Can Pre-Workout Supplements Cause Kidney Stones?

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of pre-workout supplements. These supplements are designed to give you a boost of energy and help you push yourself harder during your workout. But can they also cause kidney stones?


Pre-workout supplements are popular among athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts as a way to boost their energy, increase endurance and help them power through workouts. However, recent research has shown that some pre-workout supplements may contain ingredients that could potentially increase the risk of kidney stones. In this article, we will discuss the evidence behind this claim and provide tips to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones if you choose to use pre-workout supplements.

We will begin by looking at the composition of pre-workout supplements and exploring what research tells us about the potential link between their ingredients and an increased risk of developing kidney stones. We will then discuss how these findings can be used to aid in selecting safer pre-workout supplements and other strategies that can reduce your chances of developing kidney stones from using them. Finally, we will look at potential risks associated with long-term use of pre-workout supplements and provide tips for maximizing their safety for those who choose to use them regularly.

What are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are dietary supplements that are marketed to help improve exercise performance and physical endurance while helping to promote energy, alertness and focus during a workout. These products generally contain a blend of ingredients such as caffeine, B Vitamins, amino acids, creatine, guarana and taurine. Some pre-workout supplements also contain stimulants like geranium extract or synephrine that are designed to provide an extra boost of energy.

The idea behind these supplements is to give athletes the ability to perform at their highest potential when engaging in resistance training or other forms of intense physical activity. While pre-workout supplements can help provide motivation and increase alertness and mental clarity during workouts, there is some concern about possible side effects from their use. Many of the ingredients found in pre-workout drinks have not been studied extensively enough for physicians or scientists to provide definitive answers about how safe they really are when consumed regularly over long periods of time.

One potential problem linked with the use of pre-workout drinks is an increased risk of developing kidney stones due to the high levels of B Vitamins found in these products. However, medical research has yet to prove this connection conclusively at this point in time.

Potential Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements have gained a lot of popularity in recent years as an effective way to boost your performance during workouts. However, there are some potential side effects that may come with taking pre-workout supplements. In particular, the risk of developing kidney stones has been a major concern for many people who take these supplements. Let’s take a more detailed look at this potential side effect.

Kidney Stones

Taking pre-workout supplements can potentially cause a variety of side effects, including kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and acid salts that form inside your kidneys. These deposits can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball and can cause pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms.

When pre-workout supplements are consumed in large doses or on a regular basis, they could lead to an accumulation of uric acid and calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys that may eventually form into kidney stones. People prone to kidney stone formation should be especially cautious about taking pre-workout supplements since these compounds may aggravate the underlying problem.

In addition to potential urinary problems, people who take pre-workouts regularly may also suffer from dehydration due to the excessive use of caffeine found in many of these products. For this reason, it is important that you drink plenty of fluids while taking these supplements. Other side effects may include nausea or stomachache, anxiety or jitteriness, dizziness or headaches. It is always important to consult with your doctor before beginning any supplement regimen so you stay safe and informed about its potential risks and rewards.


When taken in excess, pre-workout supplements can cause dehydration due to the diuretic effect of some ingredients. Pre-workout use has been linked to dehydration, which decreases muscle performance, increases fatigue and strain, and is a risk factor for developing kidney stones. It is important to drink plenty of water during exercise as well as when consuming pre-workout supplements. Additionally, overloading on caffeine from pre-workout supplements can cause restlessness and insomnia as well as a rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure. For this reason, it is important to consume pre-workouts responsibly according to recommended dosages or avoid them altogether if you are sensitive or intolerant to caffeine.


Pre-workout supplements, if taken inappropriately, can cause some side effects, such as nausea. Nausea is a symptom that can range from mild discomfort to severe feelings of sickness. Common signs of nausea include stomach pain and/or bloating, sweating, feeling as though you are about to vomit, a racing heart and difficulty breathing.

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects associated with pre-workout supplements before considering taking them in order to reduce the risk of developing any uncomfortable or intolerable symptoms. If you are experiencing persistent nausea after taking a pre-workout supplement, it is advised that you stop using the supplement and seek medical advice in order to assess any underlying causes. Nausea can be caused by an intolerance to an ingredient in the supplement or a medical condition such as kidney stones.

How Pre-Workout Supplements Can Cause Kidney Stones

Pre-workout supplements are widely used by athletes and bodybuilders to improve their performance. However, many of these supplements contain ingredients that can have an adverse effect on your kidneys. Studies have shown that pre-workout supplements can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Let’s discuss the potential risks and factors that contribute to this.

