A rising trend in the gym and sporting circle is pre-workout. Usually, in the form of supplements, pre-workout is taken for an extra boost of energy in order to increase your endurance and to be able to work out for longer periods of time.
For most of the part, pre-workout isn’t necessarily something bad. Most pre-workout supplements have standard ingredients such as caffeine, Beta-Alanine, and Creatine. However, that being said, you need to be very careful when choosing which pre-workout you want to take because some ingredients might be well marketed, but in reality, they aren’t all that safe. You’ll need to look at the ingredients label beyond these ingredients.
Thus it’s no surprise that you might be a bit hesitant when it comes to buying pre-workout. But at the same time, you do want that advantage of having an added energy boost. So what is the solution? It’s pretty simple; you can try and make a homemade pre-workout yourself! We’ve compiled a list of all the things you need to know to make a homemade pre-workout recipe.
The Basic Ingredients
Beyond the glitz and glam of some fancy-sounding (and questionable) ingredients, most pre-workout supplements come down to a few common and basic ingredients that are easily available to buy. These ingredients have been thoroughly researched, the effect on your body is known, and thus it is also easy to determine just how much of said ingredient you need to mix into your own concoction.
Let’s start with the most obvious one:
Caffeine is a no brainer. Whether it’s in the form of coffee or energy drinks, it’s known to give you that boost that gets you up and about, increases your mental focus, and makes you more alert. However, caffeine has its benefits beyond these basic facts. Caffeine is excellent in its ability to make you feel like you haven’t been working out or exerting yourself more than you are. It is also great in utilizing the fatty acids that are stored in your body and moving them into your bloodstream, where they can be more productive as a source of energy.
Caffeine is available in different forms. You can drink a cup of coffee pre-workout, or you can even buy caffeine tablets. If you’re choosing to opt for the tablets, you have to remember that you need to let your body adjust and thus always start with small amounts. The recommended amount is 100mg and see what your body has to say and increase the amount accordingly. However, we wouldn’t suggest going beyond 200mg; otherwise, you will end up overstimulated and won’t be able to sleep or might start shaking, which will only be counterproductive to your exercise regime.
You can buy caffeine tablets for a little around $6, which is a good deal for 100 pills.
Citrulline malate is another commonly used pre-workout ingredient. The way it works is that it increases the amount of arginine in your blood, and as a result, the production of nitric oxide increases resulting in vasodilatation. So what does that mean in simple English? Vasodilatation is what allows extra blood flow in your system as well as the nutrients needed by your muscles. Citrulline is what gets that energy pumping after this entire process has happened. It also helps fight fatigue you might feel by removing lactic acid from your system.
Unfortunately, Citrulline has a very sour taste, so you’ll want to mix it up with a flavored powder to mask the taste. The recommended dose to take it 2g, and you can work your way up to 6g depending on your body’s need.
This is the ingredient you need in order to build muscle. The way it works is a bit scientific, but it’s always good to know how these things work. So when you’re exercising, for example, weight lifting, your body depends heavily on what is known as Adenosine Triphosphate(ATP) for the energy needed. However, during that process of creating energy, one of the phosphate molecules has to be removed, leaving you with Adenosine Diphosphate. Creatine comes in and gives back that molecule that was removed so that your body can re-produce ATP, and you gain back your energy.
Creatine also serves as a cell volumizer/ cell hydrator by using the water that is stored in your muscle cells.
Creatine, in essence, creates real muscle mass that will come in handy during your exercise.
We suggest starting with 5g a day, and you’ll be able to reach the maximum muscle mass within six weeks. But if you want speedy results, you can take 5g 4 times a day for five days.
The most common form of Creatine is Creatine monohydrate, and you can get a great deal of 200 servings for just $16.
Beta-Alanine is needed to increase your endurance levels and reduce fatigue during a workout. It e does so through a simple process. During intense workouts, hydrogen ions are built up, and as a result of your pH drops, your muscles become acidic. Naturally, the effect of this is that your performance goes down. But Beta-Alanine is used to re-build these ions to help you regain your energy!
The recommended dose is between 800mg to 2000mg. Be very cautious not to overdo it. With the recommended doses, you’re going to feel intense tingling and itching; you don’t want that amplifies beyond normal.
In case you’re wondering if beyond these ingredients, if you can add more natural ingredients that you can easily find in your fridge, you absolutely can. There was a pre-workout supplement era, once long ago, and people relied on natural foodstuff for energy boosts. These include:
- Greek Yogurt
- Green Tea
There’s no greater satisfaction knowing what’s going into your body after all your body is a temple you’re trying to preserve! The added bonus is you can save a whole lot of money as well.