October 7, 2021

Will Alcohol Interact With Your Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout could be described as a supplement. The supplement which increase your ability to perform on the gym’s floor. Dan Duchaine, a California bodybuilder, created the first supplement “Ultimate Orange” in 1982. A huge hit it was. Particularly in the weightlifting and bodybuilding communities. They’re a fitness must-have for all, and they come in a variety of forms.

According to Grand View Research, Inc., pre-workouts are so in demand. There expected worth is $23.8 billion worldwide by 2027.

Lynn O’Connor, Director of Colon and Rectal Surgery in New York, explains that pre-workout supplements can be multi-ingredient dietary formulations. They often include amino acids, vitamins, B vitamins, creatine (said for improving physical performance) and artificial sweeteners. The common ingredients are 5-HTP, spikes in serotonin, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which help reduce pain and speed up recovery, and electrolytes. These provide sodium, potassium and magnesium for optimal hydration.

Be careful. Pre-workouts don’t have to be a requirement for everyone. Some have some risks. For the complete download on pre-workout supplement, we asked experts to discuss how alcohol could impact your pre-workout. You can read their full responses below.


  • Lynn O’Connor MD, MPH is Director of Colon and Rectal Surgery in New York.
  • Christina Campbell, DO is a functional medicine doctor who specializes in lifestyle medicine including nutrition and supplementation.

What Types of Pre-Workout Are Available?

Pre-workouts are used for various purposes. They help power you up. This can be through a workout, improve your endurance, or enhance your mind/body focus. O’Connor says that they come in many forms, including powders, capsules and chews as well as liquids and shakes. Most often, they contain carbohydrates, beet juices, caffeine, and creatine monohydrate. These ingredients help improve exercise performance. They provide additional carbohydrate energy sources.

Pre-workouts are trendy, but many people spend unnecessary money on products they don’t use. Christina Campbell, a functional medicine doctor, says that there are many options for pre-workout supplements. However, each person’s goals and individual needs will vary. For example, someone with chronic fatigue may need a supplement to increase energy and help the muscles use nutrients. A supplement to treat joint pain is another example. This can be a great option for pain relief and recovery, and it may even be the best choice before you start exercising.

Can Alcohol Interfere With Your Pre-Workout?

Campbell says that alcohol can make you feel great sometimes. However, Campbell warns that mixing happy hour and a pre-workout could negate the supplement’s effects. “As soon the alcohol enters the bloodstream, your liver starts its detoxification process to remove it. While it is busy, your body can’t use the nutrients from your pre-workout.

She also explains that supplements like B vitamins, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, alpha-lipoic acids, and many more are taken into usage for body and cell’s mitochondria. This is to detoxify the alcohol, not to improve the workout.

Campbell says that pre-workout supplements that contain caffeine can compete with alcohol for liver detox. This can lead to increased blood alcohol levels and slow down detoxification. In case you didn’t know, an increased heart rate can cause problems and even pose a risk to your health.

The Downsides of Mixing Alcohol With a Workout

Although alcohol may lower inhibitions, it can also lead to increased injury risk. These inhibitions protect us from making mistakes that could lead to injury. Recovery is impeded through alcohol’s pro-inflammatory properties. The alcohol will negate your supplement in the best-case scenario. Campbell suggests that you avoid the combination of these two substances before starting your workout.

Mixing alcohol with pre-workout can have more serious consequences. O’Connor explains that some supplements are metabolized in the liver. This effect can lead to or worsen liver problems. She also suggests doing research on supplementation. As many of the products available are not regulated under the FDA.

Alcohol can cause problems during a workout, whether you drink it before or after.

Connor recommends that you allow your body to recover from alcohol consumption while still exercising. “In addition to alcohol being a toxin, the body immediately wants to eliminate it – this is the role of liver which prioritizes metabolizing alcohol over fat. This causes a buildup of fatty acids. These acids are now used by the body to fuel itself. This happens instead of burning body fat. Alcohol may also affect muscle protein synthesis. This may impact repair and growth, negating any workout’s effect.

The Bottom Line

Experts agree that it is best to avoid drinking alcohol. Especially when close to your pre-workout. Also, allow enough time for the alcohol to metabolize between them. O’Connor says that it is important to stay hydrated before you exercise. This will prevent muscle cramping and, worse, falling asleep. A healthy person can process one unit of alcohol in approximately two hours. The rate of metabolism will vary. It depends on how much you drink. Furthermore, it also depends on the usage of medications.

Alcohol is an essential part of our social lives. If you cannot avoid it, you should stick to one or two to keep your fitness levels high. Campbell suggests that you choose your beverage according to your body’s needs. Campbell also recommends drinking a few with plenty of water. “Enjoy your drink alongside food to reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes and slow down absorption.”