Are you someone who wants to enhance your workout performance while fasting? It's understandable that you may be wondering if pre-workout supplements will break your fast.
Fasting involves not consuming anything with calories for a specific period of time, while pre-workout supplements are drinks or pills that you take before exercising to boost your performance.
Whether or not pre-workout breaks your fast depends on the type of fast you're doing and the ingredients in the supplement. If you're following a water fast, taking a pre-workout will break your fast. However, if you're doing Intermittent Fasting, which limits your calorie intake, taking pre-workout supplements with low-calorie, non-nutritive ingredients may not break your fast.
So, if you're thinking about taking pre-workout supplements during your fast, it's crucial to know how they'll affect your fast, depending on your specific fasting goals and the ingredients in the supplement.
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What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?
Pre-workouts or pre-workout supplements are dietary supplements that offer energy to their users. These supplements result in energy improvement during the workout. It also helps in faster recovery.
Many studies have demonstrated the link between multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements and improved performance .
These pre-workouts come in powder or pill form that you can take with water. You will find different ingredients in a pre-workout that work together. It creates a formula that helps in improving focus, gaining strength, lowering fatigue, and increasing lean body mass.
What Is Fasting?
On the other hand, fasting is abstaining from food or minimizing food intake for a particular time. There are several types of fasting, such as alternate-day, intermittent, and water fasting .
Pre-workout supplements and fasting’s effects on your body depend on the type of fasting you do and the ingredients in the pre-workouts. Consuming a pre-workout would break your fast, especially if you’re observing water fast. That’s because you’re drinking a non-water substance.
Are you observing an intermittent fast where you restrict food intake for a specific hour every day? A pre-workout supplement’s effect will depend on the ingredients.
Remember that pre-workout supplements containing calories from fat, protein, or carbohydrates could break your fast by offering energy to the body. Nonetheless, it may not break your fast if the supplement only has non-caloric ingredients like amino acids or caffeine.
Can You Take Pre-Workout Supplements While Fasting?
Yes. You can take pre-workout supplements while fasting. Nonetheless, you must be cautious about what supplements you’re taking.
Supplements such as minerals and vitamins won’t have calories. However, the way you eat them matters.
Supplements in the form of gummies have hidden calories. During your fast, take supplements without unnecessary ingredients or added sugars.
Further, gummies do not have lots of calories. Thus, you can consider eating them before or after you fast.
Some individuals prefer to fast with small calorie allotments. In that case, you can eat gummies during your fast.
So, Does Pre-Workout Break Your Fast?
The explanation behind whether a pre-workout supplement can break your fast depends on its ingredients and on the type of fasting you do.
Intermittent fasting is a famous form of fasting. You restrict your caloric intake to a specific time, ranging from 14 to 16 hours. The goal is to lessen your overall calorie intake, which can lead to weight loss .
During intermittent fasting, your body shifts from using glucose as its primary energy source to using stored fats. When glucose isn’t available, the liver converts stored fats into molecules. That molecule is ketones.
Does your pre-workout supplement have calories from fat, protein, or carbohydrate? Then it will provide your body with glucose, breaking the fast and interrupting the shift to ketosis. In that case, your body won’t burn the stored fat for energy. Instead, it will use the glucose from the pre-workout supplement.
Meanwhile, does your pre-workout supplement only has non-caloric ingredients like amino acids or caffeine? It would not break the fast. That’s because those ingredients may boost energy without providing any glucose to the body. It allows it to continue using the stored fat for energy.
Remember that the effects of fasting and pre-workout supplements can vary from one person to another. The ideal approach will depend on individual goals and needs.
What to Consider When Taking Pre-Workout Supplements While Fasting
It is essential to consider the following factors when you’re considering taking pre-workout supplements while fasting:
It is essential to assess the ingredients list on your pre-workout supplements thoroughly. That will determine if it has any calories from fat, protein, or carbohydrate.
