Pre-workout supplements promise increased energy and performance, but does that extra kick also mean more perspiration?

Knowing the side effects of supplements beyond the extra energy boost is vital.

Lets deep dive and learn if increased sweat occurs from taking pre-workouts before gym training.

Yes, pre-workout supplements can make you sweat more than normal. Pre-workout ingredients like caffeine boost metabolism and elevate heart rate, effectively stimulating thermogenesis and, thus, sweat production.

However, the difference in sweat won’t be very noticeable. Unless you engage in physical activity, it is likely you will not sweat more than you usually would in everyday conditions.

How this all works is caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, causing a rise in heart rate and blood pressure through various mechanisms.

This, in turn, speeds up metabolism, resulting in elevated internal body temperature. The body, aiming to regulate its temperature, releases the heat through sweat.

On the flip side, excessive sweating from a pre-workout could also be a side effect.

Very high doses of stimulants found in pre-workouts could induce anxiety, which could lead to uncontrollable sweating, especially in the sweat glands of the hands and feet.

Does Pre-Workout Make You Sweat More? – GarageGymPro

3 Reasons Why Pre-Workout Can Make You Sweat More

1. Increased Workout Intensity

Pre-workout-induced sweat is to be expected because the supplement is designed to make your body work harder.

Caffeine has been shown to improve your strength, and certain nitric oxide boosters like citrulline, have been known to improve endurance and give you a better muscle pump. The rest of the formula is also designed to benefit performance, all of which can result in high-intensity training followed by an appropriate amount of sweat.

As your pre-workout makes your workout more intense,  your body burns more energy and fat.  Since pre-workout promotes fat-burning, the process raises your body temperature, and your body compensates through increased sweat production. 

So, as a bonus, the answer to the question "Can pre-workout help you lose weight?" is a resounding yes. 

2. High Caffeine Levels Can Contribute

Your average amount of caffeine in pre-workout is 150-350mg in a single dose, which is about the same as 3 cups of coffee, so it's no real surprise that it has a major impact on your body.

As I said earlier, the caffeine in pre-workout will trigger your nervous system to release cortisol and adrenaline (fight or flight hormones). These hormones (especially adrenaline) can raise your core body temperature, and as a natural response to the higher body temperatures, your body starts to sweat more.

And this is not just me talking, the studies have shown that the more caffeine you ingest, the higher your body's temperature will get and the more you'll sweat. [1]

3. Certain Ingredients Can Increase a Persons Sweat Levels

A thermogenic ingredient (or several) is often included within pre-workouts to speed up your metabolic rate.

As I explained earlier, these raise your internal body temperature and force your body to burn more energy, once again resulting in elevated sweating.

These are the most common thermogenic ingredients found in pre-workouts:

Capsicum

Capsicum is naturally found in chilies, and it gives them their intense heat, so it's no wonder it can cause higher body temperature and increase sweat production.

Studies have shown that your body reacts to the capsicum, and your metabolic rate increases even after your workout is finished. This can make you sweat for longer and possibly help you achieve your weight loss goals. [2]

CLA

CLA is a fatty acid that has been linked to weight loss. It targets fat deposits in your body and raises your temperature so that you sweat more and continue to burn calories even after you've finished exercising.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is found in most pre-workout supplements and is known to promote fat-burning and weight loss. It can raise your internal temperature and boost your metabolism similar to caffeine, but likely won't cause overly excessive sweat production.

L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is an amino acid found in pre-workouts that impacts your blood vessels and is often touted for its fat-loss effects. 

Its main purpose is to convert fatty acids into energy, and in doing so, it might generate more heat within your body, making you sweat more than usual.

However, the evidence supporting that carnitine-induced thermogenesis can help you reach your fitness goals is very slim.

Yohimbe

Some pre-workout brands include Yohimbe (or Yohimbine) in their formula. This is a natural ingredient taken from an African tree and used as a thermogenic. It can increase adrenaline and dopamine levels and boost your metabolism. [3]

In my experience, Yohimbine is very potent, and it did cause me to sweat more. However, it also made me feel quite uncomfortable, as its stimulatory nature results in a very dirty-feeling energy surge.

pre-workout cause excessive sweating

Does Sweating More Mean A Better Overall Workout?

Sweating definitely does not mean a better workout. Despite the phrase "working up a sweat," excessive sweating is not an indicator of how effective your workout is or how many calories you've burned.

More often than not, the temperature and humidity conditions in which you're training will be a more determining factor of whether you sweat a lot or not. Just try working out in scorching heat and a cold room and compare the difference.

