Drive comes from within. Energy comes from a solid diet, adequate sleep, and an active lifestyle. You've heard it all before. So let's be real: All of those things matter a lot, but plenty of people who have those boxes checked also choose to take an occasional energy supplement. Why? Because the right energy supplement can give you a push in the right direction—particularly when you feel like you're maxing out and are already doing everything right.
Energy supplements basically do two things: provide energy from stimulants like caffeine, and improve mental activity with brain-boosting ingredients. There are a million kinds—and strengths—of energy supplement out there that combine these ingredients in different formulations and strengths.
Some people only need a little boost in focus, and little to no caffeine with it. Others want a full-caff rocket ride into the next dimension. Use this quick guide to find the right energy supplement for your needs.
1. Focus Without Stimulants: Mainframe Nootropic Formula
If you're sensitive to stimulants—or just don't need one at the moment—but still want something that will give you an edge, the nootropic ingredients in Mainframe Nootropic Formula by Method Performance Supplements will do the trick. These caffeine-free capsules aren't just paying lip service to nootropic science. A serving contains full doses of TeaCrine, bacopa monnieri, alpha GPC, tyrosine, huperzine, theanine, and lion's mane. Even if you don't know what all of those are, you'll feel the enhanced cognition, focus, and concentration so you can stay motivated and committed to the task at hand.
2. Just a Touch: Xtend Energy
This isn't the strongest energy supplement out there, but that's not the point. With a moderate 120 milligrams of caffeine—about the same as a small cup of coffee or strong tea—Xtend Energy will raise your energy without making you feel out of control. That makes it a great choice for activities where you still need to be able to think clearly, like studying, gaming, or sports. Because it's from Xtend, it also has no proprietary blends and includes solid amounts of workout-boosting ingredients like BCAAs, electrolytes, and citrulline malate. A lot of people in our office sip it as a refreshing, convenient substitute for afternoon coffee to power through the day.
3. Hold on to Your Heinie: Bodybuilding.com Advanced Scream Pre-Workout
A few years ago, Scream was right up there with the most popular pre-workouts in the Bodybuilding.com store. So when we brought it back, we knew it had a lot to live up to. The short version: If you need something strong in order to feel it, or if you just want to strut into the gym ready to crush weights, it's time to break out the big guns. Scream packs 275 milligrams of caffeine from green coffee bean extract, as well as choline bitartrate and TeaCrine, for focus and smooth, long-lasting energy. The mega caffeine dose is combined with a fully-disclosed workout blend including aminos, L-citrulline, and patented ingredients such as Creapure creatine monohydrate, Carnosyn beta-alanine, and Nitrosigine. It's especially well-suited for resistance training and is pure stoke in sour-apple form.