According to the FDA, the safe upper limit of caffeine intake for most healthy people is 400mg per day. So, if you are taking pre workout twice a day, you may be consuming more than the safe upper limit of caffeine. Always consult a medical doctor before taking a new supplement, such as pre workout.
In this article, we cover the benefits and drawbacks of taking pre workout twice in a day, as well as the best way to go about it if you must do so. Let’s get started.
How Many Times A Day Can You Take Pre Workout?
As a rule of thumb, you should only take pre workout once a day.
If the pre workout is fairly weak, then you may be able to take it twice a day as long as the pre workout is free of stimulants.
Pre Workout Ingredients You Should Avoid Taking Twice A Day
There are some ingredients in pre workout which are more likely to cause side effects than others if you take them twice a day.
Common side effects from taking too much of these ingredients include anxiety, nausea, anger, increased blood pressure, and bloating.
Take caution if consuming pre workout supplements with the below ingredients twice a day:
- Alpha Yohimbe
- Yohimbe HCL
- DMHA (Dimethylhexylamine)
- DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine)
You may be able to get away with taking pre workout supplements with the below ingredients twice a day, as long as you take them before 3pm.
- Yerba Santa
- Huperzine A
- Caffeine Citrate
- Dicaffeine Malate
All of the above ingredients listed are classified as stimulants, so they can negatively impact your sleep quality if you take them too late in the day.
Pre Workout Ingredients That You Can Take Twice A Day
Now that we’ve listed some ingredients to be cautious of, here are some common ingredients in pre workout that most people can safely take twice a day:
- B Vitamins
- Betaine anhydrous
- Essential amino acids (EAAs)
- Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- Citrulline (L-citrulline & citrulline malate)
As you can see, there are many ingredients that are safe to take twice a day.
As always, speak to your medical doctor before starting any new supplement regimens.
Benefits Of Taking Pre Workout Twice In A Day
More Fat Burning Potential
Many pre workouts out there are loaded with caffeine.
And for good reason too – it helps you focus, ‘gives’ you more energy, and even helps with fat loss.
In fact, a review of 12 studies found that every doubling of caffeine intake boosted fat oxidation by 28%!
So by doing some quick maths, if you take pre workout twice in a day, you’re essentially doubling your caffeine intake.
Based off the review above, this should result in more fat loss and a leaner you.
Some pre workouts have added nootropics to help you focus and improve the mental side of your performance.
For example, Genius Pre Workout includes an adaptogenic herb called Rhodiola.
A study of 56 night shift workers compared the effects of Rhodiola and a placebo on their performance.
For 2 weeks, the night shift workers took either 170mg of Rhodiola or a placebo daily.
Interestingly, those who took Rhodiola had less mental fatigue and improved performance than those who took the placebo.
Another example is Hooligan Pre Workout which includes Lion’s Mane mushrooms.
In one study, 30 adults took either 3g of Lion’s Mane extract or a placebo daily for 16 weeks.
After just 8 weeks, those who consumed the Lion’s Mane extract had improved cognitive function.
So by taking pre workout twice in a day, you’ll have much better focus which will help you get more stuff done.
(Interestingly, some students to take pre workout to study!)
Drawbacks Of Taking Pre Workout Twice In A Day
You May Build Up A Tolerance Quicker
The caffeine in pre workout is a double-edged sword.
While it has its many uses, it’s also a drug.
Now before you panic, I’m not saying that it’s in the same bracket as meth, heroin or cocaine.
But like all drugs, you can build a tolerance to caffeine.
In other words, the more you use caffeine, the more your body gets used to its effects.
This means that you need to take even more of it to feel the same buzz.
(This is why you should cycle off pre workout!)
So by taking pre workout 2 times in a day, you’ll build a tolerance to caffeine much quicker than you normally would.
It’s Potentially Dangerous
Some pre workouts out there, like USN 3XT, contain a whopping 400mg of caffeine per serving.
(To give you some perspective, the average cup of coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine, so yes, some pre workouts are 4x stronger than coffee!)
According to the FDA, up to 400mg of caffeine in a day appears to be safe for most people.
So if you were to take a pre workout like USN 3XT two times in a day, you would be taking twice the safe limit!
It’s also worth mentioning that some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others.
In other words, even 400mg of caffeine in a day may be too much for some people.
If you do take too much caffeine, you may encounter some nasty side effects, including:
It’s More Expensive
Some of the premium pre workouts are so expensive.
We’re talking around $2.50 for a single scoop.
So if you were to work out 4 times a week, and took C4 twice per day on the days you worked out…
You would end up spending $80 a month just on pre workout!
It Can Be Harder To Hit Your Macros
When I was intermittent fasting, I’d drink a ton of coffee.
