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Why Is Pre Workout Expensive? (How To Get It Cheap!)

Pre workout supplements are getting more and more popular nowadays thanks to their many promised benefits.

But most pre workout supplement aren’t cheap.

Why Is Pre Workout So Expensive?

Pre workout is expensive because it contains many different ingredients. Each ingredient must be sourced from a different supplier which adds costs to the pre workout manufacturers. Also, pre workout supplements are heavily marketed which increases their perceived value.

Woman holding $100 dollar bills

In this article, we cover why pre workout is so pricey, how to save money when buying pre workout, whether it’s cheaper to make your own pre workout, and much more!

What Makes Pre Workout So Expensive?

Many Different Ingredients

When you think of pre workout, you need to think of it as a variety of different supplements combined – rather than a single supplement.

For example, one of the most well-known pre workouts, C4 Cellucor, contains:

  • Taurine
  • Creatine
  • Caffeine
  • L-Citrulline
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • Beta-Alanine

Since the pre workout manufacturers will buy each of these from different suppliers, they’ll have less economies of scale.

In other words, they’ll have to spend more than if they bought them all from the same supplier.

To make plenty of profit, this additional cost is passed onto us – the consumers.

Heavy Marketing

There’s no doubt that pre workout is one of the most hyped supplements on the market.

With so many ingredients, pre workout brands sell many benefits to customers like:

  • More energy
  • More fat loss
  • Improved focus
  • Improved pump
  • Improved endurance

This heavy marketing increases the perceived value of the product, and as a result, people are willing to spend more money on it.


Let’s be clear…

I’m not saying that pre workout will turn you into a junkie.

But you need to consider that most pre workouts have A LOT of caffeine.

Now, caffeine is a drug, meaning you can build a tolerance to it and have withdrawal symptoms from it.

So when you suddenly stop using pre workout, you start craving more!

This craving means that people will buy pre workout regardless of its price, and so the manufactures can raise their prices knowing it won’t affect their sales.

Is Pre Workout Worth Buying?

Simply put, you don’t need pre workout.

While it has its uses, it’s nowhere near a ‘must have’ supplement.

If your goal is to build muscle, your priorities should be the below, in order of importance:

  • High-quality food
  • Whey protein
  • Creatine
  • Pre workout

That’s right – NEVER compromise good quality food for supplements.

If you can only afford 2 of the above, you should go for high-quality food and whey protein.

But if you can afford them all, then you may benefit from taking them all.

Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Pre Workout?

In most cases, homemade pre workout will be much cheaper.

(Just like how homemade steak and fries is cheaper than what you buy from the restaurant!)

Making your own pre workout is awesome for many reasons.

First, you can bulk buy the individual ingredients cheaper than a shop-bought pre workout.

Also, you get to control the ingredients and dosages.

If you hate the skin tingling sensation of Beta Alanine, then no problem – you can just leave it out.

If you’re super sensitive to caffeine, then fear not – you can use much less than what’s in a typical pre workout.

Here’s an example of a quick and easy homemade pre workout to get you started:

  • BCAAs – 5000mg – $0.30  
  • Caffeine – 250mg – $0.06
  • Beta Alanine – 3000mg – $0.14  
  • Citrulline Malate – 3000mg – $0.14
  • Creatine Monohydrate – 5000mg – $0.10

Total cost: $0.74 per serving

Whereas JYM pre workout costs $1.90 per serving!

Are There Any Cheap Alternatives To Pre Workout?

There sure is!

While I’ve already posted an epic article on natural pre workout alternatives, here are 3 to get you started.


With nearly 2 billion cups being consumed each day, coffee is the most popular drink in the world.

Thanks to its generous amount of caffeine, coffee makes an awesome cheap alternative to pre workout.

Research shows that caffeine can help boost your focus.

And the more focused you are, the better your workouts will be.

Interestingly, caffeine can help with fat loss too.

For example, one study showed that taking 10mg of caffeine per kg of body weight increased fat burning by 13%.

(While coffee is a great pre workout substitute, some people actually take pre workout in the morning instead of coffee!)


Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon rainforest.

It can help level up your workouts in many ways.

Thanks to its respectable caffeine content, it may help reduce fatigue.

This has been demonstrated in a study where the subjects who took a supplement with Guarana had less fatigue than the placebo subjects.

It also contains a variety of antioxidants, such as catechins and theobromine.

These can help improve blood flow to the muscle, resulting in a better pump.

Heavy Metal Music

It’s impossible not to feel pumped up and ready to smash a workout after listening to Iron Maiden on full volume.

Interestingly, this claim has been supported by research too!

For example, a study of cyclists showed that they pushed themselves harder when listing to heavy metal.

While it’s hard to evaluate why heavy metal music can push you to the edge, perhaps it helps take your mind off the pain of working out.

And the best thing is, heavy metal music is FREE thanks to the likes of Spotify.

What To Do If You Can’t Afford Pre Workout?

If you can’t afford pre workout, your best bet is to drink coffee 30 minutes before your workout instead.

It’s healthy, dirt cheap, and you buy it just about anywhere.

(So there’s really no excuse not to!)

You need to remember that pre workout is ‘nice to have’ – it’s not necessary and many pro bodybuilders have built their physiques without it.n

Are More Expensive Pre Workouts Better?

They can be, but not always.

For example, some expensive pre workouts, like Bucked Up Woke, have unique ingredients like ActiGin and AstraGin.

These help increase VO2 max and citrulline absorption, making the pre workout more effective.

Whereas some other pricey pre workouts are just marketed better.

If you can only afford the cheaper pre workouts, they should do the job just fine.

How To Get Pre Workout For Cheap

Here are some great tips to ensure you can buy pre workout at the best rates.

Wait Until Black Friday

You can find some crazy deals on Black Friday.

Many brands offer huge sales of up to 70% off!

So you can save a ton of money by waiting until Black Friday, and then buying your pre workout in bulk.

Check Amazon Frequently

If Black Friday is too long to wait, you can also find really great deals on Amazon at any time.

Keep your eyes peeled as many brands offer up to 50% off quite frequently, so when you find a great deal you can buy in bulk.


In summary:

  • Pre workout is expensive because it contains various ingredients which have to be sourced from different manufacturers.
  • It can be cheaper to make your own pre workout if you buy the ingredients separately and mix them.
  • You can get pre workout for cheap if you wait until a big sale, like on Black Friday.

That’s all for this article, but can you put pre workout in a smoothie? Or is it good to take pre workout for cycling?

Hope this helped!