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Can Pre-Workout Kill You? (Serious Risks Explained)

Did you hear about the dangers of pre workout?

From dehydration to heart risks, these are some of the side effects that seem to follow pre-workouts everywhere.

Can pre workouts kill you? Yes, however, before panicking, it is important to note that deaths associated with pre-workout supplements use are relatively rare and the precise cause of death in these cases is often difficult to determine, as other factors may be involved.

But can pre workout kill you? That is an important question, and deserves a closer look.

Can Pre-Workout Kill You? (Serious Risks Explained)

Can Pre-Workout Kill You?

Before answering the question “Can pre-workout kill you?”, let’s have a look at pre-workout, in particular what they are and why they are getting so popular. First of all, pre-workout supplements are a popular type of dietary supplement used by people who want to enhance their physical performance during exercise.

These supplements are typically taken before a workout session to help improve endurance, strength, focus, and overall energy levels. Pre-workouts are commonly used by athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, and their consumption has grown in the last few years .

Pre-workout supplements are made up of a combination of ingredients that are designed to work together to provide a range of benefits. Some of the most common ingredients include:

  • Caffeine
  • Creatine
  • Beta-alanine
  • B-vitamins
  • Nitric oxide boosters.

While pre-workout supplements can provide benefits for exercise performance, it’s important to note that they can also have potential side effects. The aggravation of these side effects in certain situations may lead to death.


How Pre-Workout Could Kill You?

Although the specific cause of death can be difficult to determine, as there may be other contributing factors like underlying health conditions, causes of death might be related to a pre workout overdose of one or more of the ingredients (for instance caffeine), to a wrong consumption way (for example dry scooping) or when it is mixed with other products that should not be present in the preworkout. 

Caffeine Overdose

Some causes of death associated with pre-workout supplement use are related to the overstimulation of the heart and cardiovascular system, which can lead to cardiac arrest, arrhythmias, and other cardiac events.

This overstimulation can be caused by the combination of high doses of caffeine, other stimulants, and potentially harmful ingredients, as well as underlying health conditions, such as hypertension or heart disease.

It’s generally accepted that the safety limit of caffeine ingestion in a day is 400 milligrams (mg). Although to reach an overdose condition, we should ingest a much higher amount in a short period of time, it’s recommended to monitor your daily caffeine intake.

How Pre-Workout Could Kill You?

Dry Scooping Leading To Choking Or Heart Attack

Dry scooping pre-workout is a practice where individuals consume pre-workout powder directly without mixing it with water or any other liquid. This method of consumption has become popular in recent years, especially among fitness enthusiasts, as it is believed to offer a more potent and immediate effect.

However, dry scooping pre-workout can be risky as it can lead to choking, difficulty breathing, and even heart attack in some cases. The dry powder can irritate the mouth and throat, causing inflammation and swelling, which can lead to respiratory distress.

Potentially quicker absorption of pre-workout ingredients might be overwhelming to the body and may cause adverse effects such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems.

Side Effects of Pre-Workouts

1. Risk Of Cardiovascular Disorders

Increased heart rate and blood pressure due to their stimulant ingredients such as caffeine. This can lead to feelings of jitteriness, anxiety, and potentially dangerous cardiovascular effects in susceptible individuals.

2. Insomnia

Insomnia and restlessness are possible side effects of pre-workout supplements due to the presence of stimulants such as caffeine and other ingredients that may disrupt sleep patterns. These effects may vary depending on various factors, for example an individual’s tolerance, sensitivity to the supplement and the amount consumed.


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3. Digestive issues and dehydration

Digestive issues are a common side effect of pre-workout supplements. These supplements contain ingredients such as creatine and beta-alanine, which in some cases can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. Moreover, Pre-workout supplements often contain caffeine which acts as a diuretic and can increase the risk of dehydration, especially when combined with exercise.

4. Headache

Headaches: Pre-workout supplements may contain ingredients that can cause headaches, such as caffeine and nitric oxide boosters like arginine or citrulline that have been reported to cause headaches in some individuals.

5. Skin Rash And Paraesthesia

Skin rash is characterized by redness, itching, and irritation on the skin. This could be caused by various ingredients such as niacin and beta-alanine. Niacin can cause flushing and itching, beta-alanine can cause tingling and itching, and caffeine can cause skin irritation.

side effect of pre-workout supplements

6. Risk Of Liver Damage

Some studies have suggested that multi-ingredient supplements can have adverse effects on liver health, including liver damage. This may be due to the high doses of certain ingredients such as caffeine and nitric oxide precursors found in many pre-workout supplements.

