Is Pre-Workout Keto-Friendly? (Stay In Ketosis!)

When working out or performing any physical exercise, our bodies burn calories for energy. With carbs in the body, the ketones use carbohydrates for fuel.

However, as keto dieters know, when you are in a state of ketosis (no carb loading), the exogenous ketones help you lose weight by burning fat cells for energy.

A pre-workout is designed to boost energy levels, provide muscle strength and help you stay motivated throughout your workout. But will using a pre-workout take you out of ketosis? Are these energy boosters keto-friendly?

This review will dive deep into Keto pre-workout drinks and the supplements that support them. Read on to learn more.

Most pre-workout supplements come in a lot of varieties with a lot of different ingredients; many of which are Keto-friendly.

The ingredients in these dietary supplements that provide energy boosts do not affect maintaining a state of ketosis. However, some brands will include these ingredients (or others) in the form of carbohydrates, which might affect the ketones.

In general, though, you won't have any problems with your ketogenic diet or getting into a Keto state.

Is Pre-Workout Keto-Friendly? (Stay In Ketosis!)

Is Pre-Workout Absolutely Necessary On Keto Diets?

Keto diets, gym workouts, and fitness have been around long before Keto pre-workout supplements were a big thing. In that regard, a pre-workout routine is not required when on a Keto diet.

When you are on a ketogenic diet, you may find yourself low on energy. While a pre-workout can help raise your energy levels, better sleep schedules and even proper nutrition will also play a more long-term role.

Workouts on Keto require a few specific things. You need sufficient calories, proper sleep, and you must stay hydrated.

Sufficient Calories

Aside from strength and physical appearance, losing weight tops the list of reasons people work out. Part of that journey is limiting caloric intake and working off what you do take in.

This process can leave you tired, worn out, or run down. A Keto pre-workout drink can help boost your energy, provide extra calories and keep you motivated to train.

However, it is important to know the proper ratios and weight loss goals for your individual body style. For some, rapid weight loss (5% over 5 weeks) is more effective, but slower weight loss (5% in 15 weeks) offers better body composition. [1]

Learn More - Pre-Workout Vs Fat Burner – (Key Differences Explained)

Restful Sleep

Muscle growth happens when you rest. As the muscles recover, they grow stronger, and proper sleep is crucial for lean muscle growth.

Keto diets, other low-carb diet options, and even Keto pre-workouts help give you more energy, focus, and motivation. But they can also cause exhaustion or tiredness. Once the rush wears off, you may be more tired than when you started.

Some people push through and sleep less to keep moving and stay active. However, this can have adverse effects on your body and growth potential. [2] Getting good quality and quantity of sleep will help boost your overall performance and growth.

Learn More - Can Pre-Workout Disrupt Your Sleep?

Staying Hydrated

Any gym routine or vigorous exercise performance requires proper hydration. We all sweat every day, even in winter, no matter what we do. This water loss is raised when we perform physical activity.

Pre-workout mixes, as well as Keto diets, have some side effects. Many of these can be attributed to excessive water loss. These are easy to eliminate or negate, though, by drinking more water.

Dehydration can cause overheating, lack of concentration, and can cause bad moods [3]. When following a ketogenic diet, you need to follow the recommended hydration levels.

When taking a pre-workout, drinking extra water with your mix or adding water during your workout will help tremendously.

Read More - Does Pre-Workout Make You Sweat More?

man drinking water after working out

Benefits Of Pre-Workout Supplements

The benefits of a Keto pre-workout supplement are well known and reported. However, there isn't a lot of information about Keto-friendly pre-workouts other than lower or no carb formulas.

Boosts Energy And Maintains Focus

The primary function of a pre-workout supplement is to boost your energy. They also help maintain your mental focus throughout your exercise routine and promote muscle growth.

Caffeine is the most common energy-boosting ingredient, though other natural ingredients are also used. In addition, b-maintains and D-vitamins are also used to help maintain your focus and abilities during your workout.

Learn More - Pre-Workout Vs Energy Drinks: Which Give You More Boost?

Improves Endurance

Along with mental performance, endurance is another benefit of these energy drinks. You will find that you have the motivation, desire, and capability to make it through your entire workout.

Limiting muscle fatigue and strain will give you a boosted performance that lasts long enough to complete your workout.

Supports Your Hydration

Because you need to take a keto pre-workout supplement with water, it also helps to improve hydration. By drinking water with the supplement as well as during your workout, the additional hydration can help you perform better.

