Can I Take Pre Workout on an Empty Stomach?

Are you planning to work out on an empty stomach? So, this article is for you because I’ve covered almost everything about doing the workout on an empty stomach with and without pre-workout.

What are pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are energy booster that increases endurance to make your workouts last longer, improve physical performance, prevent premature fatigue, reduce protein breakdown, and help in muscle recovery and muscle building.

Can I Take Pre Workout On An Empty Stomach?

Branched-chain amino acids, caffeine, creatine, citrulline malate, electrolytes, protein, taurine, vitamin B12 are common ingredients present in most pre-workout supplements.

Caffeine works effectively for weight watchers while creatine suits most to those who want to build muscle – an article published on Health Line suggested.

Several types of good pre-workout supplements available in the market. For example Nutrigo Lab Strength (contains a Strong VASCULAR Booster that increases the muscle pump and accelerates readiness to undertake training), Redcon1 Total War, and many more.

When you buy pre-workout, please check out the list of ingredients. The higher the essential ingredients, the better nutrition you’ll get.

My experience on taking pre-workout on an empty stomach

When I started bodybuilding, I was wondering that should I take pre-workout on an empty stomach before the workout or not?

Workout On An Empty Stomach

Honesty, I started taking pre-workout first thing in the morning before my workout schedule. However, that didn’t suit me for the first couple of days. I was feeling dehydrated and fatigue after the workout.

But when I started taking pre-workout after drinking some water ahead of 20-25 minutes of workout, it worked fine for me. However, I’d still not recommend it to all, especially to beginners.

Taking pre-workout on an empty stomach has both positive and negative results, and it is seen in many people. It is because everyone’s body responds differently.

In this article, you’ll see why taking pre-workout on an empty stomach is good and how it can be bad for you too.

Benefits of Taking Pre-workout First Thing in the Morning

Benefits Of Taking Pre-Workout First Thing In The Morning

When I talk about the benefits of pre-workout consumption on empty stomach, it should be based on studies and science.

Here are the three reasons why you should take pre-workout on an empty stomach (Based on the studies)

  1. Taking multi-ingredient performance supplements (MIPS) has a positive impact on muscular endurance, aerobic performance, body composition. It also provides ergogenic aid for active individuals during the workout. (source1)
  2. Consuming pre-workout supplement for six weeks increase aerobic power and improve lean mass in trained muscles. (Source2)
  3. A small study suggested that taking pre-workout on an empty stomach increases upper body muscular endurance, improved power output during anaerobic exercises, prevents pre-mature fatigue, and increases alertness during a high-intensity workout.

Why is Taking Pre-workout on an Empty Stomach Bad?

Pre-workout has some impactful pros, but it also comes with some disadvantages. Below are some cons of consuming pre-workout on an empty stomach.

  1. Artificial additives and sweeteners present in some pre-workout may cause intestinal distress and discomfort in some people when they take on an empty stomach.
  2. Caffeine found in most pre-workout may increase blood pressure and anxiety (if you over-consume). And it quickly burns calories that can make you feel dehydrated when taking on an empty stomach in the morning.

What Should You do?

Taking homemade pre-workout juice on an empty stomach is much safer than taking the pre-workout supplement. Although, during recent times, all fitness enthusiasts rushed to take pre-workout supplements on empty stomach before the workout without knowing its pros and cons.

Taking a pre-workout supplement first thing in the morning before the workout depends on one’s fitness goals and exercise program. I would suggest consulting your nutritionist or gym trainer before consuming supplements.

You can take pre-workout on an empty stomach if you feel comfortable but make sure you drink water before, during, and after the workout. Moreover, take only those supplements that are free from artificial additives and sweeteners because they can cause gastric distress, especially when you take on an empty stomach.

FAQs: Workout on an Empty Stomach

When it comes to exercising on an empty stomach, it is normal to have some questions. Here we take a look at what queries you may have in your mind when you think about working out in the morning on an empty stomach:

  • Should I work out on an empty stomach?
  • Does working out on an empty stomach burns more calories?
  • Does working out on an empty stomach gain muscles?
  • What happens if you do weight training on an empty stomach for an hour or two?
  • Is it bad to exercise on an empty stomach?
  • Is it safe to work out on an empty stomach?
  • What should you eat after the workout?

Well, these are the natural questions related to working out on an empty stomach. Whether you’re planning to take pre-workout before a workout or not, whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscles, you just need to have some knowledge before starting a morning exercise routine.

 Pre Workout on an Empty Stomach

Should I Workout On An Empty Stomach?

Doing the workout first thing in the morning considered a fasted state exercise. And whether you should work out on an empty stomach or not depends on the kind of workout you do.

If you want to do weight training, you’ll require more energy; and without much energy, you just can’t spend more time during the workout. And I’m saying it because I’ve personally felt it.

However, you can have a pre-workout diet before 30 to 45 minutes of the workout. And, that pre-workout diet provides energy during the workout, improves performance, and helps you do better in the gym.

Make sure you eat light foods that are easily digestible, so you can even have them before 15-20 minutes of workout. But if you consume those foods that are hard to digest, then you can take them 30 to 45 prior to exercise.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to do light workouts such as cardio, jogging, running, yoga, and pilates, then you can do it on an empty stomach. It’s good for you, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Because exercising the first thing in the morning on an empty stomach may also allow your body to use protein as fuel that helps you burn more calories and improve your stamina.

