Pre-workout is one of the most commonly utilized, readily available supplements within the fitness industry market. It can provide that extra boost of energy and productivity for intensive exercise, long work weeks, or last-minute homework. However, there is a possible kryptonite to these benefits.
That is, does pre workout make you poop? The short answer is yes… yes it does.
Now, this might not seem like such a bad thing to be able to empty the tank on demand. But depending on the type of activity you plan to use it for, it may end up hurting more than helping.
If you’ve ever been in the middle of a squat session and felt that little knot run from your stomach down to your anus, you know shit’s about to hit. Quite literally.
The real question is, why does pre workout make you poop?
Why Does Pre Workout Make You Poop?
Most pre workouts are loaded with ingredients to provide you with three key components during a workout; energy, focus, and pumps. However, two of these ingredients; caffeine and sweeteners, might add a little bit too much pump for your trousers to handle.
Sweeteners In Pre Workout
A lot of pre workouts include sweeteners, typically artificial to allow for a better-tasting user experience, without all the added sugar. Unfortunately, our colon isn’t very well equipped to properly digest these sweetening substances.
If we ingest too much it may cause our colon to become overwhelmed. This will incur our stomachs to produce a watery effect. Leading to an unpleasant venture for you and your toilet bowl.
Some of the ingredients to watch out for include:
- Other alcohol sugars
Although most standard serving sizes don’t usually have enough added sweetener to have any major effects. They can still play a role in a leaky bum. Especially if you have a higher sensitivity to these ingredients.
This is why it’s important to follow the recommended daily dosages labeled on your pre workout.
Sticking to natural sweeteners or unsweetened products is also a great alternative.
Jocko Discipline from Origin is a great, all-natural, stimulant-free choice.
Caffeine In Pre Workout
Caffeine is just one of those things that, unless you’re a true savage, is hard to live without. It’s also the main culprit that may be leading to your pre workout diarrhea. Caffeine is typically a key ingredient packed inside the vast majority of energy drinks. Most pre workouts contain anywhere from 100-400 MGs of caffeine per serving.
It has been shown through many studies that consuming caffeine can oftentimes cause contractions in our colon. Thus leading our previous meals to be pushed towards the end of our anus at a much quicker pace. Source
If you’re really not a fan of the choccy squirts then sticking to a low caffeinated or stimulant-free pre workout is probably your best bet. Jock Discipline
How To Avoid Mid Workout Squirts
If you’re like me and truly enjoy the sensation of taking pre workout to get the most out of your exercise. Then here are some methods to help avoid, or at least lessen the effects of poopy pre workout syndrome.
- Avoid eating a large meal before consuming pre workout
- After eating wait 30 minutes to an hour before consuming pre workout
- After taking pre workout wait 30 minutes to an hour before starting your activity to allow for digestion
- Use stimulant free, naturally flavored pre workouts
- Follow or use less than the recommended serving sizes
Practicing these tips should allow you and your under-wear a more pleasant workout experience. This should provide enough time for you to relieve yourself before starting your workout. In turn, avoiding any unnecessary messes, discomfort, and embarrassments that might otherwise occur.
Alternatives To Pre Workout
If you suffer from the pre workout poops here is an alternative that will still provide the juicy pumps, great performance, and the energy you’re looking for without all the side effects.
Alternative formula to pre workout:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially leading up to your workout
- 1 hour prior to your activity eat a banana, or two
- 1 hour prior to activity consume a few pinches of Himalayan pink salt
- Drink 8-16 ounces of Gatorade during moderate to high-intensity exercise
- If you still want some caffeine, drinking a cup of dark roast coffee will provide a good boost without having a huge impact on your stomach
Here is why this combination is a great alternative:
- Bananas contain potassium
- Potassium is a key ingredient for muscle contraction
- Supports heart health
- Supports proper muscle and nerve function
- Himalayan pink salt contains sodium and other healthy minerals
- Sodium helps keep body water levels balanced
- Reduces cramping
- Promotes muscle contraction
- Gives a very good pump to the muscles when you drink adequate amounts of water
- Gatorade helps maintain proper blood glucose levels during intense exercise
- The sugars and dextrose contained in it promote the restoration of lost glycogen stores within the muscles quickly
- Allowing for more force to be exerted for longer durations during activity
- Allows for better muscle recovery
My Experience | Pre Workout Makes Me Poop
The truth is before writing this article I never really asked myself the question, why does pre workout make me poop? I always just accepted the fact that my pre workout was going to rile up my stomach.
However, after a long battle with stomach and metabolism issues. I have been able to develop a system that ensures my tank is emptied out before the training session starts. It is similar to the one that I mentioned early in this post:
- First off I always make sure to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day, 1-2 gallons
- I eat a small 400-600 calorie meal that includes about 30-40 grams of carbohydrates
- I wait 30 minutes to an hour after eating before I take pre workout
- After consuming pre workout I will allow my stomach enough to digest so I can relieve myself before hitting the gym
- The time varies but it’s usually about 30 minutes
My pre workout cherry popped when I was a senior in high school. After breaking the seal my workouts went to a whole new level. The pumps and focus I was getting were like nothing I had ever experienced before.
I was using a decent enough pre workout called LIT. It wasn’t anything crazy. Just enough to provide me with great workouts. Unfortunately like anything, this didn’t last as my brain and body started to get used to the effects.
This is when I started getting frisky and decided it was time to up my pre workout game. I switched to one called Psychotic, which to this day is the craziest stuff I have ever consumed.
On top of that, I had just begun a heavy dirty bulk. My stomach was already not liking me and implementing this potent substance added fuel to the fire.
It started out as just bad diarrhea that I would get in the middle of my workouts. Then it turned into me actually vomiting my literal brains out, mid-workout. This would lead me to go home after the workout and force even more food down. Trying to make up for what I lost.
While doing this I could still feel the pre workout in my stomach and on my taste buds. It was disgusting, and would oftentimes lead me to throw up again. I was extremely ignorant, and I am not blaming the pre workout for causing that damage.
However, it definitely did not help the situation. The point of me telling this to you is to make you aware of the dangers of not using your brain.
Abusing pre workout is no joke and just like anything, should be done in moderation.
Use caution when taking pre workout. Always use less rather than more. Take breaks from it often.
If you are in a heavy bulking phase. Trying to eat a large amount of food. Just be cautious of the effects that pre workout can have on your digestive system. The long-term damages aren’t worth the little bit of extra energy. At least not in my experience.
Read more about my Wild Bulking Journey here.