If there is one thing that the human body proves it can do, time and time again, it's getting used to something. Antibiotics, opiates, sinus sprays, pre-workout, you name it—if you take it long enough, their effect on your body is reduced, forcing you to take more to achieve the same effects.
You shouldn’t take pre-workout every day for a variety of reasons. Your body will develop a tolerance and you will reach a level of diminishing returns. It is possible to develop addiction depending on ingredients such as caffeine.
For the most part, the supplements that go into pre-workout mixes are not regulated by the FDA. The one thing they have going for them is the fact that many of the nutrients have been thoroughly studied and tested.
Addiction is a Problem with Daily Intake of Pre-Workout Formulas
It's just like anything else. Most pre-workout formulas already contain caffeine, which is a well-known substance that definitely falls in the “easily addicting” category. Some of the other substances can become addicting too.
Coming off of them has the potential to be nightmarish, in terms of withdrawal symptoms. The biggest single problem with pre-workouts is the level of caffeine in them. As an addictive substance, your body will get used to it and you will have to take more.
If you don’t take more, you’ll lack the energy boost you once had whenever you took your pre-workout. Too much caffeine is capable of causing horrendous problems in the body, including insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and even cardiac arrest or stroke.
If those things don’t sound too good, just for a pre-workout measure, that’s because they aren’t good. None of those side effects are supposed to be a part of your pre-workout consumption and ritual. Unfortunately, you may experience some of them if you consume pre-workouts daily.
Then there are the side effects of coming off pre-workout, assuming you’ve been consuming it on a daily basis. Caffeine headaches might be the least of your problems.
Let's ask ourselves again: Can You Take Pre Workout Every Day? Read on my friends to learn more.
Effects of Different Pre-Workout Ingredients
When it comes to pre-workout formulas, there are almost always a large variety of ingredients going on, especially if you are stacking different supplements on top of what’s already there. Those ingredients may be harmful or not, depending on how much you consume and how much you’re used to.
- Overdose of creatine facilitates bloating, excess water retention, weight gain, and other digestive issues
- Citrulline expands blood vessels so excessive use may lead to extreme headaches, high blood pressure, and even migraines
- Sodium bicarbonate, magnesium, caffeine, and creatine have the potential to combine for some aggravating bowel problems
- Too much Beta-Alanine causes tingling in the hands and feet
- Niacin causes severe flushing of the skin when taken in excess
Normally, none of these ingredients is a problem in regular doses, unless you have some sort of bad reaction to one or more of them (allergies). But, taking them every day, with no break, can cause accumulation effects and overdose effects if you have to increase the amount because of tolerance.
For the most part, you will notice cramping, bloating, and bowel movements in the form of constipation or diarrhea if you get excessive with pre-workout formulas.
Cycle Your Pre-Workout to Avoid Tolerance Build-Up
Over time, your body will develop a tolerance to every ingredient in your pre-workout formula (assuming you’re taking it on a daily basis, seven days a week). This naturally leads to a dosage increase. The more you increase, the riskier it is to your overall health.
Cycling your pre-workout is a great way to avoid tolerance increases. You should also consider shifting to different pre-workout formulas, paying close attention to the ingredients so your body never develops a tolerance to a single one.
When you cycle off of your pre-workout or shift to a different formula, the period should last between six and eight weeks to give your body the maximum amount of time to shed its tolerance towards specific ingredients.
For coffee drinkers out there, you can continue to drink coffee if you’re just religiously dedicated to it. However, don’t expect the energy boost from a straight line of coffee that never increases in dosage.
Increasing caffeine intake is dangerous, so you should always keep it moderate, even if you no longer feel the benefits of it.
Starting a New Pre-Workout Formula
Unless you just really know your stuff and are attuned to how your body reacts to ingredients you know and understand, you should always start a new pre-workout at ⅓ dose. In most cases, these ingredients will be entirely new to your body, so starting out with a third of a typical portion is informative.
You’ll gain a better understanding of your tolerances going in. Also, it gives you the added advantage of maintaining a single pre-workout formula for longer than someone starting off on a full dose.
When you are starting to achieve a certain level of tolerance towards the ingredients, it's also a good idea to taper off of it, reducing your intake to ¾, then to ½, then to ¼, then completely off of it.
Make sure you aren't also consuming expired pre workout. It has a long shelf-life, but its worthwhile to verify to avoid other issues.
Only Use Pre-Workout on Days You Workout
This kind of goes without saying. There’s really no need to dose yourself up with a bunch of ingredients for a pre-workout when all you’re going to do is sit on the couch and watch football all day.
When it comes to taking pre-workout, common sense should rule your decision-making process. If your workout regimen covers the entirety of your muscle groups in four days, you should only take pre-workout for those four days. No more and no less.
On days you aren’t working out, just drink your coffee black in the mornings to get your daily caffeine. Plus, it will keep you from becoming a raging maniac as you withdraw from caffeine over a three-day period.
Pay Attention to Ingredient Labels
Look for the acronym, USP somewhere on the container. USP is an independent certification lab that rests and verifies the efficacy of the ingredients in your pre-workout. It's important to know what you’re getting when you take pre-workout, to avoid taking too much, gaining a tolerance, or taking too little.
It's also just a good idea period. You should always know what you’re putting into your body and some of the things these brands put in their pre-workout are not entirely honest. Think of it as a ‘white lie.’
USP verification helps to clarify what is and what isn’t in your pre-workout formula to help you make better decisions about what you use to fuel your body. Also, knowing which ingredients are which and how much you’re getting helps your cycling ability as you come off and go on various pre-workouts.
Knowledge is power as they say and there is no greater power than knowing and understanding your body and its limitations.
Taking Pre Workout Daily – Bottom Line
Yes, taking a pre-workout every day may not be good for you. In the short-term, it's not a problem. However, in the long-term, you risk addiction to certain ingredients, overdosing, and a build-up of tolerance.
Know your ingredients, cycle on and off, and use other things to replace your pre-workout when you’re off it.
Citations / References
Glick, M. (April 9, 2021). We Don’t Really Know What’s in Pre-Workout Supplements
Retrieved from: https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/we-dont-really-know-whats-in-pre-workout-supplements
Hinchman, W. (March 7, 2021). Are Supplements Regulated by the FDA?
Retrieved from: https://swolverine.com/blogs/blog/are-supplements-regulated-by-the-fda