Ingredients in pre-workout may contribute to acne and other side effects. For instance, the high caffeine content in pre-workout might dry out your face and worsen acne. Additionally, artificial sweeteners in pre-workouts can increase your insulant resistance, which has been associated with the emergence of acne. Hormonal shifts could influence acne outbreaks.

There isn’t any scientific proof to support the assertions that certain foods and components either cause acne or make it worse, except for anecdotal evidence.

Everyone is aware that greasy, sugary foods are frequently associated with acne. People who consume a diet high in whole foods, low in processed and refined goods, and high in fruits and vegetables have lower rates of acne, according to a few modest research studies.

Does Pre Workout Cause Acne?

Several pre-workout substances have been linked to acne. To improve the flavor of their products, some pre-workout supplements add sweets like sucralose to their compositions.

These supplements have been linked to acne breakouts in certain people’s faces, which their ingredients may be to blame for. However, the precise reason for the breakouts is not yet known for sure.

Additionally, pre-workout artificial sweeteners can increase your resistance to insulin, which is linked to the emergence of acne. In addition, whey protein powders used in pre-workout drinks, like protein or whey smoothies, can also result in acne flare-ups.

Pre-Workout Ingredients That Might Cause Acne

does pre workout give you acne

This data does not imply that everyone who uses pre-workout supplements will have acne breakouts. How each person’s skin is built determines how that person’s skin responds to the substances used. To discover the most likely causes, keep reading this article- 

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, which have a sweet flavor, are often found in pre-workout supplements and have the potential to worsen acne. A recent study reveals that they can raise insulin levels similarly to ordinary sugar, which may explain how this can occur.

Compared to a placebo group or a natural sweetener, studies on the intake of aspartame and sucralose have shown that they can cause a rise in insulin levels and insulin resistance.

Therefore, choosing a pre-workout medication without artificial sweeteners may be your best bet if you want to reduce your risk of developing acne. Utilizing an all-natural pre-workout that may contain a stevia-like natural sweetener is an alternative.

2. Sugar

Pre-workouts are typically sweetened with sugar, which may cause hormonal imbalance and lead to acne. Acne flare-ups are associated with an energy-dense eating pattern (high sugar and fat diet).

The high glycemic load of the product raises the circulating levels of two hormones, insulin, and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is the scientific explanation for this link. These two hormones promote cell division and prevent cell death, which results in the buildup of oxidative stress and sets off inflammation. And the development of acne is influenced by these processes.

3. Caffeine

Pre-workout pills are generally known to include a lot of stimulants. A typical supplement will have 100–300 mg of caffeine per serving. Acne may result from this. Because it can elevate your heart rate and raise your body temperature, caffeine, in particular, can be problematic.

Adrenal glands that produce cortisol become overactive as a result of this often. Drinking a cup of coffee in place of a stimulant-containing supplement prior to exercise is a decent substitute.

4. Whey

Many consumers have stated that using whey protein supplements caused them to break out with acne. As previously established, whey protein has a high concentration of amino acids. Nine essential amino acids are present in milk, and dairy products have long been associated with acne outbreaks.

Whey protein, a byproduct of milk, is connected to acne. It’s because whey protein boosts IGF-1 production, a hormone that, once more, tends to enhance sebum production and thus leads to acne outbreaks. Additionally, it can start synthesizing hormones (androgens) that overstimulate your oil glands. Such that it blocks your pores and causes acne to appear.

5. BCAAs

The branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine are added to pre-workout supplements in a 2:1:1 ratio for their potential to increase protein synthesis and improve recovery. However, the amino acid leucine, which is present in the highest ratio, plays a part in activating bodily processes that increase sebum production and acne development.

The “mTORC1 pathway” detects the signals from protein-rich meals, especially leucine, and activates the sebaceous gland to produce sebum or lipogenesis. Thus, sebocytes transform this leucine into fatty acids and sterols, which are then used to create sebaceous lipids (sebum).

Furthermore, overactivation of the mTORC1 pathway leads to an increase in androgen hormone production, promoting sebum production. Both of these methods point to leucine’s involvement in the development of acne outbreaks, as does its function in the mTORC1 pathway.

Tips To Reduce Acne

1. Consuming Fish Oil

Fish oils are rich in omega-3s, which have a lot of beneficial effects like better skin health and decreased inflammation. Additionally, fish oils help reduce hormone production, which is advantageous for acne sufferers. DHA and EPA, which have been shown to lower inflammation and assist in lessening the severity of acne, are also present in fish oil supplements.

2. Add Enough Vitamin A To Your Diet

Powerful antioxidant vitamin A can help regulate hormonal balance and stop the imbalanced production of skin oil that leads to acne. Additionally, it has been proven to lessen inflammation. A person needs 5,000 IU of vitamin A each day, but too much might negatively affect other parts of the body.

3. Take A Cold Water Shower

By reducing skin oiliness with hot showers, the body produces extra oil to compensate for the loss. For people who have acne, this may be an issue because it can clog pores and make symptoms worse. Cold showers assist in removing oil buildup from the skin without drying it out, which makes them ideal for clearing up pimples.

The immune system can be strengthened by taking cold showers since they raise white blood cell counts. A higher white cell count indicates a greater ability to combat acne-causing germs.


Although pre-workout beverages, pre-workout powders, pre-workout supplements ( Finaflex Stimul8, Pro Supp’s Mr. Hyde, Das Labs ), shakes, whey shakes, and other supplements can all uplift your mood, enhance your physical performance, and assist you in reaching your fitness objectives, they should be used with caution if you are prone to acne.

Although pre-workouts have many positive health effects, they are not the greatest choice if you want clear skin. Small studies and anecdotal data suggest that some components may make your skin break out more frequently than others, despite the fact that the precise cause of acne cannot be identified.

To prevent any negative skin responses if you have sensitive skin, you should talk to a doctor before attempting a pre-workout. Numerous pre-workout supplements have been related to acne, so it’s crucial to conduct your homework, examine the ingredients, and heed the aforementioned advice to lessen acne triggers.

Frequently Asked Questions

The ability of beta-alanine to produce acne has been a subject of much debate. There is no proof that this is the case. Pre-workout stimulants and testosterone-boosting drugs like Tribulus have both been linked to an increase in acne in some individuals.

There is no proof that creatine can worsen acne or that there is a connection between creatine and acne. In reality, creatine is regarded as one of the most secure and efficient supplements for muscle growth. It’s crucial to see a doctor before taking any supplements, despite the lack of evidence supporting many of the purported side effects of creatine.

Acne outbreaks can be brought on by excessive sweating, especially on the back or chest. The use of steroids is one factor contributing to bodybuilders’ acne. The production of testosterone by steroids results in severe acne.

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