The benefits of caffeine-free pre-workout

The benefits of caffeine-free pre-workout

Madison Dohnt
Women's Health & Hormone Specialist

The Benefits of Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout

Whether you’re new to the world of working out, or whether you’re an every day gym local, you’ve probably been curious of and maybe even dipped a toe in the vast and deep pool of pre-workout supplements.

And although maybe in the first 30 minutes of your workout you felt like superwoman … you probably also felt the rapid heart rate, shakiness and increased anxiety that can go hand in hand with highly caffeinated pre-workout supplements.

Beyond these immediate effects of a pre-workout that is loaded with caffeine (the ingredient in most ‘stim’ pre-workouts that give you the wild energy boost), there can also be more long-term disruptions to your health:

Interrupted circadian rhythms

→ this can lead to insomnia/disruption of general sleep patterns, which has an immense impact on the body’s ability to heal and recover while you are sleeping

→ it can also be responsible for a sense of constant fatigue, or never feeling well rested enough (hello morning brain fog!)

Increased cortisol levels

→ when cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are out of balance, it can have a dramatic impact on every other hormone in your body, which can have huge impacts on your menstrual cycle

→ it can also promote heightened levels of anxiety and decrease your ability to deal with emotional stressors, which can have lasting impacts on your mood, sleep, appetite and general wellbeing.

For these reasons, stimulant-free (or ‘non-stim’) pre-workout supplements have been gaining more and more popularity due to the amazing health benefits of their stimulant free ingredient lists, their wider accessibility to those who don’t want to consume caffeine, and their versatility and convenience!

Benefits of a non-stim pre workout supplement that minimises caffeine consumption: 

  • Allows the body to balance cortisol levels naturally
  • Ensures the body receives quality sleep (because quantity isn’t the only thing that matters)
  • Won’t disrupt your daily energy cycle 
  • Can take it any time of the day (even before afternoon/evening workouts)
  • Can improve your focus during your workout, simply because you’re not distracted by unnecessary jitteriness 

But how could a non-stim pre-workout give the same results without the caffeine?

Excellent question!

In the absence of caffeine, non-stim pre-workouts actually utilise the benefits of ingredients that will increase blood flow to the brain and muscle tissue, without acting on your neurochemicals the way caffeine does. To promote blood flow, alertness (and even improve your mood), you will often see ingredients like Beta Alanine and Taurine in non-stim pre workouts, which are incredible nutrients (or in science speak: amino acids) that allow for a boost of energy, greater absorbance of oxygen and nutrients in the muscle tissue, and even faster recovery.


Madison Dohnt is a biologist, nutrition coach and qualified educator, who helps women balance their hormones and clear their symptoms naturally. After struggling with hormonal symptoms herself in her early 20s, Mads began on a mission to educate and empower women in their own health journeys by using reliable science-backed information to teach them how to optimise their health and feel amazing long-term. 

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