Is it Bad to Drink Pre-Workout Without Working Out? Pros & Cons

Is it bad to drink pre-workout without working out? Some people like the taste or benefits of this supplement so much that they want to take it on off days too. The question is: can you do it?

Yes, you can take pre-workout without working out. However, your body will build a tolerance to it and it will stop being effective. This is why we suggest you to take pre-workout only if you lack energy before going to the gym.

In the following lines, we will talk about:

  • What does a pre-workout supplement actually do
  • Benefit of using pre-workout outside the gym
  • Side effects of using pre-workout regularly

Keep reading for more in-depth information surrounding this topic.

What is the deal with pre-workouts?

Picture of a man runnning on a treadmill after taking his pre-workout supplement

The first few times you take this supplement, you feel amazing. You get a boost in energy, your skin gets itchy from the Beta-Alanine, and you feel like you can move a mountain.

Naturally, your performance also increases and the ensuing workout is very productive.

Most people get hooked on pre-workout thanks to the increases in energy and performance.

Others simply like the taste.

I personally got hooked on it by the tingling sensation coming from the Beta-Alanine.

Regardless of your situation, once you take this supplement you will start to love it. So much so that you may be considering taking pre-workout without exercising. But is that a good idea?

Is it bad to drink pre-workout without working out?

Can you drink pre-workout without working out

You can drink pre-workout without going to the gym.

However, doing so comes with its set of drawbacks. Here are some drawbacks associated with taking this supplement without exercising, or on a regular basis.

  • Restlessness. Under normal conditions, this supplement gives you a lot of energy which you get to expend at the gym. When you take pre-workout without working out, you will find it difficult to stay still.
  • Increased caffeine tolerance. If you take a pre-workout with caffeine, you may find that coffee will quickly lose its effects on you. Pre-workout usually has caffeine equivalent to 1-3 cups of coffee, so you will quickly build up a tolerance to it.
  • Decreased effectiveness. One of the biggest drawbacks to taking pre-workout on a regular basis is that your body builds a tolerance to its ingredients. And as that tolerance increases, the effectiveness of the supplement decreases.
  • More frequent trips to the bathroom. As we have explored in a previous article, there is a fair chance that pre-workout will make you poop. This is mainly due to the high caffeine contents and the artificial sweeteners. The less often you take the supplement, the less frequent these issues.

We don't advocate the use of this supplement on a consistent basis.

Instead, we think you should take it only when you need it - for instance, when you have one of those days where you feel lethargic and don't feel like going to the gym.

Taking pre-workout 1-2 times per week is more than enough.

You can drink pre-workout without going to the gym.

If you have been taking it for an extended period of time and can't feel its effects anymore, stop for a while. Taking a 1-month break every once in a while resets your tolerance baseline, allowing you to feel the pre-workout kick in like it used to.

Are there benefits to taking pre-workout outside the gym?

Even though the pre-workout will have the same effect regardless of when you take it, only a couple of those effects are going to be beneficial in your day to day life.

These are:

  • A boost in energy. If you are feeling particularly lethargic, a boost in energy from the pre-workout can make your day more productive. However, this effect will only last for a couple of hours.
  • Better focus. One of the benefits of this supplement is that it helps with your focus. Again, whether you are in the gym or not, this effect can transfer to different areas of your life, not just fitness.

This is pretty much it. And when you weigh in the benefits and drawbacks, you may be able to answer the question of "should I take pre-workout without working out" on your own.

With that said, it all boils down to moderation.

If you want to take this supplement every once in a while, even if you don't plan on exercising that particular day, then there is nothing wrong with it. However, if you want to take it on a daily basis, and even multiple times a day, then maybe it would be a good idea to reconsider.


With that out of the way, let's answer some of the most common questions related to this topic.

Can we take pre-workout daily?

Yes, you can. However, we don't advise it.

When you take pre-workout daily, your body is building a tolerance to the ingredients. As you keep taking it more and more, you may find that the pre-workout no longer works for you.

Is pre-workout bad for you?

No, this supplement is not bad for you as long as you are using common sense. Just like with everything in life, moderation is key. Even drinking too much water can lead to severe health issues.

If you want to avoid any potential issue, then we recommend you to stick to the recommended serving printed on the package.

Can I use pre-workout as an energy drink?

Yes, you can get energy from pre-workout for running, weightlifting, and any other physical activity.

However, usually this supplement contains considerably more caffeine than coffee or energy drinks. Therefore, if you don't need an extreme energy boost, we recommend you to stick to a coffee or a regular energy drink.


So, is it bad to drink pre-workout without working out?

It is not necessarily bad, however you may be better off not doing it. If you drink this supplement on a regular basis, your body will build up a tolerance to it and it will no longer be as effective. Besides, the side-effects usually outweigh the benefits, as far as drinking pre-workout without working out goes.

Therefore, if you really want to get a boost in your energy levels, we recommend you to drink a regular energy drink, or even a coffee.

Over to you.