negative effects of pre workout drinks

What Are The Negative Effects of Pre Workout Drinks?

I just want to preface this article with the fact that I’m actually a fan of taking pre-workout. Even so, I have experienced many of the negative effects of pre workout drinks. If you’ve taken pre-workout, you’ve probably experienced at least one of these negative side effects.

Negative Effects of Pre Workout Drinks


Most pre-workouts contain some level of caffeine. Consuming caffeine later in the day can make it difficult or impossible to fall asleep. If you’re someone who works out in the evenings, you might want to look for a pre-workout without caffeine.

Uncomfortable Tingling

Nitric oxide precursors help improve blood flow by opening your blood vessels. This process can cause your skin to tingle. For many people this is just a minor side effect, but if you aren’t used to it can be uncomfortable or even slightly painful. This effect is unlikely to be harmful and typically wears off after an hour or so.

Bloating or Water Retention

If your pre-workout contains creatine, this can cause bloating or water retention. Typically this will be minor, but if you’re trying to get super lean this water retention can be frustrating.

Jitters or Anxiety

Feeling jittery or anxious is a common side effect of any stimulant including caffeine. So the caffeine found in pre-workout can cause jitters and anxiety. You can help counter-act this by eating a meal prior to taking the supplement.


The stimulants in your pre-workout can cause some gastrointestinal distress which can result in diarrhea. If you’re struggling with this one, it can help to add more water to your pre-workout. If you’re dry scooping or only adding a few ounces of water to your pre-workout, try added extra water to dilute the supplement in your stomach.


Pre-workouts may contain a number of ingredients that could act as a diuretic. You may notice that after taking pre-workout you feel the need to use the bathroom more often. This can lead to dehydration. To counter-act this, just try to increase your liquid consumption throughout the day before taking pre-workout.

High Blood Pressure

Consuming high doses of caffeine (like those found in pre-workout) can lead to a range of heart-related side effects. This can be exaggerated by consuming extra caffeine in addition to your normal coffee or tea intake. One of those side effects can be elevated blood pressure. Pre-workouts with excessive amounts of caffeine can cause dangerously high blood pressure.

Read More: Best Pre-Workouts on a Budget