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​Pre-Workout Before Running: Should You Take It?

​Pre-Workout Before Running: Should You Take It?

Posted by Leonard Shemtob on Jan 16, 2024

Pre-Workout Before Running: Should You Take It?

Running is a popular form of exercise, and many athletes wonder whether taking a pre-workout supplement can enhance their performance. In this article, we'll explore whether incorporating a pre-workout routine is beneficial for runners.

Additionally, we will discuss the five best supplements for runners, providing valuable insights into how these supplements can support and enhance running performance.

Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, this article will help you make an informed decision about whether pre-workout supplements are right for you.

[Related Article] The Ultimate Guide to Creatine for Runners: Top 3 Supplements Unveiled

Short Summary

Overview: This article discusses the potential impact of pre-workout supplements on running performance and provides insights to help readers make an informed decision.

Top 5 Supplements: Additionally, the article highlights the five best supplements for runners, offering valuable information on how these supplements can support and enhance running performance.

Readers will get a better understanding of the role of pre-workout supplements in running and discover specific products that are recommended for runners.

The article aims to offer a detailed overview of pre-workout supplementation for running, empowering readers to make choices that align with their fitness goals.

Fuel Your Run with Specimen Genesis by Glaxon: Elevate your running experience with our top recommended supplement for runners, Specimen Genesis by Glaxon

Complete Collection of Pre-Workouts: Dive into our Comprehensive Pre-Workout Collection to Discover the Ideal Supplement for Every Aspect of Your Unique Fitness Regimen. Find Your Perfect Match Today!

What is a Pre-Workout for Runners?

A pre-workout for running is a type of sports supplement taken before a run or workout, designed to boost energy and optimize performance during exercise. 

These supplements can contain various ingredients, vitamins, and minerals, with the specific formulation varying between products. Pre-workout supplements for running are specifically designed to boost energy levels and optimize performance during workouts.

Ingredients in a Pre-Workout Supplement

Ever wondered what makes up that scoop of pre-workout powder you're about to mix? Let's break down the key ingredients that power up your pre-run routine.

Caffeine: You're probably familiar with this one. Caffeine is like the captain of the team, providing a quick energy boost. It helps shake off the morning grogginess or amps up your evening run.

Creatine: Renowned for its safety and effectiveness, creatine stands as a powerful supplement to enhance both strength and muscle size. Though particularly advantageous for those engaged in resistance training, its potential benefits extend to endurance athletes as well. It helps produce energy during high-intensity activities as well as muscle strength and power.

Beta-Alanine: This amino acid helps buffer the build-up of lactic acid in muscles, delaying fatigue. It also supports endurance, allowing you to run longer without feeling as tired.

BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids): Support muscle growth, reduce fatigue perceptions, aid muscle recovery, and improve exercise performance.

Electrolytes: Sweating it out during your run? Electrolytes like potassium and sodium help maintain the body's fluid balance, which is crucial for staying hydrated and preventing muscle cramps.

Nitric Oxide Boosters: It helps dilate blood vessels, increasing oxygen delivery and blood flow to muscles. It also enhances circulation, supporting better endurance and performance.

B vitamins: Support energy production and metabolism.

Benefits of Pre-Workout for Runners

Pre-workout supplements can offer significant benefits for runners, enhancing their performance and endurance. Below are some of them:

Boosted Energy Levels: Before lacing up your running shoes, a pre-workout can provide a quick and effective energy boost. This surge in energy helps you power through your run with more vitality and endurance.

Enhanced Endurance: Running long distances requires sustained energy. Pre-workout supplements often contain ingredients that promote endurance, allowing you to go the extra mile without feeling fatigued.

Improved Focus and Concentration: Running demands not only physical stamina but also mental focus. Pre-workout supplements can enhance your concentration, helping you stay in the zone and maintain a strong pace.

Faster Recovery: Certain pre-workout supplements include components that aid in muscle recovery. This means less post-run soreness and a quicker turnaround for your next training session.

Optimal Nutrient Delivery: Pre-workouts can assist in efficiently delivering nutrients to your muscles during the run, optimizing performance, and ensuring your body has what it needs when it matters most.

What Is the Best Time to Take a Pre-Workout?

The timing of taking a pre-workout supplement before running can depend on several factors, including the ingredients in the supplement and individual preferences. 

