This article covers everything you need to know to make your own pre-workout drinks, including additional considerations and questions you should be asking yourself but probably aren’t. There’s a lot of science behind the following topics, some of which some I’ll cover, but none of which matter to YOU unless you want to impress your friends on trivia night. Feel free to glaze over it if you’re in a rush and take what you want.
What really matters are personal tolerance, feel, performance, needs, and effects. And that’s going to come down to an individual level that you’re going to have to feel out for yourself. This article will give you a good starting point to comfortably experiment and dial in exactly what works for you.
If none of that appeals, at the end of the article I’ll list a few commercial pre-workout drinks that I think are solid options. I’ll never recommend a product I haven’t personally used.
Why you should make your own pre-workout blends
Pre-workout drinks are oftentimes expensive, costing as much as 60$ for 30 servings, which you may exhaust in under a month. A lot of what you’re getting is proprietary blend crap that you probably don’t need in your body. Other times, your favorite pre-workout beverage includes ingredients you may or may not want despite generally liking the product. Do you even know what you’re putting in your body? Creating your own drink provides you a unique opportunity to save some money, enhance your performance, and get exactly what your body needs. You won’t have to fret over a product line ever being canceled, and you can continue to dial everything in as your needs change with your training regime.
Perhaps the single, greatest reason to make your own workout drink is that you need a different pre-workout depending on the time of day or night and what state your body is in, specifically in regards to your sleep schedule. Nothing is worth disrupting your sleep since that’s when you repair, grow, and produce testosterone. This can change from day-to-day, and this is the very reason I first decided to start making my own drinks due to being on shift work.
On a personal level, I’d be coming off of a long shift of overtime and want to work out. On the one hand, sleep would only be a few hours away. But on the other hand, I was exhausted from a hard day and needed a pick-me-up. Often times the mental stimulus of preparing myself with pre-workout was enough to ensure I’d get to the gym for a solid session. That was all well and good until midnight rolled past as I stared at the clock, counting the hours of potential sleep remaining before I had to get up for work as my heart hammered in my chest. No amount of water, sweat, or midnight jogs would get me to bed, and I’d wake up exhausted, vowing to never do it again.
What exactly is a pre-workout drink?
First of all, I strongly dislike the term pre-workout drink. This drink is supposed to enhance your performance at the gym, and it’s a fluid. Many of the ingredients in your drink are often designed to enhance delivery speed and make you feel its effects promptly. By its very nature, this drink is going to affect you quickly and run through your system. Yet product directions oftentimes advise you to consume the beverage up to 30 minutes before your exercise session.
This is all nonsense to me for the following reasons:
- Not accounting for warm-up time
This can easily be 10 minutes, more if you have to change first. Do you really want to waste the benefits of your hard-earned money at a time when you get nothing from it?
- Not accounting for traffic or travel delays
Ever sat in a traffic jam, waiting to get to the gym, sweating, feeling extra angry? Me too. Don’t do it.
- Something come up last minute?
Bummer. Enjoy running in place for the following hours as you pour sweat for no reason.
- Want the most out of your drink?
Well you’re not going to get it when you need it if you drank it 30 minutes before entering the gym, and an hour later you’re finally pushing to failure and you’ve flushed your system with a half a gallon of water.
When and how you drink your beverage matters
So, what should you do? Sip on it as you work out, while you’re feeling tired or thirsty, and between extra hard sets as you recover. You can even drink a solid portion of it during your warm-up if that makes you feel better about it (I do this when working out on low or no-carb diets). Just call it a workout drink!
With that out of the way, it’s important to tell you that a workout beverage can be anything you drink which improves your performance at the gym. Coffee is actually an effective workout drink. Personally, I want a little more than coffee for my hard efforts. Especially while dieting to lean out. For me, I get an intense mental pump from the very nature of drinking my power juice. But the point is you shouldn’t believe the commercial hype about one brand or product line being the best and giving you immeasurable performance benefits. It’s all just chemicals and water. There are no miracle ingredients. Some of my favorites, most effective home-made workout drinks are only two or three cheap ingredients that I can use at any time.
Who can benefit from workout drinks?
