The pre-workout supplements represent a great part of the sports supplements industry these days. The pre-workout supplements are also called boosters.
Boosters, because this kind of supplement is claimed to boost your energy, focus, stamina, and endurance. Many studies claim that pre-workout boosters support energy and focus. Thus you can blast through your workouts and see results much faster.
But what makes the pre-workout supplements so powerful? Of course, these are the many ingredients that the pre-workout products consist of. Let us dig into the types of pre-workout supplements and homemade pre-workout supplements, which one to choose and which to avoid if possible.
The Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements
When certain individuals feel run down or tired and are looking for a boost before a workout or training session, they can consider using an energy drink that can offer a boost in focus and energy levels as these drinks usually contain caffeine.
However, caffeine on its own is, in most cases, not sufficient enough to provide sustained energy, particularly when the individual has a higher tolerance level to stimulants and caffeine.
A pre-workout supplement is the type of supplement that consists of minerals, caffeine, vitamins, and different types of amino acids that are designed in such a way that they work together and assist in offering an increase in the energy required.
Some of the advantages of these supplements include some of the following:
1) A rush of More Energy
Most importantly, a diy pre-workout supplement will typically contain caffeine, which is one of the natural pre-workout stimulants that offer a temporary energy increase mentally and physically.
The vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are also designed to maximize energy levels, which can be beneficial to the individual before they decide to train or participate in a workout.
Good supplements can assist in ensuring the individual gets the most out of their workout, which means they can feel and experience a better result at faster rates.
Most of these supplements are also designed to increase the transportation of oxygen caused by vasodilating effects of Nitric Oxide. Getting more N.O. means that more energy, as well as oxygen, can be transported to the body through the bloodstream.
2) Increased Mental Focus
Caffeine is believed to be beneficial to areas in the body such as the brain and is said to assist in increasing concentration as well as mental focus. This factor is important for a person to be prepared mentally before and while working out.
Focusing means that the person is usually more motivated and more able to build a more effective and strong mind-to-muscle connection.
3) The Pre-Workout Supplements Are Convenient
One of the other advantages of the pre-workout boosting supplement is that they are incredibly convenient. In most cases, all that is required is to mix a powder into water or juice, and you are done.
In most cases, it is suggested to drink one of these ready-made supplements about 30 to 40 minutes before a training session and before a meal.
When taking these types of supplements when the stomach is empty, the absorption levels are increasing, which means the nutrients are taken up into the bloodstream a lot faster.
4) The Pre-Workout Supplement Taste Good
Most natural pre-workout supplements today offer outstanding flavors. Some of the choices on the market include chocolate, vanilla, and all the fruit flavors you can think of.
Types of Pre-Workout Supplements
Basically, they are two types:
The so-called proprietary blends
A “proprietary blend” on a dietary supplement’s facts panel is a list of ingredients that are part of a product formula specific to a particular manufacturer.
FDA requires manufacturers to list all of the ingredients in a product on its label, along with the amount of each (in terms of weight), unless the ingredients are part of a proprietary blend then the specific amount of each individual ingredient in the blend does not have to be listed, only the total.
Like the product below. We know the ingredients in each category, but we don't know how much of each supplement the company has put it.
It is important to be aware that the exact amount of each ingredient in a proprietary blend (or blend or delivery system) is unknown. This is especially important when a proprietary blend contains stimulant or stimulant-like ingredients, such as caffeine, synephrine, or yohimbine.
In fact, the only way to know what is in any particular dietary supplement product is through laboratory testing.
The second type is “open” blends
The “open” blends are the opposite of the proprietary blends. Every ingredient is listed on the supplement’s facts panel with its relevant dosage.
Knowing how much of an any given ingredient has your pre-workout supplement is very important, especially in cases where athletes take additional supplements. In particular stimulant-like ingredients such as caffeine, synephrine, yohimbine, green tea, forskolin, etc.
Like this pre-workout supplement product description:
It is advisable to use open blends, especially in cases when you drink a lot of coffee, or you take stimulant-like supplements separately, like the one listed above.
The Main Categories That Pre-Workout Supplements (Pre-Workout Boosters) Consist of:
A pre-workout supplement is usually divided into 3 categories:
- Muscle Matrix
- Performance Composite
- Energy and Focus Complex
Let’s take a closer look at the supplements that fall into each category:
1) Muscle Matrix Supplements
Muscle Matrix - usually are listed supplements that help an athlete to build a lean muscle mass. These supplements might be:
- Creatine - Creatine contributes to more intense workouts, training weights increase, and hypertrophy. Weight gain also increases as a result of the above-mentioned facts.
- Taurine - taurine is found in foods, in the highest amounts in meats, and is a heart and blood healthy agent that can confer a wide variety of health benefits.
- Astragalus membranaceus - generally, astragalus has been researched for its cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, and longevity effects.
- Panax notoginseng Extract - studies show that the effect is an increase of the aerobic lung capacity, aerobic muscle endurance, and the burning of fat.
2) Performance Composite Supplements
Performance Composite – these are supplements related to an athlete’s performance in the gym. Such supplements are:
- Citrulline Malate (L-Citrulline Malate) - extremely effective and helps to remove the lactic acid formed in the muscles due to muscle contractions.
