GAIN MUSCLE

Can You Take Pre-Workout Twice a Day?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 13, 2023

Pre-workouts are one of the most popular options in the supplements category. 

If you're wondering if you can take your pre-workout twice in one day, then this guide will help you decide whether that's a safe route or not. 

With ingredients like caffeine and other stimulants, it's likely that you shouldn't take your pre-workout twice in one day, especially considering that caffeine has a long half-life that may interfere with a good night's sleep.

The quick answer is that you should only take pre-workout once per day, before your workout (see how long pre-workout takes to kick in). 

One serving of pre-workout usually has more than enough caffeine and energy that you'd be overdoing it by taking it twice per day. 

If you wake up early enough, you may take pre-workout in the morning and then again in the afternoon, but it's advisable not to exceed more than 300-500mg of caffeine per day, with the former being the recommended maximum.

Even if you work out twice per day, it's advisable to take only one serving. 

Ingredients in pre-workouts are designed to be used in one serving, taking more will not be more beneficial if it's already clinically dosed. 

Can You Take A Pre Workout Twice Per Day?

The good pre-workouts have full clinical dosages, and any more than those dosages, then you won't be getting more of a benefit, it'll just be diminishing returns. 

They are designed to be taken once per day, and any more than that, you'll be putting your health at risk. 

Using more than 500-600mg of caffeine per day can increase the risk of health complications. [1]

Depending on the pre-workout that you go with, some pre-workouts may have 600mg of caffeine per serving, and if you take double that amount then you'll be putting yourself at risk for seizures and other health complications. [2

And what's more is that some pre-workouts contain vitamin B3 (niacin) in high dosages, around 25mg, and if you take the upper limit of 35mg, you'll be at risk for liver damage and other health complications. [3]

Pre-workouts can last for around 8 hours, while still leaving caffeine in your system after that as caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours. 

Furthermore, pre-workouts can contain other stimulants like yohimbine and even more risky ones like DMHA and DMAA.

By taking pre-workouts twice per day, you'll be putting yourself at unnecessary risk as they are generally designed to be taken once per 24 hours. 

How Many Times Per Day Can You Take Pre-Workout?

We recommend taking pre-workouts only once per day, before your workouts, and early enough so it doesn't interfere with your sleep. 

If you're taking a non-stimulant pre-workout then you'll need to be careful and ensure it doesn't have ingredients that may cause health complications at double the serving. 

Below we'll list the ingredients that you should avoid taking twice per day...

Ingredients to Avoid Taking Twice Per Day

The ingredients listed below are ingredients that you should avoid taking twice per day. 

Why you should avoid taking them twice per day because they give a rush of energy and not only can they interfere with your sleep but they can also increase the risk for health complications. 

There simply isn't enough research to prove the safety of these ingredients to be taken once per day, let alone twice per day. 

And doubling the dosage of these ingredients will definitely increase the risk of side effects like jitters, rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, anxiety, and more. 

If you really wanted to take ingredients like these twice per day, then you'd need to look up the maximum daily dosages of each ingredient. 

These are ingredients that you should avoid taking twice a day: 

  • DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine, 1,3 DMAA)
  • DMHA (Dimethylhexylamine, English Walnut Extract, Octodrine )
  • DMBA (1,3-Dimethylbutylamine, 1,3-DMBA, dimethylbutylamine, DMBA, 4-amino-2-methylpentane, or AMP)
  • Alpha Yohimbe, Yohimbe HCL, Yohimbine, Rauwolscine
  • Higenamine
  • Hordenine
  • Synephrine (isopropylsynephrine)
  • Halostachine
  • English Ivy Leaf Extract
  • Ephedrine
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) 

Crack is a pre-workout you don't want to take twice per day. 

Ingredients That Can Be Taken Twice Per Day With  Caution

These ingredients can be safely taken twice per day depending on their dosages. 

Generally, you don't want to exceed 400-500mg of caffeine per day, especially if you're not used to it. 

  • Caffeine (Caffeine anhydrous, organic caffeine, caffeine citrate, Dicaffeine Malate (Infinergy™) etc.)
  • Theobromine
  • Yerba Santa (Sant Energy™ NU)
  • Methlylliberine (Dynamine®)
  • Alpina Galanga Extract (EnXtra®)
  • Theacrine (TeaCrine®)
  • Huperzine A

Remember there are still other foods and beverages that contain caffeine so it's not just the pre-workout dosages that you should be wary about. 

Ingredients That Can Be Taken Twice Per Day Safely

These ingredients can generally be taken twice per day safely depending on their dosages. 

Some ingredients don't have benefit beyond a certain dosage, like pure citrulline at 10 grams.

