A journal by the International Society of Sports Nutrition stated that around 30% of young adults consider taking pre-workout or energy-boosting supplements daily.
Hence, this statistic proves that pre-workout supplements are the second most consumable items, behind multivitamins. They’re legal supplements recommended for young adults and athletes to enhance their performance and endurance.
But the big thing to worry about is, does pre-workout make you poop too frequently? Because if it does, then your workout performance will be interrupted by a sudden bowel movement.
And as per our research, it’s said that pre-workout supplements do make you poop. Not everyone will experience this as it depends on several factors and varies concerning individuals.
But, as it can affect your workout and athletic performance, it’s important to know what might cause it and how to prevent it.
What is a Pre Workout?
Every day you wake up and head out to the gym or your sports training, you might not feel like being able to give in your 100%. Some days you might just feel lethargic or tired. If that’s a frequent case with you, then this is where the pre-workout supplement comes into the scene.
Pre-workouts are a successful blend of various supplements that are used for enhancing energy, muscle protein synthesis, and focus. It leads you to lift more weights, workout for a longer time, and build muscle. But to ensure this, you need to make sure that your pre-workout supplement has specific ingredients.
Things don’t end here, as you have to be right on your dosage pattern. Without it, pre-workout might not work as you intend it to.
Pre-workout is often in the powder drink form you consume before a morning workout or training session. Most of these products combine carbs, antioxidants, and B vitamins.
Why Pre-Workout Makes You Poop?
Pre-workout supplements are formed by mixing several compounds, but the formulations vary from brand to brand. Some specific ingredients in the formulation can trigger your bowel movements.
Let’s find out what ingredients and factors contribute to making you poop after consuming a pre-workout supplement.
1. Pre-Workout Ingredients that Make You Poop
We have researched on few ingredients in your pre-workout supplement that are notably evident to trigger bowel movements:
Vitamin C is an important supplement for treating constipation problems and passing stool. And a pre-workout supplement often has large amounts of Vitamin C in them.
Scientific tests and reviews have suggested the laxative effect of Vitamin C in your body. But, the effect is often witnessed in your body when you have a mega dose of it with more than 2000 mg.
So, if you’re not Vitamin C intolerant, a pre-workout supplement with high Vitamin C content of up to 250-300 grams per serving might not bother your bowel movement.
There are very few studies proving the fact that caffeine contributes to increased bowel movements. But, one critical survey resulted in 29% of respondents claiming they experienced an increased urge to poop immediately after drinking coffee.
Among this 29% of respondents, 53% were women who had this urge to poop after drinking coffee.
Caffeine claims to be an energy-boosting ingredient, for which almost all pre-workout supplements have it as a mandatory inclusion.
But unfortunately, if the doses are high in the supplements, then you might feel like pooping within 10 to 15 minutes of consuming your dosage of the supplement.
To give you a better understanding, a cup of black coffee consists of around 100 mg of caffeine. But, comparing most pre-workout supplements, they contain around 150-475 mg of caffeine per serving.
A high dosage of caffeine in pre-workout supplements is highly responsible for triggering your bowel movements.
Vitamin B12 has properties that initiate muscle contractions in your digestive system. And these contractions trigger your bowel movements and indicate you to go for pooping.
A subtle amount of Vitamin B12 is used for treating constipation problems. But too much of it can cause uncontrollable bowel movements and increase the urge to use the bathroom.
Check the nutrient label of your pre-workout supplement to check if it has high levels of Vitamin B12 or other such B vitamins. If yes, then it might be sensitive for initiating your bowel movements.
The recommended dosage for adults is 2.4 mcg, but people often take more or less of it, depending on their condition, lifestyle, and specific situation.
Magnesium is popularly used in supplements for relieving constipation problems in patients. The scientific function of magnesium is to direct water to your intestines and initiate a bowel movement.
If you’re not sensitive to magnesium in your body, you might not find this ingredient causing trouble. It’s because most pre-workout supplements have the right amount of this nutrient or are considerably lower than what might make you poop.
Till the time your magnesium dosage in the pre-workout supplement is below 350 mg, you can consider it safe to consume, as it won’t contribute to your bowel movements.
Yohimbine is a crucial compound that’s often present in most pre-workout supplements.
It works best in terms of weight loss and boosting energy levels when consumed on an empty stomach. But, overdosing on Yohimbe in your pre-workout supplement might cause you to poop instantly after you consume it.
Therefore, checking the nutrient label is advised to ensure that Yohimbine is no more than thirty milligrams per serving. Anything beyond that can upset your stomach and cause other adverse effects.
Artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols are often used in pre-workout supplements to add flavor to the powder mix.
These sweeteners have no calories, but our gut lacks the potential to absorb them well. Hence, it triggers diarrhea in some people.
Ten grams of artificial sweetener is good to consume per serving, but anything more than twenty grams can worsen your digestive health and cause diarrhea or stomach pain.
When you’re on an empty stomach and prefer to consume pre-workout supplements with water, it’s evident that your digestive system will kick-start its functions.
If you don’t want this to happen right after your pre-workout, then make sure you take less water with your serving. Three ounces is the right measurement for dissolving your powder.
After having your pre-workout, make sure you don’t drink much water throughout your workout or training session.
As dairy products like milk act as a prime source of energy, so many pre-workout supplements add it to their ingredients.
So, people with lactose intolerance might have difficulty digesting this sugar, leading to diarrhea, bloating, or gastric problems.
If you’re lactose intolerant, researchers have stated that you can safely consume twelve grams of lactose at once or up to twenty-four grams throughout the day.
The dosage might be a crucial factor contributing to your pooping sensation. We all know pre-workout supplements come with a plastic measurement scoop to pour the powder into a mixing container.
But a full scoop isn’t an ideal dosage for all of you. If you’re experiencing bowel movements right after taking your pre-workout supplement, then it’s a side effect.
To ensure this can be controlled, drop your dosage to half a scoop for a while, and take note of your symptoms.
When you find that your body is well acquainted with the supplement, you can gradually increase the dosage to full scoop if necessary.
Timing is important in triggering your bowel movement after instantly consuming your pre-workout supplement.
You have to take your pre-workout before you commence your workout or training schedule for the day.
But, if you consume it in the morning hours before your workout, you have a higher chance of experiencing unwanted bowel movements than if you consume it later that day before working out in the evening.
4. Empty Stomach
Understandably, some nutrients work best on an empty stomach, such as Yohimbine. But, as an overall consideration, taking pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach will cause immediate digestive discomfort and bowel movements.
Therefore, you should eat a healthy pre-workout meal before taking the supplement to prevent the pooping sensation.
How to Reduce Pre-Workout Poop?
The best way to reduce pre-workout poop is by checking the nutrient label of the supplement you buy. Consider your sensitivity and tolerance limits to determine how much dosage of particular nutrients is good for you to go along with.
In this way, you won’t experience bowel movement instantly after consuming your pre-workout supplement, as your body is capable of dealing with a minimal dosage of all the affecting nutrients.
Another way you can be safe from experiencing pre-workout poop is by going with a product with fewer ingredients. Fewer ingredients are accountable for reducing the possible side effects.
Fewer ingredients don’t imply the product is an affordable pre-workout but a healthier option for people with intolerance to specific ingredients.
And lastly, you can DIY your pre-workout in the comfort of your home. It will save you money and make you aware of what ingredients you mix and consume.
Does Pre-Workout Give You Gas?
Yes, some of the pre-workout supplements can cause gas. High sodium bicarbonate and caffeine contents in the supplement are major culprits to cause nausea, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
Does Pre-Workout Cause Diarrhea?
Yes, pre-workout supplements cause diarrhea when you overdose on them.
Many ingredients, such as sweeteners and lactose, are prone to cause diarrhea when you consume too much of them, as the digestive system fails to accommodate it all. As a result, you experience diarrhea symptoms.
Is Pre-Workout a Laxative?
Yes, pre-workout is laxative due to the presence of magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, and other ingredients that have laxative effects. Such a poor combination of ingredients is enough to state a pre-workout supplement as a laxative.
Does Creatine Make You Poop?
Yes, when mixed with a pre-workout supplement, creatine initiates bowel movement and increases the urge to poop. So, if you’re concerned, does creatine make you poop, you must know that only if you’re overdosing on it, your frequency of poops will increase.
So, if the question “does pre-workout make you poop?” bothered you earlier, now you have the answer to it. Not everyone experiences these instant bowel movements after drinking the supplement, but some might have an intolerant body to specific nutrients.
Keeping that in mind, if you have gone through such symptoms earlier, it’s better to take preventive measures by assessing the nutrient label before purchasing your pre-workout. Get the best pre-workout for a sensitive stomach, and you might get rid of the adversities.
Also, check our post about lower body exercises for athletes.
I’m a triathlete and life coach, with a focus on holistic health, fitness & women’s issues.
I also write about my gastronomic adventures and my love for the outdoors.