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by trumeta | April 2, 2024

Does Pre Workout Cause Acne? The Real Scoop

Pink Coloured Pre Workout Drink

Are you worried about acne breakouts and keep asking yourself… does pre-workout cause acne? The worry might be real, but is there any actual truth in this?

Factors such as hormones, genes, and skincare routines are the major determinants of people’s susceptibility to acne breakouts. Although pre-workout supplements are believed to increase energy levels, focus, and performance, among other things, their relationship with acne has raised controversies.

In this article, we will unravel the complex association between pre-workout supplements and acne breakouts, drawing upon concerns within professional bodybuilding circles. Stay tuned, as we will be explaining the biological mechanisms of these supplements and assessing their potential to cause acne.

Also, if you’ve ever wondered, how long does pre-workout last? explore our other blogs. 

Does Pre-Workout Make You Break Out?

So, does pre-workout actually cause acne? It is most probable that your pre-workout supplement doesn’t cause breakouts. However, some ingredients in pre-workout powders can worsen skin problems for those with acne-prone skin.

Dermatologists haven’t fully figured out what causes acne, and it differs from one person to another. This is why it’s not easy to say that pre-workout supplements are the cause of acne.

Currently, the Internet is filled with personal anecdotes alleging that pre-workouts cause breakouts. These worrying stories do exist online, however, the correlation doesn’t imply causation.

While the question: does a pre-workout cause acne? remains valid, the answer is most unlikely. Just because you start taking pre-workout supplements and suddenly suffer an outbreak doesn’t mean that there’s any direct connection between the two. 

Why Pre-Workout Might Cause Acne

Woman Stretching Before a Workout

So much work has gone into research on pre-workout supplements and their link to acne. However, does pre-workout cause acne? Well, the science behind pre-workout and acne is still incomplete, and no direct connection between acne and pre-workout has been established. 

So, why are you breaking out? Maybe bacteria, genetics, or stress are at play. Or perhaps your suspicions are right – an ingredient in your pre-workout could be the issue. So, what do you do? Smart buyers also inspect their purchases. Go through every ingredient in that list! 

The specific components that should concern you are artificial sweeteners, high sugar content, caffeine, and BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids). Such constituents are common in pre-workout powders and may have implications for individuals who get pimples.

Excessive sweating, hormonal imbalances, poor hygiene practices, and dietary patterns can also influence whether or not one gets acne. Therefore, well-informed decisions about fitness supplements and acne management should include an analysis of each component that could affect our skin health due to previous exposure to pre-workout ingredients.

Pre-Workout Ingredients That May Trigger Acne Breakouts

Two Spoons Of Pre Workout

We cannot link acne directly to any pre-workout ingredients. However, some common ones may trigger a breakout in certain individuals. 

Caffeine

While caffeine can indeed boost workout energy, it is important to note that high levels of caffeine found in pre-workout products can stress the skin, which can create a slight shift in balance. Sometimes, too much caffeine leads to dehydration and dry, acne-prone skin.

The association between acne and coffee drinking is evident from research by the National Institute of Health[1]. This research points out that caffeine has a diuretic effect on the kidneys, increasing urine production, which affects the skin in two main ways. 

An increased volume of urine can result in dehydration throughout the body. Overly dehydrated skin is fine for most people. However, do you suffer from acne? If so, you should know that oily skin won’t bring you any relief – not even close. And how about magnesium, which has anti-inflammatory effects? Caffeine modifies the absorption rate, increasing various health issues, including inflamed acne-prone skin. 

Artificial Sweeteners

Some pre-workout supplements include artificial sweeteners like sucralose to improve taste. Some people may develop acne due to the use of artificial sweeteners[2]. The linked study revealed that 200mg of sucralose taken each day for four weeks by 15 participants increased the likelihood of acne.

High Glycemic Diet

Acne arises from increased keratinization, sebum production, and pro-inflammatory skin responses. These factors are interconnected and may contribute to the development and persistence of acne lesions. 

Another factor linked to acne is a high-glycemic diet. It might raise glucose levels in the body while impacting other physiological responses. This rise in glucose in the bloodstream could cause or worsen acne eruptions.

Creatine

After consuming creatine, a compound known for its water-absorption property, one may feel extremely thirsty or require more water intake. Creatine has been linked to increased production of male hormones, potentially causing acne. 

Moreover, it can trigger excess sebum production and thus lead to frequent breakouts. While no scientific evidence directly links creatine with acne, anecdotal evidence has suggested a correlation between these two conditions.

Amino Acids

Your body needs branched-chain amino acids to function well. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine perform different functions, and leucine could be linked to acne. The link between BCAAs and acne lies in hormone regulation. BCAA impacts hormones, which affect skin oiliness and sebum production in particular. This leads to excessive sebum that can clog pores, creating an environment for bacteria that cause pimples.