  • Citrulline (L-citrulline & citrulline malate)
  • Beta-alanine
  • Betaine anhydrous
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), Essential amino acids (EAAs)
  • L-Tyrosine, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine
  • Choline (Citicoline, Choline Bitartrate, Alpha-GPC)
  • B Vitamins (limit vitamin B3 to 25mg per day)
  • Creatine (any form)
  • L-Carnitine
  • Taurine
  • Electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, chloride)
  • elevATP® (ancient peat and apple polyphenols)
  • Beetroot powder, Nitrates
  • Arginine (Nitrosigine® (inositol-stabilized arginine)
  • Glycerol (HydroPrime®, HydroMax®, GlycerSize™)
  • Mushrooms (Peak-O2®, Lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi, shiitake, turkey tail, maitake mushrooms)

These are the ingredients that can possibly be taken twice per day. 

Although these ingredients are safe, you should still consult with a healthcare physician before using any dietary supplement and only purchase from companies that have a good reputation. 

And they are designed to be taken on an empty stomach

How to Take Pre-Workouts Twice Per Day

If you still want to take your pre-workout twice in one day, depending on your training and the type of supplement you're using, then you'd likely be able to in one of these options. 

Option #1: Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. 

This option is common as some people like to either do cardio or sports in the morning then resistance or more another athletic activity in the afternoon. 

You may use a stimulant-based pre-workout in the morning, then a nitric oxide formula, or a non-stimulant pre-workout in the afternoon.

Or you can split your pre-workout serving into two for the morning and afternoon activities. 

Option #2: You only have a stimulant-based pre-workout

The problem with using your pre-workout multiple times per day can lead to a much faster build-up of tolerance and you'll need more to feel something. 

In this case, you can use your pre-workout before your first session then you can drink something flavored for your second session or you can use an intra-workout with BCAA's. 

Do You Need Pre-Workouts?

There's a lot of marketing going into pre-workouts.

Companies will go as far as telling you that you need pre-workouts to see results. 

While pre-workouts can assist with muscle-building and results, they help you gain an advantage but they aren't necessary. 

Most of your results will come from your diet, sleep, lifestyle, and training program.

Can You Take Pre-Workout Without Working Out?

There might be a few reasons why you might want to take a pre-workout without working out.

One of those reasons might be that you want to take it early enough so it doesn't interfere with your sleep. 

Pre-workouts work for at least 6-8 hours so that would work. 

Another reason might be you just want the focus and productivity that comes from an energizing pre-workout. 

In this case, yes you can, but we recommend limiting this use as tolerance can build up and it won't be as effective for workouts when you need the energy and focus the most. 

We recommend looking into nootropics for productive focus and energy

Nootropic by Transparent Labs is an excellent choice as a nootropic supplement.

Limit Total Caffeine Per Day

With pre-workouts, one of the ingredients you should be careful with is caffeine as if you take too much you'll put yourself at risk for health complications. 

It's not only caffeine, there are also other stimulants that can make it more likely to experience side effects when they are combined. 

With caffeine though, you should limit the daily usage to 400-500mg per day and even that is pushing it if you're using it on a regular basis.

Read here to find out how much pre-workout you should use.  

FAQ

Can I take a pre-workout twice a day?

While it's technically possible to take pre-workout twice a day, it's generally not recommended. The main concern is the high caffeine content found in many pre-workout supplements. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to side effects like nervous system issues, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea. If you're considering taking pre-workout twice a day, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional first.

What are the potential risks of taking pre-workout twice a day?

Taking pre-workout twice a day can lead to an overdose of certain ingredients, especially stimulants like caffeine. This can result in side effects such as jitteriness, insomnia, increased heart rate, and digestive issues. In the long run, excessive caffeine intake can interfere with your hormones, potentially leading to high cortisol levels, memory issues, or depression. It can also disrupt the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins.

Are there any pre-workout ingredients that I should avoid taking twice a day?

Yes, there are certain ingredients in pre-workout supplements that can cause side effects if taken twice a day. These include Yohimbine, Hordenine, Ephedrine, Synephrine, Higenamine, Rauwolscine, Halostachine, Alpha Yohimbe, Yohimbe HCL, DMHA (Dimethylhexylamine), and DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine). These ingredients are classified as stimulants and can negatively impact your sleep quality if taken too late in the day.

Are there any pre-workout ingredients that are safe to take twice a day?

Yes, there are some ingredients in pre-workout supplements that most people can safely take twice a day. These include Taurine, Creatine, Nitrates, L-Tyrosine, B Vitamins, Alpha-GPC, L-Carnitine, Electrolytes, Beta-alanine, Betaine anhydrous, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, Essential amino acids (EAAs), Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and Citrulline (L-citrulline & citrulline malate).

What are the benefits of taking pre-workout twice a day?

