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Why Pre Workout Tastes So Bad (+How To Make It Taste Better!)

While pre workout is loved by many people, it has a notoriously bad taste.

Here’s why pre workout tastes bad:

Pre workout tastes bad because of the BCAAs, creatine and caffeine. Each of these are very bitter which gives pre workout its unpleasant taste. The artificial flavors leave a chemical taste in your mouth too.

In this article, we cover which ingredients cause pre workout to taste bad, whether all pre workouts taste bad, what to do if your pre workout tastes bad, and much more!

Which Ingredients In Pre Workout Taste Bad?


Creatine is a natural compound that’s found in red meat and fish.

It’s added to many pre workouts as it helps your muscles squeeze a few more reps during each set.

Now, if you’ve ever tried unflavored creatine, you’ll know just how bitter and unpleasant it can be to drink.

So if your pre workout has a bitter taste to it, then you can partly thank the creatine.

Artificial Flavors

Many pre workouts are sold in bizarre flavors like tangy watermelon.

To create these unique flavors, the pre workout manufacturers add a ton of artificial flavors.

But if you’re anything like me, these artificial flavors have such an unnatural chemical taste that they make you want to gag!


Caffeine is the most popular drug in the world.

Most pre workouts include a ton of caffeine as it helps improve focus, energy and fat loss.

The most common form of caffeine that’s added to pre workout is called caffeine anhydrous.

It’s essentially dehydrated caffeine, and it has a very bitter taste.


BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) are the 3 essential amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine.

They’re sometimes added to pre workout as they can help reduce fatigue.

But unfortunately, BCAAs also have an extremely bitter taste.

How To Make Pre Workout Taste Better

Put It In A Smoothie

An awesome way to improve the taste is to put your pre workout in a smoothie.

By doing so, not only will it taste better but you’ll get some extra pre workout nutrition!

While there are many epic pre workout smoothies out there, one of my favorites is called the Strawberry & Lime Supreme as below:


  • ½ cup of 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 cup of strawberry yoghurt
  • 2 cups of frozen strawberries
  • 1 serving of strawberry flavor pre workout


Add all the ingredients to a blender, then process until smooth.

Mix Two Different Pre Workouts

Let’s say you’ve just bought some lime flavored pre workout, and it’s offending your taste buds.

Then why not try mixing it with another flavored pre workout, like strawberry?

After all, somethings are just meant to be together…

Lime and strawberry.

Waffles and ice cream.

Movies and popcorn.

You get the picture!

What Does Pre Workout Taste Like?

Well, it depends on the flavor of your pre workout!

That said, most pre workouts have an unnatural chemical and bitter taste.

Pre workout is fairly sweet too, as it has a lot of artificial sweeteners added to try and mask the bitter taste.

Why Do Some Pre Workouts Taste Spicy?

If you’re pre workout tastes spicy, it’s probably due to an ingredient called capsicum.

This is added to pre workout to help boost your metabolism, and it’s the compound in chillies which makes them taste so fiery!

Should Pre Workout Taste Bad?

If your pre workout contains BCAAs, caffeine and creatine, then it should have an unpleasant bitter-sweet taste.

If not? Then the pre workout brand may be lying to you. 😉

Do All Pre Workouts Taste Bad?

Short answer, no!

If your pre workout is free from BCAAs, creatine and caffeine, then chances are it won’t have that infamous bitter taste.

The great news is that pre workouts free from these ingredients tend to have natural flavors and sweeteners too, so you won’t get that nasty chemical taste.

What Should You Do If Your Pre Workout Tastes Bad

Hold Your Nose While Drinking It

Did you know that your sense of smell is responsible for 80% of what you taste?

Yep, it’s true.

The good news is that we can use this scientific fact in our favor, when consuming nasty tasting drinks like pre workout.

All you have to do is hold your nose while drinking!

Make Your Own Pre Workout

In simple terms, pre workout is a bunch of individual ingredients blended together.

Luckily, you can buy each of these ingredients separately so that it’s super easy to make your own pre workout.

Why would I want to make my own pre workout? I hear you ask.

Well, one reason is that shop bought pre workout is quite expensive.

So by making it yourself, you can save a heck of a lot of money.

Another reason that’s more relevant to this article is that you can control the ingredients.

This means you can make a pre workout without all the nasty tasting ingredients!

Use Less Mixer To Drink It Quicker

What’s better than 5 mouthfuls of nasty tasting pre workout?

2 mouthfuls of nasty tasting pre workout.

By using less water to mix your pre workout, you can drink it quicker, so you don’t have to taste it as much.

Buy A Different One

The last chance saloon option…

If your pre workout really tastes that bad, then you might just want to buy a new one.


In summary:

  • There are many ingredients in pre workout which give it an unpleasant, bitter taste.
  • You can enhance the taste of pre workout by adding it to another drink, like a smoothie.

That’s all for the taste of pre workout, but does pre workout make you sweat? Or does pre workout make you pee more?

Hope this helped!