Of all the supplements people spend their hard earned money on pre-workouts are one of the most expensive with 30-day serving jars of quality stuff running anywhere from around $17 to $35.
Add to that some amino-based pre-workouts that are taken a couple times a day like O.N’s Amino Energy or the fact that you’re bulking and doing two-a-days means you’re easily depleting a tub a month.
How to Boost the ROI on Expensive Preworkouts
So, in the spirit of saving a bit of cash and just being an old-school frugal f*ck, here are 3 ways to seriously increase the longevity, punch, and the overall effectiveness of your pre-workout powder.
*Skinny Yoked experimented with with O.N. Amino Energy, GAT’s Nitraflex, Musclepharm Assault and Betancourt B-Nox. “Tests” were carried out over a period of 4 months under various workout conditions, primarily featuring a chest/bicep, back/tricep, leg, shoulders/supplemental split.
1. Take a Sports Multivitamin as a PRE-pre-workout o.n opti-men pill
Why? Hour long intense workouts are extremely taxing on the body, or at least if the weight being lifted is heavy and the rest periods are short.
This means your body will be utilizing all of it’s energy sources to successfully complete the tasks the brain is commanding it to do.
Ensure your body has all the tools it needs for a long strenuous workout by taking a multivitamin 30-45 minutes or so before your workout. Things to look for in a good bodybuilding vitamin include:
- Rich in B1, B2 and B3 (Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin) – a.k.a the sh*t that turns your pee highlight yellow.
- Vitamin C – Because the gym is a filthy place and bodybuilding is momentarily extremely taxing on the immune system. Double down on Vitamin C to stay in the gym more and sick in bed less.
- Essential metals and minerals your body uses at night to rebuild muscle and strengthen bone.
Most multivitamin brands recommend taking 2 capsules per day anyways, so one in the morning to start your day and one an hour before your workout is the perfect 1-2 punch.
Multivitamins like Opt-Men from O.N have a profile list as long as Kate Moses legs, and are reasonably priced, so they’re a great option.
- One A Day Men's Health Formula Multivitamin is a complete multivitamin specially designed for the leading concerns of men like heart health(1)
- Contains key nutrients like Vitamins A, B6, C, D, E, and K, Riboflavin, Thiamin, and Niacin
- Formulated to support: heart health(1), healthy blood pressure(2), immune health, healthy muscle function, and physical energy by helping convert food to fuel
- Adult men should take one tablet daily with food
- One A Day Men's Health Formula Multivitamins are free of gluten, wheat, dairy, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners
- MULTIVITAMIN SUPPLEMENT: Specially formulated multivitamin for men with prostate support made from nutritious and RAW whole foods
- MULTIVITAMIN WITH PROBIOTICS: Vitamin Code Men's vitamin includes live probiotics and enzymes plus antioxidants for extraordinary health and vitality
- PROSTATE SUPPLEMENT: This men's multivitamin contains vitamin E, selenium, and zinc for prostate support plus b complex and vitamins C & E for heart health
- VITAMIN CODE MEN: Comprehensive vitamin for prostate health, heart health, mental and physical energy, digestive support, healthy stress response, and eye health
- RAW MULTIVITAMIN: Vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free whole food multivitamin, with NO binders or fillers
- COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT: Comprehensive, one-a-day nutritional support for heart, reproductive, and prostate health
- NATURAL ENERGY: Vegetable juice complex with kale, spinach, dandelion, and beet for natural energy
- STRENGTHENING BLEND: Men's strengthening blend of saw palmetto, lycopene, and organic spirulina
- GENTLE FORMULA: Gentle on the stomach with plant-source enzymes and 25 million CFU probiotics
- ALLERGY-FRIENDLY: Contains NO gluten, wheat, milk, peanuts, soy, eggs, fish or shellfish.
Effect: Our energy levels with both vitamin supplementation & pre-workout use were noticably higher than with just one or the other alone. We always got a little B-vitamin kick from our multis, and same with our powders, so together they make a pretty solid one-two punch.
Additionally, the pre-workout hulk-mode beast feeling that usually wears off in a half our or so lasted longer, resulting in very satisfyingly grueling workouts.
2. Occasionally Cycle Off Pre-Workouts
This one can be difficult, especially if you’re already snorting or inject pre-workout directly into your veins, but the best way to increase the impact a pre-workout is to simply stop taking it for a week.
You don’t have to do this often, but we prefer taking a break from pre-workouts for a solid week every other month to “reboot” our sensitivity to the stimulants. Same thing happens when you stop drinking coffee or booze for a week then try it out again.. it’s like discovering it for the very first time all over.
This doesn’t mean by any measure you’ll make less gains. Be creative and take advantage of a unique week in your workout schedule.
Take the time to try some therapeutic exercises like swimming or focus on some cardio-building HIT workouts. Hell, take a vacation and let your body completely recover so you can hit it twice as hard the next week!
The idea in taking a break is to breakdown the resistance you naturally build to the stimulating effects of your pre-workout, specifically the caffeine.
Taking a break to reload, stretch, limber up, and re-cooperate will allow you to come back and attack the weight with a whole new level of intensity.
3. Mix Chia Seeds With Your Pre-Workout
This is probably our favorite “hack” of all. Everyone should know by now that chia seeds are pretty awesome little super-seeds.
Just on their own these little bastards pack a huge nutritional punch.
