Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Poop? Explained

If you’re like most people, you probably have some questions about pre-workout supplements. With the array of supplements, in the market, it can often be challenging to figure out which one suits you best. One of the most common questions people have is, “Does pre-workout make you poop?”

This is a valid question and one that we’ll answer in this article! Learn more about pre-workout supplements and whether they can cause you to poop by reading on.

What is Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout supplements are dietary supplements intended to increase your energy and stamina throughout a strenuous activity [1, 2]. They frequently include nutritional supplements like caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, and other substances that can improve physical performance [3].

When consumed before exercise, pre-workout vitamins can also aid to increase strength, concentration, and alertness. They are designed to be taken before exercise in order to gain the most benefit.

They can support you in completing challenging workouts, gaining muscle, and enhancing your performance.

Does Pre-Workout Make You Poop?

Pre-workout supplements can make you poop. Many pre-workout supplements contain ingredients like caffeine and magnesium, which can be resulting in you pooping more [4, 5]. This means they loosen your stools, leading to an increased urge to poop.

It’s important to note, however, that not all pre-workout supplements will cause this effect. Some pre-workouts contain low levels of stimulants, which may not cause you to poop more.

It’s important to note that pooping caused by pre-workout is usually not severe or long-lasting and is usually only temporary. However, if you experience severe or prolonged diarrhea, it’s important to reduce your dose or stop taking the pre-workout.

Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Poop?

Why does pre-workout make you poop

Pre-workout supplements, as we previously discussed, are intended to provide you with an energy boost to enhance performance when exercising. To do this, many pre-workouts contain stimulants like caffeine and green tea extract. Since these stimulants frequently have a laxative effect, they may make stool softer and easier to pass.

Most pre-workout supplements have artificial sweeteners added to them. According to research, some artificial sweeteners may result in diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.

Lastly, higher doses of pre-workout supplements have also been linked to causing unusual bowel movements and making you poop more.

Related: Does Protein Powder Make You Poop? (The Reality)

Ingredients in Pre-Workout Supplements That Can Make You Poop

Here are some of the common ingredients in pre-workout supplements that are most likely causing you to poop more.


This is the component that pre-workout supplements use the most frequently since it is well known for increasing energy and enhancing physical performance.

Research has shown that caffeine can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and unusual bowel when taken in abundance and also in obese people [6]. Since caffeine is mostly the main ingredient in pre-workout supplements and is included in heavy amounts, there is a high chance that caffeine might be causing you to poop more.

Pre-workout supplements usually contain anywhere from 150 to 300mg per serving and that’s almost 2-3 cups of coffee. It’s recommended to take a pre-workout supplement with less than 200mg of caffeine in one serving. 

In the end, caffeine is generally considered safe to take but taking it in abundance and overdosing might cause you to poop more and might also cause some other side effects.


Another typical pre-workout supplement component is magnesium, which when taken in excess can have some undesirable effects including stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea [7]. 

You should be careful not to overload if you take a pre-workout supplement that contains magnesium because not all of them do.


The presence of lactose in your pre-workout supplement may cause you to urinate more, even though lactose is often absent from them.

Try reducing the dose or switching your pre-workout supplement if lactose is introduced in large quantities or if you are lactose sensitive.


This is another frequent pre-workout supplement component that is produced from the bark of an African evergreen tree. Yohimbe is mainly known to help with weight loss but is also linked with certain side effects. Some of the potential side effects of Yohimbe include stomach problems, nausea, and diarrhea [8].

Artificial Sweeteners

Pre-workout supplements frequently include artificial sweeteners, and most people nowadays are aware of their possible adverse effects.

Artificial Sweeteners are linked to certain side effects related to the stomach and diarrhea is one of them.

It is advised to select pre-workout supplements free of artificial sweeteners, and if flavor is important to you, be sure to select a pre-workout with fewer artificial sweetener servings.

Also Read: Does Creatine Make You Poop?

What Can You Do to Avoid Pre-Workout Supplements Making You Poop?

Does pre-workout make you poop
Image- Liudmila Chernetska/iStock

If you’d like to minimize the chances of having to poop more than usual while taking a pre-workout supplement, there are a few things you can do.

Avoid Stimulants in Pre Workouts 

First and foremost, choose a pre-workout with lesser or no amounts of stimulants that can cause you to poop more. Many pre-workouts on the market today do not contain any stimulants, so you don’t have to worry about them causing you to poop more. Make sure to be mindful of the quantity and types of stimulants, in your pre-workout supplement.

