promote greater gains in strength and muscle mass while also helping to decrease body fat.
John has years worth of experience working in the nutrition and supplement industry and has been working out and weight training since his teens. His other areas of expertise are SEO and Digital Marketing and when he's not in front of a screen John enjoys exploring the outdoors hiking and paddleboarding.