- Beta-Alanine - can aid lean-mass gain. Carnosine appears to be an antioxidant and anti-aging compound.
- L-Arginine (Arginine Alpha Keto-Glutarate) - it participates in the building of muscle tissue; it is included in the composition of proteins but also has many other actions.
3) Energy and Focus Complex Supplements
Energy & Focus Complex – the supplements that fall into this category are the one that gives us that extra hype to keep pushing to the last possible rep.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine - acetyl-l-Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized ("burned") to produce energy.
- N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine - allegedly l-tyrosine reduces the stress level in our body - including the one caused by workouts - reduces depression, anxiety, and mental fatigue at monotonous work.
- Caffeine - caffeine is a direct stimulator of the central nervous system. It is known mostly for its ability to temporarily suppress sleepiness and to regain sharpness of alertness.
- Yohimbine HCL (Yohimbe Bark) - it has been used for years and beyond clinical practice by some African tribes as an aphrodisiac, as a hallucinogen, and in cases with impotence problems.
- Synephrine - named as the ephedrine’s bitter cousin. Thermogenic fat burners have been the main means for burning body fat for many years. It is also being called the ephedrine analog.
- Coleus Forskohlii (Forskolin) - found to increases the breakdown of fat and maintains muscle mass at the same time; Relief of asthma; Maintenance of the cardiac function in heart failure cases.
- DMAE - has the ability to reduce the build-up of the age pigmentation known as beta-amyloid. It is the active component of Centrophenoxine, a supplement known for its strong ability to boost memory and cognition.
How to Make Your Own Pre-Workout Supplements
One of the downfalls of many of these pre-workout boosting supplements is that they can end up becoming a costly experience, especially if you are using them on a daily basis.For this very reason, homemade pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular.
Homemade pre-workout supplements offer you a way to create your very own DIY pre-workout supplements, and to do so are easy and budget-friendly.
The fact that the majority of these boosting supplements you find online or in your local health stores say they are made up of a variety of stimulants and amino acids. Most health experts agree that there are just three primary ingredients needed to create your pre-workout supplement.
- L-Arginine AAKG
Reasons to Make Your Natural Preworkout Supplements
When designing your type of natural pre-workout supplement drinks, you can experiment and try out different blends to find a formula that works best for you.
The Optimal Dosage
Various supplement manufacturers usually display a long list of the ingredients present in their products that may seem impressive. However, in many cases, they typically contain a sub-clinical dose of these ingredients.
One of these examples may be when a product states that it contains 1 gram of Creatine Monohydrate when, in fact, an effective dose would be 5 grams. This means that the product may contain ingredients that are beneficial, but the dosage means that they are not that effective.
The standard pre-workout supplement will cost, on average, $30 for around 30 servings.
This works out to $1 a day, and with many of the ingredients that are drastically under-dosed, you will probably require at least 2 to 3 scoops to get anything out of the supplement.
When deciding to make your supplements keep in mind that ingredients such as Beta-Alanine, Caffeine, and creatine monohydrate can be bought for about $0.10 per serving. You can also decide to use more or fewer ingredients.
A Guide to Easy Pre-Workout Recipes
When deciding to use any of these recipes, you will need to make an assessment of your personal tolerances. You can easily adjust the serving or quantities of each of the ingredients as you go along.
1) Fasted Pre-Workout Supplement Recipe
Using a shaker bottle mix these powders together:
- 2 grams of Beta-Alanine
- 6 grams Citrulline Malate
- 5 grams Creatine
- One serving of Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak
- One serving of BCAAs
Fill up the bottle with 300 ml of water, put the cap on, and shake the mixture until completely combined and dissolved. Take 200 to 300 mg caffeine tablets using the pre-workout drink to wash down the tablets.
2) Non-Fasted Pre-Workout Supplement Recipe
Following the same instructions as the fasted pre-workout recipe, combine the powders and fill with water and then shake until fully combined:
- 5 grams of Creatine
- 2 grams of Beta-Alanine
- 6 grams Citrulline Malate
Note: If you train or participate in workouts in the morning, use caffeine tablets with the pre-workout mix. However, if you prefer to work out in the late part of the afternoon or early evening, you should be avoiding caffeine to ensure you still get a good night's rest.
3) The Advanced DIY Homemade Pre-Workout Supplement Recipe
This is my favorite advanced DIY pre-workout recipe. Following the 3 main categories above, let’s choose the needed ingredients and their dosage for each category:
- Citrulline Malate (L-Citrulline Malate) - 1.5 g
- Beta-Alanine - 1.5 g
Energy and Focus Complex
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine - 500 mg
- N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine - 250 mg
- Caffeine - 150 mg
- Yohimbine HCL - 2.5 mg
I use pre-workout supplements every day. I usually prefer homemade pre-workout boosters, because I know what I put in my boosters and I have control over the dosages of each ingredient.
If you are looking for a way to save money and make sure you are obtaining the right doses of the correct ingredients, making your very own pre-workout supplements is the best choice.