How Long Does Pre-Workout Stay in Your System? Check 6 Factors

By Jessica Kelley | Health


Most people often consider taking pre-workout supplements to boost their training performance, as these supplements can efficiently increase strength and endurance while reducing fatigue and recovery time.

There are several kinds of pre workout supplements available in the market and the debate on its efficiency, side effects and how long it lasts in your system is endless.

To set the record straight, this article will provide you with information about pre-workout supplements, its effects and duration, and how you can put them to good use.

Pre-Workout Supplements – The Basics


You may often hear about pre-workout supplement as they are commonly used nowadays but you probably do not know what they are and how they can affect your workout performance.

Pre-workout are considered performance enhancing supplements that work through increasing your ability to combat physical resistance and help you achieve your training goals.

Pre-workout supplements contain various active ingredients including stimulants that affect the brain, muscles and overall oxygen distribution throughout the body.

How Well and Long Does a Pre-workout Supplement Work?

Since there are various active ingredients incorporated in pre-workout supplements, let us take the active ingredients one by one and determine how long it works and stays in our system


Creatine. For instance, creatine, a much-touted workout supplement, can enhance your physical performance while significantly reducing post- workout recovery. The length of time it stays in the body is largely determined by your activity level and the dose of the supplement.

The average dose of creatine a person takes in a day is about 1 to 2 tablespoon. Some people split the dose and take half an hour before a workout and an hour afterward. On the other hand, some people take higher dose.

According to experts, however, taking a higher dose will not affect performance levels more than the standard dose. Instead, this will only increase the time creatine remains in your body. A regular dose of this supplement typically stays in the body for about an hour and lesser if the person is highly active.

Beta-alanine. Another essential pre-workout supplement is beta-alanine. This supplement allows for an increase in the level of carnosine in your muscles. The immediate effect of beta alanine is actually short lived. Thus, it is ideal to take the supplement about 30 to 45 minutes before a workout.

Additionally, the supplement’s effects will continue for about an hour and a half to 2 hours before, as the supplement stays in your system. However, this duration can be affected by your activity levels.

Caffeine. Caffeine, a stimulant, is another ingredient that many supplements have. It can boost your energy, increase your heart rate, and improve your overall mood. According to experts, the effects of caffeine can last up to 5 hours after consumption. Its effect of caffeine can reach its peak level within 30 minutes to 60 minutes after it is consumed.

L-arginine. L-arginine is popular pre-workout supplement. This supplement allows the blood vessels to expand enabling your body to exert more energy to your muscles. This supplement takes about an hour and 90 minutes to reach its effectiveness.

Factors that Affect How Long Pre-Workout Supplements Stay in our System

Now that we know that the uses of pre-workout supplements and their efficiency in helping us achieve our training goals, there is another important concept that we should look into, which is the duration of its effect.

1. Quality and Type of the Supplement

Not all pre-workout supplements are created equal. That said, the quality and type of supplement dramatically affect how well a supplement works and how long it stays in our system.

A high quality supplement may stay longer and will work better compared to a low-quality supplement.

 If you are looking forward to getting the all the benefits of a pre-workout supplement, you should consider the quality of the supplement.

While high-quality supplement will have a higher price, you know you are making a worthy investment as you reap all its positive effects.

2. Active Ingredients

Most supplements are incorporated with several active ingredients that provide both long term and short-term effects.

 The active ingredients included in a supplement plays an important role in determining how long and well a supplement works as well.

For instance, the effects of beta-alanine and caffeine last for about 60 to 120 minutes.

On the other hand, ingredients like creatine and nitric oxide provide long-term effects that last for several hours, with increased nutrient absorption and improved blood flow to the muscles.

3. Dosage 


Another factor that can affect the duration of the effects of a supplement is the dosage. That being said, the supplement will most likely stay in your system if you take a higher dose.

However, it is crucial that you do not exceed the recommended dosage of the supplement.

Taking high doses of the supplement beyond its recommended dose may do you more harm than good. It is always essential to mindful of the doses you take.

4. User’s Weight and Muscle Mass

Aside from the supplement, the weight and muscle mass of the user will also affect the duration and effectiveness of the supplement.

 If you have a bulky build and that you weigh over 200 pounds, you probably need to take a higher dose of the supplement for it to work well. If you are thin, a lower dosage may be most appropriate for your needs.

Aside from the supplement, the weight and muscle mass of the user will also affect the duration and effectiveness of the supplement.

 If you have a bulky build and that you weigh over 200 pounds, you probably need to take a higher dose of the supplement for it to work well.

5. Dietary Regimen

A person’s diet while taking the supplement will also affect the effectiveness and the duration of the supplement in the body.

If you overeat and take pre-workout supplement at the same time, the supplement may not be absorbed well.

Thus, it is best to take pre-workout supplements in adjunct to eating a healthy and well-balanced meal.

6. Fatigue and Lifestyle Habits


Pre-workout supplements are made so you can have increased energy to achieve your training goals.
If you feel fatigued, you should not expect good results from taking a supplement, as this can also affect how well and how long it works.

You will not be able to acquire a supplement’s full potential if you take it as a lifestyle crutch. 

While it may still contain ample amounts of active ingredients, if you are not sleeping or eating well, you will not acquire the same quality effects that you would get if you take it with the right diet and ample amounts of sleep.

How to Know if the Supplement You Are Taking Works

It does not take any specialized training to know if a pre-workout supplement works for you.

Pre-workout supplements like caffeine will make you sweat more and improve mental clarity and concentration. If you notice such effects, then you know that the supplement has worked on you.

If your supplement contains beta-alanine, you will know that it works if you feel the ‘pins and needles’ sensation after taking it.

This feeling, which can last for about 30 minutes to 90 minutes, is a common effect of taking beta-alanine containing pre-workout supplement.

Another way to determine if the supplement works for you is to try comparing it with how you feel during a regular training session without taking the supplement.

If you feel significant improvement with how you feel during a training session after taking a pre-workout supplement, then you know that the supplement has worked.

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The Bottom Line

Pre-workout supplements are effective if taken based on the recommended dosage and in conjunction with appropriate lifestyle and diet.

That said, several factors can determine how well it works and how long it will stay in your body.

For most supplements, the energy boost that you get from taking pre-workout supplement can last for about 30 minutes to 90 minutes.

There are also other supplements that work longer for approximately several hours.

Lastly, if you have good lifestyle habits and that you eat and sleep well, you will find that pre-workout supplements can work exceptionally well, improving your physical performance and helping you achieve your training goals.


About the Author

I am Jessica, co-founder of We work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic information. Our goal is to bring up the “Healthy attitude” among people in the world. On you will find high-quality health information, fitness tips, diet charts and answer to all your health queries.