Can You Use Pre-Workout While Intermittent Fasting?

If you’re new to the fitness world or someone who enjoys intense workouts, you may have come across the term “pre-workout intermittent fasting” and wondered about its significance.

Many people rely on pre-workout to boost their stamina and concentration during exercise, whether it involves lifting weights or engaging in dynamic sports like basketball.

In addition to enhancing performance, pre-workout has been known to aid in fat loss, especially when workouts are demanding or extend beyond an hour.

But here’s a question that might arise if you’re exploring intermittent fasting as a weight loss strategy: Can you incorporate pre-workout into your routine while practicing intermittent fasting? Let’s find out!

What Is Pre-Workout? 

pre workout intermittent fasting - man eating supplements

Pre-workout supplements are like power-ups for your body, giving you an extra dose of energy and focus to help you push through intense workouts.

These supplements often contain a mix of popular ingredients like caffeine, BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), creatine, beta-alanine, arginine, and more.

They come in different forms such as powders or capsules, and some even have tasty gummies or chews.

It’s important to note that not all pre-workout products are the same. They have different formulas and effects.

For example, not all of them contain caffeine, so it’s crucial to carefully read the labels before making a choice.

As mentioned earlier, one common ingredient found in pre-workouts is caffeine, which acts as a stimulant to give you that extra kick of energy.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that involves controlling the number of calories you consume each day.

It’s not a traditional diet, but rather an approach where you limit your calorie intake on specific days. Some of the most popular methods include:

  1. The 16/8 Method: You skip breakfast and have your last meal before 8 p.m., creating a fasting window of 16 hours.

  2. The 5:2 Method: For two non-consecutive days per week, you eat fewer than 500 calories. On the remaining days, you eat normally.

  3. No Calorie Diet: This involves fasting for a whole 24 hours, consuming no food during that period.

  4. Alternate Day Fasting (ADF): With this method, you fast every other day, alternating between fasting and eating normally.

  5. Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF): You eat all your meals within an eight-hour window each day, such as from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It’s important to note that intermittent fasting doesn’t mean going without food for several days. You still need to eat regularly during your non-fasting periods.

Before starting any dietary program, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs and help you determine if intermittent fasting aligns with your exercise schedule and overall lifestyle.

Does Pre-Workout Break Intermittent Fasting?

There are lots of people who are big fans of intermittent fasting and pre-workout supplements, but they often wonder whether it’s okay to take their pre-workout while fasting.

Some folks will say it’s fine, while others will warn you that it might mess up your fasting efforts.

This can be pretty stressful because you really want to take your pre-workout, but you also want to make sure your intermittent fasting pays off.

The truth is, it all depends on the type of intermittent fasting you’re doing and when and how much pre-workout you take.

Timing is important too! Whether you take it right before or after your workout can make a difference.

Ingredients That Disrupt Fasting

Most pre-workout supplements contain a mix of different ingredients, but there are a few key ones that are commonly found.

Some of these ingredients include beta-alanine, creatine, arginine AKG, and citrulline.

It’s important to note that these performance-enhancing ingredients have the potential to affect your fasting efforts in different ways.


Pre-workout supplements can sometimes include different types of sugar, such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, and maltodextrin.

To make the most of your fasting period and improve insulin sensitivity, it’s generally advised to steer clear of sugary foods or drinks for several hours before starting your fast.

The presence of sugars in pre-workout drinks can negatively impact insulin sensitivity by raising blood sugar levels. This can hinder your body’s ability to burn fat effectively during the fasting period.

Whey Protein

pre workout intermittent fasting -  man eating whey protein

Even if a pre-workout whey protein shake contains just 20 grams of protein, it can disrupt your fasting period.

If you are following a fast that lasts for 24 hours or more and you consume a pre-workout drink containing whey protein or other animal proteins, it’s recommended to break your fast before engaging in exercise on that particular day.

Amino Acids

Research suggests that consuming amino acids, such as BCAAs, before a workout can break a fast and reset your body’s metabolic state for most individuals.

However, if you are following a longer fasting period of 16 hours or more, your body should already be in an anabolic state by that time.

But what does it mean to be in an anabolic state?

Being in an anabolic state indicates that your body’s primary focus is on repairing muscle tissue and preventing excessive hunger during fasting periods.

This is why it might be beneficial to take your pre-workout alongside a short workout before having breakfast.

Whether you are fasting or not, if you’re looking for the best results and want to ensure you get the BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) I’m taking, you don’t need to search any further!

NutraKey BCAA
NutraKey BCAA

Ingredients That Won’t Break A Fast

Taking pre-workout before breaking your fast can potentially disrupt your body’s fluid and electrolyte balance, leading to feelings of weakness and fatigue.

Many pre-workout supplements contain high levels of caffeine, which are intended to provide an energy boost.

However, the caffeine can also interfere with your sleep schedule, making it difficult to fall asleep at night and causing challenges in waking up for morning prayers.

It’s essential to keep in mind that anything besides water consumed while breaking a fast is considered breaking the fast, even if it’s a small amount.

This means that taking pills or powders, even if they don’t contain calories or sugar, can still be considered breaking the fast.


pre workout intermittent fasting - man-behind-a-coffee-machine-making-coffees

Caffeine is a stimulant that provides a sense of energy and wakefulness.

When you consume coffee or use pre-workout supplements containing caffeine, you might mistakenly believe that you are breaking your fast.

However, one issue with caffeine is that it doesn’t activate the hormonal changes that naturally occur when you eat food, which help suppress hunger signals.

In fact, caffeine can actually increase your appetite rather than reduce it.

