Should You Take Pre-Workout Before Running? A Detailed Guide

Welcome runners! Do you want to increase energy and endurance during your runs? Have you ever wondered should you take pre-workout before running? Pre-workout supplements are beneficial for boosting performance before physical exercise.

If you’ve been wondering if pre-workout supplements can help you out on a run, this blog post will provide all the information that you need. Learn about all of the advantages and potential risks associated with taking pre-workout supplements before running.

Get ready to take your running up a notch. It’s time to explore the world of pre-workout supplements!

Is It A Good Idea To Take Pre-Workout Before A Run?

Pre-workout supplements are designed to give athletes an extra boost before they work out. They have a combination of stimulants, antioxidants, and amino acids that improve energy levels, endurance, and performance. Potential side effects from using pre-workout supplements include increased heart rate, dehydration, and gastrointestinal issues.

What Is A Pre-Workout Supplement And How Does It Help Runners?

Pre-workout supplements are a type of dietary supplement specifically designed to give athletes an extra boost for a good workout. They usually contain a combination of stimulants (such as caffeine and taurine), antioxidants, and amino acids that improve energy levels, endurance, and performance.

Pre-workout supplements also often contain ingredients designed to promote muscle growth and recovery after training. Although most people associate them with working out at the gym, pre-workout supplements can also be used by runners who want to increase their speed or stamina prior to running sessions.

Man taking pre-workout supplements before going for a run

Pre-workout supplements contain a blend of ingredients that can give your workouts an extra boost. These formulas commonly include:

  • Caffeine
  • B vitamins
  • Electrolytes
  • Carbohydrates (such as maltodextrin or dextrose)
  • Citrulline malate
  • L-tyrosine
  • Beta-alanine
  • Taurine

These elements all have their own specific health benefits related to physical activity.

Do Pre-Workout Supplements Help With Running?

Pre-workout supplements help runners get more endurance during their training and may help with post-run recovery if they contain amino acids. When can you run after taking pre-workout? Generally, pre-workouts help with running if taken 30-40 minutes before a run.

However, it is strongly recommended for runners to do a preliminary warm-up before going out for their run in order to reap the maximum benefits and prevent any potential injuries. This can include stretching or light running.

Warm-ups increase blood flow to your muscles, which help them contract faster and with more force when beginning your actual workout. This process can improve the pre-workout supplement’s effects.

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Safe Before Training?

Generally speaking, most FDA-approved supplements are safe to use, or have minor side effects if overused. However, it is recommended that those who are considering taking pre-workout supplements should consult with a healthcare professional beforehand. This is especially relevant if they have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Some products may provide temporary boosts in energy and endurance when taken prior to running sessions. However, these effects can be limited in comparison to proper nutrition and hydration. Moreover, some supplement manufacturers do not have FDA approval for their products.

A female runner is doing a warm-up before going out for her run

3 Benefits Of Pre-Workout Supplements Before Running

Want to discover the main benefits of pre-workout supplements for runners? Here are the 3 main advantages.

1. Increased Energy and Focus

Pre-workout supplements provide runners with an extra boost of energy and focus before tackling their running workouts. Caffeine helps increase mental alertness, concentration, and pain tolerance, while the B vitamins are necessary for proper energy metabolism.

2. Improved Endurance and Performance

Pre-workout supplements are usually taken 45 minutes to an hour prior to a run. They offer increased performance and reduced perception of effort while out on the track or trail. Taurine and beta-alanine can both help reduce physical fatigue, allowing you to better tolerate intense workouts for longer periods of time.

3. Enhanced Muscle Recovery

Pre-workout supplements can be an effective tool for runners looking to enhance muscle efficiency and faster recovery. This is thanks to the special ingredients, such as beta-alanine, creatine, caffeine, and B vitamins (all of which are known to help reduce fatigue during exercise and enhance recovery afterward).

For example, beta-alanine is a building block for carnosine, which helps lower fatigue in muscles used while sprinting or running short distances in training sessions. Creatine has been shown to increase energy levels, giving you added power on your shorter runs or hard workouts by providing more ATP (the body’s fuel source) faster.

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Disadvantages of Pre-Workout Supplement Use Before Running

Although there are many benefits of taking pre-workout supplements before a running session, it is important to note the potential side effects and risk factors associated with using these supplements.

1. Potential Side Effects

Using pre-workout supplements as a runner can come with several potential side effects, many of which are linked to the stimulants contained in these supplements. These include jitters, anxiousness, and sleep issues, such as insomnia.

More serious but rare side effects may also occur from long-term usage and involve impacts on heart health, liver function, and mental well-being. Take caution when deciding how often to use pre-workout supplements during running sessions.

2. Dependency and Tolerance

Taking pre-workout supplements regularly can lead to increased tolerance, reduced effectiveness of the product, the need for increased doses in order to achieve desired effects, and even addiction.

icon run

Pro Tip:

If you do decide to use pre-workout supplements before your run, it is probably best not to take them every day. Furthermore, look out for warning signs and make sure you keep track of exactly what kind of supplement you’re consuming so as not to fall into a dependency cycle.

3. Potential Negative Impact on Sleep

Pre-workout supplements often contain stimulants, which can have a negative impact on sleep quality. Consuming pre-workout supplements too close to bedtime may disrupt your natural circadian rhythms and increase the time it takes for you to fall asleep once you get into bed.

