One of the most common questions we are asked is if it is safe to take a pre-workout supplement every day. It is easy to see why.
You may be tempted to take a scoop every day with enhancements to your energy levels, endurance, motivation, increased focus, and recovery time.
There are a lot of situations when this is not a recommended practice, but it deserves a thorough answer.
In this review, we will cover the reasons both for and against daily pre-workout consumption and the side effects, benefits, and dangers associated with doing so.
- Can You Take Pre-Workout Supplements Everyday?
- 4 Signs You Should Stop Taking Daily Pre-Workouts
- How To Avoid Pre-Workouts Side Effects
- Questions On Taking Pre-Workout Supplements Everyday
Can You Take Pre-Workout Supplements Everyday?
The short answer is probably. In most cases, the ingredients found in high-quality pre-workout supplement mixes are safe to consume daily. However, if you have underlying health conditions, you may need to exercise more caution.
For those looking to use the caffeine and amino acids included to help your mental focus or just boost energy levels, you should be fine. Taken in moderation, a pre-workout is just like any other supplement.
Ingredients like branched-chain amino acids, beetroot juice, velvet bean, and others show promise when taken as dietary supplements.
Your safety concerns need to be brought up to your certified nutrition coach or doctor before you make a final decision, though. Most pre-workouts will list these ingredients if they are included.
Related Article - Should You Take Pre-Workout Twice A Day?
Bad Ingredients For Daily Consumption
When it comes to the ingredients found in most pre-workout supplements, it may seem okay to consume daily. However, even the most mundane items can pose a risk.
The most notable and possibly dangerous ingredient is caffeine. When you consume
Daily consumption should be limited to a total of 400mg. For those that are hypersensitive to caffeine, you may want to look into non-stim pre-workouts that don’t include any stimulants.
Essential and non-essential amino acids are also high on the ingredient list, especially with items like beta-alanine. Non-essentials, like beta-alanine, are so called because they are produced naturally in the body.
Supplementing with them helps build up the levels in our bodies so they can function faster and more efficiently. They have also shown signs of improving cognitive performance.
Essential amino acids come from our diet specifically and are essential to proper health and body function. Taking these daily won't hurt anything as any unused or excess is expelled in our waste.
You also have to consider branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Like most supplements, these help to speed up recovery times and promote muscle growth.
Learn More - BCAAs Vs Pre-Workouts (Which Is Better)
Good Ingredients For Daily Consumption
Some studies suggest daily intake can also increase muscle mass, reduce fatigue and contribute to weight loss, which is important to those on a hard workouts regimen.
Creatine, specifically creatine monohydrate, is the most studied supplement on the market today. There are literally thousands of experts, health officials, doctors, scientists, and fitness experts weighing in on the supplement.
The overwhelming conclusion is that creatine does enhance exercise performance, muscle energy, longer endurance for high-intensity workouts, muscle growth, strength, and explosive power. It is also safe to take daily.
One to watch, though, is niacin, or nitric oxide. Many BCAAs, l-arginine, l-citrulline, beetroot juice, and other common pre-workout ingredients produce or help the body produce this vasodilating nutrient. Known as nitric oxide precursors, they break down into nitric oxide molecules after ingestion.
High blood pressure, dilated blood vessels, and increased oxygen production can help you achieve more sets at a higher intensity level and give you the coveted muscle pump. But taken daily in high levels, it is also linked to cardiovascular problems.
What About For Non-Training Days?
What happens when you take pre-workout without working out? Is it advised? There are two schools of thought on this.
The first says that you should take a pre-workout as a supplement similar to a vitamin once a day, regardless of activity level. Though, with this method, withdrawal symptoms when you do break are more noticeable.
The other side says you should use a pre-workout daily on a sparse rotation. Cycling your intake with long breaks of not taking any. Who is right? It really depends on your needs and expectations, as well as what type of pre-workout you are using.
Best practices are to take the recommended dose of pre-workout on days you hit the gym, use as directed, and drink plenty of water. Skip the pre-workout supplement on your off days. After 4 weeks, stop taking the powder altogether for a week and let it all flush from your system.
This will reduce your tolerance levels, and when you start the cycle over, you will feel the effects faster and longer than if you take pre-workout every day.
What Time Of Day Is Best To Take Pre-Workout?
Pre-workout is designed to be taken before you start your fitness routine. The focus, energy boosts, and athletic performance enhancements are meant to help you through a workout, not recover from one.
That said, because the stimulants included in most pre-workouts can last up to 6 or more hours after your workout, it is best to take them long before bedtime. Otherwise, you risk affecting your sleep schedule and sleep quality simply from taking a pre-workout which might keep you awake.
4 Signs You Should Stop Taking Daily Pre-Workouts
There are signs and signals that you should stop taking pre-workout supplements daily. Even if you are following the recommended dosage and doing everything right, you still need to listen to your body.
1. Becoming Dependent On Pre-Workout
While there aren't any ingredients in a pre-workout that have addictive properties (with a slight exception for some when dealing with caffeine), you can become dependent on it.
That tingling sensation that lets you know "it's working," as well as the focus and energy, can be quite noticeable. You may begin to crave or depend on these feelings to get through your workout.
