When to Take Pre Workout: Benefits & How To Use

Knowing when to take pre-workout can help you reach your fitness goals faster and give you that energy boost during any high-intensity exercise or strength training.

Pre-workout supplements are great for muscle building, increasing muscle power, and frequent gym-goers should take pre-workout consistently so the key ingredients can build up in your body.

Depending on the activity, knowing the best time to take pre-workout will help your athletic performance and boost energy levels during critical times.

In this article, you will learn what pre-workout is, when you should take it, the benefits and effects, when to use, and how often you should take it.

What is Pre-Workout?

What is pre workout

Pre-workout is an energy supplement taken before your workout. The goal of pre-workout supplementation is to provide increase your power and strength performance as well as increase focus levels so that you can get the most out of your gym sessions.

You can buy pre-workout in many forms. There are pre-workout formulas that come in powder form, capsules, tablets, energy drinks, and chewables. The powder is the most common form and is usually mixed with water which will almost instantly enhance energy and physical performance.

Pre-workout ingredients usually contain Beta-Alanine, Caffeine, Creatine, L-Citrulline, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). The non-essential amino acid Beta-Alanine will help reduce fatigue in your muscles, while the caffeine will increase your energy levels. Caffeine-sensitive people might want to be careful at first.

Creatine will help your body make energy immediately as opposed to supplying your body with that energy in short bursts. L-Citrulline will boost Nitric Oxide production needed during a tough workout. BCAAs are beneficial ingredients and essential amino acids that the body doesn’t create on its own. The BCAAs will slow down protein breakdown in your body for better gains.

Recommended Pre-Workout Powders

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout

C4 Sport Pre Workout Powder

Redcon1 Total War Preworkout Powder

BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre Workout Supplement

When To Take Pre Workout?

When to take pre workout

As the name implies, pre-workout should be taken 30-60 minutes before your workout. You’ll want to take the pre-workout supplement before you hit the gym so that you’ll be ready to go hard when the preworkout kicks in to increase performance outcomes.

You can take preworkout before cardio exercises like running, before doing sets of push ups, or some heavy lifting.

It’s important to get your pre-workout timing just right. This might not go great the first few times but once you know how your body reacts to the supplement, you will be able to tell when you should take it. Don’t wait too long after drinking pre-workout as this could lead to stomach problems or irritation throughout your workout.

If you prefer to pump in the evenings and want to take pre-workout at night, be cautious about how late you take it. If you’re thinking of taking it a few hours before bed, reconsider to avoid any safety implications.

Most pre-workout supplements that are taken too close at night might disrupt your sleep and alter your routine, which isn’t ideal when the only reason you’re taking them is to boost your energy.

Many people also wonder if you can take it before work, while this is possible unless your job contains a lot of physical exercise, it’s best to not take it if you are just planning to work behind a desk.

Always check the label for instructions on how and when to take your pre-workout supplement.

What Are The Benefits of Pre Workout?

Benefits of pre-workout

There are a plethora of advantages to taking pre-workout. Whether as a powder, capsule, or as a canned drink can help you improve your endurance and stamina, they can help you grow muscle and strength, depending on the type of exercise you want to do.

We can categorize these based on the various ways in which pre-workouts aid intense training.

Gain Muscle

Amino acids are the most important components for muscle growth. Essential amino acids are abundant in pre-workout supplements and include branched-chain amino acid contents in particular (BCAAs) as mentioned before.

These are three important amino acids that have a direct role in muscle tissue formation. BCAAs are a form of amino acid that avoids digestion and is immediately available for muscle development.

Pre-workout drinks, powders, or pills often include citrulline in addition to BCAAs. Another amino acid is this one. Citrulline, in particular, increases blood flow to the muscles.

As muscles are stressed by training, this mechanism increases oxygen levels and transports additional nutrients. As a result, muscles can perform for longer and tougher periods, resulting in more intense and productive workouts.

Boost Endurance

Removing the mechanisms that generate exhaustion in your muscles is the most effective strategy to increase your overall endurance.

Caffeine is a stimulant that aids in the maintenance of alertness. Caffeine in pre-workouts gives you the same boost of inspiration and stamina as a strong cup of coffee or espresso gives you when you wake up.

