Long ago, a large banana was enough for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts to prepare themselves for a vigorous workout session. But now the fitness industry is full of pre-workout supplements that claim to give you energy and improve your focus so you can take your exercise level one step further. I have been trying them for many years because they help me push through the last few reps of the final set of an exercise that really allows muscle growth.
Although there are many top quality pre-workout supplements available on the market, many of us prefer homemade food and drinks over commercial ones. For you guys, here I will share my own custom pre workout drink and meal recipes that I often take before hitting the gym. Before that, we will look into all aspects of pre workout supplements so you understand how effective my pre workout meal and drink recipes are.
Common Ingredients of Pre-Workout Supplements?
Caffeine can be found in almost every homemade pre workout shake on the market because it boosts energy, improves focus and performance, and helps burn fat. Stimulating your central nervous system, caffeine makes you super alert and enhances your endurance performance. 1 to 2 cups of coffee contain 100 to 200 mg of caffeine which is an ideal caffeine dose.
Some pre workout supplements have branched chain amino acids like l-valine, l-isoleucine, and l-leucine that help reduce protein catabolism during a high-intensity workout session. This fuels your muscles so your training session lasts longer for better performance. You should take 10-20 grams of BCAA supplementation per day.
You need creatine supplementation because not only does creatine boosts the power and strength of your muscles, but it increases muscle creatinine levels as well. It is one of the most common pre workout nutrition ingredients. During the loading phase (first 3 days), take 5 grams of creatine 4 times a day and during the maintenance phase (after day 3), take 3 grams daily.
This is an important amino acid that is also the building blocks for nitric acid. L-arginine improves your blood vessel function so you get a huge pump that Arnold Schwarzenegger compared to having an erection! You need 3 grams of L-arginine per day.
- Beta alanine
This amino acid is great at delaying muscle fatigue through increasing carnosine levels of muscles. As a result, you don’t feel the burn that you normally feel during high intensity workouts. 3 to 6 grams of b-alanine a day in separate doses would be sufficient to increase your muscle mass in a few weeks.
Although here we have got the most common pre workout ingredients explained,
aside from these, some other ingredients commonly found in pre workout supplements are carbohydrates, tyrosine, taurine, and electrolytes.
So, you can guess that my pre workout food and shakes would consist all of these components to make sure that after your every workout session, you feel that burn that will soon turn to new muscles with the right diet plan and enough rest. Therefore, let’s get started and explore some pre workout meal ideas.
Homemade Pre Workout Meal – Oatmeal Bowl
a) 2 cups of Oatmeal
b) A little bit of water
c) 2 tbsp of Peanut butter
d) 1 tbsp of Chocolate chips
e) 1 tsp of Honey
f) 1 medium-to large-sized Banana
It’s time to make your own pre workout right in your kitchen! Get your oatmeal pack and pour 2 scoops of oatmeal with a one third measuring cup. I personally use Quaker Oats and I know many Americans also do that. Now go near the sink and put a little bit of water that should be at the level with the oats. Don’t overdo this because you will end up with a runny tasted this way. Now put it in your microwave for one minute.
Now add 2 tablespoons of organic peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips to your baked oats to make this homemade pre workout recipe delicious. Then pour 1 teaspoon of organic honey on the bowl. Now get your banana and slice it into little pieces as the final step.
When to Take?
1 hour before a workout works for me. In my opinion, this is the best pre workout meal for muscle gain and weight loss that you must try.
Homemade Pre Workout Snacks
Here are some homemade pre workout snack ideas you can try 30 mins before getting to the gym.
a) Dried fruits and nuts
b) A flapjack
c) Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola
d) A pear or apple with almond or nut butter
e) A rice cake topped with hummus
Homemade Pre Workout Drink
Here is one of my favorite green smoothie pre workout recipes for you that has the perfect combination of protein, healthy fats, and good carbs. All the ingredients are natural that will supercharge your workout. You could think I am exaggerating, but trust me, I have felt the effects myself! This energy shake is perfect if you want your homemade pre workout drink without caffeine.
a) 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
b) 2 cups spinach
c) 1/3 cup oats (rolled)
d) 1 tablespoon coconut oil
e) ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
f) 1 banana
g) 1 apple
h) Crushed ice or frozen fruit (optional)
The preparation process is quite easy and takes around 5 minutes only. Blend almond milk and fresh spinach until smooth. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Add crushed ice if you want and enjoy the shake half an hour before the workout session.
Homemade Pre Workout FAQs
- Should I take pre workout on my non-training days?
Many people wonder whether they can eat pre-workout meals or snacks on non-training days. The answer is, yes. You could try for a little energy boost, but you should not expect to enjoy all the benefits that you otherwise could get if you had done your workout.
- Are there any pre workout side effects?
Homemade pre workouts generally are safe to consume because there is little or no side effect at all. But the commercial ones could have some degree of negativities that have already been noticed in the fitness industry.
- How long before workout should I drink coffee?
Well, our body can absorb caffeine in 15 to 40 minutes but we get the optimum stimulatory effects between 40 and 70 minutes. So, you can take your warm cup of joe an hour before your workout session.
- When should I take my pre workout supplement?
No matter the pre workout type or ingredient, as a general rule of thumb, you can take your pre workout 30-45 minutes before getting to the gym.
- How long does pre workout last?
It depends on the ingredients your pre workout drink, meal or snack contains. Usually, your pre workout would take 15-30 minutes to kick in and would supply you energy for 1.5-3.5 hours. We listed a few tips on how long pre workout lasts that are paramount for you to check out so as to have an effective workout session.