How Long Does Pre-Workout Last? – A Guide to Pre-Workouts

Whether you’re a beginner, a serious, or just a recreational athlete, a pre-workout is a great fitness supplement that gives you an extra jolt of energy to keep you strong during workouts. This caffeinated boost gives you extra energy to hit the gym as well as more power to endure longer workouts with more intensity.
Watermelon Amino Energy
Now, pre-workouts increase your physical and mental energy while at the gym. While this is just one side of the coin, the other side of it is that your body will react in a certain way depending on the ingredients present in these pre-workout supplements.
For instance, pre-workouts that contain stimulants might affect your sleep cycle as compared to those without stimulants. So, with that said, this post will try to answer the answer of how long does pre-workout lasts to understand how to time your intakes.

But First, What is a Pre Workout?

Just as we’ve mentioned earlier, pre-workouts are dietary supplements that enhance your body to allow you to maximize your gym time. They do this by giving you extra energy, focus, and work capacity to endure high-intensity workouts.
Most pre-workouts contain caffeine and arginine in their composition. Arginine, on its side, is intended to dilate the blood vessels while caffeine increases your energy levels. So, by consuming these supplements prior to working out, your body will receive an extra boost when performing high-intensity workouts.
Something else about pre-workouts is that they’re often available in powder form. So, once you’ve bought your package, you’re supposed to mix it with water or juice to mimic the flavor of those sports beverages.
Just as their name suggests, pre-workouts should be consumed just before working out or hitting the gym. In most cases, this can be around 20 to 30 minutes prior to lifting the cardio machines or hitting the gym.
Lastly, pre-workouts are available in various forms depending on the brand. They can be available in powder, capsule, or liquid form. Some brands will include the dose per serving in their package while others will only list the major ingredients used during manufacture.
In this article, I’ll recommend different types of pre-workouts. If you want a discount, use CODY15 at checkout to get 15% off.

Pre Workout Ingredients

Just before we explain how long does pre-workout lasts, it’s good that we first discuss some of the ingredients that are contained in pre-workout supplements.
  • Caffeine: One of the major ingredients you’re likely to find in almost any pre-workout supplement is caffeine. Some pre-workouts contain low levels of caffeine while others contain substantial levels. GOLD STANDARD PRE-WORKOUT, for instance, contains around 175 mg of caffeine per serving.

Gold standard pre-workout

But, regardless of the situation, caffeine is largely responsible for elevating your mental alertness, boost energy levels, improve focus and give you faster reaction time.
  • Creatine: Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that’s found in the body’s muscle cells. When working out, this amino acid supplies the muscles with energy but in short bursts. So, to accelerate the production of muscle cells during high-intensity workouts, you need creatine.
In fact, according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (1), creatine promotes an increase in skeletal muscle mass, muscle fiber mass, and lean body mass.
  • BCAAs Amino Acids: For your body to endure extreme workouts, it needs an extra Amino Acid boost to minimize protein breakdown. For this to happen, you need special branched-chain amino acids that contain a special blend of leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Now, BCAAs are essential amino acids, which means the body cannot produce them on its own. Since you’ll require more energy to sustain your body during extreme workouts, you’ll hence need a pre-workout that contains BCAAs.
  • Other Ingredients: So, other than what we’ve mentioned, there are other ingredients you’re likely to come across. Some of these ingredients include; Beta-alanine, Nitric Oxide, L-tyrosine, Vitamin B-6, Acetyl I-carnitine, and L-theanine.

How Long Does Pre-Workout Take to Kick In?

If you’re just starting as an athlete, it’s quite hard to know when is the right time to consume pre-workout. If taken too early, you might end up missing the benefits of these supplements. On the other hand, if taken too late, you might fall victim to their side effects that include experiencing long hours of sleeplessness.
Thankfully, according to a recent search (2), pre-workouts should be consumed at least 20-30 minutes before hitting the gym. This means that these supplements take around 20-30 minutes before they can kick in. However, though, the time taken for pre-workouts to kick in might vary depending on your body metabolism, your body’s tolerance to workouts, and the number of active ingredients present in a pre-workout supplement.

How Can You Tell Pre Workouts are Working?

