Why Does Pre Workout Make You Poop?

A lot of people have been asking us lately, “Why does pre workout make you poop?” We have the answer!

What is Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout is a type of dietary supplement that is typically taken before exercise to improve performance and energy. It usually contains ingredients such as caffeine, arginine, and creatine that can boost energy levels and improve physical performance. Some people also take pre-workout to help them with their weight loss goals. Let’s take a closer look at pre-workout and why it may make you poop.

What are the ingredients in pre-workout?

Pre-workout, typically a powder or pill, is composed of a mix of ingredients that are intended to increase focus, energy and performance during exercise. The main ingredients that make up pre-workout can vary depending on the manufacturer. Generally speaking, pre-workouts contain a combination of caffeine, amino acids and other natural supplements designed to optimize energy reserves, increase power output and delay fatigue before and during exercise.

Some common ingredients that are used in modern pre-workout formulations include caffeine—often in the form of guarana extract—branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), beta alanine, citrulline malate, arginine AKG (arginine alpha ketoglutarate) and creatine monohydrate. Caffeine is used to provide an immediate boost in alertness and focus as well as increased power output. BCAAs such as leucine, isoleucine and valine help to reduce muscle fatigue during strenuous activity by allowing for sustained muscle tension throughout the workout session. Beta alanine works together with BCAAs by helping to further reduce lactic acid buildup in muscles over extended periods of activity. Citrullline malate improves blood flow within the body which allows for greater oxygen levels in working muscle cells resulting in increased muscular endurance during workouts; additionally it helps to break down lactic acid build up which assists with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Lastly ,creatine monohydrate acts primarily as an energy buffer helping supply working muscles with ATP which can also help with increased workout intensity over time while preventing muscle breakdown from long duration workouts.

How Does Pre-Workout Make You Poop?

Many people wonder why pre-workout makes them have to go to the bathroom during or after their workout. While it can be a bit inconvenient, it turns out there is a scientific explanation for this common issue. We will take a closer look into the causes of this phenomenon and offer some advice on how to avoid it.


Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and is considered one of the main active ingredients in pre-workout supplements. It’s also a diuretic, meaning that it causes an increase in frequency and volume of urine production. Additionally, caffeine increases blood flow around the body and increases your metabolic rate. This increased circulation can cause you to have an increased urge to defecate.

Caffeine also acts on your intestinal smooth muscles to speed up digestion and create an urge to go to the bathroom. If you’re already near a bathroom when taking pre-workout, it could be all too easy to follow your body’s natural urges! Furthermore, caffeine works as part of something called a ‘catecholamine flood’ – essentially producing large amounts of hormones such as norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine which constrict blood vessels throughout your body but especially in your GI tract which can result in abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

It is important to note that not all pre-workouts contain caffeine, some may use other ingredients like synephrine or guarana seed extract which act similarly on the GI tract so do check what ingredients are inside before taking them before exercise!


Creatine is the most common and popularly used pre-workout ingredient. A creatine supplement is typically powdered and added to beverages prior to exercising. Creatine helps muscle fibers contract more efficiently, providing enhanced strength during resistance or aerobic exercise. The part of the creatine compound that can cause laxative effects is the creatinol-O-phosphate, which can draw maximum amounts of water into muscle cells which may lead to digestive issues. Additionally, depending on the person, there are some common side effects associated with increased intake of creatine such as nausea and diarrhea due to increased acidity in their digestive system or excessive release of molecular marker ammonia into their bloodstreams. It’s recommended to drink plenty of fluids when taking a creatine supplement before exercising as hydration is key to maintaining your digestive health.


Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is often found in pre-workout supplements. Though there have not been any specific studies on beta-alanine and its effect on bowel movements, some users have reported an increase in bowel movements after taking pre-workout. It may be due to the fact that beta-alanine can cause a tingling sensation throughout the body when taken in high amounts. This feeling is known as paresthesia and has been documented to cause an urge to have a bowel movement.

In addition, pre-workouts often contain stimulants, such as caffeine or amphetamines, which can cause increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones can stimulate the intestines, resulting in increased peristalsis – rhythmic contractions that propel material through the gastrointestinal tract – leading to increased frequency of stools. Furthermore, higher doses of caffeine are linked to loose stools and diarrhea as it has an osmotic effect in the intestines which traps water and stimulates more frequent contractions (1).

An alternative explanation could be that pre-workout supplements contain ingredients like sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners. Sugar alcohols like xylitol or mannitol can draw more water into the intestines which has a laxative effect (2). Artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame may be difficult for your body to digest which could explain why some people experience diarrhoea after taking a pre-workout supplement containing these ingredients (3).

In short, it is unclear why some people experience increased bowl movements when consuming pre-workouts; however, it appears that a combination of factors including beta alanine, stimulants such caffeine or amphetamines contained in these supplements, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners may contribute to this phenomenon.