These compounds have been shown to cause liver injury in some individuals, particularly when used in high doses or for prolonged periods. In addition, certain pre-workout supplements may interact with prescription medications, leading to liver damage.

What Happens If You Take Too Much Pre Workout?

When you take too much pre workout, you may experience various symptoms that can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. These symptoms may include:

  • Rapid heartbeat or irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
Too Much Pre Workout

How To Calm Down From Pre-Workout?

 When you take too much pre-workout supplement, you may experience symptoms such as anxiety, jitters, or rapid heart rate.

So, what to do if you take too much pre workout?

There are several steps you can take to help calm down:

  • Seek medical attention if necessary: If your symptoms are severe or persistent, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Stop exercising immediately: Continuing to exercise can worsen the symptoms and put additional stress on your body.
  • Hydrate: Drinking water with electrolytes can help flush the excess supplements out of your system and help prevent dehydration.
  • Breathe deeply: Take slow, deep breaths to help regulate your heart rate and calm your mind.
  • Rest: Find a quiet and calm environment to rest and recover.
Calm Down From Pre-Workout

Some Guidelines When Taking Pre-Workout

Taking too much pre workout may lead to several side effects; to avoid them, it is important to follow these guidelines:

Read and always follow the recommended dosage instructions on the product label. Do not exceed the recommended dose – usually it will lead to more harm than good.

Choose pre-workout supplements from reliable companies to ensure that they are free from banned substances and meet quality standards.

Be cautious when trying new supplements, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Stay well hydrated by drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise. Add some carbohydrates and electrolytes if needed.

Monitor your daily caffeine consumption to avoid caffeine excessive intake, which can lead to adverse side effects.

Take breaks from using pre-workout supplements to allow your body to rest and recover.

Avoid taking pre-workout supplements if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications without consulting your doctor.

Stimulant Free, Natural Option

Promix Pre-Workout

As already mentioned, some of the reasons for pre-workout side-effects are a caffeine overdose or the presence of banned products. Looking for a more natural alternative? Look no further than Promix Pre-Workout.

This new formula is sugar and caffeine free and contains substances such as tyrosine and beta-alanine that may increase mental focus and reduce fatigue during exercise. Last, Promix Pre-Workout is rich in vitamin C – an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports the production and function of various immune cells.

Promix Pre-Workout Instagram
Photo by @trailjenny


Can You Die From Pre Workout?

In rare cases yes, but only if you overdose it or/and if you mix it with other banned substances and/or stimulants.

What Ingredients In Pre-Workout Can Kill Me?

Depends on the formula but generally the main ingredient that can increase the risk of death is caffeine, when overdosed or/and mixed with other stimulants or medications.

Can You Overdose On Pre Workout?

Yes, one of the most common is the caffeine overdose, and it happens when for example you exceed your daily safety limit of caffeine.

How To Calm Down From Pre Workout?

Stop exercising, drink water, try to find a relaxing place where you can breathe calmly. It’s never a bad idea to call a doctor.

Should I Take Pre-Workout If I Have Any Pre-Existing Medical Condition Or Are Taking Any Medications? 

If you have any pre-existing medical condition or are taking any medications, you should consult with a healthcare professional before taking any pre-workout supplements.


In conclusion, pre-workout may have a lot of benefits for those who want to achieve their fitness goals, such as increasing strength, endurance, and muscle growth. However, it is important to consider all the side effects, the worst one although it’s rare, could be the death.

To minimize all the risks, be sure that you’re following correct guidelines and you do not have any pre-existing medical conditions that may interact negatively with the supplements that you want to take.

Remember that engaging in any activity that disrupts or offsets regular high-quality sleep, or its duration, such as staying up late or consuming stimulants close to bedtime, will counteract the potential health benefits of that activity.

It is important to prioritize adequate and restful sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle to optimize the benefits of other positive habits and behaviors.

I hope now you have a more clear idea about pre-workout supplements, please tell me your thoughts about the argument.

Also read:


  1. Common Ingredient Profiles of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements // MDPI:
  2. Common Habits, Adverse Events, and Opinions Regarding Pre-Workout Supplement Use Among Regular Consumers // MDPI: /2072-6643/11/4/855
  3. Dangerous mistake: an accidental caffeine overdose // BMJjournals: content/2018/ bcr-2018-224185.short
  4. Hemorrhagic Stroke in a Young Healthy Male Following Use of Pre-Workout Supplement Animal Rage XL // Oxford academic: /milmed/article/182/9-10 /e2030/4627054

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Jacek Szymanowski

Author: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance Architect,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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