An Alternative to Pre-workout: How to Use Kratom

Weightlifter holding weight bar resting on the floor

Given kratom’s many proposed health benefits, it’s no surprise that athletes, fitness lovers, and bodybuilding professionals are increasingly turning to this natural substance to enhance their energy and performance before hitting the gym. As an alternative to the many pre-workout substances that once dominated the energy supplement market, kratom leaves are believed to hold significant potential in helping users maintain a high level of energy during physically demanding activities.

To fully enjoy your time at the gym without the downsides of pre-workout supplements, learn more about the use cases for kratom in an active, fitness-driven lifestyle.

What Is Pre-workout?

Pre-workout supplements, more commonly known as “pre-workout,” are designed to increase your energy levels, keep you focused, and improve your overall performance as you exercise. While ingredients vary depending on each individual brand, the most common active ingredients in pre-workout, including caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), help fuel your body during high-intensity exercises and reduce the occurrence of rapid protein breakdown.

Often coming in pill or powder form, most pre-workout supplements include 150-300 mg of caffeine per serving — equivalent to about three cups of coffee.

How long does pre-workout last?

For most people, the ideal time to take a pre-workout is approximately 30 minutes to one hour before you hit the ground running. This allows the supplement enough time to absorb into your bloodstream and amp your body up well in advance before your exercise session.

Generally, the effects of pre-work supplements last anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, with some residual effects lasting for up to six hours. However, the exact length of the effects of pre-workout depend on various user-specific factors, including but not limited to your age, weight, muscle mass, and tolerance to caffeine.

What Is Kratom?

According to Kratom.org, millions of people are using kratom in the United States alone, with millions more globally reaping the benefits of this herbal supplement. As a member of the coffee family, this all-natural herbal substance produces both stimulant and opioid-like effects in users, particularly due to the presence of both mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, its primary chemical compounds — also known as bioactive alkaloids.

While kratom leaves were traditionally chewed by Asian cultures for energy-enhancing effects, users today turn to this herbal supplement for a range of health benefits, including boosted longevity during intense workouts.

The specific effects of kratom depend on the dosage and type, with sources reporting white and green-veined strains as producing the most stimulating and focus-driven results.

How long does kratom last?

Typically, the effects of kratom can be felt within 20 to 30 minutes after taking the substance, according to Kratom.org. The average “buzz” from kratom is reported to peak around one to two hours after usage — similar to pre-workout supplements — with the entire experience often lasting between two and eight hours.

Aside from the dosage and strain, the exact effects of kratom and when they occur are believed to depend on your metabolism, the method of ingesting the herb, and whether it was taken on an empty stomach.

Benefits of Pre-workout

Pre-workout supplements work by providing your body with a mix of vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids that can give you a hit of energy and improve your exercise performance. Because these supplements combine ingredients, including caffeine that help to develop muscle strength, stamina, and motivation, users often take them to enhance their high-intensity training efforts.

Improved muscle strength

Amino acids are the main ingredients that benefit muscle strength and gains. Since pre-workout contains high levels of BCAAs, these essential amino acids directly play a role in muscle protein synthesis, bypassing digestion and immediately becoming available for building muscle. In addition to BCAAs, the other active ingredients in pre-workout that directly contribute to enhanced muscle strength include citrulline, creatine, caffeine, and nitrate.

Enhanced cognition

Caffeine, a primary component in pre-workout, is one of the best-known nootropic compounds used by the masses today. Nootropics help to stimulate the brain and are typically used to boost cognitive performance. Specifically designed to work on the brain as opposed to the body, nootropics are reported to deliver users sharper attention, clearer focus, and better mental clarity, helping gym-goers stay the course longer. By stimulating certain neurons in the brain, nootropic ingredients help move more oxygen and blood to the brain, improving both long-term brain health and the motivation to perform a task.

Benefits of Kratom

According to outside reports, kratom offers many of the same benefits as pre-workout, including improved muscle strength and cognition, but without the energy crash. Such sources also find that kratom can take your workout session to the next level, potentially providing other health benefits to users seeking more natural forms of energy supplements.

Kratom helps to improve energy and focus

Just like pre-workout supplements, kratom is believed to increase energy and is a known nootropic substance, helping users with focus and mental clarity.

One of the primary differences between kratom and pre-workout is the chemical compounds that fuel the commonly reported stimulant-like effects. Whereas pre-workout largely relies on the presence of caffeine to bolster a user’s energy levels, the active ingredients of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine found in kratom are suggested to be responsible for its powerful, fast-acting effects.

With kratom, research hints that users can avoid unwanted effects of caffeine — like the substantial energy comedowns — while simultaneously enjoying a more focused workout.

Kratom is natural

Because kratom is a natural herb derived from plants, it’s considered by certain sources to be a sounder alternative to synthesized substances intended to increase exercise performance. As a plant-based way to improve your health and longevity, kratom is increasingly believed to have minimal risks and side effects — when taken responsibility. But to ensure that you are getting 100% natural and pure kratom, it’s recommended that you only purchase products from reputable companies that test their kratom using third-party labs.

Kratom can improve sleep

When taken in low doses, certain kratom strains are often reported to produce their signature stimulating effects. Alternatively, higher doses of kratom, particularly for red-veined strains, are suggested to act more as a sedative.

Because kratom stimulates the a2-adrenergic receptors with an agonistic effect on the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors, this substance is believed to produce a calming and relaxing sensation for users, ideal for relieving chronic pain and anxiety that prevents proper rest. After an intense workout, it is sometimes hard to get to sleep and this calming effect may help to promote a reinvigorating night’s worth of rest.

High-quality Kratom From Kratom Connect

While the benefits of using kratom as an alternative to pre-workout are still being researched, some users believe this natural herb gives them an extra push during their exercise sessions and allows for better recovery. At Kratom Connect, our kratom products are all-natural, lab-tested, and of the utmost premium quality to ensure you get the most out of your intense training routines.

To learn more about how to use kratom for your next workout, shop our collection of capsules and powders today — or sign up to receive your free sample pack of our premium kratom.