Guarana vs Caffeine in Pre Workout Supplements

Guarana vs Caffeine in Pre Workout Supplements

When it comes to pre workouts, there are countless different products on the market – all ranging in different prices, and more significantly, all containing different ingredients.

As a result, it’s often discussed which ingredients are better than others.

This leads us onto the topic of stimulants; there are numerous sources of caffeine, such as coffee beans, yerba mate, cocoa beans and guarana – but the most common form is caffeine anhydrous.

However, a popular question is this: is guarana better than caffeine anhydrous in pre workouts? If you’re looking for the answer, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this review, you’ll learn:

  • Benefits of Stimulants in Pre Workouts
  • Caffeine Anhydrous: How It Works
  • Guarana: How It Works
  • The Best Stimulant in Pre Workouts
  • Conclusion

Benefits of Stimulants in Pre Workouts

As we’ve mentioned, almost every pre workout supplement on the market contains different ingredients – each in different dosages, and sometimes in proprietary blends (we’ll expand on this later).

However, one thing that’s certain: stimulants can play a key role in pre workout supplements.

Simply put, stimulants are able to offer benefits that are perfectly suited to these products, such as:

  • Energy Boosts
  • Increased Focus
  • Improved Strength
  • Enhanced Endurance

The sole reason why pre workouts exist, is to improve your sessions in the gym. Well, the benefits that stimulants are able to offer ensure that you perform at peak levels until you leave the gym.

Read on to learn about caffeine anhydrous and guarana.

guarana and caffeine pre workout

Caffeine Anhydrous: How It Works

This is the most popular stimulant seen in both pre workouts and fat burners for one reason: it works.

Caffeine anhydrous is proven to deliver every key benefit associated with stimulants – as well as being the safest and most reliable stimulant on the market.

What is it? 

Simply put, caffeine anhydrous is caffeine in its purest form, which has been dehydrated into a powder – to allow companies to add it into capsules.

It’s been extensively researched, and proven to be safe when consumed in sensible dosages (under 200mg per serving for those sensitive to caffeine).

How it works 

There’s a complex chemical reaction that occurs in your brain, which enables caffeine to deliver its benefits – so we’ll keep our explanation short and sweet.

Basically, the longer you’re awake, the more adenosine builds up in your brain (meaning the more adenosine that attaches to your brain’s receptors, the more tired you’ll be) [1].

Here’s where caffeine comes in:this stimulant is able to combat and replace the adenosine – resulting in you feeling more awake and alert.

Read more: Caffeine in Pre Workout Supplements: Good or Bad?

Guarana: How It Works

Another popular source of caffeine is guarana seeds; it’s one of the biggest sources of this stimulant, containing even more than coffee beans.

For this reason, it’s become a popular addition to both energy drinks and pre workout supplements.

What is it? 

Guarana is described as a climbing plant, with its seeds being roughly the size of coffee beans. It’s these seeds that are extracted and added into supplements and energy drinks – in an attempt to deliver the key benefits of a stimulant.

At first glance, it might seem like a beneficial source of caffeine – it’s believed to offer less ‘jittery’ energy boosts than coffee beans, for longer periods of time.

So what’s the problem? 

Well, the best thing about caffeine anhydrous is that you know the exact amount of caffeine it contains – as it’s the purest form of this stimulant.

However, with guarana seeds, you’re left relying on whatever information supplement companies provide you; simply put, it’s harder to determine how much caffeine is inside a product when the main source is guarana seeds. Not only that, studies have shown that guarana can be harmful to human health in large dosages [2]

As a result, if a company misjudges the caffeine content of their guarana seeds – you’re risk of suffering from side effects (such as jitters) significantly increases.

Guarana seeds

The Best Stimulant In Pre Workouts

As caffeine anhydrous is the purest form of this stimulant, it’s known to be the safest and most reliable – it’s been extensively researched for decades, and is also shown to be very effective at improving your gym sessions [3]

Ultimately, you should know exactly what you put into your body, in the exact dosages – this ensures that you avoid any unwanted side effects. As companies often guess the caffeine content in the guarana seed extract they add to their products, you’re risk of side effects increases significantly.

For this reason, caffeine anhydrous is the best stimulant you can find in pre workout supplements. However, there’s still things you should look out for with this ingredient, to ensure you stay safe.

Things to look out for

  • Caffeine Dosage – This is what determines whether you experience any side effects. We recommend consuming less than 200mg per serving to start with [4]; you can increase the dosage after making sure you don’t suffer from jitters afterwards.
    For this reason, 4 Gauge contains 150mg Caffeine per serving – this is a great dosage, as it allows you to take a ‘double serving’ of 4 Gauge safely, if you an extra ‘kick’.
  • Proprietary Blends – These are often used in pre workout supplements, and you’ve probably seen some without knowing it. Simply put, proprietary blends contain numerous ingredients, but companies only have to show you the overall quantity of the blend (meaning you’re not shown the dosages of individual nutrients).
    When these blends contain stimulants (or other ingredients capable of causing side effects), you’re risk of suffering from side effects increases.


Simply put, caffeine anhydrous has proven itself to be the safest and most reliable form of stimulant in supplements. It’s been extensively researched for decades; as it’s the purest form of this stimulant, you know the exact caffeine dosage you’re consuming.

This is why it’s important to know exactly how much caffeine you put into your body – everyone has different tolerance to this stimulant, so a dosage that causes some people jitters, might benefit others. For this reason, 4 Gauge contains a sensible 150mg caffeine anhydrous, which will be both safe and beneficial to everyone.

Not only that, 4 Gauge has been formulated so that those very tolerant to caffeine can safely consume a ‘double serving’ – for when they need that extra ‘kick’ in the gym.


  1. Ribiero, JA et al. Caffeine and Adenosine. J Alzheimers. Dis. 2010; 20 Suppl 1: S3-15
  2. Santa Maria A. Evaluation of the Toxicity within VitroBioassays. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety; Volume 39, Issue 3, March 1998, Pages 164-167.
  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. EFSA. Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine. EFSA Journal 2015; 13(5): 4120.

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