T Nation

DIY Natural Pre-Workout


#1

Before the Nay Sayers get on here and talk about how they do not use Pre-workout at all, I workout at 5 am and I need some sort of pick me up to get going and I leave my house quicker than I could even make a cup of coffee.

Beta Alanine Powder- 3g
BCAA 2:1:1 Powder- 3g
Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder- 5g
L-Citrulline Malate 2:1 Powder- 3g-6g
Gatorade Powder- for the flavor since the L-Citrulline can be pretty sour
Caffeine Pills- I take 200mg because I have build up a high tolerance to caffeine

And thats all the essentials you need in your pre workout without the added junk or lack of essentials supplement companies put in their products.


#2

Good information about pre workout. Thanks for the post…


#3

Are you saying that you are a natural or that this concoction is natural?

Have you considered upping your BCAA’s a bit? If I remember correctly I think people often recommend getting 5g of Leucine for pre/intra, so it would be ~7.5g of your 2:1:1 mix.

Not saying yours is bad or wrong, just food for thought. But looks like a solid mix there. How long have you been doing this? Have you found this to work well as a pick me up as well as sustained energy through your workout?


#4

I try to be as natural as possible and I find this concoction more on the natural side. I also get about 5g BCAA from my protein so I decided to not go all out with the BCAA on the Pre workout. I have been using this for about 2 months now and I love it. And I used to consume 3 scoops of preworkouts like C4 before this just to feel anything.


#5

That still doesn’t really say anything. What do you mean when you say “natural”?

The only actual essentials for workout nutrition are a fast protein source and a fast carb source. Everything else is extra.

With that said, Surge Workout Fuel delivers the same ingredients or better in higher/more effective doses - better carbs, straight leucine, citrulline malate, beta-alanine, plus malic acid, betaine, and a hydration formula - and it ends up being less expensive.

Creatine is the only thing that could also be added, since it’s not included in SWF. The caffeine pills are also a separate issue and not part of either mix, so no problem keeping those as-is.

1 scoop of Surge Workout Fuel would let you leave the house five times faster than assembling five separate ingredients (or 4/4 if you added creatine to the SWF).


#6

What I mean by natural is all pure products in there natural state. That might be a different definition than some understand but thats what I mean. I premix the powders in smaller containers ahead time so when I wake up I just drop in some water and go, doesnt take long at all. Surge workout fuel does have some good stuff unlike others with questionable proprietary blends, but it is $50 for only 22 days worth so definitely not less expensive than buying all the ingredients yourself.


#7

That is exactly what I use, minus the Gatorade powder. But that’s a good idea. I switched from Citrulline Malate to L-Citrulline, and I don’t feel as much of a benefit from it. I’ve read that some people benefit more from L-C, and some people don’t. All my woes aside, this is the simplest and best pre workout I’ve ever used. I try to save caffeine for heavy days because I don’t want to build up too much of a tolerance, although it still takes 300-400mg for me to feel anything.


#8

Beta Alanine Powder from the Beta Alanine tree? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#9

It’s not 22 days-worth, it’s 22 workouts. So, a month or more for most people. And it breaks down to $2.27 per serving, or $2.04 if you buy two bottles to get the 10% discount.

There’s no posting links, but add up all your stuff and double-check what you pay per serving and it should highlight the difference. One bulk place I looked at had the Gatorade powder alone at $1.84 per serving. I’ve never seen it work out less expensive for someone to get the same ingredients at the same doses in a homemade mix. If we compare apples and oranges to look at lower doses vs SWF, that’s probably a little different story, but still one where I’d bet it’s “close enough” to warrant the bigger/better bang for the buck.


#10

It is tough to beat a model like Biotests. Large producer vs. buying retail and mixing by the cup is like comparing apples to orchards.


#11

22 servings is the same as 22 days and 22 workouts. You will only get 22 workouts out of that product whether you take it everyday for 22 days staright or only 22 days across two months. Everything I bought cost roughly $120 for 5 month/150 days aka 150 workouts. Thats roughly $.80 per serving. Much cheaper. If you want a roughly 5 month/150 days supply of SWF you are looking at over $300.


#12

Your definition of “days” is kinda like your definition of “natural” - something only you understand. If I train 3 times a week, one bag lasts me 22 workouts… which is just over 7 weeks or almost 50 days.

You got enough beta alanine powder and BCAA powder and creatine and citrulline malate and Gatorade powder (and caffeine tabs) to last 5 months and only spent $120 total? That’s very curious and not on par with anything I’ve ever heard anyone managing to do. I don’t want to doubt your math, but… I kinda doubt your math.

Nope. 154 servings (7 bags) of SWF would end up at $297. And, again, the ingredients and doses you’d get beat the home-brew by a country mile.


#13

If you purchased 150 workouts worth of all of those supplements for $120, I’m assuming you got them out of the back of a guy’s van in the gym parking lot when he wasn’t offering candy to kids. Good luck.


#14

My definition of days is the same as workout. Not everyone works out only 3 days a week, some its 4 5 maybe 6, others it could be 1 day a week meaning a 22 serving bottle is gonna last them 22 weeks. The more days you workout the less affordable the product becomes.

Belive my math or not. I may not be the best at math but one thing I am not is a liar. And I am not lieing to you about how much I spent on all these ingredients. And j purchased all of these products from Amazon.


#15

Why does it have so much sodium?


#16

That’s why comparing the cost per serving per bottle/bag gives a more objective look, which is what we’ve been doing.

It has nothing to do with you being a liar or not, and I never said you were. Like I said, there’s just no such thing as a homemade DIY supplement blend that ends up actually being less expensive while also delivering the same ingredients, quality, dosages, and convenience.

When you go the cheap route, you will always compromise on one or more of those aspects.


#17

Not sure it’s “so much”, but it’s a key part of the rehydration formula.

There’s nothing wrong with sodium for lifters who actually break a sweat when they train. It’s crucial. This article talked all about sodium’s benefits.


#18

I know the benefits and such, it just seems crazy to me to have 310 mg in a preworkout when most people who take them probably do not drink enough water to begin with. I personally don’t like preworkouts. Too much shit and not enough return. Just drink coffee, or learn to enjoy training without being hyped up on stupid shit


#19

Understand that SWF is taken pre-workout (and during), but it’s not “a pre-workout” the way most people use the term. It’s not a stimulant-loaded, skin-tingling, caffeine-fest. There’s actually no stimulants at all in it. It’s taken before/during a workout to load the nutrients into your system so you’re properly fueled for training.

Also, it’s not just sodium like they poured a bunch of salt into the mix. It’s a full electrolyte blend, making it more effective because electrolytes are all about balance.

It could probably be argued that people who don’t drink enough water are at least partially dehydrated and are almost-exactly the people who’d benefit from a supplement that was designed to rehydrate them.

This I agree with. I go through phases myself of having to wean off of caffeine. When I have an energy drink at 9pm trying to stay up late and power through some work, then fall asleep at 10:15, I admit that I’m desensitized and need to back off.