Lower Your Doses

If you’re taking a stimulant-based pre-workout, start with a low dose or if you have already started, lower your doses and then work your way up slowly if you feel comfortable doing so. This can help you prevent some pre-workout supplement adverse effects and will allow you to measure how your body responds to the supplement.

Avoid Pre-Workout Supplements on An Empty Stomach

Make sure not to consume workout supplements on an empty stomach. It’s essential to have some food in your stomach before taking them to prevent bowel movements.

Because of ingredients like caffeine, magnesium, and artificial sweeteners, taking pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach will drastically increase the chances of gastrointestinal discomfort and also you pooping more than usual.

Try Different Brands and Types of Pre-workouts

As we have said earlier if you are experiencing unusual bowel movements, gastrointestinal discomfort, or more poop than usual then you should try stimulant-free pre-workout supplements.

Additionally, you can experiment with brands of workout supplements to determine which one yields the most favorable results, for your needs and preferences. When you try different pre-workouts make sure to check the ingredients of all of them as it will become easier to identify which ingredients are causing you the issue so you can stay away from those ingredients in the future.

Does Pre-workout Give You Constipation?

You might have heard that pre-workout can cause constipation. But is this true? And if so, why does it happen?

It appears that there may be some validity, to this assertion. The consumption of pre-workout supplements can potentially lead to constipation due, to certain ingredients that can cause dehydration and hinder the normal functioning of the digestive system. Research has shown that dehydration can cause constipation [9].

So if you’re looking to avoid constipation, you might want to consume a pre-workout with lesser or no stimulants. It’s also crucial to drink enough water throughout the day to avoid bloating and constipation.

Frequently Asked Questions


Ultimately, pre-workout supplements can make you poop or have other gastrointestinal side effects. To reduce the chances of this, choose a pre-workout with fewer or no stimulants as certain stimulants and artificial sweeteners are one of the main reasons pre-workouts can cause you to poop more. Additionally, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and reduce gas. 

There can be several reasons that might be resulting in you pooping more while taking pre-workout supplements and certain reasons vary from person to person. In this article, we gave you some of the common and main reasons pre-workout might be causing you to poop more.

If you develop severe gastrointestinal adverse effects while taking pre-workout, lower your dose or discontinue use, and consult your doctor if the problem persists.

More Pre-Workout Supplement Guides

Why Is Pre-Workout So Expensive? Pre-Workout Price Paradox

Can You Take Pre-Workout On An Empty Stomach? Boost Gains?

Expired Pre-Workout: Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?

Expired Pre-Workout: Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?

Can You Mix Pre Workout With Protein Powder? Is It Suitable?

Pre Workout Crash – Why Does Pre Workout Make Me Tired?


  1. Outlaw JJ, Wilborn CD, Smith-Ryan AE, Hayward SE, Urbina SL, Taylor LW, Foster CA. Acute effects of a commercially-available pre-workout supplement on markers of training: a double-blind study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Aug 15;11:40. doi: 10.1186/s12970-014-0040-0. PMID: 25302053; PMCID: PMC4190923.
  2. Martinez, N., Campbell, B., Franek, M. et al. The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 13, 29 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0138-7
  3. Jagim AR, Harty PS, Camic CL. Common Ingredient Profiles of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 24;11(2):254. doi: 10.3390/nu11020254. PMID: 30678328; PMCID: PMC6413194.
  4. Iriondo-DeHond A, Uranga JA, Del Castillo MD, Abalo R. Effects of Coffee and Its Components on the Gastrointestinal Tract and the Brain-Gut Axis. Nutrients. 2020 Dec 29;13(1):88. doi: 10.3390/nu13010088. PMID: 33383958; PMCID: PMC7824117.
  5. Martin M, Diaz-Rubio E, Casado A, López Vega JM, Sastre J, Almenarez J. Intravenous and oral magnesium supplementations in the prophylaxis of cisplatin-induced hypomagnesemia. Results of a controlled trial. Am J Clin Oncol. 1992 Aug;15(4):348-51. doi: 10.1097/00000421-199208000-00016. PMID: 1514533.
  6. Koochakpoor G, Salari-Moghaddam A, Keshteli AH, Esmaillzadeh A, Adibi P. Association of Coffee and Caffeine Intake With Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Adults. Front Nutr. 2021 Jun 15;8:632469. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.632469. PMID: 34211993; PMCID: PMC8241212.
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/magnesium-supplements/faq-20466270
  8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/yohimbe#side-effects
  9. Arnaud MJ. Mild dehydration: a risk factor of constipation? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;57 Suppl 2:S88-95. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601907. PMID: 14681719.

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