If it does, it may break your fast. It may not be so if it only contains non-caloric ingredients.
- Type of fast
The type of fast you’re observing will also play a role in whether or not taking pre-workouts will break your fast.
If you’re observing a water fast, consuming any substance aside from water will break the fast. But if you’re observing intermittent fasting, the effect will depend on the supplement’s ingredients.
- Health status
Consider your current health status and underlying medical conditions before taking any pre-workout supplement. Always consult a registered dietician or healthcare provider if you have health problems.
- Tolerance to ingredients
Some may be sensitive to specific ingredients found in pre-workout supplements, like caffeine. Determine your tolerance to those ingredients to prevent any possible side effects.
Your workout and fasting goals will also determine whether a pre-workout supplement suits you.
Is your goal to maximize fat loss during your fast? Consuming a pre-workout supplement with calories from fat, protein, or carbohydrates may not be ideal.
Examples of Pre-Workout Supplements That Won’t Break Your Fast
You’ll find many choices for pre-workout supplements that you can take while fasting. Some of the ingredients that are great to find in your pre-workout are the following:
Caffeine is the primary driver of results for many pre-workouts. Consuming this ingredient before training can offer you an energy boost, enhanced focus, and improved motivation.
Another advantage of caffeine is that it can help lessen the rate of perceived exertion, making more strenuous efforts seem easier .
Did you know that L-theanine is a compound seen in green tea and some mushrooms? People use it for treating anxiety and other conditions. However, there is not much scientific evidence backing that up.
When combined with caffeine, L-theanine can help lessen some jitters and anxiety that too much caffeine might cause.
You can find taurine in fish, meat, and dairy products. People use this as a dietary supplement and an additive in pre-workout and energy drinks. There is mixed research on taurine, but one study discovered that supplementing with taurine might enhance exercise capacity .
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid involved in your body’s production of carnosine.
Carnosine functions as an antioxidant and can help stop muscle soreness and inflammation. Beta-alanine is perfect for endurance activities lasting longer than one minute.
It is also the ingredient in pre-workout associated with the itchy or tingling feeling that some people experience from pre-workout.
B vitamins, like B12, are included in pre-workout supplements to offer an energy boost and enhance your body’s metabolic function to absorb energy from macronutrients.
How many calories will break a fast?
The exact number of calories that will break a fast can vary from one person to another. It also depends on numerous factors, like the type of fast, the person’s metabolism, and their current energy needs.
Generally, the goal of fasting is to lessen calorie intake. Also, any calories consumed during a fast can break the fast. Nonetheless, other sources recommend that consuming fewer than 50 to 100 calories during a fast may not affect your body’s metabolic state.
Will lemon water break your fast?
Lemon water is a low-calorie drink you can consume during a fast to help support hydration and add flavor to water.
Consuming a small amount of water during a fast is unlikely to affect your body’s metabolic state. Lemon water also has a few calories, with an average eight-ounce having only a few calories from the natural sugars in the lemon juice.
In order to determine whether pre-workouts will break your fast or not, you should consider a few factors. Firstly, the type of fasting you practice plays a significant role. For instance, if you are strictly following a water fast, consuming anything apart from water will technically break your fast.
If you're following an intermittent fast, the effect of taking pre-workout supplements on your fast will depend on the ingredients in the supplement, your individual goals, and your calorie needs.
To be sure, you should carefully review the ingredients list on the pre-workout supplement to see if it contains any calories from fat, protein, or carbohydrates.
It's also a good idea to speak to a healthcare provider to determine what is suitable for you. This will help ensure that taking a pre-workout supplement won't have any negative effects on your health.
 Figueiredo C, Lira FS, Rossi FE, Billaut F, Loschi R, Padilha CS. Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplementation changes energy system contribution and improves performance during high-intensity intermittent exercise in physically active individuals: a double-blind and placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2020;17(1):30. Published 2020 Jun 3. doi:10.1186/s12970-020-00357-6
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