Taking Pre-Workout Before Work: A Good Idea?

  • By Performance Lab
  • 10 minute read
Taking Pre-Workout Before Work: A Good Idea?

Breakfast for dinner, dinner for lunch—there’s a special thrill that comes with doing common everyday things unconventionally, or out of order.

If anything, doing things unconventionally can at least help us understand the wisdom underlying our conventions, such as the convention of wearing socks not on your hands but on your feet… but, all the same, there’s no denying the   thrill  of showing up to work with gloves on your feet and underwear on your head.

And this thrill is present in the question, “What if I take a pre-workout supplement… without working out??”

“What if I take a pre-workout not before working out but before   going to work??

Work and working out—the two are at least semantically similar enough to make all these muscle-pumping, brain-jolting exercise formulas valid for professional work performance as well, right?

After all, many college students take physical performance enhancers before exams and all-night study sessions—so why not take these performance enhancers for work, too?

Well, there are some good reasons why you shouldn’t take pre-workout supplements before work, depending on the type of supplement and type of work.

However, there are also some very good reasons for taking a performance-enhancing supplement before, even solely on an “as-need basis.”

Before getting into  why you should take a pre-workout stack before work—including a breakdown of the two best pre-workout formulas for work performance:  Performance Lab® Pre  and  Performance Lab Caffeine+ —we need to address the basics.

Starting with whether or not it’s even   okay  to take a pre-workout without …well, working out.

Is It Okay to Take Pre-Workout Supplements Without Going to the Gym?

Existentially speaking, there is no   pre-workout without a workout. So, what then does a pre-workout supplement become if we take one without working out?

More importantly, what happens to   us  when we take a pre-workout without then working out??

Just because certain supplement formulas go by the name of “pre-workout,” doesn’t mean that the ingredients in those formulas (or some of those formulas entirely) can or should be used exclusively for enhancing exercise performance.

For example, in some contexts, the herbal adaptogen Rhodiola rosea can be a powerful ergogenic aid for enhancing strength and stamina for bodybuilders and powerlifters.

However, in other contexts, say in a workplace context, Rhodiola rosea can act as a powerful, fast-acting nootropic—one that drastically clears away cognitive stress and brain fog midway through your work shift. 1

So, to answer the titular question:   yes, it’s okay to take pre-workout supplements without going to the gym.

But there are a few caveats to this:

  1. Not   all  pre-workouts should be taken without working out.
  2. Pre-workouts without exercise do not confer the benefits of exercise (obviously).
  3. What you do instead of working out matters.

This last caveat is especially important:  just because you   can  take certain pre-workouts without working out doesn’t mean that you   should  do so—at least not without the intention of acutely enhancing some other non-exercise-related aspect of performance.

In this article, we’re focusing primarily on taking a pre-workout supplement for work—i.e., to improve your performance at your job.

But to understand how a pre-workout supplement might do this (and whether or not taking a pre-workout can help you with   your  specific job), we’ll need to first address:   what exactly does a pre-workout supplement do?

What Does a Pre-Workout Supplement Do?

Many people think of pre-workout supplements strictly in terms of   physical  performance enhancement.

And while, yes, the primary purpose of pre-workout stacks is to boost   physical  measures of performance, many ingredients in these formulas also benefit cognitive measures of performance, as suggested by the Rhodiola rosea example above.

In a nutshell, pre-workout supplements mix several diversely bioactive ingredients to target multiple performance-enhancing bio-pathways related to competitive health and fitness performance.

While some pre-workout supplements cheaply do this with an excessive “blunt force” amount of stimulants, such as caffeine or synephrine, more sophisticated (and effective) pre-workout formulas instead work with your brain and body’s natural mechanisms to organically improve performance   in service of  (not   at the cost of) your long-term health and fitness.

The benefits of which are immense.

Performance Benefits of a Pre-Workout

Simply put, pre-workout supplements can help you improve your exercise performance, both short-term and long-term.

Taken immediately before working out, pre-workouts (at least effective ones) are designed to help you work out harder, longer, and faster, netting greater muscle-building, fat-burning results.

In the context of exercise, pre-workout supplements can help improve:

  • Muscular strength, stamina, and endurance
  • Anabolic muscle growth and development
  • Nitric oxide (NO) production for improved circulation
  • Organic ATP energy metabolism
  • Stress levels, both hormonal (cortisol) and oxidative (free radicals)
  • Electrolyte-supported hydration levels
  • Cognitive focus, attention, and arousal

Of course, in a work setting (especially for hard labor), many of these benefits can be translated to work-related performance measures: heightened stamina and endurance, greater energy and vitality, clear and competitive cognition, etc., etc.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Take a Pre-Workout Before Work

There are reasons why you should take a pre-workout before work. And there are reasons why you   shouldn’t  take a pre-workout before work.

Here, we’ll cover the few reasons why you should (followed by when you   shouldn’t  take a pre-workout supplement pre-work).