Anyone can at any time if they make their own and use it properly. Are you a runner that gets up at 6 am for a 2-mile jog on an empty stomach? Well if you don’t want to go catabolic and eat your own muscle, it’s a good idea to add BCAA’s. Having trouble waking up? Add caffeine. If you are already lean and not worried about weight gain, throw in some Dextrose to fuel your run as well. Problems solved.
Are you dedicated low-carb dieting and feel like crap with aching muscles every time you hit the gym but want a powerful session? BCAA’s are the answer, and depending on how low-carb you go, you really can afford to add dextrose due to its nature – feel the ache melt away in minutes as you warm up, kill it at the gym, and be back in ketosis by the end of the night.
Let's get started, Get your self a Good Mixing Container
What do you need to make your own drinks? You could use a cup and a spoon if you had to, or a travel mug, but I don’t advise it. The easiest and most convenient method is a cheap shaker cup or two (or 20 like I have). The only advice I’ll give here is to not go too cheap, and the ones with the mixer balls work infinitely better than those with grates under the lids. This is what I use. Just be sure to wash it on occasion. Here it is on Amazon and here is my review of why I use this metal one. If you keep your mixer cup clean and dry it also works as a great place to store your pre-mixed work out drink until you are ready to use it.
Step 1 of 6
Step One, Your Custom Energy Drink Needs a Base
If you don't want to read about each product just skip to the chart in each of the steps. I'm going to walk you through all the best options for making your custom prework out drink.
Every drink should really start with one safe ingredient every single time. An ingredient you can start with in every drink no matter your goal. You can’t go wrong with BCAA’s no matter the activity. I particularly find them valuable before morning runs after waking up fasted. There are a lot of selections, they’re cheap, they can taste good (or taste like nothing), and they have a ton of benefits with no drawbacks. They’ll help keep you from going catabolic (eating your own muscle) when dieting and exercising. The problem here is you want to look good naked, and so you’re dieting to lose fat and working out to put muscle on. Your protein synthesis rate can lower below that of your protein break-down rate during this point, and you end up eating muscle rather than fat.
Taking BCAA’s will increase your protein synthesis when you need it most while discouraging protein breakdown, which is key while trying to improve your physique. They can also reduce serotonin levels while working out by reducing the amount of tryptophan that makes it to your brain which reduces lethargy.
Why not just use whey protein to get your BCAAs
The short answer is the BCAA’s are much more readily available vs having to break protein down before getting what you need during an intense workout. Taking whey protein too close to a workout or during a workout is not advisable.
A 5-gram dosage, or one serving, should be adequate. Feel free to add more if your workout is going long or you’re dieting extra hard, or you’re already a high-performance athlete. Be sure to pay attention to anything in the product besides BCAA’s. For an overview on your body's amino needs read this post https://myshakercup.com/amino-acids-supplements
You don’t want to get too much of something you don’t want. I recommend the following BCAA products, but most of them will work. Just be careful to not buy any with extra ingredients you don’t want. You don't have to buy name brand, you save the most money when buying in bulk.
When Mixing Components that May have similar effects For sure to change the dosage to account for the other ingredients. If you are adding pure caffeine and a green tea blend than your double up on more caffeine. L-L-arginine and L-citrulline have the same effect of increased blood flow and nitric oxide production. If mixing the two indridents you do not want to take the max amout of each componnt. This would be like taking the max of two different blood pressure medications, bad idea. I will point out what to do when mixing similar ingredients and what sources I used to find the proper dosage.
BCAA's Options- Basic BCAA's
This for those of you who want to go all-in and mix everything yourself. This will give you the most options and buy buying in bulk will save you the most money.
|What Does it do||Recommend Products||Main Ingredient||Other Important Ingredients||Keto Friendly||Notes||servings|
Helps Increase protein synthesis
|MP Essentials BCAA||Amino Acids: BCAA's||none||Yes||contains artificial sweetner||30 / 6G serving|
|cheap bulk options||Bulk BCAA"||Amino Acids: BCAA's||none||Yes||no sweeteners||250 grams
50/ 5G serving
|Naked BCAA's||Amino Acids: BCAA's||none||6 Carbs||watermelon flavor (fake sugar)||500 grams
BCAA's with a few added ingredients-Lets Call this Basic Plus
In my opinion, this is a great place to start. You get set up with a high-quality BCAA base that comes with a few good ingredients that you already wanted to add. Let's say you start with
MuscleTech Amino Build like in the chart below. It has a great blend of amino acids and electrolytes. On its own, this is a great place to start, but I love betaine anhydrous which is why I really like this mix as a starting point. It has a moderate amount of betaine anhydrous so I can take this twice in one day or for those of you who can handle it even two scoops at a time. I personally can only handle a small dose of betaine at a time or I get headaches, but This stuff makes me feel like a beast so I just make sure not to use too much and I'm fine. As with all supplements, your optimal dose may be different than mine.
