You can take pre-workout without working out and there is no harm in drinking these supplements on your rest days. However, like any other supplement, you should take care of when to take pre-workout. These supplements essentially serve as a coffee or energy drink alternative before training or a rough workday. If you are used to drinking coffee or caffeine but used your pre-workout instead, you’ll probably have a very productive morning.
What Is Pre-Workout?
“Pre-workout” is any supplement—often a powder drink mix but also available in other forms such as chews, capsules, canned drinks, powders, and colorful liquid in shaker bottles—that all promise to help you get in a better workout. This is a type of product you consume before a morning workout that’s intended to boost energy levels, generally through a combination of B vitamins, carbs, and antioxidants.
Most people think of pre-workout supplements strictly in terms of physical performance improvement. And while, yes, the main goal of pre-workout stacks is to increase physical measures of performance, so many ingredients in these formulas benefit cognitive measures of performance as well.
Can I Use Pre-Workout As An Energy Drink?
Basically, pre-workout supplements and energy drinks are not the same things. Yes, they both provide energy, however, pre-workouts are specifically designed to enhance your performance in the gym. It can easily improve your endurance, strength, focus, and energy. So, it could be ideal to substitute energy drinks with pre-workout supplements. Energy drinks are mostly loaded up with caffeine and sugar, having negative impacts on your body.
The chemically made energy drinks at the market have a lot of caffeine, which is why so many of us experience headaches and crashes not long after drinking them. This is while a natural pre-workout contains 200mg of natural caffeine derived from green coffee bean or green tea extract. Pre-workouts leave you with no crashes, headaches, or jitters which made them a better option in comparison with energy drinks.
The best pre-workout contains ingredients that you feel immediately. These are what you should experience after drinking pre-workout:
- Increased Energy – through your workout, and after
- Increased Strength or “Pump”- during your workout
- Increased Endurance
- Increased Focus- muscle-mind connection during your workout
If you want to achieve your fitness goals quickly, we definitely recommend adding the best pre-workout to your workout regimen – whether you’re looking forward to losing body fat or pack-on muscle mass, having that extra enhancement will get you the results you want faster.
What Happens If You Just Take A Pre-Workout?
If you just take pre-workout without working out, it may lead to extreme anxiety, jitters, or cold sweats. This likely happen if the stimulant dose is astronomical and you have no caffeine tolerance. According to the experience of many people, taking ½ to 1 serving of a moderately dosed pre-workout can even help improve your mental focus for the task at hand.
Moreover, you will feel sharper, alert, and generally more awake. This is exactly what pre-workout feels like if you just take it and don’t move after. Professionals advise taking ½ a serving of pre-workout if you’re a beginner to it and don’t regularly drink coffee. So, you don’t feel overstimulated.
Just remember that not all pre-workout supplements are great for work and can even produce metabolically disruptive results. These results are in case you’re not subsequently lifting heavy weights, running long miles, swimming many laps, etc.
Can You Take Pre-Workout Alone?
Generally speaking, there is no pre-workout without a workout. So, what happens to us when we take a pre-workout alone?
Just because these supplement formulas go by the name of “pre-workout,” doesn’t mean that they should be used exclusively for enhancing exercise performance. The ingredients in those formulas (or some of those formulas entirely) can be used for multiple purposes. For instance, in some contexts, a herbal pre-workout can be a powerful ergogenic aid for boosting strength and stamina for bodybuilders and powerlifters.
While, in other contexts, for example, a workplace context, drinking pre-workout can act as a powerful, fast-acting nootropic—one that effectively clears away cognitive stress and brain fog midway through your work shift. Therefore, to answer this important titular question: yes, it’s okay to take pre-workout supplements alone without going to the gym. However, there are a few significant points to this:
- Not all pre-workouts can be good options to be taken alone without working out.
- Pre-workouts without working out obviously do not confer the benefits of exercise.
- What you do after taking pre-workout matters.
This last point is very important: just because you can take some kind of pre-workout without working out doesn’t mean that you should do so—at least not without the purpose of acutely boosting some other non-exercise-related type of performance.
What Happens If you Take Pre-Workout Daily?
Although pre-workouts are mostly considered safe, you shouldn’t consume them daily. If taken every day for a long time, side effects would appear. Consuming pre-workout daily side effects include insomnia, jittery/tingling feelings, and even long-term heart issues. These supplements can provide improved alertness and muscle repair, but they aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Don’t forget to always review the fine print on the bottle.
If you take pre-workout too often, your body is likely to become dependent on it. This especially happens if you are consuming a stimulant pre-workout that contains high doses of caffeine. You probably feel like you need more doses as your body is budling a tolerance to caffeine. All of these negative side effects could become exacerbated if taken daily, and especially if taken more than directed.
Finally, whether or not you take a pre-workout alone is up to you. If your work is kind of a physically demanding job, then consuming a pre-workout supplement can certainly help you stay fresh and fit throughout the day. Many people consider supplements as nutrients – they think pre-workout supplements are essentially food, as they’re providing your body with nutrients it needs to function properly. Likewise, taking some pre-workout ingredients for any intentions such as intense focus or cognitive performance is completely okay.