Does pre-workout make you poop?” 

This will appear to be a foolish query, but it surely’s one many individuals ponder.

Why do you are feeling the necessity to use the lavatory after taking pre-workout?

What different components contribute to pre-workout-induced pooping?

And how are you going to select a pre-workout that enhances your efficiency with out making you rush to the restroom?

Get evidence-based solutions to those questions and extra on this article. 

What Is A Pre-Exercise?

A “pre-workout” is a sports activities vitamin complement taken earlier than coaching to boost vitality ranges and train efficiency.

They normally include a mixture of components, resembling caffeine, citrulline malate, and beta-alanine.

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Why Do Pre-Exercises Make You Poop?

Many pre-workout powders include components that work together together with your digestive system and stimulate bowel actions.

Widespread pre-workout components with this facet impact are sodium bicarbonate, vitamin C, magnesium, caffeine, and synthetic sweeteners


Caffeine might be the commonest pre-workout ingredient. In some circumstances, dietary supplements include as a lot as 600 mg of caffeine (greater than 6 occasions the caffeine content material of a cup of caffeinated espresso)

Caffeine is a pre-workout mainstay as a result of it boosts athletic efficiency by enhancing energy, selling muscle endurance, and enhancing anaerobic efficiency. Nevertheless, it additionally impacts your digestive system. 

Particularly, caffeine stimulates colonic motor exercise—the method of transferring your intestine’s contents via the digestive tract. In different phrases, it will get your colon rollin’.

Synthetic Sweeteners

Many pre-workout dietary supplements include giant quantities of synthetic sweeteners. 

Research present that consuming giant portions of those sweeteners could cause digestive points and laxative results, notably for these with delicate stomachs.


Magnesium performs a vital position in muscle perform and vitality metabolism and is, due to this fact, a typical ingredient in pre-workout formulation.

Beware although, excessive doses can draw water into your intestines, rushing up digestion and doubtlessly resulting in premature restroom journeys.

Vitamin C

Complement firms generally embody vitamin C in pre-workout powders as a flavoring and to doubtlessly speed up post-exercise restoration by decreasing irritation (which can additionally blunt a few of train’s constructive results).

The draw back is that taking giant doses can upset your abdomen.

That stated, most pre-workouts don’t include sufficient vitamin C to trigger this impact alone. Thus, it’s solely a priority should you additionally devour a weight loss program wealthy in vitamin C. 

Sodium Bicarbonate

Some folks take sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a “selfmade” pre-workout as a result of it could enhance athletic efficiency.

Nevertheless, baking soda additionally causes a buildup of CO2 within the abdomen, which generally causes diarrhea.

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Different Elements that Contribute to Pre-Exercise Pooping


The timing of your pre-workout consumption tremendously influences its impact in your digestion.

For example, should you devour pre-workout within the morning when your abdomen is empty, your physique will take up the components quickly. This will improve the chances you’ll want to make use of the lavatory. 

In case you take pre-workout earlier than a day or night exercise, you’re much less prone to expertise digestive points. That’s as a result of the meals you’ve eaten all through the day prevents your physique from absorbing the pre-workout as rapidly.


Elements like caffeine and synthetic sweeteners have a “dose-dependent impression” in your physique. 

In different phrases, the extra you devour, the upper your probabilities of experiencing negative effects.

Subsequently, discovering merchandise that embody doses that maximize advantages with out resulting in negative effects is vital.

Abdomen Contents

The contents of your abdomen may also affect how pre-workout impacts your digestive system.

For example, taking your complement with meals can gradual digestion, doubtlessly decreasing any laxative impact. 

Then again, taking pre-workout powder on an empty abdomen can worsen its negative effects.

The right way to Select A Pre-Exercise That Gained’t Make You Poop

Stim-Free Pre-Exercise

Of all of the components above, caffeine is the almost certainly to trigger abdomen upset and bowel actions.

Subsequently, utilizing a pre-workout that doesn’t include caffeine can successfully stop pre-workout-induced pooping.

That’s the place “stim-free” pre-workouts are available in.

Stim-free pre-workouts are dietary supplements that include no stimulatory components (e.g. caffeine) however nonetheless enhance your athletic efficiency. 

This makes them an appropriate different for these experiencing digestive points with common pre-workout powders.

Pure Sweeteners and Flavors

Choosing pre-workout powders that include pure sweeteners and flavors might help reduce digestive upset.

Typically, pure choices are extra digestible, doubtlessly resulting in fewer abdomen issues than synthetic alternate options.

Clinically Efficient Doses

Many individuals wrongly assume that in terms of pre-workout components, increased doses are higher. 

This can be a false impression—most pre-workout components solely enhance efficiency as much as a sure level. 

Taking greater than this doesn’t enhance your efficiency additional, however it could actually improve your threat of experiencing undesirable negative effects.

Sadly, some complement firms capitalize on the “extra is healthier” mindset by together with extreme doses of stimulants of their merchandise. This makes their merchandise seem stronger, although they’re truly much less efficient (and doubtlessly harmful).

To keep away from this lure, search for merchandise containing clinically efficient doses of every ingredient. 

This implies they embody every ingredient at a stage that confers the utmost advantages with the minimal negative effects. 

The Greatest Pre-Exercise

If you’d like a 100% naturally flavored and sweetened pre-workout complement containing clinically efficient doses of 6 performance-boosting components like caffeine, citrulline malate, and beta-alanine, strive Legion’s pre-workout powder, Pulse

Or, should you’d want a 100% pure and stimulant-free pre-workout drink that enhances energy and stamina whereas decreasing fatigue, strive stim-free Pulse

(In case you’re unsure whether or not Pulse fits your wants and funds, take the Legion Complement Finder Quiz to be taught what dietary supplements are best for you. Click on right here to test it out.)


Selecting the best pre-workout complement can considerably enhance your athletic efficiency and vitality ranges. 

Nevertheless, it’s essential to know the impression components like caffeine and synthetic sweeteners have in your digestive system.

To reduce abdomen upset, select a pre-workout containing clinically efficient doses of each ingredient. And should you nonetheless expertise sudden bowel actions quickly after taking your pre-workout, go for a stim-free model as an alternative. 

+ Scientific References