Most pre-workout supplements are designed to be taken around 30-60 minutes before training, allowing enough time for the ingredients to be absorbed into your system and take effect during your run.

Here are a few guidelines for taking a pre-workout:

Individual Response: Everyone's body reacts differently. If you're sensitive to caffeine, you might want to adjust the timing to avoid any potential jitteriness or sleep disturbances.

Endurance Support: Consider taking a pre-workout to support endurance for longer runs. This can help maintain constant energy levels throughout the run.

Hydration: Ensure you're also adequately hydrated, as pre-workouts may increase the need for fluids.

Sleep Consideration: Taking a pre-workout too late in the day might interfere with your sleep. Aim to finish your run a few hours before bedtime if you've taken a pre-workout.

Common Side Effects of Pre-Workouts for Runners

As with any supplement, it's critical to be aware of potential side effects when incorporating pre-workouts into your running routine. While these effects can vary from person to person, some commonly reported side effects of taking pre-workouts before running include:

Caffeine Sensitivity: If you're sensitive to caffeine, which is a common ingredient in pre-workouts, you might experience jitteriness, restlessness, or difficulty sleeping. It's essential to know your tolerance and opt for lower-caffeine options if needed.

Digestive Discomfort: Certain ingredients, such as beta-alanine or high doses of carbohydrates, might cause digestive issues like bloating or upset stomach. Start with smaller doses to assess how your body responds.

Increased Heart Rate: Stimulants like caffeine can elevate heart rate and blood pressure. Individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular concerns should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional.

Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances: Taking pre-workouts too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. Aim to use them earlier in the day to allow your body time to metabolize the stimulants.

Top 5 Pre-Workouts for Runners

Quick Picks:

Specimen Genesis by Glaxon – Best Overall

Wild Thing by Assault Labs – Our No.1 Pre Workout + All in One Solution

Oracle by Olympus Labs – Best For Running, Sports Performance, and Cognition.

CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout by Raw Nutrition – Best for Energy, Focus, and Endurance.

Bucked Up by Bucked Up – Best for Energy, Pump, and Muscle Recovery.

1- Specimen Genesis by Glaxon

Specimen Genesis by Glaxon

Experience the full potential of Specimen Genesis, a comprehensive pre-workout formula meticulously crafted to boost energy, enhance hydration, and elevate power output during your running sessions. 

Featuring extraordinary flavors and a fully transparent ingredient list, we've redefined the standard pre-workout to deliver unparalleled energy levels, superior pumps, and an enhanced mind-muscle connection.

Key Ingredients:

  • Beta-Alanine
  • Betaine Nitrate
  • D-Beta Hydroxybutyrate
  • Betaine Anhydrous
  • Astrolyte™ Electrolyte Blend
  • Caffeine Anhydrous
  • Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens
  • Choline L+Bitartrate and CDP-Choline
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Key Benefits:

  • It provides intense and sustained energy for your running journey.
  • It increases your muscle endurance.
  • It enhances your mental focus and mental clarity.
  • It boosts your mind-muscle connection.
  • It helps replenish the essential nutrients during intense workouts.
  • It supports your muscle recovery.
  • It keeps your muscles hydrated during your running.
  • It boosts your stamina and promotes overall performance.

2- Wild Thing by Assault Labs

Wild Thing by Assault Labs

Wild Thing by Assault Labs is a pre-workout supplement crafted to enhance athletic performance and support your running journey. It contains a blend of amino acids, creatine, and other nutrients to support muscle function during workouts.

Additionally, Wild Thing includes cutting-edge nootropics to improve focus and workout energy. The supplement is also formulated to promote vascularity and pumps, providing a comprehensive pre-workout experience. Furthermore, Wild Thing features a unique caffeine blend, including patented ZumXR® & Infinergy®, to deliver both immediate and sustained energy throughout the running adventure. 

This combination of ingredients aims to elevate energy levels, mental focus, and physical performance, making Wild Thing a potential choice for individuals seeking an advanced pre-workout supplement.

