Serious gym enthusiasts know the importance of supplements. Taking pre-workout has become a ritual for most lifters, but if you're training twice a day, does that mean you can take pre-workout supplements twice?
You want to get the most from your training session, but you don't want to do more harm than good.
In this guide, we'll explain whether you can take pre-workout twice and what the impacts might be if you do.
Is It Safe To Take Pre-Workout Twice A Day?
Perhaps, the most important ingredient within pre-workout that determines whether you can take it twice a day is caffeine.
Pre-workout contains caffeine, which reduces mental fatigue and provides you with energy to support you through your training.
You generally won’t get any increased benefits or build bigger muscles, and the caffeine can work against you instead of giving you improved focus.
Some pre-workout supplements contain up to 400mg of caffeine, more than many energy drinks, and almost 4 times your average cup of coffee.
It's this high level of caffeine that can impact your body negatively. If you consume too much pre-workout or caffeine daily and don't monitor your caffeine intake, then you can experience a lot of side effects of pre-workout.
This could include increased anxiety, jitters, poor sleep quality, and an upset stomach. In very extreme cases, if your caffeine intake is too high, you can become seriously ill.
Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you an improved performance during your workout or sports training. They do this in a few different ways.
First, they contain some non-essential amino acids which are consumed by the body to reduce fatigue and let you train for longer. They also contain other amino acids (primarily beta-alanine), which increase blood flow so you have more energy.
Most pre-workout supplements also contain protein which helps with muscle growth, and creatine which studies have shown can help you workout for longer.
Related Article - Can You Take Pre-Workout Everyday?
Benefits Of Taking Pre-Workout Twice Daily
Taking pre-workout twice on the same day isn't recommended, but that doesn't mean there aren't any benefits. Some fitness professionals will do it, and here are the key reasons why:
1. More Productivity
The ingredients within pre-workout are designed to improve your exercise productivity, and most healthy people will see the benefits. Your pre-workout supplement will contain added nootropics which are usually in the form of an adaptogenic herb.
These nootropics will give you an improved cognitive function and have been proven to increase alertness through a study involving night shift workers.
By taking pre-workout twice, you can actually increase your mental alertness and shrug off any fatigue. This will let you train harder, improve muscle gain, and give you a better pump.
So while having pre-workouts twice in a day isn’t ideal, it can be useful for those who aren’t getting adequate rest and need that extra kick.
2. More Fat Burning Potential
Pre-workouts aren’t designed to burn fat directly, so don’t think that taking pre-workout twice is going to magically lead to fat oxidation.
However, the key ingredient within pre-workout is caffeine, and by increasing your caffeine intake, you'll get an extra boost of energy.
The caffeine will push you to exercise harder and lead to an increase in your heart rate, which in turn means more calories burned. Therefore taking two doses of pre-workout could lead to greater fat loss.
Read Also - Does Pre-Workout Make You Lose Weight?
What are the Drawbacks?
From what you've just read, you might think pre-workouts can be really beneficial and help you build the body you want.
While there are some benefits, there are also a lot of disadvantages which make taking it twice daily a bad idea for most people:
1. Builds Up Tolerance Quicker
Your pre-workout is really designed to support you through one workout, and taking pre-workouts twice a day can minimize the benefits.
Your body will become more used to the caffeine and become less responsive to the amino acids designed to boost your blood flow. It will also impact how long the pre-workout has an effect and reduce the half-life.
Having high doses of pre-workout will eventually make your body less reactive, which can mean you have to start taking more pre-workout for it to have an impact on your training.
Related Article - Is Pre-Workout Actually Addictive?
2. Potentially Dangerous
Consuming pre-workout twice in one day can trigger some side effects in your body. Some supplements contain over 400mg of caffeine, which is far more caffeine than you get from drinking coffee.
The increased caffeine in pre-workout can make you jittery and anxious and elevate your heart rate to dangerous levels. It can also overstimulate your nervous system, cause headaches, and lead to nausea. It can also make it harder to sleep at the end of the day.
