Pre-Workout Alternatives: What Can I Drink Instead Of Pre

Are you looking for an alternative you can drink instead of pre-workout? Look no further… This article will discuss the best pre-workout alternatives for your next workout.

There are a few alternatives you can use instead of drinking traditional pre-workout. The most commonly used are coffee, tea, energy drinks, or nootropic supplements. Another good option is to fuel yourself with foods that give your body a boost of energy.

Whether you’ve just run out of pre-workout and are trying to find a quick alternative until you get your next batch in, or you’re looking for a natural alternative, I’ve got you covered.

Below, I’ll discuss what the are the different options you have when it comes to a pre-workout alternative and how they can benefit you in the gym.

Fit Male Drinking From Green Shaker Bottle

What Can You Drink As A Pre Workout Alternative

There aren’t many things that will completely substitute a pre-workout supplement. Pre-workouts have ingredients designed to give you energy, focus, endurance, and pumps in the gym.

But there are a few drinks you can use to give you the same energy and focus, and you can pair that with some smart food choices to help with endurance and pumps in the gym.

And if you are trying to stay away from high stimulant pre-workouts for health reasons. You can always substitute a non-stim pre-workout instead. This will allow you to have the benefits of pre-workout while giving your body a break from the high stimulants.

But if you’re not staying away from stimulants and maybe you just ran out of pre-workout, then down below are a few drinks you can use as an alternative.

3 Cups Of Coffee Together


The bulk of the energy and focus you feel from pre-workout is from caffeine.

And… a popular drink everyone loves that contains caffeine naturally is coffee.

This is why coffee is one of the most recommended and best alternatives out there for pre-workout.

One thing you want to keep in mind about drinking coffee as a pre-workout is you can easily start to add extra calories to your diet if you want a zero-calorie solution. Your best bet is to drink your coffee black.

This will ensure you are not adding any additional calories to your diet. Which is critical if you are cutting or have certain nutritional goals you are trying to hit.

Hot Water Steaming

Green Tea

Green tea is another great energy source. Tea contains some caffeine. Not as much as coffee does, and it is great for those looking for a calmer energy source. Or for those who are sensitive to caffeine and would rather have a drink with less caffeine content than coffee.

My favorite tea would be matcha. The bold, rich taste and smooth, calm energy do the trick. But you can always experiment with different types and flavors of tea.

And if you wanted to. You could make a mathca green tea protein shake to get the benefit of caffeine and protein at the same time!

Here’s a link to a vanilla match protein shake recipe.

Energy Drinks

Another option is to use energy drinks. Some pre-workout companies have actually started making energy drinks with similar ingredients to their pre-workouts.

This is a good option if you’ve just run out of pre-workout and are looking for a quick and easy fix until you get your next tub of pre-workout.

Scoop Of Powder And Capsules

Nootropic Supplements

The top 3 drinks I’ve mentioned above revolve around caffeine powering through your workout. And some say this is great for energy, but it lacks the focus and mental clarity some seek.

If you find yourself in a similar boat. Then, you might want to try a nootropic supplement.

These are great to get your mind focused and dialed in. I personally use them when studying or while I’m writing these blog posts, and they definitely help my mind focus and stay sharp.

And there are all different types available. You can find some that contain caffeine as well and get the best of both worlds.

Non-Stim Pre Workout

Last but not least…

Is the option of a non-stimulant pre-workout? I’ve put this on the list because I don’t know if you are looking for a pre-workout alternative because you’ve run out or you just want to stay away from stimulants.

If staying away from stimulants is your goal, then you’re best alternative is going to be using a stim-free pre-workout. These are designed to help boost your performance in the gym without using stimulants to do so.

Now, let’s talk about energizing your body with food for your workouts!

Different Ingredients Being Portioned Out

Great Pre Workout Food Sources

Pre-workout is great to use here and there, but you should never have to feel like you need it in order to work. And I actually always recommend going on a 1-2 week detox of pre-workout after going through a tub.

I usually have deload weeks in my training, and I find this is the best time to stop taking pre-workout and any other stimulants, for that matter.

Your main focus should be getting proper rest, recovery, and fueling your body with food that gives you the energy you need to get through your tough workouts.

Below are good sources of carbs that can be eaten 1-2 hours before your workout to help fuel you through your workouts.

Honey And Honey Dipper


Honey can be eaten closer to your workout. It’s a great source of fast-digesting carbs and can give you a boost of energy. And if you are working out for extended periods of time in the gym. You can even use honey as fuel during your workouts.

You might see others doing the same thing with candy, like Sour Patch Kids, but it’s the same concept. (Eat fast-digesting carbs to give your body fuel.)

And here’s a post on can honey be used as your pre-workout if you want to learn more about this.

Oatmeal With Blueberries And Nuts


Oats are another good source of carbs. This is a popular breakfast option for those of you who like to work out first thing in the morning. Just be sure to give yourself and your body some time to digest before heading to the gym.

Also, it’s popular to make overnight oats with protein so you can have enough carbs and protein to help you fuel your workout.

Here’s a guide on adding protein powder to overnight oats if you want a more detailed explanation.

Different Fruit Blue Background


Fruits are a great source of carbs. And if you are making overnight oats or oatmeal, it’s popular to add berries, bananas, or other fruits to it as well.

It’s a good blend of different types of carbs that can help fuel your entire workout and have you feeling on top of the world and ready to go.


Another great staple to pre-workout food is potatoes. Not only do they provide you with a good source of carbs, but they are also very filling and can help you stay satiated longer.

Lots of people like to go with sweet potatoes, but regular potatoes are great as well. Remember that you won’t want to eat this 10-20 minutes before your workout.

You’ll want to give your body some time to digest it and break it down to be used as fuel.

Conclusion To Pre-Workout Alternatives You Can Use

And that concludes my post on pre-workout alternatives. I hope I was able to answer your question and help you make a better decision.

And if you are in a pinch and just ran out of pre-workout. Then, a good alternative is coffee, tea, or an energy drink. You can also try taking a nootropic supplement if you are looking more for mental focus and clarity.

But if you want to stay away from stimulants altogether, your best bet is to either use non-stim pre-workouts… Or the best option is to get plenty of rest and recovery and eat good food that will give you the energy to fuel your workouts.

Jordan Arenas

My name is Jordan Arenas and I am the owner and author of RFKN Fit. I created RFKN Fit to help others achieve their fitness goals. My mission is to share helpful workouts, nutrition tips, delicious recipes, tips on mindset, some motivation, and some good ol' gym humor with this blog of mine. Hope you enjoy!

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