I'm not really sleep-deprived, but lately I've tried taking coffee before working out. I find that my performance was considerably better than without coffee and that I generally feel good afterwards. I have GERD, however, and I shouldn't really be taking anything with caffeine because it triggers an acid reflux. Are there caffeine-free alternatives to coffee that are safe for those with GERD?

  • Decaffeinated?? – Daniel Nov 5 '14 at 15:33
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    I don't see how this is getting marked as offtopic nutrition-sans-exercise. He's specifically asking about pre-workout nutrition as it relates to his workouts. – Eric Nov 5 '14 at 16:04
  • The base question is "Are there caffeine-free alternatives to coffee that are safe for those with GERD?". Bit of a fine line, I'll admit, but the part that clinches it for me is it is asking anyone that answers to know what GERD is, and effects of food/medication on that condition. – JohnP Nov 5 '14 at 16:22
  • I am looking for something that has the same effect as coffee but does not have caffeine. – Ken Gonzales Nov 6 '14 at 8:58

There are pre-workout supplements that are non-stimulant (Magnum's Opus comes to mind).

Most pre-workout formulations rely on trying to stave off CNS fatigue (which is not a thoroughly understood topic). CNS fatigue is prevented (in varying degrees) by:

  • carbohydrates
  • amphetamines
  • caffeine

I'd be a little wary of "I drank a cup of coffee before some workouts, and they didn't go well, so coffee before workouts is bad for me." It's terribly anecdotal you're not controlling for other variables.

But if you don't want caffeine, and you're smart enough to not use amphetamines, then you're left with non-stimulant stuff.

You may want to try something with creatine and beta alanine. Beta alanine tends to give people tingles all over their skin which feels a lot like a stimulant (but isn't, that I'm aware of). And creatine actually does help: arguably the most documented safe performance enhancer out there.

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