Does Pre-Workout Stunt Growth?

If you’re searching for effective supplements to kickstart your growth hormone, then pre-workout supplements aren’t made for that. Although they can give a lot of benefits, such as muscle growth. However, does pre-workout stunt growth?

Pre-workout supplements increase energy and focus, which pushes you harder in the gym and see better results. However, some people believe that the ingredients in pre-workout can stunt growth. With that being said, that’s one of the factors we’ll be discussing in this post.

If you want to know if pre-workout supplements are effective in increasing growth hormone or not, this article will guide you through everything you need to know.

How Does Pre-workout Stunt Growth?

The answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” There are a lot of factors that contribute to whether or not pre-workout supplements stunt growth. Let’s take a look at some of those factors:

Factors that Affect Pre-workouts and Growth.

1. Ingredients

The first factor is the ingredients in a pre-workout. Some of the most common components in pre-workout supplements are caffeine, beta-alanine, and creatine. These ingredients increase energy levels, which push you harder in the gym. However, they can also affect your growth hormone levels.

2. Workout Intensity

Supplementing pre-workout can build muscle mass and lean muscle growth if your sweat sessions are intense. However, taking a pre-workout won’t affect your gains if you’re not working out with enough intensity. Instead, it might even stunt your growth.

3. Diet

The third factor is your diet. If you’re not eating enough calories, you’re not giving your body the fuel it needs to build muscle. So, even if you’re taking a pre-workout or dietary supplement that increases growth hormone levels, you’re not going to see any benefits if you have poor nutrition. 

4. Sleep

The fourth factor is your sleep, where growth hormone releases during deep sleep. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep, then you’re not allowing your body to release growth hormones.

5. Stress Levels

The fifth factor is your stress levels. If you’re stressed, your body releases the cortisol hormone affecting your cognitive function. As a result, cortisol decreases your levels of growth hormone.

So, if you’re consuming a pre-workout supplement and you’re also stressed, the cortisol will likely cancel out any benefits of the supplement.

Now that we’ve looked at some factors that can affect pre-workout and growth, let’s look at whether pre-workout supplements stunt growth: 

What is Inside a Pre-Workout?

does pre workout stunt growth

Before you conclude, you should know what is inside your pre-workout supplement. Simply put, this makes up your pre-workout supplement and what each ingredient does.


Caffeine is a stimulant that increases energy levels, which pushes you to work harder in the gym. Usually, caffeine in pre-workouts is highly concentrated, leading to side effects like jitters and anxiety.

According to research, consuming caffeine may benefit your body by excreting more calcium. Caffeine is necessary for bone growth connected to your growth plates, making you taller. 


Beta-alanine is an amino acid found in pre-workouts known to increase energy levels and delay fatigue. It does this by increasing the carnosine levels in your muscles, an amino acid that  buffers lactic acid.

Branch-chained amino acids

Branched-chain amino acids are essential amino acids that build muscle and prevent muscle breakdown.  You can usually find this in protein supplements and some pre-workouts. 


Creatine is a naturally-occurring amino acid found in meat, fish, and some pre-workouts. This ingredient is known to increase energy levels, build muscle, and improve exercise performance.

Vitamins and minerals

Pre-workouts usually contain vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, B, Magnesium, and Calcium. These nutrients are essential for overall health and well-being. Additionally, they’re essential for muscle growth and repair.

Does Pre-workout Increase Muscle Growth?

Taking pre-workouts can help with muscle growth and working out with proper intensity and diet. However, if you don’t have these other two factors in check, then a pre-workout supplement alone won’t help you see any gains.

Most athletes use pre-workout to help with their athletic performance. Pre-workouts can increase energy levels, reduce fatigue, and improve overall exercise performance. Because of the powerful ingredients found in pre-workouts, they can also help with muscle growth.

However, pre-workouts will only help with muscle growth if you have a proper diet and workout routine. If you’re not eating enough calories or not working out with enough intensity, then pre-workouts alone won’t help you see any gains.

