Some pre–workout supplements make you bloated due to the creatine, caffeine and artificial sweetener content. Creatine can increase water retention, caffeine can irritate your stomach, and artificial sweeteners can be difficult to digest. All these factors can lead to bloating.
In this article, we cover why some pre–workouts cause bloating, whether all pre–workouts cause bloating, what you should do if you feel bloated after taking pre–workout, and much more. Enjoy!
Which Ingredients In Pre-Workout Make You Bloated And Gassy?
Creatine is one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements that’s often featured in pre-workout.
And for good reason too – it’s safe, cheap and effective.
But for some users, creatine may cause bloating.
Well according to research, creatine significantly increases water retention.
In other words, it makes your body hold more water, which can make you feel bloated.
Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world.
It’s often included in pre workout to help improve focus and energy, and to help increase fat loss.
But caffeine can cause bloating in multiple ways.
First, it raises levels of stomach acid, which can irritate your gut and make you feel bloated if you consume it on an empty stomach.
And second, caffeine is a diuretic meaning it causes you to pee a lot more. This may lead to dehydration, which can make your digestive system sluggish.
When your digestive system isn’t functioning properly, you’re much more likely to experience bloating.
Most pre-workouts include artificial sweeteners to improve the flavor without adding sugar.
While there are many types of artificial sweeteners, the ones most often included in pre-workouts are Sucralose and Acesulfame K.
Unfortunately, these artificial sweeteners can lead to bloating as they’re difficult to digest.
Do All Pre-Workouts Make You Bloated And Gassy?
In short, no.
Some pre-workouts out there exclude creatine, caffeine and artificial sweeteners, which are much more friendly on your stomach. We will cover these in more detail shortly.
Also, even with ‘standard’ pre-workouts, some people may not experience bloating.
(At the end of the day, it all depends on how your body tolerates the ingredients. For example, some people have no issues with creatine at all.)
Should You Stop Taking Pre-Workout If It Makes You Bloated And Gassy?
First and foremost, the reason why you take pre-workout is to improve the intensity of your workouts.
So if the bloating is affecting the intensity of your workout, then it probably makes sense to either stop using pre-workout, or go for a more stomach-friendly version.
Whereas if the bloating is just a tad uncomfortable, then I don’t see any reason why you’d stop taking it.
How To Reduce Bloating After Taking Pre-Workout
Avoid Chewing Gum
You’re probably thinking:
How on earth does chewing gum cause bloating?!
So hear me out on this one…
When you chew gum, you’re more likely to swallow gas from the air.
And when this gas enters your stomach, it can worsen your bloating.
Take Digestive Enzymes
As mentioned earlier in the article, artificial sweeteners can cause bloating as they’re difficult to digest.
Well, luckily there’s a type of supplement out there called Digestive Enzymes, which are super useful for improving digestion.
They’re fairly cheap too so it’s definitely worth looking in to.
Drink Plenty Of Water
As we’ve covered, the caffeine in pre-workout can cause bloating by making you dehydrated.
And so drinking enough water is key to prevent dehydration.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that reside in your gut.
While many foods include probiotics (yoghurt and cheese for example), you can also purchase them in supplement form.
Interestingly, research shows that taking probiotics may help reduce abdominal bloating. (Source)
2 Best Pre-Workouts That Don’t Make You Bloated Or Gassy
Ok. So now that we know which ingredients are problematic when it comes to bloating, let’s see 2 epic pre-workout supps which exclude these ingredients.
Best Budget Pre-Workout For Bloating: Type Zero Clean Pre-Workout Powder
Stomach friendly? Check.
Free from caffeine? Check.
No artificial sweeteners? Check.
Type Zero Clean Pre-Workout Powder is the real deal.
Why I like it
The potency of this pre-workout is impressive to say the least.
For example, each serving provides:
- Arginine – 2000mg
- Beta Alanine – 150mg
- Citrulline Malate – 5000mg
- Beet Root Extract – 2000mg
This makes it one of the strongest bloat-free pre-workout supplements on the market.
Also, it’s a tad cheaper than other similar pre-workouts making it an excellent budget buy.
A handful of users claim that this pre-workout tastes a bit odd.
Best Premium Pre Workout For Bloating: Genius Pre-Workout Powder
A natural, caffeine-free pre-workout powder that’s boosted with nootropics.
Genius Pre-Workout powder ticks all the boxes of a stomach friendly pre-workout.
Why I Like It
I’m a big, big fan of Genius as a supplement brand.
All their products are 3rd party tested for purity and potency, which shows that you can trust their labels.
(You’d be surprised at how many shady supplement companies are out there reporting misleading figures on their product labels.)
Also, I like that Genius have added Rhodiola to this pre-workout as it’s been shown to improve mental and physical performance.
(Fun fact: it’s believed that the Vikings used Rhodiola before going into battle to help them prepare mentally and physically.)
Typically, a premium quality supplement from a premium brand comes with one big drawback – a premium price.
And this is why Genius Pre-Workout is so expensive.
If you can afford it? Great.
Otherwise, you should go for the other recommendation.
Wrapping things up, it’s clear that some pre-workouts can make you bloated.
While this can be a tad annoying, it’s nothing to worry about unless it affects the quality of your workouts.
If it does? Then you’re best off going for a natural, caffeine-free pre-workout which is gentler on your stomach.
Thanks for reading!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.