Can You Snort Pre-Workout? (Are There Any Benefits)

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD
Published by Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD | Medical Doctor
Last updated: January 4, 2024
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Many people are searching on search engines if they can snort their pre-workout powder. There are also some do's and don'ts to pre-workouts.

Perhaps the theory is that taking the powder through your nostrils brings it to the bloodstream quicker.

A bodybuilder may also get a better effect from pre-works. Well, is this true or just a myth?

In this short article, I'm going to answer the question if you can snort your pre-works and if it is a safe ingestion method.

Quick Summary

  • Snorting pre-workout is highly discouraged due to the associated health risks and lack of benefits, as these supplements are specifically formulated for oral consumption.
  • The tragic case of bodybuilder Rich Piana, whose death was rumored to be linked to snorting pre-workout, underscoring the severe health risks associated with this practice.
  • Snorting pre-workout is considered abuse that can lead to both immediate and long-term health issues, especially impacting the nasal passages, as reported by Time.
  • In my opinion, the pursuit of enhanced workout performance should never compromise health, and the idea of snorting pre-workout underscores a concerning trend of extreme measures in fitness.

Should You Snort Pre-Workout?

A person sniffing pre workout powder

There is no reason for you to snort your pre-workout powders.

Snorting is an abuse that can cause health issues, focusing not just on the immediate effects but also on the long-term impact on the nasal passages, according to the Time [1].

It is designed for traditional ingestion and so taking it in any other way is not only dangerous but also offers no additional benefits.

I remember the first time I heard about snorting pre-workout; I was both shocked and curious.

But let me tell you, there is no reason to do it.

Pre-workout is designed for traditional ingestion, and deviating from this not only proved dangerous but offered no additional benefits.

Moreover, snort pre-workout powder can leave residue in your nasal passages, which could eventually make its way into your respiratory system, posing potential harm and discomfort.

It is strongly advised to adhere to the recommended and intended use of pre-workout supplements for optimal safety and effectiveness.

Bypassing the digestive system process means you are effectively removing any filtration from the product.

Did Rich Piana Die From Snorting Pre-Workout?

rich piana

When news of celebrity bodybuilder Rich Piana’s tragic death broke, it became widely said that he snorted pre-workout as part of his routine, according to the Men's Health [2].

I was as shocked as anyone when the news about Rich Piana’s death hit the headlines.

I had followed his career and even tried some of his workout routines. The rumors that he snorted pre-workout as part of his routine made me reflect on the dangers of such a practice.

A large pile of powder was found at his home, which was later identified by the media as Piana’s chosen brand of pre-workout supplements and caffeine.

As a bodybuilder, he had always been very open about his drug use. He said that he felt he had to use steroids to be competitive.

It’s still not clear what exactly caused the massive heart failure that led to Piana’s death, as the hospital destroyed any chance at a toxicology report.

What’s clear though is that steroids, other drugs like cocaine, and snorted powdered supplement are harmful to your health.

The dangers become all the more real with accounts of individuals who've faced severe health complications from snorting pre-workout.

These real-life incidents serve as stark warnings, illustrating the immediate and long-term health hazards posed by such practices.

Related Article: What Do Powerlifters Sniff Before A Heavy Lift?


Other Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Powders

Hopefully, this has answered your questions about whether you should be snorting pre-workout or drinking your boosters for some imagined energy enhancements.

It's also crucial to consider the legal landscape surrounding the misuse of supplements.

While laws vary, there can be legal repercussions for abusing pre-workout in a manner inconsistent with its intended use, underscoring the need for adherence to recommended consumption practices.

Here are some other related but terrible ideas that would also be horrible for your body and almost certainly will lead to medical issues down the line:

  • Taking your powder rectally
  • Smoking your powder in a cigarette
  • Injecting it directly into your bloodstream slowly
  • Dry scooping pre-workout

Taking your supplement in ways and dosages other than directed may trigger potential side effects that can be harmful to your body.

My patients experimented with different ways of taking pre-workout in the past, always searching for that extra edge.

But trust me, taking your supplement in ways and dosages other than directed is a path you don’t want to tread.

They learned the hard way that it can trigger potential side effects that are harmful to your body.

It's why you should always follow the intended method of intake and dosage. Never believe myths out there since the misinformation could cause you everything.

For those seeking enhanced performance and energy levels, there are safer, medically approved alternatives to boost your workouts.

Incorporating balanced nutrition, adequate hydration, and scientifically backed supplements taken as directed can offer the desired uplift in energy and performance without the associated risks.


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About The Author

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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