Taking a pre-workout before work may help improve performance for:

1) Physically Demanding Labor

With so many people entering the digital gig economy and spending most of their days in their home offices sitting in front of their computer screens, what even   is  “work” anymore? It’s almost like we’ve taken the “work” part out of work, involving increasingly mentally demanding labor in lieu of the physically intensive stuff.

Even so, physically demanding labor still thrives in much of the world. And if your work has you perpetually on your feet throughout the workday, taking a muscle-priming pre-workout formula may significantly help you get through the day.

Especially considering that we tend to adjust to poor form and posture as our muscle strength and stamina diminishes throughout the day, thereby increasing our risk of injury, protecting your muscle tissues against labor strain can help you stay fresh, lively, and well-postured.

2) Long Hourly Shifts

Both physically and mentally, work can be draining. Of course, we all like to envision ourselves as staying focused and passionate about our daily work grind.

But, even for the most passionate, inspiring projects, energy and vitality dwindle throughout long hourly shifts, impairing work performance towards the end of one’s shift and making the whole “work” thing much less efficient than it could be.

Whether you work long hourly shifts or have extensive daily project demands (e.g., as a freelancer), taking a pre-workout either before work or midway through your workday as a sort of mid-day boost may significantly help you get more done in less time, making the day-to-day grind that much easier and potentially even buying you more daily free time.

3) Competitive Cognitive Demands

Here is where the term “nootropic” takes on greater importance.

What we think of as nootropics—i.e., as cognitive enhancers—typically remains within the limits of academic performance; however, many of us are beginning to realize the effectiveness of nootropics in the realms of both exercise and professional labor. This perhaps explains why many pre-workout formulas are adding nootropics to their formulas more and more.

Of course, if muscle-priming pre-workout ingredients assist specifically with physically demanding labor, nootropic pre-workout ingredients may serve particular advantages to the “brain worker” type—the “I get paid to sit in front of a computer and think” type of workers.

Many of the same nootropics that assist with focus, attention, and intensity in the gym may also help sharpen focus and cognitive endurance in the workplace.

When You  Shouldn’t Take a Pre-Workout Before Work

Let’s face it, not all work requires the exceptional performance-enhancing benefits of pre-workout supplements. For many of us, what we call “work” is simply a means to a paycheck as we invest a majority of our efforts and passions into bigger picture stuff.

With that aside, even in the case of highly demanding work, workers should take caution with their pre-workout formulas, considering that so many exercise supplements are designed not for improving one’s cognitive processing power but rather intense, immediate, big-heavy-lifting muscle activity.

So, unless your work is comparable to performing multiple sets of 315 lb. back squats or swimming a hundred laps in the pool, it’s best to avoid the   extreme-O hyper-caffeinated pre-workout formulas.

In fact, even for exercise, it’s perhaps best to avoid such risky, heart-racing formulas.

If you do enjoy such stimulation for exercise and that’s all you have on hand, reserve that formula for working out—not for work.

Instead, for improving workplace performance, you’ll want to invest in either a stim-free pre-workout formula or a nootropic-enhanced stim stack that won’t have you bouncing off the walls of your office.

Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Work Performance

Not all supplements that benefit exercise performance should also be taken for work performance. Hyper-caffeinated formulas that are already questionable as is certainly may have a negative, counterproductive “heart-racing” effect on your work that you’d like to avoid.

And while the beta-alanine tingles are manageable for those with heavy physical labor demands at work, you certainly don’t want to be hit with the tingles while sitting in front of a computer.

With that in mind, we have here two pre-workout formulas—one non-caffeinated, the other caffeinated, respectively—that may help you physically and mentally boost your work performance, whether you work on your feet or from a chair:

Performance Lab® Pre

A totally stim-free, synthetic-free pre-workout formula,   Performance Lab® Pre  is an innovative sports nutrition stack designed to acutely enhance athletic performance while also supercharging long-term muscle power and energy for ongoing, daily fitness benefits.

Performance Lab® Pre works by:

  • Promoting nitric oxide (NO) levels  for enhanced circulation throughout the body and brain, amplifying delivery of oxygen and nutrients to hard-working tissues.
  • Saturating muscle tissue with ATP-producing energy  via clean, refined creatine, as Creapure®, delivered in minimally effective dosages (1250mg) per serving.
  • Extending aerobic and anaerobic endurance  to help you withstand ongoing rigorous activity without succumbing to early muscle failure or fatigue.
  • Fueling competition-ready brainpower  with natural organic energy (via creatine) and maritime pine bark extract, an antioxidant-rich herbal extract demonstrated to improve long-term attention performance. 2

Regarding work (not   workout) performance, let’s address the elephant in Pre’s bottle:   creatine (as Creapure® pH10).  