It does have some other ingredients but the problem is that none of the other ingredients are dosed in a significant amount that I really care about them. The one I like does not contain caffeine, however, you can get it with stimulants if that's what you want. The amino build next-gen does not contain caffeine, you can verify that fact here. Some sites list this as having caffeine. The next-gen energizer is the one that does.
|Product||Ingidient||What does it do||notes||keto friendly|
|Muscle Tech Amino Build||BCAA's||Good Base|
Helps Increase protein synthesis
|this product contains no caffeine||yes||4 grams per serving / 30 servings|
|electrolytes||minerals that help balance water and regulate nerve/muscle function||small amount at 220 mg per scoop|
|betaine||significantly enhancesignificantly enhanced muscular endurance in clinical studyd muscular endurance in clinical study||1.25 gram per scoop / the lower dose is actually good to be able to regulate the dose.|
|taurine||fights fatigue,soreness, and involvefights fatigue,soreness, and involved in many metabolic processes in many metabolic processes||may or may not work, not proven.|
|alanine||supports esupports energy + immune system.nergy + immune system.||small dose|
|glutamine||amino acid-Speeds up muscle repair. good for immune system and intestinal health||small dose|
|the stimulant version||same as above plus|
|MuscleTech Amino Build Next Gen Energized||more taurine|
|caffeine||50mg per scoop|
BCAA's Options- With lots of extras-Basic Extras
You want to start mixing your own DIY Workout drinks, but you don't really want to dive in headfirst. This is a good one for you to start with by only need to add one or two things if you want.
If I don't feel like mixing as many ingredients together and just want to keep it simple I reach for one of these premixed BCAA drinks and add a few key ingredients and I'm off. A pre-made BCAA drink can be a great place to start and then you tweak it to your goals.
The only issue with using a BCAA packed with extras is that the extras are dosed low. Let's use citrulline for example, the recommendation is 3-6 grams a day to even as much as 8 grams before a workout. In the Xtend product below you will only get 1 gram. The same goes all premixes ind=gridents like for taurine and Beta-Alanine and maca powder will all have a fraction of the doses recommended. You just can't put everything is a pre-mixed blend. Let me be clear, you can't put everything in your own blend either. Figuring out which ingredients at what time will be the key for mixing your own drinks. You may have multiple drinks for different times and goals.
Instead of Mixing, you may benefit from my review of pre-made pre-workout drinks. I used to only use premixed workout drinks-Find My Recommendations Here.
