Can Pre-Workout Supplements Cause UTIs?

January 8, 2024 |

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Pre-workout supplements are a popular choice for people who want to get a quick burst of energy before they hit the gym.

However, there is some evidence that these supplements may also increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the evidence and discuss what you can do to reduce your risk of UTI.

What are pre-workout supplements and what do they do for the body?

Pre-workout supplements are nutritional products that contain ingredients such as caffeine, creatine monohydrate, and BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids).

These substances have been shown to increase energy levels, improve athletic performance and help build muscle mass.

pre workout man

Pre-workout supplements are intended to give the body a boost before exercise. Their ingredients make them capable to improve alertness. Some of them include – protein powders, amino acids, nitric oxide precursors, and herbs.

The most common purposes of pre-workout supplements are to improve energy levels, increase strength and endurance, and promote fat loss.

However, the effects vary from person to person because everyone’s body responds differently to different ingredients. So it’s important to do your research and find the right supplement for you.

One crucial thing it does to your body is release stored sugar so you have enough energy for the workout.

This is why people take it before working out to give them a boost of energy and help their performance in the gym.

Can Pre-Workout Supplements Cause UTIs?

So far from research, I’m yet to see any evidence that proves pre-workout supplements cause UTIs.

However, the little information available on this topic suggests some ingredients in these supplements could increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Especially if you have an underlying problem.

Caffeine is one ingredient found in many pre-workout products and studies have shown it to be a diuretic. This means that caffeine can make your body produce more urine than usual.

This might increase the risk of UTI because when you’re urinating frequently it’s possible for bacteria in the urethra to travel up and cause an infection in other parts of your urinary system (the kidneys or bladder).

Creatine is another ingredient found in many pre-workout supplements. Studies have shown that creatine can cause dehydration, which could also increase your risk of developing a UTI.

Again, there’s no study to back this up, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re considering taking a pre-workout supplement that contains caffeine.

How can someone know if they have a UTI? (symptoms)

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is a bacterial infection that affects any part of the urinary system. Symptoms can vary from person to person.

Regardless of your age and gender, you must be very careful if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent Urination (urinating more often than normal)
  • Pain with urination (burning sensation or pain when peeing)
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Feelings of pressure in the bladder and pelvic area
  • Intense itching around the urethra
  • (opening of the vagina for females)
  • Fever and chills, may be a sign that there’s an infection in your kidneys or bladder.
  • Nausea and vomiting if you’re pregnant because UTIs are common during pregnancy due to changes in hormone levels that can lead to increased susceptibility to infections such as those caused by bacteria like Escherichia Coli (E. coli) or Staphylococcus Aureus (S. aureus)

What are some of the most common causes of UTIs in both men and women?

When it comes to the causes of UTIs, bacteria are the usual suspects. But there are other things that can increase your risk of developing a UTI too:

For women:

  • Having intercourse (the closer the contact, the higher the risk)
  • Wiping from back to front after using the toilet (this moves fecal matter towards the urethra)
  • Using diaphragms, spermicides, or condoms with spermicide
  • Holding your urine for a long time (can give bacteria an opportunity to grow in the urinary tract)
  • Menopause (due to decreased estrogen levels, which makes the urethra more susceptible to infection)

For men:

  • Poor sanitation in public toilets (e.g., not washing hands)
  • Not wiping your butt properly after going to the toilet and before putting on underwear or pants again will result in bacteria from feces getting into the urethra when you put those clothes back on. This could lead to an infection if left untreated
  • Having an enlarged prostate (this puts pressure on the urethra and can slow down the flow of urine, making it a breeding ground for bacteria)
  • Infections elsewhere in the body that spread to the urinary tract (e.g., HIV/AIDS, leukemia)

So as you can see, there are many things that can increase your risk of developing a UTI.

How about its treatment?

The treatment for UTIs depends on where the infection is located:

If it is in the urethra, it can be treated with antibiotics that you take by mouth.

If it is in the bladder, you may need to take antibiotics intravenously (by infusion into a vein) or through a urinary catheter.

If it is in the kidneys, you will likely require hospitalization and treatment with antibiotics given intravenously.

Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s important to be aware of the things that can increase your risk of developing a UTI and take steps to reduce those risks where possible.

For example:

  • Wiping from front to back after using the toilet
  • Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated (especially water)
  • Taking showers instead of baths
  • Washing your hands before and after using the toilet
  • Keeping your genital area clean (but not overdoing it)
  • Using a contraceptive during intercourse
  • Taking steps to prevent constipation (e.g., eating more fiber) or bowel movements being too large, hard, and difficult to pass (e.g., drinking water)
  • Not holding your urine for a long time
  • Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements

Also read: Pre Workout and Antibiotics: Possible while taking antibiotics?

Does caffeine cause UTI infections?

Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes you to urinate more. This increased output of urine can irritate your bladder due to the high concentration of salts in its content that are similar or identical to those found within our body when dehydrated.

This is to say that, caffeine does not directly cause UTIs, but it can make them worse.

Why does pre workout drink make you pee?

Another worry is that pre-workout drinks may make you urinate more often than normal.

Pre workout drinks contain ingredients such as creatine, caffeine, and amino acids which are all known to cause dehydration because they increase the amount of water your body loses through sweating during exercise or other physical activity (e.g., running).

Due to this, you’d need to always be on top of your fluid intake which means drinking more than usual. Causing you to pee more often.

Also read: Pre-Workout and Erectile Dysfunction: Does it cause ED?

Final Thoughts

UTIs are a common and often painful infection that can affect any part of the urinary tract.

While both men and women can get UTIs, women are more susceptible due to their anatomy. There are many things that can increase your risk of developing a UTI, such as having intercourse, wiping from back to front after using the toilet, and drinking fewer fluids.

So far, I haven’t seen any study revealing how pre-workout drinks cause UTI infections. Asides from making them worst.

Pre-workout drinks contain ingredients that can lead to dehydration.

This is because they increase the amount of water your body loses through sweating during exercise or other physical activity.

Dehydration may cause you to urinate more often than normal, leading to an increased risk of developing urinary infections or disease especially if you have a weakened immune system.

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