We know pre-workout can have its benefits when it comes to giving us energy and making our workouts more effective, but many complain that it makes their lips awfully dry.
Can it be true? Does pre-workout have the ability to make your lips and your mouth dry?
Yes, pre-workout can definitely make your lips and your mouth dry, and it is largely due to the fact that it contains caffeine and other additives which are the culprit.
Continue on to learn more about the ingredients in common pre-workouts and the drying effects they can have.
How Does Pre-Workout Make Your Lips and Mouth Dry?
The ingredients in pre-workout supplements can cause dry mouth and dry lips by reducing saliva production, which can cause the mouth and lips to become dry and cause chapped lips.
Some of the ingredients that are known to have this effect include caffeine, which is a stimulant that can reduce saliva production, and amino acids, which can have a dehydrating effect.
Yes, that’s right. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and can be the cause of your dry or chapped lips when taking pre-workout.
Caffeine is a very common ingredient in pre-workout, as it is a stimulant that is added to increase energy.
Certain vitamins found in pre-workouts, such as B vitamins, can also contribute to dry mouth and dry lips.
Caffeine Drying Effects
Caffeine is a stimulant that is commonly found in pre-workout supplements and many other beverages.
When consumed, caffeine can stimulate the central nervous system, leading to increased alertness and energy. However, it can also have an impact on the production of saliva in the mouth, which can result in dry mouth.
When you have a dry mouth, your lips will also become dry.
Caffeine works by blocking the action of a chemical called adenosine, which slows down the activity of the central nervous system.
When adenosine is blocked, the nerve cells in the body become more active, leading to increased alertness and energy.
However, this increase in nerve activity can also lead to decreased saliva production, as the nerve cells that control saliva production are also affected.
Dry mouth can be uncomfortable and can also lead to other problems, such as increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease if you let it continue on for an extreme amount of time.
Dry mouth can make it difficult to swallow and talk, and can lead to a persistent feeling of thirst, which is the last thing you want when working out.
To help reduce the effects of dry mouth, it is important to drink plenty of water and to avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine.
Yes, this means you should not be double dosing your pre-workout. It can make your dry lips and mouth worse, but can also have many other dangerous side effects.
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Amino Acids Drying Effects
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and play important roles in many bodily functions.
Some pre-workout supplements contain amino acids such as beta-alanine and arginine, which are believed to enhance performance and promote muscle growth.
However, some amino acids can have a dehydrating effect and contribute to dry mouth.
For example, the amino acid arginine can cause an increase in blood flow, which can lead to an increase in urine production and a decrease in fluid in the mouth.
Also, some amino acids, such as glutamine, can cause a reduction in the production of saliva, leading to dry mouth.
The severity of the dehydrating effect of amino acids can vary from person to person, and it may also depend on the type and amount of amino acids consumed. They will not have the same effect on everyone.
If you experience dry mouth after taking a pre-workout supplement that contains amino acids, you should consider drinking more water, using a saliva substitute, or switching to a different supplement.
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Dry Scooping Might Be Drying Out Your Lips
Are you dry scooping your pre-workout? This could be the cause of your dry lips and even dry mouth.
It is actually one of the major reasons I stopped dry scooping myself. I used to dry scoop my pre-workout before my runs because if I drank too much water before I ran, I would always get terrible cramps and side stitches.
I stopped dry scooping because of the drying effects of having the pre-workout powder come into direct contact with my lips and the inside of my mouth.
Not only can dry scooping your pre-workout have drying effects to your lips and mouth, it can also be problematic in other ways, such as:
- Inaccurate dosing: Dry scooping can result in an inconsistent amount of powder in each scoop, leading to an inaccurate dose of the supplement.
- Difficulty swallowing: The powder can be difficult to swallow without liquid, leading to discomfort and the potential for choking.
- Reduced effectiveness: Some pre-workout supplements are designed to be mixed with liquid for optimal absorption, and dry scooping can reduce their effectiveness.
