Can You Take Pre-Workout Supplements on an Empty Stomach?
You’re on a time crunch to get to the gym, get a good sweat session, and get back to work before your 2:30 meeting. You don’t have time to eat a quick snack, and you need your pre-workout to crush your goals, but wait—will chugging that pre-workout on an empty stomach hurt?
The concern is valid; while perfectly safe, there are some harsh ingredients in most of these supplements. So, let’s talk about what classifies a pre-workout supplement, when you should take it, and if it’s okay to take pre-workout on an empty stomach.
What Classifies as a Pre-Workout Supplement?
We’ve covered what a pre-workout supplement is in detail many times, and technically anything you take before you exercise is a “pre-workout.” However, supplements that are labeled as such could have a wide array of ingredients, all designed to put your body and mind in the ideal workout space.
Most people take a pre-workout intending to feel:
- more energized
- more focused
- capable of working out for longer
- a better pump
With all sports supplements, some ingredients are backed by scientific research, some are not, and some are known for some unpleasant side effects. The effects you feel depend on the specific formula of your pre-workout supplement. It’s always a good idea to do a little preemptive research before settling on your staple pre-workout.
When Should You Take Your Pre-Workout Supplement?
Obviously, as the name suggests, you take a pre-workout before you work out. It turns out people do need a little more guidance, though, and most people take their supplement as close to their workout as they can. However, if you take your pre-workout supplement too early, the effects might kick in and wear off before you’ve started your first set. Take it too late, and you risk finishing your workout before it hits.
The directions on your pre-workout supplement’s label can vary, so you should always read them first. However, in general, taking your pre-workout about twenty to thirty minutes before activity is ideal. This allows enough time for the effects of the caffeine (or whatever ingredients you use) to kick in just in time.
Is it Okay to Take Pre-Workout on an Empty Stomach?
Since we’re discussing taking pre-workout on an empty stomach, let’s define an “empty” stomach as having consumed no food within the past two hours or more. In this case, taking your pre-workout might help you feel the desired effects sooner than if your stomach was digesting bulky food as well.
Taking pre-workout on an empty stomach allows the formula to reach your intestines quicker, where the ingredients break down and enter the bloodstream. This means if you’re in a time crunch and don’t have time to kill before the pre-workout effects kick in, taking your pre-workout on an empty stomach might be ideal.
Is There a Downside to Taking Pre-Workout on an Empty Stomach?
While the speed is appealing, some people might experience minor, undesirable side effects from taking their pre-workout on an empty stomach. Side effects might include:
- low blood sugar
- digestive irritation
If you tend to workout first thing in the morning and use your pre-workout supplement to break your fast, these nasty side effects might compound, leaving you feeling terrible through your workout (if you can even get through it at all). Most of these side effects are attributed to the most popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements: caffeine.
Taking Pre-Workout on an Empty Stomach: The Bottom Line
There isn’t an inherent risk of taking your pre-workout on an empty stomach, and the best way to tell if it will work for you is to give it a try. If you have any adverse reactions, you could try a different pre-workout supplement, as each has different ingredients. Some may work for you better than others.
Another factor to consider is what you last ate. If your pre-workout supplement bothers you sometimes but not others, it may come down to what you had to eat the previous day. The best way to avoid any undesirable side effects is to have a small meal about two hours prior to consuming your pre-workout. This is also an excellent way to ensure your body is adequately fueled for your workout.
Pre-Workout Supplements We Love for Taking on an Empty Stomach
If you’re worried about side effects, consider a stim-free pre-workout. Stim-free formulas are pre-workout supplements free from caffeine and all other stimulants.
This highly rated pre-workout is designed to support your best workouts with proven ingredients. Leave the jitters or nausea that is sometimes caused by stimulants behind you. Use Purple K Reps to increase strength, improve endurance, and optimize muscular energy. The active ingredients include:
- Beta-Alanine—a nonessential amino acid that plays a role in sport endurance and high-intensity exercise performance.
- Creatine Monohydrate—the most highly researched and effective sports supplement on the market. Creatine is an organic compound that naturally occurs in animal muscles. Human bodies store phosphocreatine in the brain and the muscles and use it to create adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is the body’s energy currency. Not only does creatine improve exercise performance and endurance, but it also encourages the body to build muscle. It is even very effective in sedentary people.
- Citrulline Malate—an amino acid that, upon consumption, the body converts to L-arginine. It provides background ingredients needed for the body to synthesize proteins.
- Glycine—a nonessential amino acid used by the body to synthesize protein and maintain tissues.
- Taurine—an amino sulfonic acid used by the body not to build proteins but plays crucial roles in the brain and heart.
Purple K Reps also includes an advanced electrolyte complex to keep you adequately hydrated and an absorption initiator known as Bioperine.
If you want or need to take your pre-workout supplement on an empty stomach, chances are you will be just fine. It might take some trial and error to determine how to get the best effects, but if you are struggling to consume your pre-workout on an empty stomach, consider giving a stim-free pre-workout like Purple K Reps by Fusion Bodybuilding a try.