Should You Take Pre-Workout Before Cardio? (Is It Important?)

Are you tired of the same old cardio routine? Are you looking to intensify your aerobic exercises?

Well, you’re not alone. Many fitness enthusiasts turn to pre-workout supplements to supercharge their training sessions. But here’s the burning question: Should you take pre-workout before cardio?

It’s a topic that sparks debate within the fitness community. We’ll go into the realm of pre-workout pills in this post and examine their possible advantages and factors to take into account, particularly when it comes to cardio workouts.

Pre-workout supplements are specially formulated blends of ingredients designed to enhance performance, boost energy levels, and increase focus during workouts.

Although pre-workout supplements are frequently linked to strength training, there is debate about their use in cardiovascular activity.

Cardiovascular workouts, including jogging, cycling, and swimming, are essential for maintaining general fitness and controlling weight.

So, should you take pre-workout before cardio? Continue reading as we delve into the nuances of pre-workout nutrition and examine whether it makes sense for your cardio routine. Prepare to learn the truth so you can decide what will work best for your fitness objectives. Let’s dive in!

What are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are essential for enhancing workouts by combining various ingredients that work synergistically.

Common components in pre-workouts that give energy, alertness, and a buffer against muscular exhaustion include caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, and nitric oxide enhancers like arginine or citrulline.

These supplements also replenish ATP stores, allowing for explosive movements. Nitric oxide boosters like arginine or citrulline promote vasodilation, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery to muscles.

Pre-workout supplements are primarily associated with strength training, enhancing power, focus, and muscular endurance.

They can also provide an extra edge during weightlifting sessions, helping individuals push through challenging sets and maximize muscle gains.

Pre-workouts, however, are frequently misunderstood. For example, some people believe that only bodybuilders or elite athletes may benefit from them.

As long as they are utilized appropriately and in line with each person’s unique goals, they may really be helpful for people of all fitness levels.

Should You Take Pre-Workout Before Cardio?

Taking pre-workout before cardio can provide a boost in energy and focus, enhancing performance. But, It might only be suited for some because it may include stimulants that might raise blood pressure and heart rate. However, you can take them in moderation around 30-60 minutes before cardio.

Personal Goals and Preferences

Your fitness goals play a significant role in determining whether pre-workout supplements are suitable before cardio. 

You might opt to rely exclusively on the natural energy your body produces without the additional stimulation from pre-workout supplements if your main goals are to increase cardiovascular endurance, burn calories, or prepare for endurance events like marathons.

To enhance energy levels, mental concentration, and exercise performance, consider incorporating pre-workout supplements into your workout routine.

Workout Intensity and Duration

The intensity and duration of your cardio workouts also factor into the decision.

Pre-workout supplements can give a momentary energy boost to help you push through hard portions or sustain effort over a longer duration whether you’re starting on a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session or a long-distance run.

One study about pre-workout supplements and cardio showed that pre-workouts reduced sensations of exhaustion but did not improve performance in terms of energy metabolism.

However, during low to moderate-intensity steady-state exercises, such as jogging or cycling, the extra stimulants may not be essential. They may even impair your ability to keep a constant beat.

Individual Response to Pre-Workout Supplements

Understanding how your body reacts to pre-workout substances is essential.

Some people may have an increased sensitivity to stimulants like coffee, which, can cause jitters, an accelerated heart rate, or difficulties falling asleep.

Finding the correct balance that works for you means paying attention to how your body reacts and modifying the amount, or time accordingly.

Also Read: Does Pre Workout Make You Sweat More? Truth Revealed

What Happens If You Take Pre-Workout and Do Cardio?

Pre-workout before cardio

Curiosity piqued, you may wonder about the effects of combining pre-workout supplements with cardio exercises. Let’s explore the potential benefits and considerations when you take pre-workout before cardio.

