Why Your Pre-Workout Doesn't Work For You

by Nader Qudimat
Updated February 15, 2023

Is your pre-workout not working for you?

It may have once been effective but now you can probably fall asleep after drinking it.

Here's why your pre-workout may not be working for you...

Caffeine Tolerance

The first but most common cause of your pre-workout not working is your high tolerance to caffeine. 

Caffeine can increase energy by reducing the enzyme that makes you feel tired, and that's adenosine. 

That's why once you stop using caffeine, you'll feel tremendously tired. 

You may resort to increasing your serving size or finding a stronger pre-workout to try to experience the same effect.

Avoiding a tolerance build-up means you'll need to strategize when you take your pre-workout and how much of it. 

You're Taking It On a Full Stomach

Trying to exercise while on a full stomach is difficult. 

If you're taking your pre-workout on a full stomach then the ingredients will take much longer to absorb. 

With an empty stomach, pre-workout will hit faster and harder and you'll be ensuring that you're absorbing as much as possible from your pre-workout. do not save

Your Pre Workout Is Underdosed 

Your pre-workout may contain effective ingredients that are dosed below their recommended dosages. 

Pre-workout ingredients should meet the minimum dosages for them to be effective. 

If they are not, you should go with another pre-workout with a full label.

Are Pre-Workouts Always Effective?

Pre-workouts generally always have an effect and they'll be effective. 

However, there are some ingredients that can build tolerance like stimulants such as caffeine. 

Limiting the number of times you use your pre-workout can help maximize its effects of it. 

So having one strong pre-workout for the hardest workouts and then having a weaker pre-workout for workouts that don't require high effort. 

Almost every supplement should be cycled every once in a while, whether it's done every 4 weeks or every 12 weeks depending on what it is. 

Generally, stimulants should be cycled or reduced for one week for every 4-8 weeks of usage. 

If it isn't an option, then use it when needed and at the minimum, the dose will keep your pre-workout effective. 

How Often Should You Use Pre-Workouts To Keep It Working?

The less frequently you use your pre-workout, the more effective it'll be. 

If you use it on a regular basis, it'll be much less effective. 

A cup of coffee may feel like it gives you energy but after a week or so of using it, it'll feel like you need much more coffee to feel its benefits again. 

So it's a good idea to either have two pre-workouts, one being something you can use almost on a daily basis while the other is a little stronger. 

Or you can use your pre-workout when you really need it, like once or twice a week while not using anything for the workouts. 

Will My Pre-Workout Keep Working?

If you use it as it was designed, then there's no reason why it wouldn't keep working.

To ensure your pre-workout keeps working, we recommend the following:

  • Multiple Pre-Workouts (if coffee isn't an option)
  • Recovery (don't try to workout at 100% effort all the time)
  • Magnesium (will help with better sleep and recovery)
  • Empty stomach (pre-workouts are made to be absorbed on an empty stomach)

If you're taking your pre-workout on a full stomach then the ingredients will take much longer to absorb. 

With an empty stomach, pre-workout will hit faster and harder and you'll be ensuring that you're absorbing as much as possible from your pre-workout. 

What Should I Do If My Pre-Workout Stops Working?

If your pre-workout stops working or at least it feels like it's losing effectiveness, consider taking a break.

Using your pre-workout less frequently may be hard so sometimes the only option may be to take a complete one to two weeks off from using pre-workouts.

If you want to avoid resorting to taking a break from your pre-workout then try using as minimal as possible. 

This may mean having an extra pre-workout where the stimulants are dosed much lower than what you would normally consume. 

If you wait too long after consuming your pre-workout to actually start working out, then it may be less effective. 

Your pre-workout will also hit much harder if it's on an empty stomach.

How to Ensure Pre-Workout Keeps Working? 

If you want to ensure your pre-workout keeps working, then make sure you recover and plan out your workouts. 

With a properly planned and structured program, you won't be pushing yourself beyond your limits all the time. 

And when you don't need to push yourself, try to take the bare minimum for a pre-workout or reduce the serving size. 

How Long Does It Take For My Pre-Workout To Work?

If you're using a stimulant-based pre-workout then it'll take 30-60 minutes to fully kick in.

If it's a non-stimulant, it'll still take 30-60 minutes but you may not feel the energy effects because it won't be as strong as a stimulant-based pre-workout. 

Stimulants in pre-workouts are generally what people feel the most, but just because you don't feel the effects of the other ingredients, doesn't mean it's not working. 

Some ingredients like beta-alanine or creatine, take weeks to fully saturate your muscles.

Why Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts Are Not Working?

Non-stimulant pre-workouts do work but not in the same way that stimulant-based pre-workouts would.

The energy behind non-stimulant pre-workouts is subtle but is still beneficial for physical and mental performance. 

What to Look For In Pre-Workouts

Pre-workouts can have all the ingredients in the world, but if it doesn't have the proper clinical dosages, then it is as useful as a glass of water. 

The first sign of a pre-workout that isn't a good choice is it has a proprietary blend. 

This means that there are ingredients, or the entire blend is included under unknown dosages.

While the pre-workout can still be good, there isn't any reason why a company needs to hide dosages as the proper dosages are not a secret to the public. 

In fact, most pre-workouts contain ingredients that have been proven to be effective by scientific research.  

Final Words

There can be a number of reasons why a pre-workout wouldn't be effective or it may not work for you. 

Tolerance is one of the most common reasons, as a pre-workout may naturally be less effective the more you use it. 

Try ensuring you're getting proper recovery, good sleep, and then try using your pre-workout on an empty stomach. 

If it doesn't work as it once did or it simply isn't effective, try looking at other options like the ones found here. 

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by the iron and cold steel, Nader takes his knowledge and hulks it up into this site.

Having to be stuck as a 110lb skinny guy in the early days, he has had no choice but to keep improving himself until he cannot.

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

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