Is Pre Workout Bad For Teens? Full Guide

Written by Daniel Mesa
Last Updated On is independent and supported by our readers. We may earn commissions if you purchase through our links.

Is Pre Workout Bad For Teens

In recent years, weightlifting has become a very popular form of exercise for teens. For good reason! Weightlifting is a great way to build confidence, stay in shape, and make new friends at the gym. That being said, weightlifting and supplement use usually go hand in hand. This can be concerning as a parent or young lifter if you have no experience with these products. 

So is pre workout bad for teens? The truth is that most pre-workouts will be harmless, provided that they are used responsibly. Paying attention to ingredients, especially stimulant contents, will help you make the best decision when it comes to pre-workout.

In this guide, we will go over what exactly pre-workout is and the benefits, concerns, and advice when it comes to pre-workout use. 

Is Pre Workout Bad For Teens? The Truth

Before we can dive into the safety of pre workout, you first have to understand what pre workout actually is and the ingredients in the product.

is pre workout safe for teens

What Even Is Pre Workout?

A common supplement that lifters use to improve their workouts is pre-workout. Usually taken before arriving at the gym, the supplement can provide higher energy, focus, and stamina if used properly. Preworkout usually takes around 30 minutes to kick in and can last during your workout. Generally, pre-workouts have ingredients that can be broken down into a few basic categories. 

The dosing of ingredients and selection will vary based on the pricing and manufacturer. 

Caffeine And Other Stimulants

In terms of what you actually “feel”, when taking a preworkout, the majority of the jitters and energy will come from the caffeine and any other stimulants in the product. Typically, this will be in the 150-300 mg range. If you are already exposed to caffeine through things such as coffee or energy drinks, you may find the feeling of preworkout familiar. 

On the other hand, if you have no experience taking caffeine, you will certainly be able to feel the increased energy levels and typical caffeine jitters. 

Pump Ingredients

Within a typical pre-workout, there will be ingredients such as citrulline meant to increase your blood flow so that you get a better pump in the gym. There are debates about whether this actually helps with muscle growth, but it will certainly feel good and make sure you can feel whatever muscle you are working out. 

Focus Ingredients

Lastly, we have focus ingredients such as L-Tyrosine or Alpha-GPC that are meant to enhance your alertness and concentration. If you are someone that really likes to get locked in for your workout, these are the ingredients that you will get the most benefit from.

So Is Pre Workout For Teenagers Safe?

Based on all of the ingredients we listed above, they are all fine and perfectly safe for teen consumption. None of them are really harmful or addictive. However, you should realize that these are general ingredients that are typically found in most pre-workouts. 

You should always check the label to make sure that you are okay with each ingredient. While most products are dosed correctly, checking for an excessive amount of caffeine or artificial sweeteners is always advisable. 

Furthermore, you could always go as far as talking with your or your child’s physician to better understand the risks, if any, of a supplement. 

While taking all these extra precautions maybe worth it, as long as the product comes from a good brand, is well-reviewed, and contains natural ingredients, you should be good to go. 

Why Would A Teenager Need Pre Workout?

Of course, pre-workout is not needed to have an effective workout, no matter what your age is. Moreover, if you are young and have extra energy and recovery capabilities, However, I think this is where lots of parents miss the boat. 

If a teenager enjoys lifting weights and wants to maximize their performance, a pre-workout can certainly make a difference. Not to mention, with every influencer or gym-goer having a pre-workout, it can be hard for someone like a teenager to not try the product.

So while parents may prefer that teenagers spend money on other things or stay away from supplements altogether, they are certainly worse things for a teenager to do than simply trying to boost their performance in the gym with a basic product that is safe the vast majority of the time. 

Is Preworkout Addictive? The Truth About Pre Workout Addiction

The thing you have to understand about pre workout addiction is that it is a supplement made up of various ingredients. The exact ingredients and doses will vary depending on the manufacturer, but you will generally see the following ingredients in most preworkouts.

pre workout for teenagers

  • Caffeine
  • Beta-Alanine
  • Creatine
  • L-Arginine
  • Citrulline Malate
  • Nitric Oxide boosters
  • BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)
  • Taurine
  • Tyrosine
  • Betaine
  • L-Theanine

Physical Dependence On Caffeine

The only ingredient that can truly can your body can become dependent on is caffeine.. Like other stimulants, you can develop a physical dependence on caffeine if you take it on a consistent basis.  If you did develop a physical dependence and suddenly stopped, you could experience some of the following  pre workout withdrawal symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Anxitey
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating

That being said, caffeine is not nearly as dangerous or addictive as other drugs or stimulants. For this reason, most doctors do not have major concerns with consistent caffeine consumption within reason. 

Mental Hurdles With Pre Workout Addiction

Another common issue with pre-workouts is that lifters fall into the trap of thinking that they need to have their pre-workout in order to have a good workout. In this case, it is not a question of physical dependence. 

Pre-workout is a relatively new supplement that has only really emerged in the mainstream over the past decade. Lifters have been having intense, effective workouts for decades with no supplements. While it can be a useful tool to give you a boost, you should still be able to push hard in the gym without a pre workout. 

How To Avoid Potential Pre Workout Absue

While pre-workout itself may be safe, this is under the assumption that it is being used normally. As we all know, teens are known for reckless behavior, so this should be accounted for. 

On social media, it is not uncommon to see teens doing unsafe activities such as snorting pre-workout or taking a way larger dose than what is needed. That being said, simply talking with your teen should be enough to explain the dangers of these practices.

Alternative Pre Workouts For Teens

If you are a parent against pre-workout use, that is understandable. Thankfully, there are a number of other options that can provide similar effects to regular pre-workouts:

Natural Pre Workout Drink

natural pre workout for teens

A simple combination of honey, water, and pink Himalayan salt can provide you with a steady dose of energy, vitamins, minerals, and hydration. Sure, you may not get the same energy boost from pre workout kicking in, but this simple drink is natural, tasty, and cheap. 


Coffee does contain caffeine, but the advantage here is that parents are usually more familiar with coffee. Also, it is only one ingredient, so you do not have to worry about checking for random additives or obscure ingredients. 

You can even swap the coffee for the water from the previous drink and combine it with honey and salt to get similar effects. 

Pre Workout Meals

pre workout meals

During the course of an intense workout, your body will first deplete the glycogen stores in your muscles to complete each rep and set. To ensure that energy does not fade during the workout, a great strategy is to have a high-carb pre-workout meal or snack.

Things that are high in carbs include pasta, rice, fruits, and even rice crispy treats. 

Stim-Free Pre Workouts

The majority of the time when it comes to concerns with pre-workouts, the main issue parents have is with the high quantity of stimulants such as caffeine. We are thankful that there are many stimulant-free options that you can purchase as well. 

Usually, these products will be marketed at low-stim or stim-free, but be sure to check the label to make sure. 

Final Thoughts: Is Pre Workout Safe For Teens?

Overall, pre-workout is a product that teenagers can use without much concern. However, it is always best to check the label and ensure that teenagers are using the product as intended and not taking more than needed. 

Lastly, if you are very concerned about the product, there are plenty of more mild yet effective alternatives that we have laid out.  


Can a 14 year old take pre workout?

While pre workout will likely be harmless for someone that is 14, it is best to wait till you are at least 16 due to high stimulant content. 

How old do you have to be to take pre-workout?

There is no set age but most companies recommend to wait until you are at least 16 to use the product. 

Leave a Comment