Getting ready for a workout and notice that you've now got clumpy pre-workout? No worries, we're here to help.

Here, we've got everything you need to know about clumpy pre-workout, from why you've got clumpy pre-workout powder in the first place, how to fix and prevent it, and more.

If you noticed that your pre-workouts turn clumpy, it's likely because of one of the reasons below.

This happens with other supplements as well.

1. Hygroscopic Ingredients

As most pre-workout comes in a powder form similar to protein powders, it contains hygroscopic ingredients.

These ingredients absorb moisture from their surroundings, and if left unused for a period of time, the pre-workout turns clumpy [1].

Some of these ingredients in pre-workout include:

  • L-Carnitine
  • L-Citrulline Malate
  • Betaine Anhydrous

If you've noticed your pre-workout clumping, hygroscopic ingredients are likely the culprit. Most artificial sweeteners are non-hygroscopic.

Related Article - Pre-Workout Pills Vs Powder

2. Poor Storage Environment

If you live in a climate that's hot and humid, your tub of pre-workout is much more susceptible to clumping.

To avoid this, store your pre-workout in a proper container and a cool dry place.

If not stored properly, you will notice that your pre-workout supplements clump, so it's important that you're storing them properly so they won't absorb moisture.

3. Broken Seals Or Lids

While rare, this does occasionally happen during the manufacturing process.

If the safety seal is broken, moisture from the air will make your pre-workouts turn clumpy.

4. Disuse For Long Periods

If you haven't used your pre-workout powders for longer periods of time, there's a high chance that it'll naturally begin to turn clumpy or hard.

The reason is similar to what was mentioned above with the hygroscopic ingredients.

clumpy pre-workout

Is It Safe to Use Clumpy Pre Workout?

Yes, it is generally safe to use clumpy pre-workout supplements, as the clumping does not typically alter the effectiveness or safety of the product. However, it's essential to ensure that the product is within its expiration date and has been stored correctly.

As mentioned previously, the primary cause of clumping in pre-workout supplements is exposure to moisture. Ingredients found in pre-workouts are usually hygroscopic, meaning they attract water molecules from the surrounding environment, which can lead to clumps forming in the supplement. 

Similarly, changes in temperature or a faulty seal can also affect the physical state of your pre-workout, causing it to become clumpy.

Now, it's crucial to note that while the clumps do not impact the safety or efficacy of your pre-workout, they can make measuring the right dosage a bit challenging. Therefore, breaking up the clumps with a fork or shaking the container (or even using a blender) can help ensure that you're getting the correct dose.

But even so, please remember to always check the expiration date of your pre-workout supplement. 

If your pre-workout expired, the ingredients may no longer be effective and could potentially pose a risk to your health. Also, if you notice changes in smell or color, it's better to discard the product as it may indicate bacterial growth.

So yes, using a clumpy pre-workout supplement is usually safe, provided it's within the use-by date and has no other signs of spoilage.

Women Sitting on Gym Mat Drinking a Pre-Workout Drink

How To Easily Unclump Pre-Workout

If you've got clumpy or hard pre-workouts, you'll be glad to know that it's an easy fix.

Here are some ways to easily fix pre-workout clumps.

1. Put It Through A Blender

This might seem strange since you're essentially putting clumpy pre-workout powder through a blender, but it's a very effective fix.

All you've got to do is place your pre-workout supplement in a blender and blender it back to powder form, and you're good to go.

This is the most effective method for most pre-workout supplements.

2. Stir Using A Long Fork Or Knife

If your pre-workout powder hasn't turned hard, you can consider stirring it with a long fork or knife to break it up.

While it won't become completely normal, you'll still be able to scoop through the clumpy pre-workout and consume servings.

When doing this, make sure you're using a butter knife rather than a sharp knife. It's recommended to also do this only if you don't have a blender or food processor.

pre-workout scoop next to a blender

7 Tips To Prevent Pre-Workout From Clumping

Below are some tips to prevent a clumpy or chunky pre-workout from occurring.

1. Regularly Use The Pre-Workout

As mentioned earlier, hygroscopic ingredients and leaving your pre-workout for months on end is one of the biggest culprits of making a pre-workout clumpy.

