Can You Take Pre-Workout Without Working Out?

June 23, 2022

If you’ve ever taken pre-workout and felt your heart drop as you read the gym is closed, I know what you’re feeling. Has that pre-workout gone to waste? What could you do instead?

You can take pre-workout without working out. It essentially serves as a coffee or energy drink alternative.

If you usually drink coffee or caffeine and you used your pre-workout instead, you’ll likely have a very productive morning.

Can You Take Pre-Workout Without Working Out?

You can drink pre-workout without working out. I do it sometimes if I need an extended period of focus for work or an important task. You’re essentially taking a formulation to improve your physical and mental performance. However, you won’t be performing any physical activity in this instance.

It might seem taboo since pre-workout is often seen as a hardcore stimulant. Yet, many people will drink a double shot coffee which is already 160 mg of caffeine. So, there is no harm in using your pre-workout as a coffee substitute.

Can You Use Pre-Workout As An Energy Drink?

You can use pre-workout as an energy drink alternative. I’m quite fond of sugar-free energy drinks for extended focus during work sessions. But when I haven’t had any in the fridge, I’ve used pre-workout as an alternative.

The advantage of using pre-workout is it’s much cheaper per serving. For example, you may pay between $2-3 for an energy drink can, whereas a serving of pre-workout will often cost less than $1. If you’re on a budget, this is the way to go.

What Happens If You Just Take Pre-Workout?

What Happens If You Just Take Pre-Workout

It may seem taking pre-workout without working out would lead to extreme anxiety, jitters, or cold sweats. This may happen if the stimulant dose is astronomical and you have no caffeine tolerance. However, taking ½ to 1 serving of a moderately dosed pre-workout will help improve your mental focus for the task at hand.

You will also feel sharper, alert, and generally more awake. This is precisely what pre-workout feels like. If you are a beginner to pre-workout and don’t regularly drink caffeine, I’d advise taking ½ a serving so you don’t feel overstimulated.

You Took Pre-Workout But The Gyms Closed: What Should You Do?!

It’s leg day. You jump out of bed before your 6.30 am alarm, ready to dominate the day. First, you brew your morning coffee as you prepare your special leg day breakfast. Oats and eggs. Now it’s time to start the leg day routine by double scooping your pre-workout. Sets of 10-20 squats and leg presses need the extra energy boost!

You scroll social media as you sip your pre-workout like an English royal sipping tea and suddenly see a notice stating your gym is closed for the day. You almost spit your last sip of pre-workout on your table as you ask yourself, “what the hell am I going to do now?”

Well, you have a couple of options:

  1. Do nothing and take a rest day.
  2. Get creative and use your bodyweight.

I like option number two. If you need some help with a bodyweight workout, you can get the Lift Big Eat Big Quarantine Home Workout Program built specifically for your living room. But, if you find yourself in this situation and need something to do, here is an example leg workout using only your bodyweight that will leave your legs shaking.

No Gym Workout

A1) Heels Elevated Squat 1 x 50, 1 x 75, 1 x 100

B1) 1 & ½ Bulgarian Split Squat 3 x 10-15

C1) Walking Lunge (Forward or Reverse Lunge if less space) 1 x 50/leg

Your legs will be smoked after a high rep bodyweight workout like this.


Taking pre-workout without working out is no problem; you can use it as a cheaper alternative to energy drinks and coffee. It will make you feel more alert and ready to complete your important tasks.

About the Author

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your training.

Want More Great Content?

Check Out These Articles