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DIY Pre-workout Formulas
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Ringo Offline
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Post: #1
DIY Pre-workout Formulas
If you're like me, most days a cup of strong coffee and a snack 30-60min prior to working out is enough. But some days you want an extra kick.

I've tried pre-workout formulas before, but have always been cautious with them because 1) I don't like consuming unnecessary ingredients, sweeteners, shady/placebo proprietary blends etc 2) I wanted to have more control over each ingredient and dosage I ingest and 3) pre-workouts are relatively expensive (usually US$1+ per serving).

Plus, I love experimenting with stuff and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.

After some research, I got three ingredients off of BulkSupplements.com:
- Caffeine capsules (200mg)
- Beta Alanine - 250g Pure Powder
- L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 - 250g Pure Powder

[Image: IMG-2842.jpg]

Why did I choose these ingredients:
- Caffeine: mental focus
- Beta Alanine: delays muscle fatigue, pre-workout "tingles" depending on dosage
- L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1: improves recovery and circulation, boosts pumps

I'm not a doctor, don't take the above as advice - do your own research and find if these substances would benefit you.

I also wanted some type of flavor. The taste kicks me into go mode. I wanted something tasty, cheap and the least unhealthy I could get away with. Pure fruit juice or kombucha would be good, but they're relatively expensive. So I went to the supermarket and found these:

[Image: 936752-600x600-A.jpg]

Very tasty, under 5 calories per serving, and the ingredients are okay.

Sugar, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Stevia Leaf Extract (Sweetener), Sodium Citrate, Maltodextrin, Contains Less Than 2% Of Natural Flavor, Magnesium Oxide, Black Carrot Extract (For Color), Kiwi Juice Concentrate.

Ideally I would like something "cleaner" but it's such a small amount that I think it doesn't really matter. True Lemon Crystallized could be a good alternative in the future.

Here's the price breakdown per serving/gram:

[Image: 0.png]

Today I tried my first recipe (based on this and this blog posts, and this video). I underdosed everything to assess how my body would respond. My combination was as follows:

[Image: 1.png]

I had a great, 9.5/10 workout session.

The beta alanine tingles started ten minutes in and at points were so strong it borderline disrupted my concentration, so I'll decrease it next time. Other than that, the mental focus and pump were excellent. Managed to get a lot more volume in compared to the same workout last week. Might up the caffeine and citrulline slightly next time.

The cost per serving came out to ~US$0.47.

This is not meant to be an expert post, but maybe there's more guys who enjoy pre-workouts and don't want to spend on overpriced formulas.

I'll try a couple different variations of that recipe and try to report back.

Datasheets São Paulo, BR | Diamantina, BR | Osijek, HR | My most reliable opener
(This post was last modified: 02-14-2019 07:19 PM by Ringo.)
02-14-2019 07:15 PM
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godfather dust Online
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Post: #2
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
I'm going to try this, been blowing money on C4 (which I like )
02-15-2019 06:38 PM
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porscheguy Offline
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Post: #3
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
I use dymatize. Price is reasonable. I use a half dose.
02-15-2019 07:53 PM
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CaptainChardonnay Offline
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Post: #4
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
Scooping beta alanine or arginine in your mouth and chasing with water taste really bad. Definitely mix those ingredients with something else.

Good combination of ingredients to try to replicate are Jym pre gym (really expensive stuff) and Dr. Jekyll pre workout.
02-16-2019 03:23 PM
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Isaac Jordan Offline
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Post: #5
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
Great work OP. I went through a similar thought process myself a few years ago and ended up making a PWO almost exactly like yours, even utilized the Bulk Supplements brand too.

It's nice cutting out the sugar, fake colors/flavors, and filler ingredients, but the price per serving is the real kicker - it's like going from buying a $5 Starbucks every day to brewing your own coffee for $0.20/cup.

Only thing I'd recommend is adding creatine monohydrate. It's one of the few supplements (along with what you've already got, mainly caffeine and beta alanine) that has plenty of scientific evidence backing up its effectiveness.
02-21-2019 05:55 PM
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redbeard Offline
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Post: #6
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
I've been doing the same for years and agree it's 100% better than buying overpriced trash from GNC.

