Pre workout drinks, are all the rage these days, but are they safe? Do they work? What’s in them? I cover the essential facts of the pre workout drink products, and show you how to make your own!!!!
FYI, I have gotten emails from people asking where they can find the caffeine product mentioned in this vid. For more info, URL, etc, see my article “What You Need To Know About Caffeine

57 Comments
  1. makster 8 years ago

    Good info as always. I use pretty much the same formula as you do. I use a little less acetyl l carnitine just because it makes the drink quite bitter. I will sometimes add a little dextrose also.
    “Big, Fat, Pussy” Got to love it!!!!!

  2. Dave Wise 8 years ago

    Will. thank you very much, this is great. Two questions though, what in this mix gives the pump, or what can be added for it? Also you mentioned the other concoctions can be very unsafe. Can you please specify which ingredient(s) is dangerous that we should stay away from? Thanks again.

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      I don’t focus on an ingredient for “pump” as it’s not important. My pump comes from hard work on my part and my nutrition. One ingredient in particular I think lacks real safety date, and combined with a bunch of other stimulants – as is the case with many of the formulas – is 1,3-dimethylamylamine. Personally, I’d avoid it, but it’s popular and many people like it. It’s been banned by most major sports orgs and I would be surprised to see it banned from the OTC market in the near future. There are some reports of it causing pos test on drug tests, but that appears to be unclear at this time, as others have not had any problems there. Problem with these formulas is, there’s simply too many ingredients to cover, and alone, may be fine, but combined (especially with stimulants) may be a potential concern for some. Add to that the fact you don’t know the doses of any of them with most formulas, and that for me = avoid. Again, some love them, but that’s my take,

  3. gsurfer 8 years ago

    \Hay it’s about time that someone speek’s from the hip I am way over 55 years old an have been in the gym since vick tanny was there to yell at me an if you need a work out drink ever time YOU ARE A BIG FAT PUSSY ! O by the way I still bench 300 lb’s 6-3 still can impress the hell out of the young croud with my looks I ware baggy close so as i say if you want to see me buy a ticket!! an stay the hell away from me when I am in the gym, i did not come here to talk to you! or watch you work out!!
    gsurfer

  4. Dr Mark J. Tallon 8 years ago

    Hey Will,
    Love this one made me laugh…thats worth 50cents on its own!
    mt

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      Thanx! Would you generally agree on my choices? When are we going to see some new stuff from you here on the BZ? You know the stuff on BZ gets around….

  5. Suave 8 years ago

    What about creatine and any carbs?

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      Creatine does not give you energy per se, it may also cause gastric issues (depending on dose) in such a drink and timing does not matter anyway. One can add some carbs for sure, but my last meal is probably 60-90 mins before I workout, and short intense workouts (vs long endurance oriented stuff) does not impact glycogen storage to the point one really requires carbs per se, but some variables exist, such as when you had you last meal, total cals and total carbs, etc, etc, This formula is to give an alternative to the pre workout energy drinks specifically.

  6. Andy 8 years ago

    Hey Brink
    How about 5 to 10 grams of BCAA? It seems to work for me. I do get the runs if I take to much
    THX

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      If you have had a meal fairly close to the workout, and have a post workout drink with some whey (big dose of BCAA) I don’t see the purpose. Again, what goes into the drink can depend on a persons own situation. If I trained super early in the a.m and didn’t have time say for a meal, I might add some BCAA to the drink till I could get a meal, etc. Customizing the drink – per comments in the vid – is the way to get best bang for the $$$$.

      • Andy 8 years ago

        Yes… That makes sense. It seemed more beneficial when I was cutting calories.

