DIY Pre-Workout Mix

IMG_0675.JPGLooking to build more of that muscle, look leaner, get more energy and get more work done at the gym?? Pre-workout powders are being hyped about by many experienced gym goers and supplement stores but what do you really know about whats in your mix?

I started out with the well known C4 pre-workout and I just got horrible acid reflex and tummy issues. As I workout almost everyday I wanted to continue taking pre-workout to enhance my workouts but didn’t want to deal with the not so fun stomach upset. I decided to do my research and find out the basics to making your own DIY PRE WORKOUT. Why is making your own superior over store bought mixes?

1) Its Cleaner – You know exactly whats in it

2) Proper Proportions – You can get the right measurements which are also suitable to your body

3) It’s customizable, you can play around with it (maybe sometimes you don’t want caffeine in it but sometimes you do, you can change up the flavours, etc.)

4) It’s cheaper making your own from bulk ingredients

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IMPORTANT!! —- I just need to mention, if you just started exercising or weight lifting (or are planning to start) pre-workout supplements should be withheld. I would only recommend if you are  an experienced exerciser dedicated to training hard consistently and wanting to elevate your workouts. Pre-workout may not be for everyone so make sure to listen to your body.

Also dosages range depending on your body size and tolerance (for example caffeine tolerance) so keep this into consideration!

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Here’s what I include in my typical Pre-workout 

  • Caffeine (200mg)
  • Creatine (5g)
  • Beta-Alanine (4g)
  • Citrulline Malate (5g)
  • Flavour Pack

Steps:

  • add all ingredients into a sealable drinking container and add water to your preference (for the caffeine I just dump the contents of 1 capsule)
  • I use a mason jar and fill it with water up to when the whisk ball is covered
  • I take the pre-workout just prior to working out (since my workouts tend to be 1.5-2 hours so I want it to last throughout). If doing a smaller workout take 20-30 mins before.

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What am I getting out of these supplements? 

Here I compiled together the main benefits that I found through my research to each ingredient 

  1. Caffeine

Studies have shown that caffeine can help you train harder via. increased focus, improved mood, heightened pain tolerance. It can allow for more work to be done (at the gym or in sport) for longer time periods.

  • lowers perception of effort – makes your exercise feel “easier” – feel like you can lift more weights/run at a higher intensity/etc. – more work=more gains 1
  • stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and increases lipolysis (fat breakdown) 2
  • increases metabolic rate (3-11%) – increases your Heart Rate (HR) and, therefore, a higher HR equals more calories burnt (34)

ps. You shouldn’t be consuming more than 600mg of caffeine a day! If you don’t normally take caffeine – drink coffee/tea etc. you would need less to see an effect and the opposite is true for regular caffeine drinkers.

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2. Beta-Alanine

This non-essential amino acid can help improve your overall training amount. It works by buffering hydrogen ions (H+) which can help you keep your intensity up for longer periods of time – build up of H+ ions can interfere with muscle contractions and leads to early fatigue.

  • reduces fatigue – controls the drop in blood pH from the accumulating H+ ions.
  • ^ therefore, increases intensity
  • ^ allows for more work to be done at higher intensity for longer period of time

ps. Beta-alanine is best known for its “tingles” but don’t be afraid because this is not harmful! You can also split the dose throughout the day and you will still build up your stores and increase your ability to buffer H+.

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3. Creatine 

One of the most popular and researched supplements, creatine helps increase muscle stores of the substrate needed to produce fast, high velocity movements.

  • extra energy stores within your muscle cells and therefore reduces fatigue, allowing you to train harder.
  • initial water retention – it pulls water into your muscles making the muscle fibres look larger (later increased muscle mass because of the effect of increase in workload that your body can handle)

ps. make sure to hydrate well – when I first started using creatine I was super dehydrated so don’t make this mistake like I did! I would say drink at least an extra 500mL a day – this can also make up for the extra sweating you do at the gym from increased work done at the gym!

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4. Citrulline Malate

This is another non-essential amino acid in the body. It has shown to increase energy and help in recovery through excreting metabolic waste products i.e. lactate and ammonia.

  • helps with lowering pH levels – helps delay fatigue
  • can help reduce muscle soreness post-workout —  citrulline helps to soothe soreness and quicken the healing process by removing lactic acid build-up from the muscles 5.
  • can increase Nitric Oxide (NO) levels – NO allows for better blood flow to the muscles (more oxygen to muscles)

ps. citrulline malate gives a bitter taste – so make sure to have an acidic type of flavour pack to mask this – I like using lemon-lime or strawberry-lemonade!

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Personally I have seen great results using this pre-workout mix including increased mood, levels of focus, intensity, and decreased muscle soreness post workout. Also the gains!!

If you’re someone who’s been taking brand pre-workout mixes I would highly recommend buying ingredients in bulk and making your own! And if you’ve never tried pre-workout make sure you to listen to your body and take it easy to start with.

Hope this helps!! Lets go get that muscle on WOOO

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