Pre-workout is generally safe for breastfeeding. But. Like most things, the devil is in the detail. If you’re a new (or expectant) mom, this article will help you figure out if pre-workout is okay for you and share our thoughts on some brands we like.
The first thing to know is that pre-workout, like dietary supplements in general, are not regulated by the FDA. You have to do more research to understand the ingredients, and choose a reputable brand.
Also good to remember that as a rule, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor or a lactation consultant before using any(!) supplements.
What is Pre-Workout?
As the name suggests, pre-workout is taken before exercise to enhance performance, increase energy, improve muscle recovery and improve focus. It typically comes in powder form and is mixed with water or another drink.
It is used widely by athletes, bodybuilders, and regular fitness enthusiasts to help them push through workouts and achieve fitness goals. So if you are considering using pre-workout, you’re in good company.
Not all supplements are created equal though.
Many pre-workout supplements will contain a combination of ingredients. Caffeine, amino acids, creatine, and beta-alanine are common.
However anything with high levels of stimulants, will generally not be ideal for breastfeeding moms and pregnant women.
Isn’t caffeine safe?
We already know that caffeine can lead to irritability, poor sleep, and decreased milk supply. So, moderation is key.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastfeeding mothers limit caffeine intake to no more than 300 milligrams per day.
What this means is that it is a good idea to choose a pre-workout supplement that contains no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Ideally, we would suggest choosing a stimulant-free brand.
Just as your morning cup of coffee can sometimes leave you feeling jittery, you need to be sure that this is not passing to your baby.
You want to watch baby very closely to see if and how she is reacting to your pre-workout.
How long after drinking pre-workout can I breastfeed?
Pre-workout stimulants will generally pass through your body in an hour or two.
If you notice that your pre-work is affecting your baby, you can try a few things to minimise the effect
- Pump into a bottle right before you nurse – this could help clear some of the caffeine from your body before baby gets her turn.
- You could also nurse or pump before taking the pre-workout. This allows your body a little bit more time to process the caffeine and clear some of it from your system before baby’s next feeding.
- Cut back on caffeine intake elsewhere. Skip some coffee (or other caffeinated drinks and snacks) during the rest of the day.
- If all else fails choose a stimulant free pre-workout brand.
Ingredients to definitely avoid
Some supplements will use “proprietary blends”. Avoid these. It just means you can’t be sure what’s really in there. Better safe than sorry.
It is best to avoid any supplements that contain:
- Dimethylamylamine (DMAA)
These ingredients have been linked to conditions like high blood pressure, seizures, and heart problems.
Phenylalanine and glucuronolactone may also decrease milk supply.
Our Top Pre-Workout options
Check out our top picks below. We’ve grouped the non-stimulant pre workout brands separately
We like D2’s smooth rush of energy and focus without the jitters or post-workout crash. Plus, it’s packed with science-backed ingredients to help boost strength, power, endurance, and workout performance. It uses naturally occurring caffeine as well.
The raspberry lemonade flavor may not be for everyone though. LOL.
- NO MARK UP COSTS = THE BEST VALUE. We don't believe in overcharging you for great products formulated with premium ingredients. We cut out all of the middle men, giving you the lowest, most affordable price for the best supplements filled with proven, science backed ingredients!
- BOOSTS ENERGY & FOCUS - Experience a surge in energy and concentration with our Women's Pre Workout! Formulated with potent ingredients such as Coffeeberry Energy and S7, this supplement delivers laser-sharp focus and long-lasting endurance, ensuring you can tackle any challenging workout. Unlike other pre-workouts, our product is designed to give you the desired boost without the unpleasant jitters or crash, allowing you to train with confidence and intensity.
- ENHANCES STRENGTH & ENDURANCE - Our Women's Pre Workout is specifically designed to enhance your strength and endurance, with premium ingredients like S7, L-Citrulline, and L-Carnitine. These powerhouse components help to maximize performance, strength, pump, and growth, helping you achieve your fitness goals without putting a dent in your wallet. Get ready to unlock your full potential with our scientifically-backed pre-workout formula.
- GUARANTEED RESULTS OR YOUR MONEY BACK - Don't let the affordable price fool you, our women's pre workout packs a punch with its scientifically formulated blend of powerhouse ingredients. At the heart of our product lies our unwavering commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. If for any reason you're not completely satisfied, simply let us know and we'll make it right with our hassle-free, no-questions-asked refund policy.
- TRUE VALUE - Step into the realm of real value with D2 Nutrition, the ultimate pre-workout supplement. While we don't claim to have the best pre-workout on the market, we do promise to offer you the best value for your money. You'll get a premium blend of ingredients without breaking the bank. Get ready to level up your workouts and experience the difference for yourself.
If you’re not a regular coffee drinker the Alani Nu line is a great option.
Packed with 200 mg of caffeine to provide energy during workouts and training sessions, and with 1.6g of Beta-Alanine, 6g of Citrulline, 500mg of L-Tyrosine to support your goals
The 100% transparent ingredients means no proprietary blends, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body
Lots of caffeine though. If you have plenty of caffeine elsewhere in your diet, consider skipping this one.
- PRE WORKOUT PUMP: Turn your workouts up a notch with our flavor packed Pre-Workout. Formulated to provide you with 200mg of caffeine, sourced naturally from coffee beans to provide sustained and steady energy. The endurance and performance you need, in crisp flavors you deserve.
