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Can You Take Pre Workout Before A Run? Should You?

Published by Kieran
Last Updated on July 28, 2022

Is It A Good Idea To Take Pre-Workouts Before Running?

You can take pre-workouts before a run - the benefits transfer even to a swim or any form of exercise.

The health benefits of pre-workouts for gym sessions could also be useful in running. 

But, should you? Is it a good idea to take pre-workouts before a run?

That's what we'll be discussing in this article and more!

What Are Pre-Workouts?

Basically, pre-workout supplements are designed to help with intense workouts and help you perform better.

They're a blend of energy-giving performance enhancers such as caffeine, nitrates, creatine, amino acids, and many more. 

They're usually taken before exercise to give the body extra energy and are a quick way to boost your performance.

Many use it to make the most of their gym time and even as a performance aid for runners.

Potential Benefits

Aside from a boost in energy levels, pre-workouts are also known to improve muscle endurance, muscle growth, muscle mass, and muscle strength. As well, they can help speed up recovery after exercise. 

They can also help with mental focus, alertness, and mental clarity. 

They can offer many other benefits like weight loss, increase in blood flow, reduced muscle fatigue, and improved metabolism. 

The effects of pre-workouts will vary depending on what ingredients are in the formula, how it's taken, and the individual's condition - among others. 

Potential Side Effects

It's also important to know that pre-workouts can have side effects together with benefits. 

There are two main types of pre-workout supplements: stimulants and non-stimulants.

Stimulants are drugs that stimulate the central nervous system.

Non-stimulants are not drugs; rather, they're natural substances found in plants or meat.

Most of the common side effects of pre-workouts are caused by stimulants.

While stimulants provide energy, they also come with risks.

Some stimulants can cause headaches, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, and even seizures. Other stimulants can lead to dehydration, accelerated heart rate, and rapid breathing.

Caffeine is one of the most common pre-workout ingredients. The benefits of caffeine are an increase in energy, increased alertness, improved concentration, and help reduce fatigue - among many more.

The most common side effect of caffeine is jitteriness. Other side effects include caffeine crashes, heart palpitations, nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

It can also cause feelings of anxiousness, insomnia, headaches, and nervousness.

If taken too much or too often, you can even develop dependency and tolerance.

And that's why you should use pre-workouts should correctly.

That brings us to our main question,

Should You Take Pre-Workout For Running?

If you feel like you need an extra boost of energy before a run, taking pre-workouts is definitely an option to help you get through your running session. 

Pre-workouts will especially help in long-distance runs and intense interval sessions. 

It's best to ask your doctor if it will be your first time using a pre-workout supplement. Keep in mind that there are many natural and non-stimulant alternatives you can try as well. 

Should You Take Pre-Workout Before Each Run?

You should not take pre-workouts on a regular basis and for an extended period of time. It's more of an as-needed supplement.

Regularly taking pre-workouts, especially the stimulant types, will increase body adaptation and may lead to dependence. It means that you may not be able to perform your usual or personal bests unless you take a pre-workout.

You can also develop tolerance, which means the pre-workout will no longer be as effective for you.

So basically, you will need it more and more, but its effect on you will be less and less, which is a big problem. 

To avoid this, don't rely too much on pre-workouts and only take them on the days when you're feeling tired and have to run or when you have a big race coming up and really need that major boost in energy levels.

You can also choose a non-stimulant variety of preworkouts or natural pre-workout alternatives for crash-free energy boosts.

To fix dependency and tolerance, don't take the pre-workout for a while to get your stimulant or caffeine sensitivity level back to normal. 

How Long Does Pre-Workout Effects Last?

There isn't necessarily a magic number when it comes to the length of effects of pre-workouts.

It will depend on various factors like the contents of the pre-workout, body type, and your sensitivity to them - among others.

Most of the contents in pre-workouts take 30 to 60 minutes to reach peak levels in your blood, and their benefits can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.

How Do You Know If It's for You?

Pre-workouts could benefit you if you think you have the right gears and equipment, motivation, and plan in place and still find yourself struggling with training gains. It could give you the boost you need to reach your fitness goals. 

But, like any health product, it's important to do your research before even buying pre-workout supplements.

If you find something you're really interested in, asking a registered dietician if it's okay for you to try it out is the best course of action. You can also ask other experts about it, like the pharmacist or seller you're buying it from. 

Aside from health safety concerns, you also need to get the one that you actually need. There are tons of brands and formulas around, and you may need a specific one to help with your issues. 

Keep in mind that you can also get a lot of the benefits of pre-workout supplements from natural products and even food. Who knows, maybe the perfect combination of a balanced diet menu and water bottle is all you need. 

"Pre-workouts" for optimal performance don't have to be a manufactured commercial pre-workout supplement.

Final Words

With its rise in popularity, pre-workout supplements aren't just for professional athletes or professional body builders anymore.

Remember, make sure to do your research and even experiment first to see what works for you.

Hope this article helped you. See you in another one!

About the author
Published by Kieran
A star athlete during his school days, Kieran quickly excelled at sports and in particular; football. Kieran's true passion lies in home exercise equipment, and so was was built as a source for all of Kieran's thoughts to be put down on a medium. Here he guides you through various nuances of working out at home, tips, guides, reviews and more.The only other thing Kieran enjoys more than working out, is writing about it.
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