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Is It Safe to Mix Pre-Workout with Energy Drink?

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 30, 2022

My non-conformist gym behavior always has me mixing all my powdered pre-workout with water. Recently, I discovered that some of my gym mates mix their pre-workout with energy drinks.

Before following suit, I decided to dig deeper and talk to a friend doctor, and a dietician to understand if it's safe to mix pre-workout with energy drinks.

In this article, I'll share my discoveries and give you other safe alternatives to consuming your pre-workout energy drink.

Let's dive into it.

Quick Summary

  • A pre-workout energy drink helps to fuel the body in a minimally draining way.
  • Mixing the pre-workout powder with energy drinks can pose serious problems to your body.
  • You can mix a pre-workout energy drink with healthier liquids like water and juice.

3 Reasons Not to Mix Pre-Workout With Energy Drink

A spilled pre workout powder supplement

Mixing pre-workouts with energy drinks is a bad idea and may be harmful to your health. Here's why:

Too Much Caffeine

A pre-workout energy drink has high caffeine levels. A 250ml can of energy drink contains about 80-100mg of caffeine, depending on the brand.

Pre-workout supplements also have a high dose of caffeine, around 150-300mg per serving [1].

Mixing pre-workouts with an energy drink results in a drink combo loaded with more caffeine than is recommended.

High caffeine consumption has adverse effects on your exercise fitness and general health.

Most people have been documented to experience agitation, jitteriness, and similar symptoms with ultrahigh daily caffeine consumption.

However, caffeine-sensitive people may experience the same symptoms with a modest intake [2].

“In general, caffeine will begin to affect the body if there are more than 15 milligrams per liter (mg/L) in the blood. A concentration of 80 to 100 mg/L can be fatal.”

- Claire Sissons, Health Writer for Medical News Today

Additionally, it has been demonstrated that taking small amounts at once might speed up breathing and raise stress levels.

It may be challenging to get adequate restorative sleep if you consume too much caffeine.

Caffeine seems to lengthen the time it takes to fall asleep. Additionally, it can result in less overall sleep, particularly for the elderly [3].

Caffeine laxative properties have been linked to the secretion of gastrin, a hormone that the stomach generates and accelerates colonic action.

Caffeine encourages bowel movements by enhancing peristalsis (the spasms that transport food down your digestive tract).

This indicates that excessive caffeine consumption may cause watery stool or even diarrhea in specific individuals [4].

Related Article: Pre-Workout vs Caffeine Pills

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High Amounts Of Added Sugars

Spilled sugar with stethoscope

A pre-workout energy drink has roughly 55-60mg of added sugar per bottle. It is more than the recommended 24mg and 36mg for men and women, respectively [5].

Combining this with the existing sugars in pre-workout drinks can cause a consumption of excessive amounts of added sugars which is bad for you because:

  • It's a Lackluster Diet: Drinking a combination of energy drinks and pre-workout limits your intake of natural nutrients found in healthier options.
  • You Can Gain Weight: Excessive consumption of added sugars makes it simple to gain weight even though you might be hitting the gym every now and then.
  • Higher Triglyceride Levels: Triglyceride levels can rise when you consume a lot of added sugar. This may also elevate your risk of developing heart disease [6].
  • Dental Decay: Sugar encourages tooth decay by fostering bacterial growth and multiplication [7]. You are more likely to get cavities if you regularly consume sugary pre-workout energy drinks.

Excessive Guarana Intake

Guarana is a common ingredient in energy drinks and pre-workout supplements.

Side effects have been related to some pre-workouts that contain guarana with a higher dose than 250–300 mg daily, which you can effortlessly achieve by mixing pre-workouts with energy drinks.

Average Guarana intake can have slight effects like nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting. But higher levels of its consumption lead to adverse impacts like blood pressure, rapid breathing, and pain when urinating [8].

3 Energy Drinks Ingredients To Avoid Mixing With Pre-Workouts

A person drinking energy drink outdoors

When mixing pre-workouts with energy drinks, watch out for these ingredients as they can have adverse health effects.

Ginseng

Energy drinks contain the natural plant ginseng. Consuming high doses of this compound to digestive problems, anxiety, and insomnia.

Other negative effects of ginseng use include headaches, vertigo, and heartburn [9].

It is always advised to avoid ingesting it in large amounts because it has a strong stimulant effect when mixed with caffeine.

Guarana Extract

A guarana extract with milkshake

Guarana, a stimulant present in energy drinks, can cause heartburn, nervousness, and insomnia.

Additionally, it is known to have some adverse effects, including headache, nausea, and vertigo [10].

Caffeine is naturally present in guarana.

So, if you're taking guarana, stay away from caffeinated drinks.

Taurine

Most energy drinks have taurine. Coupled with caffeinated pre-workouts, it has several negative consequences, including elevated blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia.

Taurine in pre-workout has a diuretic impact on the body, so you might use the restroom more frequently [11].

Related Articles:

4 Safe Alternatives To Mix Pre-Workouts With

Holding a supplement drink with a weighing scale

While mixing pre-workouts with energy drinks poses many health risks, here are safer alternatives with which you can combine your powdered supplements.

  1. Water: Scoop your pre-workout, add to water, and shake or stir well until everything dissolves.
  2. Smoothies: For a pre-workout smoothie, add your pre-workout to either banana or strawberry smoothie. A pre-workout energy drink combined with nutritious food helps lessen some undesirable side effects when exercising. Additionally, the extra nutrients in fruits and vegetables like strawberries and bananas added to smoothies will support endurance and help you work out harder.
  3. Fruit Juice: If you're groggy, the natural sugars in fruit juice can give you a rapid boost in energy levels. Electrolytes in fruit juice might also help prevent and treat muscle cramping after an intense gym exercise [12].
  4. Food: Although a pre-workout meal will fuel energy and endurance, it won't provide the caffeine or stimulants you may be searching for. To fuel your workout, it's essential to have a snack or meal loaded with high protein and carbohydrates nutrition like protein bars, Greek yogurt, and almonds.

FAQs

What Should You Not Mix with Pre-workout?

You should not mix pre-workouts with liquids that have high caffeine and guarana content. This avoids the risk of excessively consuming those compounds that are dangerous to your health.

Can You Mix Pre-workout with Anything?

No, you cannot mix pre-workouts with anything because not everything has ingredients that dissolve and taste well with pre-workouts.

Can You Mix Caffeine and Pre-workout?

Yes, you can mix caffeine with pre-workouts but in the recommended amounts. Anything above the standard levels can cause health problems.

Should You Mix Pre-Workout With Energy Drink?

A pre-workout supplement is a good energy source to gear you up for your intense workout at the gym.

However, most of these popular products have high caffeine and guarana levels that can produce jittery, increase anxiety, and cause insomnia.

If you're thinking about ditching high caffeinated energy drinks, try a caffeine-free pre-workout.

Having tested these products on my clients and myself for over six months, I can freely say that they have good ingredients that will give you the power kick you need to push through those intense gym sets.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2195579/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27527212
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25471197
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1378422/
  5. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar
  6. https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/sugar-and-cholesterol%23:~:text%
  7. https://www.actiononsugar.org/sugar-and-health/sugars-and-tooth-decay/
  8. https://www.rxlist.com/guarana/supplements.htm#
  9. https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-ginseng%
  10. https://www.drugs.com/npc/guarana.html&ved=
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933890/
  12. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-021-00414-8

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