Can Pre Workout Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Pre-workout supplements, also known as pre-workouts, give you energy. Fitness enthusiasts usually consume these supplements before working out. They are also great for athletes and bodybuilders as they help with stamina and performance.

However, pre-workouts also have some drawbacks. For example, it causes erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. 

This article will discuss the possible adverse effects of pre-workout supplements on men’s sexual health. If you want to learn more about it, keep reading.

All About Pre-Workout Supplements

What is Pre-workout?

A pre-workout is a dietary supplement with components intended to improve athletic performance. Caffeine, creatine, and amino acids are ingredients of pre-workout supplements, available as powder, capsules, or gummies. These components also enhance exercise output by preserving energy levels and preventing exhaustion.

So, How Does it Work?

You will be weaker, less energetic, and more tired than usual if you don’t adequately nourish yourself before activities or strenuous workouts. However, taking a pre-workout helps you overcome this and keep working harder and longer. 

Although you can consume supplements in various ways, including meals, shakes, pills, and more, they are all intended to promote concentration and boost energy levels.

Unlike protein powder, pre-workout supplements improve performance and training, unlike protein powder, which aids muscle regeneration after a workout.

When Should I Take Pre-Workout?

Ensure you take your pre-workout 30 to 60 minutes before your training session to get the optimum results. It takes about 30 minutes for caffeine, often one of the primary active ingredients, to reach its peak blood levels and improve blood flow.

The effectiveness of some additional substances, such as creatine and beta-alanine, depends on how long it takes to accumulate in your muscles. Because of this, if you continuously take a pre-workout for a long time, you’ll benefit the most from it. 

In this manner, you can effectively store these nutrients in your muscles.

Negative Effects of Pre-workout For Men

According to a 2019 study on regular pre-workout users, 54% of subjects experienced adverse effects such as nausea, skin rashes, and irregular heartbeats. The study does point out that these negative effects are more frequent in people who take more than the advised serving size.

Additionally, pre-workout side effects vary depending on the individual. Dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, arrhythmias, and headaches are common side effects because of the stimulants in the supplement. Additionally, these can exacerbate erectile dysfunction.

Multi-ingredient pre-workouts frequently contain high concentrations of niacin. As a result, it causes your face and skin to feel flushed. When mixed with beta-alanine, it creates paresthesia, which causes a burning or prickling sensation and a feeling of skin crawling or itching.

If you notice side effects, skip the workout. Instead, substitute a solid cup of coffee and an easily digested pre-workout snack with vitamins and amino acids.

Below are more common side effects of taking pre-workout supplements:

Skittishness and Uneasiness

Due to the stimulants found in pre-workouts, some individuals may feel jittery and anxious. These supplements also have the potential to result in sleeplessness if taken too soon to bedtime. So, use a stim-free pre-workout if you are sensitive to stimulants.

Upset Stomach

Pre-workouts contain several ingredients that may upset your stomach. They include magnesium, caffeine, creatine, and sodium bicarbonate.

Magnesium—particularly in the form of magnesium citrate—may have laxative effects. Thus, taking too much could result in diarrhea. 

Surprisingly, mixing pre-workout pills with insufficient water might also cause gastrointestinal problems. An overly concentrated beverage may also cause diarrhea.

Rapid Heartbeat

Caffeine is a common stimulant found in many pre-workouts. In addition to supplying energy, stimulants raise blood pressure and heart rate. So, if you have cardiovascular disease, this side effect could be harmful.

How Does Pre-workout Affect Your Endocrine System?

The endocrine system, which affects every bodily function, is essential to your health. It comprises many glands that create and regulate the various hormone levels in your body.

These hormones affect your entire body, including the development of your muscles, brain, and sex organs. Your endocrine system also contributes to the production of testosterone, which is associated with enhanced muscular growth.

Therefore, if your endocrine system is compromised, testosterone levels may suffer and cause erectile dysfunction.

The stimulants in your pre-workout supplement might alter your endocrine system by boosting your heart rate and limiting the flow of blood vessels.  As a result, it lowers testosterone production and increases anxiety levels.

So, Does Taking Pre-workout Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Yes, pre-workout causes erectile dysfunction, as they contain too much caffeine and other stimulants. Short-term erectile dysfunction may result from a momentary rise in blood pressure and heart rate from caffeine and other stimulants. 

A lot of pre-workouts also contain artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, which might harm a man’s sexual health by lowering blood flow and lowering libido.

Certain stimulants, such as 1.3-DMAA, raise heart rate and narrow the blood capillaries that supply the penis. Other effects may also alter the body’s natural hormone production and neurochemistry.


A common ingredient in many pre-workout supplements is caffeine. The chemical causes nerve activity and increased alertness and vigor by preventing adenosine from connecting with specific brain receptors. 

However, some people who metabolize caffeine slowly may experience sleep issues if they consume it in the late afternoon or evening.

Those who consume too much caffeine may also get headaches, nervousness, and a quicker heart rate. Therefore, we do not recommend that people sensitive to caffeine take pre-workout supplements containing this ingredient.

Artificial Sweeteners

You will usually find artificial sweeteners in pre-workouts to improve flavor. These sweeteners contain aspartame, which may unexpectedly affect your body and make it difficult for you to erect. 

In addition, it negatively affects serotonin production and mental health. Therefore, it is not the best thing to do if you want to have sex because it can lower your libido.

Pre-workout Ingredients That Do Not Cause Erectile Dysfunction


Taurine is a sulfonic acid found in various animal types of meat. It also helps with fat metabolism and oxidative stress management during exercise.


Vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B6 contribute significantly to the efficiency and generation of energy. At the same time, Vitamin B12 stimulates the synthesis of blood. Meanwhile, Vitamin B3 speeds up DNA repair and promotes the growth of healthier skin.


This ingredient enhances hormone control and raises testosterone levels. Increased testosterone levels may also increase sex drive and prevent erectile dysfunction.

Is Impotence a Side Effect of Pre-workout Supplements?

So far, there is no proof that pre-workouts can induce complete or total impotence. But if you’re having trouble achieving and keeping an erection, we advise avoiding them, as they include some artificially harsh ingredients.

You should also know that being overweight, getting older, or having high blood pressure are the usual causes of impotence. Likely, pre-workouts won’t impact your sexual performance if you’re healthy and eating correctly.

Final Thoughts

While pre-workouts are unnecessary to promote athletic performance, some research suggests they may have advantages, such as better focus, strength, and endurance. 

Nevertheless, the side effects of a pre-workout include nausea, headaches, and jitters in specific individuals sensitive to certain chemicals.

Lastly, stay within the authorized dosage. Consider taking a reduced amount to try and prevent any potential adverse effects. It is also a good idea to stay away from some ingredients.

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Nathan Lloyd, MSc

I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.

If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.