Caffeine in Pre Workout Supplements - Good or Bad?

Caffeine in Pre Workout Supplements - Good or Bad?

When you’re looking for a pre workout supplement, you want to feel an energy boost to help you perform better in the gym.

But what do you need to achieve that extra lift?

Answer: natural stimulants – with caffeine being the best example.

When it comes to energy boosts, this is your ideal option. Used in countless products ranging from tea and coffee to ice cream – it’s one of the most beneficial, and safest ingredients a pre-workout can contain.

In this article we’ll answer all of your questions about this natural stimulant, and tell you what you need to know to get the best out of it.

By reading this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is caffeine?
  • What are the benefits?
  • Why it works – and the science behind it.
  • How much should you consume?

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a powerful, anti-sleep stimulant that’s most commonly found in coffee and tea. It’s responsible for providing the energy boost you need to improve focus, and generally be more productive.

You’ll find this nutrient everywhere in the supplements industry. It’s one of the most popular choices of stimulants, and for good reason – it works.

You’ll find it in countless products; ranging from fat burners to nootropics, and obviously, pre workouts.

But where do you get it from?

How caffeine is sourced

Caffeine is most commonly extracted from coffee beans. But you can find it in other stimulating nutrients too.

You’ll find that it’s named ‘anhydrous caffeine‘ when looking at our ingredients lists, which simply means it’s dehydrated. This is done so it can be made into a powder and easily added to supplements.

Where it’s commonly found

Caffeine is found naturally in tea leaves (such as green tea), cocoa (chocolates), guarana, and as we’ve mentioned, coffee beans. But it’s also included in energy drinks, soda, chocolates, and even ice cream as well.

This nutrient is consumed by almost everyone on a daily basis, whether you’re aware of it or not.

What Are The Benefits?

The reason why this nutrient is consumed worldwide is because of its numerous benefits. It can give you an energy boost when you’re feeling sluggish, and even improve your cognition to help you focus during the day.

More specifically, in a pre-workout, caffeine can help you push further than you normally would. The benefits of supplementing include:

  • Improved strength – Lift more weights and smash your PB’s.
  • Enhanced endurance – Push out extra reps, making more progress in the gym and on your physique.
  • Increased mental function – Be more focused on your workout, spend less time between sets on your phone.
  • Energy boost – Step foot in the gym motivated to work hard and get results.

Why it Works

You might be wondering how caffeine provides all of these benefits? Well, it all comes down to a chemical called adenosine – your body’s sleep regulating chemical.

This neurotransmitter is the reason you begin to feel tired; causing you to become less focused, and causes a dip in your energy levels.

Adenosine works by attaching to your brain’s receptors; creating drop in brain activity and essentially causing sleepiness [1].

Caffeine combats the negative effects of adenosine, blocking it from attaching to these receptors by getting there first.

By doing this, it prevents adenosine’s overall fatiguing effect. This results in a boost in your energy levels, promoting an overall feeling of wakefulness.

The Science Behind Caffeine

Now you know the chemical process behind how this nutrient works, lets take a look at the scientific studies that prove it delivers on it’s claims.

Improved Strength

In a study by Del Coso J et al [2] twelve people were given between 1-3 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight, or a placebo that contained no stimulatory substance.

The participants then recorded their half-squat and bench press power production with loads from 10%-100% of 1 repetition maximum.

The results:

  •  The study confirmed caffeine improves strength – the 1 repetition maximum (1 rep max) of the participants.

The result in this case study has been backed up by further studies – Mora-Rodriguez R et al [3] and Astorino TA et al [4].

Enhanced Endurance

A study by Bell DG et al [5] measured the exercise endurance of 9 male participants. Their performance was recorded after consuming caffeine, and also after consuming a placebo on a separate occasion.

Ultimately, caffeine proved to significantly boost endurance, increasing the time exercising until they reached exhaustion.

The results: 

  • Caffeine significantly improved endurance – the 9 participants were able to exercise for longer periods of time after supplementing caffeine, than they did with the placebo.

This result was also replicated in another study, Cox GR et al [6] where the participants were able to cycle for longer before exhaustion after consuming caffeine.

