Man holding a pack of pre-workout supplements

How Much Pre-Workout Should I Take?

If you are serious about your training, consider using a pre-workout. After all, they are designed to boost energy levels, endurance, and focus.

The problem is that there are many different pre-workouts, each with different ingredients and dosages. I have been using pre-workout for years in my training, so I know what you should look for. Read on to discover how much pre-workout is effective.

How Much Pre-Workout Should I Take?

The amount of pre-workout you can use will depend on several factors, including your body weight, fitness goals, and tolerance to the ingredients in the supplement.

Start with a lower dose, perhaps a single scoop, and gradually increase the amount if needed.

Woman holding a glass filled with supplement while sitting down on a yoga mat with a pair of dumbbells

How to Decide How Much Pre-workout to Take

There are a few things to consider before you decide how much pre-workout to take. These factors include your body weight, your goals, and how tolerant you are to the ingredients found in the supplement.

Body Weight

Typically the more you weigh, the more pre-workout you can take. With caffeine, a common ingredient found in pre-workouts, research has suggested about 3mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

Fitness Goals

Your fitness goals will influence how much pre-workout you will take, plus what ingredients you should look out for in the pre-workout. For example, if you want to boost your endurance, you should add a pre-workout that contains beta-alanine, whereas creatine is the better option if you want to build muscle.


While unfortunate, not everyone has the same tolerance levels. If you are new to taking pre-workout, your tolerance will be low. In this case, start with a lower dosage and gradually increase your intake over time.

What Is a Scoop of Pre-workout?

The scoop size found in pre-workout will vary between brands and products. Typically each scoop would give you a serving of five to 20 grams.

You should always stay within the recommended dosage provided on the packaging, and if you have never used the product before, you should be cautious and opt for the lower dosage amount.

Why Do Pre-workout Scoop Sizes Vary?

The sizes vary due to the ingredients found in the pre-workout. Some products will contain formulas made using more concentrated formulas, while others may be full of fillers that can dilute the formula.

How Many Scoops of Pre-workout to Use?

Generally, the following information will help you to decide how many scoops of pre-workout you should use:

  • Start with just one scoop (or less) before increasing the dosage gradually.
  • Check the ingredients and avoid exceeding the recommended daily limit. This is especially important with stimulants such as caffeine.
  • Allow 30 minutes before exercise to allow for absorption.
  • Don’t take pre-workout too close to bedtime to avoid sleep problems.
Man holding a pack of pre-workout supplements

How Do You Know If You’re Taking Enough Pre-workout?

The thing with pre-workout is that you can feel it when it kicks in. With stimulants like caffeine, you will notice an energy increase and improved drive and focus during your workouts.

If you don’t experience any changes, the dosage is too small. However, if you are experiencing side effects such as jitters, the dosage may be too high.

Common Pre-workout Ingredients and How Much You Can Take Daily?

Let’s look at some of the more common ingredients in pre-workouts and how much you should take daily. This will help make your decision on how much pre-workout to take much more straightforward.


Caffeine is a stimulant and one of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout. Its benefits include increased alertness, energy, and the ability to concentrate.

The FDA suggests that 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is safe, but be aware that too much is likely to cause problems.


Creatine is another popular addition to pre-workouts, and it is an ingredient shown to offer a range of benefits, including improved agility, muscle growth, and a reduction in post-workout soreness (DOMS).

It has been suggested that the recommended dosage of creatine is 0.04 grams for every 2.2 pounds in body weight. That means that if you were to weigh 130 pounds, you would need to consume 2.4 grams daily, while someone who weighed 230 pounds would need 4.2 grams daily.


Branched-chain amino acids can help build muscle while reducing DOMS. You should consume 20 grams daily for the best results.


This amino acid is often found in sports supplements and pre-workouts as it has been shown to prevent fatigue. Research has found that taking four to six grams of beta-alanine daily can help increase physical performance.


Another common ingredient found in pre-workouts and energy drinks is l-citrulline. This ingredient has been shown to increase nitric oxide production, which can help relax your arteries, allowing them to work more efficiently.

Research has suggested consuming three to four grams of l-citrulline daily for peak physical performance.


This ingredient is commonly added to pre-workouts to help improve focus and alertness to help get your head in the game.

Experts recommend that you consume 150 mg of tyrosine daily.

Man lifting dumbbells from a rack


Betaine is an ingredient shown to improve body composition, helping build muscle.

It is recommended that you consume between two and a half to five grams of betaine every day for best results.

Is It Okay to Double Scoop Pre-workout?

Doubling the recommended serving amount of pre-workout is known as “double scooping.” This is not recommended, especially for pre-workouts that rely heavily on stimulants.

The issue with double scooping is that you are increasing your risk of side effects that may include:

  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Stomach problems
  • Jitters
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches

How Long Does Pre-workout Take To Kick In?

Again certain factors at work decide how long until a pre-workout starts working and how long it typically lasts. Typically you should expect a reaction between 30-45 minutes, so make sure to take the pre-workout at this time before your workout for best results.

Once you have assessed the pre-workout effects on you, you can decide whether you should change the dosage.

If you do not see any changes in performance, increase the amount slowly. Whereas if you are encountering side effects, lower the dosage slightly.

What Are the Downsides of Taking Too Much or Too Little Pre-workout?

Taking too little pre-workout would mean you will not see that performance increase, meaning the money you spent on the supplement would be wasted. Too much pre-workout raises the risk of side effects.

Both are serious issues, so it is important to get your dosage correct.

Can I Take Two Scoops of Pre-workout?

It would be best to start with a single scoop, as your tolerance increases, so can your dosage. Just read the label and avoid taking more than the recommended amount of ingredients.

How Much Pre-workout Should a Beginner Take?

Beginners should start by taking less than the recommended dosage. Take note of what effects you feel; if necessary, you can gradually increase the dosage over time.

How to Measure Pre Workout?

Your pre-workout will come with a handy scoop for measuring the exact amount. Make sure you use a level scoop rather than a heaped one to ensure you know exactly how much pre-workout you are using.


Choosing how much pre-workout to take is an important task. Too little will cause little effect, while too much pre-workout can lead to potential side effects.

We suggest opting for a lower dosage and then increasing the dose as you become more tolerant of its ingredients.

Jack Kelle

Jack is an entrepreneur, outdoorist, and animal lover with a background in philosophy, psychology, and business. He enjoys music, friends, and family. At RAVE, Jack works as the manager of marketing and content development.