Pre-workout supplements can be a great tool in helping you reach your fitness goals.
But it’s essential to understand that, like any tool, the effects of pre-workout aren’t going to last indefinitely.
How often you take pre-workout depends on the person’s metabolism. Experts recommend that a person cycle pre-workout and caffeine products every 6-8 weeks. Or else you run the risk of developing tolerance that results in either diminished or unwanted side effects.
When you consume too much pre-workout at once or over time without taking breaks, your tolerance increases, this might seem like a good thing; but it can quickly result in headaches and jitteriness.
Read on to learn more about how often you should cycle on and off pre-workout supplements and how to avoid or deal with the side effects of pre-workout tolerance.
How many times to take pre-workout supplements?
Generally speaking, you should take pre-workout supplements as often as you need them and not any more than that. Ideally, taking a pre-workout in the morning will give you all the energy to get through your workouts.
However, suppose you’re working out twice a day or have a particularly intense workout planned for the evening.
In that case, it’s acceptable to take another dose of your pre-workout supplement in the afternoon or early evening. If you do this, make sure your second dose is smaller than your first; half a scoop might be enough if you had a full spoon in the morning.
It is also essential to know that you might build a tolerance to the ingredients like caffeine in pre-workouts.
Tolerance means that your body will start adapting to them and won’t use them the same way it first encountered them.
To avoid this, make sure you take days off from pre-workout supplements whenever possible. Make sure that you only use it on days when you need it to get the best results and stay healthy.
Does Pre-workout get less effective the more you take it?
Reaching a new fitness goal is thrilling; you feel more confident, capable, and energetic. However, your body might start to plateau or backslide once you hit this pinnacle.
What’s going on?
The answer lies in the way your body adapts to pre-workout supplements. The supplement can be highly effective the first time you take a pre-workout.
You’ll feel like a new person.
Eventually, taking pre-workout supplements without giving yourself time to rest and recover between cycles makes your body less responsive to stimulants.
You’ll get the same rush from caffeine or other ingredients but not as much benefit from them. When you don’t give your body time to rebuild its electrolyte stores and repair muscle damage caused by exercise, you might get weaker.
One way to prevent this is to cycle your intake of pre-workout supplements by taking one week off every two or three months.
This way, your body has enough time to recuperate and adjust to continue to see improvements in your performance without increasing the dosage of your pre-workout supplement.
How long should you go in between taking pre-workouts?
There’s a common misconception that you can only benefit from pre-workouts if you take them every day.
But your pre-workout tolerance level is what determines how often you should take it. It’s crucial to find out where you fall on the spectrum to avoid some potential problems arising from overuse.
Individuals with high tolerance levels can reap benefits from regular consumption of pre-workouts without incurring any adverse side effects.
However, people with low tolerance may experience adverse reactions such as restlessness or nausea if they consume too much too often.
If you aren’t sure which category you fall into, it’s best to start slow.
A good rule of thumb is to take a pre-workout supplement no more than five times per week (if this suits your body). You’ll know whether or not to increase frequency after a few weeks have passed and you’ve had time to observe how well this schedule works for your body.
How to tell if you’re using your pre-workout supplement too often
If you find yourself lacking in any of the following ways, it might be time to take a break from your pre-workout:
- You no longer feel the side effects
All pre-workouts have side effects. Users are advised not to use them if they are on medications. If you don’t feel anything, you may have developed a tolerance. Take a break from using your supplement and try switching up your daily exercise routine.
- You do not feel an energy boost
Suppose you don’t experience a burst of energy or a quickened heartbeat when you take your pre-workout. In that case, it may have lost its effectiveness.
- You do not feel more endurance
Try another pre-workout brand altogether when you don’t feel more endurance after taking the supplement before working out. A pre-workout with little or no stimulant may help restore its efficiency in boosting endurance before workouts!
- You experience adverse side effects
Side effects such as nausea/vomiting due to overuse caused by an overdose of caffeine are signs that you should discontinue the use immediately until further notice!
Are there side effects to taking pre-workout too often?
Remember that it is not customary to take pre-workout powder more than five days a week and not experience side effects. If you do not have a history of supplementing with pre-workouts or caffeine, you should be more careful.
People new to pre-workout supplements or caffeine supplements need to be aware of the following potential side effects:
- nausea and vomiting
- blurred vision and diarrhea
- restlessness and anxiety
- stomach pain and insomnia
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- increased sweating
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to stop using your current dosage immediately.
These symptoms are generally indicative of an overdose on stimulants (such as caffeine). Seek medical attention if these symptoms worsen or persist for longer than 24 hours after stopping your pre-workout supplement.
What can you do to reduce your tolerance of pre-workouts?
The cause of pre-workout tolerance is your body’s adaptation to the ingredients in your pre-workout.
Your body is tolerant of the elements you are consuming, and you need to increase the dosage to get the same effect. It’s a vicious cycle, but there seems to be no end unless you do something about it.
The easiest way to reduce tolerance to your pre-workout supplement is to reduce the number of ingredients you consume from other sources.
For example, One pre-workout supplement may have 250 mg of caffeine. When you drink another coffee with 200mg of caffeine, your total caffeine consumption is 450mg. If you reduce your other caffeine consumption (coffee), it will hopefully reduce the tolerance.
Here are other ways to reduce your tolerance of some pre-workout ingredients:
You should take a break from your regular creatine supplementation or consume very little of it. This way, you can reduce tolerance and make the effects of your pre-workout supplement last longer.
- Tyrosine and phenylalanine
These amino acids are precursors for tyramine and phenylethylamine. Both stimulants can increase the sensitivity of neurons to noradrenaline. So avoid taking extra supplements with these ingredients. It will increase tolerance to pre-workout supplements.