For example, as someone who's sweating profusely whenever it is hot, I can confidently say I've slacked in the gym on more than a few occasions, but if you were to look at my shirt afterward, you'd think I was in there for hours, training harder than last time.

Is Excessive Sweating During A Workout Dangerous?

Sweating is a natural reaction to heat, and it isn't likely to be harmful to your body. The only common side effect of excessive sweating is dehydration.

If you feel hot and notice a lot of sweating when you exercise, you should make sure you're drinking enough water to replace the fluids lost. This should keep your body functional and help you get the most from the gym.

It's worth remembering that some ingredients found in supplements, like caffeine, can dehydrate your body even further, so even if you're not sweating, you should make sure you have plenty of water.

Does Sweating Detox Your Body Better?

Sweating does not detox your body in any way, shape, or form, despite a popular belief that it flushes toxins out of your body.

While exercise and working up a sweat can make you feel great, it isn’t linked to detoxification, and toxins are actually filtered out in your liver and kidneys.

However, pre-workout could potentially help you detox your body because it contains vasodilator compounds and ingredients that boost nitric oxide production.

These open up your blood vessels and increase blood flow, allowing toxins to be filtered out from your bloodstream more quickly.

woman sweating from workout

3 Tips To Reduce Excessive Sweating From Pre-Workout Intake

Take it from someone who struggles with excessive sweating - you need to manage it. Otherwise, it is a one-way street to feeling uncomfortable, unattractive, and having body odor issues.

Here are three things I do to reduce sweating after taking pre-workout:

1. Choose Stim-Free Pre Workouts

As caffeine in pre-workout is one of the leading causes of increased sweating, I sometimes turn to stim-free pre-workouts in order to minimize the supplement's effects on my body's temperature - especially during the summer.

Despite being stim-free, these pre-workouts still motivate me, keep me focused, and keep my pumps more than good, so if you'd like to do the same - Transparent Labs because it offers a stimulant-free pre-workout will do the trick.

2. Take Creatine

For years, I've been taking creatine in pre-workouts (and separately) for muscle growth, and while I can't say it lowered my perspiration rate noticeably, I have read studies that have actually shown that long-term use of creatine can help reduce the body's core temperature and sweating. [4]

3. Stay Cool

The best piece of advice I can give you is to stay cool and dress comfortably while exercising.

Wear loose-fitting clothes, wear cotton and cotton only, use antiperspirant and deodorant, and drink plenty of water before and during practice. 

This won't counteract or stop your pre-workout sweats, but it will prevent them from smelling foul which will make you and everyone around you more comfortable.

Related Article - Pre-Workout Vs Fat Burner

Frequently Asked Pre-Workout Sweating Questions

Does pre-workout cause night sweats?

The caffeine in pre-workout should leave your system after 4-6 hours, so it shouldn't really cause night sweats. However, if you're taking pre during an evening workout, or you frequently have a late night workout, then it could be causing night sweats to occur.

Try to avoid taking pre-workouts 3-4 hours before bed because it can really disrupt your sleeping pattern.

What are some other common reasons you might be sweating more?

Anxiety, pregnancy, and thyroid conditions can all cause increased sweating because of the hormones being released. They all force your body to work harder, which can lead to a rise in body temperature and increased sweating.

It's also important to note that excess sweating could be the result of taking supplements for boosting fat metabolism.

Does pre-workout make your sweat smell?

The beta alanine contained within pre-workouts can make your sweat smell worse, but generally, it won't have too much of an impact.

Does C4 pre-workout make you sweat more than other brands?

C4 pre-workout is pretty powerful stuff and has a lot of caffeine in a single scoop. This is good for your athletic performance but can lead to more sweating when compared with other brands, but it totally depends on the ingredients.

When should I be worried about excessive sweating?

Heavy sweating itself isn't anything to worry about as long as it reduces after a few hours and you stay hydrated.

However, if the supplement you've taken is causing excessive sweating accompanied by chest pain, lightheadedness, very high body heat, or nausea, you need to contact your doctor immediately.

Conclusion

In essence, a pre-workout supplement can make you sweat more. Couple that with the fact you'll likely train harder - more sweat is inevitable.

However, increased sweating isn't anything to worry about. Just make sure you are drinking plenty of water to rehydrate.

And if it gets overwhelming, simply lower the dose or switch to a stimulant-free pre-workout like the one I mentioned earlier.

References: 

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21883004/
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257466/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12323115/
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407788/

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.