Taking pre-workout twice a day could potentially increase fat burning and productivity, especially if the pre-workout contains caffeine or nootropics. However, these benefits must be weighed against the potential risks and side effects.

What are the drawbacks of taking pre-workout twice a day?

The drawbacks of taking pre-workout twice a day include building up a tolerance to the supplement more quickly, potential health risks from excessive caffeine intake, increased expense as you'll use up your supplement faster, and potential difficulty in meeting your nutritional needs if the caffeine suppresses your appetite. (See why doesn't pre-workout doesn't work for you)

How can I safely take pre-workout twice a day? 

If you feel the need to take pre-workout twice a day, consider using a caffeine-free pre-workout for one of the doses to avoid excessive caffeine intake. You could also try splitting your usual pre-workout dose into two smaller doses. However, always consult with a healthcare professional before making changes to your supplement regimen.

Can I take a pre-workout without working out?

While some people do take pre-workout without exercising, for example, to help them study, it's generally not recommended. Pre-workout supplements are designed to enhance physical performance and may not be beneficial if you're not being physically active. Additionally, the high caffeine content could lead to unwanted side effects.

Can I take C4 pre-workout twice a day?

C4 pre-workout contains a moderate amount of caffeine, so it might be possible to take it twice a day if you spread out the doses and avoid other sources of caffeine. 

Can I take Jym pre-workout twice a day?

Pre-Jym pre-workout contains a high amount of caffeine (300mg per serving), so it's not recommended to take it twice a day. If you must, consider using only half a scoop per serving to avoid exceeding the safe caffeine limit.

Can I take creatine twice a day?

Yes, you can take creatine twice a day, but it might not be necessary. Excess creatine is converted into a waste product called creatinine, which is why creatine can make you urinate more. Therefore, taking more than your body can use might just result in waste.

How many times a week can I take pre-workout?

A: If you train every day, you could technically take a pre-workout every day. However, doing so might lead to a tolerance to the supplement, making it less effective over time. It's often recommended to cycle off pre-workout periodically to prevent this.

What happens if I take too much pre-workout?

If you take too much pre-workout, especially if it's caffeinated, you might feel anxious, irritable, and nauseous. You may also experience itchy skin due to high amounts of Beta-Alanine. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's a good idea to cut back on your pre-workout intake.

What should I do if I experience side effects from taking pre-workout twice a day?

If you experience side effects such as jitteriness, insomnia, increased heart rate, or digestive issues, it's important to stop taking the pre-workout immediately and consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance on whether it's safe for you to continue using the supplement and how to adjust your dosage to avoid side effects in the future.

Can I mix different pre-workout supplements if I want to take it twice a day?

Mixing different pre-workout supplements is generally not recommended without the advice of a healthcare professional. Different supplements contain different ingredients and dosages, and combining them could lead to an overdose of certain ingredients. If you want to take pre-workout twice a day, it's safer to use the same supplement and adjust your dosage as needed.

Are there any alternatives to taking pre-workout twice a day?

Yes, there are alternatives to taking pre-workout twice a day. You could consider using a caffeine-free pre-workout for one of your doses, or using a different type of supplement, such as a protein shake or BCAAs, for your second dose. Another option is to focus on getting your energy from natural sources, such as a balanced diet and adequate sleep.

Is it safe to take pre-workout twice a day if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Most pre-workout supplements are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to the high caffeine content and other potent ingredients. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding and considering taking pre-workout, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional first.

Can I take pre-workout twice a day if I have a medical condition?

If you have a medical condition, especially a heart condition, high blood pressure, or a mental health disorder, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking pre-workout twice a day. Certain ingredients in pre-workout supplements could interact with medications or exacerbate certain medical conditions.

Can I give pre-workout to my teenager to take twice a day?

Pre-workout supplements are generally not recommended for teenagers. Their bodies are still developing, and the high caffeine content and other potent ingredients in pre-workout supplements could have negative effects. (See best pre-workouts for teens)

Can taking pre-workout twice a day affect my mental health?

Yes, taking pre-workout twice a day could potentially affect your mental health. The high caffeine content can lead to anxiety, insomnia, and mood swings. If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, taking pre-workout twice a day could potentially worsen your symptoms. 

Summary

There are many types of pre-workouts, with a wide range of different ingredients. 

Some have lots of stimulants, some have more ergogenic aids like citrulline and beta-alanine, and some have both.

With ingredients that have a recommended daily value, and these don't always have long-term research on bigger doses, it's highly recommended to only take your pre-workout before your workout, once a day. 

And some pre-workouts have proprietary blends, so you really won't know how much of each ingredient you're getting. 

For the safest results, it's best to limit stimulant-based pre-workouts once per day, then a non-stimulant pre-workout if you must workout again. 

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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