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.
Can You Take Caffeine-Free Pre Workout At Night?
Caffeine free pre workout supplements are becoming more and more popular these days.
Even the big brands, such as MyProtein and MuscleTech offer them in their product line.
But does the lack of caffeine make it ok to take it in the evening?
Well, it depends…
The first thing you need to consider is what other ingredients are in the pre workout.
Is it just creatine, BCAAs and a few vitamins?
Or are there added nootropics and other stimulants too?
If it’s the latter, then I’d personally avoid taking it in the evening.
While it may not be as damaging to sleep as your standard pre workout, the nootropics and stimulants could result in sub optimal sleep.
Who Can Take Pre Workout At Night?
Like most things in life, there are exceptions to the rule.
In my opinion, only one small group of the population would potentially benefit from taking pre workout at night.
That group being night shift workers.
Well, for obvious reasons, night shift workers have a different sleeping pattern to the rest of us.
So, when they take pre workout at night, the caffeine will have left their system by the time they finish work and go to sleep.
Another reason why I think it’s fine for night shift workers to take pre workout at night is that it may help improve their performance at work.
For example, in a study of 9003 British adults, those who consumed the most caffeine had improved reaction time, verbal memory, and spatial awareness.
Also, some pre workouts contain nootropics such as L-Theanine, which has been shown to improve attention when taken alongside caffeine. (Source)
- 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.
That’s all for taking pre workout at night, but can pre workout cause acne? Or perhaps you’re wondering why pre workout makes you tired?
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.