Does Pre-Workout Help You Lose Weight? – GarageGymPro

Weight loss is at the top of most reasons to work out lists. Many factors contribute to weight loss through exercise, including pre-workout supplements and training routines.

Does pre-workout help you lose weight? We will investigate the claims, pros, and cons of the weight loss properties of workout supplements. 

We will also look at the ingredients of your pre-workouts to get an idea of how they work and what you can expect.

To lose weight, you need to adjust your diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a caloric deficit.

Simply adding a pre-workout mix or drink to your daily routine itself will not contribute to weight loss.

However, there are several indirect ways an effective pre-workout supplement can help you stay on track with your goals and perform better.

Increasing Caloric Burn

Pre-workout supplements boost your energy levels which can help you stay focused and motivated through your workout routine.

By providing this energy boost, you can perform more reps or sets, work out longer and harder, and burn more calories.

The more calories burned, the faster your weight loss will occur.

Related Article - Is It Good To Take Pre-Workout Before Cardio?

Additional Motivation

When going through an exercise routine or workout performance, you can feel sluggish, tired, or drained.

Adding a pre-workout supplement can give you more energy and the motivation to work harder on those days.

Speed Up Metabolism

Pre-workout ingredients are designed to offer energy and focus.

Another benefit is that studies show caffeine and other common ingredients can increase your metabolism and lead to a higher resting metabolism rate, allowing you to burn more calories more easily while taking pre-workout supplements. [1]

Appetite Suppression

Caffeine and branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs) like leucine have shown appetite suppression results in recent studies. [2]

Eating less, less frequent snacking, and better eating habits all contribute to lower calorie intake and more body fat loss over time.

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What Pre-Workout Ingredients Help With Losing Weight?

The short answer is that caloric burn, appetite suppression, energy and higher metabolism rates all support weight loss.

Along with a healthy, proportional diet and regular workout performance, the following pre-workout ingredients may help you reach your weight loss goals.

Beta-Alanine

One of the main amino acid blocks in the body, beta-alanine, helps to delay muscle fatigue and reduce muscle soreness.

Taken as a supplement on a regular basis, this amino acid can contribute to dropping pounds by helping you make more reps in the gym without the pain or strain.

Beta-alanine is a good option when you are looking for more movements, reps, and sets for more calories burned and a higher loss rate.

It does take time (up to 4 to 6 weeks) of regular ingestion to build up in your system and begin reaping the benefits, though.

Read Also - How To Get Rid Of Beta-Alanine Itch

Caffeine

Caffeine is an ergogenic supplement, meaning it can enhance physical performance, raise stamina and promote recovery. [3]

There are multiple studies on the effects of caffeine on the body, and the results are easily replicated.

Because of these findings, caffeine is a standard addition to most pre-workout mixes.

Taking up to 400mg of caffeine daily can help keep you alert, focused, and motivated for more intense workouts, resulting in better performance and higher caloric burn.

Some in the fitness world will advise you to stay away from caffeine. However, studies suggest otherwise.

When you are looking to burn calories, most healthy adults will enjoy all the benefits of caffeine. What you do need to stay away from, though, are artificial sweeteners.

See Also - Pre-Workout Vs Energy Drinks

Creatine

Creatine has become the gold standard for workout supplements.

As one of the most studied and followed on the market, creatine boosts exercise performance and enhances muscle recovery.

Even with intense workouts and high muscle burn, you can promote weight loss with the right pre-workout formula.

Taken daily, the creatine stores in your muscles will harden, grow and provide bigger, stronger muscles.

However, it will take some time to build up in your body, so don't expect overnight gains. And while creatine isn't directly linked to weight loss, its use can contribute to healthier choices that do.

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L-Theanine

Though not as widely studied as some other supplements, L-theanine works a few different ways when ingested. [4]

First, it can lower the intensity of caffeine, allowing for larger single doses to have minimal negative side effects.

This dietary supplement also helps promote brain function and focus, giving you the ability to lift properly.

You can get the most from your workout, indirectly contributing to caloric burn and weight loss.

Finally, for those with a healthy metabolism, you feel full longer. This allows you to eat fewer calories and accomplish fitness goals.

Taurine

Another amino acid commonly used in energy drinks and pre-workout drinks is taurine.

Primarily used as an antioxidant, it also aids digestion and fat burning and helps restore electrolyte balance.

While more studies are needed, early reports show that taurine can increase strength and burn more fat during exercise. [5]

This will not only help increase muscle mass but also improve body composition.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Several essential BCAAs are often included in pre-workout supplement mixes.