So, yes you can exercise on an empty stomach if you want to do a light workout and burn more calories. However, if you’re planning to do heavyweight strength training, taking a pre-workout diet is needed.

Does working out on an empty stomach burns more calories?

Your body requires three things when you do work out; carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Carbohydrates converts into glucose which is an essential energy for the body.

Glucose travels within the blood and stored as glycogen in the muscles that provide a rapid supply of energy and helps you do intense burst workouts like running and HIIT and allow your body to burn more calories.

Many studies suggested that doing the workout on an empty stomach workout burns more calories compared to the workout after eating the food. Not only this, exercising on an empty stomach burns fat even after a couple of hours of the workout, called the afterburn effect.

The studies also suggest that people who exercise in the fasting state lose more weight than those who workout after consuming food. So, it’s been very clear that working out on an empty stomach burns more calories and accelerates weight loss.

Does working out on an empty stomach gain muscles?

Exercising first thing in the morning is not that effective when it comes to muscle building. Because if something is good for weight loss, usually not good for weight gain.

For gaining muscle, you need to lift the weight. For weightlifting, you need energy, and for energy you need food. And it is only possible when you take pre-workout or food.

Some people body responds quickly to workout and gains muscle. And it usually happens in people with lean body mass. So, if you’re lean, you can work out in the morning to develop muscles but make sure to fuel your body before hitting the gym.

What happens if I do weight training on an empty stomach for an hour to two?

For doing an intense workout like weightlifting for building muscles, you require more energy, stamina, and power. All you can get through foods and supplements. That’s why most gym trainers and experts advised taking pre-workout meals or snacks 30 minutes ahead of the workout.

If you avoid a pre-workout diet or snacks and directly hit the gym on an empty stomach may cause you some problems. For examples

  • You won’t be able to work out to the fullest.
  • You’ll get tired quickly.
  • You’ll be feeling exhausted and low even after a couple of hours of the workout.
  • You burn more calories, and as a result, instead of building muscles, you’ll be losing what you have gained.

You can do work out whenever you want, but if you want to build muscles, you need to take some pre-workout snacks or supplements.

Is It Bad to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

Well, it depends on your goals. If you want to build muscles, so the answer is yes to some extent. However, if your goal is to keep yourself fit or weight loss then the answer will be no. Even performing light cardio on an empty stomach may be great for overall health and weight loss.

Exercises in the morning on an empty stomach make you feel fresh and active throughout the day. But you’ll need to take care of two things; the first is to avoid intense weight training, and the second is to take a healthy diet after the workout and drink sufficient water to keep yourself hydrated.

If you face any health issues, you need to consult with your doctor or trainer before starting any exercise on an empty stomach. Some drawbacks of working out on an empty stomach:

  • You’ll feel like vomiting during the exercise because of the low energy level.
  • You can feel low and won’t be to complete workout training.
  • Sometimes you may feel nausea and headache.

Is it safe to work out on an empty stomach?

This is also a general question when it comes to working out on an empty stomach. Many studies proved that exercising on an empty stomach has multiple benefits from weight loss to other health benefits.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is ideal for all fitness levels. Because when you start working out on an empty stomach, your body releases some important energy sources and you’ll feel low, vomit, or unstable.

So, the bottom line is, it may be safe for some and unsafe for others. If you do work out on an empty stomach, make sure you listen to your body and do what feels the best for you; keep yourself hydrated; maintain a healthy diet, and sleep properly.

What you should eat after the workout?

Diet is as important as the workout. If you eat high cholesterol food after the workout so it can waste all of your efforts. That is why it is recommended to avoid high cholesterol foods just after the workout.

Your body needs three things every day to function properly; protein, carbohydrate, and fats.

When you work out, your muscles break down and damaged into small pieces, that is why you need some of the proteins to fixed those broken muscles. Protein may also help to grow new muscles.

Your body uses glycogen as fuel during exercise. And eating carbs after the workout rebuilds the glycogen store that is important for a healthy body because it gives the energy for other activities of the day.

Eating fats are not good for weight-watchers. However, if you’re a person with an ideal weight you can add fats like milk, dried fruits, and nuts to your diet for energy.

Here we take a look at some foods that can improve your performance; gives you sufficient energy and recover the broken muscles:

  • Eggs
  • whole-grain bread/ brown bread
  • plain oats or oats mixed with dry fruits and fruits.
  • Fruit juices
  • Whey protein
  • Fruits like apple, papaya, banana etc.
  • Chicken
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Sweet potatoes etc.

Related: 10 economical low-calorie foods for weight loss diet

The Final Word

If you want to lose weight, working out in the fasted state may work well for you. Whereas for muscle building and weight gain, afternoon and evening time is preferred.

You can take the pre-workout meal 30 to 45 minutes prior to going gym. And try to eat something that can easily digest like, such as smoothies, snacks, bananas, coffee, or low-fat chocolates as it can help you perform better during the workout.

Keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after the workout to avoid any muscle cramps and nauseous feelings a and please listen to your body.

Note: If you pre workout using link on this post, then as an Amazon and Nutriprofit affiliate, I will be eligible to earn small amount of commission without costing any extra money to you. 
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Murshid Akram
I'm a certified personal trainer, fitness blogger, and nature lover. I always learn more about exercise science and human anatomy so that I can provide the best information possible. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

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