(Well, I still drink a ton now, but not as much as I used too!)
The reason being the caffeine helped curb my appetite which made the fasting much easier.
(Believe it or not, it’s easier to go through long periods of time without food if you’re not hungry in the first place.)
But if you’re on a bulking diet, this can work against you for the opposite reason:
It’s harder to stuff your face with 3,000 calories a day if you have no appetite in the first place!
So if you were to take a standard pre workout twice in a day, your caffeine intake would be even higher which would kill your appetite.
What’s The Best Way To Take Pre Workout Twice A Day?
This depends on multiple factors, such as when you train, how intense your training is, and the type of pre workout supplement you’re currently using.
Let’s take a look at some common scenarios and whether you should take pre workout twice a day in each scenario.
1. Morning cardio and afternoon weights session
Many people like to do cardio in the morning followed by a weights session in the afternoon.
In this scenario, you can take your pre workout as normal in the morning followed by some creatine and BCAAs before your weights session.
If you have access to pre workout without any stimulants, then you can take this before your afternoon workout too.
2. You only have a pre workout that contains stimulants
In this scenario, it’s best to take pre workout only once a day to help reduce side effects and prevent you from building a tolerance to the pre workout.
If you must take your pre workout twice a day, then take 2 half scoops so that you’re still only taking a full serving.
Remember to keep an eye on your caffeine intake and try to keep it under 400mg for the day.
3. You have both a stimulant and non-stimulant pre workout
If you have both a stim and non-stim pre workout, then you should be able to take them both in one day.
The key is to take the stimulant pre workout in the morning so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep quality.
Remember to keep an eye on the ingredients list of both to ensure you’re not exceeding your daily recommend allowance of any ingredients.
How To Safely Take Pre Workout Twice In A Day
Use A Caffeine-Free Pre Workout
Since a lot of drawbacks come from consuming too much caffeine, an easy solution if you want to take 2 lots of pre workout in a day is to opt for a caffeine-free pre workout.
There are many awesome ones out there, with my favorite being Genius Pre Workout.
Not only is it caffeine-free, but it includes no artificial sweeteners to make it healthier, and it has added Rhodiola to help you focus.
I also love that Genius products are 3rd party tested for purity and potency, which shows that you can trust their labels.
Spread Your Doses
If you want to get the most out of doubling your pre workout intake, it’s best to spread out the doses over the course of the day.
If you don’t, it’s possible you’ll have a more intense experience which could result in you crashing once it’s worn off.
Whereas if you spread the doses out, you’ll have a nice stable level of energy throughout the day.
Avoid Taking Pre Workout In The Evening
You should avoid using pre workout at night, as the caffeine can seriously screw up your sleep.
In fact, even taking caffeine 6 hours before going to sleep can disturb your sleep quality! (Source)
What about caffeine-free pre workout?
Well, most caffeine-free pre workouts use a nootropic to help improve focus and alertness, so even then, it’s probably best to avoid.
What Happens If You Take Too Much Pre Workout?
If your pre workout is caffeinated, then you’ll likely feel anxious, irritable, and nauseous.
You may also get itchy skin due to the high amounts of Beta Alanine. It’s generally nothing to worry about but can be quite annoying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Take C4 Pre Workout Twice In A Day?
As one of the market leaders, I’m sure many of you are wondering if you can take C4 2 times in a day.
Since the caffeine amount is moderate, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue as long as you spread the doses over the course of the day, and avoid other forms of caffeine, like coffee.
Can You Take Jym Pre Workout Twice In A Day?
With each serving of Pre Jym providing 300mg of caffeine, it’s not recommended to take it twice in a day.
The only exception would be if you used only half a scoop for a serving instead of a full scoop.
This way, you’re not exceeding the safe caffeine limit.
How Many Times A Week Can You Take Pre Workout?
If you train every day, then there’s no reason why you can’t take pre workout every day.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this though as you’ll likely build a tolerance to the pre workout and it’ll become less effective over time.
Can You Take Pre Workout Without Working Out?
Many people like to take pre workout like C4 without working out.
In fact, some students even take pre workout before exams to help them study!
As always, keep an eye on your total caffeine intake and ensure it stays below the FDA safe upper limit of 400mg.
Can You Take Creatine Twice A Day?
You can take creatine twice a day, although you may be wasting your creatine.
Excess creatine is converted into a waste product called creatinine, which is why creatine can make you pee more.
- There are some ingredients in pre workout which you can take twice a day, and others which you should avoid.
- It’s generally a bad idea to take stimulant-based pre workouts twice in the same day.
- If you take pre workout multiple times a day, then ensure the last serving is taken before 3pm.
Hope this helped!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.