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Many of my nutrition clients that start taking pre-workout have noticed that their pre-workout supplements make them have to pee more often, and they wonder if they should be concerned.
Why does pre-workout make you pee more? Pre-workout can make you pee more if it contains caffeine and/or creatine. Caffeine is a diuretic that increases urine output, and creatine makes you more thirsty, encouraging you to drink more water. If your pre-workout contains both of these ingredients, you’ll likely have to pee more often.
Although it may be normal for some pre-workouts to make you pee more often, it’s important to understand whether peeing more often should be a concern or if it’s something you should just get used to.
After reading this article, you’ll learn:
- How common it is for pre-workout to make you pee more
- Why pre-workout makes you pee more often
- Which ingredients in pre-workout cause you to pee more
- What to do about it
Is It Just Me, or Do Other People Pee a Lot When Taking Pre Workout?
If your pre-workout makes you pee more often, you’re not alone. In fact, many people notice that pre-workouts make them pee more often if they’ve just started taking pre-workouts or recently switched pre-workout brands.
As you can see from the picture below, anecdotal reports show that some pre-workouts increase urine production. This is likely due to the ingredients they contain and the dosage of these particular ingredients.
What’s the Connection Between Pre-Workout & the Urinary Tract?
Pre-workout mostly affects the urinary tract by causing you to excrete more water (pee more often) and drink more water, both of which lead to more frequent urination.
This is because there are ingredients in pre-workout called diuretics that will encourage you to excrete more water through increased urination.
Additionally, some pre-workout ingredients will use your body’s water content to complete its function, which will make you more thirsty and encourage you to drink more water.
Pre-Workout Ingredients That Make You Pee More
The pre-workout ingredients that make you pee more are:
The caffeine in pre-workout supplements enhances your energy, focus, and alertness. It can also cause you to pee more often because it is a diuretic, meaning it encourages your body to increase urine production.
The effects of caffeine as a diuretic increase as the dose increases. Therefore, the more caffeine you consume, the more frequently you will have to pee.
Some people may feel the diuretic effect of caffeine more than others, as some tend to be more sensitive to caffeine. If you know you’re sensitive to caffeine, choose a pre-workout without caffeine or with less caffeine content to reduce the frequency of urination.
- Related Article: Caffeine Pills vs Pre-Workout: Pros, Cons, & Which Is Best?
Creatine, which is included in pre-workouts to encourage gains in strength, power, and muscle mass, can also cause you to pee more often because it can make you more thirsty.
The more thirsty you are, the more liquids you’ll consume, increasing how often you need to pee.
Creatine makes you thirsty because it works by pulling water into your muscles. But in doing so, it reduces the amount of water your body has for other processes such as temperature regulation.
To ensure you have enough water for your other bodily processes, your body will cause you to feel more thirsty, so you drink more water.
- Related Article: Creatine vs Pre-Workout: Are They The Same? (No, Here’s Why)
How Pre-Workout Can Change the Color of Your Urine
In addition to creatine and caffeine, pre-workout also contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin). B vitamins are included in pre-workouts because they help your body metabolize fats, carbs, and proteins. They help convert food to energy more quickly to give you an energy boost.
Although B vitamins do not make you pee more often, they change the color of your pee, making it bright yellow.
This is because of Vitamin B2, riboflavin, which is excreted via urination when your body already has a sufficient amount of this vitamin.
If you notice that your pee has changed color, don’t panic—it could just be that your pre-workout contains vitamin B2.
Other Reasons That Can Cause You To Pee
You’re Drinking More Water
When you have pre-workout, you may drink more water just by mixing your pre-workout and consuming it.
Additionally, if your pre-workout makes you more thirsty because it contains creatine, you will likely quench your thirst by drinking more water.
Therefore, one of the main reasons you’re peeing more while taking a pre-workout is largely related to increasing your water consumption.
You’re Consuming Additional Diuretics Throughout the Day
You could also be peeing more because you’re unintentionally stacking different diuretics throughout the day.
Perhaps you’re waking up and having one or two cups of coffee (a diuretic) in the morning and then having pre-workout (another diuretic) in the afternoon before your workout.
