Why Is Your Pre Workout Not Working? Here's What You Can Do

Why is Your Pre Workout Not Working? Here’s What You Can Do

Last Updated on October, 2023

After having Pre-workouts, you feel like you are performing like a hulk, and you keep taking the supplement every day possible. And, within a few weeks, you don’t feel your Pre-workout is working. 

Then you start worrying about why your Pre-workouts aren’t working! 

Well, you are not alone! Almost everyone faces it (me too). At that time, I was furious too. 

But now, understanding dietary supplements, I know why this happens, and, in this article, I will provide resources on why your Pre-workout is not working and how you can get rid of it.

So, before considering another Pre-workout, go through this! 

What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?

pre workout powder

The Pre-workout supplement is a supplement that almost instantly increases our energy levels and helps us prevent fatigue while working out. 

Taking Pre-workout supplements instantly improves your energy and focus level. The instant spark helps you to do better (much better than you usually do) in the gym.

In fact, it gives you more energy than an espresso shot, two bananas, and even better than energy drinks

That’s why Pre-workouts are becoming the first choice of people who don’t even do bodybuilding professionally. 

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements

There are countless benefits of Pre-workout. However, here are a few advantages of the supplement you should know: 

  • Increases muscle gains faster 
  • Improves strength level
  • Boost stamina and endurance 
  • Faster recovery from injuries 
  • Enhances blood flow 
  • It helps you to perform high-intense workouts easily

Why is Your Pre-Workout Not Working? 

With popularity, many Pre-workout supplements are arriving. There is even a variety of it- strong, medium, mild. 

Now, in the beginning, when we take a Pre-workout, it works! We feel more energetic than ever, making our gym instructors happy. But, with time, we don’t feel like it’s working. We cannot feel that spark anymore for an unknown reason. 

However, in the fitness industry, nothing is unknown, and if it’s still unknown, then it’s not recommended. 

Here are a few unknown ‘reasons’ why Pre-workout isn’t working for you anymore. Go through it and see what you can relate to! 

Pre-Workout Supplement Gone Bad

expired pre workout powder

Does your Pre-workout taste or smell weird? 

Have you seen molds or funguses in your supplement?

Does it look faded?

Is it out of date?

Do you feel ‘there is something wrong in my stomach’? 

If you feel any of these, chances are the Pre-workout you bought with your hard-earned money has gone bad. 

And, an expired supplement can never help you to do any better than worse. 

If you were wondering whether your Pre-workout supplement has gone bad or not, I would highly recommend you check this article

Poor Quality 

With the increasing popularity, much poor quality and fake supplements are also available in the market. In fact, most guys buy it just to save a few dollars. 

Most of these aren’t made with high-quality or healthy ingredients. As a result, you don’t feel that spike in energy. Instead, you feel like it’s not working. 

Now, how can you determine whether the Pre-workout is high quality or not? 

There are two best solutions available. Which are: 

  • Buy from the official website.
  • Check customer reviews.

If you have considered a Pre-workout supplement, try to buy it from their official website, store, or their official e-commerce profile. 

Or else, If the supplement isn’t available in your region or you have considered an unknown product (that offers an unrealistic deal), it’s better to go through the customer reviews and real-life user reviews. It’ll help you to understand whether it works or not! 

Not Taking the Recommended Dose

In most of the cases, the supplement doesn’t work because people doesn’t take the recommended dosage. 

See, if you take more than the recommended dose, it won’t work any better. In fact, having more than recommended doses can lead to damage to your organs and make you sick and feel terrible. 

Every nutritionist and most supplement companies urge you to consume the recommended dose or less at the beginning. 

If you aren’t following it, don’t expect your Pre-workouts supplement to work for you. 

You Are Overdoing it 

See, you don’t need to workout every day with a pre-workout supplement. Once or twice a week is good enough. 

But, if you have it everyday then within a few days (or weeks) the pre workouts will stop working on your body. 

Even if you don’t use it more than twice a week still I would recommend you to give it a break once your package is over. After a few weeks you can start again. 

The break will reset your body and you’ll again start getting better results with pre workouts. 

Too Much Caffeine 

See, one of the main ingredients of Pre-workout is caffeine and stimulants. The energy and focus you are feeling are because of the caffeine. And other ingredients (like beta-alanine) balance the alertness you are feeling. 

Please keep in mind that supplements with beta-alanine may cause a skin-crawling effect as it’s a side effect of this ingredient.

But, if you are a coffee lover, who consumes 2-3 cups of coffee daily, you will see little to no impact. Your body can tolerate it because you are already consuming enough (or even more) caffeine. 

And, when you add more caffeine to it, your body just doesn’t feel anything.

So, if you are a coffeeholic who consumes more than 2-3 cups daily, you don’t need pre-workout supplements; you are already energetic enough; just channel it properly. (1)

Sleep Deprivation 

Are you sleep-deprived? 

Sleep Deprivation is a big problem in today’s modern world. It impacts significantly on our health, personal life, and professional life. 

You’ll feel extremely sleepy and tired all day long, keep waking up late at night, and sleep for a few hours. This is what sleep deprivation is! 

A sleep-deprived person is restless. And, they need more energy to keep going throughout the day. 

That’s why a sleep-deprived person doesn’t see any result after taking a pre workout supplement. 

In fact, due to the lack of quality sleep, a sleep-deprived person gets tired faster (even injured too).

Sleep is the only time when our body recovers faster than usual. That’s why, even if we sleep with severe pain after a quality sleep, we feel better because we are healing during sleep. 

Besides, a sleep-deprived person may also feel bloated and sick in many other ways.

So, focus on sleep! Get some quality sleep, then you’ll be able to enjoy the advantage of taking a pre workout supplement.

Chemical Imbalance 

Genetic matters! 

You see, all of our bodies don’t work in the same way! We also have some problems; we all are allergic to different things. Not everything works for us. 

Have you ever been in a situation when your friend recommends something that doesn’t work for you? 

It doesn’t mean the solution wasn’t legit; it was! It’s you, everything doesn’t suit everybody, and it’s normal! 

There are many ingredients in a Pre-workout (like caffeine, creatine, amino acids, BCAA, etc.). Now, if a Pre-workout doesn’t work (or reacts aggressively) on you, it means Pre-workout is not for you! 

Don’t use it. Push yourself, do better naturally. 

It is Not Suiting Your Body

Even after trying other supplements, if it still doesn’t work then it means the supplement doesn’t suit you. 

In that case, I would highly recommend you to consult with a medical professional. 

Poor Diet

Diet plays an important role. I have seen people losing weight and staying in shape only because of their diet. 

You see, Pre-workouts products are only there to help you get a push while exercising. It has nothing to do with other aspects. 

And, when you completely rely on pre workouts and eat junk foods daily, the supplement won’t work. 

It is because your body needs nutritious foods and a good diet. You need a balanced diet with good carbs, protein, and fat. And, to produce enough energy, your body also needs amino acids. 

Also, consume vitamin and other nutrient-enriched food. If you suffer from vitamin deficiencies, the extra push of Pre-workout will never work. 

Poor Timing 

Timing matters! 

If you have Pre-workouts after lunch and expect it to work, it won’t. And that time, your body focuses on digesting the food (that’s why the energy drain caused), and in the process, the supplement gets lost somewhere.

So, if you have heavy meals like breakfast, lunch, or dinner, don’t take pre-supplement for the next 3 hours. After a small meal (like a snack), wait 2 hours before you have it.

So, you should avoid eating for several hours before your workout. 

Even if you had something like soup, milk, or other liquid forms of food, you still need to wait at least 1 hour. 

Also, don’t consume Pre-workout at night; you won’t see any good results. It is recommended to use Pre-workout 30 minutes to 1 hour before the workout. 

Here’s a full guide on “best time to take pre workout“.


Staying hydrated is essential. The human body uses water for almost every purpose. If your are dehydrated then you’ll be clumsy and won’t feel like working out. (2)

On the other hand, Pre-workout products don’t work on a moderately dehydrated body (nothing does, actually). 

So, to stay hydrated, you have to drink plenty of water daily!

Your Body Has Adapted it 

If you have used the supplement frequently, chances are your body has adapted it. And that’s why you see little to no performance at all. 

Because of subsequent uses, your body got used to the supplement, which is why it’s not working anymore. In this case, I always recommend you take a break from all the supplements to make it more efficient. 

The famous nutritional biochemist Shawn Talbott explained this in his book “understanding dietary supplements.”

Otherwise, with time, it’ll harm your body. 

So, these are why Pre-workout isn’t working on your body.

How to Make Your Pre-Workout Start Working?

A women & a Trainer at the gym

If your Pre-workout isn’t working, there is still something you can do about it. Here are a few quick tips you can follow. 

Take a Break

As I said earlier, if you take your Pre-workout regularly, chances are your body has adapted to it. 

When you consume it daily, the nerve endings and cellular receptors become less sensitive, and the supplement stops working! 

If you want to see better results again, take a breakfor 2-3 weeks after taking it for 2-3 months. 

The break will reset your body, and the supplement will start working again. Then other benefits will be: 

  • Controlled caffeine (no matter how much caffeine you used to take
  • Improved caffeine sensitivity (get rid of insomnia, anxiety, and stress)

Changing the Supplement 

Even after taking a break, if it still doesn’t work, it’s time to change the supplement. 

Which supplement should you take? 

Every supplement is made with different ingredients. So, go through the Pre-workout ingredients list. For the same effect faster, I recommend you to seek help from a professional.

Taking Another Ingredient As a Supplement 

If your supplement isn’t working, it may be because there’s an ingredient less in quantity or your body requires more. 

In that case, you can consume some key ingredients (like BCAA, Creatine, L- Citrulline, beta-alanine, or caffeine) as another supplement. 

However, please take the recommended dosage and don’t consume excessive amounts. 

Why is Having a Pre-Workout Essential? 

You see, Pre-workout isn’t an essential supplement. But if you are feeling demotivated, and even after consistently trying to achieve your fitness goals, you are not doing any better, then you can consider using Pre-workouts. 

Then again, don’t do it regularly. Remember the two months supplement and two-week rest formula.

How Often Should You Use Your Supplement? 

Basically, I recommend everyone use it for 2-3 months (as low as it takes to finish) and then take just that much break in weeks. 

For example, if you have taken the supplement for 2.5 months, then take a break for 2.5 weeks. 

However, you can also take two supplements at a time. One contains a higher dose of caffeine, and another contains other ingredients like creatine, BCAA, and beta-alanine. 

How to Use a Pre-Workout Supplement? 

Basically, everyone should have a Pre-workout at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before exercising. Also, don’t forget to consider these quick tips before having the supplement: 

  • Always measure before making a Pre-workout drink. 
  • Try to stick with the very same dose. 
  • Don’t take on an empty stomach. 
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle.
  • Only stick with high-quality products. 

So, make sure you follow it. 

Final Thoughts

Pre-workout products (like whey protein) are a revolutionary change in the supplement industry. 

Everyone uses pre-workout, from people who want to do weight training with high motivation to people who want to build muscle. 

However, with popularity, there are many products out there. If you have found one that works for you, stick with that very same product. 

But if it doesn’t work, I hope this article will help you figure out what to do next!



  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678#:~:text=Up%20to%20400%20milligrams%20(mg,two%20%22energy%20shot%22%20drinks.
  2. https://www.rch.org.au/clinicalguide/guideline_index/Dehydration/

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Linda Walter
I’m a fitness trainer and a health coach. My GOAL is to empower everyone to live a healthier life even after passing their prime. You can find more about me here.

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