Key Ingredients:

  • DiCitrulline Malate/Infinergy®
  • Beta-Alanine
  • Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline
  • Agmatine Sulfate
  • Creatine Anhydrous
  • L­-Glutamine
  • Choline Bitartrate
  • Caffeine Anhydrous
  • L­-Tyrosine
  • L-Norvaline
  • ZumXR®
  • Huperzine A
  • Infinergy®
  • Cocoabuterol®
  • Thinkamine®

Key Benefits:

  • It supports your energy throughout your running.
  • It maintains improved focus.
  • It boosts your strength during a workout.
  • It helps increase your muscle pumps.
  • It enhances your muscle endurance.
  • It improves your overall mood.
  • It speeds up your muscle recovery.
  • It decreases muscle fatigue.
  • It helps increase muscle control.
  • It increases your cognitive functions.
  • It helps support your overall running journey.

Customer Reviews: Wild Thing by Assault Labs

5-stars.pngWeight are on full focus

“Single scoop is good, focus and keeps you going. 2 scoops? OMG insane focus. I never lost mind/body connection because/IF it was too much! Max rep EVERY time !”

-Juan G.

5-stars.pngGreat pre workout

“This is a great pre workout! Has a really good profile, taste (rocket pop) was great. Mixing super easy and leaves no foam afterwards. 1 scoop is the sweet spot for me great pumps and clean smooth energy. 2 scoops is good as well slight BA tingles but not bad, flavor is definitely stronger at 2 scoops but add more water to taste. At 1 scoop it’s a great value! Overall I give this a 5 star, great pumps/energy/taste/ no crash!”

-Jesse F.

5-stars.pngWild Thing

“Good flavor and great energy boost.”

-Paige T.

3- Oracle by Olympus Labs

Oracle by Olympus Labs

Oracle by Olympus Labs is a pre-workout supplement that promises to deliver a transcendent workout experience. It contains genistein, a potent MAOI, ligustrazine phosphate, and a perfect blend of key ingredients to enhance pre-anaerobic/aerobic exercise. The supplement helps provide unparalleled levels of focus, endurance, pump, and energy needed to conquer your next running session.

The supplement features PR3 Tech, known as "The Golden Ratio," which aims to strike the perfect balance of key ingredients to maximize exercise performance. Additionally, Oracle offers a stimulant blend designed to deliver sustained energy without a crash post-workout.

Key Ingredients:

  • Ligustrazine Phosphate
  • S7™
  • Eria Jarensis Extract
  • Genistein
  • Enxtra®
  • Kannaease™
  • Xtenergy™
  • Infinergy™
  • Caffeine Anhydrous

Key Benefits:

  • It increases your exercise and overall running performance.
  • It boosts your endurance.
  • It helps reduce muscle fatigue.
  • It helps enhance your strength.
  • It increases nitric oxide production.
  • It improves your overall cognitive function.
  • It increases your energy levels for high-intensity exercise.
  • It boosts your mood and focus.
  • It helps improve your concentration and productivity.

Customer Reviews: Oracle by Olympus Labs

5-stars.pngAbsolutely love

“This pre workout is absolutely amazing. It doesn’t give any jitters but gives you a boost to make you want to workout and enough energy to sustain a good workout. I love that I don’t get nauseated taking it. I have notice more endurance while doing CrossFit workouts as well.”

-Stephanie S.

5-stars.pngGreat product

“Does everything I need, focus , energy, pump and endurance.

Thank you big difference from other products I tried.”

-Ramon G.

5-stars.pngoh yea!

“very good, lots of energy, was able to do more reps on all my sets and felt great doing it too. recovery was quicker too and taste was light and nice. Im an oracle guy now lol”

-Richie M.

4- CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout by Raw Nutrition

CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout by Raw Nutrition

CBUM Thavage is a potent and scientifically formulated pre-workout supplement aimed at enhancing workout performance. This exceptional pre-workout blend is carefully crafted to deliver unparalleled energy, focus, and endurance, enabling users to reach new performance levels during their running sessions. 

Notably, CBUM Thavage is free from artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners, reflecting a commitment to providing a clean and effective product. Whether you're hitting the gym, going for a run, or engaging in home workouts, CBUM Thavage is designed to equip you with the necessary support to elevate your fitness journey.

Key Ingredients:

  • Alpha-GPC
  • Taurine
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Beta-Alanine
  • Nitrosigine
  • Agmatine Sulfate
  • Coconut Fruit Water Powder
  • L-Theanine
  • Bitter Orange Fruit Extract
  • AstraGin
  • Huperzine A

Key Benefits:

  • It boosts your energy levels for your running adventure.
  • It enhances your exercise intensity.
  • It helps improve your focus and mental clarity.
  • It increases your endurance and stamina.
  • It improves your muscle pumps and vascularity.
  • It accelerates muscle recovery after your long-running journey.
  • It helps reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.

