Imma just say - no one needs a pre workout. Even those who do, need it a few times a month.
If u cant function without external stimuli most likely its your body saying you need rest. Rest and actually feeling good and wanting to train more than anything are super overlooked aspects of life. If you cant train without stiming yourself up, then you have to understand that the recovery is fucked also. Even if you take whatever, feel great and train to 120%, you are just borrowing that energy. You can even be digging that hole deeper. For example, your recovery is at 10% and u feel bad and do a poor session worth 10% - you at least recover. Now if you stim up and do 120% , your recovery is still 10%. You will feel worse and worse and then either injury happens or you get depressed.
Supplement industry has fucked people with this. First they dig you a recovery hole with letting you stim up when you should rest. Then they sell you shit thats supposed to aid in recovery, when you should have just skipped a session. And then they will sell you stuff and procedures to heal injuries. Top that off with relaxants to help you come off the stims which they sold you in the first place.
This is ok if you make money in sports, and this is your life for 2 years which is a limited time window to make money for the rest of your life.
But the problem is that this is a life of average joes, whose life wouldnt be any different if they would never even train ever again.
You say you have a stressful job. That means you are the “pro athlete” in that field already. Now you want to put on extra stress of an athlete in sports also. Pro athletes who can handle the life i mentioned, dont do what you do on the side. So you shouldnt do what they do also.
Everyone makes his own choices and i respect that. I just wanted to remind people that the fact that you need a pre workout, is a sign of something that needs to be tought about.
Using stims, or relaxants, or injury aids is like taking a painkiller and slapping a band-aid on a snake bite. You dont feel the pain or see the bite, but the poison is still there, you will still die.
The priorities in your case should be :
1)Think how to minimize stress in your life. Work hard on this. Minimize it to the max, control the rest.
2)Think, how much energy you have left. Make a workout plan according to how YOU FEEL, not what some article said. Many advice givers havent worked a real job in their lives, keep that in mind.
3)Understand, that if your life is stressful, then you wont make it to the big leagues. Best athletes dont do anything else. So what you do is a hobby. It is for you. Why would you dig that hole deeper by borrowing health which you will have to give back sooner or later? Its like a person who takes a mortage on twice the amount of money he will ever be able to pay back, and then he re-finances it in one bank, then the other. Sooner or later it all comes down, and its still you paying the price.
I know i made a much bigger deal out of a “pre-workout” but the point i wanted to get across is not anti-preworkout, its just that people need to listen to themselves and fix stuff in a way that matters and makes their lives easier, not just buy another supplement to add to their cabinet that already has probably 10 medicines ,and 20 supplements for everything.
Its like we cant even think anymore. Red Bull made 250ml cans and was considered a heart-attack in a can. Nowdays we chug 500ml Monsters with 3 scoops of pre wrokouts just to do bicep curls.
I love how one of the powerlifters in Dave Tates podcast said it - sometimes its not about what you do, but what you dont do.
Sometimes we dont need pre workouts. Actually - most times we dont. Most times we need to take a rest day. A rest week. A rest month. Go for a walk. Breathe some air. Have some laughs. Walk bare feet on some grass and some pine cones and some rocks. Listen to a bird or a river.
I mean, when was it, that people who asked for supplement recomendations, actually got replied to with advice to take 3 weeks off, and just walk, and just look at the sun and stars? That will help you with stress more than any drug or supplement.