|Recommend Products||Ingredients||What Does it do||Notes||Keto Friendly||Notes||servings|
|ScivatiScivation on||BCAA's 7 grams||Helps Increase protein synthesis||30|
|Glutamine 2.5 grams||amino acid-Speeds up muscle repair. good for immune system and intestinal health||low dose if your trying to achieve the 15-15 grams bodybuilders recommend||Yes, 0 carbs|
|Citrulline Malate 1 gram||promotes aerobic energy may increase blood flow by increasing nitric oxide production.||much lower than the 3-6 grams recommended for blood pressure and exercise||yes||comes from an amino found in watermelon,|
can help widen your blood vessels,
|electrolytes 1140mg||minerals that help balance water and regulate nerve/muscle function|
|Evlution Nutrition BCAAEvlution Nutrition BCAA Lean Lean||BCAA's 5 grams||Helps Increase protein synthesis|
|Beta Alanine||Increases Endurance and Fights Fatigue||much lower than the max dose of 2-5 grams a day||low dose||30|
|l-alanine||l-alanine-supports energy + immune system.||low dose|
|l-taurine||fights fatigue,soreness, and involvedfights fatigue,soreness, and involved in many metabolic processes in many metabolic processes||conflicting research on the benefits||low dose|
|maca powder||supports energy,||this is widely used in alternative medicine to treat many ailments||lowlow dose dose|
|caffeine from coffee and green tea||110 mg for energy|
|vitamin C, b6, b12||immune system and energy||low doses|
|CLA||may support weight loss||conflicting research||low dose|
|Acetyl-L-Carnitine||helps fats to be converted to energy and muscled||low dose|
|Evlution Stimulant Free Version||BCAA's|
|different for of carnitine absorbs faster||no energy blend, even beta alanine is taken out||Yes||Not worth the price, only on the chart for the stimulant free comparison||30 servings|
Scivation Xtend has a great flavor. The 7-gram serving is nice. It also has a small dose of blood pumping citrulline, some muscle repairing glutamine and a healthy portion of electrolytes which help tremendously when you’ve been dripping sweat for hours. Maybe you don't need the full servings of Citruline or Glutamine, but you still want to get some of them added into your routine. This is a great option to start with for late workouts since it keeps out the stimulants, but you can easily add them in if needed. See also our post on non-essential bcaas
The Importance of Electrolytes
It doesn’t have anything but BCAA’s and a healthy portion of electrolytes which help tremendously when you’ve been dripping sweat for hours. It's important to keep electrolytes balanced. They help regulate hydration, but more importantly, too few electrolytes will cause the body to cramp. Muscles and neurons rely on the movement of electrolytes and electrical signals through the fluid inside, outside, and in between cells. Even the heart and nerve cells use electrolytes to carry electrical impulses to other cells.
This product also contains small amounts of both L-glutamine and Citrulline Malate. It does not contain anywhere near the amount bodybuilders aim for to see or feel a difference. I will talk more on these ingredients below.
Evolution Nutrition’s lean energy blend tastes fantastic and is reasonably priced. The BCAA’s work the same as any other. The one pitfall (or pro) to this product is it contains 110 mg of caffeine, which you may or may not want. Personally I find 110mg of caffeine to be adequate for an early morning run, but I prefer about 200-300 mg for a larger workout, which would mean you’d need to add additional caffeine to your drink. This can work out well if you’re adding two servings to your drink. Evolution Nutrition also has a stimulant-free version which I highly recommend if you want to add your own caffeine.
STEP 2: Add in your Fast Fuel Carbohydrates, Unless you are on Keto or Low Carb
Dextrose options, and why you should usually include dextrose
Dextrose is just a sugar derived from corn starch. It’s what they used to put in candy before high glucose corn syrup (which tastes sweeter.) The benefit of dextrose is that it breaks down incredibly quickly and spikes your insulin levels. This rapidly increases nutrient uptake, specifically creatine monohydrate, and gets it to your muscles more effectively.
Because Dextrose is processed so quickly, you want to sip it while you’re exercising between sets. And you’re not going to just store it if you’re working hard. If you’re like me and do low-carb dieting, you feel like every muscle is on fire at the gym. The solution is putting dextrose in your workout drink. It takes the ache and the sting out rapidly during your warm-up, is burned up before you can store it, and will pay dividends on your total caloric burn at the gym compared to the calorie cost of using it.
If you’re a hardcore ketosis follower and hate yourself and want weaker workouts and refuse to leave ketosis for any length of time, then skip the dextrose. For everyone else there aren’t many things this cheap and effective to fuel a hardcore workout while dieting. For bonus points, it makes everything taste better. And if you’re already lean and want way more explosive workouts and have no fear of gaining weight while trying to bulk, feel free to go wild.
Dosing is going to depend on your needs. I typically recommend 30 grams of dextrose (translates to 120 calories). You can play around with that number to maximize the benefits. I also highly recommend adding 30 grams of dextrose into your post-workout protein shake if you can afford the carbohydrates and calories for maximum protein synthesis.
Not much to say here about product preference. Any dextrose that is cheap and on sale will do just fine. These are the ones I have personally used.
Expert TIp=> If you have a custom drink blend that you make often than mix a few up in advance using zip lock baggies. That way it is much easier to just grab and go on your way to the gym or whatever activity. I prefer the smaller snack bags but if I run out I just use whatever I can find.