So, if you want to add a pre-workout supplement to your routine, ensure you have a proper diet and workout routine. Once you have those factors in check, you can see some real gains from taking a pre-workout supplement.  

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplement

Below are some of the many benefits you can get from taking a pre-workout supplement:

Boosts Energy Levels

One factor that can affect your workout performance is your energy levels. When you’re tired, pushing yourself in the gym and seeing your desired results is challenging.

A pre-workout has caffeine that can boost energy levels, allowing you to pushes you harder to work out and see the best results. In addition, caffeine intake also improves exercise performance.

Reduces Fatigue

Another benefit of pre-workouts is that they reduce fatigue, which is essential because it’s hard to push yourself and see the results you desire when you’re exhausted.

Creatine is a naturally-occurring amino acid found in meat, fish, and some pre-workout supplements, which reduces muscle fatigue.

Improves Exercise Performance

With the help of a pre-workout supplement, you will also improve your exercise performance. Pre-workout has beneficial ingredients specifically made to improve your workout sessions, like caffeine, branched-chain amino acids, and creatine.

Enhances Cognitive Function

Pre-workout supplements can also improve cognitive function. As a result, you can focus more on your movements and form.

Some pre-workout products contain ingredients like caffeine and L-theanine. Caffeine is a stimulant that improves alertness and focus. Meanwhile, L-theanine is an amino acid that reduces anxiety and improve cognitive function.

What Are the Side Effects of a Pre-workout?

While pre-workout supplements are generally safe, there are some potential side effects you should be aware of.

Although it varies from person to person, not all people can handle caffeine well. You may experience side effects like jitters, anxiety, and cardiovascular problems if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

Here are some side effects of pre-workout supplements:

Caffeine-related side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Jitters
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness

Creatine-related side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Muscle soreness
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure

L-theanine-related side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach upset

So, make sure you read the label of the pre-workout product you’re interested in and be aware of the possible side effects.

Additionally, do your research and talk to your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take a pre-workout every day?

Taking a pre-workout every day is not advisable for some, although some people are okay with it and see some benefits. If you choose to take a pre-workout every day, make sure you have a proper diet and workout routine. 

Once you have those in place, you can experiment with taking a pre-workout every day and see how your body reacts.

Make sure to consult your doctor to check whether you are okay to take a pre-workout every day. However, taking it only three to four times a week is recommended for best results.

What happens if you take pre-workout too often?

Like other drug substances, taking pre-workout too often can lead to tolerance. When this happens, you will no longer feel the exact effects of the pre-workout, and you will have to increase the dosage to feel anything. We do not recommend this, for it is too dangerous.

Plus, it may cause vomiting, upset stomach or cramps, high blood pressure, jitters, and in rare cases, heart attacks. Therefore, it is best to take pre-workout only when needed and follow the dosage instructions on the label.

How long should you take pre-workout?

All pre-workouts are different from each other, although taking it for at least 30 to 60 minutes is recommended before hitting the gym or doing your workout routine.

To be sure, you can always check the label directions of the pre-workout you’re taking. Some may require you to take it a few hours before working out, while others may only need to take it 30 minutes before. 

You can also ask your dietitian or a medical doctor for their professional opinion.

How much pre-workout can you take in a day?

It is usually recommended for adults to consume 400 milligrams or 0.14 ounces daily. However, we recommend this for those with a healthy lifestyle and no medical conditions. If you have a medical condition, it is best to ask your doctor how much pre-workout you can take in a day.

On the other hand, it is best to take smaller doses on your first try. You can gradually increase the amount you take daily, depending on your body’s reaction and tolerance to the stimulant. Additionally, this prevents allergies and other complications.

The Bottom Line

does pre workout stunt growth

There is no scientific proof that pre-workout stunts growth. However, it is best to research the product first and consult a medical professional before taking it, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Taking a pre-workout is generally safe for most people when taken as directed. But like any substance, there are always risks involved. However, these risks can be minimized by following the label directions and talking to your doctor beforehand. 

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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.