Pre-workout supplements are some of the most widely used supplements in the world. The majority of the people that work out take them, whether they're new or experienced lifters.
There's a good reason why pre workouts have gotten so popular. They come with a wide variety of benefits - they'll boost your energy, focus, pumps, and power.
But one of the most common questions we hear is, "how long does pre-workout last?"
In today's article, we're going to answer this question and tell you everything you need to know.
If you have never taken a pre-workout supplement and are curious about how they work and the effects, keep reading.
What is a pre workout?
A pre-workout is a type of supplement designed to be taken before a workout to improve your athletic performance.
These supplements are typically formulated with a combination of different ingredients that work together to increase your energy levels, power, and cognitive functions.
Some of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements are Caffeine, Citrulline, Tyrosine, and Betaine.
Each of these pre workout ingredients has its own mechanism and benefits.
For example, Caffeine is a highly effective stimulant that's going to help ramp up your energy levels quickly. Citrulline is an amino acid that focuses on boosting nitric oxide and therefore gets more blood flowing to the muscles.
Taking a pre workout is straightforward. You mix the product with water and drink it roughly 20 to 30 minutes before starting your workout. Your body needs about half an hour to absorb the ingredients, after which they fully kick in and start working.
After taking your dose of pre workout, you'll start to notice a massive boost in energy, focus, pumps, and of course, motivation. Because of this, you'll be able to squeeze out additional repetitions, meaning you'll get the most out of each workout.
Pre workouts can really help you push beyond your limits, which will impact your physique and progress. But, how long do the effects truly last - will you be able to
How long do the effects of pre workout last?
Most of you wonder how long the effects of a pre workout last. You want to know how long you'll experience the energy, pumps, and focus before it wears off.
It's difficult to say precisely how long the effects will be present, but pre workouts generally last between 1 to 2 hours.
Keep in mind, though, that the timeframe of 1 to 2 hours is a rough estimate. Everybody's different, and there are so many different factors that can impact the duration of a pre workout's effects.
A few things that will impact duration are your tolerance to stimulants, your body weight, and the formula of the product you have on hand.
Continue reading as we show you exactly which factors will impact your product's effectiveness.
Factors that impact how long your pre-workout lasts
You've taken your pre workout, and after about thirty minutes, the effects are starting to kick in. You can lift heavier throughout the workout, but after an hour, the effects begin to fade away.
Your lifting partner took the same pre workout, and he noticed the effects for a whopping 3 hours, whereas for you, the effects wore off after just short of an hour.
What's the reason for this? Well, different factors impact how long your pre workout lasts. Let's go over them to help you understand what role they play.
The potency of the pre workout
The first and most obvious factor that can impact how long your pre-workout lasts is the formula's potency. No two products are formulated with the exact same list of ingredients and dosages.
Some pack in more stimulants, while others rely more on ingredients for power and pump. These formulas can produce a wide variety of effects and durations.
Some common ingredients that can produce a more potent pre-workout experience are Caffeine Anhydrous, Rauwolscine, and N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine.
But not just the ingredients play a role in the potency - the dosages do too. This is particularly true for stimulants like Caffeine. A product formulated with a lower dose of Caffeine will generally have a shorter duration of action than a higher dose.
Therefore, if you are looking for a more potent pre-workout, pay close attention to the ingredients in its formula and the dosages of those ingredients.
Your tolerance to stimulants
Many pre workouts contain stimulants such as Caffeine, meaning your tolerance to these ingredients will also play a role.
Let's say you're not an average person, though. Tolerance to Caffeine can develop quickly, after only a few days of regular use. The body begins to adapt, and the effects become less pronounced.
Tolerance is thought to occur because Caffeine blocks the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. With regular use, the body becomes less sensitive, and the effects of Caffeine are reduced.
If you already consume a high amount of Caffeine in your daily life, you may not have the same reaction to a pre-workout supplement that someone else would have. If you don't like stimulants, you can always opt for a caffeine free pre workout.
Your body weight
Your body weight can also play a role in how long your pre-workout lasts. This is because the body metabolizes compounds at a different rate depending on how much you weigh.
For example, a 200-pound man will metabolize Caffeine much more quickly than a 100-pound woman. This is due to various factors, including body composition, liver size, and the activity of certain enzymes.
A larger person generally has a larger liver, which is responsible for breaking down stimulants. They also have more enzymes that metabolize Caffeine.
Therefore, if you weigh more, you may find that your pre-workout does not last as long as someone who weighs less. This is particularly true if you already have a high tolerance for Caffeine.
Getting pre-workout out of your system
Life can be unpredictable. It is not uncommon for something to come up right before your workout, causing you to postpone until later.
But what happens if you just took a pre-workout and cannot make it to the gym?
If, for whatever reason, you want to get pre-workout out of your system as soon as possible, you can do so by following these tips:
- Drink lots of water – Caffeine is a water-soluble compound, meaning that it readily dissolves in H2O. By drinking plenty of water, you will break down some of the active compounds and flush them through your system faster than if you let the pre-workout do its thing. Start with at least 1 liter of water and keep drinking if you are starting to feel the rush.
- Eat a large fat meal – If you are already feeling the effects kick in, we recommend eating a big meal that is high in fats. Although you were planning to work out, a greasy meal can slow down digestion and prevent your body from absorbing the active ingredients. If you watch your calorie intake, foods high in unsaturated fats, such as avocados and salmon, are a good alternative.
