What are the Side Effects of Pre Workout?

What is a pre workout

As fitness enthusiasts, we all want that extra push to conquer our workouts. Whether it’s to hit a new PB or just get through that last set, taking a pre-workout supplement can give us an extra boost of energy and mental alertness to help us reach our goals.

But before you gulp down your favourite pre-workout formula, join Power Supps as we take a closer look at the potential side effects. Worry not, as we’re not here to spook you, but to arm you with knowledge so you can make well-informed decisions about using pre-workout supplements. So, let’s jump right in.

What are the most common pre-workout side effects?

Most pre-workout supplements aim to supercharge your workout regimen, but it’s crucial to stay informed about the possible drawbacks. While a majority of users revel in the perks of heightened energy, focus, and stamina, some individuals might encounter a few unwelcome hiccups along the way.

Water retention

Some pre-workout formulas contain ingredients that can cause water retention, leading to a bloated feeling and temporary weight gain. To avoid this, opt for products with lower sodium content and stay well-hydrated.


Ingredients like caffeine, creatine, and vasodilators can cause headaches in some individuals. To minimise this risk, start with smaller doses and gradually increase, ensuring you’re consuming enough water.

Jitters and Anxiety

Beware of too much caffeine intake! Along with other stimulants in pre-workout products, it can trigger jitters and anxiety, especially for those sensitive souls. If you’re susceptible to these jitterbugs, consider a lower-caffeine or stimulant-free option to sidestep such nuisances while still reaping the rewards of your supplement.


Consuming pre-workout supplements too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns due to their stimulating effects. Aim to take your pre-workout at least 4-6 hours before sleeping to avoid this issue.


For some, pre-workout supplements might ruffle their tummies with nausea, especially when ingested on an empty stomach. To dodge this pesky sensation, indulge in a light nibble before consuming your supplement.


Ingredients like caffeine and creatine can increase the risk of dehydration. Ensure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day and during your workout to stay properly hydrated.

Energy crash

The stimulating effects of pre-workout supplements can sometimes lead to an energy crash post-workout. To combat this, try consuming a balanced meal or snack after exercising.


Some culprits, like magnesium, can stir up tummy turmoil and send you sprinting for the loo. If you find yourself in this situation, it might be time to swap your pre-workout supplement for a gentler blend.

Perspiration Persuasion

Certain pre-workout components may turn up the sweat dial during exercise performance. While breaking a sweat is par for the course, drenching your gym gear could steer you towards dehydration. Fear not, though – simply guzzle plenty of water to compensate for that fluid loss and keep you in the game.

Unwanted overstimulation

Pre-workout supplements can sometimes make your body go into high gear, causing a faster heart rate, high blood pressure, or even a fluttering heartbeat. To avoid this, always adhere to the recommended dosage and, if you’re ever in doubt, give your friendly healthcare professional a visit.

Rare side effects of pre-workout supplements

Sure, many pre-workout supplements can fuel your fitness frenzy, but it’s crucial to stay in the know about both common and rare side effects. While these peculiar reactions are few and far between, they have been reported by some users. So, here are a few of the rarer side effects that can come with pre-workout supplements:


Some pre-workout ingredients, particularly creatine, may contribute to acne breakouts in certain individuals. Keep your skin clean and monitor any changes after starting a supplement.

Liver damage

In rare cases, excessive consumption of certain pre-workout dietary supplements has been linked to liver damage. Stick to recommended dosages and consult a physician if you have concerns.

Kidney function issues

Overconsumption of protein or creatine can lead to kidney problems in predisposed individuals. Stay within recommended limits and stay hydrated.

Blood in stool

This very rare side effect is typically associated with gastrointestinal irritation. Consult a doctor if you experience this issue.

Hair loss

Excessive consumption of certain ingredients, like creatine, could potentially contribute to hair loss in those genetically predisposed. Monitor for changes in hair health.

Erectile dysfunction

Some stimulants in pre-workout supplements may cause erectile dysfunction in rare cases. Consider reducing dosage or switching to a stimulant-free option if affected.


Ingredients like caffeine and citrulline malate can cause heartburn in some individuals. Try taking the supplement with food to alleviate this issue.

Adrenal fatigue

Overstimulation from pre-workout supplements may stress the adrenal glands, leading to fatigue. Cycle off supplements periodically to help prevent this issue.