If you find yourself not able to start or finish a workout without taking pre-workout supplements, you may need to take a break for an extended period and let your body flush your system. The half-life of caffeine is anywhere between 4 and 8 hours, depending on your caffeine tolerance.
However, nutrition coaches (such as personal trainers or conditioning specialists) and scientists have noted that higher tolerances can make it seem like the caffeine is no longer having an effect.
Learn More - Is Pre-Workout Addictive?
2. Getting Jittery And Crash Feeling Soon After Pre-Workout
Feeling jittery of pre-workout or shaking can be a clue you are ingesting too much caffeine. It is also a sign that your pre-workout may be too strong, or you are taking too much pre-workout. This is compounded by a sugar high during your workout and the inevitable hard crash afterward.
The use of artificial sweeteners or additional stimulants in the pre-workouts can cause you to have too much sugar in your system. While you need to avoid artificial sweeteners in all aspects of your diet, having them in your pre-workouts or energy drinks can become overwhelming.
3. Pre-Workout Loaded With Sugar Or Artificial Additives
Along with artificial sugars, you want to also avoid natural sugars where possible. This is another filler ingredient that has no benefit other than to make you feel energized for a brief moment.
Products with a proprietary blend are also to be avoided. You need to know exactly what you are taking and how much. While a proprietary blend will list each ingredient in order by weight, you still don’t know how much there is.
Artificial additives such as coloring and dyes need to be avoided as well. Like most things, in some form of moderation, there won't be any ill effects. However, daily ingestion can lead to health issues down the road.
4. Pre-Workout Is Affecting Your Sleep
As mentioned previously, high levels of stimulants can affect your sleep. If you are hypersensitive to caffeine (it affects you greatly), a single dose of a pre-workout caffeine content can have the same effects lasting up to 9 hours.
For hyposensitive people (it doesn't affect you much), the effects can wear off in as little as 30 minutes. However, if you take your pre-workout later in the evening or closer to bedtime, it can still have some effect on your sleep.
If you notice it takes you longer to fall asleep, toss and turn, or you wake up earlier and often, you may want to cut back on the amount of caffeine you take or take it much earlier in the day.
While you do get more energy for your workouts, energy production can continue into the night, affecting your sleep. No one wants an energy boost from caffeine or other stimulants when they lie down for the night.
How To Avoid Pre-Workouts Side Effects
Depending on the brand and type of pre-workout, as well as their ingredients list, you may need to take more caution than with others. Heavy side effects of pre-workout and lower quality ingredients will lead to some potential negative aspects, even if they have the same effect in the short term as other supplements.
You can help ensure you get the best quality and most effective benefits, especially for those taking a pre-workout daily.
1. Check For Reputable Testing Laboratory Credentials
Third party testing and certification are essential. When the brand gets approved by these 3rd party laboratories, you know that the ingredients are pure, high quality, and in the amounts listed on the label. This should include ingredients like creatine, beta-alanine, and amino acids.
The first thing you should look for is the Informed Choice label. This badge shows that the product is certified safe for elite and professional athletes. This means no banned substances, purity of brand, and only high-quality ingredients.
The USP label shows that the dietary supplement contains the same type and amount of ingredients listed on the nutrition label.
ConsumerLab is another 3rd party purity testing laboratory similar to USP. They also publish all their findings on their website so you can see if a brand is truly certified.
With these two labels, you can expect the claims to increase blood flow, muscle protein synthesis, and muscle pumps from beta-alanine, creatine, and caffeine to be more accurate.
2. Start Your Pre-Workout With Lower Doses And Build Up
If you are taking your pre-workout daily, you may want to start with a lower than recommended dose. Starting off with half a scoop instead of a full scoop is one way. Many trainers cut the dosage in half or even in fourths and then increase the dosage over time.
Once you reach the full recommended daily dose, you can run a daily dose for up to 4 weeks and then should start over with a full week without taking any. This cycle will keep the benefits and help you recover without losing the effects or adding to the side effects.
These cycling and dosage suggestions are also ideal when you mix your pre-workout with protein powders or creatine. Your nervous system stimulation when taking pre-workout daily doses can be highly altered.
Questions On Taking Pre-Workout Supplements Everyday
Any main brand with certified high-quality ingredients and mild to low levels of the primary ingredients (such as caffeine) can safely be taken daily. These include Cellucor, Magnum, atplab, Beyond Yourself, and Naked Energy.
Most pre-workout supplement brands need at least 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes to take effect. It is recommended you take your pre-workout at least 25 minutes before you start your workout.
Yes. You can build up a tolerance to the pre-workout ingredients if you take them every day. To combat this, most healthcare professionals advise you to cycle your pre-workout, with a few weeks of daily intake to build up the levels and one week off to flush your system.
If you closely monitor your caffeine intake, many pre-workout supplements can be mixed with fat burners to gain the benefits of both. You want to ensure that both include science-backed ingredients that have been 3rd party tested and certified to ensure you only ingest the finest ingredients.
Whether you prefer caffeine or stimulant-free pre-workout supplement intake, you can safely take a pre-workout daily. But, you need to ensure that you monitor levels and ingredient lists.
It’s really important that you choose a pre-workout that is high quality and comes from a reputable brand that you can trust. Transparent Labs is an excellent example of a small company whose biggest focus is ingredient quality.
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