Other Factors That Can Affect Bowel Movements

Although pre-workout suppements are known to cause an increase in bowel movements, they are not the only factor that can affect your bathroom habits. There are many different lifestyle choices, foods and supplements that can influence your digestion and put added strain on your bowel. In this article, we will be discussing the various factors that can affect your bathroom habits and how to take control of them.


Dehydration can result in slow transit through the digestive system, making it difficult to move food and waste through the body. This can cause constipation or make fecal matter difficult to pass. Drinking sufficient fluids throughout the day, particularly water and other non-caffeinated beverages, is key in helping to maintain a healthy level of hydration which supports proper digestion and transit time. If your bowel movements are unusual or painful after taking pre-workout supplements, consider increasing your total water consumption for a few days and take note of any changes that occur.


In addition to physical activity, your diet is the other major factor that significantly affects your bowel movements. There are some basic considerations when considering your diet and its effects on bowel movements:

-What you eat: Consuming high fat foods late at night, increased consumption of processed foods, and/or large consumption of certain types of vegetables can all increase the amount of water and fiber in one’s stool. Fiber is especially important as it helps to soften stools and assist in peristalsis (the rhythmic movement with which the intestines move waste through the digestive tract).

-Drinking plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps to keep our bodies hydrated, controls salt balance increases fibre intake (especially through fruits and vegetables) which further softens stool.

-Frequency of eating meals: Eating regular meals daily is important for good digestion. If a person takes too long between meals, it usually leads to dehydration. This increases waste from food sitting in the intestines too long and causes irregular stools.


Stress is an important factor that can affect your bowel movements. Stress can lead to increased production of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can disrupt digestion. People with high levels of stress may experience constipation, diarrhea or erratic bowel movements. The effects on the gastrointestinal system will depend on individual responses to stress. Research suggests that exercise can help reduce levels of stress hormones in the body and ultimately improve your symptoms. Additionally, finding ways to manage everyday stressors like balancing a busy schedule, practicing relaxation techniques and finding healthy ways to cope with life’s ups and downs are all important components in promoting overall health and well-being.

How to Avoid Unwanted Bowel Movements

Do you find that drinking pre workout gives you an unwanted side effect of having to go to the bathroom? If so, you’re not alone. Taking pre workout can definitely have an effect on your digestion. But there are ways to minimize this side effect, so you can enjoy the performance-enhancing benefits of pre-workout without the embarrassing side effects. Keep reading to learn more.

Drink plenty of water

One of the primary reasons for unwanted bowel movements resulting from pre-workout supplements is dehydration. This can cause bloating, cramping and other symptoms associated with not drinking enough fluids. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day and especially around your training times. Experts recommend drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, with more if you are in a very active lifestyle or training on a regular basis. Additionally, if you take pre-workout supplements, make sure to drink an extra glass or two before your workout to help avoid dehydration.

Monitor your caffeine intake

One of the main causes of pre-workout induced bowel movements is excessive amounts of caffeine. If you’re taking a pre-workout supplement, be sure to check the dosage and adjust it according to your tolerance levels. It’s also important to keep in mind that some pre-workouts may include other sources of caffeine such as green tea extract or guarana. If you’re taking multiple sources of caffeine then this can add up and can cause significant bowel changes.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, start with a smaller dose or take it after your workout instead. You could also try combining caffeine with other ingredients that can help reduce its effects, such as L-theanine or magnesium glycinate. You should also avoid taking high doses late in the day, as the stimulatory effects can disrupt your sleep cycle and further increase risk for digestive issues like diarrhea.

Eat a balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the frequency of unwanted bowel movements. Eating a wide variety of healthy and nutrient-rich foods can help provide your body with an adequate supply of the nutrients it needs, thus reducing your risk for gastrointestinalthis health issues.

Your diet should consist mainly of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes nuts and seeds. These items provide filling fiber in addition to providing essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s also important to limit added sugars and saturated fats as well as processed food as these can all contribute to indigestion and unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain and nausea. Other lifestyle factors that support digestive health include getting plenty of physical activity, drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking, reducing stress levels, avoiding alcohol and caffeine while limiting medication use if possible.

Limit your pre-workout intake

If you’ve noticed pre-workout making you poop more or giving you an upset stomach, you might want to try reducing your intake. Pre-workouts are intended to give a boost of energy to help power through your workouts, but it is wise to stick with the recommended dosage. Drinking too much pre-workout can lead to stomach discomfort and unexpected trips to the bathroom. Start with one scoop and increase from there. If that doesn’t seem to be enough, gradually increase the amount until you find a happy medium. It’s not helpful if sudden cramping and diarrhea cut your workout short!

Another way to minimize adverse effects is by purchasing pre-workouts that are specifically made for those who suffer from digestive issues. Some formulas contain gentler ingredients such as ginger root extract and ginseng root extract – both have traditionally used for their calming effects on the stomach and intestine. Other common ingredients that are sometimes added for their soothing effects include papaya leaf extract, artichoke leaf extract, fennel seed extract, or peppermint leaf extract.

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