Ever felt that jittery, heart-pounding sensation after taking pre-workout? I have!

The tingly, panicky feeling you get from too much pre-workout is one you’ll always remember.

But the first time it happens is enough to freak you out!

I remember one of the first few times I took pre-workout, I had so much more energy and focus walking into the gym.

But then, the jitters hit. My heart was racing, my hands were shaking, and I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin.

It didn’t take long to realise I’d had too much pre-workout.

I drank what felt like half an ocean to flush it out but it made me wonder if there are other ways to get pre-workout out of my system.

How Do Pre-Workout Supplements Affect the Body?

It’s probably safe to say you know what pre-workout DOES for your workout.

But the reason you’re here is that you’ve taken too much and need to know how to clear pre-workout from your system.

First things first though, let’s go over exactly what each ingredient does to your body.


Caffeine is the most common ingredient in pre-workout supplements.

Its a stimulant that gives you the energy boost that’s most associated with pre-workout.

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a chemical produced by the brain that makes you feel sleepy.

The more caffeine you drink, the less tired you feel as the caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors

Amino Acids (BCAA)

Amino acids, specifically branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), are also commonly found in pre-workout supplements. BCAAs are essential amino acids that help to promote muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle breakdown.

They have no stimulating effect in the same way caffeine and other ingredients do.

How Do I Get Pre-Workout Out Of My System


Creatine is another popular ingredient in pre-workout. It helps to increase muscle phosphocreatine stores, which can improve high-intensity exercise performance.

Phosphocreatine is a molecule that helps your muscles produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the main energy source for your cells.
When you exercise, your muscles break down ATP to generate energy.

Creatine helps to replenish ATP stores so that your muscles can continue to work for longer periods of time.

Citrulline Malate

This extract helps reduce tiredness by widening blood vessels, and improving blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles during exercise.


An amino acid that complements caffeine by promoting relaxation and focus. It is usually included to offset the jittery side effects of caffeine.

Each brand of pre-workout has different quantities of each of these main ingredients.

The amount of caffeine in some pre-workouts can be as low as 75mg per scoop all the way up to 400mg per scoop (the maximum daily recommended caffeine dose is 400mg)!)

A common reason for overdosing on pre-workout is making the mistake of switching brands expecting the amounts of each ingredient to be the same.

Also, taking a high-caffeine pre-workout alongside other caffeine sources like coffee and soft drinks can cause problems too.

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Signs and symptoms of pre-workout ‘overdose’

Over the last 20 years, I’ve taken pre-workout fairly regularly so I know first-hand how it can affect the body.

I know EXACTLY what ‘overdosing’ feels like, but could you spot the signs and symptoms?

Here are the most common signs to look for:

Rapid Heart Rate (Tachycardia)

This is probably the most common side effect of pre-workout you’ll experience and is caused mainly by the stimulating effect of caffeine.

You’ll likely feel a tightness in your chest, palpitations and, for me, a feeling of ‘hearing’ my heart beating in my head!

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Another one to chalk down to caffeine. It can make you feel dizzy, light-headed and cause a thumping headache.

You might also get a feeling of pressure in your chest.

This is down to caffeine and any other stimulants in the pre-workout causing your blood vessels to constrict, or thin, increasing blood pressure.

Anxiety and Restlessness

You’ll have difficulty concentrating, your mind will be racing, and there’s usually a feeling of impending doom!

Add to that being unable to sit still and constantly fidgeting. This is usually the point where people start to panic.

It might sound dramatic but I’ve felt it and it’s not fun!

Nausea and Vomiting

This is fairly self-explanatory really.

You’ll feel the urge to throw up. There’s a good chance you will!

Feeling sick to your stomach and losing your appetite are pretty common symptoms too.

Yet again, this one is pretty much down to caffeine too.


Dry mouth, feeling thirsty, fatigue and a headache. All signs of dehydration.

Oh, as well as dark-coloured pee!

Now, I bet you can’t tell me what causes this can you?

Yep, caffeine!

Dehydration can also make you feel dizzy and lightheaded too.

Less fluid = less blood = lower blood pressure.

Tingling or Prickling Sensations

This isn’t necessarily associated with taking TOO MUCH pre-workout but it is a weird sensation that is caused by the beta-alanine found in most pre-workouts. (finally something not caused by caffeine!)

The sensation is known as paraesthesia and can cause some people to panic when combined with the other symptoms listed above.

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How to Get Pre-Workout Out of Your System

How Do I Get Pre-Workout Out Of My System

Well, this is what you came for. How do you stop feeling sick, panicked, and jittery?

There’s a few ways you can help yourself here. Some I’ve used before, some I haven’t.

But my research tells me that they all do have a positive effect on the symptoms. So here goes:

Drink Lots of Water

It makes sense that if you’re dehydrated, you drink more water, right?

Drinking loads of water is the easiest and most effective way to flush pre-workout out of your system.

