Pre Workout supplementation is one of the most important parts of your peri-workout routine. Not only is a homemade pre workout easy to adjust and personalize for your goals, it can be bought in bulk to save money!
There are a ton of pre workout supplements on the market. Some are totally focused on stimulants, some are focused on endurance, and some on strength. There are some great ones that focus on everything, like my DIY pre workout does, but they can be costly. It is not uncommon to find the best ones for upwards of $1.50 per serving. The average pre workout is probably more around $1.00 per serving, but they are lacking ingredients and/or are underdosed.
Enter The Homemade Pre Workout
A lot of ingredients can, and should, be changed to suit each individual. Things that make changes necessary are body weight and muscle mass. Another thing that can affect the dosage is tolerance to an ingredient, like caffeine. Some are very tolerant and need 400+mg to feel the boost, while some can get jittery on 100mg. I’ll layout my specific doses that I personally use. That doesn’t mean they need to be the doses that you use!
If you are going the traditional route and getting 30 servings of this, you are going to be paying more than the average pre workout per serving. That is why you need to buy it in bulk if you want to save money (and the hassle of reordering). These ingredients have a long shelf life and this isn’t a pre workout that needs to be cycled often, so buying 100+ servings is a good choice.
Anther great thing about a homemade pre workout is that you control what you add to the product. A lot of pre workouts have preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, etc. I’m not against these ingredients, but some people are. That is a huge benefit of making your own. You control what additives are in the product, if any. And, you control the flavoring of every single serving!
What Is The Perfect DIY Pre Workout?
We want an increase in the following:
- Performance In The Gym – strength, endurance, work capacity, less fatigue
- Energy – obviously you want to get a kick from the supplement to get that extra edge in the gym
- Focus – we’ve all had workouts where our heads weren’t in it, stop that with the proper ingredients
- The Pump – no pre workout is complete without getting that pump! It’s a good motivator for almost any trainee, and it obviously helps getting blood into the muscle to do work.
- Body Composition Improvement – yes, pre workouts can, and should, help your physique
Here is what I put in every serving:
- 7g Citrulline Malate (2:1)
- 3g Beta Alanine
- 5g Creatine Monohydrate
- 3g Betaine
- 200mg Caffeine
- 2g L Tyrosine
- You can get all these from Amazon right now!
Your doses may differ, don’t take these as gospel. Do your research if you want to change the dosage of any of the ingredients. Examine.com is a good place to look (linked below)
Caffeine and L Tyrosine are ingredients that can benefit from being cycling on and off. Other than those two, the ingredient profile is very synergistic and doesn’t need to be cycling often, if at all. I like to take all-out breaks from supplements 1-2 times a year.
I purchase all my products from Amazon. I’ve even saved a little convenient wishlist of the ingredients so ordering is simple and fast. My list is for 100+ servings, but you can change the sizes of each ingredient if you wish!
**Affiliate Disclosure – If you click on these links to Amazon and purchase anything, I will get a small affiliate fee for referring you to Amazon.**
Citrulline Malate is the highest dose ingredient in the profile. While it’s found in a lot of pre workouts, very few come close to 7g. Research shows better benefits with this higher dose too, so those products are missing out.
Citrulline decreases your fatigue and increases your work capacity. That means longer and harder training sessions, lending itself to improved results. Research also reports a 40% reduction in muscle soreness with its supplementation. And, last but not least, Citrulline is a great ingredient to get that muscle pump! 7g is a great dosage all around.
Beta Alanine is a supplement that doesn’t require ingestion before your workout to reap the benefits. However, it’s easiest to just combine with your pre workout to ease your supplement scheduling all around. 3g is what I like to use, but some people can’t handle that high of a dose all at once, due to paresthesia (tingly skin). I personally love that feeling! It’s gets me in my zone. If you want to split it up, just go pre workout and post workout.
Beta Alanine increases your muscular endurance. If you never do high reps, it might not be necessary for you. However, with OPPT, we hit high reps often! It also reduces overall fatigue and improves your time to exhaustion. With the increased workload, lean mass gain and fat loss has been seen.
Betaine is newer on the supplement scene than a lot of these ingredients. However, it’s profile is very good and it’s definitely something to include in any DIY pre workout. A lot of people split of the dose but I have seen little-to-no difference in just getting my 3g in pre workout.
