Bang Energy Drinks have positioned themselves as a great source of energy to fuel your next workout and provide “peak mental and physical performance,” but you might wonder how they really stack up against conventional pre-workout supplements.
So, should you drink Bang as a pre workout? Bang is a good pre workout drink since the caffeine, essential amino acids (EAAs), and B vitamins can increase energy, alertness and focus, leading to improved workout performance. The effects of Bang are noticeable within 20 minutes, so it should be consumed just prior to starting your workout for the most benefit.
While Bang can be a quick and convenient pre workout drink, there are a few key ingredients found in standard pre workout supplements that aren’t found in Bang, and Bang does not provide information on how much of certain ingredients there are in each serving.
Therefore, if you use Bang regularly in place of traditional pre workout supplements, you could miss out on additional benefits.
After reading this article you’ll learn:
- Whether Bang or a traditional pre workout supplement is better
- The benefits of using Bang as a pre workout
- The drawbacks of using Bang as a pre workout
- When you should use Bang as a pre workout drink
- Which version of Bang should you choose
Is Bang Better Than Traditional Pre Workout Supplements?
Bang is a better pre workout than not using one at all, however, traditional pre workout supplements contain additional ingredients that can improve workout performance, that Bang does not have. Bang also does not provide information as to whether a serving provides a dose that is considered clinically effective.
When supplements are studied for effectiveness to see whether they actually do what they claim to do, the reviewers will determine a clinically effective dose. This is the serving size that is needed to actually provide the benefit stated. Bang does not list the amount per serving for its EAAs, CoQ10, or creatine, so there is no way to know if there is enough of these ingredients to provide any benefit.
In fact, many supplements aren’t even studied for effectiveness; the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve dietary supplements, meaning that they can be marketed without needing to prove their claims at all. This means that Bang can say that it improves performance without actually needing to prove that it does.
This is why we recommend that you look for supplements that are third-party certified, to provide assurance that the products actually contain the ingredients stated, in the amounts stated, and that they are safe for consumption.
So my recommendation is to only use Bang as a pre workout as a stopgap measure in case you forget or don’t have access to a traditional pre-workout supplement from a reputable source. Long term, you should rely on traditional pre workout supplements rather than Bang to maximize your performance in the gym.
My top recommendation for a pre workout supplement is NO7 Rage 3 – Lemonade, from the brand dotfit. The products from this company are third-party certified, and the performance line of products (including this pre workout) is NSF Certified for Sport compliant.
This is an amazing pre workout that includes caffeine, taurine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, creatine monohydrate and more – and these are all ingredients that provide benefits that I discuss in the sections below. The amounts of each ingredient are listed in the dose information, which makes this a pre workout supplement that is better than Bang.
Plus, it helps that the lemonade flavor is fantastic and refreshing without being overly sweet.
Benefits of Using Bang As A Pre Workout
If you’re using Bang for pre workout, here are the top benefits:
Bang Is Convenient
It could be that you forgot to pack your pre workout in your gym bag, or, if you’re like me, you forgot to order more pre workout before you finished your current container.
In either case, Bang is an easy option because you can find it in many convenience stores, gas stations, or other retailers that you’re likely to pass as you’re headed to the gym.
Bang Is Caffeinated
With 300mg of caffeine, Bang contains approximately the amount found in two large cups of coffee.
Caffeine has been widely studied for its positive impact on workout performance, by increasing energy, alertness and focus.
Bang Has Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)
Bang also contains all nine essential amino acids (they are “essential” because the human body cannot make them on its own and must get them from dietary sources):
These essential amino acids (EAAs) are critical building blocks for building new muscle tissue, and supplementing EAAs helps to support building new muscle tissue after exercise.
Bang Contains Creatine
Bang is also unique compared to other energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster because it also contains creatine in the form of its branded “Super Creatine”: creatyl L-leucine (creatine bonded to EAA L-leucine).
Creatine is widely researched as a supplement that supports improved exercise performance and development of more lean mass (muscle).
That said, the most common form of creatine is creatine monohydrate, and it is not clear what type of creatine is in “Super Creatine,” nor how much creatine is in a 12-oz can serving of Bang.
Drawbacks of Using Bang As A Pre Workout
There are some drawbacks of using Bang as a pre workout:
Bang Lacks Common Pre Workout Ingredients
When comparing Bang with traditional pre workout supplements, Bang is missing other performance boosting ingredients such as:
- Citrulline Malate (increased blood flow, better endurance)
- Beta-Alanine (increased muscular endurance, delayed onset of fatigue)
- Betaine Anhydrous (improved muscle endurance)
- L-Theanine (increased alertness and focus)
Bang Is Carbonated
Like many other energy drinks, Bang is also carbonated.
