It's time to get creative in the kitchen! Learn how you can save money by creating your own custom pre-workout with these two easy recipes.

Pre-workout supplements are a big business.

The supplement industry combines many ingredients to form some rather potent potions to get you geared-up for your upcoming training session.

The cost of pre-made drinks, shakes, or mixes can quickly add up when taken on a daily basis. With the right ingredients, you can recreate these formulas at home.

Below are two homemade pre-workout options so you can act like your very own supplement Frankenstein and save a little (or a lot) of money along the way.

1. Homemade Pre-Workout Stimulant

This pre-workout is custom made for those looking for an energy boost without going broke. Read how easy and inexpensive it is to craft your very own stimulant-based supplement cocktail.

Caffeine (100-200mg)

This will be the main ingredient for your homemade pre-workout supplement. This stimulant improves focus and mental alertness. This is essential, especially for those who have early morning workouts.

Start small, around 100mg, and then increase the dose only if you feel the need. Never go over 200mg – you don’t want to overstimulate your system and then start to experience lack of sleep and shaking.

Normally, you can get around 100 pills of 100mg or 200mg caffeine for a little more than $6. That’s around only 6 cents per pill.

L-Arginine (5g)

L-Arginine has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels in the bloodstream which will, in turn, increase blood flow to your muscles resulting in less fatigue and increased muscular endurance. This happens through blood vessel dilation and the end result is bigger pump. 5g should do the trick.

You can get 500g of L-Arginine for around $25 which translates to about 25 cents per dose.

Man drinking homemade stimulant pre-workout supplement

Creatine (5g)

As the most studied supplement around, creatine monohydrate improves strength, muscular endurance, and muscle recovery. Creatine is also found as an added ingredient in quite a few other supplements as well. As this is often viewed as a bonus ingredient, you don’t always know the amount or the quality added. In your own shake, shoot for 5g.

You can easily find 500g of creatine monohydrate for around $15. That’s only 15 cents per 5g serving.

Beta-Alanine (2g)

The final ingredient to consider adding to your pre-workout shake is Beta-Alanine. Shown to increase muscle mass, workout endurance, and recovery between bouts, this supplement will actually give you a slight tingling feeling at your skin’s surface. 2g should be plenty.

In powder form, you can get Beta-Alanine for about $15 per 250g. That comes out to be 12 cents per 2g serving.

Total cost per pre-workout drink: $0.58

2. Homemade Pre-Workout Muscle Builder

If energy isn’t a problem for your workouts, then shoot for a little muscle boost pre-training. Muscle building whey, creatine, and a few other ingredients will help you get bigger and stronger without breaking the bank. It's easy – just watch!

Whey Protein (20g of protein or about 1 scoop)

Of course you can’t have a muscle-building, pre-recovery workout shake without whey protein. Taking in a little whey prior to training will not only kick-start recovery, but also fuel your workouts without eating up muscle tissue. Go with about 20-25g.

You can easily get a 2, 3 or 5 pound bag of quality protein on the cheap – around $40 for a 5 pound jug. This can come out to be anywhere between 18 and 24 cents per serving.

Creatine (5g)

As stated earlier, creatine is a must, especially if building quality, new muscle is your goal. A relatively small dose is needed to fuel your workout, help you recover quickly from set to set, and increase muscular endurance for the long haul.

Again, you can easily find 500g of creatine monohydrate for around $15. That’s only 15 cents per 5g serving.

Homemade muscle building pre-workout with blueberries, whey, and greek yogurt

Blueberries (½-1 cup)

Rich in antioxidants and other essential vitamins, blueberries are the perfect pre-workout carbohydrate to help boost your training and aid in energy production. Loaded with complex carbs and rich in fiber, you’ll love the muscle-sparing benefits of blueberries.

At about $3 per bag, a simple ½ cup serving will only run you about $1.

Greek Yogurt (½ cup)

Rich in casein protein, Greek yogurt will add to your protein punch and give you an even better head-start on the recovery process. Since casein contains slow digesting amino acids, it will be at your service even after training is over. Who wouldn’t want a leg up on recovery?

