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how long does pre workout take to kick in

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Daniel Mesa

How Long Does Pre Workout Take To Kick In?

how long does pre workout take to kick in

If you are new to preworkouts, you may be wondering how long does pre workout take to kick in? You typically feel the effects of pre-workout 30-45 minutes after taking it. Knowing this, you take your pre-workout around 30 minutes before you arrive to the gym to get the most out of the product. 

How Long Does Pre Workout Take To Kick In: Key Factors and Ingredients

As already mentioned, the vast majority of people will begin to feel the effects of their pre-workout around 30-45 minutes after taking it. How quickly it impacts you will depend on the dose you took, personal tolerance, and the last time you ate. 

Personal Tolerance

If you have experience with pre workout products or normally consume stimulants in the form of energy drinks or coffee, it may take longer for the effects of pre workout to kick in for you. This is simply because your body is used to the ingredients. 

Dose Size

Logically, if you take a higher dose, you will likely feel the pre workout kick in faster. You should also take in mind the dose in relation to your size. The serving size is meant for the average human, but if you are much larger or smaller than the typical person, the strength of the product will not be the same.

Fasted vs Non-Fasted

The less food you have in your stomach, the faster and harder the pre-workout will kick in. This is because, with no food in your stomach, your body can break down and process the pre-workout as soon as possible. The effects will still not be immediate but there will still be a noticeable difference in timing. Therefore, taking your pre-workout fasted can increase the speed it takes to kick in.

When Should You Take Preworkout?

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

Now that the question of how long does it take for pre-workout to kick in has been answered, we can conclude that the best time to actually take pre-workout is 30-45 minutes before you arrive to the gym. 

I often see many people slam their pre workout right before they workout or drink it throughout their lifting session. This is simply wrong if you really want to get the most out of pre-workout. You will really only begin to the effects towards the back end of your workout if you do it this way. 

What I recommend you do is that you take your pre workout as soon as you leave your house. For most people, by the time they get to the gym and warm up, the effects will just be starting to kick in by their first set. 

Common Pre Workout Ingredients

Typically, you will find the following ingredients in pre workouts:

Caffeine And Other Stimulants

In terms of what you actually “feel”, when taking a preworkout, the majority of the jitters and energy will come from the caffeine and any other stimulants in the product. Typically this will be between the 150mg-300mg range.This is why you see many other athletes such as runners take preworkout as well. If you are already exposed to caffeine through things such as coffee or energy drinks, you may find the feeling of preworkout to be familiar. 

On the other hand, if you have no experience taking caffeine, you will certainly be able to feel the increased energy levels and typical caffeine jitters. 

Pump Ingredients

Within a typical pre-workout, there will be ingredients such as citrulline meant to increase your blood flow so that you get a better pump in the gym. There are debates about whether this actually helps with muscle growth, but it will certainly feel good and make sure you can feel whatever muscle you are working out. 


Creatine is one of the few proven natural supplements that work in terms of building muscle. To save you the hassle of mixing creatine with pre-workout many pre-workouts have begun to include creatine as a result. While it is nice to get all of your supplements in one, the timing aspect of pre-workout does not really matter for creatine. 

It takes some time for creatine to build up in your body, but as long as you are consistently taking the product on a daily basis, the rest does not matter. 

Focus Ingredients

Lastly, we have focus ingredients such as L-Tyrosine or Alpha-GPC that are meant to enhance your alertness and concentration. If you are someone that really likes to get locked in for your workout, these are the ingredients that you will get the most benefit from. 

Final Thoughts

How long pre workout takes to kick in will depend on a number of factors but most people should expect to feel the effects within 45 minutes after taking it. With this in mind, you take your preworkout around 30 minutes before your first set to get the most out of the product. When used correctly, preworkout can dramatically enhance the quality of your workouts.


Can you feel pre-workout instantly?

No the effects will not be instant. It will usually take around 30 minutes to truly feel the effects of your preworkout.

Do you have to wait 30 minutes after taking pre workout?

You do not have to wait, but keep in mind that it takes around 30 minutes for pre-workout to kick in. So if you to get the most out of your product, taking it 30 minutes before your first set would be best.

How long for the pre workout itch to kick in?

If your pre-workout contains beta-alanine, you may feel the itching effects kick in 15 minutes after taking it.

Does pre workout expire?

Yes, pre workout can go bad or expire if you leave it sitting too long. Be sure to check the date on your tub and store it properly.