T Nation

Alternative to Pre-Workout Supplements


I'm trying to reduce my budget in regards to supplements (and consequently spend that money on real food)

Is there anything one could suggest I could take in place of pre-workout supplements such as No-Explode/Super-pump etc. I do appreciate the effects that No-Explode does for me but I'm looking for something that's cheaper than that.

Would caffeine pills work in place?


But 1,3 DMAA kicks the shit out of caffeine. You can buy it in bulk if youd like. Probably need a scale to measure it though.


Caffeine pills are fucking great. Start with 200mg 45 minutes prior, and work your way up. The sweet spot for me is around 500mg.

Also, some nootropics can help.

Vinpocetine 3 x 10mg w/ food
Huperzine A 3 x 50mcg w/ food
DMAE bitartrate 600mg (or 200mg pure or something) 1x before lifting

Add them in one at a time.

What the crap is DMAA? (goes to google)


strong cup of coffee and a protein shake with a banana blended in gets me ready to lift. tried all the superdumps, N.O. azzplodez, jack3d, pump3d upz, its all a waste of money to me.


you ever try oats instead of a banana? Seems like it would be the better choice to me... I believe John Meadows said a good pre-workout meal is 2 scoops whey, 2 slices ezekiel bread with some grass-fed butter, oats + almond butter. That's a bit too much for me, I do fine with just whey/oats/almond butter (usually I just put olive oil in the shake instead of the almond butter).


I second this. 1,3 DMAA gives me a great pick me up with no crash and buzz. Its hard to explain the effect as there is no sudden rush of energy, but it certainly gives me sustained focus.


i try and stay away from oats, they bloat me like no other. plus i add in some mac nut oil to my protein shake and cream in my coffee so the fat slows down the blood sugar spike id get from eating just the banana.


i see. how many oats do you normally have? I also get a bit bloated/nauseous when I have more than 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup or somewhere around there. So I just stick to a rounded 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 2 rounded scoops of whey. That shit right there is fuggin' win (for me).


i usually dont go over a 1/4 cup when i do have oats. i still eat them once in a while with honey and blueberries cause theyre damn good.


after my chicken and pasta w/veggies tonight i actually had a few cookies as my pre-workout sugar. damn the energy i had lol. totally anti-bodybuilding but i dont care :slight_smile:


Like the other posters have said. Use caffeine, ephedrine, and 1,3 DMAA. You can make a stack with these three for around 1$/serving that will BLOW AWAY anything you buy premixed.

Try - 20 mg 1,3 DMAA
- 8 mg ephedrine
- 150 mg caffeine

Start there and play around with it as needed.


I've never heard of DMAA. Is it a 'banned' substance? I'm going to google it, but was just curious...


not banned , it's in lots of the pre-workout sups


All of those at the same time?
You sure 'bout that?


Try getting bulk Caffeine, DMAE, L-Tyrosine, and 1,3 D...None of these are too expensive, and you'll prob be spending less than $1/serving


IMO, 1,3 D >>> caffeine as a preworkout.

Currently I'm taking a supplment ($0.50 a workout or less, with Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Creatine Monohydrate, Beta Alanine, Caffeine, 1,3-Dimethylamylamine) that I am very pleased with.



i have never had better workouts from any other stim... although i have never tried it solely by itself


While on the topic, I have a question.

I usually take a pre-workout meal an hour before my pre-workout supplement (muscle marinade at the moment) and then wait 20-30 min before lifting. This is fine right? I don't need to take the solid food closer to the training session?


well the pre-workout you took will be "diluted" so to speak by eating that close to taking it...

i always try to take my pre workouts on as empty of a stomach as possible.

if you need to eat before training, i would try having a shake instead of a full meal to get the full benefit of the supp