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Why Is My Pre-Workout Clumpy? (2 Easy Methods to Fix It)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Anyone who regularly consumes pre-workouts has at least once come across a tub of clumpy powder.

This, of course, raises concerns as to whether it's still effective or safe to consume. In fact, it's one of the most common questions I get about pre-workouts.

So, to put your minds at ease, I’ve taken some time to research the matter and put together a ‘Guide to Clumped Pre-Workout’ that should answer all your questions.

Let’s begin.

Quick Summary

  • Clumpy or chunky pre-workout supplements might look unsafe, but it is usually as safe and effective as non-clumpy pre-workout supplements.
  • Pre-workouts turn clumpy as a result of moisture absorption from hygroscopic ingredients.
  • There are many safe and effective ways to prevent and fix clumpy pre-workout.

Why Do Pre-Workout Supplements Clump?

A close up shot of pre-workout powder in a scoop

Most pre-workout supplements clump because they contain hygroscopic ingredients.

Hygroscopic ingredients are active agents that attract water molecules at room temperature.

As a result, powdered supplements containing these ingredients are prone to clumping.

There are some common hygroscopic pre-workout ingredients [1].

These include:

Most powdered pre-workouts eventually turn clumpy or hard if you leave them unused for an extended period.

Unlike protein powders, which are consumed regularly, most people take pre-workout for eight weeks before going off of it for another eight weeks. This is enough time for your supplement to draw in moisture and clump up.

How to Prevent It

A woman shaking a bottle of pre-workout

There are several ways to prevent pre-workout clumping. Here’s what we found works best.

Silica Gel Packets

Not using silica gel is the easiest way to end up with clumpy pre-workout powder. Always keep the silica gel packet buried in your pre-workout.

Since pre-workout contains hygroscopic ingredients, they will attract moisture from the air.

Silica gel packs prevent the powder from drawing any moisture. So, don't throw it away after you open up your supplement tub.

Stir or Shake Your Pre-Workout

One of the reasons pre-workout powder tends to absorb moisture and clump is when it’s left untouched for long periods of time.

Let’s say you’ve thrown away the silica gel packet and don’t use your pre-workout that often; now, it’s very susceptible to clumping.

So, another way to prevent this is to shake your pre-workout container periodically. While this may sound silly, it works quite well. You may even use a spoon to stir the powder around.

Store In a Cool, Dry Place

Close up shot of a scoop of pre-workout powder

Humid environments are notorious for decreasing the shelf life of food products.

Unfortunately, your pre-workout supplement isn’t safe from the grasp of humidity and will clump due to moisture from the air.

So, if you live in such a climate, store your pre-workout tub in a cool and dry place.

We also recommend taking extra precautions by adding an extra silica gel packet. This will ensure your powder won’t get clumpy or hard.

Related: Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?

Use Pre-Workouts With Anti-Caking Agents

Look for pre-workouts that contain calcium silicate and silicon dioxide. These are anti-caking agents that absorb moisture and prevent the powder from clumping [2]. However, these agents may affect the product in certain ways, so be careful when choosing them.

“While they are rare, silicon dioxide side effects are possible. This can include symptoms of allergic reactions and possibly digestive problems.” - Jillian Levy, Certified Holistic Health Coach

Use Your Pre-Workout Regularly

The simplest way to prevent your pre-workout from clumping is to use it regularly. By using it more often, you’re likely to finish the entire tub before any clumping occurs.

How to Fix Pre-Workout Clump

Close up shot of clumpy pre-workout powder

If your tub of pre-workout turns clumpy, there’s no need to worry. You can fix a clumpy pre-workout immediately in the following ways.

Use a Blender

If you find your pre-workout has clumped, simply toss the entire batch into a blender and mix it until it’s all powdery again.

And, don’t worry; blending won’t affect the pre-workout in any way, shape, or form.

Stir It With a Spoon or Fork

If you don’t have access to a blender, then stirring clumpy pre-workout with a spoon or a fork until it’s powdered will do the trick.

Just make sure you use a bone-dry spoon; otherwise, the moisture might clump your pre-workout again.

FAQs

Is Clumpy Pre-Workout Bad for Consumption?

No, clumpy pre-workout is not bad for consumption because it doesn’t affect the quality or effectiveness.

However, make sure the clumping is a result of moisture absorption. If you suspect some other foreign ingredient has gotten into your tub, chuck it out.

When Should I Be Concerned About Clumpy or Hard Pre-Workout?

You should be concerned about clumpy or hard pre-workout when the supplement is past its expiration date or has been exposed to unknown substances.

Otherwise, clumpy pre-workouts are harmless.

What Pre-Workouts Should You Pick?

We hope this guide answered your questions and concerns about clumpy pre-workout. The bottom line is that it’s still safe and effective.

But what makes any supplement truly safe and effective is natural, high-quality ingredients, which is why we recommend taking pre-workouts from trusted brands.

We have tested all products on these lists, and our clients use them on a daily basis. They contain little to no sweeteners, mix well, and boost your energy levels for your workout session.

Check out our list to find the one that suits you best.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6413194/
  2. https://www.cspinet.org/article/silicon-dioxide-silica-calcium-silicate
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