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Best pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes—Backed by science

Some pre-workout supplements might not be the best choice for you if you have diabetes. If you are unsure which to opt for, find out from this article some of the products that may be best for you if you are particular about regulating your blood sugar level.

Image illustrations of a man administering an injection, insulin medications and three bottles of supplements

One of the most frequent questions fitness coaches get from their clients who have diabetes is, "Can I take pre-workout supplements?" This is an important question because pre-workouts can contain ingredients that are unsafe for people with diabetes.  

For example, caffeine, an ingredient in many pre-workout supplements, can cause increased blood glucose levels and a prolonged period of high blood glucose in people with diabetes.

This article covers how safe pre-workouts are for people with diabetes, recommends pre-workouts for them, and outlines factors to consider when shopping for a diabetes-friendly pre-workout.  

Can people with diabetes take pre-workout supplements?

Yes, people with diabetes can take pre-workout supplements. There are pre-workouts with ingredients that may benefit people with diabetes. These pre-workout supplements are typically stimulant-free, and low in sugar. 

However, they need to carefully read the product label to ensure it's not loaded with caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, which can negatively impact their health. 

Fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes, and pre-workouts can be useful in helping people with diabetes get through their workout sessions.

Roundup of the best pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes

Here's a round-up of the best quality pre-workouts that do not contain stimulants for people with diabetes:

  • Best pre-workout supplement without GMOs for people with diabetes: Pre-Series STIM-FREE
  • Best pre-workout supplement for people with diabetes containing Huzerpine-A: Pump Surge
  • Best pre-workout supplements for athletes with diabetes: Gorilla Mode Nitric
  • Best pre-workout supplement for boosting daily productivity in people with diabetes: Genuis Pre
  • Best pre-workout supplement for people with diabetes with nitric oxide: Six Star N.O. Fury Pre-workout
  • Best pre-workout supplement for people with diabetes with vitamin C: PEScience High Volume
  • Best pre-workout supplement for people with diabetes with coconut water powder: Swolverine's PRE
  • Best pre-workout supplement for people with diabetes with panax ginseng extract: ProSupps Dr. Jekyll Signature

1. PreSeries STIM-FREE by Transparent Labs

Pre-workout supplement Stim-free by transparent labs

Pre-Series STIM-FREE is one of the best stimulant-free pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes. It contains high doses of active ingredients like L-tyrosine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and taurine. 

L-tyrosine is a dietary supplement that improves alertness and concentration in stressful conditions. Studies have found that tyrosine can improve working memory when performing a mentally demanding task and enhance cognitive flexibility.

Additionally, taurine has been linked to improved blood sugar management and protection against the effects of diabetes-related complications.

Pre-series STIM-FREE is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

Subscribing to the 30, 45, or 60-day delivery cycle reduces the product's price to $44.99. There are eight fruity flavors to choose from when ordering.  

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Flavor variety
  • Suitable for high-intensity workouts

Cons

  • Expensive
  • It can cause a tingling sensation

2. Pump Surge

Pump Surge, one of the best pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes

Pump Surge is a product of Jacked Factory. What it lacks in caffeine, it makes up for with potent doses of ergogenic aids to help you get through demanding workout sessions. And if you have diabetes, you should consider this supplement, as its ingredients support a healthy blood sugar level.

Over time, diabetes can lead to diseases that interfere with cognitive function, like vascular dementia. Pump surge contains 50 mcg of Huzerpine-A per serving. This nootropic may benefit people with diabetes who have vascular dementia or Alzheimer's.

Pump Surge is an all-natural vegan product that comes in six flavors. 

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly 
  • Multiple flavors available
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Bad texture
  • Too sweet

3. Gorilla Mode Nitric

Gorilla Mode Nitric, one of the best pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes

Gorilla Mode Nitric is a pre-workout designed for athletes who want to unlock next-level athletic performance. It is also a great pre-workout supplement for people with diabetes. A double scoop serving contains 10,000mg of pure L-citrulline —the highest in the industry. 

Gorilla Mode Nitric also contains popular sports supplements like creatine. Studies have shown that creatine supplementation can increase muscle mass, and positively impact exercise performance.