½ cup provides about 12 grams of protein, and at around $4 per container, you will only have to shell out 50 cents per serving.

Total cost per pre-workout muscle-building shake: $1.83

That is serious money savings when you can easily pay $5, $6 and sometimes $7 per pre-made shake at the gym.

What do you take pre-workout?

Do you have your own homemade pre-workout recipes? Leave your concoctions in the comments below!

Posted on: Wed, 07/26/2023 - 22:38

What do you recommend for pre, intra and post supplements? I am 50 years old and i love deadlifting. I competed 2 weeks ago and placed 2nd. I am training again for my next competition.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 08/13/2023 - 12:54

Hi, Pamela. Leaving this here for Brad to answer if he sees it. Props for the work on the platform. I'm doing my first meet in September. If you're healthy and your organization allows these, then I suggest the following.

Pre - preworkout or stim-free pump formula if you train in the evening.
Intra - EAA's
Post - Creatine, glutamine.

Can't recommend brands because we sell a lot of great ones here on M&S, but if it's here, it will help you.

Kamran khan
Posted on: Thu, 07/30/2020 - 00:25

I want to lose fat & build muscles.someone suggest me diet plan but in natural forms such as fruits, vegetables & nuts.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/30/2020 - 11:37

Hey Kamran

Here's a great article to point you in the right direction.
Let me know if you've got any more questions.

Sharron Aspelin
Posted on: Sun, 03/01/2020 - 12:01

What do you recommend for a woman over 50, with diet resistant fat around mid section and back fat. I eat healthy and am very active, but cannot get rid of it.

Thomas C Canty
Posted on: Tue, 03/19/2019 - 17:09

Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, Creatine, Spark (Advocare amino acid drink with tons of other goodies).

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2019 - 08:44

Almost 52 & 40lbs overweight. Just joined a gym but cannot get there until 9pm. Which is fine, no problem there. But, I am so sluggish in the morning. Any suggestions?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:39

Hi Cathleen,

How's you sleep and nutrition? Start there. :)

Make sure you're getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep and eating a healthful diet.

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2018 - 16:06

What i use for weight loss or build muscle if i allergy on caffeine ?? Thanks.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2018 - 16:10

Hi Maxxx,

A calorie deficit oughtta do the trick.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2018 - 17:01

Thanks.Will it work if I throw out caffeine and I use everything else?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2018 - 09:07

Hi Maxxx,

Yep, a calorie deficit without caffeine should still help you lose fat.

Hope this helps!

Abdul Qadir Khan
Posted on: Sun, 10/14/2018 - 02:35

No, caffeine is the main ingredient. It improves mental alertness

Posted on: Fri, 10/07/2016 - 08:48

I have mixed my own pre workout for years now. I used 2g creatine HCL 6 g citrulline malate 2 g beta alanine 2 g betaine 1 g tyrosine 1g taurine and 200-300mg caffeine

Posted on: Sun, 06/10/2018 - 09:59

I find that anything with hcl in it makes the taste to bitter and makes my throat irritated, do you mask the taste with anything?

Posted on: Sun, 09/18/2016 - 17:57

My pre workout recipe: Citrulline Malate, Beta Alanine, Creatine Mono, BCAA's, betaine, Taurine, and of course caffeine.

Posted on: Sun, 09/18/2016 - 14:19

Cup of strong chilled coffee mixed with a scoop of raw fusion protein and 5mg of beast nutrition glutamine.
A glass of juice made from a whole beet, 1 green apple, 2 carrots and a little chopped ginger root and a cucumber.
I found this mix equally as good and any pre work .... And I have tried a lot of pre-workouts.

Posted on: Sun, 09/18/2016 - 13:54

L-Arginine has been shown to be pretty useless for increasing NO. L-Citrulline is much better.

chris cooke
Posted on: Mon, 11/02/2015 - 17:28

I've experimented with various things, but what seems to work best for me at the moment is: whey, creatine, bcaa's, hmb, glutamine, beta-alanine, cirtulline and caffeine.

I'm 43, so I feel I need the extra help. I seems to be working. Any comments appreciated.