Moreover, caffeine can impact blood sugar levels, causing a sharp spike in insulin if consumed in large quantities during a fasted state.

Considering these effects, caffeine is not an ideal choice for those practicing intermittent fasting.

Relate Post: Can I Use Coffee As A Pre Workout


In theory, the consumption of creatine could potentially break a fast.

The reason creatine is popular among athletes is because it helps enhance muscle growth by providing energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

ATP is utilized by the body for various functions, not just exercise performance, such as breathing and converting food into glucose.

However, it’s important to note that creatine itself doesn’t directly contribute to ATP production. Instead, it generates a byproduct called phosphocreatine.

Phosphocreatine, unlike ATP, is primarily utilized as an energy source for exercise performance and doesn’t serve as an alternative energy source for other bodily functions.

Related Post: Glutamine Vs Creatine – Learn All Of The Differences And Benefits


Beta-alanine is a substance that helps in the production of carnosine, which is known for its muscle recovery benefits.

However, the challenge is that beta-alanine (and consequently, carnosine) is not synthesized in the body until you start consuming protein again after a fasting period. This means that you won’t be able to experience the benefits of beta-alanine supplementation while fasting.

To summarize, using pre-workout supplements does not break your fast, and it is perfectly fine to incorporate them into your intermittent fasting routine as long as you have consumed some food recently.

Citrulline Malate

While some may argue that citrulline malate does not break a fast, there is limited research available on its effects in humans, particularly regarding intermittent fasting.

Although there are studies conducted on rats, which suggest that citrulline malate can potentially improve insulin sensitivity, reduce fasting-induced glucose intolerance, lower blood pressure, and decrease oxidative stress, these findings cannot be directly applied to humans.

Since there have been no specific human studies conducted on the effects of citrulline malate in the context of intermittent fasting, it is difficult to determine whether it will have any impact.

As a result, it may be prudent to avoid pre-workout supplements while fasting until further research is conducted to provide more conclusive evidence.

The Best Pre-Workouts For Intermittent Fasting

In my opinion, this particular Pre-Workout is an excellent option that won’t disrupt your fasting efforts. It’s a great choice for maintaining your fast.

If you’re looking for something to get you pumped up and motivated for your workout, this Pre-Workout is a fantastic option that will deliver the desired results.

Cellucor C4

Cellucor C4 Original Pre-Workout

What Should I Drink Before Fasting And Working Out?

A fasted workout typically refers to exercising in the morning or after at least 12 hours of not consuming any calories.

During this fasting period, it is acceptable to drink water and black coffee without any added sugar or creamer.

While coffee is a diuretic and may increase urination compared to water, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are losing more electrolytes or becoming dehydrated.

However, it’s worth noting that coffee contains caffeine, so if your primary goal is weight loss, choosing water over coffee might be a better option.

Related Post: What Supplements Should I Take When Working Out?

Can You Take BCAA While Fasting? 

The essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, collectively known as BCAAs, cannot be produced by your body, so it is necessary to obtain them through diet or supplementation.

These BCAAs play a crucial role in various bodily functions, including immune support and protein synthesis.

Consuming protein, including BCAAs, around the time of your workout can potentially aid in muscle growth.

However, whether taking BCAAs during a fast breaks the fast remains unclear.

A study published in Metabolism suggests that BCAAs alone may not break a fast, but if they are accompanied by another protein source during fasting, it could potentially disrupt your fasted state.

Does Pre-Workout Spike Insulin?

When you consume a meal, insulin is released in order to facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your cells.

During intermittent fasting, having a pre-workout snack or shake may cause a temporary increase in insulin levels. This can potentially lead to fat storage as your body may not have had enough time to burn all the incoming calories.

However, if you wait for approximately four hours after eating, your body will resume burning fat as its primary source of fuel.

In this scenario, it is generally acceptable to use pre-workout supplements before breaking your fast because your body is already in a state of ketosis and prepared for physical activity.

Some research suggests that pre-workouts may even support ketone production, but further studies are required to explore this aspect more comprehensively.

How Long Does It Take For 16 8 Intermittent Fasting To Work?

I often receive inquiries from my readers about the timeframe for seeing results with 16/8 intermittent fasting. The answer to this question varies based on several factors.

Firstly, everyone’s response to dietary changes differs. Some individuals may experience faster results compared to others. Factors such as age, initial weight status, and overall health play a role in determining the pace of progress.

Generally, younger individuals or those who have never been overweight may witness more rapid weight loss and noticeable changes sooner than older individuals or those who have been overweight for an extended period.

Additionally, the amount of weight that needs to be lost is a significant consideration. If someone has a significant amount of excess weight, say 100 pounds, they may observe changes in clothing fit and overall body composition sooner than someone with only 10 pounds to lose.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and individual experiences may vary. Consistency, patience, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are key factors in achieving sustainable results with intermittent fasting.

Related Post: 15 Intermittent Fasting Do’s And Don’ts

Final Mop Up

Intermittent fasting can be an effective approach for achieving weight loss and improved health. While there are considerations regarding the use of pre-workout supplements during fasting, it’s essential to prioritize your goals and align them with your fasting routine.

Remember, results may vary from person to person based on factors like age, initial weight status, and individual response to dietary changes. It’s important to maintain consistency and patience throughout your intermittent fasting journey.

If you’re ready to take your journey to the next level and build the discipline necessary for long-term success, consider signing up for “How To Build Sustainable Fitness” This comprehensive 21-day course will guide you in reclaiming control over your strength and fitness by providing valuable insights and practical strategies.

Don’t miss this opportunity to embark on a transformative journey towards a healthier and more disciplined lifestyle. Sign up for the course today and unlock your true potential for lasting change.