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How Long It Takes for Pre-Workout To Kick In

How Long It Takes for Pre-Workout To Kick In

When you’re working out, you’re drawing from your energy levels. Many people prefer to ensure that they have the energy for a productive workout with a pre-workout. 


There are many pre-workout recipes for snacks or protein shakes to boost energy levels, but some athletes and exercise enthusiasts find that these can make you feel a little weighed down or nauseated when you start your workout.


Some people have added pre-workout supplements because they’re easy to implement as part of your workout prep and offer support for your workout. While a supplement is easy to use, it’s easy to be unsure about when you should take a pre-workout. 


How Long Before A Workout Should You Take Your Pre-Workout?


Typically, it takes a pre-workout between a half-hour and an hour for its active ingredients to take effect. You want them to reach their peak in your bloodstream to maximize their potential. Depending on how long it takes you to get to the gym or your workout location, it would be a good practice to take your pre-workout while you’re on the way to the gym or just before you leave to go.


Suppose your pre-workout has active ingredients such as caffeine like many pre-workout supplements due to the research showing it can increase power output or workout longevity. In that case, it’s worth noting that this would only take about 15 minutes to take effect, and it peaks at one hour. 


A benefit to using the active ingredient caffeine in your pre-workout is that you can take it well before your workout and still benefit from it. Caffeine takes the typical one hour to reach its peak, and for most people, it stays at that level for several hours. Depending on when you workout, you may need a supplement to help you calm down naturally for sleep.


When To Take A Pre-Workout


To achieve the best results, remember to time your pre-workout about a half-hour to an hour before your workout. If you miss this window or remember halfway through your workout, you shouldn’t stop your workout from taking a pre-workout. 


Taking your pre-workout late into your workout could cause the active ingredients to go into effect after your workout, and you could have trouble sleeping if the active ingredients in your pre-workout take a while to leave your system and can’t be used to give you the boost to your exercise routine that you wanted. 


If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep after your pre-workout, make sure you have some trusted sleep routine and consider a supplement like Complete Calm Sleep Gummies


Here are some other things to consider about your pre-workout.


Pre-Workouts and Empty Stomachs


Remember that in a lot of pre-workout supplements, caffeine is an active ingredient. Just like a cup of coffee on an empty stomach can leave you feeling a bit jittery or queasy. One reason for this might be that caffeine can stimulate and increase
gastrin and gastric acid secretion. An easy way to combat this effect can be to eat a small snack or meal about an hour before your workout.


A pre-workout snack with your pre-workout supplement can be just the combination to help you boost your performance while giving you the calories you need to sustain that performance. If you’re worried about reducing the potency of your pre-workout with food, try to avoid high-fiber foods for this snack or meal. 


Pre-Workouts Minus Workouts


Pre-workouts are in essence, stimulants. When you have a lot to accomplish, or you feel exhausted, it may seem like an easy fix to reach for your pre-workout to give you the boost you need for the day. However, this is not a good habit to form. 


Pre-Workouts and Water


In the same way that you want your pre-workout to boost your performance, it’s important to have proper hydration to perform. Water is an important part of our daily lives. Still, when we are sweating, trying to metabolize vitamins and minerals, and exerting effort, it’s important to drink water to replenish the water we’ll be losing and give our kidneys an easier time.


If your pre-workout contains vitamins, remember that drinking water is important, but it can leave you feeling queasy on an empty stomach. So, a well-balanced pre-workout will include proper hydration, a small snack or small meal, and your pre-workout supplement.


Pre-Workouts and Sleep


If you take the recommended amount of pre-workout, you should reach your peak to begin working out within a half-hour to an hour. Your pre-workout should last three to six hours which should cover even the most strenuous workout,


Summary


Pre-workouts are popular among athletes and people who adhere to a regular workout routine. For many people, this goes beyond a pre-workout snack or meal and includes pre-workout supplements. It’s important to understand how long before a workout is to take a pre-workout to affect the potency and efficacy of the supplement you’re taking. 


Timing your workout, especially when you’re using a pre-workout, can be just as important in order to not impact your sleeping habits as pre-workouts are intended to boost performance and longevity but can last in your system for a while after your workout is complete.



Sources:

Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance, and performance | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

Caffeine: How Long it Lasts, How Much & Withdrawals | clevelandclinic.org

Coffee and gastrointestinal function: facts and fiction | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.

  • Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert

    Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.

  • Dominick Gauthier, Performance Expert

    Former Olympic Athlete, Founder, B2ten Foundation (coach to multiple Olympic Champions)