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February 13, 2020 3 min read

Is Clumped Pre-Workout Bad?

Absolutely not! You may have heard the phrase, “if it clumps, it pumps.” The fact is that this phrase is perfect for explaining what happens to your favourite pre-workout supplement, and how clumped pre-workout is not a bad thing. If anything, if your pre-workout supplement is hardening or clumping, it can actually be a good thing, as it’s telling you it’s working!

The Science Behind Your Pre-Workout Clumping

In today’s pre-workout market, a number of pre-workout products have very high doses of pump ingredients. Some of these you may already be familiar with, such as L-Citrulline (or Citrulline Malate), Agmatine, Glycerol (or Hydromax), and Arginine. Many of these are amino acid compounds.

Many pre-workout ingredients can are hygroscopic, also known as a substance that absorbs moisture from the air. These ingredients attract and hold water, which causes them to clump with the other ingredients in your pre-workout supplement.

Basically, the clumping or hardening in your pre-workout is simply moisture from the air that is attracted to the ingredients in your pre-workout.

How Do You Keep Pre-Workout From Clumping?

There are a few different solutions to stop pre-workout from clumping or to fix hardened pre-workout.

When you open your pre-workout supplement, you should see a silica gel, or desiccant pack, in the container. This little pack works wonders for keeping your pre-workout from getting hard as it absorbs moisture before any of the ingredients do. Always make sure you keep this pack in your pre-workout container until the last scoop!

You can also prevent pre-workout clumping by regularly stirring or shaking the pre-workout powder and container. This actually has a couple of benefits. First, it will ensure your desiccant pack moves throughout the container to absorb any moisture that’s present. Second, it makes sure all the ingredients in your pre-workout supplement properly mix together. Many pre-workout ingredients have different gradations, and therefore different weights. This can mean your pre-workout ingredients separate in the container. Heavier ingredients such as L-Citrulline settle at the bottom of the powder, while lighter ingredients like caffeine will gather at the top. This occurrence can make for an inconsistent pre-workout experience in each serving, as well as encourage clumping by having the same ingredient packed close together in the container. I like to shake and mix my pre-workout supplement before every use to ensure I’m getting a consistent experience every time and to keep my pre-workout from clumping.

The last thing to consider is where you store your pre-workout supplement. A cool, dry area is ideal, as this limits the potential for moisture to be present. A great option is the freezer - yes, you read that right! Storing pre-workout in the freezer can prevent clumping since it’s dry and there is very little moisture in the air.

How Do You Fix Hardened Pre-Workout?

If your pre-workout supplement already contains clumps, there are a few ways to solve this. Remember, clumped pre-workout is still usable, but you will want to break apart the clumps to get a consistent experience from your pre-workout powder.

You can put your pre-workout into a blender. This allows you to break up the clumps and mix all the ingredients back together evenly. If you are putting your clumped pre-workout into a blender, make sure you take out your desiccant pack first - just remember to put it back into the container when you’re done!

You can also break up your clumpy pre-workout with a knife, fork, or the other end of the scoop inside your container. Once you’re done, give the pre-workout a good shake, and the larger clumps will break down further.

The Best Pre-Workout Supplements

Here at Supplement Superstore, we’ve put together a list of the 15 best pre-workout supplements that offer a great pump with high levels of hygroscopic ingredients. Just remember to follow the advice above, and you’ll get a consistent pre-workout experience every time you hit the gym!


By Richard Penrose

I don't want to write a bio for myself, so instead I'll leave you with an appropriate quote...

Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they're all a projection of you.

- Deepak Chopra

Indian-born American author, public speaker, alternative medicine advocate.

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