Just 1 ounce of chia seeds contains:
11 Grams of Fiber
4.4 Grams of Protein
5+ Grams of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
15% RDA of Calcium
30% RDA of Manganese
30% RDA of Magnesium
27% RDA of Phosphorus
As well as small amounts of naturally occurring Zinc, Niacin, Potassium, Thiamine and Riboflavin
All this in a little package that contains only 137 calories in total. Add to that the anti-oxidants and fiber contained in chia and you have yourself a legit superfood.
Don’t brush off the importance of fiber. Building muscle requires a ton of water and if you have diarrhea you’re going to have problems staying fully hydrated. Including chia seeds in your pre-workout (or even mixing them in your protein shake) will help keep your bowel movements regular and solid.
- NUTRIENT-DENSE SUPERFOOD - rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, iron and antioxidants
- NEUTRAL TASTE - chia seeds are virtually tasteless and can be added to your favorite foods. For added texture and protein, we recommend sprinkling chia seeds over oatmeal or adding them to smoothies, salads or yogurt for a satisfying and filling snack.
- HYDROPHILIC PROPERTIES - these mighty seeds hold up to 12x their weight offering powerful thickening abilities. Make a vegan egg substitute using 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water.
- SUITABLE FOR ALL DIETS - this omega powerhouse supports all dietary restrictions considering they are gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, raw, low-carb and paleo-friendly.
- 100% ALL NATURAL, CERTIFIED ORGANIC AND NON-GMO - Viva Naturals chia seeds are sustainably sourced premium quality seeds, offering impeccable nutrition, taste and versatility. Free from unwanted additives and harmful ingredients, our unrefined chia seeds allow you to reap the full benefits of this ancient superfood.
- ANCIENT WISDOM: "Chia" was the ancient Mayan word for "strength." This little seed has 2700mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, 4g of Fiber and 8% DV of Calcium per serving, to keep you feeling full for longer. Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten-free.
- SHAKE AND BAKE: Shake some Organic Chia Seeds into your favorite muffin recipe or use as an egg replacement by mixing 1 Tbsp. Organic Chia Seeds with 3 Tbsp. water and let sit for 5 minutes. Delicious in morning smoothies or as a base for homemade pudding.
- PROTEIN POWER: You'll find 2g of protein in each serving of Organic Chia Seeds. Add to your smoothie or juice for extra protein or sprinkle on yogurt, salad or cereal for a nutritious boost. A great way to help kids get more nutrition in foods they love.
- BBF: Life is Better when you eat Better - Our company was founded in 2007 with a simple goal; make high-qality foods available to you at a great value. With that in mind, we have traveled the world to find the best food, package it using the highest standards and deliver it to you at the best price!
- EDUCATE YOUR TASTEBUDS: BetterBody Foods products combine healthy ingredients with delicious flavor. Compare to products from Mamma Chia, Health Warrior, Nutiva, Viva Naturals, Wunder Basket, Anthony's, Sincerely Nuts, Healthworks or 365 Everyday Value.
- Small, non-glutinous seed that provides a rich source of essential Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants and fiber
- Packed with omega-3, protein, rare antioxidants, and fiber
- Great in yogurt, oatmeal, baked goods, or smoothies
Chia seeds have a pretty cool property; they absorb water like a mother f*cker. This property is called being hydrophilic.
Essentially, they’re like tiny little natural sponges. This means they can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, which is what causes that gelatinous coating to form around the seeds after they’ve been soaked in liquid.
Mayans and Aztec runners would drink chia seeds before taking out on long distance runs since 3500 B.C. “Chia” is actually a Mayan word than translates to “strength”. Isn’t it only logical we mix these badboys into our pre-workouts then?
chest day mayan
By mixing in chia seeds WITH pre-workout we are creating little “delayed release” globs of pre-workout.
When you consume your drink with both chia and pre-workout the nutrients dissolved in the water will be absorbed first (like usual) and the nutrients bound in the “chia-gel” will digest and absorb at a slower rate; thus prolonging the impact of your pre-workout.
Keys to mixing the perfect chia pre-workout:
1. Add 2-3 tablespoons of chia seed to a full glass of water
2. Add your regular pre-workout scoop immediately after
3. Mix both the chia and pre-workout together, stirring intermittently over 3-4 minutes. (It takes a while for the chia to absorb the pre-workout and expand. Stir regularly (every minute or so) to make sure they don’t clump together at the bottom)
4. Down the hatch! Don’t worry about chewing them, they’ll be broken down over the course of your workout, releasing pre-workout energy/vascularity all throughout your workout.
Complete Hack Summary:
If you just scrolled through all the above text because you’re A. lazy as f*ck or B. just can’t wait to get to the gym and get on with your workout, here’s a short recap of how to hack your pre-workout and get the biggest bang for your buck:
1. Cycle off pre-workouts for a week every other month or to shock your tolerance
2. Take a multivitamin 20-30 minutes BEFORE taking your pre-workout to top up on vitamins and minerals needed for intensive training.
3. Mix chia seeds into your pre-workout to add additional nutrients and fiber and to prolong the digestion and thus bodies utilization of the active ingredients in your pre-workout.
If you liked this pre-workout hack, check out our special pre-workout breakfast recipe too!
Now enough reading. Get yourself some chia seeds, some vitamins, your shaker, a couple scoops of pre-workout and go kill it at the gym!
Last update on 2018-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API