The only ingredient I'd add is Vitamin C, yes in powder form. The taste isn't for everybody but I enjoy the citrus bite. This could be used as a "sweetener."

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02-21-2019 07:24 PM
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godfather dust Online
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Post: #7
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
If I want a slightly stronger stimulant combo then straight caffeine (which I'm completely tolerant to) what works? I usually work out after work so would be taking maybe once a week (morning workout.)

I've got a jar of c4 here, energy blend: n-acetyl-l-tyrosine, caffeine, mucuna pruriens (l-dopa), theacrine
02-22-2019 01:07 AM
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Ringo Offline
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Post: #8
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
(02-22-2019 01:07 AM)godfather dust Wrote:  If I want a slightly stronger stimulant combo then straight caffeine (which I'm completely tolerant to) what works? I usually work out after work so would be taking maybe once a week (morning workout.)

I've got a jar of c4 here, energy blend: n-acetyl-l-tyrosine, caffeine, mucuna pruriens (l-dopa), theacrine

Have you ever tried caffeine in pill/powder form?

I thought I was pretty tolerant because I can drink gallons of strong coffee with seemingly no caffeine hit.

Funny enough, after experimenting with 200mg (I break the pill open and mix the powder with the other ingredients) I get a rush and can feel my heart accelerating. With the powder, I personally wouldn't go over that, but in coffee form I probably do thrice that without even noticing it.

Datasheets São Paulo, BR | Diamantina, BR | Osijek, HR | My most reliable opener
02-22-2019 12:19 PM
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fktax Offline
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Post: #9
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
Hell yes, I was just talking about this in another thread. I'm going to give this a try.

Do you have any tips on how much beta alanine should be the limit?
02-28-2019 07:35 AM
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CaptainChardonnay Offline
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Post: #10
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
Search the ingredients for Jym pre gym and dose it at that. The guy who created this stuff is a PhD exercise physiology and a post doctorate at Yale.
02-28-2019 11:11 AM
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Batman_ Offline
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Post: #11
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
OP was on the right track, but i'll list everything I know. Btw I would suggest not using bulk supplements, they have had problems with contamination and have poor quality control.

-Citrulline Malate + Arginine (I know arginine is garbage on its own, but check this study out: Oral supplementation with a combination of l-citrulline and l-arginine rapidly increases plasma l-arginine concentration and enhances NO bioavailability tl;dr synergistic combo that significantly raises nitric oxide)

-Agmatine Sulfate (inhibits nitric oxide synthase enzymes, decreases pain tolerance)

-Beta-Alanine (significant increase in power/workload)

-BCAAs (modest performance enhancement and prevents DOMS)

-Creatine (performance enhancement)

-Caffeine + Theanine (focus/energy)

-Phenylpiracetam (clean psychomotor stimulant and nootropic)

-Rhodiola Rosea (can significantly reduce fatigue)

-CoQ10 (supports the heart and mitochondria, studies have demonstrated it increased VO2 Max as well)


Certainly don't need to take all of these every day but I tend to cycle them. I buy them in bulk powder and just mix it in water.

Caffeine, beta alanine, and citrulline malate do the bulk of the work and are probably enough on their own though.

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(This post was last modified: 02-28-2019 06:36 PM by Batman_.)
02-28-2019 06:01 PM
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Ringo Offline
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Post: #12
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
It's been over two months since I started using this pre-workout concoction.

I've experimented with different amounts of each ingredient but the winning formula for me really seems to be:

- 3-4g of L-Citrulline
- ~1g of Beta alanine
- 100-200mg of caffeine

Since I've been cycling strength and hypertrophy days, I'll sometimes use higher L-citrulline (better pump for hypertrophy work), sometimes more beta alanine (it helps my awareness when training for strength). Caffeine I use on and off depending on what time of day I'll train, but I try not to abuse it - 100mg (half a pill) is enough to wake me up.

I've also been using these liquid "water enhancers" for flavor:

[Image: GUEST_6b8df17c-05b9-443a-8453-4ff0324bbb...;fmt=pjpeg]

They're as cheap as the powder juices - I just bought two of those little bottles (48 servings) for US$5. Tons of different flavors to choose from.