Increased Mental Function

In a study by Duvnjak-Zaknich DM et al [7] examined the reaction time of 10 participants were analyzed after they ingested caffeine, as well as a placebo. They took a dose of caffeine or placebo 60 minutes before completing an 80 minute team game.

The 9 participants’ reaction time and decision making accuracy had improved after consuming caffeine, proving that there is a direct link between enhanced mental function and caffeine consumption.

The results: 

  • Caffeine boosted reaction time and decision making accuracy – The study showed that the 9 participants’ mental function had greatly improved after ingesting it.

Energy Boost

A study by Barry RJ et al [8] looked at whether the stimulant boosted energy and induced wakefulness in 22 participants. They were recorded performing activities under the influence of both caffeine and a placebo.

After consuming caffeine, the 22 participants’ energy levels and wakefulness has increased significantly.

The results:

  • Caffeine boosted energy and induced wakefulness – The study proved there’s a direct link between this nutrient and increased levels of energy and wakefulness.

How Much Caffeine Should I Consume?

We recommend that you consume dosages between 150-300mg to experience its full benefits.

4 Gauge contains the perfect amount of 150mg per serving and is designed so that you can safely consume a double serving (which would be 300 mg).

This way you’ll experience heightened benefits while staying safe from side effects – for when you need that extra ‘kick’.

However, you should always start with the one serving of our pre-workout first. This way, you’ll be able to assess your tolerance and see whether you require a bigger serving.

Potential Side Effects

Caffeine is one of the safest nutrients in the supplements industry – it’s used worldwide on a daily basis.

However, there are a few potential side effects when consuming very large dosages in one serving (over 400mg, which is 4-5 cups of coffee).

The possible side effects are jitters, energy crashes, and insomnia – but this is easily avoided.

Don’t consume over 300 mg, and you’ll stay safe from these side effects.

We’ve ensured that 4 Gauge is free from side effects, and even a double scoop of our pre-workout doesn’t exceed 300mg – so you experience all the benefits without any unwanted effects.


Caffeine is extracted from coffee beans and other natural sources. It’s been used for decades around the world, and is one of the safest ingredients being used in products.

This stimulant will help you:

  • Smash PB’s in the gym by improving your strength [2],
  • Boost progress in the gym by enhancing your endurance [5].
  • Improve focus, so you perform better at demanding activities [7].

Ultimately, there’s a reason why it’s used in countless products around the world – it works.

Remember How It Works?

This nutrient prevents the build up of adenosine (your body’s sleep regulating chemical), promoting energy levels and an overall feeling of wakefulness.

You’ve experienced the benefits of this stimulating nutrient at some point in your life, even if you weren’t aware of it – either from tea & coffee, chocolate, or ice cream.

However, there are some slight negatives too.

It’s possible to experience side effects such as jitters, energy crashes, and insomnia when taking it in dosages over 400 mg – so it’s important to know the exact amount you’re consuming.

Bottom Line

We’ve formulated 4 Gauge perfectly, so you’ll only experience the full range of benefits – one serving contains 150 mg caffeine to keep the product free from side effects.

Not only that, a great feature of our pre-workout is that you safely consume a double serving (containing 300 mg), so you get an extra boost while avoiding any unwanted side effects.


  1. Ribiero, JA et al. Caffeine and Adenosine. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010; 20 Suppl 1: S3-15
  2. Del Coso, J Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: a repeated measures design. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9(1):21
  3. Mora-Rodriguez, R. Caffeine ingestion reverses the circadian rhythm effects on neuromuscular performance in highly resistance-trained men. PLoS One. 2012; 7(4): e33807
  4. Astorino TA. Effect of two doses of caffeine on muscular function during isokinetic exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010; 42(12): 2205-10
  5. Bell DG. Effect of repeated caffeine ingestion on repeated exhaustive exercise endurance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003; 35(8): 1348-54
  6. Cox, GR. Effect of different protocols of caffeine intake on metabolism and endurance performance. J Appl Physiol. 2002; 93(3): 990-9
  7. Duvnjak-Zaknich, DM. Effect of caffeine on reactive agility time when fresh and fatigued. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011; 43(8): 1523-30
  8. Barry, RJ. Caffeine and opening the eyes have additive effects on resting arousal measures. Clin Neurophysiol. 2010; 122(10): 2010-5

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