Benefits of Taking Pre-Workout Before Cardio

  1. Enhanced energy and focus: Pre-workout supplements can provide an extra boost of energy, improving your mental focus and allowing you to power through challenging cardio sessions with increased motivation and vigor.
  2. Increased endurance: The ingredients in pre-workout supplements, such as caffeine and nitric oxide boosters, may enhance blood flow, oxygen delivery, and nutrient availability to your muscles. This can lead to improved endurance and prolonged exercise capacity during cardio activities.
  3. Increased fat burning: Some pre-workout supplements include substances such as green tea extract or L-carnitine, which are believed to possess fat-burning qualities. When combined with cardio exercises, these supplements may aid in promoting fat oxidation and supporting weight management goals.

Considerations of Taking Pre-Workout Before Cardio

  1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure: Pre-workout supplements frequently contain stimulants like caffeine, which can raise heart rate and blood pressure.
  2. Dehydration: Some pre-workouts can contribute to dehydration due to their diuretic effects. Also while performing cardio extra sweating is normal leading to water loss from the body. So, especially if you’re utilizing pre-workout supplements, staying hydrated before, during, and after your cardio activity is critical.
  3. Personal Sensitivity: People can react differently to pre-workout supplements based on their tolerance to specific ingredients. Start with a lower dosage and assess your response before increasing it.

Also Read: Can Pre-Workout Cause Anxiety?

Should I Take Pre-Workout After Cardio?

Pre-workout supplements are specifically developed to deliver an immediate burst of energy, concentration, and performance-enhancing advantages. They are designed to be consumed before your workout to maximize their effectiveness during training.

Taking pre-workout supplements after cardio exercises may not yield the same desired effects, as the timing and purpose of these supplements are tailored for pre-workout use.

Potential Impact of Taking Pre-Workout after Cardio

  • Diminished effects: Taking pre-workout supplements after cardio exercises may result in reduced effectiveness, as the stimulants and performance-enhancing ingredients may not have the same immediate impact on energy levels and focus post-workout.
  • Disruption of recovery: Post-cardio nutrition and supplementation are typically focused on replenishing glycogen stores, repairing muscles, and supporting recovery. Consuming pre-workout supplements after cardio could potentially not benefit these recovery processes, as they may not provide the necessary nutrients and components for optimal post-workout recovery.

To ensure you maximize the benefits of pre-workout supplements, it’s recommended to follow the intended usage guidelines and take them before your cardio or strength training sessions.

Also Read: Expired Pre-Workout: Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?

How Do You Take Pre-Workout for Cardio?

Should you take pre-workout before

When it comes to taking pre-workout supplements for cardio, getting the timing and dosage right is key to optimizing their effects. Let’s explore some guidelines to consider for an effective pre-cardio supplementation routine.

How Long Before Cardio Should You Take Pre-Workout?

It’s generally recommended to consume pre-workout supplements approximately 30 minutes to an hour before your cardio session. This gives the components ample time to absorb and take action, providing you with the energy and concentration you need to get through your workout.

Optimal Dosage

The appropriate dose of pre-workout supplements for cardio might be difficult to determine because it changes based on factors including body weight, caffeine tolerance, and the individual product you’re taking.

It’s important to carefully read the instructions on the supplement’s packaging and start with the lowest effective dosage.

Gradually increase the dosage if needed, while closely monitoring your body’s response and adjusting accordingly. It’s also important to not exceed 400mg amount of caffeine per day.

To reduce the risk of suffering any adverse effects, it is strongly advised to exercise caution and avoid exceeding the authorized amount of pre-workout supplements.

Addressing Tolerance

Regular usage of pre-workout supplements might cause tolerance, in which your body becomes less sensitive to the effects of particular chemicals.

Tolerance to certain ingredients in pre-workout supplements can cause a pre-workout crash.

To address this, consider taking periodic breaks from pre-workout supplementation or cycling different products to maintain their effectiveness

This helps prevent your body from becoming overly reliant on these supplements and ensures they continue to deliver the desired impact when you do use them.

Also Read: Can You Put Pre-Workout In A Smoothie? (Safe Or Not?)

Frequently Asked Questions


This article discussed pre-workout supplements and their link with aerobic workouts. We’ve covered the ingredients commonly found in pre-workout supplements, and their benefits for strength training, and debunked some common misconceptions surrounding their usage.

