If you are an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, there is a good chance that you’ve given some thought to the likelihood of using pre-workout supplements to help improve your performance during your workouts.
Users often wonder how long the “power” of these supplements lasts after they are mixed with water.
They typically contain a blend of ingredients designed to increase energy, focus, and endurance during exercise sessions.
Here we will explore what factors influence pre-workout potency when in liquid form so athletes can make informed choices around its use.
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Factors Affecting Pre-Workout Mix Longevity
When considering a pre-workout mix, it’s important to understand the factors that affect what kind of longevity it might have.
While the ingredients in the pre-workouts do play a role following are some of the other factors that directly impact the longevity of a pre-workout when dissolved.
- The type of pre-workout
- pH of the water
- Chemical interaction of the liquid with the powder
- Expiration of particular ingredients
- Storage method
How Long Is A Pre-Workout Good For After Mixing?
The majority of pre-workouts can be mixed with water the night before and consumed in the morning without any ill effects. Ideally, store it for 8 to 12 hours in room temperature.
The pre-workout solution is best stored in a cold place, such as the fridge, to maintain its effectiveness.
This will keep the ingredients from degrading too quickly, keeping their flavor and freshness for longer.
However, some pre-workout components don’t mix well with water and need to be ingested shortly after preparation.
Degrading Ingredients In Pre-Workout
Pre-workout supplements typically contain a variety of ingredients that are designed to enhance athletic performance during exercise.
Some of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements include:
- Caffeine – A natural stimulant that can increase energy levels, improve focus, and reduce fatigue.
- Beta-alanine – An amino acid that helps to buffer the muscles against fatigue, which can improve endurance during exercise.
- Creatine – A natural compound that is found in the muscles, and it helps to produce ATP, the primary source of energy for the body during exercise. By supplementing with creatine, athletes can increase their muscle stores of ATP, which can lead to improved strength and power output.
- Nitric Oxide Boosters – Compounds such as arginine and citrulline help dilate the blood vessels, which can improve blood flow to the muscles during exercise. This can lead to increased muscle pumps and improved nutrient delivery to the muscles, aiding in recovery and muscle growth.
- B Vitamins – Vitamins B6 and B12 are commonly found in pre-workout supplements and can help to convert food into energy, reduce fatigue, and support overall metabolism.
- Tyrosine – An amino acid that can improve focus, alertness, and mood during exercise.
- Taurine – An amino acid that can improve endurance and reduce muscle damage during exercise.
- Betaine – A compound that can improve power output, endurance, and muscle protein synthesis.
- Citrulline Malate – A combination of the amino acid citrulline and malic acid, which can improve endurance, reduce fatigue, and increase muscle pumps.
- Alpha-GPC – A compound that can improve cognitive function, enhance focus, and reduce fatigue during exercise.
Out of all these ingredients, only two of these ingredients disintegrate and lose it’s property overtime when mixed in any form or medium.
After coming into contact with water, creatine monohydrate begins to break down – but not as quickly as you might expect!
According to studies, the leading manufacturer of this popular supplement ingredient, after 8 hours, creatine will have only broken down 5% from its original form.
Creatine monohydrate is the preferred form of creatine by fitness enthusiasts because it’s proven to be most effective for people looking for gains.
But, its instability when exposed to prolonged exposure can make it unsuitable in ready-to-drink pre-workout products – something that needs to remain shelf stable and last much longer than other forms.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine, otherwise known as ALCAR, is one of the most widely used forms of L-carnitine supplements on the market.
To help with fat burning and energy production within our bodies. But it doesn’t stop there.
When ingested in supplement form, its acetyl group can separate from L-Carnitrne to produce a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, giving your brain an added boost!
It has been discovered that ALCAR is not very stable in solution and that the acetyl group will dissociate from the L-carnitine as it sits.
This not only lessens the ingredient’s usefulness but also diminishes the product’s flavor.
How To Store Pre-Mixed Pre-Workout?
If you’re stocking up on pre-workout formula, take heed – creatine and caffeine are especially prone to deterioration in cold water, though true, you should always keep the mixture in the fridge.
Ideally, you should try not to store your pre-mixed pre-workout in the fridge for more than 16 – 18 hours in the fridge more maximum benefits.
However, if you do keep it for 24 hours, it won’t harm you; it will just be a little less effective.
Note – Never prepare your pre-workout mixture with hot water, as that can drastically reduce its effectiveness – cold or room temperature is always best when storing such mixes overnight in the fridge!
Best Way To Take Pre-Workout
When using pre-workout supplements, it’s important to follow the suggested use section for optimal results.
Generally speaking, you’ll need to mix 8-10 ounces of cold water with a scoop of your supplement and consume 15-20 minutes before beginning any physical activity or exercise regime.
Doing this will ensure that the energy boost from your product gives you its full effect at just the right time!
If you’re thinking about making pre-workout in advance, it’s best to consume it within 8-12 hours after mixing.
However, a quick and easy fix is to put the powder into your shaker cup before bedtime, add water when you wake up in the morning—and voila!
An energizing drink that’ll give you lasting power during your workout will be ready for when hitting the gym!
How To Know Pre Workout Has Gone Bad?
While pre-workout formulas are often great for getting you energized before a workout, how and where they’re stored can make all the difference.
If it’s just sitting in your pantry overnight, we’ve got some bad news – that may not be enough!
Some supplements don’t stand up to their label claims unless refrigeration is utilized. So take care of your formula and maximize its potential by keeping it chill until right before use!
Some tell-tale signs to know that your pre-workout has expired are:
- Powder supplements are forming dry clumps, making them difficult to use.
- The product fails the smell test, indicating potential quality issues.
- The taste of the supplement differs from when it’s freshly mixed, suggesting a problem with the formula.
- You may experience a decline in physical performance after taking the supplement.
- Changes in the color of your pre-workout could be a sign of spoilage or contamination.
The expiration date stamped on the calendar may not be as important as the smell of whatever liquid you choose to mix with it.
It’s an indicator that once combined; your concoction begins to break down and no longer retains the potency and strength it did on day one.
If you’re used to stirring your mix with a spoon and suddenly find yourself needing to thaw out chunks of solidified powder, then it might be time to shake it up with something fresh.
This could mean anything from creatine or caffeine but applies to all ingredients found in a typical pre-workout supplement.
The best way to determine exactly how long it’s been languishing in your shaker is its smell – after all, if something smells funny, chances are it’s gone bad.
Pre-workout supplements can mix with water the night before and consumed before a workout, and the mixture will retain its effectiveness for up to 8-12 hours at room temperature.
Cold storage, such as in the fridge, can maintain potency and freshness, but some ingredients such as creatine and acetyl-l-carnitine may degrade over time.
However, the degradation rate is slow, and pre-workout supplements remain safe for consumption even after 24 hours.
Understanding the factors that affect pre-workout mix longevity, such as the type of pre-workout, pH of the water, chemical interaction with the powder, and storage method. It can help athletes make informed choices and maximize their drink’s power and flavor.