All of this depends on how much pre you’re taking, but there is a risk if you take pre-workout twice a day.
Learn More - Can Pre-Workout Kill You?
Pre-workout isn't cheap; you will generally spend $1.50-$3 for just one scoop. If you're taking it too often, then it can cost you a fortune without even giving you the benefits.
By limiting your intake and avoiding taking it twice a day, you can save a lot of money in the long run.
4. More Difficult To Hit Your Macros
Everyone knows the key to reaching your body goals is to have the right diet. Coffee is great for limiting your appetite and reducing your intake, but the caffeine can work against you if you’re bulking.
To build muscle, you need calories, and if you have too much caffeine from taking pre-workout twice a day, you might struggle to eat. By limiting your intake or using caffeine-free products, you can protect your appetite and hit your macros.
How To Safely Take them Twice In A Day
Many people choose to work out twice in one day, often separating weight training and cardio. It's not recommended that you take it twice, but if you are going to, then here are some tips on how to do it safely:
1. Always Check & Understand The Ingredients
Pre-workouts all tend to have similar ingredients, but what should you look for in pre-workout in between brands?
Some contain weird and wonderful ingredients (like lion's mane extract, for example), so it's important to understand what's in there and how it might impact your body.
It's particularly important to check for creatine and caffeine levels as taking too much of these can have nasty side effects.
2. Use Caffeine-Free Brands
Caffeine is the most dangerous ingredient in pre-workout, so you can avoid the negative side effects by switching to a stim-free pre-workout rather than a non-stimulant.
This will still give you a lot of the benefits without having to worry about the potential dangers. One of the best caffeine free options on the market is Transparent Labs STIM-FREE pre-workout.
3. Spread Out Your Doses
If you’re looking to take pre-workout twice a day, then you need to spread out your doses. If you workout twice a day, you should try and take one dose before your first workout and the other dose at least 3 hours afterward.
This will give your body time to break down the ingredients, so you still feel the benefits of the second dose.
4. Avoid Taking Them In The Evening
Consuming pre-workout in the evening can keep you awake. The creatine, amino acids, and caffeine are all designed to wake you up and encourage increased performance, so taking them in the evening won’t help you shut down. This can ultimately impact your ability to grow muscle and negate all your hard work in the gym.
Taking caffeine even 6 hours before bed can disrupt your sleep, so avoid taking it past 5 pm.
Common Pre-Workout Supplement Questions
Creatine intake is usually split into phases. In a loading phase, you'll typically want 20-25 grams a day for 5-7 days and then just 5 grams a day for the next 6-8 weeks to maintain it. Creatine should be safe to take twice a day, but check how much is in your pre-workout and see whether it fits with your loading cycle.
Pre-workout should only really be taken 3-4 times a week. This gives your body enough time to process all of the ingredients and reduces the risk of side effects. It also prevents your body from becoming too dependent on pre-workout.
If you take too much pre-workout, you'll likely become jittery, shaky, have a headache, and potentially have nausea from the caffeine. You'll also feel less of the benefits; eventually, your body will become more tolerant or reliant on it to perform.
Yes, you can take pre safely if you aren’t working out, but it is primarily designed for training. If you are looking to get an energy boost, you may be better off with a coffee or energy drink to perk you up.
C4 contains over 150mg of caffeine in each scoop and a lot of bet alanine. It's recommended that you don't take more than 2 scoops a day, and even that may be pushing it for some people. If you take too much, then you'll likely start to feel tingly because of the amino acids and stimulants, so it's worth limiting your intake to 1 scoop a day.
So, can you take pre-workout twice a day? Our final thoughts on this are no, or at least you should avoid it if at all possible.
The positive impact of the supplement is lessened if you take it twice, and the risk of the negative impacts increases massively.
If you plan to take it twice daily, you should make every effort to split the dose and give your body time to digest it properly. You may also be better off switching to a stim-free version, which will likely give you the same side effects.
Hopefully, this guide has helped explain the benefits and risks involved with taking pre-workout twice in one day and given you some valuable tips on how to do it safely.