Pre-workout stimulants can cause rapid heartbeat in rare cases. Follow recommended dosages and consult a healthcare professional if concerned.

Drug test failure

Some pre-workout ingredients may lead to false positives on drug tests. Research your specific supplement’s ingredients and inform testing authorities if necessary.

Increased blood pressure

Pre-workout stimulants can sometimes crank up blood pressure. Keep an eye on those numbers, and, if you experience any discomfort or uneasiness, it’s advisable to seek guidance from your trusted physician.

Allergic reactions

Pre-workout supplements may contain ingredients that leave some users itching, swelling, or gasping for air. If you find yourself battling hives or struggling to breathe, hit the brakes on your supplement use and seek medical attention.


Overreliance on pre-workout supplements can lead to psychological dependence. Use in moderation and take breaks from supplementation to avoid developing an addiction.

How long do pre-workout side effects last?

The duration of pre-workout side effects can vary, typically lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. Factors influencing the persistence of these effects include the specific ingredients in the supplement, your individual response to those ingredients, and other external factors.

How can I reduce pre-workout side effects?

Experiencing pre-workout side effects is quite common, as different individuals respond differently to certain ingredients. To reduce the risk of experiencing these effects, start with these tips:

1. Adjust Dosage

Begin with a lower dose and gently nudge it upward to pinpoint the sweet spot for your body. By dipping your toes in with a smaller dosage, you can gauge how your body reacts to the pre-workout supplement, keeping any pesky side effects at bay. Gradually amp up the dose as required, making sure to stay within the recommended limits.

2. Hydrate Properly

H2O is your trusty sidekick for dodging pesky side effects. Keeping well-hydrated is key to your overall well-being and wards off dehydration, head-throbbing, and cramps. Sip water all day long and during your workout to stay swimmingly hydrated.

3. Timing

Adjust when you take your pre-workout supplement to minimise side effects. To avoid sleep disturbances or an energy crash, take your pre-workout supplement at least 4-6 hours before bedtime and follow the recommended guidelines for consumption timing.

4. Choose Stimulant-Free Options

If you’re a caffeine-sensitive individual or stimulants send you spinning, consider a stimulant-free pre-workout alternative. Sidestep the jitters, anxiety, and restless nights while still reaping the rewards of amped-up performance.

5. Cycle Supplements

Periodically cycle off pre-workout supplements to give your body a break. Taking breaks from pre-workout supplementation can help prevent issues like adrenal fatigue and dependence. Establish a routine where you cycle on and off supplements to maintain their effectiveness and reduce side effects.

6. Consume Food

Nibble on a light snack before popping your pre-workout supplement to keep nausea and tummy troubles at bay. Aim for a tasty combo of carbs and protein, like an apple slathered in peanut butter or a hard-boiled egg. This way, you’ll fuel up your body with the right energy and nutrients for your workout, keeping side effects in check.

7. Consult a Healthcare Professional

When in doubt about pre-workout supplement side effects, turn to the wisdom of a healthcare professional. They’ll provide personalised guidance and recommendations, tailored to your unique needs and health conditions.

Is it safe to take pre workout supplements every day?

In general, taking pre-workout supplements daily can be safe, provided that the product is high-quality and free of harmful additives. However, individual safety depends on your personal medical history and tolerance to specific ingredients. To ensure the most beneficial and safe experience, choose a clean, reputable supplement made from quality ingredients.

Are there any benefits of taking pre workouts?

Yes, pre-workout supplements offer numerous benefits to enhance your workout performance. They can increase energy levels, boost focus, improve endurance, and support muscle growth, among other advantages. By incorporating a suitable pre-workout supplement into your fitness routine, you can maximise your potential and achieve better results.

To learn more about the specific benefits of taking pre-workouts, click here for our comprehensive benefits guide.

Are there any pre workout supplement alternatives?

Yes, there are natural alternatives to pre-workout supplements that can boost your energy and performance. Options like black coffee, green tea, beet juice, and whole foods rich in nutrients can provide the necessary fuel for an effective workout. Stay tuned for our upcoming article on pre-workout supplement alternatives for more information.

Final Thoughts

So, all in all, is pre-workout bad? Not necessarily. While there are potential side effects, they can be managed by following proper dosing guidelines, staying hydrated, and choosing high-quality products. Pre-workout supplements can offer numerous benefits when used correctly and responsibly. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns or need personalised guidance to ensure the best outcome for your fitness journey.

Leave a Reply