It is generally recommended to mix pre-workout supplements with liquid to prevent these issues.
This does not mean you have to mix it with a full glass of water. You can use as little as 30 ml (1 ounce) of water to mix it.
If you are worried about getting cramps or side stitches like I used to be from drinking fluids before cardio, you will find that drinking a tiny amount of water with your pre-workout will not cause this problem.
Does Pre-Workout Make Your Lips Burn?
Yes, pre-workout does have the ability to make your lips burn or even feel tingly.
This is not a common side effect that happens to everyone, but it can occur in some people who are sensitive to the ingredients in the supplement.
The burning sensation may be caused by the presence of irritants or allergens in the supplement that your skin does not agree with, or by an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients.
This can be especially true if you are dry scooping your pre-workout as the powder and irritants are coming into direct contact with your lips.
More than likely, it is usually just caused by caffeine or beta-alanine that is likely present in your pre-workout.
In some cases, this sensation may be due to a decrease in blood flow to the lips, which can cause them to become dry and sensitive.
Remember, caffeine causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels.
Beta-alanine, which is another common ingredient in pre-workout, can cause a tingling sensation in the lips or even other areas on your body.
This tingling or burning sensation, also known as paresthesia in the medical world, is a common side effect of beta-alanine and is thought to be related to the increase in carnosine levels in the muscles.
It usually occurs within 15-30 minutes of taking a beta-alanine supplement and lasts for about 1-2 hours.
While this tingling sensation is generally harmless, it can be uncomfortable for some people.
Niacin is also another ingredient that can be found in pre-workout and is known to give you the tingles. It also can cause flushing of the skin and give you a red appearance.
If you experience a tingling or burning sensation in your lips after taking a pre-workout supplement that contains beta-alanine or niacin; remember it will not last long.
If you absolutely cannot tolerate the tingling, you may have to find a different pre-workout that does not contain beta-alanine or niacin.
How Can I Soothe My Dry Lips From Pre-Workout?
If you experience dry lips and mouth from taking pre-workout supplements, there are several easy steps you can take to soothe your symptoms and prevent them from occurring in the future:
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is essential to keep your lips and mouth moist. Drink water before, during, and after your workout to help prevent dryness.
- Use a lip balm: Apply a lip balm that contains moisturizing ingredients, such as beeswax or shea butter, to help protect your lips from drying out.
- Chew gum or suck on a lozenge: Chewing gum or sucking on a lozenge can help stimulate saliva production and prevent dry mouth.
- Avoid caffeine: If you experience dry mouth after taking pre-workout supplements that contain caffeine, try switching to a caffeine-free alternative.
- Stop Dry Scooping: Dry scooping your pre-workout really is not necessary. Not only does it taste gross, it can irritate your lips and even cause you to potentially choke.
- Consider switching to a different supplement: If you continue to experience dry mouth despite these steps, consider switching to a different pre-workout supplement that does not contain ingredients that are known to cause dry mouth.
It’s important to note that some people may be more prone to dry mouth and lips than others, so it may take some experimentation to find the best approach for your individual needs.
If you have persistent symptoms, or if your dry mouth or lips are causing you significant discomfort and you feel it actually may not be caused by pre-workout, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider for a proper evaluation and treatment.
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Pre-workout supplements can cause dry lips and mouth due to ingredients such as caffeine, amino acids, niacin and other dehydrating substances.
To soothe dry lips and mouth and prevent it from happening in the future, you can drink plenty of water, use a lip balm, chew gum or suck on a lozenge, avoid caffeine, take pre-workout supplements with food, or consider switching to a different supplement.
It would also help to just quit dry scooping if you do that currently. It just is not necessary and irritates the skin on your lips and inside your mouth.
If you experience persistent symptoms or discomfort, it’s important to find the best pre-workout for you. Not everyone will mesh well with any given product.
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