      • Joseph Janisse 8 years ago

        Hey Will
        I realize you are talking about an energy drink here but. I’ve been using what I believe was called ERP”s pre and post workout drink that was on your forum. It is gatorade crystals and Whey protein isolate. A glass before and after workouts. I think you are saying here if I eat a solid meal approx. 90 min before workout it is not necessary. I thought the simple carbs and rapidly digested protein was beneficial before during and after workout?
        Thanks
        Joseph

  7. Al 8 years ago

    Thanks Will, I am not a huge fan of “Store Supplements” and potions. I for one only NEED a cup of coffee at 5:00 am before heading to the gym. However, I am always interested in real input on fitness, health supplements, drinks and foods. There is just so much magic potion sales going on, I just dont have the time to research every product nor do i have the money to wast on it. I do really want to know what is essential so my efforts in sweat and tears are maximized. Cheers.

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      Well Al, I cover what works, and what does not, as well as training and nutrition in the Body Building Revealed Program, which saves more $$$ in one year then its cost 10X over….Just sayin’ 🙂

  8. Bruce Nelson 8 years ago

    THANKS . . . as with all the other videos, I like the topic and the information presented. Good stuff.

  9. Joseph Piscitelli 8 years ago

    Will
    Have you heard of BCAA Nitrates. I got this from Muscle Feast. They are 100% pharmacuetical grade and 100% HPLC certified. I like them alot. I really fell the pump from this stuff.
    Please let know what you think. I would be interested in your response.

  10. Ani 8 years ago

    Not to sound gay, but man I love you! You speak the truth! Not very many people in this business has the b@lls to speak truthfully. This video was freaking funny, and I enjoyed every second of it. Very useful knowledge in these videos…

  11. Edith Halasik 8 years ago

    Right on Will, always a no-nonsense comments. It always amazed me how much dough peeps spend on caffeinated ‘go-juices’..while all it takes is a pure clear java to get you going. And the saddest part is…they think downing a pre-workout juice will make the fat fall off of them the minute they step into the gym. There’s no substitute for a focused, intentional hard-ass training, regardless of ‘da blend.’

  12. Jean-Charles ragot 8 years ago

    Hi as always i appreciated the honest informations that you provided.
    I will try this formula seems fine enough ingredients to get a good workout.
    Thank you.

  13. Alex 8 years ago

    Nice post, very good choice of ingredients, but in my oppinion not worth it, the effects they produce are so slight (except caffeine) that i dont think its worth the money or time..
    A good meal, a nice cup of coffee before and thats it..
    Why do people relly on suplements for performance ? wanna get stronger? workout hard.. wanna have more endurance ? workout hard.. wanna loose fat ? workout hard… its free and the only effective thing !!!
    Sorry for being so honest…I think the end of the video tells it all..
    Keep it up !!

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      You are of course welcome to your opinions on the issue Alex. I always push food and smart training over supplements, but some supplements are worth using in my view, and unlike most, I know what’s worth using and what’s not. BTW, on your coffee comment, I love me some coffee too, but studies are quite clear it does not have the same effects as caffeine. Article linked below vid covers that info. 🙂

      • Alexa 8 years ago

        Sorry for being so honest, believe me, i trully respect your work, and as i said those are deffinitly the best supllements you can have pre workout, i have tried them all, both together and separated. what i was reffering to is that the effects are so mild that they are not worth the money, but that off course is just my oppinion and off course it all depends on how much people want to spend.
        In terms of caffeine, i understand your point but i prefer my old cup of coffee, pure caffeine makes me very nervous, not focused at all, making me even forget my rest periods and wanting to hit the next set straight away, wich reduces my overall performance lifting weights.. long term lifting for me is a science, not the meat head 1 RM, joint burning quest i see everyday in the gym wich leads to injuries, poor recovery and lessened results.. maybe if i took more time finding my own tolerated dose, but i dont think it is needed.. cofee works really well with me.
        I also agree with you in terms of “pump” suplements, i realy dont see the point in using them, some are ven dangerous, some can lead to major digestive problems, the only thing they do is make you look a litlle bigger in the mirror for an hour or two..
        Im just stating my own experience with the referred substances, i hope im not hurting anyone’s feelings..