Now Sports Dextrose is dirt cheap. Good luck burning through it
Now Sports Nutrition, Dextrose Powder (Monosaccharide), 10-Pound Find it Here
GMP Quality Assured: NPA A-rated GMP certification
A higher End or More expensive product would be Jym Stoppani's
Post JYM Fast-Digesting Carb
Jym’s products are typically very natural and health-oriented. Mr. Stoppani keeps all the nonsense out of his products and has sound science. It tastes better than the other options, too. It costs quite a bit more but is already dosed appropriately for one serving. Even though I love JYM products, in this case, I believe it's way overpriced for dextrose and isnt necessary for our Do it yourself style blends. One benefit to DIY drinks it the bulk savings and with JYMs products its simply not cost-effective. If you want to check out the High quality JYM Stoppanis pre mixed drinks you can find them here.
Step 3: To Creatine or Not to Creatine
Creatine options and why you may or may not want creatine.
This is another essential ingredient for those looking to put on size, strength, and have more endurance. Coincidentally, it’s also one of the cheaper products. Look no further than creatine monohydrate for serious bodybuilding. Creatine helps produce more energy rapidly on a cellular level. It’s been proven time and again to improve athletic performance in multiple studies.
Initially, when loading creatine, you will gain weight (2-5 lbs) as your body takes more water into the muscle. Be sure to drink even more water than you usually do and at least 1 gallon per day to avoid feeling lethargic. The good news is your muscles will absorb much of that water and cause you to look fuller and larger. The extra energy will eventually translate into more work, which will then translate to a gain in muscle mass.
If you don’t drink enough water, or you don’t want to put on weight or strength, then I don’t advise using creatine. If you are going to take creatine, then I insist you take the dextrose simultaneously to improve absorption and retention in the muscle.
Dosing should be around 2.5 grams of creatine per 30 grams of dextrose. You should look to take 2.5 grams of creatine with your workout drink, and add 2.5 grams in with your dextrose and whey protein post-workout for an optimal experience.
All creatine monohydrate products are similar. You can bargain hunt for what’s on sale, but these are some reasonably priced products that I have personally used and will again. Always use monohydrate and always use powder. There are dozens of creatine types, but don't fall for the hype.
-5 grams of premium HPLC Tested micronized creatine monohydrate
-200 5 gram servings
Step 4: Stimulants
Caffeine pros and cons. How much to use, and when to use.
Caffeine is something most people use on a regular basis. It simply binds to adenosine receptors to prevent sleepiness. Neuron firing is increased and the pituitary gland initiates a fight-or-flight response that readies your muscles, releases sugar, and gets your heart pumping. Perfect for a battle with the weights or a hard run.
This one is almost all good on the pro’s side of things, with the exception that too much caffeine is dangerous in small amounts and even a little can cause sleeplessness with poor timing. The key takeaway is when you consume it, and consuming the right amounts. If you’re within 6 hours of bed, I would leave the caffeine out (or greatly reduce it). If you’ve already consumed too many other sources of caffeine, I’d also leave it out. If you’re going to start putting this in your drinks, it’s probably time to start metering, tracking, and timing your caffeine intake. And lastly, be very aware of any other sources of caffeine already in your drink.
My recommended dosage is 200-300 mg depending on your size. I’d start with 100 mg if you’re not used to it and feel out what works for you.
Bulksupplements powder is cheap and good. Caffeine is caffeine, But for just a little bit more you can have the caffeine premeasured in pills. Caffeine is dangerous in powder form It is way too easy to take to much caffeine when in powder form. I prefer to have the capsules. You can swallow them or pull the capsule apart to have a perfectly measured dose to add to your drink. This works out great for drink mixes I make up for later otherwise I just take the pills. ***IF you have little kids you want to be extra careful to keep caffeine where they can't reach it. Heres the link to the caffeine pills. Remember to check for caffeine on the other products you are mixing this with to make sure that you are not taking too much. Some of the premixes will have caffeine or other stimulants.
