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Does Pre Workout Make You Angry? (+Cause Mood Swings?)

Pre workout is taken by many gym goers for its ability to improve your workouts.

But does pre workout cause anger?

Here’s whether pre workout makes you angry:

Pre workout can cause anger in some people due to the high amount of caffeine and creatine. Research shows that these ingredients increase aggression levels when taken in high amounts, like in pre workout.

In this article, we cover why pre workout may cause anger, whether all pre workouts cause anger, some useful tips if you feel angry after taking pre workout, and much more!

Which Ingredients In Pre Workout May Make You Feel Angry?


Many pre workouts include a hefty dose of caffeine to improve energy, focus and fat loss.

(To give you some perspective, the average cup of coffee contains 100mg of caffeine, whereas some pre workouts contain up to 400mg of caffeine per serving!)

Now don’t get me wrong…

It’s true that the more caffeine there is, the greater the benefits you feel when it comes to focus, alertness and fat loss.

But the caveat is that side effects are worse too.

In a study of 144 inmates, those who consumed the most caffeine felt more anger, anxiety and irritability than those with a lower intake.

Another study of 7346 Icelandic adolescents investigated the effects of caffeine on anger.

It concluded that high caffeine intake was associated with more anger.

(Although it mentioned that some of the anger was likely due to the participants being sleepy during the day, hence why they needed a lot of caffeine.)


Creatine is broken down into ATP in the body – the currency our cells use for energy.

Many pre workouts include creatine as it’s safe, cheap and helps you gain strength.

But some research suggests that creatine may cause aggression in some users.

For example, a study of 19 males had 10 of the subjects take creatine and 9 take a placebo.

After taking 25g of creatine per day for a week, 2 of the subjects felt more aggressive and nervous.

Also, a quick look on Google shows that quite a few people feel angrier after taking creatine.

Now obviously, this is purely anecdotal, so you have to take it with a pinch of salt (ahem, creatine), but it’s still worth noting.

Can Pre Workout Cause Mood Swings?

It’s possible that some pre workouts can cause mood swings in certain individuals.

One reason is due to the high amount of caffeine in pre workout, which can make you irritable once it wears off.

Pre workout can also suppress your appetite, so if you go for a long period without food, you may feel hangry once the pre workout wears off.

That isn’t to say everyone will experience mood swings from pre workout though. At the end of the day, we’re all biologically unique, so what may make me moody won’t necessarily do the same for you.

Do All Pre Workouts Make You Feel Angry?

In short, no.

One reason is that some pre workouts contain no caffeine or creatine.

Since these are the ingredients which can cause anger, pre workouts without them most likely won’t make you feel angry.

Another thing to consider is that some pre workouts include amino acids like BCAAs, Citrulline Malate and L-Tyrosine.

Research suggests that people with anger have low amounts of these amino acids, so it’s possible that they make you feel calm.

Also, it’s worth noting that as we’re all biologically unique, we react differently to different ingredients.

For example, pre workout A may make you feel angry, whereas it might have no effect on me.

Whereas pre workout B may make me feel angry but have no effect on you.

Should You Worry If You Feel Angry After Taking Pre Workout?

Absolutely not!

Worrying when you’re angry will leave you in a negative emotional state, which can reduce the intensity of your workout.

(Which is the exact opposite of what you want when taking pre workout!)

Also, you need to remember that you’re in control of the situation.

You know exactly what’s making you feel angry.

(Anger may be worth worrying about if you don’t know the cause. But in this situation, you do.)

What To Do If You’re Angry After Taking Pre Workout

You need to remember that the reason you took pre workout in the first place is to improve the intensity of your workout.

So, you may as well put that anger to good use, and attack your workout with as much ferocity as possible!

With this in mind, you should probably go the gym when it’s quiet, to ensure you don’t take your anger out on anyone else.

(While having friendly competition in the gym is useful, making enemies is not.)

You should also avoid stressful situations if you’re feeling angry, as your emotions can make the situation worse.

(For example, you should walk to and from the gym rather than driving, as the stress from being stuck in traffic may be exaggerated.)

Should You Stop Taking Pre Workout If It Makes You Feel Angry?

Well, it depends.

If you can successfully channel that anger into improving your workouts, that’s awesome!

In that instance, there’s no reason to stop taking it.

However, if the anger is affecting your relationships or your personal life, then perhaps you should stop taking pre workout.

How To Reduce Anger After Taking Pre Workout

So, you’ve took your pre workout.

And you feel angry… but you really hate feeling this way.

One option of course is to just stop taking the pre workout.

But that means it’s going to waste!

So, another option is to manage that anger, so it doesn’t affect you as much.

Here are some of my favorite ways to relax when I feel angry:

Listen to relaxing music

There’s nothing quite as soothing as putting on some headphones and zoning out to some peaceful music.

A great album I like to listen to is by a DJ called Bonobo.

Check it out below:


Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be wearing Yoga pants and chanting ‘Ohmm’ to be meditating.

Something as simple as closing your eyes and breathing slowly does the trick.

Before you know it, you’ll be feeling calm in no time!

Remind yourself that anger is an emotion

It’s important to remember that anger is an emotion. This means 2 things:

  • It’s temporary – it will pass
  • How you react to it is your choice

By being mindful in this situation, you have the power over your emotions.


Wrapping up, it’s clear that some pre workouts may make you feel angry.

This can be blamed on the high amounts of caffeine and creatine.

But remember – anger isn’t all that bad.

If you use it wisely, you can improve your workouts even further!

For those who’d prefer to not feel angry after taking pre workout, fear not – there are many pre workouts out there which are free from caffeine and creatine.

That’s all for pre workout and anger, but can you use pre workout instead of coffee?

Hope this helped!