Pre-workout formulas are gaining a lot of traction lately, as gym enthusiasts are looking for better ways to get their bodies ready for an intense workout session.
However, it is recommended to know more about pre-workouts, how they can help you and how to use them properly, before you decide on this direction.
In other words, you should understand the pre-workout cycle in your organism so you can make an informed decision.
Since too much of anything usually leads to unwanted side effects, precaution is advised in this case also.
Continue reading and find out more about pre-workouts and how long it takes to cycle them off.
What is Pre-workout?
A pre-workout may sound like an exercise routine that should be done before your workout session.
Well, a pre-workout is indeed used before a workout, but it refers to supplements meant to provide all the support your body needs for intense physical effort.
Thus, the formula of a pre-workout contains ingredients that can boost your energy levels and increase the body’s performance.
This type of supplement is usually sold in a powdered form, allowing users to enjoy easy administration.
The powder can be mixed with water or other drinks, in certain quantities, and consumed before sessions of physical effort. What do pre-workout supplements contain?
The list of ingredients can vary based on a brand’s choices. But you can find ingredients such as caffeine, vitamin B, creatine, amino acids, and even sweeteners.
Yet again, there isn’t a specific list of ingredients that are followed when making such supplements, so it is up to the choice of the manufacturer.
How often should you take pre-workout?
When it comes to using pre-workout supplements, there isn’t a particular schedule you can use.
Still, you should not overdo it, out of the desire to perform better while working out. Also, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any kind of diet, especially if you’re on treatment.
You need to see whether the supplement interacts in any way with the medication you’re using.
Besides this, using pre-workout supplements too often can make your body get used to them, which leads to a diminished effect.
Thus, if you felt full of energy in the first instance you used pre-workout, after a while, the body can develop tolerance to the product.
So the most you could feel are some jitters. All in all, abusing a supplement will not turn you into a superhuman, and if you want increased performance, you should also pay attention to your diet and rest.
Why is it necessary to cycle off pre-workout?
As mentioned earlier, it is possible to reach a point when your pre-workout fails to provide the expected results.
To decide whether this is happening in your case or not, take a closer look at the servings you’re using. How much caffeine are you using per serving?
Are you in the 300 milligrams range or more? If you’re already using 300 milligrams of caffeine or more per serving and the pre-workout doesn’t deliver as expected any longer, then you must stop using it.
It is useless to take this much caffeine without feeling its benefits and it can be a health hazard in the long term as well.
There are other benefits of cycling off pre-workouts, especially since we are talking about a limited period here, benefits you should know about.
Cycling off pre-workouts will help you enjoy better sleep at night. Proper rest is necessary for your body, as it repairs itself after a workout routine and it builds more muscle mass meanwhile.
During the day, you will feel much more balanced from the point of view of your energy levels. You’ll enjoy more freedom, as you won’t rely on stimulating powder anymore.
You’ll be able to train more intensely as well, as your body could use a change of rhythm. And, of course, you’ll have the chance to return to pre-workouts after a while.
When to cycle off pre-workout?
Each individual using pre-workout supplements should monitor his or her performance, to determine whether the pre-workout is working or not.
So, there isn’t a specific limit and it’s more based on subjective experiences. However, if you’re already taking large doses of caffeine, like 300 milligrams or more, and you’re not getting the desired effects, then you should cycle off for a while.
To avoid reaching a plateau, it would be a good idea to cycle off every 6 to 8 weeks. This way, your body will not get used to the supplement and will have the chance to reset its system.
Thus, when you go back to pre-workout, the results will be just as when you started the first time.
When cycling off pre-workouts, it is recommended to do it gradually, reducing the intake of caffeine over 2 to 3 weeks.
This will keep you from experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Once you are off caffeine, stay away from pre-workouts for approximately one month before taking these supplements again.
The idea is to allow your body a good amount of time to reboot itself. However, it may take up to two months to completely cycle off caffeine, so it’s all about how much and how often you used it.
How Long To Cycle Off Pre-Workout?
Check your supplement lists
To decide whether it is a good idea to cycle off pre-workouts, you first need to know what type of products you’re using.
So, always check your supplement list and, even more, check the ingredients used by the supplements.
There are active ingredients that should be cycled off, simply because the body gets used to them, so they fail to deliver as they did in the first place.
Know what to do off and on
Ingredients with a stimulating effect are the ones you should periodically cycle off so that you can enjoy their effect in a constant manner.
Caffeine, yohimbine, and green tea extract are the most common stimulants used in pre-workout supplements.
They are quite popular because they give you a boost of energy, needed to perform better during workouts.
However, the body can get used to them, when they are consumed over a period, so you will no longer feel that energy kicking in.
This is why it is a good idea to give your body the chance to eliminate them so that you’ll once again feel their effect after a while.
What supplements don’t need cycling off
Your body could use a break, no matter what supplements you’re taking. Some supplements need cycling off more than others, but the main idea is that you should cycle all supplements, giving the body the chance to reset itself.
Taking a supplement for too long won’t be of good use. When abusing a substance, even if it is a natural one, for the sake of the conversation, problems can arise.
When you cycle off, the organism cleans itself and rebalances. In other words, there are no downsides to cycling off supplements.
On the contrary, you will feel better and once you will start using a supplement again, you’ll experience its full range of benefits.
Side effects and safety
Safety should always come first, especially when you decide to take pre-workout supplements. Since they contain stimulants, you need to pay attention to a series of side effects.
Insomnia, dehydration, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and headaches are on the list of side effects pre-workouts can trigger.
You may experience one or several side effects, besides the ineffectiveness of the supplement. So, always monitor your state and performance and pay attention to the signals provided by your body.
Whenever you decide to go on some supplements, it is always a good idea to talk to a physician.
