{"id":556085510217,"title":"How Long Does Pre-Workout Last? A Research-Based Review","created_at":"2021-12-25T13:58:50-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"How Long Does Pre-Workout Last? A Research-Based Review\",\n \"keywords\": \"how long does pre workout last, how long does preworkout last\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team explains how long the effects of pre-workout are likely to last based on medical research depending on which ingredients are included. We also highlight a natural pre-workout alternative that may be cheaper and more effective.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/how-long-does-pre-workout-last\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/How_Long_Preworkout_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1642223273\",\n\"width\": \"3998\",\n\"height\": \"3998\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK223808\/\", \n\"https:\/\/www.sciencedirect.com\/topics\/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science\/guarana-extract\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4663612\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/gfuel-review\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"caffeine\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"theacrine\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"guarana\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2021-12-26\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ], \n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/How_Long_Does_Pre_Workout_Last_Article_Header_Image.png?v=1640459596\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eP\u003c\/span\u003ere-workout is a product category that’s increased in popularity over the last few years, and many consumers are curious about how long the stimulatory effects last.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll provide an answer to that question based on medical research and a review of some of the most popular stimulatory chemicals in pre-workouts.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eChemical Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBecause very few supplement companies publish medical research of their products, the best way to determine how long a pre-workout will last is to analyze some of the most common ingredients individually. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eTo estimate how long a pre-workout will last it’s important to understand a scientific term called “half-life”, which refers to how long it takes for the body to process 50% (half) of an ingested chemical compound. This will vary between people and this figure is given as an average based on medical research.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIf we know the half-life, we can assume that much of the subjective feeling of the drug will have worn off by that point.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCaffeine\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is the most popular ingredient in pre-workouts, and one of the safest and most well-known stimulant compounds. As most consumers are aware, it’s the active ingredient in coffee. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe half-life of caffeine is 5 hours \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK223808\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased on medical research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. For smaller caffeine doses such as 100 milligrams (mg), it’s likely that the effects will have worn off before then. But if your pre-workout contains larger doses like 300 or 400 mg, you may still be feeling the effects at the half-life point.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eGuarana\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is another popular stimulatory ingredient found in pre-workouts and energy drinks. It’s a plant that contains caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, all of which are stimulant compounds.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe half life of guarana should be considered to be longer than caffeine, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.sciencedirect.com\/topics\/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science\/guarana-extract\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased on medical research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, although the research on the topic is still early. 6 hours is a safe assumption.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eTheacrine\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a stimulant that’s becoming more common in pre-workout formulations because it’s proven to improve both energy and mood \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4663612\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ein medical studies\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis compound is more novel with less research behind it. The half-life is estimated to be about 20 hours, but anecdotal user reports have reported the effects being insignificant after 6 hours.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHow Long Does Pre-Workout Last?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBased on the above research, we can say that the stimulatory effects of pre-workout are likely to peak around one hour after ingestion and may last up to 6 hours, but the effect will fade over time. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince the effects vary so much person-to-person, we recommend that consumers taking pre-workout use a smaller amount as a test to start out, and titrate up until they reach the full serving size.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhy Don’t We Recommend Pre-Workout?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe haven’t yet come across a pre-workout powder that we recommend, because they’re so often filled with added sugars and other questionable ingredients like artificial food dye.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eProducts like \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/gfuel-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eG-fuel\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e are essentially overpriced caffeine water with artificial flavorings added.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince caffeine is the most well-studied and effective performance enhancer, we recommend plain black coffee as a pre-workout. It has additional health benefits outside of the performance benefits, and is much cheaper than powdered pre-workout.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor consumers with a sweet tooth, using a natural sweetener like manuka honey or blackstrap molasses can add significant nutrients and healthy sugars.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBlack tea is another great pre-workout option, containing around 60 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. This is a bit more than half that in a single cup of coffee.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt’s very hard to say how long pre-workout lasts on average, because the effects vary so much between people. A 105-pound woman with a slow metabolism will experience significantly different effects of the same pre-workout dose compared with a 250-pound man with a fast metabolism.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThat being said, we can estimate based on medical research that the effects of a small dose of pre-workout are likely to last around 3-4 hours, while a larger dose (for example a caffeine dose of 350 mg) are likely to last up to the half-life of 6 hours and even slightly beyond.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe effects of pre-workout tend to peak around one hour post-ingestion depending on the stimulant(s) included, and the effects slowly fade after that point.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recommend plain black coffee or coffee with natural sweeteners as a pre-workout, as it’s likely to be cheaper, healthier and just as effective (if not more) than typical pre-workout powders which contain potentially unsafe ingredients like artificial food dye and artificial sweeteners.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-12-26T00:30:00-05:00","updated_at":"2022-10-23T01:45:02-04:00","summary_html":"We explain how long the effects of pre-workout are likely to last based on medical research depending on which ingredients are included. We also highlight a natural pre-workout alternative that may be cheaper and more effective.","template_suffix":"","handle":"how-long-does-pre-workout-last","tags":"_related:exercise, _related:pre-workout"}

