What Is The Point Of Non-Stim Pre-Workout?
There are plenty of non-stim pre-workout options on the market these days. For those who aren't aware, the difference between a regular pre-workout and a non-stimulant version is the caffeine content. Both products are designed to give you energy but one is a far better option for those who are sensitive to caffeine. Some people are sceptical of non-stim options however they can be extremely useful. Still unsure? Read below to find out all you need to know about stim-free supplements.
What is Non-Stim?
Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you a hard boost of energy before a training session. Similar to a cup of coffee or a Red Bull, these products contain a combination of ingredients that make you feel on top of the world. Usually the caffeine content determines the efficacy of these supplements however this is not the case for stim-free options. Products like non-stim OxyShred utilise other compounds to give you the same kind of boost without the jitters. Regular pre-workouts can make you feel anxious and on edge. This is because high doses of caffeine stimulate the nervous system and speed up your heart rate. Although some people enjoy this sensation, it is not for everyone. If you want a good pump without the anxiety on the side, a non-stim pre-workout might be just what you need.
How Does It Work If There Is No Caffeine?
Non-stim formulas use other ingredients to compensate for the lack of caffeine in the product. One popular ingredient is taurine which is an additive in Red Bull. Taurine is an amino acid that improves athletic performance and mental focus. Not only does it help you train harder but it also keeps you sharp between the ears. Another common ingredient is L-tyrosine. This amino acid stimulates the production of dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals boost your mood and improve cognitive function. Other substances like citrulline malate and arginine improve blood flow and help you pump out more reps of an exercise. Finally, beta-alanine is a frequently included ingredient due to its ability to enhance muscular endurance. With so many scientifically proven ingredients to choose from, who really needs stimulants?
Benefits Of Stim-Free
Stimulants make you feel alert but can seriously destroy your sleep schedule if taken too late in the day. This is where non-stim options come in handy. You can drink them before late night gym sessions and not have to worry about staying awake all night. Minimising caffeine intake before bed is important for everyone; not just those who are sensitive. Even if you think you have a high tolerance, it is still advised to avoid coffee and pre-workout in the afternoon in order to avoid disrupted sleep.
Another benefit of non-stim is that you won’t experience the same crash that high caffeine products can elicit. There is no point feeling great in the gym if you hit the wall and feel like trash for the rest of the day. Caffeine crashes can occur if you take too much, are underslept or if you consume it too late in the day. This is not a consideration if you are taking a stimulant free product.
Finally, non-stim pre-workouts are brilliant for those who enjoy feeling a muscle pump without the extra jitters. Ingredients like citrulline malate and arginine are vasodilators which means they expand your blood vessels and make you feel ‘swole’. Some gym-goers love this sensation on its own and don’t need the extra stimulation that caffeine provides. Non-stim pre-workouts can effectively increase blood flow to the muscles. Not only will your veins look noticeably larger but you’ll also be able to go for longer before fatigue sets in.
Some argue that non-stim formulas are ineffective however it depends on the product and the dosage. Obviously some are better than others. This is where it pays to do your research and figure out which ingredients are worth taking. Good non-stim pre-workouts usually contain around…
- 1-3 grams of taurine
- 6,000-8,000 mg of citrulline malate
- 2-5 grams of beta-alanine (unless you don’t want to feel tingles)
- 3-5 grams of arginine
- 500-2,000 mg of L-tyrosine.
Although the ingredients and dosages vary from product to product, the quantities of these ingredients are what you should look out for. Research suggests these are the amounts needed to feel an ergogenic (exercise enhancing) effect. Provided you pick a product that uses clinically effective dosages of quality ingredients, there aren’t many downsides to taking a non-stim supplement.
Who Should Be Taking Non-Stim?
Non-stim products are perfect for those who train in the evenings, are sensitive to caffeine or have certain health conditions. We don’t recommend supplements to pregnant women however if they are going to take a pre-workout product, caffeine free might be a better choice. High caffeine consumption can result in low birth weight so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Furthermore, an estimated 54% of the population are slow metabolizers of caffeine. This means the majority of us might be better off consuming less stimulants every day. Considering that stim-free products still improve exercise performance, there aren’t many good reasons to avoid them. Don’t get us wrong, caffeine is an incredibly effective substance. However, it is important we don’t form a dependence on it. Cycling off caffeine every so often can be hugely beneficial to our energy levels. If you think you’ve been mainlining caffeine a bit too hard lately, try a non-stim option for a few weeks and see how you go.
Non-stim pre-workouts are not a waste of money if you get the right one. You can consume them late in the day without ruining your sleep routine. They can also provide earth shattering muscle pumps and reduce fatigue during a training session. If you’re sensitive to caffeine (which is statistically probable) or wanting to reduce your intake, then non-stim options are the perfect supplement. Now that you know the benefits, give one a try and see if you like it. You might never go back to full stim again!