If you’re thinking about taking pre workout at night, then you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we discuss why you should generally avoid taking pre workout at night, who should take pre workout at night, the latest time to take pre workout and much more.
Can You Take Pre Workout At Night?
Since most pre workout supplements contain stimulants like caffeine, you should generally avoid taking pre workout at night as it can disrupt your sleep quality.
That being said, there are some pre workout supplements which are stimulant-free, and you should be able to take these at night with minimal issues.
If you’re planning on taking pre workout at night, check the ingredients to ensure there’s nothing in there which would keep you awake.
Will Pre Workout Keep You Awake?
Again, this depends on the ingredients of your pre workout supplement.
If your pre workout contains caffeine, then there’s a good chance that it’ll keep you awake if you take it at night.
In one study, subjects took either 400mg of caffeine or a placebo at different times of the day.
Some took it when going to bed, others took it 3 hours before going to bed, and the rest took it 6 hours going to bed.
The results showed that all the subjects who took caffeine had significant sleep disturbance.
It’s generally recommended that you avoid any form of caffeine after 3pm if you don’t want to be kept awake.
That being said, if you take a stimulant-free pre workout, it’s unlikely to keep you awake.
As always, double check the ingredients label of your pre workout supplement and ensure it contains no stimulants if you don’t want to experience insomnia after taking pre workout.
What’s The Latest Time To Take Pre Workout?
If I can’t take pre workout in the evening, then when’s the latest time I can take it? I hear you ask.
Well, if you value your sleep (which you should!), then I’d take it based off your bedtime.
For example, if you go to sleep at 10pm, then the latest I would take it is 8 hours before your sleep, so 2pm.
If your bedtime is 11:30pm, then the latest I would take it is 3:30pm.
Why would I take it at least 8 hours before going to sleep?
Well, research shows that the half-life of caffeine is around 4 hours.
In other words, it takes around 4 hours for your body to metabolize half of the caffeine consumed.
So after 8 hours, your body should have processed most of the caffeine.
To be super clear, this means if you take pre workout at 2pm, then your body will have used up the caffeine by 10pm.
Can You Take Pre Workout Before Night Workouts?
In my eyes, this is a firm no.
There’s a strong trade-off here between energy for your workout and sleep quality.
By taking pre workout for your night workout, you’ll feel more energized however your sleep quality will reduce based on the reasons outlined in this article.
Sleep quality is so, so important when it comes to recovery, muscle growth, and all that good stuff.
So it’s just not worthwhile risking all of that for a boost of energy for your workout.
The Effects Of Pre Workout On Sleep
If you’re considering taking pre workout at night, you may be wondering how it will affect your sleep.
After all, a good night’s rest is essential for muscle recovery and growth, and insufficient sleep can lead to a variety of health issues.
Here are some of the effects that pre workout may have on your sleep:
Difficulty Falling Asleep
Pre workout supplements often contain stimulants like caffeine that can keep you awake for hours.
If you take pre workout too close to bedtime, you may find it hard to fall asleep, and this can impact the quality of your sleep.
Even if you manage to fall asleep after taking pre workout, you may experience sleep interruptions throughout the night.
This is because the stimulants in pre workout can cause you to wake up frequently or have vivid dreams that disrupt your sleep.
Decreased Sleep Quality
In addition to causing interruptions, pre workout can also affect the overall quality of your sleep.
Studies have shown that caffeine intake close to bedtime can lead to lighter and less restorative sleep, which means you may wake up feeling groggy and tired.
Delayed Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is the natural sleep-wake cycle that regulates your body’s internal clock.
Taking pre workout at night can disrupt this cycle and delay your sleep onset, making it harder for you to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.
This can lead to a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and caffeine dependence.
Pre Workout Ingredients To Watch Out For At Night
When it comes to taking a pre workout in the evening, some ingredients can have a negative impact on your sleep quality.
Here are some ingredients to watch out for:
Caffeine is a common ingredient in pre workouts that can interfere with your sleep if taken too close to bedtime.
It’s a stimulant that can increase alertness and energy, making it difficult to fall asleep.
If you choose to take a pre workout at night, look for one that is caffeine-free or contains a low amount of caffeine.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that’s often included in pre workouts to improve athletic performance.
However, it can cause a tingling sensation and increase heart rate, which may interfere with sleep.
If you’re sensitive to beta-alanine, it’s best to avoid pre workouts that contain this ingredient.
Creatine is a popular supplement for improving muscle strength and endurance.
While it’s safe to take at any time of day, some people have reported experiencing stomach discomfort and bloating when taking it before bedtime.
If you experience these symptoms, it may be best to take creatine earlier in the day.
Yohimbine is a natural stimulant that’s sometimes included in pre workout supplements.
It’s known for its ability to increase energy and boost weight loss.
But it can also cause anxiety and restlessness, making it difficult to fall asleep.
If you choose to take a pre workout at night, look for one that does not contain yohimbine.
Other stimulants that may be included in pre workouts include synephrine, hordenine, and huperzine A.
These ingredients can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and alertness, which can make it hard to fall asleep.
If you’re looking for a pre workout to take at night, it’s best to choose one that doesn’t contain these stimulants.
Alternatives To Pre Workout At Night
If you’re looking for ways to boost your energy for a night time workout without resorting to pre workout supplements, here are some alternatives to consider:
1. Caffeine-free options
Instead of pre workout supplements that are loaded with caffeine, try looking for caffeine-free options.
2. Natural sources of energy
Consider getting your energy from natural sources like food.
Eating a light snack before your workout can help give you the energy you need without disrupting your sleep.
Foods high in carbohydrates, like bananas or oatmeal, can give you the energy boost you need for your workout.
3. Timing your meals
Eating a full meal before your workout can make you feel sluggish and uncomfortable, especially if you’re working out at night.
Instead, try timing your meals so that you have a light snack or meal a few hours before your workout.
Drinking water before and during your workout can help keep you hydrated and energized without disrupting your sleep.
Aim to drink at least 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before your workout, and continue to sip water throughout your workout to stay hydrated.
5. Adequate sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your overall health and fitness.
If you’re finding that you’re constantly tired during your night time workouts, it may be time to re-evaluate your sleep habits.
Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bed to help improve your sleep quality.
- If your pre workout contains caffeine, you should avoid taking it at night.
- Stimulant-free pre workout supplements are fine to take at night and are unlikely to affect your sleep quality.
- You should generally avoid taking pre workout after 3pm.
Hope this helped!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.