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How Long Does Pre-Workout Sickness Last And How To Get Rid Of It?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 13, 2023

Feeling pumped and ready to hit the gym, only to be suddenly struck by pre-workout sickness?

Don't worry, you're not alone.

In fact, a significant number of gym-goers experience this unpleasant sensation, which can include nausea, dizziness, and even headaches.

The good news is that there are ways to combat this issue and make your workout experience enjoyable once again.

In this article, we'll explore the causes of pre-workout sickness and provide practical tips on how to get rid of it.

Taking a pre-workout is a nice experience, that doesn’t result in you feeling off of your game.

So, let's dive in and help you get back on track.

Why Does Pre-Workout Sickness Happen?

Before we discuss how to get rid of pre-workout sickness, it's essential to understand what causes it.

Pre-workout supplements are designed to enhance your energy and performance during workouts, but for some people, they can also cause unwanted side effects. [1, 2]

Primary Causes of Pre-Workout Sickness

Here are the six main reasons people experience pre workout sickness:

  • Overdosing on pre workout supplements: Consuming too much can lead to an overdose, causing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to specific ingredients, leading to hives, itching, and difficulty breathing.
  • Caffeine sensitivity: Excessive caffeine intake can cause jitters, anxiety, and nausea, especially for those who are sensitive to the stimulant.
  • Dehydration: Pre workout supplements can cause dehydration, which can lead to dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
  • Interaction with other medications: Certain pre workout ingredients can interact with medications, such as blood thinners, causing adverse reactions.
  • Not taking the recommended dosage: Consuming more than the suggested amount can lead to side effects like nausea and dizziness.

Now that we've identified the primary causes, let's explore how to get rid of pre workout sickness effectively.

How To Get Rid Of Pre-Workout Sickness

Experiencing pre-workout sickness can be a real setback to your workout routine, but don't worry, there are ways to alleviate it.

First and foremost, stop taking the supplement immediately if you feel sick after consuming it.

Hydrate yourself well, as dehydration can often exacerbate feelings of nausea.

Try sipping on water, or even a sports drink to replenish lost electrolytes.

If you've taken the supplement on an empty stomach, consider eating a light snack.

Foods like bananas, rice, or applesauce can be easy on the stomach and help reduce nausea.

Rest is also crucial.

Lay down and try to relax until the feeling passes.

If the sickness persists, it's important to seek medical attention.

A healthcare professional can provide guidance and rule out any potential allergic reactions.

In the future, consider taking a lower dose of the supplement, or switching to a different brand.

Remember, everyone's body reacts differently to supplements, so it might take some trial and error to find what works best for you.

Always prioritize your health and comfort when incorporating supplements into your workout routine.

Addressing Overdosing Issues

If you suspect that you've overdosed on your pre-workout supplement, the first step is to stop taking it immediately.

Then:

  • Hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water
  • Rest and avoid strenuous activity
  • Monitor your symptoms and consult with a doctor if they worsen
  • Take over-the-counter medication for symptoms like headache, nausea, or vomiting
  • Follow a balanced diet

To prevent overdosing in the future, make sure to follow the recommended dosage on the supplement label and gradually increase your intake over time.

Managing Allergic Reactions

If you're experiencing an allergic reaction to your pre-workout supplement, take the following steps:

  • Stop taking the supplement immediately
  • Take antihistamines to alleviate symptoms
  • Use a cold compress to soothe itching or hives
  • Seek medical attention if experiencing severe symptoms
  • Identify the allergen and avoid it in the future
  • Keep an epinephrine auto-injector handy if you have a history of severe allergic reactions
  • Consult with a doctor to develop a plan for managing symptoms and preventing future reactions

Tackling Caffeine Sensitivity

If you're experiencing pre workout sickness due to caffeine sensitivity, try the following:

  • Reduce your caffeine intake throughout the day
  • Gradually increase your pre workout caffeine intake over time
  • Take caffeine earlier in the day to minimize its impact on sleep
  • Hydrate yourself and monitor your symptoms
  • Consult with a doctor if you have pre-existing medical conditions or if symptoms persist
  • Try alternative supplements that do not contain caffeine

Preventing Dehydration

To avoid dehydration-related pre workout sickness, make sure to:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout
  • Replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks or eating foods high in electrolytes
  • Monitor your fluid intake and adjust it accordingly

Minimizing Interactions with Other Medications

If your pre-workout sickness is caused by interactions with other medications, do the following:

  • Stop taking the supplement immediately
  • Consult with a doctor or healthcare professional to determine if the supplement is safe for you to take
  • Monitor your symptoms and adjust your pre workout regimen accordingly
  • Check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly
  • Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Try alternative supplements that don't interact with your medications

Adhering to Recommended Dosage

To prevent pre workout sickness from not taking the recommended dosage:

  • Follow the recommended dosage on the label
  • Gradually increase your dosage over time
  • Monitor your symptoms and make adjustments as needed
  • Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated

What To Do If You're Already Experiencing Pre Workout Sickness

If you're currently dealing with pre workout sickness, follow these steps:

  • Have a small snack to help settle your stomach
  • Start your workout slowly and see if nausea subsides
  • If symptoms persist or worsen, go home and rest until you feel better

How To Prevent Pre-Workout Sickness

Understand your body's response: Everyone's body reacts differently to supplements.

Pay attention to how your body responds and adjust your intake accordingly.

  • Stay hydrated: Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to prevent dehydration [4]
  • Check the ingredients: If you're allergic to any ingredient, look for a supplement that doesn't contain it
  • Follow the recommended dosage: Always stick to the recommended dosage to avoid overdosing

Preventing pre-workout sickness is crucial to maintaining your workout routine and achieving your fitness goals.

