What Does Pre-Workout Crash Feel Like?

Written by Tihomir Stefanov, PT

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Pre-workout crashes can feel like a number of different things, depending on the person. 

Some might feel lightheaded and dizzy, while others may feel nauseous or have an upset stomach. 

For some, a pre-workout crash might simply make them feel tired and lethargic. 

Regardless of how it manifests, most people would agree that it’s not a very pleasant experience! 

So if you’ve ever asked yourself questions like how long does a pre-workout crash last? And what is pre-workout crash even? 

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll discuss these questions and more, so without further ado, let’s learn!

What Is Pre-Workout Crash?

And so, what is pre-workout crash and what does pre-workout crash feel like?

Pre-workout crashes are a drop in energy levels that can happen before, after or during a workout, as a result of taking a pre-workout supplement. 

The crash is typically accompanied by feelings of fatigue, dizziness, and irritability. 

Nevertheless, though such supplements can cause a crash, there may also be other factors, such as: 

  • Not eating enough
  • Not drinking enough
  • Drinking too much coffee
  • Not sleeping enough  

So to answer the question about “what is pre-workout crash” – it’s simply an energy crash, usually caused by pre-workouts but with similar symptoms as an energy crash caused by other factors.

And all of this begs the question – why do I feel so weird after pre-workout? What’s the main factor contributing to a crash caused by PWO supplements?

What Causes The Pre-Workout Crash?

While the exact cause of the crash is not clear, it is thought to be related to the ingredients in pre-workout supplements. 

These ingredients include stimulants such as caffeine and ephedrine, which can cause a sudden drop in energy levels when they wear off. 

In addition, some people may be sensitive to certain ingredients in pre-workout supplements, which can trigger a crash. 

If you experience a pre-workout crash, it is best to consider the amount you’re taking, the frequency of use, as well as other factors, such as food, water, and sleep.

How Long Does A Pre-Workout Crash Last?

In search of the best pre-workout supplements, many gym goers are often left with more questions than answers. 

One common question is how long does a pre-workout crash last? 

And well, the answer is… it depends.

The duration of a pre-workout crash depends on several factors, including how sensitive an individual is to stimulants and how much caffeine they consumed. 

In general, people who are more sensitive to stimulants will experience a longer and more intense crash. 

The same is true for individuals who consume large amounts of caffeine. 

Crashing from a pre-workout supplement typically lasts between 30 minutes and 2 hours. 

However, some people may feel the effects for several more hours or even the entire day.

How To Prevent A PWO Crash

The best way to avoid a pre-workout crash is to start with a smaller dose of the supplement and gradually increase your intake as needed. 

This allows you to monitor the effects of the supplement you are experiencing individually, before jumping to higher doses.

Not only that, but gradually increasing the dose will help your body adjust to the stimulant and minimize the chance of experiencing an intense crash.

All in all, considering that the main stimulant in pre-workout supplements is caffeine, it is best to start off with a cup of coffee a day, in case you are not a coffee drinker.

In doing so, you will know what does pre-workout crash feel like and be able to familiarize the body with this stimulant, and can, later on, move to the more caffeine-dense pre-workout boosters.

Preventative Nutrition

Another way to prevent the pre-workout crash is to make sure you consume a nutritious meal in the hours before taking the supplement. 

A meal with a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates will help to sustain your energy levels throughout your workout and avoid the sudden drop in blood sugar that is one of the culprits of the pre-workout crash.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your pre-workout supplement, be sure to fuel up with a healthy meal first.

Because, after all, a supplement, by definition means “a thing added to something else in order to enhance or complete it.”

And that something else is your nutrition.

Stay Hydrated

Pre-workout supplements are often high in caffeine, which can rob you of hydration.

And we all know that energy crash and mental fog you experience when dehydrated. 

To avoid this, it is important to drink plenty of water before and during the workout. 

This will help to prevent dehydration, which can further contribute to an energy crash.

In addition, it is important to listen to your body and not overdo it on the pre-workout supplement. 

Again – start with a smaller dose and see how you feel before increasing the amount you take.

By following these simple tips, you can avoid an energy crash and enjoy a successful workout.

It’s Just A Helping Hand

While pre-workout supplements can be beneficial on days when you’re feeling tired or need an extra boost, they’re not meant for daily use. 

As you already know very well, pre-workout supplements typically contain caffeine and other ingredients that can have stimulating effects. 

When occasionally used as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, pre-workout supplements can help you get the most out of your workouts. 

However, overuse can lead to side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, and gastrointestinal distress. 

If you’re considering taking a pre-workout supplement, make sure that you have everything else dialed in first.

So, what does pre-workout crash feel like?

So if you’re still asking questions like Why do I feel so weird after pre-workout? What does pre-workout crash feel like? And what is pre-workout crash even? Wonder no more.

It’s all in the dosage and supporting habits like eating, drinking, and sleeping.

And if you’ve never experienced a pre-workout crash, count yourself lucky. It’s not a particularly pleasant sensation. 

The good news is that there are ways to prevent it from happening in the first place. 

By following our tips for avoiding a pre-workout crash, you can stay energized and focused during your workout routine. 

Have you ever had a pre-workout crash? What do you think causes them? 

Let us know in the comments below.

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