Should I Take Pre Workout Before BJJ?

It is 6pm you have just finished work. You are feeling sluggish but want to go train. You know pre workout supplements can give you a quick burst of energy but should you take it before BJJ? Lets find out.

Should I take pre workout before BJJ? No you should not pre workout before BJJ. The majority of pre workout powders are simply sugar + too much caffeine + dubious chemicals. They are not healthy. You build a tolerance, to attain the initial effect you have to continue to increase your dose. People have died of overdosing from pre work out. They are expensive, $30-$40 per tub.

Does Pre Workout Work For BJJ?

Does pre workout work for BJJ? No, pre workout does not work for BJJ. The high caffeine content and other chemicals in pre workout will cause your heart to beat rapidly and you will feel jittery. This will have a negative effect on your BJJ as it is best to be calm and relaxed when training.

Contents Of Pre Workout

Pre workout supplements are often filled with sugar, caffeine and strange chemicals. Here is formula of a typical pre workout: creatine, beta alanine, caffeine, yohimbe and L-Citruline.

Caffeine and creative are the only typical ingredients in pre workout which have been studied thoroughly. Creatine and caffeine are both safe and have shown to increase athletic performance. The other supplements have not been studied thoroughly. Their effects on the body and athletic performance are inconclusive. It is best to avoid ingesting chemicals which we don’t know much about particularly when at best the performance improvements are going to be mild.

Remember it took the medical industry 50 years before they could establish a connection between cigarettes and cancer. In an opaque system with a high amount of uncertainty it is best to proceed with extreme caution. You don’t want to end up getting cancer in 10 years because of your L-Citruline habit.

You are better off creating your own pre workout supplement. Simply take 1 scoop of creatine with 1 cup of coffee and you will be ready to tear the mats up.

Effects Of High Caffeine

Pre workout supplements often have 200-400mg of caffeine in a recommended dose. 400mg is the upper limit of caffeine a person can safely consume daily. This is a very high dose and cause a number of unpleasant side effects. These side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Frequent urination or inability to control urination
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

You also have to remember that people’s tolerance to caffeine differ. A 400mg dose of caffeine could cause a person serious side effects such as splitting headaches and lying in bed staring at the ceiling all night.


Pre workouts are often tasty and give you a mild sense of euphoria combined with a rush of energy. These feelings are pleasant and you want to experience this mindset often. Unfortunately you will quickly develop a tolerance and that initial sense of euphoria you experienced will be more and more difficult to achieve. You probably start off with 1 scoop and before you know it you will need 4 scoops just get a little bit of that initial high.

I personally have developed a tolerance to pre workout supplements. I remember taking the original Jack3d pre workout and getting a pretty good buzz. I would be so focused and absolutely crush workouts. Unfortunately this feeling was short lived and within a short time the high was becoming severely muted.

Deaths And Health Problems Caused By Pre Workout

Pre workout supplements often have very high caffeine content and are filled with powerful chemicals. This is a recipe for disaster and has led to deaths and people suffering serious health conditions due to taking pre workout powders and drinks. Below are some example of deaths and serious health incidents caused by pre workout supplements.

What Should I Take Pre Workout For BJJ?

What should I take pre workout for BJJ? 2-3 hours before training BJJ you should have a light meal with some fast acting carbs, fruit and yoghurt are great options. If you fee like you need a bit more energy 30-60mins before training you can have 1 cup of coffee to give you an energy boost without causing you to be wired.

Should I Drink Coffee Before BJJ?

Should I drink coffee before BJJ? Yes, coffee can increase your endurance, speed and strength which all result in improved performance in BJJ. Studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of coffee 30-60 mins before training can result in a 2-16% improvement in athletic performance depending on how responsive you are to coffee.  

If you are sensitive to caffeine or don’t usually drink coffee you should start off with a small dose (1/2-1 cup) to see how your body reacts. If your body reacts well to that initial dose you can increase your coffee intake to 2 cups. Researchers have come up with a formula to determine how much caffeine is optimal for performance increase based on the weight of the athlete: You should ingest between 3-6 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. If you weight 80kg you should ingest somewhere around 240-480mg of caffeine which is approximately 1.5-2 cups of coffee.

Why Does Coffee Improve BJJ Performance?

Why does coffee improve BJJ performance? Coffee has a chemical structure similar to adenosine which is produced by the body when you get tired. Coffee connects to adenosine receptors and instead of getting tired the opposite effect is produced and you feel energetic. By binding to brain receptors coffee reduces fatigue allowing you to produce more output.

When you are awake adenosine reduces and slows down brain activity. This causes you to feel weak and tired. However when you drink coffee the caffeine attaches itself to the adenosine receptors and produces a counter effect. Instead of feeling tired you are hit with a surge of energy. Your fatigue disappears and you are ready to exercise for longer and harder. Caffeine not only reduces tiredness but it also reduces your body’s perception of effort, so now you not only have more energy to handle a brutal workout but your tough workout will also feel easier.

Interestingly recent studies have shown that the positive effects of caffeine on athletic performance are found in both regular coffee drinkers and those who don’t drink coffee. Previously researchers thought that caffeine tolerance would reduce the effects caffeine had on athletic performance but that is not the case.


Pre workouts are over hyped supplements filled with too much sugar, a dangerous amount of caffeine and a random concoction of chemicals. These supplements are unhealthy and should be avoided. If you do want an energy boost before training consider having a piece of fruit and a cup of coffee it is not only healthier and cheaper but will pretty much have the same effect as pre workout but without the negative side effects.

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