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Can Pre-Workout Stop You From Sleeping?

Just like drinking a strong cup of coffee or sugary energy drink too close to bedtime will stop you from falling asleep, so too, will a pre-workout supplement. 

Most strong pre-workout supplements contain caffeine in doses of 200 – 300mg, which is the equivalent of 2 or 3 cups of coffee. 

Other stimulants blended into pre-workout formulas are designed to increase your energy, focus, and endurance during a workout. 

However, these same stimulants can be more powerful than caffeine and will keep you awake, leading to insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns. After all, these supplements are designed specifically to stop you from feeling tired.

How to Stop Pre-Workout Keeping You Awake


To avoid your pre-workout from keeping you awake at night, you shouldn’t consume any within 6 hours of going to bed. So if you go to sleep at 12am, don’t take a pre-workout any time after 6 pm to minimise sleep interference.

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It’s best to take your pre-workout supplement as far away from bedtime as possible, preferably in the morning. Of course, this won’t suit everyone’s work and life schedule, but you must give yourself that 6-hour gap at minimum so that your body has time to metabolise all the stimulating compounds. 

Sleep-Suppressing Implications of Pre-Workout Stims

The reason pre-workout supplements are so effective, is their high concentration of stimulants that work on your brain to increase wakefulness, and energy, giving you more motivation to exercise with the greatest intensity. 

Components typically found in these supplements are caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, L-citrulline, and B vitamins – plus some brain-boosting proprietary blends and nootropics. 

Although these stimulants have many positive effects on sports performance and bodybuilding, they also pose a risk to your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. These are not the kind of compounds you want in circulation when trying to sleep.


Caffeine is one of the best-known all-natural stimulants that’s enjoyed in drinks like coffee and tea. Its principal function is to inhibit brain adenosine receptors that trigger sleep.

Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that, when it connects to its receptors after building up during the day, causes drowsiness., which helps you drift off to sleep. By inhibiting these from doing their job, caffeine promotes alertness and enhances performance.

Given its half-life of approximately 3 to 5 hours, the consumption of caffeine-laden pre-workout supplements or drinks, in the afternoon or evening, can significantly get in the way of you feeling sleepy enough to drift off. 

It’s important to note that caffeine sensitivity varies greatly among individuals, and those particularly sensitive might experience sleep disturbances even if consumed several longer than the 6-hour gap before bedtime.


Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid. It’s added to pre-workout supplements due to its role in synthesizing carnosine, a molecule that helps buffer acid in muscles, leading to increased endurance during high-intensity exercise.

Supplementation with Beta-Alanine can sometimes cause a tingling sensation known as paresthesia. For some individuals, this sensation can lead to restlessness, making it challenging to fall asleep.


Creatine is found in many pre-workouts as it helps with muscular energy production, allowing you to squeeze out more reps. Supplementing with creatine can increase stores in the muscles, thereby boosting performance during high-intensity weight training workouts, but it should not interfere will sleep as there is no mentally stimulating effect from this substance.


L-Citrulline is an amino acid that improves the body’s nitric oxide metabolism. This, in turn, widens the blood vessels (vasodilation) and allows more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to exercising muscles. It can increase the potency of other ingredients known to keep you awake. 

B Vitamins

Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 are especially important because of their involvement in converting food into energy. They aid the body in transforming the food you eat into energy, therefore you’ll often find them in pre-workout supplements.

While creatine, L-citrulline, and B vitamins are not known to have direct sleep-disrupting effects like caffeine, their roles in energy production and delivery could contribute to feelings of alertness, particularly if these supplements are consumed in the evening or near bedtime. 

Balancing Performance and Sleep

The crucial takeaway here is that pre-workout supplements work. They’re designed to stop you from feeling tired, give you more mental energy, and will stop you from sleeping if taken too close to bedtime. 

To build muscle, and increase strength, or endurance, you need three things – a training program, good nutrition, and sleep. It’s vital you get enough sleep if you want to make progress with your fitness goals, you want to avoid anything that will disrupt this process.

If you believe your pre-workout supplement is negatively affecting your sleep, you may want to consider taking it earlier in the day – take the supplement and train as far away from bedtime as you can, reducing the dosage, and opting for a caffeine-free version.

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