Increased heart rate, nausea, insomnia, and other symptoms of nervousness can all be potential side effects of using these pre-workout supplements before running. Caffeine, in particular, is very stimulating, and taking too much of it has been known to cause restlessness when trying to go to sleep.

How to Choose a Pre-Workout Supplement for Runners?

When selecting a pre-workout supplement, always look at the ingredients to ensure it contains what you need for the best possible performance when running. You can choose gel sticks, drinks, powders, bars, or tablets, depending on your preferences.

Pre-workout supplemen for the best possible performance when running

Look for ingredients such as beta-alanine, caffeine, B vitamins, electrolytes, carbohydrates, citrulline malate, L-tyrosine, taurine, and betaine, as they support increased energy and focus in athletes.

Wondering when to take pre-workout before a run? Timing is important when taking pre-workout supplements. It’s generally recommended to consume them 30-60 minutes before a run to get the full effect.

Should You Use Pre-Workout Supplements Before Every Run or Workout?

Pre-workout supplements should be taken only before intense activities or runs lasting more than an hour, as the side effects may outweigh the potential benefits if consumed repeatedly without proper breaks and rest.

The safety of using pre-workout supplements before running is an important consideration for many endurance athletes. It is recommended to consult with a doctor prior to use if there are any concerns about potential side effects or other health risks.

It is also highly recommended that you stick to the suggested dose as specified on the label when taking pre-workout supplements before running or working out.

It can even be a good idea to start with a half dose. This helps assess your tolerance and avoids any unpleasant side effects caused by taking too much of a supplement at once.

3 Best Pre-Workouts for Runners

Here are 3 of the best pre-workout options available for runners.

Top Pick

Cellucor C4 Energy Drink, STARBURST Strawberry

Cellucor C4 Energy Drink

Cellucor C4 pre-workout for running is a performance drink specially designed for runners. It offers great benefits to help you get the most out of your running sessions. In addition, it doesn’t contain any artificial colors or dyes, so it won’t leave a weird aftertaste.


  • Provides a quick energy boost.
  • Convenient and easy to consume on the go.
  • Contains various vitamins and amino acids.


  • Not suitable for those sensitive to caffeine.
Cellucor C4 Energy Drink, STARBURST Strawberry

Best Pre-Workout

Pre Kaged Athletic Sport Pre Workout Powder

Pre-Kaged Sport Powder

Kaged Muscle is an advanced pre-workout supplement designed to help runners improve energy, focus, hydration, and endurance. This plant-based pre-workout powder provides natural energy from organic caffeine and plant-based citrulline in a refreshing mango lime flavor


  • Provides energy and endurance for workouts.
  • Contains key ingredients for muscle support and recovery.
  • May enhance focus and mental alertness.


  • Can be relatively expensive compared to other pre-workout supplements.
Pre Kaged Athletic Sport Pre Workout Powder

Best Energy Supplement

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Pre Workout Powder

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout Powder

Cellucor C4 powder is designed to give runners that extra boost they need for a successful running session. It is sugar-free, with a potent 300 mg dose of caffeine, perfect for advanced pre-workout supplement users who need something more powerful than traditional formulas.


  • High-intensity energy for intense workouts.
  • Contains various performance-boosting ingredients.
  • Enhances focus and mental clarity.
  • May improve workout endurance.


  • Pricey compared to some other pre-workout options.
  • High caffeine content.
Cellucor C4 Ultimate Pre Workout Powder

Frequently Asked Questions About Pre-Run Supplements

What Should I Drink Before Running?

Hydration is key for runners, and consuming the right pre-run drink can provide an added edge in performance. To get the most out of a run, you should look for pre-run drinks with caffeine, as it provides alertness and mental focus during exercise sessions, while also delaying fatigue.

Are Pre-Workout Supplements OK to Take Before Cardio?

Pre-workout supplements are specially formulated to provide an energy boost, increased focus, and endurance before a run or other cardio workout session. Taking pre-workout supplements before running can be beneficial when used correctly, but should not be taken for every run or workout session due to potential side effects if over-consumed.

Final Thoughts on Pre-Workout for Running

Pre-workout supplements can be useful for runners looking to enhance their performance and push themselves further, but there are certain risks and precautions that should always be considered.

Ingredients featured in many pre-workout supplements can provide an energy boost, which improves focus and reduces fatigue. However, these ingredients may cause mild side effects or interact with other medications, so it’s important to check the label before consuming.

It’s also essential to experiment with different products until you find one that works best for you. What works well for one person may not work at all for another! Finally, be sure to consult a healthcare professional before changing your running routine by incorporating pre-workout supplements.

Have you ever tried any pre-workout supplements before running? Please share your results in the comments below.

Also Read:


  1. Martinez N, et al. The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 Jul 16;13:29 https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-016-0138-7
  2. Wax B, et al. Creatine for Exercise and Sports Performance, with Recovery Considerations for Healthy Populations. Nutrients. 2021;13(6):1915 https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/6/1915
  3. Beta-Alanine https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/
  4. Jagim AR, et al. Common Habits, Adverse Events, and Opinions Regarding Pre-Workout Supplement Use Among Regular Consumers. Nutrients. 2019;11(4):855 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520716/
  5. Woo SM, et al. Herbal and dietary supplement induced liver injury: Highlights from the recent literature. World J Hepatol. 2021;13(9):1019-1041 https://www.wjgnet.com/1948-5182/full/v13/i9/1019.htm
  6. Vitamins and Minerals Involved in Energy Metabolism https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/nutritionscience/chapter/9e-energy-metabolism-vitamins-minerals

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