Is It Bad To Drink Pre Workout Without Working Out? 5 Real Risks!
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Pre workout supplements were created as a way of boosting your energy, focus, and endurance before your workout. Therefore it is a popular supplement among athletes, body builders and fitness enthusiasts.
Pre workouts contain a combination of ingredients such as caffeine, beta-alanine, arginine and creatine, which are all designed to improve your performance in the gym and to get the most out of your workout like the perfect gym partner.
So it’s true, pre workout supplements work. They are very effective and get you results but maybe even more important is to use them as they were intended by the producer.
But the question remains…so is it bad to drink pre workout without working out? Is this even safe? What are the potential benefits? How about the risks? Let’s explore these questions.
So the question…
Here Is The Answer
Well technically, there is nothing standing in your way and physically stopping you from drinking pre workout and then not going for a workout.
But, pre workouts were designed to give you an edge for working out, containing ingredients that improve your physical performance.
So taking them without actually going for a workout might be mostly pointless. In fact, it can even cause more harm rather than actually providing you with benefits. What do I mean?
Well, one of the main ingredients that most pre workout have is caffeine. And usually lots of it. This stimulant can make you more alert but can also increase your increase heart rate and blood pressure.
So while caffeine in general can give you a much needed boost of energy before a workout, it can also cause unwanted side effects like making you jittery, making you feel anxious, and keep you awake at night when consumed in large amounts or taking it without working out to burn it off.
Another popular ingredient in pre workout is beta-alanine. It is believed that this natural amino improves your exercise performance.
This amino acid is generally speaking well-tolerated when taken at normal recommended doses, but even then, some people still experience side effects.
The most common side effect that people using beta-alanine complain about is a tingling sensation on your skin, or the face, neck or ears. This is known as paresthesia.
Depending on how much you take, this sensation can be mild and temporary but can be more intense and last a few hours if you don’t engage is some form of physical activity.
Other side effects of beta-alanine that people report include feeling nauseous, or dizzy and having an upset stomach.
So taking beta-alanine, as included in many pre-workouts and not exercising is a sure way to increase your chances of experiencing these side effects. You are not likely to notice any benefit of beta-
So, if you plan on chugging down some pre workout without working out, at the very least inform yourself on the potential risks and side effects that you might experience.
So while the potential short term benefits like feeling more energetic and focused can be very interesting I would still advice to find a different product that gives you the boost you want without the unwanted stuff you don’t want.
Any benefits of taking pre workout without working out?
Actually there aren’t many benefit I can think of for taking a pre workout supplement without actually engaging in some form of physical activity.
The only one I can think of is you getting a big amount of caffeine that will make you feel energized and boost your focus.
So while it’s possible that you will experience these some short-term benefits, it won’t provide any long term benefits and I would be more concerned about the side effects we mentioned earlier.
5 Real Risks of taking pre workout without working out
There are some potential risks associated with taking pre workout without actually moving your butt and working out. Think of these following ones:
Many, I would even say most, pre workouts contain high levels of caffeine, which can have negative results if you consume large amounts.
Some symptoms include experiencing jitters, feeling anxious, having a rapid heartbeat, and not being able to fall asleep.
Pre workout generally increase your production of sweat and fluid loss. This can result in you being dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids to counter it. Dehydration is known to cause fatigue, dizziness, and even muscle cramps.
None of these are great, this can be particularly unpleasant and last longer if you are not moving your body and exercising so that you burn off the energy and other effects of the supplement.
Issues with digestion:
Many pre workouts also contain creatine as an ingredient.
While this ingredient is great for many things it can also cause digestive issues if you take too much. You might start feeling bloated, gassy and farty, and even get diarrhea.
Nobody wants to be gassy, so do everyone a favor and be mindful and moderate the consumption of these ingredients.
High blood pressure:
Some ingredients in pre workout supplements can increase your heart rate and also your blood pressure. So if you have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or heart disease I’d stay clear of these products.
This might sound crazy but needs to be said. While pre workout supplements are generally considered safe and not addicting you still have to be mindful.
It is possible to develop an addiction to ingredients like caffeine or other ingredients found in pre workouts. Ever heard a friend say, I can’t start my day without a cup of coffee?
So if you notice that you constantly feel like you must take it to be able to do anything really, it may be a sign that you’re becoming addicted or dependent on the product and you should seek professional help.
Alternatives to pre workouts
There are many options you could use instead of a pre-workout supplements to provide you with a boost in energy and improve your focus. Here are some options you could consider:
Other forms of caffeine:
You can take caffeine in other forms to get feel more awake, alert and focused. Caffeine is naturally found in coffee, tea, and chocolate but you could also consider taking it in a supplement form.
Get your mug and drink tea. L-theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea. It’s believed that by taking it, it will have a calming effect on your brain and will help with your focus and concentration. This is, just like caffeine, also available in supplement form.
Using adaptogenic herbs:
It’s believed that these herbs help your body adapt to stress and will improve your overall well-being. Some herbs you could consider using are ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng.
This is an important note: Keep in mind that these alternatives or option are not guaranteed to provide the same effects you might expect from your pre-workout supplement.
Of course, not, how much you take matter, if you take it in combination with other supplement might have a different effect. So try out different combinations as see what works best for you.
If you have any questions, concerns or conditions related to your health, make sure you consult your trusted health care provider to discuss starting any new (combination) of supplement.
The Wrap Up
So… is it bad to drink pre workout and then not working out? You’re a obviously free to do whatever you want to. But do I recommend taking pre workout without going for a working out session afterwards? No.
Like I said, it might give you some short term benefits like a boost in your energy level and focus. Some negative side effects might also tag alone with that. Side effect such as feeling jittery, anxious and other side effects.
Consider using some alternative like coffee, thee or an adaptogenic herb to help you get the same result you desire.
If you are considering taking a pre workout supplement or otherwise, make sure to do your research. Select products that you are comfortable with and that have been proven to be safe and effective.
Read the label carefully and, needless to say, follow the recommended dosage. If you have any questions make sure to speak with a trusted healthcare professional.