If you’re a beginner in the topic of how long does pre-workout last, then it might be hard for you to identify those signs that tell a pre-workout is working. So, if you’re feeling confused, then this section is here to show you the kind of signs you’ll expect to see.
  • Increase in Muscle Energy
One of the clear signs that tell your pre-workout is working is a noticeable boost in energy levels once you start warming up. For instance, if you mix 2 scoops of ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY + ELECTROLYTES pre-workout with 10 to 12 ounces of water (30 minutes before working out), you’ll experience a noticeable surge in muscle energy when performing compound exercises or when doing more intense workouts.
  • Boost in Mental Focus
A sudden boost in your mental focus, alertness, and motivation are just some of the signs that can tell your pre-workout is working. In most cases, this sign will be noticeable if you’re using a supplement that contains caffeine.
One such example you can consider is the GOLD STANDARD PRE-WORKOUT, which contains 175 mg of caffeine per serving, 3 g of creatine per serving, and 1.5 g of Beta-Alanine per serving in its composition. This pre-workout allows you to focus more on your workouts by stimulating the body.
  • Tingling/Itchy Sensation
Something else you’re likely to experience when a pre-workout is working is itchiness on your skin or muscles. In most cases, this tingling or rather an itchy feeling is caused by Beta-Alanine. So, if you’re consuming pre-workouts such as BETA-ALANINE POWDER (that has 3.2 g of beta-alanine per serving), then you’re likely to experience this feeling.
You see, beta-alanine gives your muscles strength and endurance to help delay muscle fatigue for prolonged workout sessions. However, it has one major side effect. It tends to stimulate your nerve endings, which as a result, leads to the itchy sensation you experience.

How Long Does Pre-workout Last?

If you’ve been asking the question of how long does pre-workout last, then you need to realize that the amount of time these supplements take vary depending on the number of active ingredients. For instance, caffeine and arginine are two of the most popular ingredients found in most pre-workout supplements.
But, despite having varying lengths of time, most pre-workouts provide peak effects that range from 2 to 3 hours. In most cases, this duration is considered to be enough to boost your body through a serious workout session.
Lastly, the amount of time a pre-workout lasts can differ depending on various conditions. One of them is the type of ingredients that are present in the formulation and the second one is your body metabolism.
Therefore, if you notice that you’re still feeling the effects of pre-workouts after 3 hours, then you can either try to consume a smaller dose or alternatively, visit a doctor for professional advice.

How Long Should a Pre-workout Last in Your Body?

Although we’ve discussed how long pre-workouts last, most people might be wondering how long these supplements take before they’re cleared from your body. Now, you need to understand that pre-workouts contain different individual ingredients. Each of these ingredients has a time estimate of how long it takes in your system.
Nonetheless, most of these ingredients take around 4—6 hours before they’re entirely eliminated. For instance, caffeine takes a maximum of 5 hours before it’s eliminated. Beta-Alanine takes about an hour while conjugated linoleic acid takes about 1 ½ hour to get flushed out of your system. Another common ingredient is creatine, which lasts for about 3 hours in your system.

So, Who Should Take Pre Workouts?

From what we’ve discussed, pre-workouts are specifically intended for athletes who specialize in bodybuilding, powerlifting, and other high-intensity sports. The reason for this is that most of the ingredients found in these supplements are targeted towards high-intensity exercises such as weightlifting.
However, athletes majoring in other sports can take advantage of pre-workouts containing caffeine to benefit from its proven benefits such as mental alertness, improved focus, and high energy.


So, how long does pre-workout last? If this is what you’ve been asking yourself, then this post has offered you the ultimate answer. As you can see, pre-workout supplements are widely consumed due to their ability to boost body performance during high-intensity training and workouts.
But, despite having an impressive reputation, pre-workouts have one major safety concern. Sometimes the label might contain unsafe, contaminated, or rather burned substances that are not regulated by the FDA.
For this reason, you have to do your due diligence by buying pre-workout supplements that are lab-tested for quality. Thankfully, Optimum Nutrition has offered authentic pre-workout supplements you can consider. In fact, customers are guaranteed a 15% off whenever they make their purchase using this code: CODY15.