I'm very happy I started making my pre-workout. The flexibility to customize it depending on my goal and time of training is awesome. I've even used beta alanine and caffeine one day before hitting the club one day as I pretty tired. Ended up having a great night!

After reviewing my training logs, I notice I can regularly do ~5-10% more volume when I consume a preworkout vs not. For example, I'll do 11 reps/set instead of 10. In the long run, that's huge. Especially because I often do weight training a few hours after 90-min BJJ sessions.

I've used it for almost every training session in the past two months and I've still got plenty of my initial supply left. Definitely a great investment.

Datasheets São Paulo, BR | Diamantina, BR | Osijek, HR | My most reliable opener
04-25-2019 10:17 PM
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kosko Offline
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Post: #13
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
^^^^^^
Go to a bulk store and get flavour crystals and just store them in a glass jar, or in the freezer. You should be able to find a citrus low calorie drink mix to use.

-----

You just need the foundation ingredients found in evrey pre-workout in the market.

L-Citrulene
Beta Alanine
Caffeine
Creatine

When you selfdose it will be about 30-70 cents per serving depending on the strength.

Next, with dosages you find the right ratio for your body. The beauty is they if you're working out late at night you can cut out the stimulants (caffeine) so you can still workout and not disrupt your sleep. You can tweak as you go and make it more strong or weak as needed.

Everything else if it has value is just extra and isn't needed for the basics of offering muscle endurance, pump and power (energy).

If you want more stimulants then add in ephedrine, you stack all these together it will get you rolling in the gym.
(This post was last modified: 05-03-2019 02:39 PM by kosko.)
05-03-2019 02:37 PM
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Dr Mantis Toboggan Offline
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Post: #14
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
Been using this the last few weeks:

-Handful of frozen berries
-200 MG caffeine
-5g creatine
-3g beta alanine
-1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder
-Scoop of vanilla protein powder (about 20-25g protein)

Blended together with 4-8 oz of water depending on the consistency you like.

So far so good, I don't get the face tingling feeling I used to get from C4 (which is odd, supposedly that comes from the beta alanine and I'm using almost twice as much as is in C4) but I've felt strong and had good workouts each time I've used it. And it tastes great, C4 was starting to burn my throat.

Comes to around $2 per serving, but about 40% of that is the protein.

I got my Magnum condoms, I got my wad of hundreds, I'm ready to plow!
(This post was last modified: 05-06-2019 12:37 PM by Dr Mantis Toboggan.)
05-06-2019 12:29 PM
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Checkmat Offline
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Post: #15
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
I tried Ringo's recipe today (minus the caffeine) and had one of the best workouts I've had in months.

Modified it a bit (3g CM) and felt like I could keep lifting after my sets were done. Added weight on every lift. Great stuff, +1 from me!

"There's no such thing as different but equal." -Dante Nero
05-12-2019 02:27 PM
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Albion33 Offline
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Post: #16
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
maybe Caffeine or Green Tea, Citrulin Malate, Bcaa 8:1:1 or 10:1:1, HMB, and Creatine.
05-13-2019 12:20 PM
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Beest Offline
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Post: #17
RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
Just as a side note, keep in mind that most pre-workout compounds become less effective when you take them regularly. If you want to use caffeine as pre-workout booster, for instance, it's best to limit your caffeine intake to two days per week at most. Otherwise, your body will adapt and the only thing you'll accomplish with caffeine is getting back to your original level when you take it. So, best to limit pre-workout only to the days you truly need it
05-20-2019 04:54 PM
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fktax Offline
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RE: DIY Pre-workout Formulas
(05-20-2019 04:54 PM)Beest Wrote:  Just as a side note, keep in mind that most pre-workout compounds become less effective when you take them regularly. If you want to use caffeine as pre-workout booster, for instance, it's best to limit your caffeine intake to two days per week at most. Otherwise, your body will adapt and the only thing you'll accomplish with caffeine is getting back to your original level when you take it. So, best to limit pre-workout only to the days you truly need it

Yeah I cycle my creatine but should probably pay more attention to caffeine too.
05-21-2019 04:21 AM
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