Can Pre Workout Cause a Heart Attack? How to Prevent it!

Medically reviewed by Dr Dimitar Marinov
Can Pre Workout Cause a Heart Attack? How to Prevent it!

You’ve been using pre-workout supplements to up your game, yet you’re curious – could there be a hidden danger? Could these energy-boosting concoctions trigger a heart attack?

Let’s dive into the facts.

Is it possible for pre workout to cause a heart attack?

The short answer is yes, it’s possible – but it’s also very rare and affects individuals with serious risk factors such as advanced atherosclerosis. The majority of people who use pre-workout dietary supplements do so without experiencing any adverse cardiovascular effects. However, certain ingredients found in these products could increase your risk if consumed excessively or combined with other risk factors.

What are some pre workout ingredients that may cause a heart attack?

Certain pre-workout ingredients have been associated with an elevated risk of heart issues such as chest pain, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Let’s delve into some of these.


A common ingredient in many energy drinks and pre-workouts, caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure when consumed in large amounts, potentially leading to heart concerns in individuals who lack caffeine tolerance. Thus, avoid suddenly increasing your intake (1).


This herb, often used for its fat-burning properties in some pre-workout products, can also raise your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart problems (2).


One of the common amino acids in pre-workout supplements, beta-alanine promotes enhanced performance. However, research suggests that overuse could potentially lead to a taurine deficiency linked to heart failure (3).

DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine)

Although banned in many places, this stimulant is still found in some pre-workout formulas. It’s known to narrow the blood vessels and arteries, which can increase blood pressure and potentially lead to cardiac arrest or stroke (4).

Remember, these risks are typically associated with excessive consumption. Pre-workout supplements, when used responsibly and in moderation, can benefit your fitness regimen. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your heart health.

Other factors that can cause a heart attack

While pre-workout supplements can contribute to heart problems in some cases, it’s important to remember that other lifestyle factors can also play a significant role. These include:


Before you even hit the weights or jump on that treadmill, there are several things that could be setting your heart up for trouble.

  • Poor Nutrition: If your pre-workout meal consists of fast food or overly processed snacks, you might be doing more harm than good. A diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol can clog your arteries, leading to heart disease1. Instead, opt for a balanced meal with lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of fruits and veggies.
  • Dehydration: Heading into a workout without adequate hydration can strain your heart. When you’re dehydrated, your heart must work harder to pump blood, increasing your heart rate and causing your blood pressure to rise.
  • Insufficient Warm-Up: Warming up increases blood flow to your muscles, gradually prepares your cardiovascular system for physical activity, and reduces the risk of injuries. Skipping this crucial step can put sudden pressure on your heart and potentially lead to complications.

During Workout

What you do during your workout can also impact your heart health.

  • Overexertion: While it’s important to push yourself, going too hard can be risky, especially if you’re new to exercise or have a pre-existing heart condition. Overexertion can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to spike dangerously high, potentially leading to a heart attack.


Your post-workout habits are just as important when it comes to heart health.

  • Skipping Cool Down: Just as you need to warm up your body before a workout, you should cool it down afterwards. This helps your heart rate and blood pressure return to resting levels gradually, reducing the risk of fainting or feeling dizzy.
  • Neglecting Recovery: Proper recovery—including rest days, getting enough sleep, and eating nutrient-rich foods—is essential for keeping your heart healthy. Overtraining without adequate recovery can lead to increased resting heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and other symptoms of overtraining syndrome.

What are some tips for helping prevent a heart attack while taking a pre workout?

Here are some tips to help you use pre-workout supplements safely:

1. Consult a Healthcare Professional

Before starting any new supplement regimen, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide personalised advice based on your current health status and fitness goals, helping you to avoid potential risks associated with certain ingredients.

2. Follow the Recommended Dose

More isn’t always better when it comes to supplements. Always stick to the recommended serving size to avoid overconsumption of certain ingredients that could potentially strain your heart.

3. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is key when taking pre-workout powder supplements, especially those containing stimulants like caffeine, which can have diuretic effects. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent dehydration, which can put additional stress on the heart.

4. Listen to Your Body

It’s important to pay close attention to how your body responds to a pre-workout supplement. If you notice any adverse effects such as rapid heart rate, dizziness, or chest discomfort, stop using the product and seek medical attention immediately.

5. Balance Supplementation with a Healthy Lifestyle

Remember, supplements are meant to complement a healthy lifestyle, not replace one. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management all play significant roles in heart health.

Can taking a pre workout supplement cause a heart attack? Our final wrap up

While there is a link between certain pre-workout ingredients and an increased risk of heart problems, the overall risk is relatively low for most people. However, it’s always important to use these products responsibly and be aware of other lifestyle factors that can contribute to heart disease.

If you have any concerns about your heart health, please consult a healthcare professional.


  1. Murray A, Traylor J. Caffeine Toxicity. [Updated 2022 Aug 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:
  2. Grossman, E., Rosenthal, T., Peleg, E., Holmes, C., & Goldstein, D. S. (1993). Oral yohimbine increases blood pressure and sympathetic nervous outflow in hypertensive patients. Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology, 22(1), 22–26.
  3. Xu YJ, Arneja AS, Tappia PS, Dhalla NS. The potential health benefits of taurine in cardiovascular disease. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2008 Summer;13(2):57-65. PMID: 19343117; PMCID: PMC2586397.
  4. Smith TB, Staub BA, Natarajan GM, Lasorda DM, Poornima IG. Acute myocardial infarction associated with dietary supplements containing 1,3-dimethylamylamine and Citrus aurantium. Tex Heart Inst J. 2014 Feb;41(1):70-2. doi: 10.14503/THIJ-12-2870. PMID: 24512406; PMCID: PMC3967491.

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