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How To Use Pre-Workout Safely

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 29, 2023

You've probably heard about pre-workout supplements.

They're all the rage in the fitness world, promising to boost your energy, improve your performance, and help you maximize your workouts.

But how do you take pre-workout properly?

Let's dive in.

How To Take Pre-Workouts Properly: Quick Guide

Pre-workout supplements should be taken 20-30 minutes before your workout, with the serving size varying from 1-3 scoops depending on the specific product.

Always start with a smaller dose to assess your tolerance.

Understanding Pre-Workouts

Pre-workout supplements are designed to help you maximize your training by increasing your energy, focus, and endurance.

They typically contain a blend of ingredients like caffeine, amino acids, and other performance-enhancing substances.

One of the key ingredients in most pre-workout supplements is caffeine.

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can help to increase your energy levels and improve your focus during your workouts.

However, the amount of caffeine in pre-workout supplements can vary widely, so it's important to check the label to ensure you're not taking too much.

According to a study, the average caffeine content in pre-workout supplements is around 254 mg, which is near the low end for an effective relative dose for a 70 kg individual (3–6 mg·kg⁻¹ of bodyweight).

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Pre-Workout Supplements Properly and Safely

Using pre-workout supplements can be a great way to enhance your workout performance.

However, it's important to use them properly to maximize their benefits and minimize potential side effects.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use pre-workout supplements properly and safely.

Step 1: Understand Your Needs

Before you start using a pre-workout supplement, it's important to understand your workout goals and needs. Different pre-workout supplements cater to different needs.

Some are designed to boost energy, while others focus on improving endurance or muscle recovery.

Identify your workout goals and choose a supplement that aligns with them.

Step 2: Check the Ingredient Profile

Look for key ingredients like caffeine, beta-alanine, and citrulline. A study analyzing the top 100 commercially available pre-workout products found that the average caffeine content was around 254 mg, beta-alanine was around 2.0 g, and citrulline was around 4.0 g per serving. However, these amounts can vary widely between products.

Step 3: Consider Your Tolerance

If you're new to pre-workout supplements, start with a lower dosage to assess your body's reaction.

Over half of the respondents in a survey reported experiencing side-effects following MIPS use, including skin reactions, heart abnormalities, and nausea. Therefore, it's crucial to listen to your body and adjust your dosage as needed.

Check out our pre-workout lists sorted by caffeine amounts.

Step 4: Timing is Key

You should take your pre-workout supplement about 20-30 minutes before you start your workout. This gives the supplement time to start working.

Step 5: Stay Hydrated

Pre-workout supplements can increase your sweat rate, so drinking plenty of water is crucial.

Step 6: Rest and Recover

Your muscles need time to repair and grow after a workout, so make sure you're getting enough sleep and taking rest days as needed.

Step 7: Monitor Your Progress and Adjust as Needed

Monitor your progress and adjust your dosage as needed. If you're not seeing the results you want, or if you're experiencing side effects, you may need to adjust your dosage or switch to a different supplement.

You can always take more pre-workout, but you can never take less. 

Remember, pre-workout supplements are designed to supplement a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, not replace them. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Pre-Workout Dos and Don'ts

When it comes to taking pre-workout, there are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind.

  • Do start with a smaller dose to assess your tolerance.
  • Don't take more than the recommended amount.
  • Do drink plenty of water, as pre-workout supplements can be dehydrating.
  • Don't take pre-workout late in the day, as the caffeine can interfere with your sleep.

A study found that over half of the respondents reported experiencing side-effects following MIPS use, including skin reactions, heart abnormalities, and nausea.

Therefore, it's crucial to listen to your body and adjust your dosage as needed.

How to Pick a Pre-Workout Supplement

Choosing the right pre-workout supplement can be a daunting task given the wide variety of options available. Here are a few tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Understand your needs: Different pre-workout supplements cater to different needs. Some are designed to boost energy, while others focus on improving endurance or muscle recovery. Identify your workout goals and choose a supplement that aligns with them
  1. Check the ingredient profile: Look for key ingredients like caffeine, beta-alanine, and citrulline. A study analyzing the top 100 commercially available pre-workout products found that the average caffeine content was around 254 mg, beta-alanine was around 2.0 g, and citrulline was around 4.0 g per serving. However, these amounts can vary widely between products.

  2. Consider your tolerance: If you're new to pre-workout supplements, start with a lower dosage to assess your body's reaction. Over half of the respondents in a survey reported experiencing side-effects following MIPS use, including skin reactions, heart abnormalities, and nausea.

  3. Read reviews: Check out reviews from other users to get a sense of the product's effectiveness and potential side effects.

  4. Use a pre-workout finder tool: Tools like our pre-workout finder can help you find the right supplement based on your specific needs and preferences.

Maximizing the Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

To get the most out of your pre-workout supplement, it's important to combine it with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

  • Workout regularly: Pre-workout supplements can give you a boost, but they won't do the work for you. You still need to put in the effort in the gym.
  • Stay hydrated: Pre-workout supplements can increase your sweat rate, so drinking plenty of water is crucial.
  • Rest and recover: Your muscles need time to repair and grow after a workout, so make sure you're getting enough sleep and taking rest days as needed.

This study found that heavy resistance training for 28 days, with pre- and post-workout supplements, significantly improved body composition and increased muscle mass and performance without abnormally impacting any of the clinical chemistry markers.

FAQ

Q: How long before my workout should I take my pre-workout supplement?
A: You should take your pre-workout supplement about 20-30 minutes before you start your workout. This gives the supplement time to start working.

Q: How much pre-workout supplement should I take?
A: The amount you should take depends on the specific supplement you're using. Some pre-workouts may recommend one scoop, while others may recommend two or three. Always start with a smaller dose to see how your body reacts before increasing the amount.

Q: Can I take more than the recommended amount of pre-workout supplement?
A: No, you should not take more than the recommended amount of your pre-workout supplement. Doing so can lead to unwanted side effects.

Q: Can I take my pre-workout supplement late in the day?
A: It's not recommended to take your pre-workout supplement late in the day as the caffeine can interfere with your sleep.

Q: Can I take my pre-workout supplement with other supplements?
A: Yes, but be mindful of the total amount of each ingredient you consume. For example, if your pre-workout supplement contains caffeine, you may want to avoid taking it with other supplements containing caffeine.

Bottom Line

Pre-workout supplements can be a great tool to enhance your workout performance. However, it's important to understand how to use them properly.

Always check the label for the recommended dosage, start with a smaller dose to assess your tolerance, and avoid taking more than the recommended amount.

Remember, these supplements are designed to supplement a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, not replace them.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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