If you go to the gym regularly, you’ve more than likely have heard about pre-workout, but it’s rare to see people talking about when to take pre-workout. As popular as the supplement is and how its inner workings affect your performance,its timing is one of the most crucial aspects.
In today’s article, we’ll be discussing the optimal time to take pre-workout in order to maximize its benefits. When taken at the right time, the energy you receive from pre-workout can enhance your workouts dramatically.
Importance of Pre-Workout Timing
The time you take pre-workout is crucial in order to receive the maximum amount of benefits, as mentioned before. You’d hate to load up before a workout and not feel its effects until after your workout is over.
There are several other reasons why you should prioritize your supplement timing, which we will go over. Some people truly don’t know how effective pre-workout is even after utilizing it all because their timing is off.
Experiencing Maximum Energy
With the right timing, you’ll feel every milligram of caffeine from your pre-workout when it comes to the heavy lifts. The goal is to receive the jolt of energy to progress on your lifts and lift heavier as time goes on.
After the consumption of caffeine, which is the base for most pre-workouts, it takes between 15 to 45 mins for it to reach your bloodstream. During this time frame, you can expect to feel the peak effects of the caffeine. (1✓)
Hitting a workout soon after consuming the energy supplement can leave you outside the frame for peak caffeine benefits. You’ll either experience the surge of energy very late in the workout, or you’ll never feel it at all.
When you’re not dealing with taking pre-workout too late, you can also take it too early and suffer just as great a problem; a crash. In the middle of your workout, you’ll feel a sudden loss of energy combined with sluggish behavior.
This is known as a crash as all the caffeine has already been consumed by your blood, leaving you with little energy. You’ll be revved up with energy one moment and lose it all in just a matter of minutes.
To prevent this, don’t take your pre-workout too early that you won’t be hitting the gym for a couple of hours. Instead, think about the time it takes to get to the gym and use this to coordinate when to take your pre-workout.
Lastly, for people who workout late in the afternoon or a couple of hours before bed, the timing of your pre-workout is especially important. The odds of the caffeine creeping into your sleep schedule is higher when you take it at night.
To avoid having caffeine boosted energy keeping you up at night, you need to give the caffeine time to wear off. The amount of energy expended from working out could be enough, but you may need to give yourself some more time before hitting the hay.
Best Time to Take Pre-Workout
Considering everything you just read, the optimal time for taking pre-workout shouldn’t be too close to your workout or too far. A good rule of thumb is to take it 30 minutes before your workout to experience the best results.
The time frame of 30 minutes allows all the ingredients of the pre-workout, caffeine, Beta-Alanine, to kick in. It’s plenty of time for the bloodstream to absorb and give you a workout with the most amount of energy.
What Is Pre-Workout?
The famous pre-workout has gone through many different changes ever since its creation as Ultimate Orange in 1982. Back then, the supplements weren’t tested, and heart attack side effects were common from the ephedra in the formula. (A banned herb in the U.S)
As of recent years, the consumption of pre-workout dietary supplements by both recreational and competitive athletes has increased drastically. Due to this higher demand for pre-workout, a demand for safer ones has also increased. (2✓)
A majority of pre-workout use the same main ingredient, caffeine. The same thing you drink in your morning coffee is used in a bodybuilder’s supplement. This is why getting addicted to pre-workout is almost as common as an addiction to coffee. (2✓) (3✓)
The point of pre-workout is to provide an athlete or lifter with extra, or enough, energy for the coming workout. They’re a handful of situations in which someone may want to take this supplement for an extra boost, such as after a long shift at work or a morning just after waking. (2✔)
Benefits Pre-Workout Provides
When talking pre-workout, there aren’t too many other benefits besides the main one we’re going to discuss here. However, from my experience of taking the energy supplement, I’ve come up with a handful of benefits surrounding pre-workout.
Energy For Workout/Work
As the obvious purpose of pre-workout, the supplement gives you a surge of energy through its various ingredients. The main component is caffeine, but multi-ingredient pre-workout includes beta creatine, beta-alanine, amino acids, and nitric oxide agents. (2✓)
The amount of energy expended on pre-workout compared to someone who’s not on it is still debated. Studies go either way when trying to prove if the suppelment actually improves the performance of some.
Ingesting it before a workout seems to improve the power output of multi-joint resistance training in one study. The supplement “enhanced the total number of repetitions performed during the exercise bout.” (4✓)
Other studies, however, show no difference when pre-workout is compared to a placebo in an experiment. A study on 5-km runners showed no difference in feelings of fatigue for both groups. Also, high-intensity cyclists displayed no acute decrements or ergogenic benefits in cycling performance” when on the supplement. (5✓)(6✓)
This is a good thing if you’re cutting weight since you want to keep a keen eye on tracking your calories. Since pre-workout has no calories, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of it since the energy is coming from calories, but caffeine instead.
In conclusion, the optimal time when to take pre-workout is not too soon before a workout, nor too early before a workout. You should have a sweet spot that lets your body absorb all the ingredients just in time for your lifting session. A good 30-minute gap before your workout should be just right for you to experience the maximum amount of energy.
Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any questions you may have!