The physician will evaluate your state of health and will run some tests to see how you’re doing.
Doing so before taking any supplements will save you from running into any health issues.
Consulting a physician is even more important if you’re following treatment, as this will rule out any unwanted interactions between the meds and supplements.
How to cycle off
Ways of cycling off
Cycling off pre-workout supplements sounds easier than it actually is. Although most people recommend dropping stimulants at once, such an approach can trigger several unpleasant side effects.
Headaches, tiredness, and cravings for caffeine-rice products can all be withdrawal symptoms brought along by an abrupt ceasing of to use of stimulants.
Of course, this doesn’t mean this method is not effective. Some find it easier to let stimulants go this way, rather than downsizing the portion.
If you know you’ll react badly to cutting down caffeine all of a sudden, then you could use a method that reduces the used quantity for a while, before letting it go completely.
Thus, if you’re daily dose is of 2 spoons of powdered supplement, downsize it by half, taking only one spoon.
Do this for the following two weeks and then cycle off completely. In case you feel the need to have some caffeine or you experience some withdrawal symptoms, you can drink a cup of black coffee.
Just make sure not to drink more coffee, as you won’t help your body this way.
How to next cycle on
The break period should be about a month, or 30 days, time in which you should not consume any kind of stimulants.
If you still want to support your body during workouts, you can always use stimulant-free supplements.
Also, one month may not be enough to cycle off completely, especially if you ended up using a lot of stimulants per serving.
So, how to tell the time is right to go back to pre-workout supplements? There’s a rather simple test you can take, to see how your body reacts to stimulants.
If the 30 days break is over, have one cup of coffee or an energy drink. If your body feels the energy pump, then you’re good to go, as the cycling-off period did its job.
In case your body fails to respond as expected, you may need to extend the break period, giving the organism more time to reset and clean itself.
It’s worth mentioning that cycling off pre-workout should be done periodically, not giving the body the chance to get used to them too much.
This will not just keep you away from health problems, but will also allow you to enjoy their benefit over and over again.
What You Learn from Taking A Break from Stimulants
Because pre-workout supplements contain stimulants, the quality of your sleep can be affected, especially if you consume these supplements in the afternoon, for your evening workout session.
Once you stop using them, you’ll notice immediate improvements in this sector, which comes with a wide range of benefits for your body.
During a break from stimulants, you’ll notice just how important diet and rest are for reaching goals like weight loss and muscle mass gain.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for building more muscle mass and the diet is extremely important for getting the energy you need for workouts.
If you eat the right foods, you’ll have no problem performing well during training sessions.
You’ll also enjoy a steady level of energy throughout the day, completing any kind of task without problems.
Things to avoid while stopping pre-workouts
- Don’t stop going through your workout sessions.
Skipping a gym is probably the worst thing you can do. Even if your energy levels are not as desired, don’t stop training. You will get back your regular strength gradually, so don’t let go.
- Don’t eat junk food and don’t skip sleep.
Eating junk and not enjoying sufficient rest will both take a toll on your body. If your goal is achieving better fitness and leaner muscles, adopting a healthy diet, packed with nutritious foods, and sleeping sufficiently at night are essential to reaching your goals.
FAQ How Long To Cycle Off Pre Workout
1) Do I have to cycle off pre-workout every day?
Cycling off pre-workout supplements means cutting them out completely for 30 days. So, yes, you will have to avoid them every day, for about a month.
If you used stimulants in larger quantities, like more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per serving, you may need more than a month to reboot your system. If you don’t cycle off, the supplements will fail to deliver results after a while.
2) What if I choose to skip the cycle off pre-workout?
When it comes to using stimulants, the body gets used to having them around, even if we are talking about consistent quantities.
Thus, after a while, you will no longer feel the energy boost you were accustomed to. It’s just like drinking two cups of coffee in the morning and still feeling sleepy afterward.
Also, using high quantities of stimulants for longer periods is not a good idea, as they come along with a set of side effects and health risks.
3) Is pre-workout healthy?
Using pre-workout supplements does not trigger health hazards if used correctly. If you use these supplements, it a very good idea to monitor your daily caffeine intake, as you may get caffeine from several sources throughout the day.
In other words, if you’re using pre-workout supplements, avoid drinking coffee, green tea, sodas, and energy drinks, as it may be too much caffeine for you at once.
And consuming too much caffeine can have a negative impact on the heart’s health and trigger blood pressure-related problems.
4) Can I take a pre-workout if I want to do other physical activities?
The idea of using pre-workout supplements is to enjoy an energy boost for a session of physical effort.
So, it doesn’t matter what kind of activity or exercise you’re performing, as long as you have a way to put all that energy to good use.
Gym enthusiasts use these supplements to perform better during workouts, but you can also use them for jogging, swimming, and any other physical activity you prefer.
5) Are pre-workouts a good idea for everyone?
Pre-workout supplements are not recommended for everyone, because they do contain stimulants like caffeine. Thus, those that have trouble consuming caffeine are at risk if choosing to use such supplements.
Caffeine can raise one’s heart rate, so when this organ faces some issues or is subjected to stress, cardiovascular risks are increased considerably.
The recommendation is to talk to a doctor before taking any kind of supplements, making sure you’re in the safe zone at all times.
Pre-workout supplements can help, to a certain degree, but you should never rely entirely on them to make things happen.
Supplements are merely aids, so don’t forget about the importance of having an adequate diet, a good rest routine, and effective methods for lowering daily stress.
If you do choose to use pre-workout, then you should know all about the importance of cycling off.
Because pre-workout supplements are mostly based on stimulants, meant to boost your energy levels, it is a good idea to stop using them for a while. This way, the body doesn’t build a tolerance to these products and you avoid overusing them.
Working out is my life. I love to help others see the potential of their bodies as they transform into their best selves.