Does Pre-Workout Affect Birth Control? (Will I Get Pregnant?)

Enjoy working out but aren't sure if your pre-workout will cancel out your birth control’s function and cause you to be pregnant?

Here, we'll provide you with everything you need to know pertaining to whether it affects birth control, what supplements will interfere with your birth control, and more.

When it comes to the ingredients within pre-workouts, it consists of a blend of amino acids, vitamins, nitric oxide, and other different ingredients that are believed to have no impact on the birth control pill.

While the above might be the general consensus, pre-workout supplements each have their own differences. 

They are unfortunately not FDA regulated and hence, could contain certain ingredients that aren't explicitly stated on the label.

Ingredients That Affect Birth Control

In most cases, normal pre-workouts or weight loss medications won’t affect birth control, but it’s important to note that caffeine and banned ingredients such as ephedrine can cause undesired side effects.

Some of those reported side effects include insomnia, headaches, jitteriness, increased heart rate, and more.

If you've noticed these thermogenic ingredients in your pre-workouts, you should consider using different pre-workout supplements instead.

Caffeine anhydrous is also something to avoid as it's a very potent form of caffeine in pure, powdered form.

If you're not careful while consuming caffeine anhydrous, it could result in an overdose.

Timing Is Everything - Your Prescription Schedule

Your prescription schedule also plays a role when it comes to pre-workout and birth control.

If you've noticed that it's about time to take your birth control pills, it might be worthwhile shifting your exercise schedule or adjusting the doses that you're taking to a different time.

As mentioned earlier, while pre-workout does not affect birth control pills such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo.

If there's caffeine present within the supplement, the birth control pills can slow down the breakdown of the substance in the body and amplify negative effects such as jitters, headache, etc.

When In Doubt, Doctors Know Best

If you’re unsure of the answer, it’s best to speak to your doctor and seek their advice.

There isn’t a whole lot of research out there pertaining to whether or not pre-workouts impact birth control and your doctor will be able to provide you with the best answer.

Suppose birth control pills aren't working for you, and you're a fitness enthusiast that requires high doses of supplements to reach your fitness goals.

In that case, your doctor might take a look at your birth control options and suggest you switch from oral contraceptives to an IUD or something else instead.

woman holding birth control pills on bed

Why Do So Many Supplements Interfere With My Birth Control?

If you're taking dietary supplements while on birth control pills, there are a few herbal supplements and other ingredients that you'd need to take into consideration as they can decrease the overall efficacy of the pill.

St. John’s Wort

St. John's Wort is an herbal supplement that helps with not just depression but also anxiety, insomnia, and more.

With this ingredient, however, it can decrease the pill's hormone concentration in the blood by almost 15% and thus, reducing its effectiveness. [1]

Soy Products

Within soy products is the active ingredient, Soy Isoflavones.

While it can help with building strong bones, researchers found that Soy Isoflavones, unfortunately, interacts negatively with hormonal contraception.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can prevent the breakdown of estrogen, which results in an increase in the amount of estrogen within your system.

While it won't make the pill less effective, it could increase the risk of certain side effects in women, such as blood clots and breast cancer.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is great for when you have an upset stomach, as it rids the body of poisons by binding to foreign substances in the gut.

This is true, however, for any foreign substance, so you run the risk of the charcoal potentially binding to the hormones in your pill.

Spirulina

Generally speaking, spirulina doesn't have any negative impacts on birth control. It does, however, contain large amounts of protein, iron, minerals, and vitamins A, C, E, and B.

In really high doses, vitamins A and C could affect birth control pills, so you'll need to watch the amount of spirulina you're consuming.

glass and spoon with green spirulina powder

Other Things You Should Avoid While On Birth Control

Other than these supplements, here are some other things to avoid while you’re on birth control.

Smoking

Health is key to ensuring the success of your birth control.

Smoking can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disorders as the nicotine toxin can add to the stress oral contraceptives put on your blood vessels.

Exceeding Your Body’s Ideal BMI

You should strive to maintain an ideal body weight, as obesity is one of the factors that can reduce the success rate of birth control. [2]

Research has indicated that if you have a higher BMI, it can lead to complications and failure of contraceptives, so make sure you're making your health a priority.

Related Article - Does Pre-Workout Make You Gain Weight?

Taking Too Many Vitamins Or Supplements

While taking vitamins and supplements won't decrease the efficacy of the pill, it can increase the side effects associated with estrogen.

Some of these include nausea, headache, bloating, and more. While you won't have to worry if you have the occasional vitamin or two, it can impact your health if you're taking large amounts.

If you’re unsure, don’t guess. Speak to your doctor first as they can provide you with the best answer and the right prescriptions.

Skipping Doses Of Birth Control

While the pill might have a 99.9% efficacy, that’s only the case if you’re having the pill at roughly the same time each day.

Make sure you're sticking to a cycle, as taking the pill irregularly can reduce its efficacy in preventing pregnancy.

Certain Herbs & Medications

Be careful of which herbs and medication you're taking while you're on birth control, as the individual ingredients within the medication may compromise the success of contraception.

If you're not sure, you can always check with your doctor to be sure. Some medications can also cause you to feel ill and experience other side effects.

Antibiotics (When Possible)

When you're on the pill, you should avoid antibiotics where possible, as it can decrease the overall efficacy of oral contraceptives.

If you must take antibiotics, speak to your doctor so they have all the information and can provide you with the best answer - such as changing to a different medication. [3]

Excessive Alcohol

Not only is consuming excessive alcohol not good for your health, but it could also cause you to feel sick.

If you throw up within two hours of taking the pill, that is considered to be a missed pill.

To avoid such an instance from happening, moderate your alcohol consumption, so it doesn't change the efficacy of the pill.

woman lifting a barbell

Pre-Workout & Birth Control (Your Questions Answered)

Does working out affect birth control?

No, working out doesn't have any negative effects on your birth control. Women can still work out as usual, but if you're consuming supplements, just be aware of how those ingredients might be affecting you.

What birth control do athletes use?

For athletes that still want to build muscle and not risk their performance gains, they can use either an IUD or a progestin-only minipill. You can speak to a doctor to learn more about the process for these birth control methods.

Does collagen affect birth control pills?

There are no known drug interactions between collage and birth control pills, and they are not suspected of reducing its overall effectiveness. If you're concerned, you can always avoid collagen, just in case.

Does protein powder affect birth control?

No, it consists of amino acids that are not proven to reduce the overall effectiveness of the pill.

Can I have energy drinks on birth control?

It is advised not to have energy drinks as birth control pills can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. This can cause headaches, jitteriness, and more.


Conclusion

So, does pre-workout mess with birth control?

The answer to this is no. Pre-workouts generally come with only a few ingredients that are intended to assist with metabolism and help with your general workout.

What's important is to take note of what other ingredients may be within the supplements and how many doses you're taking a day.

References:

  1. https://www.gov.uk/drug-safety-update/st-john-s-wort-interaction-with-hormonal-contraceptives-including-implants
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/estrogen-and-progestin-oral-contraceptives-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20069422
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/antibiotics-contraception/

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

Paul J