Can You Take Pre-Workout While Breastfeeding – Is It Safe?

If you're a new mom looking to get back into your early morning workout but aren't sure if you can take pre-workout while breastfeeding, we’re here to help.

Here, we'll provide you with everything you need to know about whether you can take pre-workout, what to look out for, which supplements are good for you, and more.

Exercising can not only help new moms to lose weight, but it also keeps the body healthy and promotes normal functioning.

If you're a new mom that wants to start getting back into your training sessions, you may be looking at having a pre-workout drink to help with your workout performance.

The good news is that you can take pre-workout while breastfeeding. That being said, there are a number of things to take into consideration when selecting your pre-workout product.

Track Caffeine Intake

For breastfeeding mothers, caffeine intake is a big thing, and it is recommended to limit caffeine consumption, as it does pass through your breastmilk.

So how much caffeine can you take? Breastfeeding mothers should have no more than between 200 and 300mg of caffeine each day.

While some babies can tolerate caffeine more than others, too much caffeine is never ideal.

To start, you can consider using a small scoop of pre-workout to see how your baby tolerates it.

However, it's also important to keep in mind that pre-workout can often make you feel jittery, and this can be passed on to your baby.

Where possible, you should try and use a stimulant-free option instead. If you're using a stimulant-free pre-workout, you won’t need to be as cautious, but you should still start slow.

Related Article - How Much Caffeine Is In Popular Pre-Workouts?

Stay Hydrated

Pre-workouts usually affect metabolism and provide you with a short burst of endless energy during a workout.

What this means is that you could be pushing yourself more as you’ve got better physical endurance.

When you start throwing a training session or two in the mix, it's important that you've got sufficient fluid intake and are drinking large amounts of water to stay hydrated.

Dehydration is a common culprit behind a decrease in milk supply, so make sure that you're drinking plenty of water to avoid that.

Breastfeeding moms should drink at least 16 cups of water each day.

Read Also - How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

Read Label Instructions Carefully

Most pre-workout supplements clearly state the ingredients (such as beta-alanine, green tea, sweeteners, etc.) on their labels, and you'll be able to know if there's too much or too little of a certain ingredient.

However, some proprietary blends do not disclose their ingredient ratios.

Pre-workouts can contain plenty of ingredients, from artificial sweeteners to supplements, sweeteners, beta-alanine, and more.

Ensure you're always reading the label instructions carefully, so you know which pre-workouts to avoid.

If you're not sure, you can always check out lists made by other moms on what the best pre-workout for breastfeeding moms are.

As a side note, ensure that you're never mixing pre-workout, taking more than what's recommended, and always ask a physician if you have any questions.

You should also avoid alcohol when you're consuming pre-workout.

woman laying in bed next to her baby and a cup of coffee

Pre-Workout Benefits For Breastfeeding Moms

While there are some things that you’d need to take into consideration, there are benefits to taking pre-workout while breastfeeding.

These include:

  • Getting a boost of energy and stamina
  • Weight loss
  • Improved mood
  • Having better endurance for workouts

Ultimately, exercise may also help with early recovery from changes during pregnancy and delivery.

The burst of energy that breastfeeding moms get from pre-workouts is better than that from sugary energy drinks.


Negative Pre-Workout Side Effects For Nursing Moms

While there are benefits to consuming pre-workout while breastfeeding, there are also some negative pre-workout side effects such as:

  • Gut problems such as bloating and nausea
  • An allergic reaction to an ingredient
  • Weight gain
  • General intolerance

In addition, there can be certain instances where the pre-workout supplement doesn't label its ingredients in detail.

With that, there's no guarantee that the pre-workout supplements have the ingredients it says it contains and does not contain any other unlisted ingredients.

This could cause potentially problematic factors in the long run.

Some of the favorite pre-workouts out there with flavors such as fruit punch and strawberry lemonade could also have large amounts of artificial sweeteners and more calories that would not be ideal for breastfeeding moms.

See Also - What Are The Side Effects Of Pre-Workout Supplements?

woman sitting on yoga mat with her baby

Supplements For Breastfeeding Moms (Safest Ingredients)

You can take a pre-workout supplement or two while you’re breastfeeding.

If you're looking to add some pre-workout supplementation to the mix, here are a few recommendations with safe ingredients.

Related Article - What To Look For In Pre-Workout

100% Whey Protein

Protein is essential for maintaining a healthy body, and as it's already a part of your regular diet, a supplementary dose wouldn't hurt.

Just make sure, however, that you're monitoring your little one as he or she may not be able to process the extra amounts of protein as quickly, and this could lead to an upset stomach.

Creatine Monohydrate

Another supplement that’s a great building block for muscle growth, Creatine Monohydrate helps bind protein to the muscle tissue and help it recover at a faster rate.

It generally helps with muscle fatigue and is a dietary supplement amino acid that's extremely popular.

While it shouldn't affect your child in any way, you should always exercise caution.

Learn More - How Does Creatine Affect Your Body?

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)

Like Creatine Monohydrate, this is another group of amino acids that helps with sore muscles and hitting your fitness goals.

BCAAs help with getting rid of lactic acid and is excellent for reducing daily fatigue.

It comes with minimal negative effects but make sure that you're paying attention to your child's behavior and monitor their overall health.

B Vitamins

There has been scientific evidence that B Vitamins help breastfeeding moms regain energy. Some of the more common B Vitamins taken include B1, B2, B5, and B3.

These are supplements that are fine to take since they contain natural ingredients that are safe for both you and your baby.

Nitric Oxide Boosters (Arginine)

Nitric Oxide Boosters help with dilating the veins and ensuring that there’s sufficient blood flow to every organ.