How Long Does Pre-Workout Last? A Research-Based Review

How Long Does Pre-Workout Last? A Research-Based Review


| |
| |


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

 

Pre-workout is a product category that’s increased in popularity over the last few years, and many consumers are curious about how long the stimulatory effects last.

In this article we’ll provide an answer to that question based on medical research and a review of some of the most popular stimulatory chemicals in pre-workouts.

Chemical Review

Because very few supplement companies publish medical research of their products, the best way to determine how long a pre-workout will last is to analyze some of the most common ingredients individually. 

To estimate how long a pre-workout will last it’s important to understand a scientific term called “half-life”, which refers to how long it takes for the body to process 50% (half) of an ingested chemical compound. This will vary between people and this figure is given as an average based on medical research.

If we know the half-life, we can assume that much of the subjective feeling of the drug will have worn off by that point.

Caffeine is the most popular ingredient in pre-workouts, and one of the safest and most well-known stimulant compounds. As most consumers are aware, it’s the active ingredient in coffee. 

The half-life of caffeine is 5 hours based on medical research. For smaller caffeine doses such as 100 milligrams (mg), it’s likely that the effects will have worn off before then. But if your pre-workout contains larger doses like 300 or 400 mg, you may still be feeling the effects at the half-life point.

Guarana is another popular stimulatory ingredient found in pre-workouts and energy drinks. It’s a plant that contains caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, all of which are stimulant compounds.

The half life of guarana should be considered to be longer than caffeine, based on medical research, although the research on the topic is still early. 6 hours is a safe assumption.

Theacrine is a stimulant that’s becoming more common in pre-workout formulations because it’s proven to improve both energy and mood in medical studies.

This compound is more novel with less research behind it. The half-life is estimated to be about 20 hours, but anecdotal user reports have reported the effects being insignificant after 6 hours.

How Long Does Pre-Workout Last?

Based on the above research, we can say that the stimulatory effects of pre-workout are likely to peak around one hour after ingestion and may last up to 6 hours, but the effect will fade over time. 

Since the effects vary so much person-to-person, we recommend that consumers taking pre-workout use a smaller amount as a test to start out, and titrate up until they reach the full serving size.

Why Don’t We Recommend Pre-Workout?

We haven’t yet come across a pre-workout powder that we recommend, because they’re so often filled with added sugars and other questionable ingredients like artificial food dye.

Products like G-fuel are essentially overpriced caffeine water with artificial flavorings added.

Since caffeine is the most well-studied and effective performance enhancer, we recommend plain black coffee as a pre-workout. It has additional health benefits outside of the performance benefits, and is much cheaper than powdered pre-workout.

For consumers with a sweet tooth, using a natural sweetener like manuka honey or blackstrap molasses can add significant nutrients and healthy sugars.

Black tea is another great pre-workout option, containing around 60 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. This is a bit more than half that in a single cup of coffee.

Get our most popular articles straight to your inbox
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

It’s very hard to say how long pre-workout lasts on average, because the effects vary so much between people. A 105-pound woman with a slow metabolism will experience significantly different effects of the same pre-workout dose compared with a 250-pound man with a fast metabolism.

That being said, we can estimate based on medical research that the effects of a small dose of pre-workout are likely to last around 3-4 hours, while a larger dose (for example a caffeine dose of 350 mg) are likely to last up to the half-life of 6 hours and even slightly beyond.

The effects of pre-workout tend to peak around one hour post-ingestion depending on the stimulant(s) included, and the effects slowly fade after that point.

We recommend plain black coffee or coffee with natural sweeteners as a pre-workout, as it’s likely to be cheaper, healthier and just as effective (if not more) than typical pre-workout powders which contain potentially unsafe ingredients like artificial food dye and artificial sweeteners.




Illuminate Labs is a proud member of

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/search-bar.liquid