Consuming BCAAs with food may help reduce the risk of acne caused by them. This decreases hormonal influence and the likelihood of adverse reactions. When selecting a suitable BCAA brand, one should research, read reviews, and ask for professional opinions.

Dairy

Dairy is another ingredient that is sometimes added to pre-workout supplements. Many surveys, mainly among young people and adolescents, suggest an association between regular dairy product intake and increased acne severity[3]. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the current studies lack quality and conclusive evidence but suggest correlation without showing causation.

Dairy as a direct cause of acne has yet to be investigated for clear results, regardless of whether such investigations are speculative. The relationship between frequent dairy consumption and increased severity of acne remains vague.

Tips for Managing Acne While Taking Pre-Workouts

For those who can’t afford a gym session without first getting their blood pumping from a pre-workout drink, here are things you can do to get that pump going without risking an acne outbreak.

Skincare

Maintaining 24/7 facial hydration is important because pre-workout tends to dry the skin. If your workout involves sweating, choose a light gel moisturizer that sinks in quickly without leaving an oily residue.

Have you heard of salicylic acid face wash? It’s a must-have in your beauty regimen. It effectively exfoliates the skin and cleans pores from dirt, excess oil, and pore-clogging debris. Ditch using body wash or hand soap for your face – that causes more trouble! 

Hydrate

Drink water consistently throughout the day, even when you are not thirsty, to prevent dehydration. If you experience increased toilet trips due to pre-workout supplements, seek to replace this fluid loss consciously.

It is important to stay properly hydrated during workouts. Sweat mingles with water drawn by creatine-containing pre-workouts into muscles at the expense of other body parts. The intensity of exercise and amount of supplement consumed determine dehydration levels.

Lukewarm Showers After Workout

Cold or very hot water may cause your skin to dry out and break, resulting in excessive oil production by your body, which can increase the likelihood of breakouts. So, after exercising, you should take a lukewarm shower, as this helps wash away dirt without drying your skin. 

Wear Sunscreen

Never step outside without applying some sunscreen! Use one with at least 30+ SPF. Make sure it provides coverage against UVB and UVA rays. When you exercise or spend time outdoors, the skin dries up due to excessive exposure to sunlight, prompting the body to produce more oil, which may generate pimples when trapped in the clogged skin pores. Wearing suitable sunscreen saves your skin from such risks and keeps it healthy.

Post-Workout Nutrition for Clear Skin

Man Doing an Exercise for his Back With Dumbbells

The food you take in after a workout session can help with getting back the muscles, improving your overall health, and even lead to good skin. An optimal post-workout diet may result in a clear complexion while compensating for pre-workout ingredients that might trigger acne.

Antioxidants

If you want clearer skin, choose antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, dark leafy greens, and nuts that defend against free radicals and pro-inflammatory activity. Some additional antioxidant-rich foods include:

  • Spices (ginger, turmeric, garlic) and herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Red cabbage (Purple cabbage)
  • Kale
  • Raspberries
  • Goji berries
  • Artichokes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pecans
  • Dark chocolate
  • Okra
  • Cranberries
  • Plums
  • Gala apples
  • Green tea
  • Black tea

Healthy Fats

There are good fats and bad ones. That slab of butter falls into the latter category. Ditch that for the following:

  • Fish (like tuna, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and trout)
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Nut and seed butter
  • Olive oil
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt
  • Peanuts

Proteins

Select poultry, turkey, beans, and lentils as lean protein sources that will be good for the muscles without acne flare-ups. Here are more choices to help you in getting your daily dose of protein:

  • Chicken breast
  • Protein powders
  • Beans and lentils
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Turkey breast
  • Tofu
  • Lean beef
  • Egg whites
  • Venison
  • Legumes
  • White poultry meat
  • Powdered peanut butter
  • Low-fat milk
  • Pork loin
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Bison

Complex Carbohydrates

Choose complex carbohydrates[4] over other types! They have a lower glycemic load. 

  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Millet
  • Bulgur Wheat
  • Barley
  • Wild Rice
  • Farro
  • Buckwheat
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Beets
  • Acorn Squash
  • Delicata Squash
  • Parsnips)
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Mangoes

Unleash Your Peak Performance With Trumeta Pre-Workout Powder

Ready to redefine your workout experience? What if we told you that there exists a simple way to get a healthy body and mind? The answer is trumeta pre-workout powder. It makes every workout a pleasant experience so that you’ll want to keep on going. This novel formula brings you maximum physical and mental agility. Its ingredients include:

  • Thiamin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 not only fuel the body’s energy production but also support the nervous and immune systems.
  • L-tyrosine is vital in brain function because it enhances neurotransmitter production.
  • Beta-alanine delays fatigue and improves muscle endurance during high-intensity exercises.
  • Beetroot powder drives an improved uptake of oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the muscles, which helps enhance recovery times and strength.
  • Ginseng extract functions as an adaptogen that prepares your mind for action.
  • Caffeine Anhydrous stimulates the central nervous system, thereby reducing discomfort associated with aches and maximizing performance; this feature makes it ideal for use prior to workouts or any strenuous activities. 

