Why does pre workout make me poop?

Many gym-goers consume pre-workout supplements for an instant gush of power. These pre-workout supplements make up for any nutritional gap in your diet. They also get you charged and energized for an intense workout session.

However, it would be bad if something that is expected to increase your stamina, hinders your workout session. For example, does your pre-workout intake trigger an immediate urge to rush to the bathroom? This isn’t unnatural and is backed by scientific reasons.

If your pre workout supplement makes you poop, you probably need to check the list of ingredients. Ergogenic dietary supplements contain ingredients that activate your colon and trigger your bowel movements.

This article will explain in detail how the different ingredients in your preworkout supplement work on your body and trigger an immediate need to poop, sometimes even when you are halfway through your exercise session!

Why does pre workout make me poop

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Pre workout and bowel movements

Pre workout supplements contain ingredients like BCAA, Caffeine, Beta-Alanine, Artificial Sweeteners, etc. Some of these ingredients can trigger unpredictable movements in your bowel.

It is the colon that handles bowel movements in the human body. In a healthy human being, bowel movement is determined by a healthy diet. A healthy diet refers to consuming food, water, and supplement in the required and adequate doses. However, some ingredients that are used in pre-workout supplements cause you to lose control over your colon.

When you indulge in an intense exercise session, your abdominal muscles stretch a great deal. This, coupled with the action of a few hard-hitting ingredients on your colon, tend to result in the strong urge to poop.

High caffeine content in pre workout

Pick out a tub of pre workout supplement of any brand; you will definitely find Caffeine in the list of ingredients. Caffeine is popularly used in pre-workout supplements due to the many benefits that it has on the body. It does not only impart immense strength to the body, but it also improves focus and alertness.

Typically, you will find at least 150 mg of Caffeine in each serving of most pre-workout powders. However, this quantity can go up to notoriously high levels.

Although Caffeine is an excellent energy booster, it also makes you want to rush to the bathroom to poop. This is because Caffeine activates the contraction of intestinal and colon muscles. When your colon contracts, the contents are pushed downwards towards the rectum. The rectum is the endpoint from which undigested waste is secreted out of the body.

A study was conducted to understand the impact of caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee on bowel movements. It was found that caffeinated coffee caused 23% more bowel movement than decaffeinated coffee.  It also caused 60% more bowel movement than water. Thus, the results are evident!

Artificial Sweeteners in pre workouts

Pre workouts contain artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar. These artificial sweeteners are slow to digest. On entering the colon, the bacteria take a lot of time to break down these sweeteners. This leads to the production of methane and carbon dioxide, which cause digestive discomfort.

The formation of these two gases might result in an emergency trip to the bathroom. The greater the quantity of the artificial sweeteners in your ergogenic supplement, the more will be the discomfort. Therefore, it is important to check the list of ingredients thoroughly before you invest in a tub of pre-workout supplement.

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Pre workout downsides

If you rely on strength boosters to increase your stamina and endurance, it is evident that your body is not ready for the kind of strenuous exercise that you are indulging in. If you overdose on the ingredients, you are likely to experience the ill effects of the ingredients on your body.

For instance, if you take two scoops of a pre-workout supplement that is densely laden with Caffeine in the hope of witnessing an instant gush of energy and alertness, you might have to throw your iron weights and run to the bathroom!

If not taken in limits, pre-workouts cause jitters, drowsiness, heart palpitations and make you feel as if you immediately have to poop.

Mentioned below are some of the potential downsides of pre-workout supplements:

  1. Insomnia: A pro-tip that you should never forget is- “Do not consume your pre-workout supplement at night.” Before you drink your pre-workout supplement, you need to glance through the list of ingredients. If your supplement contains high doses of Caffeine, it can tamper your night’s sleep.
  2. Dehydration: Some ingredients are also responsible for pulling water. Overdosing on your ergogenic drink might result in dehydration.
  3. High blood pressure: Caffeine in pre-workout supplements increases the blood pressure level. Ergogenic drinks are usually consumed before a High-intensity workout. This too elevates the blood pressure levels in the human body.
  4. Headache: Pre-workout supplements contain ingredients like Citrulline Malate, Arginine, or Beta-Alanine. These ingredients give muscle pumps by promoting vasodilation. Due to vasodilation, the blood vessels in your body (including your head) expand. Dehydration may also lead to headaches. The fluid that forms a protective layer between the brain and the skull gets thinner, causing the brain to bump into the skull. All these reasons cause headaches.

Pre-workout supplements are quite expensive. Thus, it is important that you make a smart choice.


Pre-workout supplements can serve as a catalyst to boost your energy, but they should never be relied upon as your primary source of energy. Do not consume two scoops of the pre-workout supplement before hitting the gym to avoid experiencing the aftermath.  You should rather focus on building your capacity gradually.

Apart from that, the importance of a healthy and balanced diet cannot be overemphasized. Besides, indulge in regular capacity-building and cardiovascular exercises. Last but not least, get adequate sleep.

If you are still counting on pre-workout supplements for stamina and focus, glance through the list of ingredients thoroughly.

Start by taking in half a scoop and get your body seasoned to the change. Never overdose on your pre-workout supplement. This way, you can avoid the overpowering feeling of having to take a dump while or immediately after you finish your workout.

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