Additional hydration is never a bad thing, and it can offset water loss through sweating while you perform your exercises. Staying hydrated can also improve output, performance, and muscle recovery.

Allows You To Burn Fat For Fuel

By not adding a lot of carbs or proteins to your system before you begin your routine, you will burn fat stores for fuel instead of getting them from food or muscles. This will help you maintain your weight loss goals while retaining energy and drive.

Read Also - Does Pre-Workout Make You Lose Weight?

Supports Lean Mass

Lean muscle mass, or your total body weight minus fat, is what most gym enthusiasts and fitness-minded people strive for. Losing the fat is more important than the weight, as long as it is lean mass.

Pre-workout supplements supply the needed energy to get through your workout to offer muscle resistance training that promotes lean mass maintenance.

jacked man drinking pre workout

When Are Pre-Workouts Bad For You? (Ingredients To Avoid)

Like creatine, a pre-workout drink, for the most part, is safe to take regularly. There are a few negative aspects to know about, though, including the dreaded keto flu.

Excess Caffeine

Some pre-workout formulas utilize too much caffeine. While having enough energy can be great, it can lead to jitters, balance issues, lack of sleep, and other performance-limiting side effects.

It is possible that excessive caffeine intake can also promote anxiety or raise blood pressure. You should take care with caffeine levels, building up to daily doses until you know how you will react.

See Also - How Much Caffeine Is In Your Pre-Workout?

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols, or compounds derived from sugars, are not digested properly and get broken down in the large intestine.

This process, when too many sugar alcohols are consumed, can lead to bloating, gas, or even diarrhea. As you can imagine, these will not benefit your workout regimen. Artificial sweeteners and sugars should be avoided.

Proprietary Blends And Under-Dosing

When you take a keto-friendly pre-workout supplement, you want to ensure you are getting the correct amount of each ingredient. Using a proprietary blend, brands can hide the per-line amount of each ingredient they use.

Because you never know how much of an ingredient is in a proprietary blended mix, you may get under-dosed, and the entire mix will not offer the benefits you are after. Proprietary mixes are commonly found in your protein bar and pre-workout powder mixes.


For Keto diets, Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is supplied in health supplements and produced naturally. It is one of the three main ketones in your body to provide energy to muscles, your brain, and your heart when not enough sugars are consumed. [3]

Ingesting too much BHB, though, can lead to stomach upset, constipation, belly pain, and diarrhea. Again, these are not beneficial to your exercise program.


Creatine monohydrate is one of the most studied pre-workout products on the market. It is also the most popular and found in almost all pre- and post-workout mixes.

Daily creatine supplementation of the powder, pill, or mix shows no adverse effects, but you can take too much.

Without proper dosing, you can experience stomach upset and bloating. However, the main concern is that once your muscles are fully saturated, additional creatine has no effect. Wasting your time, effort, and money on a supplement that will do nothing is a bad idea.

Also Check Out - Pre-Workout Vs Creatine

Excess Electrolytes

Along with water hydration, adding electrolytes back into your system during or after a workout performance can be highly beneficial. However, as with most other additives and nutrients, too much can cause some issues.

Too many electrolytes can lead to cramping muscles, dizziness, a confused state of mind, and an irregular heartbeat. Taken with caffeine can amplify these effects and may lead to larger health issues.

Are These Popular Pre-Workout Brands Keto Friendly?

Almost all major brands of pre-workout supplements are Keto-friendly. With low to no carbohydrates, they are, by nature, good for Keto diets. Let's look at some of the best Keto pre-workout brands.

Legion Athletics Pulse

Keto diets try to eliminate most carbohydrates, but you are allowed some. If you have extra carbs to spare, you can look to Legion Athletics Pulse. With 6g of carbs per serving, Legion Athletics uses only high-quality ingredients.

Other main ingredient amounts per serving:

  • Caffeine: 0.35g
  • Beta-Alanine: 3.6g
  • L-Citrulline: 8g

Beyond Raw LIT

Beyond Raw is a brand that works with the proper ingredients on a clinical and science-backed level.

With attention to detail on Beyond Raw LIT ingredients, Keto-diet followers can rest easy. This brand uses half the carbs of Legion with 3g per serving without a spike in blood sugar.

Other main ingredient amounts per serving:

  • Caffeine: 0.25g
  • Beta-Alanine: 3.2g
  • L-Citrulline: 3g

C4 Ultimate

Is C4 pre-workout Keto-friendly? C4 by Cellucor has some of the lowest total carbohydrates on the market.

