Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

Can You Take Pre Workout Everyday? Answered by a Dietitian

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Dedicated gym-goers and bodybuilders thrive on pre-workout during hard workouts.

Many users want that same kickstart for real-life on non-workout days, so one of the questions I get from my fitness clients is, can pre-workout supplements be taken every day?

This wildly depends on the particular product, so our dietician and I took a couple of weeks investigating common ingredients and their side effects to help you determine if daily pre-workout consumption is safe and sustainable.

This is what we found.

Quick Summary

  • Although they are designed to be taken only before exercise, many pre-workouts contain nootropics that can be beneficial on non-workout days.
  • Caffeine is a proven exercise performance enhancer, and many pre-workout supplements contain the equivalent of 1-3 cups.
  • Most pre-workout products will do three things: crank up energy levels, improve focus, and increase blood flow.

Is It Bad to Take Pre Workout Everyday?

Top view of pre-workout supplements

You can use a pre-workout every day if you are a generally healthy adult with no underlying health conditions, looking to boost energy, enhance athletic performance, or improve focus.

When Is It Okay to Take Pre-workout Every Day?

Taking a pre-workout every day is okay if you want to primarily boost your mental performance in and out of the gym.

Not only do pre-workouts contain ingredients to enhance your physical performance, but many also constrain nootropics, which enhance cognitive ability, giving you a mental boost on non-workout days.

When Is It Not Okay to Take Pre-workout?

A man drinking a pre-workout drink

It is not okay to take pre-workout if you have underlying health conditions, are becoming dependent, have jitteriness or insomnia, or the pre-workout constraints have sub-par ingredients.

Possible Side Effects of Taking Pre-workout on Long Term

Dependency

We consume pre-workout supplements to get the energy kick and focus for our workout so we can train harder. However, when we reach a point where we feel we “need” to consume pre-workout, it’s time to take a break.

Jitters and Crash

Many pre-workout supplements contain a heavy hit of caffeine which can cause jitteriness and a big crash in energy. If you experience this, you may want to consider stopping or reducing your dosage.

Loaded With Sugar or Artificial Additives

Generally speaking, I advise my clients to avoid pre-workout supplements that contain artificial additives and high amounts of sugar, neither of which are good for you.

If you want to consume a pre-workout daily, choose one with clean, natural ingredients that are not harmful to your health.

Insomnia

Taking pre-workout supplements, especially later in the day, can cause sleep disruption. As we have determined, most pre-workouts contain considerable amounts of caffeine.

It is essential to pay attention to the quality of your sleep when you are taking these products and adjust or stop if necessary.

youtube

Common Pre-workout Ingredients

Pointing at a supplement product container

Most pre-workouts are safe for healthy adults. Avoid proprietary blends, so you know exactly what ingredients and quantities are in each scoop.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates supplements and food, not drugs, which can make for some inaccuracy in labeling due to regulatory gaps.

It is best to purchase supplements that have been third-party tested. NSFNSF International or U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) are reputable testing entities.

Let’s take a look at some common pre-workout ingredients and any safety concerns.

Caffeine

As we previously established, most pre-workouts contain caffeine because of its ability to enhance athletic performance, boost energy, and increase focus. It may be one of the most effective natural performance enhancers [1].

The FDA considers 400 mg of caffeine daily a safe amount for most adults to consume [2].

The caffeine content in pre-workouts varies greatly, somewhere between 150 mg to 300 mg, or 1-3 cups of coffee. You should be mindful of this amount and caffeine’s half-life of about five hours if you have caffeine intake from other sources like coffee, tea, soda, or an energy drink.

If caffeine is not an ingredient you looking for, then look over our selection of the best pre-workouts without caffeine.

Beta-alanine

Spilled beta-alanine powder top view

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid made naturally in the body that aids in the production of carnosine.

It is a popular pre-workout supplement ingredient because it may reduce acid build-up in your muscle tissue, allowing your muscles to work harder for longer [3].

Have you ever experienced a tingling sensation while using a pre-workout supplement? If you have, beta-alanine is the culprit; some users find it unpleasant, though not harmful.

But not all supplements contain beta-alanine, and some people prefer that. Here is a list of some great pre-workouts without beta-alanine that we personally tried and tested.

Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

To promote muscle growth and reduce muscle soreness, many pre-workout manufacturers include branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in their formula [4].

Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, lentils, quinoa, nuts, and seeds, are good sources of BCAAs, and if you maintain a well-balanced diet, you are probably consuming enough. 

However, supplementing BCAAs, like in a pre-workout supplement, is a generally safe way to reduce fatigue, increase muscle mass, and even enhance weight loss [5].

Creatine

A scoop of creatine on a yellow background

Creatine is popular among athletes as a standalone supplement or as one of many performance-enhancing pre-workout ingredients.

Research continues to evaluate creatine for its healthy aging and cognitive benefits.

Creatine gives your muscles energy, ensuring you can get a higher-intensity workout for a longer duration which may promote muscle growth, strength, and power [6].

There has been much debate around the safety of pre-workouts containing creatine, but there is a lack of evidence showing anything other than it is generally safe.

“Creatine has a strong safety profile. It’s been studied in a range of people in high doses for years without any health risks.”

- Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Nitric Oxide Precursors

Nitric oxide in pre-workouts relaxes blood vessels and promotes blood flow, delivering much-needed nutrients and oxygen to hard-working muscles [7].

Products that include nitric oxide precursors like l-arginine, l-citrulline, and even beetroot juice are popular among many gym-goers for their vasodilating effects, allowing the user more muscle pumps at a higher intensity and duration.

Nitric oxide precursors are also considered safe at the proper dosing amounts. The beetroot juice in some supplements may cause urine to be a dark red color; this is not harmful.

Does Taking It Every Day Build Up Tolerance?

A woman holding beverage flexing her bicep muscles

Yes, taking a pre-workout every day does build up a tolerance. Over time, if you feel like that energy kick start or workout doesn’t feel the same, chances are your body has built up a pre-workout tolerance.

Caffeine and other stimulants are usually the culprits here, especially if you consume caffeine from other sources. Still, it is also possible to build a tolerance to other ingredients.

If you find you have built up a tolerance to the pre-workout you are taking, you have a couple of options.

  • First, cycle the pre-workout brand you are on, meaning stop for a couple of weeks, then start again.
  • Try other supplements with different ingredients, perhaps a stimulant-free pre-workout for a time before going back to the one you are on.

Many people discover the effects of these products decrease for a few weeks, making a cycle or switch necessary.

FAQs

How Many Times a Week Should I Use Pre-workout?

You should use pre-workout 3-4 days per week for optimal results and less risk of building up a tolerance to caffeine. Even using pre-workout daily is ok, as most pre-workout supplements contain all-natural ingredients that are generally safe for most people.

Should I Take Pre-workout on Rest Days?

You should take pre-workout on rest days if you are looking for nootropics benefits. Most pre-workouts include cognitive enhancer ingredients, and many find a pre-workout supplement more enjoyable than coffee for these effects.

So, Should You Take a Pre-workout Every Day?

You now have the facts about pre-workouts and potential adverse side effects to make an informed decision.

If, after you assess your diet and exercise routine, as well as your overall health, you determine you still want to consume a daily dose of pre-workout, I would encourage you to check out these organic pre-workout supplements.

We’ve tested these supplements ourselves, and some of them proved quite successful in giving us more energy, increasing alertness, and improving focus, and most of them contain clean ingredients safe for ongoing consumption.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835847/
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/caffeine/
  3. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28934166/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bcaa#Dosage-instructions
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-pros-and-cons#pros
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nitric-oxide-supplements
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author