If you have ever taken pre-workout before, you may have noticed that sometimes you quickly head to the bathroom right after drinking it. Do not worry if this sounds like you, it is perfectly normal and common among all gymgoers.
But why does pre-workout make you poop? Pre-workouts make you poop due to common ingredients such as caffeine, magnesium, and sweeteners that are known to speed up bowel movements.
In this guide, we will go over all of the ingredients in pre workouts that often make fitness enthusiasts poop as a result. Also, if this is a big issue for you, we are also going to break down how to best avoid it and pick a pre workout that will have minimal impact on your stomach.
Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Poop? Top Reasons Why
While the exact doses and ingredients may vary, most pre-workouts share a few very common ingredients. For this reason, sudden bowel movements brought on by pre-workouts is not something that is exclusive to any one brand or product.
Here are some the top reasons and ingredients that cause you to go number two after taking pre workout:
Nearly every preworkout you consume contains some quantity of caffeine. Thankfully, caffeine is a substance that humans have been consuming for thousands of years, so there are several studies on the effects of caffeine.
It is well-established that caffeine leads to both mental and physical performance boosts, which makes it one of the most popular stimulants on the planet. However, caffeine also has the effect of stimulating colon contractions, which will lead to a desire to go to the bathroom shortly after. In many ways, it is a natural laxative. Usually, this effect can be noticed in as little as 15 minutes after consuming caffeine.
What makes matters worse in the case of pre-workouts is that most pre-workouts contain a higher dose of caffeine than what you would normally find in a standard energy drink or cup of coffee.
Vitamin C & Vitamin B12
Usually, pre-workouts will contain a variety of vitamins and minerals meant to replenish your stores right before an intense workout. This can be very beneficial, but some of these vitamins, such as C and B12 have been linked to increased bowel movements in higher doses.
Now, most of the time the doses in pre-workouts are not that high but if you are already getting a good dose in your diet or are sensitive to this vitamin, it can be a contributing factor.
Another common supplement found in pre-workouts is magnesium. Now, it depends on the dose and specific type of magnesium, but magnesium has been shown to draw water into the intestines and stimulate bowel activity.
Similar to the previous vitamins, the dose is usually not high enough to stimulate bowel activity on its own. However, if you are already taking magnesium, this can be a possible reason.
Betanine is another common pre-workout ingredient. Similar to creatine, betaine promotes muscle growth and increased endurance. However, it can also lead to increased bowel movements or even diarrhea in extreme cases.
If you look at the back of your pre-workout, you will notice that there are easily 10 or more ingredients. To make all of these ingredients come together, taste good, and mix properly, manufacturers have to add a number of additives.
This includes things like artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers. While these ingredients may lead to a better taste, they may cause an upset stomach for some people.
You also have to consider that with so many ingredients, it can be hard to predict how two things will interact with each other, especially since stomach sensitivities vary from person to person.
Why Do Pre Workouts Make You Poop: Other Factors To Consider
Aside from the actual ingredients, there are a few other factors that directly affect how pre-workout will affect your stomach.
It can be tempting to up the dose if you are a larger person or simply want to feel the pre-workout more. However, you should be aware that it could have increased side effects along with the added energy.
Therefore, if you feel like your stomach is being negatively impacted, consider scaling back the dose for a few sessions to see if that make things better.
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking pre-workouts in a fasted state can actually have you running to the bathroom quicker compared to if you have a full stomach. Since your stomach is empty, your body can break down and digest the pre-workout faster leading it to kick-in quickly.
As a result, you are more likely to feel some of the bowel-moving effects of the ingredients.
How To Avoid Preworkout Poops
If bowel movements brought on by pre workout are a real issue for you, consider some of these tips so that you can avoid this annoying habit.
Choose A Low Stim Or Stim Free Pre Workout
As we have already established, caffeine is the primary reason why pre-workouts cause you to poop. Therefore, choosing an option that has a lower or nonexistent caffeine content will likely alleviate most of the issues you are having.
Nowadays, most companies offer a stimulant-free option for people that want to be more aware of their caffeine intake for whatever reason. These options will still be very effective but may not give you the same energy boost. Out of all the options, the one that we recommend the most in this category is Gorilla Mode Nitric.
Choose A Preworkout With Minimal Ingredients
With most pre-workouts having an endless list of ingredients, it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing your stomach to have an adverse reaction.
Thankfully, there exist products that just focus on the basics and only included a few proven ingredients to increase performance. Now these pre-workouts may not taste or mix the best, but at least you know that you are avoiding all chemicals and sweeteners. In this category, our experience with Naked Energy has been very good.
If you have noticed that pre-workout makes you go to the bathroom, this is usually nothing to worry about and perfectly normal. While other ingredients may contribute, it is usually the high caffeine content of pre-workout that makes you go to the bathroom.
That being said, if this is an issue for you, there are plenty of options out there with lower stimulant doses that can help solve this problem.
Is pre-workout a laxative?
While pre-workout itself is not a laxative, it does often contain high doses of caffeine which many people consider to be a natural laxative.
Can pre-workout give you diarrhea?
If you have a sensitive stomach, the high doses of caffeine combined with other ingredients h can potentially cause diarrhea in rare cases.
Is pre-workout bad for your gut?
Pre-workout contains a variety of ingredients such as caffeine and artificial flavors that can potentially cause gut distress. However, this will all depend on the dosing and brand of pre workout that you choose.