Having multiple diuretics throughout the day will cause you to pee more often because diuretics encourage increased urination.
Is It Bad That You Pee a Lot After Taking Pre-Workout?
If your pre-workout makes you pee more often, it’s not necessarily bad as long as you’re staying hydrated and it’s not impacting your quality of life.
If peeing more often is only a slight inconvenience but doesn’t affect your quality of life, there’s nothing to worry about.
However, if you find yourself in situations where you cannot leave to go pee whenever you want (i.e., a teacher), or the frequency at which you pee impacts your ability to get quality sleep, I recommend trying one of the fixes discussed below.
Fixes for a Pre-Workout That Makes You Pee More Than Usual
If peeing more affects your quality of life, you should:
- Choose a low-caffeine pre-workout
- Use a non-stim pre-workout
- Skip pre-workout supplements altogether
Choose a Low-Caffeine Pre-Workout
Choosing a pre-workout with a lower dose of caffeine may be all you need to stop peeing as frequently while taking a pre-workout. It could be that your current pre-workout has too much caffeine for you, resulting in a larger diuretic effect.
Try switching to a low-caffeine pre-workout with less than 200mg per serving, like this one from Zhou Nutrition, to see if your urination patterns improve.
Use a Non-Stim Pre-Workout
If you can’t tolerate any caffeine without having to pee too often, try switching to a pre-workout without stimulants, which shouldn’t have a diuretic effect.
Non-stim pre-workouts still have ingredients that can boost your performance in the gym without the use of caffeine, which could also improve your sleep quality if you take your pre-workout closer to bedtime.
- Related Article: Best Pre-Workout Alternatives That Won’t Make You Crash
Skip Pre-Workout Supplements Altogether
Another solution is to skip pre-workout altogether because pre-workout certainly isn’t necessary to make progress in the gym.
Rather than taking a pre-workout supplement, you can focus on having a quality pre-workout meal with 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates to provide you with energy for training.
What Not To Do If Your Pre-Workout Makes You Pee More Often
When taking a pre-workout with caffeine or creatine, which needs water to maximize its benefits, you should not restrict your water intake. Implementing the fixes above is a better solution than decreasing your water consumption to reduce urination frequency while taking pre-workout.
Limiting your water intake while taking supplements with creatine could lead to dehydration, which decreases your performance and can be dangerous for your health in extreme cases.
Best Pre-Workout That Doesn’t Make You Pee
The best pre-workout that won’t make you pee is Naked Nutrition’s Naked Energy Stim-Free Pre-Workout.
This pre-workout still contains beta-alanine to delay fatigue, citrulline malate and Nitrosigine for increased blood flow, and vitamin B12 to help convert food to energy more quickly.
This pre-workout won’t make you pee because it doesn’t contain caffeine or creatine, the two main contributors to increased urination.
I also love that Naked Energy is third-party tested, meaning it’s been verified by a third party to contain the ingredients it’s supposed to contain in the doses specified on the label.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Pre-Workout a Diuretic?
Pre-workouts that contain caffeine are diuretics, but pre-workouts that do not contain caffeine and are stimulant-free are not diuretics.
Should You Stop Taking Pre-Workout If It Makes You Pee More?
You don’t need to stop taking pre-workout if it makes you pee unless it impacts your quality of life. It’s not a health risk unless it affects your ability to stay hydrated or sleep well.
Does Pre-Workout Make You More Thirsty?
It’s common for pre-workout to make you more thirsty because the caffeine in most pre-workouts increases your urine output. Additionally, if your pre-workout contains creatine, you could feel even more thirsty because creatine draws water into your muscles and out of circulation.
How Much Water Should You Drink With Pre-Workout?
I recommend using at least one cup of water to mix with your pre-workout and having at least one cup of water or a sports drink to sip on throughout your workout to stay hydrated. After your workout, consume between 1-3 cups of water or more if you sweat excessively.
What To Read Next
- Is It Bad To Take Pre-Workout Every Day? (3 Drawbacks)
- Pre-Workout Sickness: How Common Is It, Causes, & How To Fix
- Should You Take Pre-Workout Before Running?
- Does Pre-Workout Make You Sweat More? (9 Reasons)
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About The Author
Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath. She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.
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