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Does Pre-workout Make You Pee More? Everything You Must Know

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 19, 2022

Over the last five years that I’ve been using pre-workouts, I noticed that I’d made extra trips to the bathroom while working out and sometimes even after I finish the sets.

Out of curiosity, I dug a little deeper into pre-workout effects to determine if pre-workouts can make you pee more.

Here's what I found out.

Quick Summary

  • A pre-workout drink has a diuretic effect and can make you pee more because of the caffeine and creatine compounds.
  • Hormones released during exercise widen blood vessels that increase blood flow to the kidneys for more urine production.
  • Rehydrating mid-workout also increases your urination frequency.
  • You can do kegel exercises to help strengthen your bowel muscles.

Pre-workouts and the Urinary Tract

A man drinking from his tumbler

Pre-workout supplements include caffeine, BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), and creatine monohydrate.

These chemicals have been demonstrated to boost energy levels, enhance athletic performance, and support muscular growth [1]

Taking pre-workout leaves your body energized enough to handle strenuous exercises for a long time.

Intense workouts cause the body to produce byproducts like lactic acid and creatinine due to extra muscle activities.

And to wash away all the toxins from the body, you need to produce more urine [2].

"To filter out these waste products, your body uses increased urine output, which may explain why you may urinate more during a workout"

- S.Adam Ramin, MD

Antidiuretic hormone, or ADH, is crucial in regulating fluid levels during exercise. Additionally, ADH, common in many pre-workout ingredients, makes urine more concentrated [3].

When the bladder holds more concentrated urine, it has to be excreted because it can become toxic.

The sympathetic nervous system signals the brain, which is why you feel the urge to pee every time you take energy drinks and hit the gym [4].

Taking pre-workout boosts the production of dopamine and aldosterone during exercise, too. These hormones help increase blood flow to the kidneys, and as a result, there's more urine production [5].

Pre-Workout Ingredients That Make You Pee More

Pouring water on a pre workout supplement

These two main ingredients in every energy drink bottle contribute to more urine production, hence the extra bathroom trips.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine may cause you to urinate more, per a study on individuals with overactive bladder.

Half of the participants drank water without caffeine, while the other half drank caffeine without water.

The findings revealed that the cohort that drank more caffeinated drinks had an increased urine frequency and urgency [6].

It means high caffeine levels in pre-workouts cause individuals to urinate more frequently and quickly.

ADH makes the collecting duct more permeable to water, allowing for water reabsorption and emission of a small amount of concentrated urine (antidiuresis).

Due to its high caffeine content, pre-workout inhibits the body's secretion of antidiuretic hormones. Caffeine use increases water loss in the body and, if ingested in excess, can cause dehydration [7].

Related Article: Does Pre-workout Dehydrate You During Workouts? 

2. Creatine

A scoop of creatine

Creatine, a common ingredient in pre-workout products, helps muscles produce more Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP improves the muscle's energy level available during exercises [8].

Your muscle cells can generate more energy if you take creatine phosphate to help you replace ATP.

Your muscle mass can produce more energy during intense exercise with more creatine [9].

However, any extra creatine is metabolized to the excreta creatinine once your muscles' levels are overloaded.

Most of the time, our systems eliminate wastes like creatinine through the urine.

Other Reasons Why You Pee More

A person peeing in a urinal area

Trips to the bathroom may be caused by other factors that don’t necessarily involve pre-workout ingredients.

Rehydrating Mid-workout

Many pre-workout supplements pump you up for your exercise.

Your body loses a lot more water through sweat while you exercise, which can cause extreme thirst a few hours into your workout.

Because of this, you're much more likely to consume a large amount of extra water, stimulating your bladder and raising the likelihood that you'll need to urinate.

Creatine Equals More Thirst

A thirsty woman holding a cap

I always make sure to drink plenty of water when taking creatine, alone or as part of a pre-workout supplement.

The extra fluid intake will assist your body in draining out creatinine, which it must excrete because it is a waste product [10].

However, creatine also enables your muscles to hold onto more water [11].

It may make you look swollen, but it could also cause your kidneys and other vital body components to receive less water.

Tips to Manage Frequent Urination During Workouts

You can do these four things to help you manage your urination frequency.

  1. Do More Kegel: Kegel exercises are essential to strengthen your bowel muscles. Doing a couple of Kegels during your workouts can help stabilize your incontinence.
  2. Minimize Caffeine: Watch what you drink before hitting the gym because higher caffeine levels can cause you to pee more.
  3. Pee Before Working Out: Emptying your bladder before starting your sets is essential to minimize the number of toilet trips you make mid-workout.
  4. Start Bladder Training: Train your bladder to hold a little longer when you feel the urge to pee. This can help you get through multiple sets before you visit the bathroom. Remember not to hold it for too long because it can become toxic to your body.

FAQs

Is Pre-workout a Diuretic?

Preworkout is a diuretic. It causes the kidneys to work harder and flush out more water.

Does Pre-workout Increase Water Retention?

No, pre-workout doesn't increase water retention. This is so because they boost workout performance, causing you to lose more water through sweating.

Why Am I Peeing So Much All of a Sudden?

You might be peeing so much all of a sudden because of frequent dehydration. If not, it's essential to consult with a doctor and diagnose other severe bladder conditions.

Is It Normal To Pee Every 30 Minutes?

Yes, it can be normal to pee every 30 minutes, depending on your hydration habit. However, too much frequent urination can indicate underlying conditions like urinary tract infection.

Pre-Workouts and Frequent Urination

Pre-workout drinks can make you pee more because of high caffeine and creatine levels.

If frequent urination distracts you from reaching your fitness goals, you might want to consider introducing caffeine-free pre-workouts to your gym routine.

I've tested these supplements for the past six months on my clients and myself. Patented with all-natural ingredients that beat fatigue and soreness, these pre-workouts are also caffeine-free, which will certainly cut the number of trips to the toilet.


References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/health-benefits-pre-workout-supplements
  2. https://www.wikidoc.org/index.php/Antidiuretic_hormone
  3. https://www.heighpubs.org/jsmt/pdf/jsmt-aid1037.pdf&ved=
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5714479/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6342207/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036994/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24988515/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553175/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10919967/
  10. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/16380-creatinine-clearance-test%
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155510/

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