- Wait for it to pass – If push comes to shove, you may just have to wait it out. It will not do you any harm, but you may feel hyperactive for a couple of hours. This will soon pass, and you will be back to normal in no time.
Pre-workout is an incredibly common workout supplement, so it is not unheard of for athletes to take a dose and then miss their workout. It will not hurt you, but you may regret wasting the powder.
Is taking pre-workout safe?
Now that we've told you what you need to know about pre workouts, you'll want to know about the safety of these supplements.
We're going to start by saying pre workouts are well regarded to be safe when taken as directed.
That being said, though, they can cause some side effects, mainly when consumed in large excessive doses or by people who are sensitive to stimulants.
Some common side effects of pre-workout can include:
These side effects are caused by the stimulants found in pre workouts. If you're experiencing side effects after taking a pre workout, they will slowly fade away as the pre workout wears off.
If you are new to pre-workout supplements or trying out a new one, it's important to assess your tolerance safely. By starting with a low dose, you can see how your body reacts to all the ingredients and dosages.
You won't have to worry about taking too much and running into potential side effects. After assessing your tolerance, you can gradually build up to the full serving size.
Another thing we think is important is to always read the label carefully before taking any supplement. By doing this, you know what you're putting into your body.
If you have any concerns, speak to a doctor before taking a pre-workout or any other supplement.
Should you take pre-workout?
You may be asking yourself, should you take pre workout?
The answer depends entirely on you, but, in our opinion, most athletes can benefit from taking these products.
Pre-workouts offer many advantages that can help you quickly improve your training performance. Let's go over what you can expect.
The most noticeable thing you're going to experience from taking a pre workout is the immense burst of energy.
The extra energy is beneficial for high-intensity workouts - you're able to squeeze out extra repetitions and really push yourself to the limits.
If you are not focused, you will not be able to properly engage your muscles during your workout. This can lead to less effective workouts.
Pre-workouts can help you improve your focus so that you can get the most out of your time in the gym.
Pumps are caused by an increase in blood flow to your muscles. This increased blood flow delivers more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to your muscles, which can help you get a much better muscle contraction and mind-to-muscle connection.
Pre-workout supplements can help you get better pumps so that you get more out of every workout.
Pre-workout supplements often contain ingredients that can help to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to your muscles, leading to improved performance.
Creatine and Beta-alanine both help to offset muscular fatigue, allowing you to lift heavier weights longer than you normally would.
If these effects sound like something that you could benefit from, we highly recommend taking a pre-workout supplement.
You will find that you finish your workouts without feeling physically drained or mentally exhausted and have more energy for the rest of your day.
We do have to point out, though, that you should not take a pre-workout supplement every time you go to the gym. As we discussed earlier, it is easy to develop a tolerance to caffeine and other stimulants.
If you take these products every day, they will quickly stop working and you’ll have to take a higher dose.
Frequently asked questions
Still have questions about pre-workout supplements? Keep reading to find the answers to some of the most-asked questions we receive.
1. How long does it take for pre workout to start working?
As with the question of how long pre-workout lasts, the answer to this question largely depends on the individual and the formula used to create a product.
Standard pre-workout supplements generally start to work within 20 to 30 minutes. By the 1-hour mark, you’ll experience the peak effects. However, more potent supplements may kick in sooner and last longer.
2. Can I take pre workout more than once a day?
Most manufacturers recommend that you do not take more than one serving of their product within a 24-hour period. This is due to the high levels of caffeine and other stimulants often used to formulate these products.
3. Do I need to cycle off pre workout?
Pre-workout supplements generally do not need to be cycled. This is because they do not contain any ingredients that can cause physical dependency or make you reliant on the product. However, we do recommend that you take a break from pre-workout every few months, just to give your body a break.
4. What is the best time to take pre workout?
The best time to take a pre-workout is around 20 to 30 minutes before you plan on starting your workout. This will give your body enough time to absorb the active ingredients and put them to work. Mix a serving of the powder with water and drink it on your way to the gym or right before you walk out the door.
5. Can I take pre workout on an empty stomach?
Yes, you can take pre-workout on an empty stomach. In fact, many people prefer to do so because it allows them to experience the full range of effects. Just be aware that you may feel nauseous if you take pre-workout on an empty stomach and then start working out immediately. It’s best to give your body a little time to adjust.
6. Is it bad to take pre workout every day?
It’s not necessarily bad to take pre-workout every day but we don’t recommend it. As we discussed earlier, pre-workout supplements often contain high levels of caffeine and other stimulants.
If you take these products every day, you’ll quickly develop a tolerance and will have to take more to feel the same effects. Additionally, consuming too much caffeine can lead to side effects like anxiety and headaches.
Pre-workout supplements can offer a wide variety of benefits that can help you improve your performance in the gym. These products can help you increase your energy levels, focus, and motivation to push your muscles harder and for longer periods.
Additionally, pre-workouts can help to improve the delivery of blood and oxygen to your muscles, leading to bigger pumps.
These effects typically start to wear off within 1 to 2 hours, but it varies from person to person and product to product.
The potency of a supplement, as well as your body weight and tolerance to the active compounds, can all shorten or lengthen the duration of the effects. Therefore, be sure to read the label carefully to ensure that the product you are taking is safe for you.
If you’re new to pre-workout supplements, start with a lower dose to see how your body reacts. Gradually increase from there until you find the sweet spot for you.