Does Pre-Workout Break Your Fast?
Updated: May 27
I personally don't use pre-workout. I think I may have tried it once in college when one of my roommates used to buy it, and I wasn't a fan of how it made me feel. But I know that many people, including some #AENpeeps like to utilize an energy boosting pre-workout before they hit the gym. If you're an early riser and following The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle, you may be wondering if this pre-workout habit will break your fast.
In today's article, I'm sharing the details behind pre-workout, whether or not it breaks your fast and if you should be using it!
First of all... what's the point of pre-workout?
Pre-workout is used to increase your energy levels so that you can make the most out of your workout. Is it necessary to get a good workout? No. But many people utilize some form of pre-workout.
What's typically in pre-workout?
The majority of pre-workout "effects" come from caffeine. You will also usually find artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, "natural" flavors (which actually aren't as natural as they may seem - look out for articles on this in the future.) and food dyes (some of which have been found to be carcinogenic). These artificial compounds are used to 'enhance' the flavor/texture/color of the product. That's why those pre-workouts are usually bright reds, greens, blues or yellows.
Do these ingredients break your fast?
Technically speaking, artificial sweeteners/flavors won't break your fast. BUT it won't work in your favor either. In fact, it's likely going to work against your goals. These artificial ingredients can lead to a disturbance in your gut microbiome. Considering one of the main benefits of Intermittent Fasting (and using a fasting period at all) is an improved gut flora, this is going directly against one of your main objectives.
This also doesn't take into account that many pre-workouts add some form of caloric sugar as well. This will definitely break your fast because it will result in a spike in your insulin levels.
How can I get energy without a pre-workout?
One of the amazing benefits of Intermittent Fasting is increased energy levels as a result of getting rid of dysfunctional mitochondria via autophagy. (Does all this sound a little too science-y? Don't worry, I break it ALL down in THIS workshop.) This means that the more you utilize Intermittent Fasting, the better your cells get at producing energy and the higher your energy levels become naturally and without any pre-workout! In fact, many #AENpeeps report back significantly higher energy levels in the morning after just a few weeks of implementing the protocols from The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle.
But if you DO need a little boost in the morning while your body is getting used to this energy level transition, here are two natural means of caffeine that I suggest that WON'T break your fast!
1. Mold-free coffee
This is nature's pre-workout: all the caffeine and antioxidants without any of the nasty natural flavors and additives! You can even have your coffee black or as Keto Coffee if you need something satiating as well - get the recipe HERE.
2. Green tea or matcha
Tea is typically lower in caffeine, so if you are sensitive to caffeine or you don't like coffee, then tea is a great route for you. Just remember to not sweeten it! Sweetener will break your fast (check out my article on Monk Fruit HERE). Instead, you can convert your tea into a Keto Tea as well! Check out my Instagram story highlights on how to do this HERE.