Caffeine Content

Pre-workout supplements are used to gain a physical edge ahead of a workout, but it’s important to be aware of how their contents can affect your overall health. Many pre-workout supplements contain caffeine as a key ingredient, and this can cause an elevated risk for the development of kidney stones due to its diuretic properties. Caffeine pulls water from the body which reduces the amount of urine being passed, leading to higher concentrations of minerals such as oxalates and uric acid in your urine which can form into kidney stones.

The amount of caffeine in pre-workout is usually much more than what is found in regular coffee. The median dose is 200 mg per serving with some that have up to 500 mg per serving. Caffeine works by increasing adrenaline levels, improving alertness, and reducing physical discomfort associated with exercise; however, too much caffeine intake can cause side effects including dizziness, headache, anxiety and premature fatigue. Overconsumption has also been linked to increased risk of muscle breakdown resulting from dehydration or low blood sugar levels during workouts. In addition, individuals may also experience intestinal issues if they consume too much caffeine before a workout.

It’s important for individuals who consume pre-workout supplements to be aware that certain ingredients might put them at risk for developing kidney stones or other health issues over time. Individuals should consult with their physician about any underlying medical conditions prior to starting taking any supplement product. Additionally, it’s important for users to be conscious of the size, frequency and side effects related to all contents present in their chosen pre-workouts before committing to long term use.

High Levels of Creatine

Creatine is a popular supplement used to give your body extra energy before training sessions and competitions. When taken in high doses, creatine can lead to an increase in your body’s waste product, creatinine. This, combined with low fluid intake, can lead to dehydration and cause the kidneys to become stressed and unable to efficiently filter out wastes from the blood. As a result, you may experience kidney pain if there is a buildup of urine crystals in the kidneys and this can lead to kidney stones forming. If you are taking pre-workout supplements containing high levels of creatine, it is important that you also drink plenty of fluids during training sessions. This will help keep your kidneys healthy and prevent the formation of any harmful stones.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can be a painful and sometimes dangerous issue to deal with. Though they can be a result of many factors, there is some evidence to suggest that pre-workout supplements can increase the risk of kidney stones. As such, it is important to understand how to reduce your risk of developing them. In this article, we will discuss some of the preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water is the best way to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. It is especially important for people who are prone to developing them. People should aim to drink at least 2 liters (8 cups) of water a day, or enough to make their urine light yellow. If a person has already had a bout with kidney stones, they should drink 2-3 liters (10-12 glasses) of fluid each day as it helps dilute the substances in the urine that can lead to the formation of those stones. The more active you are and the hotter your environment, the more you should drink; you may need even more than 4 liters to prevent stone formation. Additionally, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine can also help reduce your risk for developing additional stones.

Monitor Your Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is found in many pre-workout supplements and other products. Studies have shown that high levels of caffeine can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. It’s important to be aware of your total caffeine intake and to limit it to no more than 400mg per day. Reducing your caffeine intake may also lower your risk for other health issues, such as hypertension, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.
If you are taking a pre-workout supplement and feel the effects of it—increased heart rate, sweating, or energy—it’s likely to be due to the caffeine content. Be sure the supplement list this ingredient on the label and discuss with your doctor if you need help determining an appropriate amount for you. If you’re looking for an energy boost, there are alternative options available such as whole foods like fruits or nuts that can also give some all-natural energy without excessive amounts of caffeine.

Choose Low-Creatine Supplements

If you choose to take pre-workout supplements to improve your fitness performance, it is important to be informed about the side effects and risks these can cause. One of these potential risks is the development of kidney stones due to taking creatine-based supplements. High levels of creatinine are associated with an increase in the formation of kidney stones, so reducing or completely avoiding taking creatine supplements may be helpful in reducing your risk.

It is also important to drink lots of water and keep electrolyte imbalance in check when taking pre-workout supplements. Hydration helps flush out salt, calcium and other substances that may cause crystals or stones to form. Additionally, choose low-creatine supplements as they are designed specifically for people who desire a workout boost without the risk of developing kidney stones or other health complications. Low-creatine products usually contain minimal amounts (if any) of creatine and instead focus on other ingredients that benefit overall fitness performance such as caffeine or BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids).


In conclusion, it is difficult to definitively say whether pre-workout supplements can cause kidney stones. While some studies have found that certain ingredients, such as creatine and caffeine, can increase the risk of developing kidney stones in people who take them regularly, other research has not been able to replicate such results. Additionally, research into the long-term effects of pre-workout supplements on kidney stone risk is lacking. Furthermore, those with a history of kidney or urinary issues should be especially cautious when considering taking a pre-workout supplement and should always speak to their healthcare provider for advice. Ultimately, the decision about whether to take a pre-workout supplement should take individual needs and circumstances into account, with caution and care being taken when using these types of products.

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