It’s generally breastfeeding safe and is known to provide mothers with more energy.

Pre-workout with Small Amounts of Caffeine

Pre-workouts with caffeine are generally not recommended as the caffeine transfers through the breast milk to your child, and this could lead to potentially dangerous complications.

While you shouldn't consume large amounts of caffeine, pre-workouts with minimal caffeine content are alright.

Make sure that you're also taking that coffee you're drinking every morning into consideration!

If you don't drink coffee, you'll likely be given the green light to use pre-workout, but avoid pre-workouts with caffeine extract or any form of caffeine if you’re treading dangerously close to your maximum consumption.

Related Article - How Does Caffeine Affect Your Body?

young mom working out on yoga mat with her baby

Supplements Nursing Moms Should Avoid

While the above supplements can be used in moderation, here are some supplements that breastfeeding women should avoid.

Fat Burners

Fat burners are a pre-workout supplement that typically contains ingredients such as caffeine and ephedra to assist with athletic performance.

As mentioned above, excess caffeine can be detrimental to your child's health.

Ephedra, on the other hand, is not on the FDA-approved ingredients list as it contains drug-like effects that resembles a shot of adrenaline.

When taking supplements, you should also avoid weight loss supplements as you shouldn't be in a calorie deficit.

Your little one should be gaining weight during this period of time and not losing weight.

Read More - Fat Burners Vs Pre-Workouts

CBD and Essential Oils

While they are two separate things, both CBD and essential oils are on the same controversial list.

Even though there might be research out there about the positive effects of both, there isn't sufficient research pertaining to the effects of CBD on breast milk.

Essential oils are the same, where extremely concentrated versions are known to have adverse effects which are not ideal.

Airborne and Emergen-C

Dietary supplements such as Airborne and Emergen-C are not recommended while breastfeeding.

There aren't sufficient studies to show their effectiveness and safety, and the dosage within these supplements exceeds the recommended dose. [1]

If you're worried about getting ill, it's best to take a probiotic and focus on having a healthy diet that's focused on the nutritional value of your ingredients.

glass with orange liquid next to emergen-c packet

Special Considerations For Nursing Moms & Fitness

Below are some other things to take into consideration for nursing mothers and fitness.

Listen To Your Postpartum Body

While it might be tempting to jump right into a sweaty workout - especially if you’re worried about dealing with a postpartum body, it’s important that you’re listening to your body and what it needs.

With a baby, you'll be juggling a busy schedule, and the last thing you'd want is to tire yourself out and add increased stress because you feel the need to incorporate a workout.

Instead, focus on healthy living and eating a nutritious diet.

You’ve Had a C-Section

If your child was born through a cesarean section, you’ll need to wait for your scar to heal before you start setting up a workout plan again.

The last thing you want is to start working out again and for it to cause unnecessary complications such as potentially accidentally reopening your scar.

You Didn’t Exercise During Pregnancy

While exercising does help with both a healthy mind and energy levels, if you haven’t done a workout for a prolonged period of time, it’s best to take it easy.

Rather than jumping right into a workout, start by incorporating light resistance band exercises into your routine.

Avoid overexerting yourself as it could cause more harm than good.

You Are Training For An Event

If you’re training for something specific, there’s nothing wrong with exercising, but you need to ensure that you’re staying hydrated.

Being dehydrated can mess with your bodily functions - especially your milk supply.

You should also try to take note of the buildup of lactic acid within your body and avoid going for an insane push during your workout.

While not proven, some mothers have claimed that the extra lactic acid ends up making breast milk taste more sour.

mom doing russian twists with her baby

Safe & Easy Workouts For New Moms

Workouts can help with increased energy, so there’s nothing wrong with incorporating it within your day. Here are some tips on safe and easy workouts [2] for new moms:

  1. 1
    Walking is a great workout that can help with boosting energy.
  2. 2
    Lower impact workouts such as yoga and Pilates are great to incorporate into your routine.
  3. 3
    Kegel exercises can help with strengthening your pelvic muscles.
  4. 4
    Low impact exercises are available on YouTube, but it's up to your own personal opinion on which instructor to select.

Frequently Asked Pre-Workout & Breastfeeding Questions

How long after taking pre-workouts can I breastfeed?

You can breastfeed 2-3 hours after taking pre-workout products as the caffeine, sugar, beta-alanine, and other products within the pre-workout will stay in the milk for about 2 hours or so.

How long does pre-workout stay in your system while breastfeeding?

If you’re having pre-workout while breastfeeding, it can stay about 6 to 12 hours, but the concentration does change. Caffeine is highest during the first 2-3 hours, but it disappears quickly after a couple of hours.

Can pre-workout cause acne?

Yes, many pre-workout supplements are known to contain chemicals that can trigger acne. If you’re worried, try opting for a plant-based drink mix or one that’s naturally sweetened and made with organic ingredients.

Related Article - What You Should Know About Pre-Workout & Acne

Is Alani Nu pre-workout safe for breastfeeding moms?

Yes, you can use Alani Nu pre-workout while you're breastfeeding. It's a nursing-safe pre-workout as it contains 200mg of caffeine per serving.


Conclusion

You can absolutely work out while breastfeeding, and in fact, there are many positive effects from doing so.

When it comes to having a pre-workout while breastfeeding, however, make sure you’re taking the ingredients within the pre-workout supplements into consideration.

If you're sure it's safe for your child and have consulted the necessary medical professionals, there's nothing wrong with pre-workout supplements while breastfeeding.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/breastfeeding-vitamins#airborne-and-emergen-c 
  2. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/6-exercises-for-new-moms  

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

Paul J