Gorilla Mode Nitric is available in twelve exciting flavors that are mostly blends of fruits. 

Pros

  • Suitable for demanding workouts
  • Available in 12 flavors
  • High doses of ingredients

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Doesn't mix well
  • Contains an allergen (milk) 

4. Genius PRE

Genuis Pre, one of the best pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes

Genius PRE is a clinically-dosed pre-workout that can help prolong and improve workout sessions without caffeine. It contains citrulline malate, beta-alanine, taurine, and a variety of nootropics. 

The beta-alanine in the product can reduce oxidative stress in people with diabetes by increasing carnosine levels. Carnosine is an antioxidant that combats free radicals and decreases oxidative stress.    

According to The Genius Brand, the product isn't meant to only enhance physical capabilities. It can be used as a regular day-to-day productivity booster due to the nootropics it contains. 

Genius PRE is definitely one of the best pre-workouts for people with diabetes. It is available in three flavors, and those who opt for a subscription-based delivery when ordering can get it for $30.39.

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly 
  • Gluten-free
  • Three flavors are available

Cons

  • It can cause a tingling sensation
  • Not-so-great taste

5. Six Star N.O. Fury Pre-workout

Six Star N.O. Fury Pre-workout, one of the best pre-workout supplements for people with daibetes

Six Star N.O. Fury comes in caplets. Each serving contains L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, L-arginine HCL, and L-citrulline, which improve nitric oxide production.

Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator that improves blood flow to working muscles and enhances performance during exercise. 

A study involving 144 people with type 2 diabetes suggests that long-term oral supplementation of L-arginine increases insulin sensitivity and slows the progression of the disease.

Six Star N.O. Fury is convenient to use because it does not require mixing in a shaker cup like powdered pre-workouts. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Convenient to use 
  • The coating on the caplets masks the taste 

Cons

  • Caplets are a bit large
  • Caplets tend to crack and disintegrate

6. PEScience High Volume

PEScience High Volume, one of the best pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes

PEScience describes High Volume as the king of pumps. The stim-free formula contains arginine nitrate, agmatine sulfate, and L-citrulline. It also includes 250 mg of Vitamin C. 

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that scavenges on free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Some studies show that vitamin C supplementation may be beneficial in ameliorating the effects of type 2 diabetes.   

PEScience High Volume is available in nine flavors, and subscribing to a delivery cycle qualifies buyers for a special price of $31.49. There's also an option to order samples to try the product before committing to a tub. 

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Flavor variety

Cons

  • Doesn't mix well
  • The powder easily gets clumpy

7. Swolverine PRE

Swolverine's PRE, one of the best pre-workout supplements for people with diabetes

Swolverine's PRE contains research-backed sports ingredients and powerful antioxidants. This pre-workout supplement is one of the best for people with diabetes.

The product contains citrulline malate, beta-alanine, taurine, betaine anhydrous, and coconut water powder. 

Coconut water powder is made by evaporating and freeze-drying coconut water. It contains magnesium, and a higher magnesium intake has been linked to increased insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Other electrolytes found in coconut water powder include sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. The electrolytes help improve hydration and prevent electrolyte deficits during or after prolonged exercise.  

Swolverine PRE is only available in mango lemonade flavor. Those who choose to subscribe when ordering can get the pre-workout for $45.04.  

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Good taste

Cons

  • Only one flavor
  • It can cause a tingling sensation
  • Expensive

8. ProSupps Dr. Jekyll Signature

ProSupps Dr. Jekyll Signature, a pre-workout supplement for runners

ProSupps Dr. Jekyll Signature's formula includes beta-alanine, creatine HCL, inositol-enhanced arginine silicate, choline bitartrate, L-tyrosine, and Panax ginseng extract. 

Inositol-enhanced arginine silicate is a beneficial pre-workout ingredient. Daily doses before a workout can significantly increase energy levels and muscle pumps and decrease biomarkers of muscle damage.

Panax ginseng extract has many proven health benefits. Of interest is its beneficial role in regulating blood sugar in people with diabetes. 

