• North Shore Barbell

Pre-Workouts and Drug Tests

Updated: Mar 5

How many times have you heard of a powerlifter or athlete from another sport getting "popped" after taking a pre-workout supplement? Often, the punishments for this are slightly less, if not equal to that of someone taking anabolic steroids.


It's no secret that supplements, in particular, pre-workout supplements pose a threat to drug-tested athletes and have the potential to impact their drug-free status. So much so, that Drug-Free Sport NZ (The New Zealand WADA affiliate) has started campaigning for athletes to avoid the use of supplements entirely.


It's not uncommon for athletes to have no idea about what's in their pre-workout powder


From media coverage of recent cases of positive drug tests in this realm, there appear to be 3 things happening:


1) Athletes are using Pre-Workouts that contain trace amounts of a banned substance, that is not listed on the label


2) Athletes are ignorantly using pre-workouts with banned substances listed on the label, such as Higiname or Octopamine (FYI: Just because an ingredient is banned in sport, doesn't mean is illegal to sell over the counter)


3) Athletes are consciously using banned substances and claiming that their pre-workout/other supplement is contaminated



Jamal Browner, one of the worlds best un-tested lifters tested positive for a banned substance after breaking an IPF world record in 2017 due to a contaminated pre-workout.



It's unrealistic to think that athletes, both high and low level will ever stop taking supplements. A pre-workout is often a much-needed kick following a hard day at work and often provides benefits in terms of endurance and mental clarity beyond caffeine alone. So with that in mind, here are our top 5 pre-workouts for the drug tested powerlifter/athlete and a handful of things to consider when selecting nutritional supplements in general.


Please note: Use pre-workouts at your own risk. We claim no responsibility for positive drug tests associated with products in the following list.

5) Monster Energy | Ultra Zero


It's delicious and comes in a wide variety of fantastic flavours (some rarer than others).


Monster Energy surprisingly has a decent amount of caffeine amongst other things (roughly 160mg) but probably not enough to keep you up all night.


Where to buy: At North Shore Barbell, any diary or petrol station

4) Optimum Nutrition | Gold Standard Pre-Workout