Ingesting amino acids that our body needs but doesn't readily produce makes these more alluring for those that track macros.

BCAAs are known to provide a myriad of benefits to physical performance. The list includes muscle protein synthesis, growth, and reduced soreness.

When taken regularly as part of a pre-workout routine, BCAAs build up quickly and start showing the benefits faster than other ingredients.

Learn More - BCAAs Vs Pre-Workouts

Betaine

Betaine is a naturally occurring substance in the body. Its primary function is to break down amino acids and help improve liver function.

With all the BCAAs and other acids used in pre-workouts having a boost in their breakdown contributes to the overall usefulness of the pre-workout as a whole.

brands of pre-workout

Who Should Use Pre-Workouts? (+ Who Shouldn’t!)

While it is important to always talk to your doctor before making major diet and exercise changes in your life, typical pre-workout drinks should be safe for any healthy adult.

You will need to be ready for the lifestyle change, including having a proper, healthy diet and an exercise routine you can follow.

Adding a pre-workout can boost the results and help you stay motivated or focused during your workout sessions.

It is also beneficial to those with some off days where you just don't feel like going to the gym or performing at the top of your potential.

The right pre-workout will give you the energy, confidence, and stamina to get things accomplished.

There are, however, some groups that should avoid pre-workouts or, more specifically, certain ingredients contained in them.

Pregnant or nursing women, for example, should avoid a pre-workout with stimulants.

Caffeine intake is highly monitored, and pre-workouts contain a lot, so those with caffeine sensitivity need to track carefully.

Health conditions, sensitivity to certain supplements, and long-term exposure can cause issues such as bloating, diarrhea, gastric distress, dizziness, and fainting.

If you are in this group, talking to your doctor about the supplement list will help you identify the types or brands to use or avoid.

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The Flip-Side: Can Pre-Workout Cause Weight Gain?

There are some cases where a pre-workout can cause you to gain more weight.

This is typically because of the inclusion of creatine in the mix. However, there are other products that can contribute to weight gain as well.

In almost all cases, though, including creatine, the additional weight is from water.

These pounds are temporary and will fluctuate but have some benefits as well, such as muscle hydration.

Of course, working out promotes muscle growth, and lean muscle weighs more than fat cells.

Losing fat and gaining muscle may not see a change on the scale, or can see the numbers rise. However, this isn't always a negative thing.

If you are seeing more weight than normal, you can adjust your pre-workout dosage levels or limit the number of days you use it to counterbalance the scales.

pre-workout and kettlebell

Your Pre-Workout & Weight Loss Questions Answered

Do men and women need different pre-workout supplements?

While the stimulants, vitamins, and benefits of a pre-workout drink are made for both men and women, there are reasons to use a specific brand or type.

Men will want larger muscles, muscle pumps, viscosity, and more protein in their pre-workouts. The testosterone-boosting elements in many brands are also typically avoided by women.

Can C4 pre-workout help you lose weight?

C4 is a popular pre-workout brand and has a high-quality ingredient list. However, as with any other supplement, the overall design is not for losing weight but for muscle growth and energy.

Does Alani Nu pre-workout help you lose weight?

Like other supplements, Alani Nu does have weight-loss linked ingredients on their list. While the primary goal is focus, energy, and oxygen flow, it is not uncommon for avid users of mixes like Alani Nu to lose weight.

How often should you take pre-workout for weight loss?

As the name suggests, pre-workouts should be taken prior to your next workout. This means you shouldn't use them as a meal replacement, dietary aid, or every single day.

Used only on days you have a gym session, weight loss will come from the diet you have the remainder of the time, your exercise level, and fitness goals. The supplement drink is a tool to help you reach those goals, not the only solution.


Conclusion

Mixes, powders, and drinks contain stimulants, creatine, and BCAAs that can boost metabolism and increase energy levels. This results in more reps or sets and higher intensity levels of exercise, which burn more calories.

The only caveat is to stay away from proprietary blends. Proprietary blend formulas hide the actual amount of the ingredients, so you don't know how much you are actually taking.

While a pre-workout won’t make you lose fat mass on its own, it can tamp down your appetite, lead to healthier choices and give you the energy boost to workout more often or for longer.

Generally speaking, weight loss is possible with the right diet and exercise, and these popular supplements will help you stay on track.

References:

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7486839/
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121631/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30977054/
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080935/
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8152067/

Paul J

Last Updated on September 29, 2022