It’s a great ingredient to increase your pump. It also improves work capacity and shown positive body composition changes in research. While we have other ingredients that do the same things, we like to cover all of the bases and get that extra bit we can out of our peri-workout supplementation.
Creatine has so many benefits that it really doesn’t need to be listed here. I’ll talk about a few, however. Just know, it is one of the most researched and respected supplements in the industry! There is no need to load, just take 5g a day and you are good to go. Note – the lower your body weight, the less you actually need per day, so you can lower to 3-4g if you would like. Creatine is another supplement that doesn’t require peri-workout timing, but it makes things easier.
Creatine increase your power output and strength levels. This is great for explosive work and low rep, high weight work that we like to focus on with OPPT. It also shows an improvement in hydrate, due to the increased uptake of water into muscle cells. It’s been shown to lower Myostatin and increase lean muscle mass. It also reduces fatigue. There are many more benefits that I didn’t even mention!
Creatine is a great addition to our DIY Muscle/Strength Builder as well. Combining that stack with homemade preworkout is a great choice.
Caffeine dosage is going to be very individualized. I’ve found that 300mg is the sweet spot for myself. You may need more, or less. One of the best things you can do is cycle off caffeine for a couple weeks and then start at 100mg pre workout. If that isn’t effective, build up by 50-100mg until you find your sweet spot.
Caffeine has a HUGE list of benefits for pre workout utilization. It increases anaerobic running capacity (sprints), power output, aerobic exercise capactiy, training volume capacity, alertness, and vasodilation. It also increases fat oxidation. The list doesn’t stop there, though.
The reason that I don’t include Caffeine in my DIY Fat Burner is that it is included in my pre workout, and I usually stack the two. If you don’t use a stimulant in your pre workout, you can use them for your fat-burning purposes. Either way, pre workout ingestion is best.
I don’t always have Caffeine (or L Tyrosine) in my pre workout though. It causes a physical addiction and anybody who has consumed Caffeine daily and then tried to stop can tell you the same. Caffeine headaches are awful and usually only go away if you get in more Caffeine. Also, the stimulatory effect wears down as you build tolerance. The only option is to increase dosage or cycle off for a specific period of time. I recommend cycling off. I tend to lean towards 4-6 months out of the year off Caffeine. Or, just don’t use it every workout/every day.
L Tyrosine might be the most expendable ingredient in the homemade pre workout, but I really think it takes it to the next level. Users report that stacking Caffeine and L Tyrosine is awesome. But, if you are creating a non stim pre workout and leaving the Caffeine out, leave the Tyrosine out too.
L Tyrosine is giving you a big boost in your cognition and perceived levels of stress. Subjective well being is also increased, according to research. Basically, it’s keeping you in the right mood throughout your workout. We don’t want to lose focus on the task at hand. I personally love this ingredient.
Putting It Altogether
All that is left is to flavor your DIY pre workout. I tend to just use powdered Crystal Light. I buy different flavors and switch it up regularly to avoid getting tired of any of the flavors. Who really wants 30 servings in a row of Fruit Punch?! You can also use Gatorade (powdered or liquid) if you want some fast acting carbs for energy. If you want the more natural approach, some iced tea and the sweetener of your choice can work. There are plenty of ways to spice it up as you choose.
This homemade pre workout is definitely one of my staple supplements that I use regularly. I do take breaks from it a couple times in a year, but it is one of the most consumed supplements in my stack. I didn’t include any ingredient with a sketchy safety profile or anything that needs to be cycling often, other than maybe Caffeine.
Could you add some ingredients? Sure. Could you do without some of them? Of course. Can you replace some of the ingredients? Yes, but I think I really chose the best bang for your buck ingredients. Remember, there are a ton of ingredients that you could add to make the “ultimate” pre workout. However, is $3-5 a serving worth it? I don’t think so. My goal is/was to make something that can be cheaper than a traditional pre workout and be more effective than a lot of them. If you buy in bulk, you are going to save money and the results will speak for themselves!
If you would like to fact check me on the ingredients, you can find in depth summaries of each here:
It’s Your Turn To Try It Out!
So, are you going to make the move to DIY pre workout supplements? I have laid out a great one here for you. You can make a few dosage changes if needed. Make sure to check out the dosage recommendations at Examine.com to make sure you don’t adjust them to non-beneficial levels.
Make sure to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter! Also, let me know if you have any questions or comments with a comment below! I’d love to talk with you about it 🙂 – Let me know how this homemade pre workout works for you!
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