Can Pre-Workout Supplements Help You Run Faster?

Can pre-workout supplements help improve your running performance? We take a look at the science to find out.


Pre-workout supplements, such as protein powders and energy drinks, are becoming more popular amongst runners of all levels as they try to get the most out of their workouts. Pre-workout supplements are designed to give athletes the energy and nutrients they need to work out harder and longer, while providing a boost in performance. This article will discuss whether pre-workout supplements can help you run faster.

We will cover topics such as the types of pre-workout supplements that are available, their ingredients and benefits, and scientifically backed evidence on whether they can help improve running performance. We will also provide practical tips on how to safely use pre-workout supplements while running. We hope this article provides you with details that can help you make an informed decision about using pre-workout supplementation for your running training and race preparation.

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements can help give you an extra boost of energy and help you power through a difficult training session. They can also help your body recover more quickly and can help you build muscle faster. But what other benefits can you get from taking pre-workout supplements? Let’s look at some of the potential benefits of incorporating pre-workout supplements into your training routine.

Improved Athletic Performance

The use of pre-workout supplements has been linked to improved athletic performance in a variety of activities. Research conducted on athletes taking pre-workout supplements has shown an increase in overall strength and performance, higher muscular endurance during workouts, and quicker muscle recovery after working out. This can lead to increased work capacity and faster progress towards specific end goals — such as running faster or further.

When looking for a product, first consider your current activity level and objectives. Do you want to improve your performance in a particular type of sport? Are you hoping to reduce fatigue during workouts? These factors should help determine which pre-workout supplement will best suit your needs.

Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you an edge during intense aerobic exercise — such as running, biking or HIIT sessions. Depending on the product you select, they can offer the following benefits:
-Increased muscle power output
-Improved alertness and concentration
-Enhanced oxygen delivery
-Reduced fatigue during extended periods of exercise
-Increased endurance levels
It is also important to be aware of potential side effects associated with certain ingredients in pre-workout supplements. Make sure you carefully read labels and only use products that list natural ingredients so that your body gets the benefits without any added harm.

Increased Energy and Focus

Pre-workout supplements can be very helpful in increasing your energy and focus before a workout. These supplements typically contain nutrients, such as amino acids, antioxidants, and caffeine, that are designed to provide your body with the energy it needs for a high-intensity workout. They can help give you an extra boost of energy so you can focus on completing your training session or race at the highest level. Additionally, pre-workout supplements can also give you increased motivation so that you are more motivated to push yourself to reach your goals. Many athletes use pre-workout supplements to ensure they optimize their performance each and every time they train. Moreover, many of these supplements include ingredients that enhance muscle building and improve recovery after workouts, which could further improve performance over time.

Improved Muscle Strength and Endurance

When you work out or engage in any kind of physical activity, muscle fatigue is a common problem. This is where pre-workout supplements come in. They can provide your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to push through tough workouts and help you reach your fitness goals faster. The main active ingredients found in pre-workouts are caffeine, creatine and beta-alanine, which all have been studied for their effects on improving muscle strength and endurance.

Caffeine helps promote the release of endorphins while simultaneously boosting the central nervous system, making it easier to handle more intense workouts without experiencing fatigue quickly. Additionally, research has shown that supplementing with caffeine before exercise may result in higher power output during heavy resistance exercise as well as improved performance during running intervals.

Creatine increases the production of ATP (energy currency) inside cells, allowing them to contract harder and longer without becoming fatigued. It also draws more water into muscle cells, promoting rehydration on a cellular level that further enhances performance. As such, creatine supplementation has been linked to better muscular strength and endurance during high-intensity interval training and other demanding forms of exercise.

Finally, beta-alanine works by increasing carnosine levels inside muscles which boost their buffering capacity against acid buildup caused by lactic acid production during intense activity; this delay of acidic build up significantly reduces fatigue so that you can workout longer and harder than usual without feeling tired or strained too early on in a workout session. Together with caffeine and creatine, beta alanine improves muscular strength gains from exercise as well as lactate threshold or generally referred to as aerobic endurance capabilities.*

Potential Side Effects

Pre-workout supplements, like other dietary supplements, can have potential side effects. However, it is important to note that these effects vary depending on the individual and the specific supplement they are using. Some of the most common side effects associated with pre-workout supplements include nausea, headaches, dizziness and dehydration. Let’s dig deeper into the potential side effects of these supplements.