This means that it is sensitive to being shaken, which is not ideal if it will be rolling around inside a gym bag. The can could explode and make a mess.
Carbonation can also cause digestive distress, especially if you try drinking a can quickly before working out. You could end up with hiccups, bloating or gas, all of which would interfere with your training.
Bang Has Artificial Sweeteners
If you are sensitive to artificial sweeteners, either because they cause digestive upset for you or simply because you don’t like the taste, Bang is not a good choice because it is sweetened with the high-intensity sweetener sucralose.
This also means that Bang does not provide any energy in the form of calories or carbohydrates. Your body does need energy from food sources for both training and the activities of daily life. Consuming enough carbohydrates is important because it is “protein-sparing,” meaning that the body will use the carbs for energy, rather than breaking down lean tissue in the body (a process called catabolism) for energy.
You don’t want your hard-earned gains reduced because you don’t have enough fuel.
Bang Is More Expensive Than Traditional Pre Workouts
The cost of a single can of Bang, especially if purchased at a convenience store, is likely to be much higher than the cost per serving of a traditional pre workout powder.
A can of Bang will typically cost $3 to $4 or more if you buy a single can. On the other hand, ordering a case drops the price to closer to $2 per can.
This is still more than the average cost of a serving of pre workout supplement, which is $1 to $2 per serving, depending on the formula and the concentration of key ingredients.
- Related Article: Pre Workout vs Caffeine Pills
Bang Is Not Stim-Free
Bang is high in caffeine, with nearly three times as much per can as one can of Red Bull. Bang even warns on its label: “Too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and, occasionally, rapid heartbeat. Not recommended for use by children under 18 years of age.“ Bang is also not suitable for pregnant or nursing mothers.
Bang is not suitable for anyone with a sensitivity to caffeine, and should not be taken with any other products that contain caffeine.
This also means that Bang is not a good choice if you train in the late afternoon or evening (within 4 hours of bedtime). You are better off looking for a pre workout alternative that does not contain stimulants (“stim-free”).
There Is Controversy Regarding Energy Drinks as Pre Workouts
The worst issues stem from overconsuming caffeine. The safe limit for caffeine is no more than 400mg per day. Since Bang has 300mg per can, it would be too much to drink two cans in a single day. For anyone training more than once per day, a different pre workout option (stim-free) would be needed for at least one of those workouts.
It’s also important to consider other sources of caffeine in the diet such as coffee, tea, soft drinks or even chocolate. Be sure your daily intake does not exceed the recommended limit of 400mg.
Top Tips For Using Bang As Pre Workout
- Since Bang lacks some of the key ingredients found in most pre workout supplements (citrulline malate, beta-alanine, L-theanine), you will either need to supplement these ingredients separately, or only use Bang as a back up when you don’t have access to a traditional pre-workout supplement.
- Since Bang has very high caffeine content, you should not mix it with any other supplements or food sources of caffeine.
- Since the effects of caffeine are typically felt within 20 minutes of consumption, you should drink Bang 15-20 minutes before starting your workout.
- Since Bang does not contain any calories or carbohydrates, you should make sure that you have an adequate pre-workout meal or snack including carbohydrates and lean protein (avoid fats pre-workout).
- Since Bang is carbonated, you should be mindful if your workout will require you to wear a weight belt, as this would intensify any discomfort from bloating or gas due to the carbonation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Before A Workout Should I Take Bang?
Take Bang approximately 15-20 minutes before starting your workout to get the maximum benefit, since the effects of caffeine are typically felt within about 20 minutes of consumption.
Can You Mix Bang With Pre Workout?
Only mix Bang with a pre workout product that is stimulant-free. If the pre workout supplement also contains caffeine and/or other stimulants such as taurine, it can make you feel anxious, jittery and unable to focus, and it can cause nausea, heart palpitations and tremors.
Can You Consume Bang While Working Out?
Yes, consuming Bang over the course of your workout will provide a slower and steadier source of energy. This can be helpful if you have a long session. This will only work if you are allowed to have an open beverage container where you train, or if you are allowed to have a liquid other than water in your water bottle.
For More Information On Pre Workout
- Is It Bad To Take Pre-Workout Every Day? (3 Drawbacks)
- Pre Workout Sickness: How Common Is It, Causes, And How To Fix
- 14 Best Non-Carbonated Energy Drinks (Complete List)
About The Author
Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement. Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete. She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing.