Some of our other articles on pre-workouts like, where the pre-workout ‘itch’ comes, 3 simple pre-workout strategies, and the experimental pre-workout supplement, prompted some great follow-up questions.

One that came up is…

Whether you can take pre-workout on an empty stomach.

The short answer is, yes, absolutely. There’s nothing inherently different about taking pre-workout without food in your stomach, whether you’ve fasted or not.

In fact, it’s generally advisable to not eat a few hours before training, and to take your pre-workout 20-30 minutes before training. So most of the time you take pre-workout, it should be on a relatively empty stomach.

However, there are other factors you should take into consideration. Just because I’m telling you the answer is yes, doesn’t mean you should be dry-heaping scoops of god-knows-what random pre-workout.

So here’s a checklist you should go through before taking your pre-workout on an empty stomach.

Mix The Pre-Workout Like The Instructions Say

Dry-scooping and toss-and-washing pre-workout is not a good idea.

Firstly, this means you’re taking in a ton of pre-workout all at once, increasing the chances of absorption and digestion problems.

Second, because you’re taking it on an empty stomach, it’ll hit your bloodstream quicker. Taking it in this fashion means you’re going to get hit with a lot at once, which has no benefit whatsoever.

Please actually mix your pre-workout in water and drink it at a normal pace.

Watch Out For Sodium Bicarbonate

6,268 Baking Soda Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Known by the household name baking soda, too much sodium bicarbonate can cause an upset stomach and indigestion, especially if taken on an empty stomach.

If you see sodium bicarb (as the cool chemists call it) in the ingredients, start with a smaller dose, and drink it more slowly.

Choose a High-Quality Pre-Workout

This should go without saying, but there’s a ton of crap out there. Check for…

  • Third-party verification
  • Reviews from real buyers
  • Fewer (or none) artificial ingredients

This is just good advice in general.

If You’re New to Pre-Workout, Don’t Take More Than One Serving

Again, this sounds obvious, but there’s absolutely no benefit to taking more than one scoop for 99.9% of people.

So just stick to one scoop. In fact, I recommend starting with half of a scoop and scaling up slowly to a full dose.

Have you made sure to do all of these correctly? Then yes, you can take your pre-workout on an empty stomach.

Alternatives to Pre-Workout on An Empty Stomach

There are, indeed, other options.


Caffeine is a staple of most pre-workouts, and it’s also the drug that gives coffee its focus and performance benefits, as we’ve discussed in other articles on caffeine.

Buying Individual Ingredients Instead

If you want to, for example, increase your muscle pumps, then look into buying a pure citrulline product.

If you just want caffeine, then just look into caffeine pills.

Again, yes, you can take pre-workout on an empty stomach, but these are some factors you should consider before doing so.