You're feeling shaky, unable to concentrate, nervous, and your heart feels like it may just burst out of your chest. These jitters are pretty common, even for those gym veterans who exercise daily.
However, there are many steps you can take to make sure you’re pumped up for the gym without going overboard.
Let's jump right in so you know how to stop pre-workout jitters before your next workout!
Table of Contents
- Reasons Behind Pre-Workout Jitters (The Basic Causes)
- How To Stop & Prevent Future Pre-Workout Jitters?
- Pre-Workouts That Don’t Give You Jitters (Best Options)
- Frequently Asked Pre-Workout Jitters Questions
Reasons Behind Pre-Workout Jitters (The Basic Causes)
What causes jitters in pre-workouts? While it does depend on how strong the pre-workout is, the vast majority include high quantities of caffeine along with other stimulants.
Caffeine tends to be the main culprit when it comes to feeling jittery, and if you've ever had too much coffee on an empty stomach before, you already know that.
This occurs when caffeine levels are too high in the body, which increases adrenaline in our bodies and raises our blood pressure.  If you are already predisposed to anxiety, these symptoms can come on even easier.
Yohimbe, especially when used with anti-depression medication, can cause that familiar shaky, anxious feeling too. Beta-alanine can create a tingly feeling sometimes, which may contribute to this feeling.
Pre-workout supplements that use these ingredients can cause a jittery feeling, especially if you haven’t eaten or consumed much water recently.
How To Stop & Prevent Future Pre-Workout Jitters?
Controlled Caffeine Consumption
Sometimes it’s easy to drink one too many cups of coffee or go a bit heavy on the pre-workout scoop. However, monitoring how much caffeine you consume is one of the most effective ways to avoid unwanted side effects.
Alternatively, you can try decaf instead, or going half-caf so you can still fill that craving without taking it over the limit.
It’s recommended to never exceed 400 mg of caffeine in a 24-hour period, so check how many milligrams are in your supplement.  Of course, this does vary a bit depending on the individual’s body weight, but this is a great rule of thumb.
Related Article - How Much Caffeine Is In Pre-Workout Supplements?
Use Theanine & Other Non-Caffeine Based Stimulants
That's not to say that you shouldn't try other stimulants, however.
For example, the amino acid theanine is an excellent alternative to caffeine in that it does boost cognition and mood. Even using it in conjunction with caffeine can have positive benefits, as it can help reduce the effect of jitters and rapid drops in energy levels.
More "natural" stimulants like green tea, guarana, and ginseng are also great options. They may not have the "explosive" effect caffeine can, but they still help elevate focus and boost energy levels. Try these first in smaller amounts so you don't experience a negative side effect.
On a side note, many pre-workout formulas include vitamin B3, often referred to as niacin. Niacin is not only great for the skin but muscle health, which could even help with muscle growth. 
Before trying niacin, check to see if your pre-workout supplement doesn't already include it. If it is a proprietary blend, it's likely that it does include it, at least in a small doses.
Read Also - Stimulant Vs Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout
Drink Water & Stay Hydrated
No matter what your goal is in fitness, staying hydrated will help get you there faster.
Drinking the right amount of water will not only improve exercise performance but keep your entire body healthy. Of course, how much water is "enough" will greatly depend on your body weight and how much pre-workout you take.
Not to mention, you'll be less likely to feel jittery when properly hydrated. In addition, drinking water helps dilute the amount of caffeine in your system, which can keep you in a controlled, energetic state.
On the other hand, being dehydrated can cause our bodies to function improperly and can even cause symptoms of anxiety.  Caffeine is a natural diuretic that can dehydrate you, thus, making you feel shaky or uneasy.
Get Moving & Exercise
Sometimes we just have to get moving and burn off all that excess energy! If you are feeling jittery - regardless of whether or not you’ve taken a pre-workout supplement - it’s best to get those muscles working and increase circulation.
Being active will metabolize excess caffeine and will reduce stress and anxiety levels. If you do feel you've consumed too much, don't work out like you're setting PRs.
Instead, take a brisk walk or a light jog, do some yoga and just focus on bringing yourself back to a calmer state.
Eat A Hearty Meal
In a way, eating a hearty meal is like drinking water in that both will help dilute the effect of caffeine and other stimulants. Fats and proteins help slow the release of caffeine into the bloodstream, which can help you stay away from feeling shaky or nervous.