Even though you won't be consuming it as often as protein powders, to prevent pre-workouts from clumping together, you'd want to be using it at least once per week.

2. Shake Or Stir Container Often

If you're not going to be consuming your supplement powders once per week, another way to get around a clumpy or hard supplement is to regularly stir or shake it.

Since pre-workouts aren't consumed multiple times like protein powder, they are more likely to attract moisture and become clumpy.

To prevent that from happening, simply shake or stir it once or twice a week and you'll be good to go.

3. Keep The Silica Packet Inside The Container

Plenty of individuals make the mistake of throwing away the silica gel packet within their supplements.

Instead of throwing it away, you should actually keep your silica gel packet buried deep into the pre-workout tub [2].

Since pre-workouts contain hygroscopic ingredients, silica gel packets prevent your pre-workout ingredients from attracting moisture.

So make sure that the little silica packets are buried in your pre-workout at all times.

4. Store In A Cool, Dry Place (Avoid Excessive Heat)

While this is stated on most pre-workout containers, some people still choose to leave their powdered supplements in their car overnight.

In warm countries, this is especially detrimental and will cause clumps. Always keep your pre-workout at room temperature and in a cool and dry place.

However, if you live in an especially humid area where it's never quite room temperature, you can choose to store your pre-workout powder in the freezer instead.

Related Article - Pre-Workout Not Working?

5. Add Another Silica Packet Inside

If you go through pre-workout powder frequently or regularly consume dietary supplements and have accidentally thrown out all of your silica packets, it's time to remind yourself to stop doing that.

Instead, keep the silica packet and add it to your next pre-workout to ensure it doesn't turn clumpy or hard.

6. Use Anti-Caking Agents As A Last Resort

This is an absolute last resort, but if you're frustrated with your clumpy pre-workout, you can consider using an anti-caking agent such as calcium silicate or silicon dioxide.

These anti-caking agents will absorb moisture and ensure that your pump pre-workouts and bodybuilding supplements always remain a fine powder.

The reason why you'll want to avoid anti-caking agents, though, is because even though they can prevent your powder turning clumpy, it can affect your pre-workouts, so just be careful.

7. Add Bread Or Rice

If none of the above work for you, you can consider adding a slice of bread or some dry rice inside a small open plastic bag and placing it within your powder to prevent that pre-workout clump.

It's pretty self-explanatory, but essentially both bread and rice are great at absorbing moisture from the air and can help prevent pre-workout clumping [3].

man mixing a pre-workout drink in a gym

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pre-workout safe and effective after turning clumpy?

Is clumpy pre-workout bad? No, it isn't. For the most part, the pre-workout powder is still safe and effective even after it turns clumpy. The powder has simply absorbed moisture from the air, but it won't affect the safety and effectiveness.

Can pre-workout supplements contain mold?

Yes, if your pre-workout has passed its expiration date, it can grow mold. When that happens, make sure that you're discarding it.

How do you know if pre-workout has expired?

If it has expired, you'll either see mold growing on it, or it's likely that it'll smell spoiled. The general rule of thumb is that if you've kept it for extended periods of time and it has expired, it's time to throw it away.

How long does the pre-workout last before it expires?

The expiration date of your powdered supplement is usually printed on the tub. If your pre-workout is beyond this time, that means it has expired.

Do any brands market themselves as ‘non-clumpy?’

No, as most pre-workout powders eventually turn clumpy due to one reason or the other. Due to the ingredients within the powder that are hygroscopic, it's not really possible for a brand to market itself as 'non-clumpy.' So whether you have C4 Pre-Workout or a lesser-known brand, it can happen.


Pre-workouts tend to clump or become hard at one point or the other. Is it safe? Luckily, fixing rock solid or clumpy powder is easy. Simply follow the tips above, and you'll be good to go.

If you've noticed that other supplement powders or other powdered supplements have the same issue and you're dealing with a clumpy tub, you can follow the above, and they should be fixed in no time at all.



Miloš Lepotic

Miloš Lepotic

Meet Miloš, a certified sports nutritionist and self-taught supplement expert whose pharmacological background and nearly a decade of gym experience make him the perfect guide for optimizing your health and athletic performance through supplement reviews and practical advice rooted in factual, science-backed information.