How long does it take for pre-workout to kick in

Nov 14, 2021

We’ve all been there: standing before a wall of brightly-coloured, thoughtfully marketed workout enhancing products, trying to decipher the benefits of each one. We agree – it’s overwhelming and, sometimes, intimidating!

Choosing the right pre-workout can enhance your sweat sesh and can provide you with the opportunity to improve your fitness and your performance in the gym. It’s important to understand the effects of pre-workout, and what you need to look out for when shopping for the right product for you.

We’re addressing some questions that we hear often about pre-workout supplements, and have put together a list of factors to consider when choosing one that’s right for you!

Is Pre-Workout Necessary During Exercises?

Let us first start off by emphasizing that pre-workout is not 100% necessary during your workout routine, but it may be a beneficial way to enhance your performance. Pre-workout is an effective way to get an extra boost of energy and can be used in moderation, depending on the length, intensity and level of fitness.

It’s also important to note that adequate rest, a balanced diet and proper hydration are essential to a positive experience with pre-workout. They cannot be used as a crutch and aren’t a ‘magic pill’ solution, but rather, a good addition to an already healthy relationship with fitness and exercise.

How Long Does Pre-Workout Take To Kick In?

There are a number of factors that will influence the release time of a pre-workout. Mainly: the type of active ingredients in the supplement, the way it is consumed, and who consumes it. Generally, it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour for pre-workout to take effect. With this in mind, it’s always a rule of thumb to start mixing your pre-workout at about half an hour before getting your sweat on.

The main factor that determines the strength and longevity of pre-workout are the active ingredients that serve as the vehicle behind your jolt of energy. There are an array of active ingredients used in pre-workouts, and each of them have different benefits and effects. Caffeine, Creatine, Beta-Alanine, BCAA’s, and Citrulline are a few of the more common ingredients you’ll see listed, and each serve a unique purpose, working together to enhance your workout!

Pre-workouts also come in a few different forms. The majority of supplements come as a powder that mixes with water. There are also capsules, bars, and even gummies! There’s truly something for everyone – it’s all a matter of finding what works best for you.

We can’t stress this enough: everybody is different and will react differently to certain products. It’s important to carefully monitor your reaction to pre-workout when trying it for the first time. A good idea would be to take half of a scoop before going full throttle – this will help to gauge how it makes you feel.

For optimal use, we also recommend consulting your physician to better understand all the potential side effects – after all, they’re the experts!

How Long Does Pre-Workout Last?

Pre-workout impacts everyone differently. There is no standard for how long pre-workout will last, but there are a few factors that will affect its longevity. Each person reacts differently, and it’s dependent on how sensitive you may be to supplements. Generally, those who are less sensitive will experience the full effect of pre-workout at about 45 minutes after consumption. Over time, the effect will wear off – this can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.

Another important factor to consider is how much you’ve eaten and how hydrated you are before taking pre-workout. Typically, those who take the supplement when they’ve hydrated properly and have enough protein and carbs in their system will see a more delayed effect. This is in comparison to someone who takes pre-workout on empty stomach and may experience a quicker and more intensified effect.

Factors To Be Considered

If you haven’t already guessed, there are quite a few factors to consider when choosing the right pre-workout supplement.

  • It’s important to look carefully into the shelf-life of your supplement (i.e. how long it will last before going bad). While the side-effects wouldn’t be serious, they might make you uncomfortable (bloating, upset stomach, headache). Another reason to be cautious is because an expired pre-workout formula won’t be as effective – or effective at all – and you’ll end up consuming calories for no extra benefit.
  • We all have those days where we’re running from meeting to meeting, rushing to get ourselves through the day – so busy that we don’t have enough time to eat! Before taking pre-workout on an empty stomach, be aware that you may experience an upset stomach, some nausea and potentially a headache, especially if you tend to be more sensitive to stimulants.
  • Finding the right pre-workout can get expensive! Be sure to consult your local fitness supplement retailers, ask your gym-pals what has worked for them and do your research. Once you find the right fit, the investment is totally worth it!


Does pre-workout kick in immediately?

Not always. There are a number of factors that can affect how long it takes pre-workout to kick in. Your level of hydration, whether you’re taking pre-workout on empty stomach and how much rest you’ve managed to get are all factors that would impact the amount of time it takes to kick-in.

When to take pre-workout?

We recommend taking your pre-workout 30-45 minutes before your workout routine. This is all dependent on how you react to supplements, and varies person-to-person.

Is it okay to take a pre-workout supplement every day?

While taking pre-workout every day is not always recommended – it is okay to take pre-workout before intense exercise. We recommend only introducing a pre-workout supplement to your fitness routine when you’re looking to increase performance in the gym or to get that extra kick of energy before a workout. Taking pre-workout without actually working out could lead to an unhealthy relationship with stimulants.

How long does pre-workout stay in your system?

While you may only feel the full effects of pre-workout for 1-2 hours, the supplement can stay in your system for anywhere from 4-6 hours.

How long does pre-workout last after opening (shelf life/expiry)?

The shelf life of pre-workout varies per product. Once opened, however, pre-workout can last anywhere from 3-10 months!

How long does c4 pre-workout last?

Like any other pre-workout, the longevity of C4 depends on who’s taking it. From our experience, however, the supplement typically lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.

Final Verdict

In summary – we are total fans of finding a good pre-workout that best suits you and your needs. Thankfully, there are so many different types of pre-workouts out there. Remember the facts: everyone’s different and has varying needs to enhance their workouts, be mindful of this! If you’re not sure about the risks associated with taking a supplement – be sure to consult your physician beforehand! Finally, the longevity and effectiveness of pre-workout is dependent on a number of factors, however, when taken properly, they can seriously enhance your performance in the gym or at your next workout! They’ll help to increase your energy when exercising and could yield better results!

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