Odds are if you’re familiar with pre-workouts, you’re familiar with creatine, arguably the best   natural  ergogenic for exercise performance enhancement, with some research linking this compound to improved short-term memory and intelligent reasoning, as well. 3

Because creatine saturates your muscle tissue with surplus energy fuel, allowing you to increase your workout volume and intensity, you’ll still need to exercise or find some way to burn off that excess energy, if your daily workload isn’t sufficient.

Meaning that if you’re taking Performance Lab® Pre prior to work and your work is only moderately laborious (physically speaking), you’ll still need to hit the gym at some point.

All the same, Performance Lab® Pre’s stim-free formula may help you perform at higher levels, both professionally and athletically—though if you’re looking for at least   some  stim action, Pre stacks well with the next formula.

Supplement Facts:  Setria® Performance Blend , Creapure® pH10 (contains 94% Creatine Monohydrate ), CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, Maritime Pine Bark Extract ( Pinus pinaster) (95% proanthocyanidins), Himalayan Pink Salt

Get the Best Deal on Performance Lab® Pre Here.

Performance Lab® Caffeine+

The caffeinated complement to Pre’s stim-free formula,   Performance Lab® Caffeine+  is a nootropic-enhanced brain booster stacked with naturally sourced caffeine and research-backed cognitive enhancers that help maximize the focus-sharpening benefits of caffeine while mitigating the drug’s jittery side effects.

The Performance Lab® Caffeine+ formula splits into two sub-stacks:

  1. Performance-Tuned Stimulation:  the highly popular caffeine + L-theanine nootropic duo, this cognitive enhancing complements the energy-jolting benefits of caffeine with the calming effects of L-theanine for a smoother, jittery-free performance boost.
  2. Caffeine Balance and Recovery:  to increase cognitive energy and alertness, caffeine increases demand on catecholamine neurotransmitters (dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine), which Caffeine+ replenishes with pro-catecholaminergic L-tyrosine and B-vitamins.

Naturally, work and coffee go hand-in-hand. But, as many people know, drinking a lot of coffee to solve the problem of long work schedules and low stamina can become a problem in itself.

As the coffee intake increases, the stimulation counterproductively impairs cognition and soon follows with a post-energy comedown and crash.

By pairing a minimally effective dose (50mg) of natural caffeine with mind-soothing L-theanine and catecholamine replenishing L-tyrosine and B-vitamins, Performance Lab® Caffeine+ offers a caffeine source that   actually  enhances cognitive performance without the usually jittery side effects.

And with zero ingredient overlap between Performance Lab® Pre’s formula, Performance Lab® Caffeine+ pairs well with Pre for an acute, complementary boost on fast-acting, long-lasting energy and mood enhancement.

Taken in the morning, afternoon, or simply on an as-needed basis, Performance Lab® Caffeine+ safely boosts both physical and mental performance—in the gym, in the workplace; anywhere where work needs to get done.

Supplement Facts:  Natural Caffeine (from   Coffea robusta  seeds), Suntheanine® L-Theanine, Ajipure® L-Tyrosine; NutriGenesis® Caffeine Balance B-Complex: Riboflavin+ (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B6+, Folate+ (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12+

Get the Best Deal on Performance Lab® Caffeine+ Here.

Conclusion: Is Taking a Pre-Workout Before Work a Good Idea?

Ultimately, whether or not you should take a pre-workout before work is up to you. If your work is in itself a workout—a physically demanding job—then taking a pre-workout supplement can certainly help you stay fresh and fit.

Likewise, taking some pre-workout supplement ingredients intended for intense focus and cognitive performance may also assist with the cognitive demands of labor. Especially for those who work   long, long  days in the gig economy, where their performance matters and simply “clocking in” will no longer cut it.

Of course, not all pre-workout supplements are great for work and can even produce metabolically disruptive results, if you’re not subsequently lifting heavy weights, running long miles, swimming many laps, etc., etc.

But for both intense physical activity in the gym and the hard-earned work grind,   Performance Lab® Pre   and   Performance Lab® Caffeine+  are two excellent, compatible options—and both are completely 100% natural, vegan-friendly, and eco-friendly. Safe for workers of all types and dietary lifestyles.

Get the Best Deal on Performance Lab® Pre Here.


  1. Cropley M et al. The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms. Phytother Res. 2015 Dec; 29(12): 1934-9.
  2. Iravani S, Zolfaghari B. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical effects of   Pinus pinaster  bark extract. Res Pharm Sci. 2011 Jan-Jun; 6(1): 1-11.
  3. Avgerinos KI et al. Effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function of healthy individuals: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Exp Gerontol. 2018 Jul 15; 108: 166-173.
  4. Owen GN et al. The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutr Neurosci. 2008 Aug; 11(4): 193-8.
  5. Ulvik A et al. Coffee consumption and circulating B-vitamins in healthy middle-aged men and women. Clin Chem. 2008 Sep; 54(9): 1489-96.