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Make Your Own Pre-Workout Supplement!

Avoid High Priced & Under Dosed Pre-Workout Formulas That Cost Too Much!

Posted by NilsFearons - October 1st, 2014

There is no doubt about it that pre-workout supplements can boost the intensity of your workouts. But with so many brands and the hype around them, choosing the most effective one can be troublesome and involve a lot of experimenting.


Pre-workouts come in all shapes and sizes offering affects such as intense energy and massive pumps, whereas others offer increased mental focus and endurance. Many claim that they will deliver these things and in most cases they do. Not to mention the flavours of some of the pre-workouts I have tried actually taste better than most popular soft drinks.


However, the most important aspects of a pre-workout supplement we look at when choosing is the price, serving size, testimonials from others and most of all will it give me the results I am looking for?


My Experience With Pre-Workouts

I have tried a number of different pre-workouts which probably holds true for most people. I’ve tried some that tasted great, tasted awful, gave me headaches and some that didn’t really do anything!


But the main problem for me is the price as most bottles contain on average 1 months’ worth of servings. So I started to ask myself…


“What am I actually paying for here? The Buzz? The taste? The results?”


Research

The one thing unfortunately most supplement users do not do is research the ingredients used in the supplements they are taking on a daily basis.

For me, researching these ingredients is how I make my decision when buying ad trying new products and what I found is that most pre-workouts are made up of similar things:

  1. Creatine (monohydrate, creapure, hydrochloride)

  2. Caffeine

  3. Taurine

  4. Citruline Malate

  5. Beta-Alanine

All of these are great things to have in a pre-workout and have been proven to produce results in endurance, strength and energy. There are also a number of other ingredients that are added to different brands to increase mental focus and give you a higher state of elevation.


The only problem is that some of these work on an acute dosage and others need to be taken consistently over a long period of time. For example, when caffeine is consumed the effects will be apparent within 30 minutes. However, creatine has to be taken consistently over a period of around 2 - 3 weeks before the benefits are visible.


Moreover, some of the ingredients that are used are not clinically dosed. This means that they are added with less than 50% of the clinical dose and others are hiding the actual amounts behind proprietary blends. One good example of this is Beta-Alanine as it is often added to pre-workouts in a smaller dosage of 2 – 3 grams, when studies have shown that a 5 gram dose is required.


Beta-Alanine though has one acute affect which is associated with most pre-workouts and that is the skin tingle so although it does not matter when you take it, the skin tingle maybe preferable to have during workout just to give you the placebo that it is actually doing something. This will make you think twice the next time you try a pre-workout and you “feel” like it is working as opposed to it “actually” working.


Making My Own Pre-Workout Supplements

Once I realized that a lot of the key ingredients were under dosed, I decided to look at buying them separately. I already had creatine monohydrate as this is something that I take on a daily basis post-workout. Ingredients like caffeine and taurine only need to be taken pre-workout as these are the supplements that work on an acute dose basis.


The supplements that need to be taken daily were more expensive which is most likely why they are under dosed in many pre-workout supplements. At the end of the day supplement companies run a business and to maximize profits and keep overheads down they put these ingredients on their labels, even though they are under dosed, so it looks like the product is actually worth buying.

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However, there is hope as the base cost of all the supplements added together and then split into a daily serving (some of which only need to be taken pre-workout) is still cheaper that the cheapest pre-workout on the market!


The only problem is all these ingredients added to water and blended as advised are an acquired taste that most people will find quite disgusting! There are a few ways around this by using some kind of juice or drink to blend the ingredients. Or if you like to train fasted like me, add a scoop of your favourite BCAA to the mix for a bit of flavour.


Conclusion

The supplement industry is one of the most profitable industries in the business and without them we would not have the athletes and idols that many of us look up to today. In this article I’m not trying to say that pre-workouts are a waste of money. I’m just trying to help you become a smarter consumer and realize that researching ingredients and dosage amounts is very important if you do not wish to waste your money.


