Pre-workout supplements have risen in popularity over the past few years to rank among the most popular sports nutrition products worldwide. Their development has also coincided with a number of other fitness fads, with intermittent fasting being a standout.
Naturally, this implies that a lot of common drinks, such as sodas, energy drinks, sweetened coffee, etc. – are off-limits during a fast. Does this mean that pre-workout drinks are also banned? Prior to working out, do you fast?
This question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no because it depends on the type of fast you are keeping (for religious or health reasons) and the pre-workout you are taking. The pre-workout supplements that will break your fast and those that won’t can be found in the following paragraphs.
What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?
Pre-workout supplements are a specific category of food items designed to prepare a person’s body for vigorous exercise. Common ingredients in these products include caffeine, various B vitamins, and beta alanine, all of which are intended to stimulate the central nervous system and improve cardiovascular function.
Pre-workouts vary between brands and individual serving sizes, but will generally include one to two stimulant compounds, food coloring, and some sort of flavorant that masks the otherwise unpleasant taste of the rest of the ingredients.
The majority of exercisers use pre-workout supplements to boost their overall performance because many of the substances typically found in pre-workout supplements, such as caffeine, BCAAs, and creatine, have been clinically shown to quickly improve physical performance.
Pre-workout supplements are designed to sustain an exerciser throughout their workout, improve their post-workout recovery and enable them to function at a higher physical level temporarily.
What is Fasting?
When people refer to fasting in a fitness sense, however, they’re generally referring to intermittent fasting, which involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating, normally on a regular schedule. As an illustration, one well-known intermittent fasting diet calls for you to fast for 16 hours each day and eat during the remaining 8 hours.
Another suggests fasting for 20 hours with a feeding window of four hours, while a third suggests fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week and eating normally on the other five or six days. “Fasting” in this sense, doesn’t just refer to periods of time that you refrain from eating—it has to do with how your body processes and absorbs the food you eat.
Food is broken down into a variety of molecules when you eat it, and these molecules are then released into your blood. Insulin transports these molecules into cells from there. When your body is digesting and absorbing what you’ve eaten, and insulin levels are still high, your body is in a fed or postprandial state (prandial means having to do with a meal).
Will Pre-workout Break Your Fast?
I realize that’s probably not the response you were looking for, but it depends.
Let’s break it down, though:
First, it depends on the purpose of your fast.
A pre-workout will break your fast if you are fasting for religious reasons and are required to forgo all food and drink.
Whether or not your pre-workout meal breaks your fast depends on the ingredients it contains if you’re using a fasting protocol for health, fitness, or weight loss, such as intermittent fasting, alternate-day fasting, or the 5:2 diet.
Generally speaking, the performance-enhancing ingredients in pre-workout supplements don’t contain calories and thus won’t break your fast. The problem is, they don’t always taste particularly good—you’ll know this all too well if you’ve ever chugged a serving of unflavored beta-alanine before a fasted workout.
In order to combat this, supplement manufacturers add various sweeteners and flavors to their products, such as dextrose, maltodextrin, and sugar (and sugar alcohols like sorbitol, maltitol, and xylitol). However, a lot of these ingredients contain calories that increase insulin levels and, when consumed, end your fast. For example, sugar, maltodextrin, and amino acids all raise insulin levels, and will break your fast.
As a result, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your pre-workout has few or no calories in order to prevent it from breaking your fast. For instance, it’s probably fine if your pre-workout supplement contains 5 calories per serving (like Pulse), as it won’t have much of an effect on your insulin levels. However, if it contains 20, 40, or more calories, it will increase insulin levels even more and counteract some of the benefits of fasting.
Substitution of Pre-workout
This is nature’s pre-workout: all the caffeine and antioxidants without any of the nasty natural flavors and additives! If you want something filling as well, you can even drink your coffee black or as Keto Coffee.
One of tea’s main ingredients, L-theanine, is an amino acid that contributes to a number of the beverage’s health advantages. According to studies, taking L-theanine supplements along with caffeine improves mood, memory function, and attention while reducing the negative effects of mental stress and increasing the production of nitric oxide.
If you want a 100% natural L-theanine supplement that can boost your physical and cognitive performance with no side effects, try Pulse.
Green Tea Or Matcha
In general, tea contains less caffeine than coffee, making it a great alternative for those who are sensitive to it or don’t like coffee. Just remember to not sweeten it! Your fast will be broken by sweetener. Instead, you can convert your tea into Keto Tea as well!
Citrulline malate is the amino acid L-citrulline bound with malic acid, which turns into another amino acid in the body known as L-arginine.
L-citrulline malate supplementation enhances aerobic performance, reduces muscle soreness, and increases muscle endurance, according to research.
Try Pulse if you’re looking for an all-natural citrulline malate supplement that also includes five other ingredients that work to boost mood, energize, increase strength and endurance, and lessen fatigue.
There is no need to worry about breaking the fast before a workout for those who are fasting only to lose weight. On the other hand, whether or not pre-workouts will cause you to break your fast depends on the ingredients. In fact, it can be argued that heart rate acceleration and performance improvements from pre-workout supplements are highly beneficial to achieving your specific goals.