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How Many Scoops of Pre-Workout Should I Take?

Christian Pinedo


I’m going to answer the question of how many scoops of pre-workout should you take?

I will go into the amounts of caffeine in a scoop and how it affects your body.

Let’s get to it.

How Much is Too Much?

When it comes to caffeine, how much is too much?

It’s a tough question to answer because everyone has a different response.

For example, how many cups of coffee do you drink in the morning? I usually have one or two, but if I’m feeling tired, maybe three.  On the other hand, how many cups of coffee do you think a 200 lb man who works the night shift and doesn’t sleep well should have?

He probably shouldn’t drink any.

In all seriousness, the amount of caffeine you may need really depends on your weight, how often you use pre-workout with caffeine in it, how sensitive to caffeine your body is, and how much sleep you get.

The common recommendation is 200mg of caffeine per day, but I’ve seen some people use as much as 400mg with no problems, while others will pass out from 100mg.  

You can see how it’s hard to answer the question without offering more detail about how your body responds to caffeine.

If you’re sensitive, then start small and work your way up until you find what works for you!  

On the other hand, if pre-workout doesn’t affect you at all or makes you feel worse than before taking it, try lowering your intake a bit so that next time around, one scoop will be put in overdrive instead of just giving a slight boost.

How Much Caffeine is in One Scoop of Pre-Workout?

Now that we’ve established how much caffeine you should consume, how do you know how much is actually inside a scoop of most pre-workout formulas?

The Legion Pulse pre-workout supplement is my favorite and for a lot of reasons that I go over here.

A single serving (2 scoops) of Legion Pulse has:

  • 350mg of caffeine or 275mg for 1 scoop
  • 3.6g of beta-alanine (the ingredient that makes you itch.)
  • And other ingredients

As a result, these ingredients help you while lifting weights and performing other forms of physical activity without feeling tired. They also assist you to focus on your exercises during a workout by boosting your energy levels and concentration.

With that being said, how much pre-workout is too much?

If you’re brand new to pre-workout supplements:

As a starting point, being with 1/2 a scoop of your favorite pre-workout supplement. This one is mine.

Do this for 1 week and see how much of an energy boost you feel.

Whether or not it’s not enough or just right, most newbie gym-goers won’t need more than this at the start.

After the first week, try 1 scoop (half of a serving for Legion Pulse) and do that for another whole week.

You would keep doing this until you hit a full serving size.

If you know you’re math, this would take at least 1 whole month to do.

For most gym sessions, taking pre workout won’t be necessary especially if you already drink coffee regularly as part of your day.

I’ll talk more about this in a second.

Still, you want to assess your during this period of time.

If you’re not brand new to pre-workout supplements

Not your first rodeo eh?

If you’re wondering how many scoops you need so you don’t feel tired, either:

  1. You have a high tolerance to caffeine already
  2. Your pre-workout sucks

In most cases, it’s both 1 and 2.

I’d recommend trying either:

  1. Popular pre-workouts that are stimulant-free until you ween off of caffeine for a bit.
  2. Taking a full serving of pre-workout only when you need it.

For example, if you’re doing a heavy workout with squats and deadlifts, you’re probably going to want a full 2 scoops of pre-workout.

On the other hand, if you’re just doing a quick workout for shoulders, you might only want/need 1 scoop.


How to Know if Your Pre-Workout is Working?

Telltale signs to know how your pre-workout supplement is working is to pay attention to how you feel while you are doing or after you have completed a workout. If your personal trainer were to ask you how your workout was, how did you feel? Were you energized during the workout, did you have increased focus, did your mind stay clear? If any of these are true then typically that means that your pre-workout supplement is working.

One of the most common and main ingredients found in pre workouts is beta-alanine which can trick you into thinking the pre-workout is working.

Beta-alanine is what gives you that itchy-tingiling feel. The clinically effective recommended dose is anywhere from 2.6-6.4g.

In some higher dosed products, they will bump up the amount and reduce everything else so you feel like you got the intended affect.

To get all the benefits of beta-alanine, use no more than the recommended dose of 3.6g. This will be the most you can take with the least amount of itchy feeling.

It’s really all you need.

That’s not to say that it’s not useful. In fact, it has a lot of great benefits, but too much is pointless.

Here’s How Many Scoops I Recommend Taking:

Save your 2-scoop days for heavy training sessions or long/intense cardio training sessions.

These are the days where you’re going to want the most energy. These training sessions require more effort and that extra kick and push can get you through those tough sessions.

If, however, you’re just going on a jog, or doing small workouts with not too many compound lifts (i.e., squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc.), then 1/2-1 scoop will be more than enough.

Another alternative would be taking stim-free pre-workout supplements.

These contain all the stuff that gives you energy but without the caffeine or the crash.

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Christian Pinedo

Hey there, Christian here. I'm a former fat guy who just wants to help you succeed in your fitness journey. I share my own experiences and experiments right here on this site. Let me know how I can be of help by leaving a comment below. If you want to learn more about my 50 lb weight loss journey, click here.

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