- INCREASE PERFORMANCE: Take 20-30 minutes before your workout for sustained energy and endurance to help achieve your fitness goals. Alani Nu Preworkout contains essential amino acids like L-Theanine to prevent you from crashing, Citrulline to improve the amount of oxygen in your muscle tissue, provides enzymes crucial to cardiovascular health, and beta alanine to regulate lactic acid accumulation in muscles.
- CRAVABLE FLAVORS: Don’t wait for cheat day! Indulge in delicious flavors like Hawaiian Shaved Ice, Mimosa, and Blue Slush – all without the sugar. Check out all of our preworkout flavors in the Alani Nu Brand Store.
- GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN AND SUGAR FREE: Alani Pre Workout is formulated to be gluten free, vegan and no sugar to keep the goodness within each jar of pre-workout. 100% transparent ingredients mean no proprietary blends, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body
- ALANI NU PRE-WORKOUT: Here for your taste buds – Alani Nu was founded in 2018 by entrepreneur and influencer, Katy Hearn, Alani Nu is a health and wellness brand focused on providing low-calorie products with unique flavors. Check out everything else from Alani Nu and follow us through our brand store to stay up to date on all things Alani! Alani pre-workout is not recommended for Children, People Sensitive to Caffeine, Pregnant Women or Women Nursing
We like Honey Badger’s Pre Workout Powder for its energy boost. It is made with natural ingredients that are safe for both mom and baby.
- PRE WORKOUT POWDER WITH NO FILLERS: Reach your focus, intensity, energy, and endurance fitness goals with Honey Badger keto pre workout for men and women. Use pre workout, during your workout, post workout, or for anytime energy when you need a performance boost or a quick pick me up.
- VEGAN, KETO, PALEO, NATURAL & CLEAN INGREDIENTS: This clean pre workout energy supplement is made in the USA with zero sugar, sucralose, and is completely soy and gluten free. Honey Badger sugar free pre workout powder is clean, fast-absorbing, and easily digestive. Made with Amino Acids L-Citrulline Malate 3:1 and Beta-Alanine, and Nootropics N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Caffeine Anhydrous (From Natural Plants), Pterostilbene, and Vitamin C.
- ZERO SUGAR = ZERO CRASH: Keep that momentum going with Honey Badger pre workout powder! Made with natural, organic stevia leaf extract that is erythritol free meaning it’s non-habit forming and won’t make you crash mid-workout or post-workout.
- NATURALLY SWEETENED: Our vegan pre workout is made with clean flavors with no artificial sweeteners or dyes so you can be confident you’re not putting junk into your body. Original fruit-inspired flavors that are unmatched for an original taste.
- SCIENCE-BACKED FORMULATION: Feel good ingredients designed to help you crush your goals, build muscle, and boost your strength and endurance. Honey Badger sports nutrition products are GMP and Third-Party tried and true, Optimized, and Multipurpose Formulas with Full Label Disclosure of Active Ingredients.
Legion Pulse’s money back guarantee makes it a popular pre-workout option.
The line includes caffeinated and caffeine-free options, and has a range of flavors to choose from. We also like that the ingredients are all-natural.
- 100% ALL NATURAL PRE WORKOUT POWDER. Pulse is a naturally sweetened and flavored pre workout supplement that contains large and effective doses of the best science-backed ingredients, including those found in many nitric oxide supplements: L citrulline malate, betaine, beta alanine and alpha gpc.
- BOOSTS ENERGY & FOCUS. Mix a serving of this preworkout for women and men with water, swig it down, and get fired up and zeroed in and crush your workout . . . and without the jitters, upset stomach, or post-workout crash.
- ENHANCES STRENGTH & ENDURANCE. This all natural preworkout powder is a nitric oxide booster and helps you push more weight and reps, get bigger and better pumps, and gain more muscle and strength.
- GUARANTEED RESULTS OR YOUR MONEY BACK. If you're not 100% satisfied with this preworkout for men and women, just notify us and we’ll give you a prompt and courteous refund on the spot. No complicated forms and no return necessary.
- THE MAN BEHIND THE BRAND. Tired of the exaggeration and lies of the workout supplements industry? So was Mike Mathews, international bestselling fitness author with over a million books sold, and that's why he created Legion Athletics.
Pre-Game Stim Free
What’s not to love. D2’s stimulant free pre workout brand gets you the boost you need – all natural and caffeine free.
Plus its a great value and comes with a money back guarantee
Alternatives to Pre-Workout
There are several options for getting a more natural energy boost without the downsides of pre-workout.
Natural Energy Boosters
Eating a balanced meal or snack that includes complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats can provide sustained energy throughout your workout. Some great options include:
- Whole grain toast with almond butter and banana slices
- Greek yogurt with berries and granola
- Oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit
In addition to food, there are several natural supplements that can provide an energy boost without the use of stimulants. These include:
- Green tea: contains some caffeine and antioxidants that can improve focus and energy
- B vitamins: important for energy metabolism and can help reduce fatigue
- Iron: essential for oxygen transport in the body and can help prevent fatigue
Healthy nutrition and constant hydration
A healthy and balanced diet will help ensure that both you and your baby are receiving the proper nutrients. According to the Mayo Clinic, breastfeeding mothers should consume an additional 450 to 500 calories per day to support milk production.
Stay hydrated while breastfeeding and exercising. Drink plenty of water – it will not only prevent dehydration, it will also help support milk production.
Listen to your body. If you experience any adverse effects after using pre-workout, stop using it and consult your healthcare provider.
While pre-workout supplements may be safe to consume in moderation, it’s important to consult with your doctor and read labels carefully to ensure that you and your baby are receiving the proper nutrition and avoiding any potential risks.