Build Your Own Pre-Workout Supplement

ANS Performance Ritual - Our Top Rated Pre Workout

While crucial in preparing both the mind and body for the rigors of adaptive gym work, most pre-workouts don’t necessarily come cheap. Most commercially available pre-workouts are prepared with clinically synthesized ingredients and patented blends that increase the price considerably. Needless to say, adaptive training and gym work is a case where commitment and motivation is worth more than all these extra ingredients, some of which are not really at all necessary.

Do you want to persist and power through the intensity of your workouts with nothing but the bare essentials? Make your own pre-workout. Why not? It costs relatively less. It does not come with filler ingredients. And it gives you the freedom to experiment with the amounts and dosing protocols until you arrive at a formula that your body is comfortable with.

Now, before we begin, one thing: BUY A VERY GOOD SCALE! You need something that will measure down to the milligram (mg). Take a look at these and pick one, there’s a bunch that are low-cost and have great reviews.

Here are the key ingredients you might think about adding to your specialized concoction –

1. Caffeine


As a very powerful stimulant, caffeine causes heart rate to increase, the pupils to dilate, and the muscles to tighten. It also stimulates the release of adrenalin to the body, which in effect boosts energy levels.

With 21,000 related studies, caffeine is perhaps the most researched stimulant in the world. Apart from being a very versatile and potent stimulant, caffeine helps replenish muscle glycogen stores at a faster rate, thus it making for a great supplement to enhance muscle recovery. Researchers have it that caffeine relieves post workout muscle pain and helps overcome chronic fatigue by as much 48%.

A classic stimulant, caffeine increases the body’s stamina and muscle strength during workouts. Researchers have found that in some cases, caffeine is better than sleep in terms of improving concentration during motor activities such as running.

Caffeine doses the brain with dopamine which improves cognitive functions. This allows for better mood, motivation and focus. Japanese researchers have also found caffeine to increase memory and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Physiologically, caffeine has been found to affect the body in many ways. As a very powerful stimulant, caffeine causes heart rate to increase, the pupils to dilate, and the muscles to tighten. It also stimulates the release of adrenaline to the body, boosting energy levels. By keeping airways open, caffeine also significantly improves breathing during workouts.

Interestingly, caffeine is used to control body weight. Caffeine increases metabolism by increasing the rate at which the body breaks down fat. In fact, caffeine is among the most active ingredients in many diet pills.

2. Nitric Oxide Boosters/Support

Nitric oxide or nitrogen oxide is a crucial biochemical in many of the body’s natural processes. It is basically a necessary free radical that takes care of intercellular information transfer.

Nitric Oxide is known for dilating the blood vessels. This promotes a more efficient blood flow, oxygen transfer, and nutrient distribution. As such, enhanced nitric oxide levels significantly improve blood-oxygen circulation. For this very reason, nitric oxide supplementation has gained tremendous popularity in both in both the bodybuilding and athletic community as an active ingredient in many pre-workout products in the market today.

Here are three of the more relevant forms of nitric oxide boosters that should work well with your pre-workout formulation –



As a very powerful stimulant, caffeine causes heart rate to increase, the pupils to dilate, and the muscles to tighten. It also stimulates the release of adrenalin to the body, which in effect boosts energy levels.

L-citrulline, or otherwise known as citrulline, originally got its name from the Latin word citrullus which translates to watermelon. An amino acid that is naturally found in the intestine, l-citrulline plays a significant roles in the body’s metabolic processes. As such, it balances the nitrogen level of the body while detoxifying ammonia.

Among its many other health benefits, citrulline is most known for improving the cardiovascular system. Citrulline aids in opening and relaxing the blood vessels. It promotes a healthier blood flow, and it improves the transportation and distribution of oxygen and other nutrients in the body.

Agmatine Sulfate

A naturally occurring substance that is the decarboxylation product of the amino acid arginine, agmatine is best known for boosting the body’s nitric oxide production. As such, it improves nutrient transport and partitioning, driving calories and other macronutrients hard into the muscles and away from fat cells.

Additionaly, agmatine sulfate stimulates the production of several hypothalamic and pituitary peptide hormones, lutenizing and growth hormones that result in elevated testosterone levels.

Agmatine also stimulates insulin production that results to better insulin response which in effect allows for building a leaner, more muscular body at a faster rate.

Agmatine has been reported to have nootropic effects that provide athletes and bodybuilders better mood and focus and an improved mental edge when performing various physical challenges.

Arginine Nitrate

First reported in 1999 as a nitric oxide precursor, arginine nitrate enhances energy levels and promotes a faster muscle recovery rate.

Boosting the body’s nitric oxide production, argnine nitrate promotes muscle growth by improving nutrient distribution and enhancing blood oxygen levels.

Apart from being crucial in promoting muscle growth, arginine nitrate is especially useful in training as it alleviate any discomfort brought by headaches, muscle pain, and the likes. It is also aids in the detoxification of body wastes, and in controlling the body’s chemical imbalances.