Water will dilute the concentration of pre-workout ingredients in your body, making it easier for your kidneys to filter it out.

And we all know that being properly hydrated boosts our metabolism too don’t we?

Plus you’ll want to pee more too so you’ll effectively ‘flush’ it away.

Throw Up, Up Chuck, Be Sick

Not really too bothered what you like to call it. It works. I know this because I’ve done it.

It’s not pleasant and it does make you feel worse for a while.

Realistically, who likes being sick?

Ok, so you’ve started to absorb some of the ingredients but this will reduce the amount of time you feel the after effects for.

Go for a walk

Might sound like an odd one and considering you’re feeling one or all of the symptoms we’ve covered earlier, probably your least favourite choice!

Something as simple as walking or light stretching will increase your blood flow.

This increases the metabolism of the ingredients of pre-workout and speeds up the process of eliminating them from your body.

Use Activated Charcoal Tablets

Probably not something you have lying around. But, on the off chance you do, they will work wonders.

Activated charcoal binds to caffeine molecules, helping to remove them from the body quickly. They have even been used in caffeine overdose cases.

Give It Time

Not one for the faint-hearted this one.

OK, maybe a bit over the top dramatic but still not the choice I’d make.

You literally just ‘wait it out’ and let the effects wear off naturally.

Now, considering the half-life of caffeine is around 5 hours, you could be waiting a while for the effects to wear off.

Meditation and Deep Breathing

Yep, take a deep breath and relax. Sounds simple but when your heart is racing and you’re panicking, but it’s not!

However, if you can calm yourself enough to take some big breaths from your diaphragm, your heart rate will slow.

Your blood pressure should start to stabilise and any dizziness should ease off.

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VIDEO: How To PROPERLY Use Pre-Workout And Avoid Side Effects


If you’ve ever taken too much pre-workout and felt jittery, sick, and restless, with a heart-beat that thuds in your head, then you’ve probably taken too much.

Luckily, there’s a few ways to help reduce these symptoms.

  • Taking deep breaths and/or meditation can reduce the feelings of anxiety, help you to calm down and slow your heart rate.
  • Flushing your body by drinking plenty of water is one of the most effective ways to get pre-workout ingredients out of your body.
  • Make yourself sick. Definitely my least preferred option because, well, who likes throwing up?
  • Go for a walk or do some light stretches to increase blood flow and help metabolism the ingredients faster
  • If you are brave and/or stupid, just wait it out like a trooper.
  • Take activated charcoal tablets. Possibly the most effective way of reducing the symptoms caused by excessive caffeine. Caffeine overdose is treated this way and they’re not overly expensive either.

My biggest piece of advice is to check your dosage! It’s too easy to switch brands and assume that a scoop of 1 pre-workout is the same as the next brand.

Check the label for caffeine content. Then make sure you’re not overdosing on caffeine by having too much in your overall diet.

See what I have to say on this here: How Many Scoops of Pre-Workout is Too Much? (ANSWERED!)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for pre-workout to leave your system?

The amount of time it takes for pre-workout to leave your system depends on several factors, including the type and amount of pre-workout you consumed, your metabolism, and your overall health. Generally, it takes about 3-6 hours for the effects of pre-workout to wear off. However, some pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that can stay in your system for up to 24 hours.

What are the side effects of pre-workout overdose?

Overdosing on pre-workout can lead to a range of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, and heart palpitations. In extreme cases, it can even lead to seizures and heart attacks. That’s why it’s important to always follow the recommended dosage guidelines and never exceed the recommended amount.

How can I get rid of the effects of pre-workout?

If you’re experiencing the effects of pre-workout and want to get rid of them, there are a few things you can do. First, drink plenty of water to help flush the supplement out of your system. Second, try some light exercise to help increase blood flow and stimulate your metabolism. Finally, consider taking a break from pre-workout for a few days to allow your body to recover.

What are the dangers of taking 1g of caffeine pre-workout?

Taking 1g of caffeine pre-workout can be dangerous, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine or have underlying health conditions. It can lead to a range of side effects, including jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations, and even heart attacks. That’s why it’s important to always follow the recommended dosage guidelines and never exceed the recommended amount.

What is dippable pre-workout?

Dippable pre-workout is a new type of pre-workout supplement that’s designed to be dipped into water and consumed like a dip. It’s marketed as a more convenient and portable alternative to traditional pre-workout powders and drinks. However, there’s limited research on the safety and effectiveness of dippable pre-workout, so it’s important to proceed with caution.

Why does pre-workout make you feel sick?

Pre-workout can make you feel sick for a variety of reasons, including dehydration, low blood sugar, and an upset stomach. Additionally, some pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that can cause nausea and vomiting, such as beta-alanine and creatine. If you’re experiencing nausea or other side effects from pre-workout, it’s important to stop taking it and consult with a healthcare professional.

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