Dehydration is a major potential side effect of taking pre-workout supplements. Most pre-workout mix contains large amounts of caffeine, which is a diuretic and can cause your body to produce more urine than usual. This can lead to dehydration if you are not drinking enough fluids before and during your workout. Additionally, prolonged dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, lightheadedness and dizziness, headache and decreased performance. It’s important to drink plenty of water while taking pre-workout supplements to stay hydrated—typically at least 8–10 glasses per day.

Nausea and Cramping

When taking pre-workout supplements, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. Nausea and cramping can occur due to the ingredients found in various pre-workout supplements. These include caffeine, creatine, and B-vitamins which may cause tummy upsets or GI discomfort in some individuals. Caffeine and other stimulants may also cause heart issues if taken in large and frequent doses.

For those that experience nausea or cramping due to their pre-workout supplement intake, it is important to reduce or eliminate the amount of pre-workout consumed in order to avoid these unpleasant effects from occurring. Also, some of the ingredients included in pre-workouts such as arginine and beta alanine can cause a tingling sensation known as “paresthesia” on the skin in rare cases. It is best for those with sensitivities to these compounds not to take them at all or take them with reduced dosage amounts.


Headaches are one of the most common side effects associated with pre-workout supplements. Pre-workouts often contain stimulants like caffeine which can cause the vessels in your brain to constrict, leading to headaches. Other stimulants like guarana, green tea extract and bitter orange can also lead to headaches. If you experience this symptom, try drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive use of pre-workouts. You can also try reducing your dosage or avoiding the use altogether–headaches are not a sign that supplementation is necessary for faster running performance. In some cases, taking pain relievers may help reduce headache severity and frequency, but if this does not resolve symptoms it is best to stop using pre-workouts completely and talk with your doctor about other options.

Types of Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular among runners who are looking to improve their performance. There are a variety of different types of pre-workout supplements available, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. This section will go over the different types of pre-workout supplements and their benefits and drawbacks so that you can make an informed decision.


Caffeine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements due to its ability to increase alertness, reduce fatigue and improve mental focus. Studies have shown that it can increase aerobic performance, including running, as well as improve reaction time, endurance and maximal power output. Most pre-workout supplements contain caffeine in the form of either powder or pills, but it can also be taken as a beverage such as coffee or energy drinks. It’s important to note that caffeine is not suitable for everyone and should be used in moderation; excessive amounts may lead to nervousness or jitters, disturbed sleeping patterns and digestive problems.


Creatine is a type of pre-workout supplement that has been studied extensively and proven to improve physical performance in both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It is the most popular supplement among athletes, since it is known for boosting the production of energy in cells, allowing them to regenerate quickly. When used as a pre-workout supplement, creatine increases skeletal muscle phosphocreatine stores which can supply energy to working muscles. It also helps reduce fatigue and facilitate muscle recovery. As a result, an athlete may be able to push themselves harder during their workouts than they could normally manage without supplementation. It is recommended that those considering taking creatine begin with a loading dose of 10-20 g per day before dialing back to an ongoing maintenance dose of 3-5 g per day.


Beta-alanine is an increasingly popular pre-workout supplement that has been been proven to boost muscle endurance, reduce fatigue and improve performance. Its main function is to increase carnosine levels in the body. Carnosine helps buffer acidic waste products in your muscles, allowing them to work harder for longer periods of time without feeling exhausted.

Most beta-alanine research shows it works best when used over a period of four weeks or more. Beta-alanine results are not immediate, rather they accumulate over time as you continually put your muscles through work. Ultimately your muscles will become more resistant to fatigue as they become better adapted to hard physical activity.