3. Mental Support: N Acetyl L Tyrosine/ALCAR (Acetyl L Carnitine)

N Acetyl L Tyrosine

N acetyl l-tyrosine is essentially a clinically modified form of the non-essential amino acid tyrosine. Basically, what N acetyl l-tyrosine does is help enhance tyrosine’s bioavailability and absorption into the bloodstream. This is especially important as Tyrosine is crucial to the production of stress regulating hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine which optimizes cognitive functions specifically when the body is subjected to stress, physical and otherwise.

ALCAR (Acetyl L Carnitine)

The acetylated form of l-carnitine, ALCAR or Acetyl L Carnitine, is a non-essential amino acid that is known to naturally improve cognitive functions. Just as notably, ALCAR has the ability to increase the rate of fat burning by enhancing fatty acid transfer to the mitochondria where it is metabolized and converted to energy.

Additionally, ALCAR is especially useful in keeping the body in top physical performance during dieting periods.

4. Endurance Enhancers: BCAA’s/Beta-Alanine


a lactic-acid buffer, beta-alanine delays neuromuscular fatigue while boosting the body’s ability to sustain an increase amount of workout intensity and training duration.


BCAA, otherwise known as Branched Chain Amino Acids, these are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Since the human body is unable to manufacture these amino acids on its own, it needs constant supplementation, either from natural food sources or dietary supplements.

These amino acids are crucial to many processes of protein production. Leucine and valine help the regulation of protein turnover and protein synthesis. Both amino acids help slow down muscle protein breakdown that happens whenever the body is exposed to high stress levels.

Also, both amino acids help metabolize energy for the body. Isoleucine, on the other hand is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body against cellular free-radical damage.


Best known as a lactic-acid buffer, beta-alanine delays neuromuscular fatigue which allows the body to perform at its best even with increased workout intensity and a longer training duration.

Lactic acid causes the muscles’ pH level to drop and prevents the entire body from physically performing at an optimal level. Beta-alanine counteracts the high levels of lactic acid in the muscles by boosting the intracellular carnosine levels which serves a buffering agent to lactic acid.

Beta-alanine also improves the rate at which the body recovers stamina, strength, and power.

5. Optional Ingredients: Green Tea Extract/Rhodiola Rosea Extract/Schizandra Extract/Racetam Smart Drugs/Theobromine, Theophylline/Theophylline

Green Tea Extract

green tea leaves

Green tea has been found to have anti-cancer, antioxidant anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial properties

Otherwise known as Camellia Sinensis, green tea was first discovered in China by Emperor Shen Nung at around 2737BC.

Among the safest thermogenic enhancers, green tea has been found to stimulate fat burning without increasing the heart rate as other thermogenic enhancers do.

More importantly, green tea is a very rich source of polyphenols which are essentially potent forms of antioxidants. Among the polyphenols that can be found in green tea is Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been reported to be 100 times more effective compared to vitamin C and 25 times more effective compared to vitamin E in protecting the body against cellular free-radical damage.

Rhodiola Rosea Extract

Otherwise to known as rose root, golden root and arctic root, rhodiola rosea is a perennial plant that naturally grows in the Arctic and in the mountainous regions of Central Asia and Europe. Rhodiolo rosea is known as a natural mood enhancer and anti-depressant. As such, studies have been done to confirm its effectiveness in optimizing both physical and mental performance.

Essentially, rhodiola’s performance enhancing effects are found to be arbitrated by consequent changes serotonin and dopamine levels due to monoamine oxide inhibition.

Schizandra Extract

Shisandra plant is a deciduous climber that typically grows in gardens all around the world. It is used as an adaptogen for naturally enhancing resistance against heightened stress levels. It is also effective in enhancing both physical performance and athletic endurance. Recent studies on the plant have confirmed that schisandra has a potent abitlity to prevent premature aging by normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure levels while optimizing the immune system.


Commonly referred to as the racetam drugs, these nootropics can sometimes be challenging to find. First developed in the 1960’s, these racetam nootrpics were revolutionary in terms of being the first to combine both physiological and medical efficacy with a very minimal, or next to zero trace of toxicity. Particularly known for optimizing brainwork, these smart drugs have been intensely researched to optimize the availability of specific neurochemicals that improve cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation, attention, and concentration.


Theobromine is a naturally occurring alkaloid that is potently found in cocoa and other chocolate-related products. Chemically, Theobromine is a close relative of caffeine. Apart from being a natural stimulant like caffeine, Theobromine has been found to be nitric oxide enhancer and as well as a mild diuretic.


Otherwise known as dimethylxanthine, theophylline is naturally found in tea. Bearing structural and pharmacological resemblance to caffeine, theophyline is most known to enhance cardiovascular and respiratory processes of the body. As such theophyline has been reported to relax bronchial smooth muscles, enhance heart muscle efficiency, and increase heart rate and blood pressure.

6. Crystal Light

kraft crystal light

Manufactured by Kraft Foods, Crystal Light is a low-calorie drink mix that should add a dash of sweetness to your own pre-workout. Kraft Foods Crystal light comes in many flavours: classic, energy, mocktails, and pure mixes.

Crystal light is definitely a better alternative to calorie-laden beverages in the market.

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