We also delved into the question of whether you should take pre-workout before cardio and examined the factors to consider, such as personal goals, workout intensity, and individual response.

While pre-workout supplements can provide an energy boost and enhance performance, it’s crucial to approach their usage thoughtfully and in alignment with your specific fitness objectives.

Remember, personal experimentation is key. What is effective for one individual might not work for the next. It’s critical to strike the correct balance and timetable for you.

Start with a lower dosage, observe your body’s response, and adjust as necessary. By being aware of your body’s requirements and limits, you may optimize the advantages of your workouts.

In particular for strength training, pre-workouts might be a helpful addition to your fitness routine.

At last, the choice of whether to use pre-workout supplements before cardio workouts ultimately depends on personal preference, activity features, and goals.

More Pre-Workout Supplement Guides

Does Pre-Workout Stunt Growth? (Or Can It Make You Taller?)

Can You Snort Pre-Workout? (What You Need To Know)

Does Pre-Workout Make You Horny? Fact Or Fiction?

Why Is Pre-Workout So Expensive? Pre-Workout Price Paradox

Can You Take Pre-Workout On An Empty Stomach? Boost Gains?


  • Jagim AR, Harty PS, Camic CL. Common Ingredient Profiles of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 24;11(2):254. doi: 10.3390/nu11020254. PMID: 30678328; PMCID: PMC6413194.
  • Outlaw JJ, Wilborn CD, Smith-Ryan AE, Hayward SE, Urbina SL, Taylor LW, Foster CA. Acute effects of a commercially-available pre-workout supplement on markers of training: a double-blind study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Aug 15;11:40. doi: 10.1186/s12970-014-0040-0. PMID: 25302053; PMCID: PMC4190923.
  • Erickson JR, Camic CL, Jagim AR, Pellersels PM, Wright GA, Henert SE, Foster C. Effects of One Versus Two Doses of a Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplement on Metabolic Factors and Perceived Exertion during Moderate-Intensity Running in Females. Sports (Basel). 2020 Apr 22;8(4):52. doi: 10.3390/sports8040052. PMID: 32331393; PMCID: PMC7240597.
  • Chen IJ, Liu CY, Chiu JP, Hsu CH. Therapeutic effect of high-dose green tea extract on weight reduction: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun;35(3):592-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2015.05.003. Epub 2015 May 29. PMID: 26093535.
  • Talenezhad N, Mohammadi M, Ramezani-Jolfaie N, Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Salehi-Abargouei A. Effects of l-carnitine supplementation on weight loss and body composition: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 37 randomized controlled clinical trials with dose-response analysis. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2020 Jun;37:9-23. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2020.03.008. Epub 2020 Apr 18. PMID: 32359762.

Author Profile

Bruno Morgan


A person doing calisthenics exercise

Does Calisthenics Increase Testosterone: Fact Or Fiction?

Separating fact from fiction: does calisthenics increase testosterone levels? Explore the truth and its impact on your fitness goals. Get the insights you...
A scoop of pre workout supplement

Can Pre-Workout Kill You? (Assessing The Risks)

Concerned about pre-workout risks? Delve into Can pre-workout kill you? Explore the potential dangers and make informed choices for a safer workout routine...
Lumberjack squat

Lumberjack Squat: Complete Exercise Guide

Master the lumberjack squat with our comprehensive exercise guide. Learn proper form, alternatives, and tips for a killer lower body workout. Get started...
Height and Growth

Does Ashwagandha Increase Height? (Ashwagandha For Height)

Discover the answer to does ashwagandha increase height. Explore ashwagandha's impact on height growth and its effectiveness...
A man drinking supplement in a shaker

Can You Take Pre-Workout Twice A Day? (Is It Safe)

Curious about taking pre-workout twice a day? Find out if it's safe and get expert insights on maximizing your workouts with dual dosing...

11 Best Exercises That Start With E (How-To, And More!)

Discover the top 11 exercises that start with E, complete with how-to guides and more! Elevate your fitness routine with these effective workouts...

Scroll to Top