Life is about constantly challenging yourself to be a better you. Here is a list of benefits you’ll experience with Trumeta Pre-Workout Powder:

  • Enhanced Endurance Levels – Containing beta-alanine, Trumeta Pre-Workout improves endurance and prepares you well for tough exercises.
  • Sustained Energy Levels – Beetroot and B vitamins maintain continuous energy levels, which keeps one motivated throughout the period.
  • Improved Muscle Growth & Power – Ginseng plus L-tyrosine come together to generate a positive attitude that promotes muscular development and builds on power output.
  • Heightened Mental Focus – Caffeine anhydrous as well as L-tyrosine enhance sharp memory recall and total focus thus ensuring unwavering concentration on fitness purposes.

Clients swear by this product, so don’t give it a pass without trying it out. Subscribe today and save!

Key Takeaways

So, does pre-workout cause acne? Not really. Pre-workout supplements are not what really causes acne, but some ingredients like caffeine, sweeteners, creatine, BCAAs, and dairy can cause this condition to persist in people who suffer from it.

  • Caffeine is present in most pre-workouts. It could raise cortisol levels, which means more sweat and potentially worse for those prone to acne by leaving them dehydrated.
  • Sucralose sweetener is one of the known contributing factors to acne development.
  • Creatine, however, has no definitive link to acne growth, yet it may boost the production of male hormones.
  • BCAAs, especially leucine, can influence hormones, oily skin, and sebum secretion, thus causing blocked pores and facilitating acne.
  • Dairy product consumption may influence the severity of acne, but no conclusive evidence exists.

Are you taking pre-workouts and want to manage occasional breakouts? Tips include: 

  • Adhering to a proper skincare routine
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Taking cool showers after workout sessions
  • Using sunscreen
  • Consuming an appropriate diet

FAQs

Does Pre-Workout Make You Break Out?

No, your pre-workout supplement is probably not directly responsible for your acne. What might be the issue is its underlying ingredients. You might want to ditch a pre-workout containing caffeine, artificial sweeteners, creatine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and dairy. These may lead to breakouts. Observe your skin’s reactions after use to determine a product’s suitability. 

Can Creatine Cause Acne?

When you ingest creatine, you may experience dehydration as a side effect. That may aggravate acne, notably if you have sensitive skin. Creatine also drives an increase in male hormone production. As a result, you’ll have more sebum. That may cause you to develop acne. 

References

[1] Lohsiriwat, S., Hirunsai, M., & Chaiyaprasithi, B. (2011). Effect of caffeine on bladder function in patients with overactive bladder symptoms. Urology Annals, 3(1), 14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21346827/ 

[2] Lertrit, A., et al. (2018). Effects of sucralose on insulin and glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion in healthy subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition, 55–56, 125–130. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30005329/ 

[3] Ulvestad, M. E., et al. (2016). Acne and dairy products in adolescence: results from a Norwegian longitudinal study. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 31(3), 530–535. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27422392/ 

[4] Rd, J. K. (2023, February 15). What are complex carbohydrates? — and 28 to add to your diet. Health. https://www.health.com/complex-carbohydrates-7100033 

Clt, E. J. M. R. (2023, March 13). Top 6 foods that can cause acne. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-cause-acne 

DiGiacinto, J. (2023, November 6). Top 13 lean protein foods. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lean-protein-foods 

Is your workout causing your acne? (n.d.). https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/workouts 

Leonard, J. (2023, January 5). What are the healthiest high-fat foods? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322295#olive-oil 

Pappas, A. (2009). The relationship of diet and acne. Dermato-endocrinology, 1(5), 262–267. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/derm.1.5.10192 

Rd, J. K. (2024, February 6). The 11 best lean protein foods to eat. Health. https://www.health.com/lean-protein-foods-to-eat-8426344 

Rd, R. R. M. (2024, February 14). 14 Healthy foods high in antioxidants. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-antioxidants#bottom-line 

Thomsen, B. J., Chow, E., & Sapijaszko, M. (2020). The Potential Uses of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Dermatology: a review. Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, 24(5), 481–494. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1203475420929925 

Zouboulis, C. C., Jourdan, É., & Picardo, M. (2013). Acne is an inflammatory disease, and alterations of sebum composition initiate acne lesions. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 28(5), 527–532. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jdv.12298 


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