Can Pre Workouts Damage Testosterone?

Can Pre Workouts Damage Testosterone?

If you’re a serious fitness enthusiast that likes lifting heavy stuff in the gym, you might be concerned that a pre workout could affect your testosterone levels.

As a guy that likes to look and perform at his best, you ask yourself whether this branch of energy-boosting , pump-inducing supplements could negatively influence your your hormone levels.

After all, anything that would put the brakes on your testosterone levels would end up in the bin quicker faster than a meat course at a vegan party.

You’re a big fan of sports supplements – especially the ones you take before training to optimize performance and ramp up results.

But could pre workout supplements actually damage your testosterone levels?

We find out…

  • What are pre workouts?
  • The risk of low testosterone
  • The pre workout and testosterone relationship

What Are Pre Workout Supplements?

If you’re a regular reader of this website, you’ll know the benefits of a pre workout already.

But for those that aren’t, pre workouts are a completely different category of sports enhancer to things like fat burners or testosterone boosters. They’re not designed to optimize hormone levels or masculinity; they’re designed for one very specific reason…

To help you get the very best from your workouts. 

Benefits include:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Elevated focus, motivation and mental clarity
  • Insane muscle pumps and increased muscle volume

Both recreational lifters and pro athletes will benefit from a pre workout

It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy that lifts for fun, or an elite athlete that trains hard, competes even harder, and is always looking for that extra edge.

Everyone benefits from better performance.

Pre workout supplements such as 4 Gauge don’t contain any banned substances so they’re perfectly healthy and safe to use. Basically, they’re designed for anyone that wants to get the best results from the gym or sports field.

Better workouts means faster results. If you want to get faster, stronger, more muscular or leaner; a pre workout is the way forward.

Pre workout drink for sports performance

Could Your Pre Workout Damage Your Testosterone Levels?

The short answer here is no.

But it’s really all down to the specific nutrients you use.

If anything, some nutrients in pre workout supplements even enhance testosterone levels.

The ingredients we use in 4 Gauge are all premium nutrients designed to optimize performance in the gym. That’s why they’re in our pre workout in the first place.

  • 150 mg caffeine
  • 6,000 mg citrulline malate
  • 1,000 mg creatine
  • 500 mg L-carnitine

Any many others on top of that.

How do they affect your testosterone levels?

Let’s take a look…

Caffeine doesn’t damage testosterone levels… it could even increase it

As a stimulant, caffeine raises adrenaline and autonomic functions such as heart rate and blood flow.

It prepares you for an intense workout and has been found to enhance everything from power and strength [1], to endurance and resistance to fatigue [2].

Caffeine is like energy and brain power in a bottle.

A study published in the Nutrition Journal [3] wanted to look at the effects of caffeine on testosterone, and how different the effects would be compared to decaffeinated drinks.

A group of 42 men were recruited for the study and given 5 cups of either normal or decaffeinated coffee each day (the dose was similar to that you’d find in a triple serving of pre workout) everyday for a period of 8 weeks.

The result: Absolutely no changes to testosterone, or any other sex hormone for that matter. 

That’s good if you’re concerned about any negative effects.

It gets better though…

Another study found that when a group of athletes used a pre workout containing 4 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight 1 hour prior to intense strength workout, testosterone levels increased by a huge 12% [4].

That’s a dose of caffeine at around 300 mg for an average sized man – the same as in your pre workout.

Creatine has positive influence of testosterone and DHT

The very best pre workout supplements contain the powerhouse compound creatine.

Used by bodybuilders and strength athletes alike, creatine is known to ramp up rate of force production, power, strength and muscle mass. It’s a great nutrient for anyone that wants to perform well and look better.

Research shows that not only does creatine supplementation enhance free testosterone levels, it also increases levels of DHT – a more potent androgen hormone found to provide all of the benefits of testosterone, but in much smaller concentrations.

A study in the official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine found that 7 days of creatine supplementation elevated DHT levels in a group of rugby players by a whopping 56% [5].

And that increase stuck for a full 14 days after supplementation had stooped.

L-Carnitine enhances blood flow

Another popular pre workout ingredient, L-carnitine is an amino acid that can be found in foods such as avocados and red meat.

As a performance enhancer, L-carnitine reduces fatigue, promotes fat loss and even decreases muscle damage too.

That’s exactly why it’s added to pre workouts.

Research suggests that L-carnitine protects against the natural drop in testosterone during periods of hard training.

In human research trials, athletes that use L-carnitine report lower levels of muscle damage. This helps to keep testosterone receptors available to grab and then use testosterone in the blood [6].

Citrulline malate doesn’t reduce testosterone

Another amino acid, citrulline malate is found in watermelon.

It enhances athletic performance by boosting blood flow, nutrient delivery and time-to-fatigue. Once you ingest it, it coverts to L-arginine and then to nitric oxide – a compound that dilates your blood vessels and optimizes physical output.

Due to its blood vessel dilating properties, citrulline malate is often used to help guys overcome erectile dysfunction. Because it enhances blood flow to not only your biceps but also downstairs, citrulline has been shown to improve erection strength as well as sex drive [7].

There’s no need to worry about citrulline malate pre workout lowering testosterone levels.

From all of the studies completed looking at citrulline malate and its effects on testosterone and how they interact, not one has found negative effects. 

Handsome male athlete showing off ab s and muscles

Summary – Pre Workouts Won’t Damage Testosterone Levels

As a serious trainer you want to look after your hormones. You know that testosterone is responsible for keeping you lean, strong and fit – so anything that decreases it just doesn’t cut it.

Pre workout supplements won’t decrease testosterone levels, and some nutrient even boost hormones.

Like anything, it’s all down to the specific ingredients you choose in your pre workout.

4 Gauge is a great choice for anyone wanting to optimize hormones while smashing PRs, shredding boy fat and carving out great muscle mass.

Smash Your Workouts With 4 Gauge

4 Gauge is an exhaustively researched, all-natural pre workout designed to rip the lid off your gym sessions, sports games or workouts.

Packed with performance-enhancing nutrients such as caffeine, L-theanine and creatine, 4 Gauge will take your training to a completely new level.

  • Smash your workouts – feel your nervous system firing on all cylinders
  • Cell-splitting muscle pumps – harness the power of vasodilation and deliver more nutrients to your muscle cells
  • Determination like never before – feel unparalleled focus and motivation
  • Relentless energy – train for longer without fatigue


  1. Del Coso, J Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: a repeated measures design. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9(1):21
  2. Bell DG. Effect of repeated caffeine ingestion on repeated exhaustive exercise endurance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003; 35(8): 1348-54
  3. Wedick, NM et al. The effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on sex hormone-binding globulin and endogenous sex hormone levels: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012; 11: 86
  4. Cook, C et al. Acute caffeine ingestion’s increase of voluntarily chosen resistance-training load after limited sleep. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2012; 22(3): 157-64
  5. Brooks, N et al. Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players. Clin J Sport Med. 2009; 19(5): 399-404
  6. Kraemer, WJ et al. The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery. J Strength Cond Res. 2003; 17(3): 455-62
  7. McGrath, JC. Endothelium in pharmacology: 30 years on. Br J Pharmacol. 2009; 157(4): 491-493

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