Beta-alanine is most often used in combination with other beneficial supplements like branched chain amino acids and peptides along with electrolyte replacement drinks. It can be taken on an empty stomach in either capsule or powder form and is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in reasonable doses. Doses of 1-4 grams daily are typically suggested for optimal results during exercise, but different amounts may need to be adjusted based on individual body weight and response.

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is a combination of the amino acid L-citrulline with malic acid, a compound found in fruits like apples and oranges. This combination has been shown to improve performance during both endurance and resistance exercise. Studies also suggest that it may be effective at increasing running speed, reduce muscle fatigue and enhance oxygen uptake when taken before a workout.

Citrulline malate is best taken prior to exercise, about 15-30 minutes before your planned run. The amount of citrulline malate contained in pre-workout supplements can range from 2 to 10 grams per serving, so check the label for dosage information. Citrulline malate may interact with blood pressure medications, diuretics and other medicines, so make sure you check with your doctor before taking any pre-workout supplements containing citrulline malate or similar ingredients.

How to Take Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular for athletes who are looking for a boost when it comes to their performance. Taking a pre-workout supplement can help improve energy, focus, and endurance during a workout, which can in turn help you run faster. But with so many pre-workout supplements on the market, it can be tricky to know which one to choose and how to take it. In this article, we will discuss the different types of pre-workout supplements, their benefits, and the best way to take them for the best results.

Read the Label

Before taking any pre-workout supplement, make sure to read the label carefully. This will help make sure that you are getting the specific nutrients that your body needs for optimal performance during your run. It is important to pay special attention to the suggested dosage and ingredients on the label, and speak with a doctor before taking any new supplements if you have any underlying medical conditions or are pregnant or nursing.

Also be aware of the potential dangers of overconsumption. When taking pre-workouts, it is typically recommended that you start with a low dose to gauge your personal tolerance, gradually increasing as necessary. Keep in mind that higher doses can lead to caffeine jitters and other unpleasant side effects such as abdominal cramps or an increased heart rate. Always follow good hydration practices when taking pre-workout supplements and never exceed more than two servings per day unless recommended by a doctor or nutritionist.

Start with a Low Dose

When taking pre-workout supplements, it is important to start with a low dose to gauge your body’s reaction. Typical pre-workout supplements contain some form of caffeine, often in combination with other ingredients like green tea extract or guarana. As such, it is wise to start with a lower dose than advised for optimal performance. This will help you avoid any unwanted side effects that may occur when taking too high of a dose.

For minors or those who are unfamiliar with the effects of specific ingredients, start by consuming half the recommended dosage and work up from there depending on how you feel and how effective the supplement is for you. Caffeine sensitivities can vary from person to person as well as by age and weight, further reinforcing the importance of starting slow.

It’s also important to pay close attention to the safety information provided on your chosen product’s labels so that you can properly understand any potential risks — particularly if you are unfamiliar with the components found in such products. Pre-workout supplements have been designed to be convenient and allow users to maximize their workout performance for optimal results; however, understanding how much of each ingredient is beneficial for your body comes down to trial and error in order for you to find what works best for you!

Take with Water

When taking pre-workout supplements, it is important to correctly follow the directions on the product packaging. Generally, pre-workout formulations should be taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water or other fluid. This helps to ensure that your body can absorb the supplement ingredients and make them available for use before your workout.

It is also important to wait some time after taking a pre-workout supplement before beginning your workout so that it has time to take effect in your body. Each product varies in terms of how much time this will take, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. Additionally, do not exceed recommended dosage levels as this could have serious adverse effects on your health.


In conclusion, the use of pre-workout supplements may help you to run faster and increase performance during your workouts. However, it is important to note that in order for these supplements to be effective, they should only be taken after proper consultation from a nutritionist or physician. Furthermore, all pre-workout supplement products should also be obtained from a reliable source in order for them to guarantee safety and benefits.

It is also worth remembering that running faster does take dedication and practice; pre-workout supplements are not a quick fix for increased speed. Therefore, consistent training with proper nutrition and rest must also be taken into account when attempting to reach goals of running at higher speeds.

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