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Pre-Workout vs. Post-Workout Supplements: What’s The Difference?

Written by Maria-Nicole Marino

Reviewed by Liz Brown

Discover the difference between pre- workout vs post- workout supplements and how you can use them effectively and maximize your results!

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Discover the difference between pre- workout vs post- workout supplements and how you can use them effectively and maximize your results!

Okay, who agrees… Sometimes the hardest part of working out doesn’t even involve breaking a sweat. It’s the 30 minutes BEFORE gym time when you’re feeling SO.TIRED, you’d rather do absolutely anything other than move a muscle. We get it. The days are long, and often it takes a lot more than screenshots of your favorite fit influencers to get you fired up to burn some cals!

There has to be some way to help you get into workout mode, right? Dun nun un un 🎺 Enter pre-workout supplements, simply known as “pre-workout” to most. You’ve probably heard a lot about the potential energy and endurance benefits of taking pre-workout, and you may have even heard of its counterpart post-workout.

But if you’ve never tried a pre- or post-work supplement before, you’re probably wondering if this is all too good to be true. Do they help? Should you take one or both? What are the overall benefits of pre-workout vs post-workout?

All valid questions, and luckily, we’re here to help! Let’s break it down, shall we?

pre- workout vs post- workout

Pre-Workout vs. Post-Workout: What’s The Difference?

Pre- and post-workout supplements have a few similarities…

The difference between pre- and post-workout supplements may seem pretty obvious. One is taken before you work out, and the other after. But there’s actually much more to it…

How To Use Pre-Workout

First, let’s take a look at pre-workout by diving into these important questions…

What Is Pre-Workout?

Simply put, pre-workout is a supplement that’s meant to boost your energy to increase athletic performance. There is definitely an art to choosing pre-workout and using it correctly. The wrong pre-workout can leave you feeling jittery, itchy (yes, itchy!), and possibly even too uncomfortable to workout. #fail

And because there are so many options out there, each brand of pre-workout can range drastically in terms of formula and quality. That’s why it’s important to choose your pre-and post-workout carefully and from brands you can trust. Make sure you do your due diligence by researching the different ingredients and the amount of each ingredient included. Even if the ingredients themselves are a-okay, too much of any one of them can be negative. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing! But the RIGHT pre-workout can give you the edge you need to fuel your workout—and even enjoy the process more!

How To Choose The Best Pre-Workout

When choosing a pre-workout, we suggest finding a formula that’s made for women. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for quality ingredients such as the three below, which are well-studied and proven to improve physical fitness. They even have some pretty awesome overall health benefits!

What Is The Best Time To Take Pre-Workout?

This can actually be a tricky question! On average, pre-workout kicks in about 30 minutes after taking it, but the exact timing is dependent on your personal metabolism. Some people metabolize food and supplements more quickly than others. If this is you, you’ll likely feel the effects of your pre-workout within a half hour. Others with slower metabolisms may not feel the power for 45 minutes to an hour. All totally normal!

If you’re new to pre-workout, keep an eye on the clock the first couple times you take the supplement. Then you’ll be able to gauge how quickly it works for you and shift your workout schedule accordingly.

What Is The Best Way To Take Pre-Workout?

Taking pre-workout is a breeze. Add the suggested serving size right to your water, mix, and drink! You’ll be hydrating and energizing all at the same time. For our gals on the go, we recommend a shaker bottle like SkinnyFit Detox Bottle so you can simply shake and go—no mixing required!

what to take before your workout

Here’s What To Take Before Your Workout

As amazing and energizing as a quality pre-workout supplement can be, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients as well. I’m talking good old fashion food and water! Try this ideal pre-workout routine for a killer, fat-burning session.

How To Use Post-Workout

After your workout is complete—yaaas, girl—it’s JUST as important to maximize your results by taking a post-workout supplement. Post-workout helps to soothe tired bodies, build long, lean muscles, and continue the fat burn even after you’ve stopped working out.

Like stretching, post-workout is a vital part of any exercise routine but it’s often overlooked. If you’re not already on the post-workout train, let’s review why it’s key in getting the results you’ve been wanting!

What Is Post-Workout?

Pre- and post-workout supplements for weight loss have different benefits. While pre-workout is used to boost energy and increase endurance during your workout, post-workout aids in muscular recovery and muscle building after your workout is complete.

Post-workout is made of branch chain amino acids, better known as BCAAs. BCAAs are called “essential” because they can’t be produced by our bodies and it’s essential that we consume them through the right foods and supplements. These nifty amino acids are responsible for building muscle, decreasing muscle fatigue, and soothing soreness.

Post-workout recovery is so vital because when you workout, you’re actually creating teeny, tiny tears in your muscles. This may sound gross/painful but it’s completely normal and is actually a good thing! When you create those tears, your body gets right to work repairing and rebuilding them to create longer, leaner muscles. This is where BCAAs (or post-workout) come in. They help the body build new muscle, recover quickly, and soothe muscle fatigue and soreness.

Not only do BCAAs maximize your results and fat burn long after you’ve finished your workout, but they help you recover faster so you can feel great for your next gym sesh! No more hobbling around for days on end after a challenging workout. 💯

what is post workout

What Is The Best Time To Take Post-Workout?

The most ideal time to take post-workout is about 45-60 minutes after a workout. That’s when your muscles absorb the most nutrients. During this prime window you’ll want to take your pre-workout, hydrate, and eat a little something that contains both protein and carbs (hint, hint like the smoothie below!). This will help build lean muscle and replace the nutrients your body used during exercise.

What Is The Best Way To Take Post-Workout?

Like pre-workout, post-workout can simply be mixed into water and consumed. As long as you’re taking it within 45 minutes toan hour after your workout, you’ll get maximum benefits!

You can also get creative and add it to a post-workout smoothie! We love this antioxidant-rich banana berry smoothie recipe. Add a scoop of the SkinnyFit Repair & Recover BCAAs, and you’ve got one powerfully restorative snack in no time!  

best way to take post workout

Here’s What To Take Post-Workout

By now you know that what you consume after a workout is just as important as your pre-workout nutrition.

When it comes to post-workout, SkinnyFit Repair & Recover is everything you need from a restorative post-workout supplement. Like Jump Start, Repair & Recover was created specifically for women, which we love! Its targeted formula repairs muscle tears to form long, lean muscle, while easing aches and pains so you can spend less time recovering from soreness and more time crushing your fitness goals!

The Best Pre- and Post-Workout Supplements For Weight Loss

The right combination of a pre- and post-workout supplements will completely amplify your fitness results and help you feel stronger and more energized than ever before! But where can you find a great deal on a premium pre- and post-workout duo, you ask? Look no further…

SkinnyFit believes in the quality and effectiveness of its pre- and post-workout supplements so much that they’re offering the most amazing deal for summer! 👙☀️

About The Author

Maria-Nicole Marino

Family Health & Fitness Writer

Maria is a writer, editor, and entrepreneur with nearly a decade of experience writing, researching, and editing for numerous health publications such as Parents Magazine and Family Circle Magazine. She’s covered numerous topics ranging from parenting, children’s health, sex education, as well as fitness and beauty. She’s also the Co-Founder of a cardio kickboxing studio in NYC and Panic Panties.

Reviewed By

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's creating delicious recipes, DIYs, and sharing her home projects on her blog and social media (@lizlovery)

  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)

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