When Is The Best Time To Take A Pre-Workout?
I think most people would answer that question like this, “Take it before you workout, duh!”. But there’s a little more to it than that and we’re going to show you the best times to take it.
A pre-workout is meant to give you great amounts of energy, endurance, and even increase your focus and performance. But, if you take it at the wrong time, you may fall short of the benefits. Timing is crucial and we’ll explain why.
Why The Timing Matters So Much
If you’re about to step up to the squat bar just seconds after consuming your pre-workout supplement, you may want to reconsider. That’s because the body takes time to absorb and utilize the various nutrients that your pre-workout may possess.
If you don’t wait a fair bit before you jump in to exercises, your pre-workout supplement will have been wasted.
Many Pre-workout supplements contain certain ingredients that take time for the body to absorb and utilize, so for best results and better clarification, be sure to read the label on yours.
If Your Pre-Workout Contains Caffeine AND/OR Green Tea Extract, Do this
Caffeine is a popular ingredient in most pre-workout supplements. That’s because it’s been proven to provide energy, endurance, and focus. If it happens to be in your pre-workout.
It can take 30-45 minutes for caffeine to provide it’s peak benefits so it’s best to wait the whole 45 minutes prior to your workout.
Green tea extract takes about the same amount of time (30-45 minutes) to fully work. So do yourself a favor, be patient, and let it kick in.
Note that some “helper” ingredients such as grapefruit extract can be added to certain formulas to make it work faster and more efficiently, so do check the label of your pre-workout to get the best information about it.
If Your Pre-Workout Contains BCAA’s, Creatine, Beta-Alanine, or Whey Protein, Do This
These are popular ingredients that will enhance muscle growth. They should be given the appropriate amount of time to work but also, you don’t want to take them too early either.
- BCAA’s- These amino acids will promote protein synthesis and need at least 15-30 minutes to be absorbed by the body.
- Creatine- Another popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements. This should also be taken 15-30 minutes prior to your workout to give it time to absorb. Creatine increases your overall strength and will be very beneficial to making gains when taken at the correct time.
- Beta-Alanine- This will increase your endurance during your workout and help you push through the more strenuous sets. It should also be taken at least 15-30 minutes before you start.
- Whey Protein- A complete protein that is the building block of muscle. Complete proteins take longer for the system to digest and break down so, give this one at least 30 minutes to get going.
Things To Avoid When Taking A Pre-Workout Supplement
Most people already know that taking certain supplements can be harmful. Especially if you have any medical conditions such as heart issues or diabetes. That’s why it’s important to check with your doctor before you consider such a supplement. With that being said, let’s look at a few things you should never do with your pre-workout.
Snorting Your Pre-Workout Powder
Believe it or not, people actually do this and there is video to prove it, just check YouTube for examples.
Most dosage amounts for these powders are at least a couple of tablespoons so putting that much powder in your nose is probably not a good idea and may lead to sinus infections along with a severe burning sensation.
The manufacturers did not intend for these supplements to be taken in such a manner and it definitely won’t increase their effectiveness. So, stick to drinking it.
Never Take More Than Recommended
There is always a recommended dosage amount with your safety and the effectiveness of the product in mind.
If your pre-workout contains stimulants such as caffeine or caffeine anhydrous then, it’s especially important that you pay close attention to the label.
Taking too much of these products can cause adverse effects such as dizziness, nausea, palpitations, and lightheadedness.
Avoid Taking More Than One Pre-Workout At A time
The same as stated above could happen if you were to take two different pre-workouts together. You would get double the dose of caffeine and other stimulants.
Taking more doesn’t make the product more effective. The dosage is finely tuned to the recommended amount to give you the best and safest results.
Don’t Take Your Pre-Workout Too Close To Bedtime
Most pre-workouts have stimulants as mentioned before so it would be wise to take it earlier in the day. If you take it too close to bed, you might be able to get to sleep on time. Sleep is very important, especially after exercise because that’s when all the magic of muscle making happens.
Our Final Thoughts And Considerations
Now that you know the optimal time to take your pre-workout supplement, give it a try and see how your next session goes.
We know that not all pre-workouts are created equal. Some work a bit slower and some are formulated to kick in much faster so be sure to read the labels and find out which one is going to be the most convenient for you.
A few tips are to take your pre-workout before you leave home for the gym, the time spent driving is usually enough for everything to start working. If the drive isn’t that long, you can pass the time by doing a few warm-up stretches till it kicks in.