It’s amazing how many people want to know, “Can You Take Pre-Workout Twice a Day?”
There are quite clearly a lot of you training extremely hard, or perhaps even overdoing it.
However, through visiting online fitness forums and Q&A websites I was astonished at how often this question was asked.
I’m sure you’ve regularly enjoyed a boost before you hit the gym.
But, should you be doing this multiple times a day?
Let’s find out.
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Can You Take Pre-Workout Twice a Day?
You can take pre-workout twice a day, although it isn’t particularly recommended. A caffeine intake of 400mg per day is considered safe for most adults. So, you would also need to consider your overall caffeine intake. Most pre-workouts comprise 150mg-300mg of caffeine. So, if you’re also consuming tea, coffee, carbonated or energy drinks you may go over the recommended limit. You should also be aware that rest, recovery, and sleep is essential for muscle gain, which can be disrupted by excessive caffeine.
1. How Much Caffeine Are You Currently Consuming?
Firstly, I will say that there is nothing wrong with taking pre-workout twice a day.
However, this very much depends on your current caffeine intake.
Obviously, caffeine is one of the major ingredients in most pre-workout supplements.
And it is this that typically provides you with that boost in energy that gets you through your workout.
When it comes to caffeine there appears to be one oft-quoted statistic with regard to “safe limits”.
This is according to the American Department of Agriculture who stated that up to 400mg of caffeine per day can be considered safe and acceptable for most adults.
Basically, any more caffeine than this and you may experience certain side-effects, such as nervousness and jitteriness.
I’m sure some of you have felt your skin tingle, itchy, or jumpy after consuming pre-workout.
So, you have to consider that most pre-workouts will contain 150-300mg of caffeine per serving.
Therefore, if you’re using a particularly strong pre-workout supplement, and taking it twice a day, you’ll probably go over the recommended caffeine intake.
Furthermore, if you’re also consuming drinks like coffee, tea, sodas and carbonated drinks, or energy drinks, then you’re definitely overdoing it on the caffeine.
A standard cup of coffee has 80-100mg of caffeine.
So, even drinking 4 cups of coffee a day (which many people do) will see you close to the recommended limit.
This possibly won’t have much impact in the short-term, but it’s bound to catch up on you sooner or later.
So, if you are working out twice a day, and you want a hit of pre-workout, please take into consideration your current caffeine consumption.
2. What Types of Workouts Are You Doing?
If you’re training twice a day I would hope that you’re not training to the same intensity both times.
Basically, for us mere mortals we’d be very close to overdoing it if training to high-intensity twice a day.
I’m not going to start talking about overtraining, as I think the vast majority of people never get anywhere near this.
In fact, if you’re really feeling your workouts it’s more likely that your nutrition or recovery isn’t on-point.
So, something else to think about is whether you really need to “boost” both of your workouts, or are you simply taking pre-workout out of habit?
As an example, I would personally take pre-workout prior to strength training rather than cardio.
So, let’s say I’m hitting the weights in the morning and doing some steady-state cardio in the evening.
For me, I would want to take my pre-workout first thing in the morning prior to getting to the gym.
With that being said, if I was training the other way around (cardio first, weights later) I would still take pre-workout in the morning.
I’m likely to have less energy in the morning, especially if I’m training early and fasted.
Plus, by the evening training session I would have consumed a fair amount of my daily calories.
And there is something else to consider when you take pre-workout later in the day.
3. Recovery For Gains
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage about not actually building muscle in the gym.
In effect, it’s what you do after you train that can lead to some serious gains (or a lack of).
It’s all about your ability to recover.
Admittedly, pre-workout isn’t just about boosting your workouts, and there are ingredients that can aid recovery.
However, nothing will see you hit your body composition goals better than good nutrition and plenty of sleep.
So, I mentioned that I wasn’t in favour of taking pre-workout too late in the day.
And the main reason for this is that it can severely impact on sleep.
Basically, if you’re not sleeping well, it’s unlikely that your muscles will be able to repair and recover from the day’s exertions.
Realistically, you could be doing more harm than good in terms of building muscle and strength, losing weight, or burning body fat.
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is if you’re someone who works out regularly.
So, taking pre-workout twice a day is more than likely to hamper your ability to sleep.
11 Tips to Sleep Better For More Muscle Growth
4. Your Body Will Adapt
Something else to consider is that the more often you take pre-workout, the more your body will adapt to it.
Actually, this is pretty much true of anything in life and not just consuming pre-workout.
However, if you’ve been taking a pre-workout supplement for any length of time you’ve probably found it’s not having the same effect as it first did.
One scoop soon becomes one and a bit scoops, and then one and a half scoops, and so on.
It’s not long before you almost feel as though pre-workout isn’t having any impact on you whatsoever.
RELATED====>Why Does Pre-Workout Not Affect Me?
The body has a wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) way of adapting to what we put in it and what we do to it.
In fact, it’s the same as lifting the same weight for the same reps for the same sets for an extended period.
Eventually, you’ll stop getting stronger or adding muscle when performing that specific lift.
It’s exactly the same with pre-workout, and you may eventually become immune to its effects.
5. Why Are You Training Twice a Day?
I guess your need for additional pre-workout begs the question, Why are you working out twice a day?
As I’ve alluded to above, yes it’s hard for most individuals to overtrain, but still, most of us don’t need to be working out twice a day.
In essence, this could simply mean that you’re not training at an intense enough level in your first workout.
Yes, I understand there may be times that you may need to train twice a day, typically for competitive purposes.
However, if you’re just your Average Joe lifter looking to pack on size and strength this definitely isn’t the way to do it.
In fact, I’ll go as far to say that you’ll probably make greater gains in muscle and strength by sticking to one training session.
Plus, you should also take adequate rest between training days too.
However, if you are training for competitive purposes, then fine you can train twice a day.
But, I would still go back to what I said earlier, and not look to have two extremely intense workouts on the same day.
How Much Pre-Workout Should I Take?
So, as you can see, it’s fine to take pre-workout twice a day.
However, it’s not something that I would specifically recommend.
Firstly, you need to be wary of your overall caffeine intake.
You also need to take into consideration your rest and recovery, so it’s probably best not to have a couple of intense workouts on the same day.
Finally, taking an excess of pre-workout could eventually mean you become immune to the standard servings.
And therefore, you end up taking more-and-more with little to no effect.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.