Here are some more detailed tips on how you can avoid feeling sick after taking your pre-workout supplement:

Understand your body's response: This is perhaps the most important tip.

Everyone's body reacts differently to supplements.

Some people might have a high tolerance for caffeine, while others might be sensitive to it.

Some might be allergic to certain ingredients, while others might not.

Paying close attention to how your body responds to a pre-workout supplement can help you adjust your intake accordingly.

If you notice that a particular supplement makes you feel sick, it might be a good idea to switch to a different one.

There are varying dosages of caffeine in these pre-workouts so you can pick one that fits your tolerance.

Stay hydrated:

Pre-workout supplements can cause dehydration, which can lead to nausea and other unpleasant symptoms.

To prevent this, make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

This will help keep your body hydrated and reduce the risk of pre-workout sickness.

Check the ingredients

Always check the ingredients list before buying a pre-workout supplement.

If you're allergic to any ingredient, look for a supplement that doesn't contain it.

Also, be wary of supplements that contain a high amount of caffeine, especially if you're sensitive to it.

Follow the recommended dosage

Overdosing on pre-workout supplements can lead to nausea and other adverse effects.

Always stick to the recommended dosage to avoid this.

If the recommended dosage makes you feel sick, try reducing it and see if that helps.

Eat a light meal: Taking pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach can cause nausea.

To prevent this, try eating a light meal or snack before taking your supplement.

However, avoid eating too much as this can also lead to discomfort.

Eat a Light Meal

Taking pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach can cause nausea.

To prevent this, try eating a light meal or snack before taking your supplement.

However, avoid eating too much as this can also lead to discomfort.

Give it time

Taking your pre-workout supplement just before starting your workout can make you feel sick.

To prevent this, take your supplement at least 30 minutes before your workout.

This will give your body enough time to absorb the supplement.

Consult with a healthcare professional

If you're unsure about which pre-workout supplement to take or how much to take, consult with a healthcare professional.

They can provide you with personalized advice based on your health condition and fitness goals.

How Much Caffeine Should You Take?

Caffeine: it's the secret sauce in your pre-workout supplement that gets you all pumped up.

But here's the thing: too much of it can do more harm than good.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives us the magic number: 400 milligrams.

That's the safe daily caffeine limit for most healthy adults.

To put that into perspective, it's about four cups of your morning brew, ten cola cans, or two energy-shot drinks.

But remember, we're all unique, and some of us might start feeling jittery even with less.

Now, here's where things get interesting.

A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association dropped a bombshell: chugging down 32 ounces of an energy drink (containing roughly 320 mg of caffeine) can spike your blood pressure and heart rate to potentially dangerous levels.

And if you thought that was all, brace yourself.

Healthline's article "9 Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine" lists out the horrors of caffeine overdose: anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, muscle breakdown, addiction, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, fatigue, and frequent urination.

And remember, caffeine's effects can stick around for hours, messing with your sleep if you take it later in the day.

So, what's the bottom line?

When it comes to pre-workout supplements, always check the caffeine content.

And don't forget to account for other caffeine sources you might be consuming (think coffee, tea, chocolate, and certain meds).

If you're caffeine-sensitive, consider going for a caffeine-free pre-workout or cutting down your overall caffeine intake to dodge these side effects.

And here's my final piece of advice: always, always consult with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist before starting any new supplement regimen.

Especially if you have underlying health conditions, or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

They can give you advice tailored to your health status and needs.

Because when it comes to your health, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach.

Choosing a Pre-Workout That Doesn't Make You Nauseous

Choosing the right supplement can make a world of difference.

Look for one that contains ingredients that you're not allergic to and has a caffeine content that suits your tolerance level.

To find a pre-workout that won't cause nausea, consider these tips:

  • Read the label and look for supplements low in caffeine and allergens
  • Start with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time
  • Be aware of any ingredients to which you may be sensitive
  • Check for user reviews to see if others have experienced stomach issues with the supplement
  • Consult with your doctor if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medication

FAQs

How long does pre-workout sickness last?

Generally, pre-workout sickness can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

However, this duration can vary based on several factors such as your body's reaction to the supplement, the type of supplement, and the dosage.

Does taking pre workout on an empty stomach cause sickness?

While it doesn't happen 100% of the time, taking pre-workout on an empty stomach can increase the risk of pre-workout sickness.

Two ingredients specifically, creatine and caffeine, tend to cause discomfort when taken on an empty stomach.

Do all pre workouts cause nausea?

Not all pre-workouts cause nausea.

If you're experiencing nausea after taking a pre-workout supplement, try reducing the amount you take, altering how much water you drink with it, or adding a small pre-workout snack.

Should you stop taking pre-workout if you get sick?

If you experience mild nausea that passes quickly, you can continue taking the pre-workout while monitoring your symptoms.

However, if you experience vomiting or persistent nausea, try a different product or stop taking pre-workouts altogether.

Will a stimulant-free pre-workout still make you sick?

Stimulant-free pre-workouts may still cause stomach upset, but they are less likely to do so.

If you suspect that stimulants are causing your pre-workout sickness, try a stimulant-free option.

Can pre-workout make you throw up?

Yes, in some cases, pre-workout can cause nausea and vomiting, especially if you overdose or are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Conclusion

And there you have it!

A comprehensive guide on pre-workout sickness and its duration.

Remember, while pre-workout supplements can boost your performance, it's essential to choose the right one and use it correctly.

Listen to your body, stay hydrated, and don't hesitate to seek medical attention if the symptoms persist. 

After all, your health should always be your top priority.

Stay fit, stay healthy!

Please note that this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Now, it's your turn.

Have you ever experienced pre-workout sickness?

How long did it last? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on general knowledge and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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