Being arguably the best pre-workout supplement available, their standard formulas offer 0g per serving, while the C4 Ultimate comes with 1g. For the best option on the total ingredients, though, Ultimate has better options.

Other main ingredient amounts per serving:

  • Caffeine: 0.3g
  • Beta-Alanine: 3.2g
  • Citrulline-Malate: 6g

Alani Nu Pre Workout

Alani Nu is a pre-workout supplement mix that has lower levels of caffeine than other brands.

This helps avoid the jitters and can help you get accustomed to taking the supplements faster than you get with other options. Alani Nu pre-workout has a total of 5g of carbs per serving helps keep it Keto-friendly.

Other main ingredient amounts per serving:

  • Caffeine: 0.2g
  • Beta-Alanine: 1.6g
  • L-Citrulline: 6g

Bucked Up Pre Workout

Bucked up utilizes dehydrated caffeine, which can have different effects on various people. If you are not very tolerant to caffeine anhydrous, you may want to avoid the Bucked Up pre-workout. For the rest of you, though, you can get a great, high-quality boost with 0g of carbs.

Other main ingredient amounts per serving:

  • Caffeine (Anhydrous): 0.33g
  • Beta-Alanine: 3.2g
  • Citrulline Malate: 6g

Ghost Pre Workout

Like other Keto pre-workout-focused brands, Ghost offer 1g of total carbs per serving. The Ghost Legend series offers some of the best premium ingredients that are soy, gluten, and sugar-free while also being vegan-friendly.

Other main ingredient amounts per serving:

  • Caffeine: 0.25g
  • Beta-Alanine: 3.2g
  • Vegan-fermented L-Citrulline: 84g

Total War

Total War Keto pre-workout supplements drink is a complete supplement that offers you a lot of nothing. Zero carbs, no fat, no protein, and no calories. If you are looking for a top-tier supplement without a lot of extras, Total War pre-workout may be for you.

Other main ingredient amounts per serving:

  • Caffeine: 0.35g
  • Beta-Alanine: 3.2g
  • Citrulline Malate: 6g
man mixing up some pre-workout

Tips For Homemade Keto Pre-Workout

As with most food items, you can make your own Keto pre-workout powders. For the Keto-minded, one of the best options is to make keto fat bombs or what is commonly known as keto coffee.

While you can buy bulk caffeine, beta-alanine and L-citrulline, and other essential amino acids through sites like Amazon or in person at health food stores, it isn't required. The use of healthy fats in a protein shake is also warranted if your aim is to lose fat.

A standard cup of coffee with a teaspoon or two of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil and a single scoop of exogenous ketones can be an ideal energy boost without adding carbs.

Pre-Workout & Keto Diet FAQs

What should I eat before I work out on Keto?

There are several Keto pre-workout snack options for before your workout routine. Many gym enthusiasts enjoy low-carb jerky or Keto-friendly protein bars. Other solutions include protein shakes or amino-acid-rich foods.

Are there pre-workouts specifically for Keto?

There are several pre-workouts that are specifically designed for Keto diets, including one of the best and most popular brands. Perfect Keto Perform, for example, is not only Keto-friendly but is made specifically to maintain ketosis.

What type of sweeteners are approved on the Keto diet?

Being kicked out of ketosis is easy if you eat the wrong types of sugars. To maintain ketone levels, you should strive for non-nutritive sweeteners such as stevia, erythritol, coconut oil, and monk fruit.

Likewise, you want to avoid honey, maple syrup, and maltodextrin, which raise blood sugar.

Does exercise speed up weight loss in ketosis?

Low and moderate-intensity workouts have been shown to increase fat loss by speeding up the metabolism while in ketosis.

However, you still need to eat and exercise properly and ensure you are not relying on minimal calories and high-intensity workouts to achieve those weight loss goals.

Can I take creatine on Keto?

You can consume creatine on a keto diet. Because the drying agents for creatine do not contain dextrose or maltodextrin, there aren't any carbs present.

However, the delivery service of the creatine can. You should use plain water or a Keto-based mix containing the creatine.


A Keto diet helps raise the resting metabolism and improve overall energy, appearance and can contribute to weight loss.

Pre-workouts can give you a boost of energy to help you get moving and maintain athletic performance during your workout session.

Using both together is not only possible but can show promising results. You will need to study ingredient labels to ensure you can stay in ketosis with the pre-workout drink, but many brands are already Keto-friendly.





Last Updated on January 22, 2023