        • Author
          Will Brink 8 years ago

          Hurt feelings? Um, no…

        • Author
          Will Brink 8 years ago

          It’s all good Alex 🙂

  14. Larry 8 years ago

    Hi Will
    You are 100% correct about people needing there drinks or else they can not perform I think they are all looking at excuses not to work out. I have been working out for many years and do not take preworkot drinks if I do its water with whey protein and thats it I still get a good hard workout without preworkout drinks.
    I will give your drink a try. Thanks for your recipe.
    Larry

  15. Scott I 8 years ago

    I, too, am a big fan of ALCarnitine. I take 4 to 6 grams to workout on. Love Tyrosine but I am sensitive to it and only need about 500 to 800 mg. Iodoral as well. Bulk Nutrition has a 1000 cap bottle of caffeine for about $32, I think it was, 200 mg per cap. And they use magnesium stearate instead of calcium or dicalcium phosphate as a filler. I hate phosphates. I take lots of other stuff for regular nutrition. And I take prescription testosterone using blood tests, etc. that and some good food with lots of protein and some enzymes.

  16. John 8 years ago

    Excellent video! I like your mix. It’s pretty straight forward without the added crap/fillers you pay for in other pre-workout supplements. I work out some days with a pre-workout supplement and some days without. I haven’t tracked whether there’s a difference or not. I get my pump mostly from using a lower weight with a high rep (30-40) count before getting into the heavier weight although I’ve also read some articles referring to the “pump” being a stretching/enlargement of the blood vessels whereby allowing more blood to reach the target muscle. Wouldn’t that allow for increased workout capabilities or is that more myth than fact?
    Thanks for the great article!

  17. Steve 8 years ago

    Good video Will,
    I workout first thing in the morning, so I use whey isolate and a carb source. I ordered some fein after I watched your video on caffeine and I’ll comment on the company. Ordering online was not a problem but I received no tracking number, nobody answers the phone number for order inquiries just placed on hold and they do not answer emails. I got the product but there customer support sucks! I use beta alaine and the flush feeling is weird but it only lasts for me about 20 min and then it’s gone, I also find it helps with endurance.
    Have you heard of a product called Karbolyn by Professional Supplements, I have not tried it but apparently it’s a great carb source?

  18. fred 8 years ago

    wlll what is crystal lite i live ln england so it may be unavalable here under that name. cheers

    • James 8 years ago

      Crystal Lite is sort of like Koolaid. Just a powder to flavor the water. It’s got no sugar in it (uses nutrasweet) so 0 calorie.

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      Just a flavored product you add to water to make a flavored non calorie drink. They come in various flavors and taste quite good. I’m sure you have something like it in the UK.

  19. Sean 8 years ago

    Hey what about NO or L-argintine what do u think about adding tgose to the mix

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      Sean, if you read my stuff here and or watch my vids, you’ll see I consider NO products a waste of $$$.

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  21. Robert King 8 years ago

    Hey Will
    Love this as I sell supplements for a living and always recommend people make their own.
    Question, why no BCAA’s pre workout?
    Rob

    • James 8 years ago

      Do you take pre/post workout Whey? If so, you’re already getting all those BCAA’s.

  22. Justin 8 years ago

    “you’re a big fat pussy.”
    Well said sir.
    Thank you for this insightful video.

  23. Sean 8 years ago

    Another great article Will,
    I always like to include citrulline and BCAA’s. Studies have shown that BCAA’s taken prior to excersise reduce the catabolic effect on muscle- your thoughts and comments on this would be appreciated on this subject?
    regards
    Sean

    • Robbie 8 years ago

      I drink my BCAA during my workout, because i have a meal 60-90 min before (usually something like oats/brown rice, 4 egg whites, and a whey shake, and i have 40g whey isolate PWO with ricecakes and honey and/or potatoes/ banana
      That should keep u anabolic all the way through!