Muscle exhaustion from soreness is the other major stumbling block to your endurance. The accumulation of acids in your muscles is the primary culprit. Taking pre-workout supplements with beta-alanine helps to fight this.

The beta-alanine substance helps your body rid itself of acids, particularly in your muscles. The amino acid beta-alanine helps to minimize the acid buildup that causes the burn that comes with vigorous exercise performance. As a result, you’ll be able to work out for longer and harder.

Simple sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda is another element in pre-workouts that helps minimize acid accumulation in muscles. Clinical studies have indicated that sodium bicarbonate reduces acid buildup in muscular tissue.

Also, you will benefit from less discomfort and longer, more difficult workouts. L-theanine is a substance found in some pre-workouts.

The L-theanine compound, derived from green tea, blocks some of the anxiety-inducing effects of caffeine and provides a synergistic interaction that concentrates the caffeine on higher energy levels.

Increase Strength

A pre-workout drink or supplement improves strength in a variety of ways. They boost your metabolism for enhanced strength as you work out and for long-term strength gains after your session, in addition to the obvious benefit of increased muscle mass.

Creatine is perhaps the most essential element in pre-workout supplements when it comes to increasing strength. Creatine boosts the molecular pathways in your body that help you feel more energized at the cellular level. It also boosts muscle mass, strength, and endurance.

Pre-workout pills or other forms that include nitrate enable your body to transport more amino acids and other nutrients to your muscles. As you put in more effort during training and competition, this results in increasing strength.

Nitrate provides your muscles with the nutrients they need to function properly. As a result, your strength will be improved.

Pre-Workout for Weight Loss

A common question asked by the public, however, you can use pre-workout to work out harder and more efficiently, however, there is no evidence that it helps with weight loss. If you are exercising, you can take it, but if you plan to just take pre-workout to lose weight without actually exercising, then you should avoid doing that.

If your aim is to lose weight, focus on your diet and read our article on which foods to eat to lose weight or try Hawthorn berry products.


Before taking any supplements, always be sure to read the safety rules on the labels. Check out our other fitness content to learn more about how you can optimize and improve your gym sessions.

Recommended Pre-Workout Powders

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout
C4 Sport Pre Workout Powder
Redcon1 Total War Preworkout Powder
BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre Workout Supplement

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Pre-Workout Should I Take?

When used correctly in the right amounts, can take your workouts to a higher level. However, these products are extremely powerful substances that should be handled with care. They should not be taken lightly by either men or women, regardless of whether they are super healthy adults or not.
Read the label before using but just remember that caffeine consumption of 400 milligrams (0.014 ounces) per day is safe to take for healthy people. One regular cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine (0.003 ounces) so keep that in mind.

Can I take Pre-Workout in the Morning?

Technically you can, but don’t take pre-workout to replace coffee. Only use it if you plan to actually go to the gym or perform physical exercise.

How much is Pre-Workout?

Prices vary depending on the brand and size of the bottle. Most powders can be anywhere between $10 and $100. The more expensive ones tend to be of better quality. You should expect to pay around $40-50 for a bottle.

How often should I take pre-workout?

Only before you plan to exercise. You should only take it once a day maximum to avoid any possible downsides.

Is it bad to take pre-workout twice a day?

It is advised that you do not do so. There is no need for you to take it multiple times a day even if you workout twice.

Is it bad to take pre-workout at night?

Yes and no. The only downside is that you can have difficulty sleeping if you take it too close to your bedtime.

How long does pre-workout last?

Pre-workout can last up to 6 hours after taking it. Most ingredients in pre-workout have a half-life of 4-6 hours.

Can you take pre-workout before cardio or a run?

Yes, you can.

Is taking pre-workout every day bad?

No, unless you are not working out when taking it. Taking pre-workout consistently helps the ingredients build up in your body which over time will increase your performance.

How long does pre-workout take to kick in?

This varies per person, usually, it takes around 30-60 minutes for it to kick in.

How much caffeine is in pre-workout?

Around 150-300mg per serving.

Can I take pre-workout on an empty stomach?

Yes you can, but it is best to have a small bite beforehand.

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