Posted on: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:58

Sounds like a lot going in Chris. Believe me most of us need a little something to motivate. Water and some bcaa before and after is enough. If you feell the need to supplement more wait til the training ends. But as I mentioned before today determines tomorrow.

Posted on: Tue, 10/13/2015 - 16:46

I workout at 5 am, a female at 40. I need to coffee! I cold brew my coffee in advance for the week. I mix 1 scoop of protein, about 1/2 cup of coconut water, about 1/4 of coffee because it's concentrated, and a little bit of water...mix it all up the night before. The taste is great. I was yawning through my workouts but now, I'm awake and ready to go. I drink half before I workout and the other half after my workout. Do you think this is good combination?

Posted on: Wed, 10/14/2015 - 10:03

Brilliant. Sounds like the perfect combination and of course if it works for you. Nothing else matters.

Posted on: Thu, 09/24/2015 - 02:23

I am trying type 1: Homemade pre-workout Stimulant for couple of weeks.
But it does not work for me, instead it makes me so weak. I feel powerless, dizziness in the gym.
Any solution ?

Nikolay @ Organ...
Posted on: Fri, 09/18/2015 - 11:17

Great selection of pre-workout stimulants and muscle builders! Speaking about the stimulants though, some people have increased intolerance to caffeine and even 200mg could cause them side effects. I say this, because I am one of those people. My alternative to high-caffeine energy drinks and coffee is usually the green tea matcha. It has a lot less caffeine, yet possesses the same effects that help you stay focused and vigorous. Not to mention all the other health benefits it brings.

Mike Sullivan
Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:29

5g creatine
6g citrulline malate
2g beta alanine
1.5g tyrosine
200mg caffeine
1.5g betaine
1g taurine
3 Splenda packets
1 packet Hawaiian punch berry limeade for flavor
14-16 Oz water

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/09/2015 - 15:45

That's quite a list! Thanks for sharing!

Posted on: Sun, 09/18/2016 - 17:59

I like it!

Steven hunter
Posted on: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 19:20

My preworkout is just a plain cup of black coffee with a scoop of bakers coco.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:37

Right on, Steven!

ian wallace
Posted on: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 11:25

Any advice what to take for a 6am pre-workout...

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:37

Try one of the pre-workout stimulants above that includes coffee.

Posted on: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 10:50

Here is my pre-workout:
1. 25mgs of yohimbine hcl
2. 50 mgs of synephrine
3. 6 grams of citrulline malate
4. 4 grams beta alanine
5. 200gms caffeine
6. 2 grams of betaine
7. 2 grams of l-carnitine l-tartrate
8. 750mgs of agmatine
9. 10mgs of biperine
10 900mgs of turmeric extract

Then I kill it.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:38


Raimo Johannes ...
Posted on: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 09:40

Hyphy mud!!

Michael Hunt
Posted on: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 09:35

Why L-Arginine when citrulline maleate is more effective at raising arginine levels?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:38

Hi Michael. Great suggestion!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 22:17

Do you have your own concoction you would like to share?

Posted on: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 10:58

For the pre workout, I sometimes will include Citrulline Malate in place of L Arginine and use some Vitamin Water Zero to mix it all up in.

I often prefer to make my own mix because I can control how much or how little caffeine I want to use for a particular workout.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:39

Good one! Thanks for sharing!

Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 04:36

having 40 plus years of training experience the BEST pre workout is the MIND! all of this stuff going into the body right before a workout does little outside of the mind for the workout. if you are eating right and have timed your nutrition correctly you will have plenty of energy to get through your training and still have the nutrients in your body to begin replenishing afterwards. give yourselves a few minutes before your first set to actually think about what you NEED to accomplish with your training today. Stimulate yourself, believe me all the mixing and sipping in the world won't do a thing for your training. What you eat yesterday is going to determine what your training is like today!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2015 - 22:39

Great thoughts, John! Thanks!

Peter mullen
Posted on: Sun, 12/13/2015 - 21:49

Bro really?

Posted on: Mon, 12/14/2015 - 11:19

Yes really. I just left the gym and saw the same people doing the same thing and looking exactly the same as always. But one thing they all want is to see what new supplement will make them different. Yea Peter really.