Clumpy or Hard Pre Workout? (4 Reasons Why and How To Fix)

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 - Caffeine Pills Vs Pre-Workout

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 pre-workout 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

How To Easily Fix Pre-Workout Clumps

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.

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.

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

Tips To Prevent Pre-Workout Supplements Clumping

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Common Questions About Clumpy Pre-Workouts

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.

Read Also - Does Pre-Workout Expire?

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.


Conclusion

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.

References:

1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/hygroscopy.htm
2. https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/science-questions/question206.htm
3. https://dampsolving.com/rice-absorb-moisture/

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

Paul J