Also referred to as a “pre-workout supplement”, a pre-workout is a dietary supplement designed to provide you with the energy and stimulation you need to perform optimally throughout the workout session. One of the main concerns that people express about pre-workout supplements is the duration they take to kick in.
So, how long does a pre-workout take to kick in? We have the answer for you.
What Is a Pre-Workout?
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As mentioned above, a pre-workout is a nutritional supplement designed to supply your body with the ingredients and energy it needs to endure the entire workout. Many professional athletes and bodybuilders are known to take pre-workout supplements to prevent a dip in energy in the middle of an intense workout session.
But this doesn’t mean that a pre-workout is for professional athletes only. Anyone can use it to enhance their performance in the gym. This supplement comes in different forms, including tablets, capsules, powders, drinks, or gummies.
So, if you’re not comfortable taking capsules or tablets, you can easily add them to your protein shakes or energy drinks. This supplement contains energy-giving ingredients, including caffeine, amino acids, and creatine.
This mixture synergizes effectively to keep your energy levels up throughout the workout. Experiencing a sudden dip in energy in the middle of your workout is detrimental to your body as it can lead to the loss of lean muscles and delay your long-term weight loss objectives.
Although you shouldn’t rely solely on pre-workout supplements for energy supply, these supplements play an important role in giving you enough energy to accomplish your daily workout goals. They also ensure that you don’t become fatigued from intense exercises.
You should come up with a good workout diet plan that will provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to continue performing optimally. Pre-workouts should only be used to supplement your meals so that you can get maximum results.
You shouldn’t confuse this pre-workout supplement with your protein powder. The latter is used after the workout to help repair the muscles. Pre-workout supplements are meant to boost your performance.
It’s also important to note that your pre-workout timing is only effective if it contains caffeine and extracts from green tea. The other ingredients can be consumed at any time. They’re included in the supplements for expediency.
Therefore, you shouldn’t follow any strict timelines when it comes to consuming creatine and amino acids. Caffeine is important because it keeps you alert and stimulated, while green tea extracts protect your muscles against damage and oxidation.
How Long Does a Pre-Workout Take to Kick In?
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One of the common questions about pre-workouts is whether they work. Pre-workouts can improve your workout experience by providing you with the necessary stimulation and muscular endurance.
A recent study involving males who took pre-workout supplements before working out showed that all participants reported great improvement in their workouts. It showed that they hit their anaerobic peak faster than their colleagues who didn’t take any supplements.
Another study involving recreational athletes partaking in a three-week high-intensity workout indicated great improvement across many measures, including anaerobic sprints and VOX2 max. This measurement tests the efficiency of your body’s ability to take in oxygen and breathe during highly intensive training.
However, nutritional pundits agree that more research is needed to ascertain the safety and effectiveness of pre-workout supplements. There’s also a huge debate about the right time to take pre-workout supplements.
As mentioned above, you need to figure out the best time to take your supplements so that they can be effective throughout your workout sessions. The term pre-workout suggests that the supplements are only effective if taken before the workout.
The idea is to take your pre-workout supplements promptly so that their effect can kick in at the right time during your training. You should give yourself enough time after taking the supplement to allow your whole system to absorb it for maximum benefits.
Fortunately, many reputable brands of pre-workout supplements indicate the accurate timing on their product labels to help you know when to take the supplements. In most instances, the kick-in time ranges between 20 and 60 minutes before training.
You should also take your pre-workouts consistently for them to achieve their intended purpose. Taking the supplements steadily offers better results than taking them once in a while.
Maintaining a consistent routine allows the main ingredients of pre-workout supplements to build up in your body thus speeding up the kick-in time so that you can work out continuously without becoming fatigued.
This also ensures that your energy levels don’t dip in the middle of your training. If you take the right dosage of your preferred pre-workout supplements consistently for three weeks, your body will build enough reservoirs of essential ingredients that you just need to top up once a day.
However, don’t exceed the recommended dosage because it can have serious side effects. Some of the side effects of excessive consumption of pre-workout supplements include digestive problems, a spike in high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and blood sugar complications.
If you develop any of these symptoms, see a professional medical doctor immediately. They’ll advise you on the steps to take to eliminate the problem so that you can continue to train. You should also seek your doctor’s opinion before you start taking pre-workout supplements.
Benefits and Risks of Using Pre-Workout
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Without a doubt, pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that can help you achieve your fitness goals without suffering from severe fatigue and loss of energy. However, it’s also clear that these supplements have side effects that you should be aware of before you start taking them.
Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements
1. Elevated Energy Levels
Your body requires a constant supply of energy to continue performing at peak levels during high-intensity workouts. Without enough energy, you will always struggle to perform simple exercises. This will hinder you from realizing your workout goals.
With the right dose of pre-workout supplements and a proper workout diet plan, you’ll always have enough energy to fuel your body to reach your desired fitness levels.
2. Enhanced Workout Preps
Pre-workouts are designed to prepare your body for high-intensity workouts. Without proper preparations, your body will fail before you get to the peak of your workout session.
3. Reduced Exhaustion
Working out continuously isn’t a mean fete. Only the strong can withstand the continuous beating. Pre-workout supplements keep your whole body stimulated so that you don’t get overly exhausted during and after the workout.
Your muscles will remain energized throughout the training and even afterward so that you don’t develop post-workout fatigue, which can easily prevent you from maintaining a steady workout plan.
Risks of Pre-Workout Supplements
As mentioned above, overdoing your pre-workout supplements can lead to serious side effects. However, these effects vary depending on the type of supplements you take, the ingredients in them, and the dosage you take.
Some of the common side effects of taking pre-workout supplements include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, indigestion, nausea, insomnia, heartburn, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
Some of these supplements can interfere with other medications.
So, if you are under medication for a medical condition, it’s important to let your doctor know about your intention to use pre-workout supplements so that they can advise you accordingly.
You should also see a doctor immediately if you develop any of the above-mentioned side effects. Make sure the pre-workout supplements you’re taking have been approved by the necessary entities like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to avoid getting into trouble with the law.