Proper nutrition and diet are critical to your body working as intended and maintaining your health.
Working out on an empty stomach may have its benefits, but if you're feeling uneasy, it's probably best to consult your healthcare professional if you'd like to continue working out that way.
Also Check Out - Should You Take Pre-Workout On An Empty Stomach?
Replace Lost Electrolytes
Did you know that staying properly hydrated not only means drinking enough water but replacing lost salt? That's even more important if you're taking a pre-workout supplement.
If you're sweating a lot, as is normal during a workout, you're losing electrolytes. Being low on electrolytes can affect brain and body function and cause you to be seriously ill.
A great way to replace them is by adding Pedialyte or a similar beverage to your pre-workouts! That way, you're getting everything you need in one beverage, and it'll add to the taste too!
When you have the right amount of electrolytes, you'll experience increased muscle strength, endurance, and energy and minimize jittery sensations.
Practice Deep Breathing
Sometimes, feeling mentally anxious or uncomfortable can also make you jittery.
Our heart rate speeds up, which can cause you to breathe quicker and more shallow and your stomach to cramp up. This can make training more difficult and prohibit muscle performance, which isn’t going to lead to a very productive workout.
Taking a pre-workout supplement can induce these feelings or increase anxiety, depending on the stimulant quantity.
Pre-Workouts That Don’t Give You Jitters (Best Options)
If you really want to step up your workout performance, get yourself a pre-workout supplement with citrulline malate. Genius Pre-Workout might be the best no jitters pre-workout.
It helps with increasing blood flow and oxygen transport to the muscles. Containing just 150 mg of caffeine, natural alternatives like theanine will provide you with clean energy.
- Mind-to-Muscle Pre-Workout: Genius Pre by The...
- Made for Pushing Your Limits: Genius Pre is...
- Stimulant- and Artificial Sweetener-Free:...
- How to Use: Mix 1 scoop in 14 oz of water and...
PEScience High Volume
Completely free of caffeine, it has a very similar formula to the first one. Transport of oxygen to the muscles improves, and you’ll experience a better pump. This pre-workout contains taurine, ferulic acid, and glycerol, which are all known to help with vascularity.
Not to mention, this is one of the best-tasting supplements out there, with flavors like Melon Berry Twist, Sour Peach Candy, and Strawberry Kiwi.
- Caffeine free pre-workout – This unique...
- Premium nitric oxide boosting – 4 grams of...
- Versatile and stackable – Unique formula...
- Amazing taste and mixability – with over 5...
RSP Nutrition: AminoLean
This brand is very well-respected, as they aim to make their products available for everyone. This means that negative side effects are reduced in their products, focusing on amino acids along with a moderate amount of caffeine.
- AminoLean Evolved – The original AminoLean...
- Energy & Focus You Can Feel – Utilizes a...
- Performance & Pump – Combines cutting-edge...
- Premium EAAs + BCAAs - Delivers a full...
GAT Sport: PMP
GAT is a huge brand in the fitness world and is known for its quality sports supplements. Just like the others we've covered so far, PMP pre-workout contains theanine which is perfect for focus and energy at the gym.
In addition, citrulline helps increase blood flow and oxygen through vasodilation, which will push endurance to the next level.
Frequently Asked Pre-Workout Jitters Questions
Does C4 pre-workout give you jitters?
Yes, C4 Pre-Workout jitters are common. As caffeine is one of the primary ingredients in C4 pre-workout supplementation, it's not unheard of to experience jitters.
How long do jitters from pre-workout generally last?
Typically, they won't last longer than an hour. If they last longer than this, it's a smart idea to consult a healthcare professional.
Does milk help with caffeine jitters?
Yes, if you drink milk, it can help as the proteins in milk take longer to break down, helping slow down caffeine from being released into the body.
Does salt help with caffeine jitters?
While salt can help in reducing inflammation, it’s yet to be determined if a salt supplement helps with caffeine jitters.
If you’re looking to get rid of jitters from pre-workout ingredients, follow this guide and you won’t have a problem getting into the routine. A good pre-workout makes you feel powerful at the gym and should only offer you benefits.
There are countless supplements out there, and by following our advice, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect one to accompany your workout routine.
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Last Updated on January 13, 2023