How Many Scoops Of Pre-Workout Should I Take?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 13, 2023

You've probably heard about pre-workouts and how they can boost your workout performance.

But here's the million-dollar question:

How many scoops of pre-workout should you take?

Let's dive into the details and find out!

What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are like the espresso shot of the fitness world.

They're designed to increase your energy, endurance, and focus during a workout.

They also provide a unique experience that is worth describing.

But how do they do that?

Let's break it down below.

Why Use Pre-Workout Supplements?

Imagine this:

It's early in the morning, you're at the gym, but you're feeling a bit sluggish.

That's where pre-workout supplements come in.

They give you that extra push to lift heavier, run faster, and train harder.

Take it even on an empty stomach and you’ll be more than likely to have a great workout.

But remember, they're not a magic potion.

They're a tool to help you make the most of your workout.

How Many Scoops Pre-Workout Should You Take?

So, how many scoops of pre-workout should you take?

The answer isn't one-size-fits-all.

It depends on various factors, which we'll discuss next..

Factors Influencing the Number of Scoops

Your body weight, caffeine tolerance, and the intensity of your workout all play a role in determining the right amount of pre-workout for you.

It's all about finding the sweet spot where you feel energized but not jittery.

Active Ingredients in Pre-Workouts


Caffeine is the primary ingredient that determines how many scoops of pre-workout you should consume.

It’s important to know your caffeine tolerance and ensure that you do not exceed the recommended daily intake.

This should be dosed around 150-300mg for most people. [1, 2]


This is an amino acid that helps buffer lactic acid buildup, which can improve endurance and reduce muscle fatigue. [3]


Creatine is a compound that helps increase strength and power during high-intensity workouts.


Citrulline is an amino acid that may improve blood flow and reduce muscle soreness.

Dosages vary from 2.4 to 10g of pure citrulline and up to 12g for citrulline malate. [4]

How Much Caffeine Is In A Scoop?

Caffeine is a key player in most pre-workout supplements.

It's what gives you that energy boost. But the amount of caffeine can vary from one product to another.

On average, a scoop of pre-workout contains around 150-300mg of caffeine. 

The Effects of Caffeine and Tolerance

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, helping you feel more alert and less tired.

It's like a power-up in a video game, giving you that extra energy to push through those last few reps or that final sprint.

Your caffeine tolerance plays a significant role in determining how many scoops of pre-workout you can safely consume.

Regular caffeine consumers might have a higher tolerance and may be able to handle more scoops of pre-workout without adverse effects.

However, if you're sensitive to caffeine or new to pre-workout supplements, start with a smaller dose and gradually increase as needed.

How Many Scoops is Too Much?

The answer to how many scoops is too much depends on the individual and the specific pre-workout formula.

In general, it is best to stick to the manufacturer's recommended serving size, which is typically 1 or 2 scoops per day.

Exceeding this amount can lead to various side effects, such as jitteriness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, and even more severe health issues like heart palpitations and seizures.

Safe Usage Tips

  • Stick to the manufacturer's recommended serving size.
  • Start with a smaller dose and gradually increase as needed.
  • Monitor your daily caffeine intake and avoid exceeding the recommended limits.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day and during exercise.
  • Take your pre-workout at least 30 minutes before exercise to allow time for absorption.
  • Avoid taking pre-workout late in the day to prevent interference with sleep.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Overdosing Pre-Workout

Signs You're Taking Too Much Pre-Workout

Like anything in life, it's possible to have too much of a good thing.

If you're feeling jittery, having trouble sleeping or experiencing a rapid heartbeat, you might be overdoing your pre-workout.

How to Adjust Your Pre-Workout Intake

If you're experiencing these symptoms, it might be time to cut back.

Remember, it's all about balance.

You want enough energy to power through your workout, but not so much that you're bouncing off the walls.

Beginner's Guide to Pre-Workout Dosage

Starting Small: The One-Scoop Approach

If you're new to pre-workouts, start with one scoop.

This allows your body to adjust to the supplement.

After a week, assess how you feel during your workouts.

If you feel you need more, you can gradually increase your dosage.

Gradually Increasing Your Pre-Workout Dosage

After the first week, try adding half a scoop to your pre-workout dosage.

Continue this gradual increase until you find the amount that works best for you.

Advanced Pre-Workout Usage

Tailoring Your Pre-Workout to Your Workout Intensity

As you become more experienced with pre-workout, you can start to tailor your dosage to your workout.

On heavy lifting days, you might need two scoops.

On lighter days, one scoop might be enough.

When to Consider a Stimulant-Free Pre-Workout

If you're sensitive to caffeine or workout in the evening, consider a stimulant-free pre-workout.

These supplements offer the same benefits without caffeine, helping you avoid sleep disruptions.

Caffeine Content in Popular Pre-Workout Brands

The caffeine content in pre-workout supplements varies among brands.

Here is a list of popular pre-workout brands and their caffeine content per serving:

  • Optimum Nutrition: 100mg
  • Sierra Fit Pre-Workout: 135mg
  • Vintage Blast Pre-Workout Powder: 150mg
  • Cellucor C4 Original Pre-Workout: 150mg
  • Pre-Kaged Pre-Workout Powder: 275mg
  • BS Supplements Final Call Pre-Workout: 300mg
  • Final Call Flame Pre-Workout v2: 350mg
  • Huge Wrecked Pre-Workout: 350mg


How many scoops of pre-workout should I take?

The number of scoops varies depending on your body weight, caffeine tolerance, and workout intensity.

Start with one scoop and adjust as needed.

What is in a pre-workout supplement?

The number of scoops varies depending on your body weight, caffeine tolerance, and workout intensity.

Start with one scoop and adjust as needed.

Can I take pre-workout every day?

It's safe to take pre-workout regularly, but it's also good to cycle off occasionally to give your body a break.

What are the side effects of taking too much pre-workout?

Overdoing pre-workout can lead to jitteriness, sleep disruptions, and rapid heartbeat.

What is a stimulant-free pre-workout?

A stimulant-free pre-workout offers the same benefits as a regular pre-workout but without the caffeine.

It's a good option for those sensitive to caffeine or who workout in the evening.

How long before my workout should I take pre-workout?

It's best to take pre-workout 20-30 minutes before your workout for optimal effects.

Can I take pre-workout on an empty stomach?

While some people prefer taking pre-workout on an empty stomach, others may experience stomach discomfort.

It's best to see what works for you.

Can I mix pre-workout with protein shakes?

While it's not harmful, it's generally recommended to take pre-workout and protein at different times.

Pre-workout is designed to be taken before your workout, while protein is usually taken after.

Does pre-workout help with weight loss?

Pre-workout can enhance your workout performance, which can help with weight loss.

However, it should be used in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Is pre-workout safe for everyone?

While pre-workout is safe for most people, those with certain medical conditions or who are pregnant should consult with a healthcare professional before use.

Bottom Line:

Finding the right pre-workout dosage is a little experimental but you always want to start with half a serving to assess your tolerance.

It's about listening to your body and adjusting as needed.

Remember, pre-workout is a tool to enhance your workout, not a magic solution.

Combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, pre-workout can help you reach your fitness goals.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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