Caffeine can be found in many Supplements and some Medicines
Just because a product is called something else does not mean that it does not have stimulants or caffeine. Let talk about green tea, it grows from a plant, is all-natural and has many health benefits. Most people don't realize that green tea has anywhere from 25-50 mg of caffeine in a cup. If you are using a green tea powder in your energy blend than make sure to take into account the amount of caffeine. Check the label as your product may vary in strength.
green tea 25-50 per 8 oz cup from a tea bag
Black tea 30-80 mg per cup
Excedrin Extra Strength 130 mg of caffeine
Yerba Mate Tea 85mg per cup
There are many more sources of caffeine, this is just to give you an example. Know what is in your ingredients before you mix them.
How much caffeine a day?
It's important for safety to limit how much caffeine you take in a day and at a time. How much caffeine is too much? The Mayo Clinic states that 400mg of caffeine a day appears to be okay for most healthy adults. Yes appears and thats how they word it. If you look at most supplents you find 300mg max for caffeine. I personally cannot take that or need that much caffeine at once. I would never start with the max dosage of anything if you're adding your own caffeine then start slow and adjust as needed. Also, caffeine can react with some medications and supplements.
Step 5: Increase Blood Flow with Nitric Oxide
L-arginine and L-citrulline are two proven ways to increase nitric oxide production and improve blood flow. The inner muscles of the blood vessels are relaxed by the increase of nitric oxide resulting in vasodilation and increase circulation. In addition to increased muscle pumps, the stuff is really good for your heart. In addition, it increases energy, and uptake of glucose to muscle tissue. (need to finish this)
L-arginine and L-citrulline vs citrulline malate
Arginine in an amino acid that comes from a number of foods like fish, red meats, eggs and dairy. L- arginine is known to speed up wound healing, help the immune system, has cardivascular benefits, assist the kidneys in removing waste and most importantly for people working out it also dilates and relaxes the arteries by being converted into nitric oxide, at least thats what we have been told.
L-arginine has great benefits but supplementing with it may not be the best way to increase nitric oxide. This study shows that nitric oxide may not change in healthy subjects. If your goal is to increase nitric oxide there are better ways to do it . If you're going to take L-arginine bobybuilding.com recommends Optimal dosage at 5-10 grams
Citrulline is more effective at increasing L-arginine and Nitric-Oxide (NO2)
To increase the levels of arginine you would naturally think that you just need to take more L-arginine, but you would, in fact, be wrong. L-citrulline is actually used by your body to make L-arginine. increases levels of L-arginine in your body more than supplementing with L-arginine itself does. A large percentage of L-arginine is broken down before reaching your bloodstream (resource) By having a huge supply of the components needed to make L-Arginine your levels are actually increased high with Citrulline than by taking arginine, this makes citrulline better than arginine at increase arginine levels.
One of the products I like to take is this one, Nutricost L-citrulline Malate. (the link will take you to Amazon) You notice the Malate at the end, Yes this is different from pure Citrulline.
Citrulline vs Citrulline Malate
Citrulline naturally occurs in fruits such as watermelon, pumpkins, cucumber and a few others. Malate is found in mainly sour fruits, such as green apples and sour grapes, this is where the tart flavor comes from.
Supplements that use citrulline malate should have a 2:1 ratio since most of the research is based on this. However to cut costs some products have gone to a 1:1 ratio. A 2:1 ratio means there are 2 parts L citrulline for every 1 part of malate.
Most of the research involved citrulline malate 2:1, however, many dietary supplements use a 1:1 ratio to cut costs. With those, a 3g serving of powder will contain 1.5g of L citrulline and 1.5g of malate.
There are two reasons why some believe L citrulline malate is better than plain L citrulline. The first is that it has better bioavailability. The second is that malic acid plays an important part in the citric acid cycle (CAC) or Krebs cycle. This cycle is used to release stored energy.
But there is more to it. The very reason people like citrulline malate due to the Krebs cycles is also the reason some experts feel that pure citrulline is better, some experts don't believe that the malate does what is theorized and is instead not needed.
L-Citrulline or L-Citrulline malate which is better?
What's the right answer? I really don't know, I have had them both and personally prefer citrulline malate, maybe you want to try them both and see if you can tell a difference or not.
Step 6: Other DIY Drink Ingredients
Everything below is entirely optional and beyond what I would consider amongst the best and most effective ingredients when making your own drinks. Always read your product ingredient lists before adding anything and be aware of how much of what you’re including.
