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If you take pre-workout regularly, you’ve probably come to the realization that the stuff is expensive. It’s so good and so effective, but paying ~$30 for 30 servings can quickly get old. If you love the benefits but hate the price, I have some great news for you. You can make your own homemade pre-workout with a few ingredients for a fraction of the price.
Throughout this article, I will be providing you with three ways to craft your own DIY pre-workout. The best part about these recipes is that you can alter them to your liking. For example, if you don’t like the tingly feeling that beta-alanine gives you, you can avoid adding it. Without further ado, let’s get started so you can feel great in the gym and save money at the same time.
Although I said that you can alter these recipes to your liking, there are a couple of ingredients that are crucial. These ingredients will essentially be your foundation, and they are found in all three of the recipes below.
Caffeine – Whether you like a little or a lot of caffeine makes no difference, but you will definitely need some. You will need to buy pure caffeine capsules on Amazon or from another reputable supplier. Most capsules contain 200mg of caffeine which is ideal for crafting homemade pre-workout, but you can always add less. It’s essential that you buy pure caffeine so that you avoid mixing any unwanted fillers in your drink. Caffeine is what will keep you focused and energized throughout your workout. It also acts as a thermogenic to aid in fat loss and heat production. The best part about caffeine is that it’s cheap. You can generally get about 150 200mg capsules for 10 dollars.
Water or Zero-Calorie Sports Drink – You will notice that the recipes below require water or a zero-calorie sports drink as a solvent. All pre-workouts should be close to zero calories as to avoid any unnecessary sugars. Water, of course, has no calories and it dissolves pure caffeine very well. In terms of zero-calorie sports drinks, I recommend Gatorade Zero or Powerade Zero. Both are great options with many different flavor choices.
Crystal Light or MiO Flavor Drops – If you decide to use water instead of a sports drink from the get-go, then these drops are a great choice. You’re going to want some flavor, and these won’t compromise the zero-calorie requirement. You can find these on Amazon or at pretty much every grocery store.
L-Citrulline – I’m keeping beta-alanine out of the key ingredients because many people do not like the feeling it provides. L-Citrulline, on the other hand, is a must-add to your homemade pre-workout. Citrulline is a precursor to L-Arginine and it is one of the essential amino acids. Besides having positive effects on athletic performance, it is also great for maintaining cardiovascular health. It dissolves very well in water, and you can buy the pure powder on Amazon for a low price.
Recipe 1: Loaded Fruit-Punch Pre-Workout
This is probably the most complex of the three recipes, but it’s truly my favorite. The ingredients are all cheap and inexpensive, and the taste is out of this world.
What you will need:
200mg pure caffeine – BulkSupplements (Find it on Amazon)
1.6 grams Optimum Nutrition Beta Alanine – Fruit Fusion (Find it on Amazon)
8-12 fluid ounces of zero-calorie Fruit Punch Gatorade
3 grams L-Citrulline powder (Find it on Amazon)
How to make it:
Very simple, grab a cup or a shaker bottle (recommended) and combine all the ingredients. Shake or stir until the pre-workout is thoroughly mixed. Then, consume the drink 20-30 minutes prior to your workout.
Feel free to substitute the zero-calorie Gatorade for water if you want a less intense flavor.
Recipe 2: Over-The-Top Orange
This one is designed for people who are experienced with stimulants (particularly caffeine). Remember to assess your caffeine tolerance before taking more than 200mg at once.
What you will need:
300-400mg pure caffeine (1.5-2 capsules)
1.6 grams unflavored Beta-Alanine
8-12 fluid ounces of water
MiO Orange Tangerine Water Enhancer – Find it on Amazon
3 grams L-Citrulline powder
How to make it:
Grab your shaker bottle or glass and add the water first. Empty the contents of 2 caffeine capsules into the bottle. Next, add your beta-alanine and L-citrulline powder. Lastly, continuously add drops of the MiO while shaking until you reach your desired taste. Generally, one solid squeeze is sufficient for a strong orange flavor.
Recipe 3: DIY Pre-Workout
Surprise! It’s your chance to make your own. In case it was not obvious, making your own pre-workout is dependent upon three ingredients. Beta-alanine, caffeine, and L-Citrulline are all you need to make a basic blend.
Like I mentioned before, a lot of people are not a fan of beta-alanine. With this being said, you can choose whether or not to you want to include it.
The below template will give you a foundation for crafting your own pre-workout. Keep in mind that the amounts of each ingredient are based on industry standards.
What you will need:
200-400mg pure caffeine
1.6-3.2 grams beta-alanine *optional*
3-5 grams L-Citrulline
8-12 oz water or zero-calorie sports drink
Water enhancer/flavor drops of your choice if you’re using regular water.
Once you decide on your ingredients, you simply mix everything together and shake thoroughly. More caffeine and beta-alanine positively correlate to a more intense pre-workout. Likewise, L-Citrulline is what gives this creation a distinct sour taste.
You might already be thinking that there are products with 10x the ingredients listed here. Although this is true, that’s not to say a homemade product is any less effective.
There are plenty of alternative or extra ingredients you can add to your pre-workout. For the sake of being simple, the recipes above only include the most common ingredients.
Here are some others you can add:
5 grams L-Arginine powder
100mg L-Theanine powder – Find it on Amazon
3-5 grams of Creatine (if you’re not already taking it)
The list goes on, but make sure to do further research before adding unfamiliar ingredients.
Why You Should Take Pre-Workout
If you ever find yourself struggling to make it to the gym, pre-workout is a great remedy. Caffeine and L-Citrulline will keep you energized while beta-alanine allows you to push harder.
Besides more energy and focus, there’s no doubt that pre-workout is great for weight loss. Your body will produce more heat during your workout and therefore burn more calories. Not to mention, caffeine is a fantastic appetite suppressant, so you will not be as hungry throughout the day.
Anyone can benefit from taking pre-workout, but only take it when you need to. It does not take long to develop a caffeine tolerance if you abuse this stuff.
The recipes seen here are not considered to be medical advice. You should consult your physician before starting to take any new supplements. Remember that caffeine can potentially be deadly if taken in excess. 400mg of daily caffeine is considered to be safe for most people.
Overall, I feel as though homemade pre-workout is a genius idea. Not only are you saving a substantial amount of money, but you can choose to alter the ingredients whenever you make it.