Lastly, do not abuse pre-workouts and make sure that you’re cycling on and off them as the label prescribes. That being said, if you are taking a pre-work that contains creatine stacked with another creatine supplement then it may be worth evaluating your overall dosage to at least save your kidneys some trouble in the future.


I hope this article helped open your eyes a bit when it comes to pre-workouts and remember if your budget is tight you can save money by making your own!


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MEMBER COMMENTS
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FearlessRobb

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now in doing some reasearch i found this and i wasnt to thrilled about it

This is going off a 3 time a week use

It barley saves any money and the stuff id pretty cheap i was excited till i did all the math out

Incase people can see it cause the site shrinks everything  Basically it says

Cost of all ingrediants is $86.77 Cost of 60 serving No xplode is $49(maybe find it on sale for cheaper

I did some math and it cost $2.28 per week for all the make ur own ingrediants according to the serving sizes No Xplode is $2.45   A little more  but is .17 really worth me putting it all togeter myself?           

Making my own some of them you have to buy 2 times in the year and the cost comes out to be $131 for the year .  buying 3 No xplodes to last 60 weeks is $147 (but i can find deals online to buy 3 for like $120 so to me still cheap

As much as i thoguht it would be cheaper in my eyes its not so ill go back to buying my no xplode.  Im sure Scott will love that since he pushes the product lol


Scott_Herman Edit Delete

Hey man! facts are facts!  It all comes down to what you think your time is worth vs buying a product that is ready to go and in a sexy red container :)

PS: if you download a photo, even if small, it will open on your computer in it's true size

FearlessRobb Edit Delete

it was a screen shot so its the size of a computer screen lol 

not sure if you mean when people look at it its full size or that was advise to uploading it

SittingPress

Good article, I know that this was of the main sticking points behind the creation of Dr. Jim Stoppani's line of supplements and he usually uses clinical doses that are the amounts shown to have effect in studies, but like you said, buying a premade is too expensive than getting the ingredients yourself. I've never taken a preworkout yet but I'm slowly putting together the pieces of what I want and this allows me to get what I feel is the most for my money. Sometimes that initial cost when you buy all the stuff at once can seems shocking but once it gets dosed out you realize it's still cheaper than 60-70 dollars a month. I cringe when I see a supplement that's 50 dollars and has a 20 day supply only to then realize I'd still have to find a few of the things I want elsewhere cause either they're too low in the product or absent all together.


The other good thing about building it yourself is it forces people to look at the literature and experiment to see what works good, if they try a new thing and notice it's not helping they can eliminate it but in proprietary blends you're stuck only using what they have and don't know if all those ingredients are really worth it.


Again great aritcle.

JoakimBM

helpful article, thanks.

Scott_Herman Edit Delete

Glad you enjoyed it brotha! @nilsfearons writes some good stuff!

johnsalonika95

Interesting and helpfull article! You didn't mention the quantities of those ingredients you contain on your own preworkout mix. How much caffeine for example you put? How much taurine?

johnsalonika95 Edit Delete

hqahahahaha! @scott_herman u would just have to focus on not dyin' !!!

Scott_Herman

Great article Nils!  Most people never read the ingredients, this will hopefully open their eyes to what they are buying! #HTH

NilsFearons Edit Delete

Thanks @scott_herman I always like to know what I am putting in my body, its really important for me :-) #shfathlete

Hawk_Given Edit Delete

Enjoyed your article Nils and something I wish I read before buying a pre-workout drink.  I was taking creatine and stacking it with pre-workout drink...didn't read ingredients that it my pre-workout drink had creatine already had 5.0g in it... so, getting more than I needed.  I have stopped creatine use several months ago and have noticed no difference in strength.  I no longer buy the pre-workout drink due to the one I was buying had 185mg of caffeine per serving.  My workouts were in the evening.  So, needless to say it was a major colprit for me not sleeping well at night.  Taurine is in meats and fish.  I eat some chicken before a workout and may have 0.5 of a medium banana and I am good to go. 

 

@nilsfearson