Is Pre-Workout Bad For Teens Or Is It Safe? Beginners Guide

Is Pre-Workout Bad for Teens or is it Safe? Beginners Guide

Last Updated on May, 2024

Hey, If you are here, I think I can make a wild guess. 

Did you have another fallback with your teens about pre workout fuel?!

Are they convincing you that pre-workouts are legit fuels to improve their performance?

It’s obvious! As parents, you might wonder, is pre-workout bad for teens?

I shall drum down everything you should know about preworkout supplements in this article.

So you can make the right call on deciding whether it is the green light solution for your teens or a red alert danger for their health.

Is Pre-Workout Safe for Teens?

pre workout pills in a hand

If you are looking only for the ‘safe’ option when taking pre-workout, then YES, it is safe for teens to take pre-workout.

Most workout supplements contain ingredients like creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, and branched-chain amino acids, which can be beneficial for teens if taken at an efficacious dosage.

If you are looking for both safe and good options, you must read the article further.

Tips for Taking Pre-Workout Supplements

Teen athletes can benefit from pre-workout with proper research and precautions.

  • Avoid buying them workout supplement containing excessive amounts of caffeine.
  • Refrain your teens from getting hold of pre workout supplement with exotic stimulants like DMAA, DMHA, DMBA, etc.
  • Ensure that the pre workout supplement is regulated by a third party and contains 100% natural ingredients.
  • Don’t buy them any pre workout drink containing artificial flavors like sugar alcohols.
  • Don’t let your teens rely on sports supplement entirely.

Related content: Andrew Huberman Testosterone Supplements List

Benefits and Downsides of Pre-workout for Teens

Benefits of Pre-Workout

Enhances Performances

Most of the supplements are designed with ingredients like creatine, branched chain amino acids and sodium bicarbonate to help professional and young athletes to enhance their performance and lose weight.

These ingredients also help teenage athletes and young gym-goers to chase pumps.

Dilate the Blood Vessels

Nitrate is the man behind this reap.

Nitrate that gets converted in the body as nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels for proper delivery of nutrients and oxygen to boost the energy level and for muscle growth. (1)

teenagers holding dumbbells

Helps to Fight Fatigue

Supplements containing concentrated caffeine and beta-alanine help to reduce fatigue and give your teens the ping to cruise through their morning workouts. (2)

Downsides of Pre-Workout

High Caffeine Dosage

Excessive caffeine intake can impact the body negatively, resulting in increased blood pressure, trouble sleeping, and anxiety. (3)

The optimal range of caffeine that a teen can have is 200mg, but certain supplements contain more than 400mg.

Not Regulated

The FDA doesn’t regulate all dietary supplements as drugs but as foods. And those regulated pre-workouts cost you an arm and a leg.

Most of the supplements are made outside America.

Another drawback is that the manufacturers aren’t required to provide scientific evidence for what they are claiming these supplements can do.

No Proper Research

No studies have been done on teens until now, so it is unclear whether dietary supplements can help them without being a bang for their health.

Nutrition Scientist Bridget Benelam from the British Nutrition Foundation says:

”There doesn’t appear to be much research on the benefits of these products, although there is some evidence that caffeine may improve sports performance in some cases. These studies are typically done in athletes, so it’s unclear how relevant this is for the wider population.”

Eating Disorder

It has been witnessed over the years that many teens taking supplements are likely to have developed an eating disorder and are seen working out vigorously.

Side Effects of Pre-Workout for Teens

Side Effects of Pre-Workout for Teens
  • Excessive caffeine can affect sleeping patterns, nausea, headaches, and insomnia. (4)
  • Creatine monohydrate in workouts can make you gain body weight. (5)
  • It can cause tingling.
  • Taking a pre-workout can cause stomach upsets like diarrhea and nausea.
  • It can cause dehydration.
  • Many of the ingredients in a pre-workout are essentially hormones so that they can result in changes in secondary sex characteristics like breast development in boys and facial hair growth in girls.

What is the Right Age to Take Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout is designed for adults above the age of 18, not for young athletes. But the right age to take pre-workouts is 21 when your teen’s body is fully developed.

Most pre-workout supplements contain multiple formulas that aren’t scientifically proven beneficial for teens.

Is Pre-workout Necessary for Teens?

Taking a pre-workout before any athletic performance is not necessary, and food is the best thing your child can have before hitting the gym or ground.

”Pre-workouts are not essential for quality performance.” Confirms Ali Patterson, spokesman for Sports Dietitians Australia.

Don’t let your teens rely on a pre-workout to give an outstanding performance. Their hormones are peaking right now for them to bring about their best game.

Best Ways to Build up the Body Without Preying on Supplements

Pre-workout has its purposes, but you can make your child achieve the exact purposes from other sources with solid proof.

Fuel the Body With the Right Food

Nutrient foods

Nutrient food may sound bland, but it is the best formula to keep your child fit.

Three full dietary meals and some fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are enough to boost their energy and enhance their performance.

It is intuitively clear that food is far superior to any workout supplement.

Keep the Body Hydrated

Hydration is the key factor during a workout. Staying hydrated can improve muscle contractions and regulate blood flow. (6)

Water is the best drink that can prevent the body from dehydration. 

According to the guidelines of the American Council of Exercise, Before exercising, young athletes and teens should have 17 to 20 ounces of water for 2 or 3 hours.

7 to 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes during a good workout.

And 8 ounces of water nearly 30 minutes after exercising.

So make them drink ONLY water before, during, and after workouts.

Having a Proper Sleeping Pattern

Good sleep is a secret ingredient to enhancing athletic performance. An athlete needs more than 9 hours of sleep.

”Getting enough sleep is crucial for athletic performance.” Says David Geier, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, SC.

Solid sleep is inherently superior to any pre-workout supplements.



Teenagers like things to be simple but trendy, which is why we see young athletes jump on the bandwagon bolting towards pre-workout.

Pre-workout is not bad, but that doesn’t mean it is good for teens. Experts are on the horn of dilemma on whether to wave a red flag to pre-workout or signal it with a green light.

There are scientifically proven good ones too. But evidence that they are good for teens is still patchy.

My advice to young adults is that if you need a quick fix or a resistance force to stay strong during a leg day, get it from a whole food rich in nutrition.

You are still young and have a long way to go, so don’t give in to a short-term fix.

And dear parents, talk to your teens and buy them out of the idea of fueling their bodies with borrowed energy from drinks and supplements.

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Linda Walter
I’m a fitness trainer and a health coach. My GOAL is to empower everyone to live a healthier life even after passing their prime. You can find more about me here.

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