Pre-workout supplements are a big business.
The supplement industry combines many ingredients to form some rather potent potions to get you geared-up for your upcoming training session.
The cost of pre-made drinks, shakes, or mixes can quickly add up when taken on a daily basis. With the right ingredients, you can recreate these formulas at home.
Below are two homemade pre-workout options so you can act like your very own supplement Frankenstein and save a little (or a lot) of money along the way.
1. Homemade Pre-Workout Stimulant
This pre-workout is custom made for those looking for an energy boost without going broke. Read how easy and inexpensive it is to craft your very own stimulant-based supplement cocktail.
This will be the main ingredient for your homemade pre-workout supplement. This stimulant improves focus and mental alertness. This is essential, especially for those who have early morning workouts.
Start small, around 100mg, and then increase the dose only if you feel the need. Never go over 200mg – you don’t want to overstimulate your system and then start to experience lack of sleep and shaking.
Normally, you can get around 100 pills of 100mg or 200mg caffeine for a little more than $6. That’s around only 6 cents per pill.
L-Arginine has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels in the bloodstream which will, in turn, increase blood flow to your muscles resulting in less fatigue and increased muscular endurance. This happens through blood vessel dilation and the end result is bigger pump. 5g should do the trick.
You can get 500g of L-Arginine for around $25 which translates to about 25 cents per dose.
As the most studied supplement around, creatine monohydrate improves strength, muscular endurance, and muscle recovery. Creatine is also found as an added ingredient in quite a few other supplements as well. As this is often viewed as a bonus ingredient, you don’t always know the amount or the quality added. In your own shake, shoot for 5g.
You can easily find 500g of creatine monohydrate for around $15. That’s only 15 cents per 5g serving.
The final ingredient to consider adding to your pre-workout shake is Beta-Alanine. Shown to increase muscle mass, workout endurance, and recovery between bouts, this supplement will actually give you a slight tingling feeling at your skin’s surface. 2g should be plenty.
In powder form, you can get Beta-Alanine for about $15 per 250g. That comes out to be 12 cents per 2g serving.
Total cost per pre-workout drink: $0.58
2. Homemade Pre-Workout Muscle Builder
If energy isn’t a problem for your workouts, then shoot for a little muscle boost pre-training. Muscle building whey, creatine, and a few other ingredients will help you get bigger and stronger without breaking the bank. It's easy – just watch!
Whey Protein (20g of protein or about 1 scoop)
Of course you can’t have a muscle-building, pre-recovery workout shake without whey protein. Taking in a little whey prior to training will not only kick-start recovery, but also fuel your workouts without eating up muscle tissue. Go with about 20-25g.
You can easily get a 2, 3 or 5 pound bag of quality protein on the cheap – around $40 for a 5 pound jug. This can come out to be anywhere between 18 and 24 cents per serving.
As stated earlier, creatine is a must, especially if building quality, new muscle is your goal. A relatively small dose is needed to fuel your workout, help you recover quickly from set to set, and increase muscular endurance for the long haul.
Again, you can easily find 500g of creatine monohydrate for around $15. That’s only 15 cents per 5g serving.
Blueberries (½-1 cup)
Rich in antioxidants and other essential vitamins, blueberries are the perfect pre-workout carbohydrate to help boost your training and aid in energy production. Loaded with complex carbs and rich in fiber, you’ll love the muscle-sparing benefits of blueberries.
At about $3 per bag, a simple ½ cup serving will only run you about $1.
Greek Yogurt (½ cup)
Rich in casein protein, Greek yogurt will add to your protein punch and give you an even better head-start on the recovery process. Since casein contains slow digesting amino acids, it will be at your service even after training is over. Who wouldn’t want a leg up on recovery?
½ cup provides about 12 grams of protein, and at around $4 per container, you will only have to shell out 50 cents per serving.
Total cost per pre-workout muscle-building shake: $1.83
That is serious money savings when you can easily pay $5, $6 and sometimes $7 per pre-made shake at the gym.
What do you take pre-workout?
Do you have your own homemade pre-workout recipes? Leave your concoctions in the comments below!