Dr. Jekyll Signature comes in a controversial blueberry lemonade flavor. One of the most common complaints customers have is the taste. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Mixes well 
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • Bad taste 
  • Only one flavor is available
  • It can cause a tingling sensation

What to consider when choosing a pre-workout supplement if you have diabetes

People with diabetes must be extra careful about what they consume because their blood sugar levels can easily soar. 

With that in mind, here are the key things that should influence your choice of a pre-workout if you have diabetes. 

Ingredients

Products with ingredients known to spike blood sugar levels, worsen insulin resistance, or cause other complications in people with diabetes should be avoided.  

If you have an allergy, you should ensure that the pre-workout you intend to use does not contain the allergen that sets you off. 

Side effects of certain ingredients are also worth consideration. Take time to investigate any unpleasant side effects an ingredient in a pre-workout supplement may have. 

For example, beta-alanine can cause a tingling sensation, a side effect known as paraesthesia. While some people don't mind this or even enjoy it, others dislike it.

Personal needs

The type of pre-workout you need depends on how long you work out, your fitness goals, and the conditions under which you exercise.  

Professional athletes with longer training sessions will likely need products with high doses of active ingredients that provide a prolonged energy boost and improves muscle endurance.  

People who work out in hot weather require more water and electrolytes to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Therefore, a pre-workout rich in electrolytes will be more beneficial.  

Don't let diabetes stop you

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can negatively impact a person's quality of life and limit their ability to engage in physical exercise. But with the right pre-workouts, you can counteract its negative effects and still get great results from your workouts. 

Consult your doctor before using any pre-workout. Pre-workouts can contain ingredients that may interact with medications or complicate certain health conditions in people with diabetes that have comorbidities.

References

  1. Dewar, L., and Heuberger, R. (2017). The Effect of Acute Caffeine Intake on Insulin Sensitivity and Glycemic Control in People with Diabetes.
  2. Kalra, S., and Sahay, R. (2018). Diabetes Fatigue Syndrome.
  3. Colzato, L. S., et al. (2013). Working Memory Reloaded: Tyrosine Repletes Updating in the N-Back Task. 
  4. Steenbergen, L., et al. (2015). Tyrosine Promotes Cognitive Flexibility: Evidence from Proactive vs. Reactive Control During Task Switching Performance.
  5. Inam-U-Llah et al. (2018). Ameliorative Effects of Taurine Against diabetes: A Review.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). The Effects of Diabetes on the Brain. 
  7. Zing SH et al. (2014). Huperzine A in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia: A Meta-Analysis.
  8. Kreider, R. B., et al. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Position Stand: Safety and Efficacy of Creatine Supplementation in Exercise, Sport, and Medicine.
  9. Klebanov, G. I., et al. (1998). Effect of Carnosine and Its Components on Free-radical Reactions.
  10. Kiani, A. K., et al. (2022). Dietary Supplements for Improving Nitric Oxide Synthesis.
  11. Monti, L. D., et al. (2012). Effect of a Long-term Oral L-arginine Supplementation on Glucose Metabolism: A randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial. 
  12. Chambial, S., et al. (2013). Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview.
  13. Gillani, S. W., et al. (2017). Combined Effect of Metformin with Ascorbic Acid Versus Acetyl Salicylic Acid on Diabetes-related Cardiovascular Complication; A 12-month Single Blind Multicenter Randomized Control Trial. 
  14. Ashor, A. W., et al. (2017). Effects of Vitamin C Supplementation on Glycaemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. 
  15. Morais, J. B. S., et al. (2017). Effect of Magnesium Supplementation on Insulin Resistance in Humans: A Systematic Review. 
  16. Shirreffs, S. M., & Sawka, M. N. (2011). Fluid and Electrolyte Needs for Training, Competition, and Recovery.  
  17. Maughan, R. J. (1991). Fluid and Electrolyte Loss and Replacement in Exercise. 
  18. Rood-Ojalvo, S., et al. (2015). The Benefits of Inositol-stabilized Arginine Silicate as a Workout Ingredient.
  19. Chen, W., Balan, P., & Popovich, D. G. (2019). Review of Ginseng Anti-Diabetic Studies