Customer Reviews: CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout by Raw Nutrition

5-stars.pngTaste and power

“Gave it a shot - glad i did! I lift almost every day, but I also run a ton too. Since I often run on the same days I lift it makes me nervous to use pwos that make you feel like your heart t is going to burst. This pre-workout gives me the power I need to get a great lift in without making me feel close to death when I get my heart pumping while I am running. Also the taste is great, so good I look forward to having it. Give it a go you will be happy you did.”


5- Bucked Up by Bucked Up

Bucked Up by Bucked Up

Bucked Up® Pre-Workout was meticulously crafted with a dual purpose in mind: to elevate your workouts to new heights and to stand out as the premier pre-workout in the market.

The formula is free from proprietary blends, and all ingredients are clearly labeled with effective doses. Bucked Up® Pre-Workout is designed for serious runners, athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone looking for pump, focus, energy, and growth. The supplement contains three growth hormone potentiates to take workouts to the next level.

Key Ingredients:

  • Deer Antler Velvet
  • AlphaSize Alpha GPC
  • Actigin
  • Citrulline
  • Astragin
  • Taurine

Key Benefits:

  • It supports your energy levels for your running journey.
  • It enhances your mental focus.
  • It helps accelerate your recovery.
  • It increases your pump.
  • It helps boost performance.

Customer Reviews: Bucked Up by Bucked Up

5-stars.pnggreat stuff

“worked out like an animal only one problem a raging woody that wouldn't quit never tried vagra but this is what it must be like”


5-stars.pngFelt this one

“I felt this one from like 20 or so min after I took it. Taste is good and mixxes well. Feel like i have so much energy when I use it. Workout was solid and felt focused too.”

-David P.

Do I Really Need a Pre-Workout Before Running?

The decision to take a pre-workout before running is a personal one that depends on individual goals and preferences. While pre-workout supplements can offer benefits such as reduced perceived effort, increased alertness, and improved endurance, they may not be necessary for every run. 

Some runners may prefer to rely on natural sources of energy, such as carbohydrates and caffeine, while others may find pre-workouts to be a valuable addition to their routine. It's all about understanding your body, experimenting with what works best for you, and, most importantly, enjoying your run. 

Test a pre-workout on some runs and see how your body responds. If it enhances your experience, great! If not, no harm is done. Listen to your body and choose what makes your runs the most fulfilling. 

Ultimately, the decision to use a pre-workout before running should be based on individual needs and goals.

FAQs: Pre-Workout Before Running

Q: Should I take a pre-workout before running?

A: The decision to take a pre-workout before running is highly individual. While pre-workouts can offer benefits like reduced effort and increased endurance, they may not be necessary for every run.

Q: Can pre-workouts help with muscle recovery after a run?

A: Yes, many pre-workout supplements contain components aiding in muscle recovery, reducing post-run soreness, and facilitating a quicker turnaround for the next session.

Q: Does Pre-Workout Make You Run Faster?

The answer isn't a simple yes or no. Pre-workout supplements can indirectly contribute to faster running by boosting energy, focus, and endurance.

Q: What is the best time to take a pre-workout before running?

A: Most pre-workout supplements are designed to be taken 30-60 minutes before running.


In conclusion, pre-workout supplements can enhance running performance by providing benefits such as improved energy, increased mental alertness, reduced fatigue, and more. However, the effectiveness of a pre-workout before a run depends on the ingredients used, and most supplements include caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, B vitamins, electrolytes, and BCAAs.

The optimal time for taking a pre-workout is usually 30-60 minutes before running. While pre-workout supplements can provide benefits, they are not necessary for all runners, and the decision to take a pre-workout supplement before running is a personal one that depends on individual preferences and goals.


Written and Sponsored by Leonard Shemtob

Leonard Shemtob is President of Strong Supplements. Leonard has been in the supplement space for over 20 years, specializing in fitness supplements and nutrition. Leonard appears on many podcasts, written over 100 articles about supplements and has studied nutrition, supplementation and bodybuilding. 

Leonard's articles have been published in many top publications around the web. Leonard enjoys weight training, playing basketball and yoga, and also enjoys hiking. In his free time he studies and works on improving himself. For more detailed information, visit his official blog.