  24. Robbie 8 years ago

    What do u think of the products C4 by Cellucor or Lit-up by Applied Neutraceuticals. C4 actually lists some of their dosages including caffeine (100mg), beta alanine (1500mg), and creatine nitrate (1000mg). In Lit-up they did not include harmful stimulants like 1,3 dimethylalamine because they say that they kill hunger and anabolicness, and included D-aspartic acid to promote testosterone
    I really like both of them and can feel a difference in the gym, plus they were a good deal, buy 2 get 1 free on bodybuilding.com and i split it with some friends

  25. Peter Gordon 8 years ago

    Love the info. But just once concern. Doesn’t Crystal Light contain aspartame, which most health nuts don’t like.

    • Ken 8 years ago

      Peter, I will do all ingredients except the crystal light. I never use junk .

      • John 8 years ago

        anything you buy in the store these days has junk in it unless you’re growing your own food. What’s the big evil about crystal light and/or aspartame??

        • Peter Gordon 8 years ago

          Hi John, apparently its been linked to several physical ailments. Check out this link from Dr. Mercola. Mind you he is a little earthy for my taste, but like Will one of the few people that I will give the time of day.

          • John 8 years ago

            Thanks Peter. I’ll do some reading up on this.

  26. Ken 8 years ago

    I have been working out 1/2 century , never lost enthusiasm,and never buy energy drinks and do not do the phony electrolyte drinks but, I am going to mix up your formula and see how it works. Keep up the great work.
    Ken, working on the next 50 years of fitness.

    • Paul Whistel 8 years ago

      Thanks Will,
      Based on your knowledge of the research, assuming one follows your pre-drink, what is your best guess as to the effect on workout versus say just having a cup of coffee and 20 grams of whey pre workout (assume workout would be exactly the same) ?
      To be more specific, would you expect another rep or two per set ?
      An additional 4 minutes of energy for example ?
      Increase in weight ..say 5to 10 lbs ??
      etc…,
      Thanks

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    • Barton Hewett 8 years ago

      Will, I am supplementing with l-taurine (for BP as well as overall health). Would there be any benefit to adding that to the mix or just keep it separate? Thanks,

      • Paul Whistel 8 years ago

        Holy Stimulant ! …….I have to laugh, this pre-workout jacked ‘thing’ has become insane. Our leader, a man who for years swore by “…black coffee” pre workout now has 1/2 dozen products floating in his drink.
        Cmon Will ! …how could you let the next generation do this ?
        Ok…all kidding aside…here is the comparison (in your opinion)
        Will video drink versus black coffee (workout 5 sets of 5 Squats)
        Reps +1 , Weight +5 ?????
        Thanks Will

  28. Jesse 8 years ago

    I am thinking to start with beta alanine so I have one question. can it be mixed with glutamine and bcaa in homemade pre-workout formula ? thx Will I love your work!!

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  30. Brett 8 years ago

    Hey Will, what are your thoughts on Peak ATP?

  31. GV 8 years ago

    Thanks for the Info, but i have a question – Im eating alot to gain weight because i want to grow mass (clean bulking) but does a pre workout stop the hunger?

  32. Dave4848 7 years ago

    Hi will I was looking into Tyrosine what are the differences between forms ? L TYROSINE vs ACETYL TYROSINE ? Is it just hype like creatine mono vs creatine nitrate, creatine malate, CEE etc
    Cheers David

  33. Ryan 6 years ago

    Thoughts on AAKG?

  34. Andy Westwood 6 years ago

    Thanks for taking the time to create this video when you did, Will.
    I read an article last week (had to go through ‘history’ to find it lol) and it basically confirms what you say about beta alanine. There are hundreds of studies showing how effective it is.
    I was wondering if there were any other ingredients that you haven’t mentioned that have strong evidence to back it (as a pre workout)?

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