Remember that the greatest benefit of mixing your own work out drinks is that you can customize them as often as you need. Mornings will most likely have a different blend then evenings. If you don't like the way something makes you feel you can cut the dose down or drop it altogether.
(product descriptions after chart)
|Ingredient||Beta Alanine||Niacin (Vitamin B3)||L-Glutamine||Taurine|
|Benefit||Fights fatigue, increases carnosine||good for muscle, immune, system intestinal tissue|
|Recommended dose||2.4-6.4 grams|
|see below under Niacin Summary||10-15 grams for bodybuilding at 5 gram per dose (sou(source)rce)|
|Goes Well With|
|Warnings||high dhigh dose's can be dangerousose's can be dangerous||long term use could have side long term use could have side effects. Short term use is generally considered safe.effects. Short term use is generally considered safe.|
|Product||Beta Alanine Powder by BulkSupplements||BulkSupplements Pure Niacin BulkSupplements Pure Niacin||Micro Ingredients L Glutamine Powder|
Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid. It reduces fatigue and acid build-up during intense workouts by increasing carnosine levels. This is also one of the ingredients that gives you the “skin-tingle” so you know it’s working. If you don’t like the skin flush, stay away from this one. If that’s what gets you mentally pumped and makes you feel like it’s working, then certainly add it. Take up to 6 grams per day, generally at 2 grams per dose.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin can help with cholesterol and hardening of the arteries. It can also help give you a mental pump. Research suggests it may help lower cholesterol, ease arthritis and even boost brain function. Unfortunately high does use can be dangerous and long-term use may cause liver damage. Niacin has also been used to stimulate natural levels of growth hormone, but only if taken without fat, fat completely blunted any rise in growth hormone.
Dosage for Health Goals and Warnings
My Favorite Recipes
Most of the time I have my go-to drinks that I like to use at certain times of the day. Here are my favorites. They may not be the most economical, but it's just what I have come to prefer.
Mid to late Afternoon Energy Blend
I like this to do medium to light workouts later in the day. It's not enough energy to keep me up all night, but its enough to get going for a workout.
MuscleTech Amino Energized, I use just 1/2 scoop
1 scoop of dextrose for some fast carbs
Zip fizz for the B vitamins and a small amount of caffeine, I use half a tube ( yes there are cheaper ways to buy your B vitamins)
L-citrulline malate-3 gram dose
Boswellia powder-full scoop. (I also use my custom drinks to add in other supplements I take. I use this one for joint pain and I know for a fact it helps with my knee pain.)
lastly, creatine depending on if im taking it or not.
This breaks down to 110 mg of caffeine, (60 mg from the zip fiz and 25 mg from the muscletech amino energized), a light serving of citrulline to help get the pumps, a decent amount of B's and a small amount of BCAA's
Does pre-workout break your fast?
That depends on if you include dextrose or any sweeteners with carbohydrates. Generally, BCAA’s won’t, and are well worth the benefit. None of the other recommended chemicals without carbohydrates or calories will break your fast.
The one ingredient to always include is BCAA’s when dieting and exercising for any activity. The second ingredient to include is dextrose if you’re not trying to maintain ketosis and you’re going to burn it off quickly. The combination of these two ingredients alone makes for a powerful workout drink. This is my most commonly used base for almost any time and activity.
If you aren’t going to be sleeping any time soon, or want the extra energy, adding caffeine to the above two ingredients is going to give you almost all the benefits of any commercial pre-workout drink available without any of the nonsense. And It’s infinitely cheaper. This is my go-to for a morning or afternoon workout with lots of intensity.
The fourth supplement is to include for size and strength is creatine monohydrate, and these should all be taken together in one drink while you’re working out.
Five on my list is good for cardiovascular health, blood flow and pumps. Most People can take Citruline any time of the day and not have it affect their sleep, but the best time is to take it before a workout.
The rest are more options you can add. The extra's could go on forever. I choose the ones I personally have taken and recommend.
Clint Ellingsworth-I am a father of Two, I work in Nuclear Power and I can fall asleep anywhere. Everything I write is about something I’ve struggled with, researched, wasted loads of time and hard-earned money for crap results, and eventually made the effort to figure out the why’s and how’s of doing things the right way as a bodybuilding enthusiast without Olympian genetics.