Pre-Workout for Studying – Can It Actually Help You?

One of the lesser-known benefits of pre-workout supplements is that they help you focus. 

So, you may ask, Can it actually help you with studying? Will it help you reach your academic goals? If you’ve asked these questions, read on to find the answers, plus what pre-workouts can do for you.

So, Can Pre-Workout Supplements Help You Study?

Yes, a pre-workout helps increase focus, alertness, and energy, making them helpful for studying.

However, it still depends on the combination of ingredients a pre-workout contains. For instance, those that have caffeine and L-theanine work well. Meanwhile, Acetyl L-Carnitine is also a great ingredient as it helps with brain function.

Another excellent ingredient in pre-workouts is Green Tea leaf extract, which enhances memory. [2] 

There are also other ingredients in a pre-workout that can improve focus and brain power. These include Taurine (non-proteinogenic amino sulfonic acid), L-Tyrosine (nonessential amino acid), and Alpha GPC. 

You may even drink a pre-workout instead of an energy drink or coffee to help you focus on your studies. Although, it’s best to take it in lower doses. 

If you’re looking for pre-workouts with a well-tested formula that delivers powerful performance enhancement, long-lasting energy, and help you focus, check out some of the Best Pre Workout Fat Burner in the market today. Our team personally tested every product featured in it.

Now that we’ve clarified that a pre-workout indeed helps you focus, you may wonder – Will your energy level crash at some point after consuming a pre-workout supplement?

Well, it depends. 

Not all pre-workouts can make you crash. However, if the one you are taking does, it’s probably because of the high dose of caffeine in it. 

More specifically, what happens is that the pre-workout ingredients temporarily restrict your body’s production of adenosine, a molecule that makes you feel sleepy. Then, it’ll amp up its output of dopamine and adrenaline, which explains why you’re feeling energized initially.

How Does Pre-Workout Crash Feel Like?

Eventually, tiredness accumulates with time, and this hits back hard as the stimulant wears off in your body. 

A pre-workout crash feels like an energy drain, making you feel exhausted, sleepy, and tired with a lack of concentration. You don’t want these side effects to happen, especially if you’re studying.

Moreover, the pre-workout crash occurs when the liver enzymes break down the supplement ingredients. As a result, some people may experience headaches, nausea, irritability, or instant tiredness. Don’t worry, though, as you can avoid these side effects.

To avoid the pre-workout crash, eat before consuming the formula, take smaller doses, test your tolerance, occasionally cycle different stimulants or pre-workouts, or opt for non-stim pre-workouts.

Is Pre-Workout Good Before an Exam?

Actually, yes. Taking a high-quality pre-workout before an exam is an excellent brain hack. It can improve your concentration and cognitive performance.

However, some pre-workouts contain creatine and caffeine. These two ingredients stimulate your nervous system and improve your alertness and memory performance. 

How Much Pre-Workout Should You Take Before the Test?

Nevertheless, limiting your intake to ¼ of the supposed scoop before your exam or study session is best. You’ll feel the difference.

But overall, the effectiveness of your pre-workout for concentration boils down to its ingredients.

Here are some pre-workout ingredients to look for to improve exam performance, test results, and cognitive function:

  • Taurine
  • BCAA
  • Malic acid
  • Agmatine sulfate
  • L-Tyrosine
  • L-Citrulline
  • Beta-alanine
  • Creatine Monohydrate

Remember that taking a pre-workout supplement before the test differs from drinking it before an exercise. A person may take or slightly more of the recommended dosage during a workout. 

To a few people who took the recommended dosage for studying, it gave them a jittery reaction that they couldn’t entirely focus. Of course, another best alternative is to take a non-stimulant instead.

Some pre-workouts increase dopamine levels

The dopamine hormone motivates you to get up and go, as well as the feelings of reward. This is why some pre-workouts contain ingredients like L-tyrosine, known to increase dopamine levels in the brain. 

When it does so, it enhances a person’s cognitive flexibility and control in situations with high mental demands. [3]

It helps you to become relaxed and calm before an exam

Academic exams and tests can be mentally draining and stressful. It can also cause all sorts of worries and anxiety, impairing one’s memory.

Stress likewise negatively impacts combining new information with one’s existing memories. Therefore, some students or exam takers consume pre-workouts before their tests. Doing this helps reduce mental fatigue and be more relaxed while being focused and sharp on the task.

One of the top ingredients in both stim and non-stim pre-workouts that help you become more relaxed is beta-alanine and creatine. 

Beta-alanine helps to enhance mood, while creatine improves attention, reasoning, executive function, and memory, especially during a highly stressful task.

Pre-workouts increase your energy

Pre-workouts contain ingredients like creatine, which increase your muscles’ energy with working out. As you know, the brain needs constant fuel to protect, support, and maintain your life continuously.

Mental activities require energy, like studying, homework, reading, hobbies, work, learning a new language, or any mentally challenging endeavor.

Other pre-workout supplements have a non-stimulant compound that increases energy without crashes or jitters yet improves focus.

Pre-workouts improve your memory

Academic examinations and tests require critical thinking, creativity, and multilevel analysis. A pre-workout before an exam also helps you stay focused, enhance memory, and combat mental fatigue.

