Pre-workouts are very popular among fitness enthusiasts because it paves the way for an energetic fitness session. It’s a great way to get amped up before your workout sessions. Whether hitting the gym or doing workouts at home, pre-workouts play a significant role in achieving fitness goals.
However, pre-workouts can also come with side effects. Does pre-workout affect sleep? Here we dive into this topic to discover why and how this happens.
Does Pre-Workout Affect Sleep?
Yes, pre-workouts affect sleep. Insomnia is one of the side effects of taking pre-workouts, and it could even be severe depending on how your body responds.
Severe insomnia could disrupt an individual’s daily activities.
Why Is It Difficult To Fall Asleep After Taking Pre-Workouts?
The main reason for the difficulty in falling asleep after taking pre-workouts is due to the caffeine content in them. Caffeine is one of the main elements of stimulant-packed pre-workouts, which gives you the energy to carry on with even the most intense workouts.
Some people are caffeine-sensitive, which can worsen this condition. They are slow at tolerating even small amounts of caffeine, and slow metabolism rates do not allow the caffeine to be removed from their bodies as quickly as it would in others.
If you take a caffeine-rich pre-workout at midday, you’ll still find it hard to fall asleep at night.
Therefore, individuals who are slow at tolerating caffeine should try to avoid taking caffeine-rich pre-workouts. If they do want to take these, they should try to take them as early as possible during the day.
Main Ingredients In Pre-Workouts
The main ingredient in pre-workouts that cause insomnia is caffeine. Stimulant-packed pre-workouts that include caffeine are the most effective, showing great results.
However, other ingredients are included in pre-workouts and can show results to some extent without the side effects of insomnia.
Let’s take a look at the different ingredients generally found in pre-workouts.
Caffeine is the most common ingredient found in pre-workouts, giving the energy boost you need to keep going on in your workout routines. An average of 150 – 200mg of caffeine will enhance the one-rep maximum in weight-lifters doing workouts like squats.
Here’s how caffeine benefits the body in terms of pre-workouts.
- It stimulates the central nervous system, causing the release of adrenaline which is how you get so much energy during your workouts.
- It eliminated fatigue during and after workouts.
- It boosts metabolism and fat oxidation, which helps to burn more calories during exercise.
Maca Root is a herbal supplement with its origins in Peru. It has many significant benefits. As a pre-workout, it’s extremely beneficial because it enhances aerobic performance. According to studies conducted on rats, Maca root is also believed to boost brain power.
1,3 Dimethylamine (DMAA) is a well-known stimulant with a molecular structure similar to adrenaline. Its functionality is similar to adrenaline because it increases blood pressure while helping you conduct intense workouts for an extended period.
The functionality of DMAA enhances in combination with caffeine which is why both of these ingredients are combined in stim pre-workouts.
Synephrine is also similar to DMAA and ephedrine. It is another common ingredient in stim pre-workouts found in bitter oranges.
Synephrine has many benefits, which include boosting metabolism and helping the fat-burning process. Its performance enhances when in combination with caffeine, which is why it’s a common ingredient in pre-workouts.
L-Theanine is generally found in tea leaves and some mushroom species, and it helps combine the wired effects experienced due to excessive consumption of caffeine. Therefore, look for pre-workouts with this ingredient if you have insomnia.
L-Theanine can also help amp you up before a workout without the negative effects of sleeplessness. It also improves sports performance and promotes an overall feeling of well-being.
Creatine is another common ingredient found in high-quality pre-workout supplements. It provides great strength and power during workouts and helps build lean muscle mass. Creatine is a chemical compound that your body naturally produces. It’s stored in skeletal muscle and contributes to muscle power and energy building.
Creatine provides all of the above benefits in pre-workouts without the negative side effects of insomnia. It’s known to aid the body’s sleep cycle.
Beta-Alanine is a non-stimulatory ingredient found in pre-workouts. As a non-stimulant, it doesn’t have caffeine-related side effects like insomnia. Beta-Alanine helps reduce fatigue, increase muscle endurance and power, and also aids in fat loss. Therefore, it’s a popular non-stimulant pre-workout with many benefits for fitness enthusiasts.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids are also a common ingredient found in non-stimulatory pre-workouts. They improve performance during workouts by reducing fatigue and increasing muscle protein synthesis.
BCAAs are an ingredient you should look out for, which does not have insomnia as a side effect.
Citrulline Malate is an amino acid that triggers nitric oxide production. When there is a high level of nitric oxide in your blood, it provides more nutrients to your muscles. Other benefits of Citrulline Malate include increased performance in workouts and increased protein synthesis.
Citrulline Malate has a very high absorption rate, which means you can reap its benefits from very low doses.
How To Fall Asleep After Pre-Workout
Here are a few tips to follow to avoid insomnia after pre-workout.
Avoid High-Caffeine Supplements
Pre-workouts with high levels of caffeine are going to cause insomnia. It’s better to opt for ingredients like Creatine and L-Theanine, which are non-stimulant and help amp up your workouts.
However, if you want to take pre-workouts with caffeine due to its stimulatory effect, it’s better to take it four to six hours before bedtime. It takes about 20-30 minutes to peak in your bloodstream, so you must time your workouts accordingly.
Take A Shower
A shower under lukewarm water works out for anyone before bedtime. It’s more effective in providing calmness before retiring to bed, especially after a tiring and intense workout session.
Turn Off Bright Lights And Screens
A workout makes you feel drained, and looking at screens afterward will worsen this and even cause symptoms of fatigue. It is recommended to switch off bright lights and screens at least 30 minutes before getting to bed.
The blue light emitted by LED-backlit screens reduces the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, by 91%.
Time Workouts Appropriately
If you have insomnia, you need to adjust your workout time. Try to work out during midday or early evening time. Avoid working out just before bedtime. Work out at a time when you can use that extra energy from the stimulatory ingredients to do other activities in your day.
Take your pre-workout about 30 minutes before working out to get the maximum health benefits. The stimulating effect stays in your body for about four to six hours.
Drink Plenty Of Water
You can use water to dilute the stimulant compounds in your body. However, the total quantity of the stimulatory ingredient will remain unchanged.
Drinking lots of water will help flush out the stimulatory ingredients from your body through urine. The faster these ingredients get out of your body, the better you can sleep.
Take Sleep Aids
You must take sleep supplements to help with insomnia if all else fails. Sleep aids will help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. Sleep supplements make you less likely to wake up halfway through sleep.
You’ll also wake up the next day feeling refreshed and energetic because your body has the rest required.
It’s true that pre-workouts affect sleep and can even cause insomnia due to stimulants included in them. Most stim pre-workouts contain high amounts of caffeine, which is the reason for the boost of energy you get after taking these supplements.
You can follow the above tips to help counteract the effects of caffeine on your body’s natural sleep cycle. That way, you can get the maximum benefits from pre-workouts without disrupting your sleep patterns.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Before Bed Should I Take Pre-Workout?
It is adequate to take pre-workouts at least four hours before working out. You should also remember to take it about 30 minutes before working out so that it has time to get into your system.
Does Creatine Cause Insomnia?
Creatine doesn’t cause insomnia because it’s a non-stimulatory ingredient found in pre-workouts. Creatine can help you sleep better by improving the quality of your sleep.
What’s The Best Time To Take Creatine?
It’s best to take Creatine about 30 minutes before or after working out to get the maximum benefits from it.
This article was last updated on August 19, 2022 .