- Fat burner pills
Stimulants in Fat burner pills may contain a high amount of caffeine too. So make sure you read the label when buying a fat burner pill.
Regular exercise can help you sleep better and reduce stress. It can also improve your tolerance to pre-workout supplements like creatine monohydrate and beta-alanine powder.
- Rest well
Getting enough rest each night should be a priority for anyone taking nutritional supplement products regularly. You should get at least eight hours of sleep per night (or seven if needed). You’ll also want to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Alternative ways to keep up my energy in the gym
Rest from pre-workout is imperative to ensuring that the body does not develop a tolerance to it.
When you are taking a break from your pre-workout, there are other ways to keep up to speed:
- Eat healthy before hitting the gym
When exercising and working out, food is fuel for your body.
It helps provide energy as well as helps build muscles and recover. A healthy diet consisting of protein and carbs is crucial for having a good workout session.
However, suppose you consume too much sugar or other unhealthy foods like fast food or fried foods. In that case, you may experience surges of energy followed by crashes that prevent you from functioning optimally at the gym.
- Stay hydrated before working out
Water is essential for life and makes up about 60% of our bodies – it’s no surprise then that staying hydrated can help us feel energized both at work and in the gym.
Drinking water throughout the day will ensure that our bodies don’t become dehydrated, leading to fatigue or even nausea when exercising intensely.
- Listen to music during a workout
Try listening to music while working out when you aren’t taking a pre-workout.
The right kind of music can help you get in the zone and push yourself through tough workouts. Look for music that energizes your body and puts a spring in your step.
It’s best if it’s music you’re already familiar with so that your mind doesn’t have to work too hard during your workout.
- Sleep well the night before exercise
Not getting enough sleep could increase your risk for injury or illness during physical activity. Aim for seven hours of sleep each night. If you’re an athlete, track how much sleep you’re getting to know what’s most effective for helping you perform your best.
Cycle pre-workout to maximize effectiveness
Our bodies are amazing, but they’re still not perfect.
Part of working out is training your body to be more efficient and effective, including how it uses pre-workout formulas.
When you first start taking pre-workout supplements, you may feel a boost in energy. But after a few weeks, the stimulants in them may cause less of an effect.
Your body has become so used to those stimulants that they no longer have the same impact.
It’s the same effectiveness curve we see with caffeine: After a while, drinking one cup of coffee doesn’t have quite the same effect it once did.
Luckily, there are several ways you can combat this issue if you find yourself in this situation:
- The easiest choice is to simply rotate which pre-workout products you take or try a new formula. A good option is the Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-train is a good option, with a formula containing essential ingredients that give energy without jitters or crashes.
- Another option is to always take smaller doses (like half a scoop) instead of full scoops for each serving. The reduced portion will keep your body from building up too much resistance.
If all else fails, taking two or three days off from caffeine may do the trick. Just make sure you get rid of all sources of caffeine during this time.
Can I take a pre-workout every day?
Pre-workout supplements are safe to take every day. However, it is crucial to consider several factors before doing so.
First, how does your body react to the stimulant in the product?
If you consume too much caffeine, your body will build a tolerance to it, and its effectiveness could decrease.
Second, is this a good idea for your workout?
Pre-workouts help you attain better exercise time and increase your energy. If you take a pre-workout every day, you should offset that with a rest day or two each week.
You should also consider what other products you consume in conjunction with the pre-workout. Check the label of other supplements or medications for any ingredients they might have in common with your pre-workout supplement.
Should you take breaks from pre-workout?
Experts recommend limiting the amount of pre-workout you take to no more than two doses per day. In general, you should space your doses at least four hours apart.
Research has shown that taking large amounts of caffeine and pre-workout together can increase your risk of side effects. If you have trouble sleeping or feel jittery after pre-workout, try spacing it out for the day.
Pre-workouts give you energy and help you push through sweaty workouts, but they are not for daily use without breaks.
Some ingredients in pre-workout supplements could cause you to build up a tolerance if used frequently. If you take too much over time, you might not feel the same energized effect from your pre-workout.
Is it OK to take pre-workout every workout?
Pre-workout is usually taken before a workout to boost energy, focus, and endurance.
While it is safe to use pre-workout every day, you may run into side effects if you use it too much.
Non-stimulant pre-workouts (ones without caffeine or other stimulants) are safe to use multiple times a week. However, stimulant pre-workouts can cause some side effects such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and insomnia.
If you want to try taking pre-workouts multiple times a week, start with lower doses of stimulant pre-workouts.
Take the supplement about an hour before working out. If your workout routine does not change significantly every week, this should be fine for you.
Can pre-workout make you gain weight?
Whether pre-workout helps you gain or lose weight is based on what ingredients are in the product.
Your best bet is to avoid products with unnecessary fillers and focus on products that contain ingredients like caffeine, citrulline, or beta-alanine.
You should also be aware that many companies put misleading information on their labels.
For example, some brands will say a product has no sugar when it contains sugar alcohols like maltitol or sorbitol.
These ingredients can cause digestive issues if you’re sensitive to them.
How long does pre-workout last?
The effects of pre-workout can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, or possibly longer.
The length of time a person experiences the effects of pre-workout largely depends on their body’s metabolism.
Other factors include:
- ingredients in the individual brands of pre-workout
- person’s diet
- the exercise routine, among other factors
More potent products will have more robust and prolonged effects than less powerful ones.
Pre-workout supplements are a great way to give you an edge in your workouts, but it’s important to find the right one and take it at the right time.
We hope this article has helped you figure out how often you should take a pre-workout for optimal results.