Many pre-workout supplements include citrulline, a precursor of L-arginine that plays an essential role in nitric oxide production in the body. Such consequently improves cerebral blood flow, helping you with short-term memory tasks and cognitive performance.

Related: 5 Benefits of Healthy Habits

The Right Way to Use a Pre Workout

There’s no doubt that a pre-workout has a lot to offer beyond just academic benefits. However, using your supplement correctly is the key to reaping these benefits. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your pre-workout:

Use the Right Amount

Look at the label and notice how many scoops a serving the manufacturer recommends. If you don’t intend to use a pre-workout for muscle gains, strength, and endurance but for school performance alone, then we suggest limiting your intake. 

About ¼ of the recommended scoop may be ideal for mental focus. But you don’t have to take the whole serving, especially if it’s your first time. 

Some people prefer taking half a scoop of the best pre-workout supplement. Doing this prevents them from experiencing the side effects of shakiness, headaches, or anxiety.

Time is Right

To experience maximum energy from the best pre-workout supplements, consume them at the appropriate time. 

However, if it contains caffeine, you should consume it about 30 minutes before your workout or study schedule. Even the label on most pre-workout supplements recommends taking it before the scheduled training, as caffeine reaches its peak effectiveness in about 15 to 45 minutes of consumption.

The benefit of taking it at the right time is you’ll feel an increase in energy. You don’t also have to worry about caffeine crashing halfway through your studies or even when you use it for workouts. 

Related: Best Time to Take a Fat Burner

Consider Caffeine Content

Lastly, consider the amount of caffeine per serving. Taking pre-workout about 400 milligrams or 0.014 ounces daily is the safe upper limit of caffeine. Factor in how much caffeine you’ve had beforehand because a cup of coffee already contains approximately 100 milligrams.

Our Top 3 Pre-Workout for Studying or Focus

We handpicked some of the best pre-workout supplements for studying today:

1. Genius Pre-Workout Powder – Best Stim-Free Pre-Workout

Genius Pre-Workout Powder

Product Description

This product comes from a nootropic brand, meaning they specialize in supplements that may improve cognitive function.

Their Genius Pre-workout doesn’t contain any caffeine but does have other ingredients that link to strength, focus, and endurance. One of our favorites is the Grape Limeade flavor, although you can always try different flavors.

This product contains Citrulline malate, a nitric oxide precursor linked to increased blood flow, endurance, and focus. It also contains betaine, associated with focus and power output. 

Another nitric oxide precursor is L-arginine. Then, you’ll find the Rhodiola rosea in its ingredient list. Such may boost cognition and reduce fatigue.


  • It contains ingredients that help you perform better mentally
  • Non-stimulant pre-workout
  • The flavors are not overwhelming
  • It contains natural ingredients with essential nutrients
  • Faster recovery and increased performance in workouts


  • Pricey compared to other pre-workout supplements
  • Includes low dosage of certain ingredients

Buy it here.

2. NITROSURGE Pre-Workout Supplement – Best Value for Money

NITROSURGE Pre-Workout Supplement

Product Description

This creatine-free pre-workout is manufactured and distributed by the Jaked factory. It is also made of science-backed ingredients in adequate doses.

Furthermore, it improves your gym performance and provides you with laser focus. Some key ingredients include beta-alanine, L-theanine, and caffeine. The L-theanine content may enhance relaxation and lower stress without causing drowsiness.

Combine all ingredients, and you’ll have a pre-workout supplement that optimizes the components of athletic performance – focus, mental sharpness, and energy. The pineapple and green apple flavors have been the favorites of many.


  • Clean ingredients
  • Manufactured in a ​cGMP-Certified Facility
  • No jitters or crashes
  • Mixes easily
  • Cost-effective


  • Very few people complain of experiencing itchy skin after using it, which goes away after a while.

Buy it here.

3. ProSupps Dr. Jekyll Signature Pre-Workout Powder – Best for Energy and Alertness

ProSupps Dr. Jekyll Signature Pre-Workout Powder

Product Description

ProSupps Dr. Jekyll Signature Pre-Workout Powder is a stimulant-free pre-workout. It emphasizes maximizing training output and pumps with a cognitive drive matrix for increasing focus and intensity without relying on stimulants.


  • Supports muscle strength, endurance, gym performance, and mental focus
  • Banned Substance Tested
  • Increases blood flow for improved muscle pumps, endurance, and nutrient delivery
  • Good taste
  • Non-stimulant
  • Boosts energy


  • Few experiences breakouts (acne)
  • Others find the taste too strong.

Buy it here.

Improve Your Academic Performance by Taking Care of You

pre-workout for studying

Focus is very much needed for workouts. Luckily, various brands have produced pre-workouts designed to help you focus.

TL;DR: Yes, the same pre-workouts containing ingredients that likely provide muscle protein synthesis and increased energy, stamina, and recovery can help you with your studies. It also helps improve your focus, alertness, and energy.

Furthermore, longer and more intense workout sessions lead to more restful sleep. As a result, it leads to better concentration and the ability to focus on studies.

Still, make sure you choose to consume healthy foods. Health is indispensable. So, take care of your body by adopting a healthy lifestyle while studying. Taking good care of your well-being can make a big difference in school and how you manage change.

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Nathan Lloyd, MSc

I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.

If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.