Timing is everything. If you'd left your house just five minutes earlier the person in front of you wouldn't have snagged the last of the vegan maple donuts. A split second later and you (probably) wouldn't have bumped noses with that cute guy you've been crushing on, resulting in the most awkward first kiss ever (#cringe). Heck, just an HOUR of daylight savings throws all of us into deep crisis mode. Whyyy am I so hungry - its only 10am!
So, if timing is everything, it must also come into play when deciding when to take your pre-workout. As the name suggests it's best before working out - but how much before? Let's dig in.
The timing of caffeine
One of the major selling points of many pre-workout supplements is, let's be honest here, the caffeine. Because it amps you up! Stoke level: 1000.
Caffeine is also largely what determines when you should take your-workout for maximum stoking effects. Although studies show that caffeine starts to kick in after only ten minutes, you won't feel its full effects until around minute 45.
Conversely, it's also important to note that the perks of caffeine don't last forever. Caffeine's half-life, or the length of time it lingers in the body, varies from person to person but is roughly around four hours (and can range from three to seven). Half-life is affected by your age, weight, gender, and current medication (to name just a few), and also by the dosage of caffeine, you consume. A higher dosage of caffeine will stay in the body longer.
Given that caffeine's peak isn't until roughly minute 45 after consumption, it would behoove you to take your pre workout at least 45 minutes before getting your sweat on. To be safe, and because who enjoys calculating in 15 minute increments, I'd round up and aim for a full hour before you hit the gym.
Forgot and didn't take it early enough? No sweat (save that for the stair master), you're still going to get the benefits. Caffeine isn't the only pro of taking a pre workout bevvie.
If you've chosen well your pre workout should also contain things like nitric oxide boosting vegetables, electrolytes to combat dehydration, and even adaptogens to encourage a speedy recovery and mitigate stress. So drink up regardless and your energy should stay steady (or increase) as you continue to work it, baby and that caffeine starts to really jive.