Pre-workout supplement timing: when to take pre-workouts for best results?

A man performs a workout on a bar
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Using pre-workouts can significantly increase the results of your training. It is, thus, no wonder that many people decide to add pre-workouts to their diet. However, many gym-goers don’t use them properly, mostly because they don’t know when to take pre-workouts. So what is the best time to take pre-workouts?

The timing depends on your weight and the amount of pre-workouts consumed. However, it is possible to estimate the average time for an average person consuming a recommended portion. Read more to learn when is the best time to take pre-workouts!

What are pre-workouts and how can they enhance your training?

Pre-workouts are supplements – a mix of several different ingredients, such as caffeine, amino acids and other stimulants. Taking them gives you more energy for your training, as well as decreases the feeling of fatigue. As a result, your workouts will be much more efficient – pre-workouts will allow you to train longer and sometimes with bigger weights. No matter whether you’re trying to lose weight, or build muscles – with the use of these supplements you can achieve more in one session.

Pre-workouts come in different shapes and sizes. You can take them as powders, capsules or drinks. This way, you can consume pre-workouts in the most suitable form for you. So don’t worry if you don’t like supplement drinks – you can choose capsules. And if that’s not for you, take powder instead. Plus, you can switch between options over time, so you’ll never get bored.

As the main ingredient of pre-workouts is caffeine, people often wonder whether they are better than coffee. If you wonder as well, read our article Coffee vs Pre-Workout: Which Is More Energizing. Apart from caffeine, pre-workouts consist of several other ingredients, which allow you to feel the desired energy boost during your training. Below you will find a list of some of the most popular pre-workout ingredients:

  • Caffeine
  • Beta Phenylethylamine
  • Carbohydrates
  • Vitamin B
  • Agmatine Sulfate
  • Beta Alanine

Why should I want to take pre-workouts?

Taking pre-workouts will give a significant boost to your training sessions. By proper pre-workout timing, you will achieve more efficient workouts and you will feel less fatigue after them. The main effects of taking pre-workouts are:

  • Having more energy – As pre-workouts consist of caffeine, they give a powerful energy boost. As a result, you’ll feel the power to get through a full, intense workout. You can use this strength to lose more weight, or to simply build your muscles by lifting slightly heavier weights. Nevertheless, this characteristic will increase your training’s efficiency.
  • Being more focused – Caffeine, tyrosine, DMAE – all of these pre-workout ingredients will increase your concentration – and the most effective workout is the one in which you do your lifting properly. So, if you feel that you need an attention boost to spot these errors in technique better, pre-workouts will help you with that.
  • Boosting your endurance – Having more stamina means longer training – no matter whether it means more repetitions, or longer cardio. So if you can’t go to the gym every day, this might be a solution for you – you will increase the length of your workouts, and thus their effectiveness.

When to take pre-workouts?

As the name suggests, pre-workouts should be taken before workout. However, this doesn’t mean that you should take them directly before your training. You need to give time for the supplements to work, otherwise you will not feel the effects. So, how long before going to the gym should you take your pre-workouts?

The answer is 30-45 minutes before your training. The time depends on your weight and the amount of pre-workouts consumed, but if you follow the recommended portions, 30-45 minutes should be enough to feel the effect. However, bear in mind that pre-workouts don’t work forever.

Pre-workout timing is crucial – you don’t want to take pre-workouts too late and you don’t want to take them too early. You need to plan your workout session according to when you took your supplements – otherwise your pre-workout effect will wear off and you will not receive the full boost. Simply drinking your supplement before entering the gym won’t do the job. Neither will taking pre-workouts in the morning. You need to aim at taking pre-workouts 30-45 minutes before your training to get the full benefits.

When timing pre-workouts, remember about the caffeine in them – if you are planning an evening workout-session, leave yourself some time after it. If you don’t do that, the caffeine may still be working and thus affect your sleep. Since sleep is a crucial part of a proper training plan, you should really keep this in mind.

How to choose pre-workouts?

If you already know when to take pre-workouts, and what are their benefits, then it is time for choosing a proper pre-workout for you. To do that you need to focus on several aspects:

  • Your aim – Do you want to lose some weight? Or maybe your target is to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger? Building muscles and burning fat are two different things, and thus they will require slightly different pre-workouts. You need to think about your aim, read the description on the supplements and finally choose something that is right for you.
  • Your experience – Some pre-workouts might not be recommended for beginners. Some might barely work on you if you have taken them for a long period of time. You need pre-workouts adjusted to your needs and previous experience with these supplements. Otherwise, you’ll be just wasting your time.
  • Your preferred form – While it might seem trivial, picking the right form of your pre-workouts is also important. If you feel good, you perform well, so don’t make yourself drink something you don’t like. Instead, you can try the powder or the capsules. Although picking a form that you don’t like might seem just annoying, this will strongly affect your overall training experience, and thus your performance.

The takeaway

Pre-workouts are supplements that help you achieve more during your training. They do so due to the consistency of caffeine, vitamins and other stimulants. However, to make the full use of them, you need to take them 30-45 minutes before your training. Keeping to this pre-workouts timing will let you achieve better results. But, to do so, you need to pick your supplements based on your experience, aim and preferred form.

If you consider using pre-workouts, but you are afraid that it might interfere with your other supplements, check our article on whether you can mix creatine with pre-workouts.

What are pre-workouts and how can they enhance your training?

Pre-workouts are supplements that contain a mix of ingredients like caffeine, amino acids, and other stimulants. They enhance your training by providing increased energy, reducing fatigue, and improving workout efficiency.

When is the best time to take pre-workouts?

The best time to take pre-workouts is 30-45 minutes before your training session. This gives the supplements enough time to take effect and provide the desired boost in energy and performance.

How do I choose the right pre-workout?

When choosing a pre-workout, consider your goals, experience level, and preferred form. Determine whether you want to focus on weight loss or muscle building, select a pre-workout suitable for your experience level, and choose a form (powder, capsules, or drinks) that you find most convenient and enjoyable.

A man performs a workout on a bar

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