Does Pre-Workout Make You Pee More? (Gym Bros Tested It)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: March 27, 2024
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Pre-workout supplements are designed to boost your energy, but what if they have side effects that impact your routine?

In my five years of using pre-workouts, I've noticed more frequent bathroom trips during and after exercises. Curious, I looked into whether pre-workouts can cause increased urination.

Keep reading to uncover the reasons behind these effects and determine if pre-workout supplements are beneficial for your health.

Quick Summary

  • Pre-workout supplements can increase urination due to caffeine and creatine content.
  • Hormones released during exercise enhance blood flow to kidneys, promoting urine production.
  • Caffeine in pre-workouts inhibits the body's secretion of antidiuretic hormones, leading to increased water loss and potential dehydration, according to the study published in PubMed.
  • Personally, considering caffeine-free pre-workouts might be beneficial to reduce frequent bathroom breaks during workouts.

Pre-workouts and the Urinary Tract

A man drinking from his tumbler

Pre-workout supplements like caffeine, BCAAs, and creatine monohydrate are proven to elevate energy, improve athletic performance, and aid muscle growth [1].

I've noticed a significant energy boost from pre-workout supplements, helping me endure tough exercises longer.

Intense workouts produce byproducts like lactic acid and creatinine. To eliminate these, increased urination is necessary, as detailed in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Therapy [2].

Individual responses to pre-workout supplements vary, influenced by sensitivity, dosage, hydration before consumption, and exercise intensity and duration. Adjusting the timing and amount of pre-workout can help manage excessive urination.

"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].

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].

Pre-workout also increases dopamine and aldosterone production, enhancing kidney blood flow and urine output, as "Dopamine and Renal Function and Blood Pressure Regulation" in PubMed explains [5].

Pre-Workout Ingredients That Make You Pee More

pre workout supplements on a table with veggies and fruits

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

1. Caffeine

A study in PubMed Central (PMC) found that caffeine increases urination, particularly in those with overactive bladders. Those consuming more caffeine experienced higher frequency and urgency of urination [6].

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

ADH helps reabsorb water, producing concentrated urine. However, caffeine in pre-workouts inhibits ADH secretion, increasing water loss and potentially causing dehydration, according to the study published in PubMed [7].

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

Related Article: Does Pre-workout Dehydrate You During Workouts 

2. Creatine

A scoop of creatine powder

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].

Taking creatine phosphate aids in ATP replenishment, allowing muscles to generate more energy, especially during intense workouts [9]. Excess creatine is converted to creatinine, which is typically excreted in urine.

Other pre-workout ingredients like Guarana, Green Tea, Dandelion, and Horsetail Extracts also have diuretic effects, leading to increased urination.

Other Reasons Why You Pee More

A man 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.

Increased sweating can lead to intense thirst during workouts, making you drink and urinate more.

Prioritize hydration over solely relying on supplements. Drink fluids as needed to support performance.

Creatine Equals More Thirst

A thirsty woman drinking in a bottled water

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 aids in excreting waste products like creatinine [10].

Creatine also enables muscles to retain more water, potentially causing bloating and reduced water availability for the kidneys [11].

Ensure adequate hydration to support overall health and performance.

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.

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.


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.sportsmedoa.com/articles/jsmt-aid1037.pdf
  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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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
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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