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The Lowdown on Pre-Workouts for Non-Athletes

A pre-workout is a type of supplement designed to give an extra boost of energy during a workout, but if you are not an athlete and are not doing a workout, are they of any use?

taking a drink supplementpre-workouts give you an energy boost

Why are we talking about Pre-workouts?

There is a growing trend for people to use pre-workout when going to school or work, not prior to exercise as they are designed for. Often these people are not even sure what ingredients the pre-workouts contain, or why they are taking it. So, should they be consuming pre-workout, and are there any potential risks involved if they do?

What are they designed to be used for?

Pre-workouts are designed to boost energy and enhance performance in the gym or during a training session. Because they allow you to work out at a higher intensity, they may also help to lose body fat. The bottom line is they are designed for use when doing exercise training not just being at work.

What they contain

It is important to know what is in the pre-workout that you are consuming because each of them is slightly different, and not all the ingredients are safe to consume.

Which ingredients to look for

Ingredients to avoid

Do Pre-Workouts Work?

There is some evidence that pre-workouts can be beneficial to improve aerobic capacity, endurance, and training volume.

If you are not using pre-workouts for exercise, most of the ingredients are of no benefit and consuming a pre-workout is unnecessary and a waste of money. The ingredients that may be useful can be obtained from many alternate sources. For example, a caffeine dose can be obtained from drinking coffee, tea, NoDoz, cola, and energy drinks. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids can be obtained from a balanced diet, or by using more targeted supplementation for a purpose.

If you are using pre-workout for exercise, individual supplements are only as good as the ingredients they contain, so always check the label. Pre-workouts can be effective depending on specific ingredient amounts, proper usage and timing, and your fitness goals. Seek further advice on this from a dietitian.

Final Recommendations


article by dietitian Clare Wood

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