Stim-Based vs. Stim-Free Pre-Workout Supplement: What You Need to Know

Pre-workout supplements are formulated with a specific combination of ingredients to increase energy production, trigger adrenaline release, augment endurance, and sharpen your focus during your workout.

There are two basic types of pre-workout supplements:

  • Stimulant-based – Typically, these contain caffeine, taurine, or exotic stimulant ingredients. 
  • Stimulant-free – These contain no stimulants but provide vaso-positive compounds (such as citrulline and arginine) that deliver significant results such as muscle pumps and blood flow.  

Below, we take a closer look at the differences between a stim-based and stim-free pre-workout supplement, comparing the benefits of each to help you understand which is the better choice for you. 

The Benefits of Stimulant-Based Pre-Workouts

Stimulant-based pre-workout supplements are typically taken to provide a surge of energy for an intense workout. The stimulant ingredients (such as caffeine or taurine) can actually affect the part of the brain that registers fatigue signals, essentially increasing your endurance during high-intensity exercise and resistance training.

They’re often utilized by people who get straight to training first thing in the morning or who can easily metabolize caffeine. The metabolism-boosting effects of caffeine and other stimulants make them useful for increasing fat-burning. These stimulants can increase muscle strength and output, helping you push harder and lift heavier.

Some (such as yohimbine) help to raise norepinephrine levels, while others (like theobromine) have neurocognitive effects such as enhanced reaction time and spatial awareness. 

The Benefits of Stimulant-Free Pre-Workouts

With a stimulant-free pre-workout supplement, however, there are no ingredients that stimulate your central nervous system. Instead, these supplements rely on natural ingredients that enhance your workouts in a different way.

For example:

  • Citrulline is an amino acid used by your body to produce arginine, which in turn increases the production of nitric oxide, the vasodilator that increases blood flow to your muscles and delivers the “pump.” 
  • EAAs both increase muscular energy levels and provide the amino acids required to synthesize new muscle proteins. As a result, they can encourage both better workout performance and faster post-workout recovery.
  • Beta-alanine works to produce carnosine in the body, an amino acid critical for improving exercise performance. Carnosine reduces the build-up of lactic acid during your workouts, increasing your endurance and boosting your athletic performance overall.
  • Creatine increases the production of ATP energy, the primary form of energy utilized by your muscles during resistance training. 

Stim-free pre-workout supplements are certainly better for those who work out later in the afternoon/evening, as they do not impair sleep or leave you feeling wired into the night. They’re also a better choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine or experience jitters.

So Which Is Better, Stim-Based or Stim-Free Pre-Workouts?

We’re all about promoting the cleanest supplements made using scientifically proven natural ingredients that improve your exercise performance free of side effects. 

To that end, Adabolic by STEEL Supplements is a stimulant-free pre-workout supplement that delivers results such as saturated muscle pumps as well as aerobic and anaerobic endurance. It’s an industry-leading peri-workout supplement that increases muscle growth, enhances blood flow, boosts your metabolism, and accelerates post-workout recovery. 

With Adabolic, you’ll get a better pump, have more cellular energy, and see better results; it’s a cleaner, healthier way to train.

However, for those who need a boost of energy first thing in the morning and are looking for a stimulant-based pre-workout, STEEL Supplements also has Amped-AF, which blends caffeine and other natural stimulants (such as hordenine, N-Methyltyramine, and Senegalia Extract) to provide optimal results. 

Amped-AF will deliver a rush of extreme energy, enhance your endurance, give you explosive power, amplify and intensify your focus, and turn down the volume on fatigue signals in your brain so you can train longer and harder. 

Stacking Adabolic with Amped-AF will give you the best of both worlds; intense energy and focus paired with great muscle pumps and endurance.

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