In this article, I will uncover why your pre-workout shake tastes bad and what you can do to make it palatable.
Pre-workouts usually have an unpleasant taste because they contain amino acids, herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals in their purified form. Some of these substances are tasteless, but most are bitter or sour, making pre-workout taste bad. However, you can improve the taste by using a delicious base liquid or adding some natural flavors.
Up next in the article, I have listed the ingredients which make your fitness shake taste bad. Also, I have shared easy and fun hacks to make your pre-workout taste better.
So, keep reading to find all those quick and yummy tricks;
Why Does My Pre-Workout Taste So Bad?
Most pre-workouts are not so delectable because they contain amino acids and co-factors in concentrated forms, and most of these compounds taste bland, bitter, or sour in their purified forms.
However, mostly this taste is mild except for a few ingredients, namely caffeine, BCAAs, and arginine. And the combined taste of these mildly and strongly bitter ingredients is pretty strong.
The following list describes the taste of different pre-workout ingredients in their powdered forms;
One way to escape bad taste from pre-workout is to avoid products that contain bitter ingredients. However, as you can see, most of these compounds have a slightly bitter taste, and skipping all of them means quitting pre-workout essentials and their benefits altogether.
You can improve the pre-workout taste in two ways;
- Either blend the powder in a tasteful base instead of plain water
- Or add some flavor or sweetener to make your pre-workout taste better.
Next, I list some easy and delicious variations for pre-workout shakes’ base and flavoring.
6 Ways To Make Pre-workout Taste Better
If you have bought a new performance supplement but found out that it’s the worst-tasting pre-workout you have ever tried, I get you because most pre-workout users experience it at some point in their journey.
However, getting a bad-tasting pre-workout in your pantry does not mean you have wasted money because the taste is so unpleasant that you don’t want to try it again.
Here are ways to make your pre-workout supplement taste better:
1. Use Coconut Water As Base
Pre-workout powder blended with coconut water will taste sweeter than the powder blended with regular water. This is because coconut water has a sweet taste and many electrolytes.
Not only it decreases the bitterness of pre-workout and improve the aftertaste, but it also adds a complementary flavor if your pre-workout tastes are spicy.
Plus, it sprinkles a bunch of health-improving minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants in your shake, enhancing its efficacy even more.
2. Flavor With Flavored Water
Flavored water is also a good way to add some taste to your pre-workout. This method works best if the pre-workout does not offend you extremely but is a little bit bland.
To make flavored water, squeeze out a citrus fruit (like lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc.) in a glass of water. Now, blend in the pre-workout powder. Adding a pinch of salt also enhances the taste of such lemonade-type pre-workouts.
Another way to flavor water is to soak mint/ basil leaves or slices of citrus fruits in water for some hours. This will add a bit of color, taste, and aroma to the water.
Later you can use this infused water as the base for a pre-workout drink.
3. Blend it With milk
The easiest way to improve the pre-workout taste is to blend it with milk.
Milk naturally contains lactose sugar which masks the bitterness of bland-tasting amino acids and also complements the caffeine taste.
Full-fat milk will supply natural, healthy fats that help with bulking, but if you are on your weight loss journey, use skimmed milk to reduce the calorie count and fat ratio.
If you are vegetarian or lactose intolerant, you can try plant-based milk. Here are some plant milk options suiting your fitness goals;
4. Try Ice Cream, Flavored Yogurt, Or Juices
You can also have some fun with your fitness drinks and create new tasty recipes using ice creams, flavored yogurt, or fruit juices as a base.
Mixing pre-workout with low-fat ice cream or flavored yogurt will make it taste delicious and appealing.
And if you are trying to restrict your calorie intake or don’t want to add dairy, you can opt for fresh fruit juices. Lemonade, Strawberry, and Orange juice are great for those on a diet.
You can also mix it with your coffee if your supplement doesn’t contain heaps of caffeine.
But you should never mix your pre-workout with some drinks, including Alcohol, soda beverages, or any stimulatory drink.
5. Add Natural Sweeteners
You would likely want to throw some sugar into the blender while preparing a pre-workout shake because you have got an unsweetened product that is too bitter to chug down.
However, you can sweeten your drink with natural sweeteners and escape the harmful effects of artificial and processed sugars.
Some common natural sweeteners include;
- Maple syrup
- Dates, bananas, figs, or other sweet fruits
6. Mix Two Pre-Workouts
And lastly, you can improve the taste of a pre-workout by mixing it with another good-tasting supplement. The tastier product will tone down the bitterness of the other supplement.
You can also create new flavors by mixing flavored pre-workouts like mixing Lemonade and Pineapple, Orange and Blueberries, or Caramel and Chocolate.
However, this trick would need you to spend two pre-workouts at once. Also, you need to consider the ingredients of both products before setting your serving size so that you do not overdose on them.
How To Flavor Unflavored Pre-workout?
If you are a health-conscious user who takes unflavored pre-workouts to avoid the side effects of artificial flavors, you would affirm that such shakes are not easy to chug down.
The bitter and sour taste of concentrated pre-workout ingredients is more pronounced in unflavored and unsweetened powders because there is nothing to mask their bitterness.
However, adding natural and healthy flavors can make these shakes palatable.
My favorite way to do so is to blend the pre-workout with milk and add fruits for taste. Here is a simple recipe to make a delicious, performance-boosting smoothie;
- 1 cup milk or yogurt
- Some sweet fruits (2 Bananas/ 1 Apple/ 1 cup of Berries etc.)
- Pre-workout powder (recommended serving)
- Honey or Maple syrup (to taste, optional)
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and give it a good mix.
- Tadda! Your naturally flavored, yummy pre-workout drink is ready.
How To Make Homemade Pre-workout Taste Better?
There are two ways to make a homemade pre-workout.
- By mixing store-bought amino acids and fitness-boosting powders in your desired proportion.
- By using natural food items like milk, yogurt, fruits, honey, seeds, and nuts.
In this section, I list how to make both types of homemade pre-workouts taste better.
Homemade Pre-Workout With Powdered Nutrients
You can make your own pre-workout powder by mixing concentrated nutrient powders.
Buy growth and performance-boosting amino acids and micronutrients separately and mix them in a specific ratio. In this way, you can skip bitter-tasting ingredients so that your pre-workout tastes good.
However, most ingredients taste slightly bland or bitter in their concentrated forms. You will need to add flavoring like Vanilla essence to make it more appealing.
All Natural Pre-Workout Recipe
If you are too reluctant to use processed powders, you can make yourself an all-natural pre-workout smoothie.
The trick for an effective pre-workout smoothie is to add ingredients whose nutritional content matches your fitness goals.
For example, if you aim to gain, add high-calorie fruits like avocado, banana, dates, and full-fat milk to your shake. To further enhance nutritional content, you can add nut butter like Peanut butter, Walnut butter, or Almond butter.
On the other side, if you want to lose fat, use water or skimmed milk as the base. Another great option for the pre-workout base is whey which you can easily extract from yogurt at home.
Low-calorie fruits are best to flavor weight loss pre-workouts.
Here is a simple guide to making your homemade pre-workout drink taste delicious;
Pre-workout That Doesn’t Taste Bad – 3 Options To Choose From!
Bitter-tasting pre-workouts are horrible for newbies, mostly because regular users have learned to chug it down over time.
But you don’t necessarily need to punish yourself with a bad-tasting shake if you have just started. To help you with this problem, I have reviewed the best-tasting pre-workout for beginners.
1. Intensive Pre-Train
Pre-Train from crazy Nutrition is the yummiest pre-workout you will find in the market and looking at its formulation; the good taste is well-justified.
It comes in three fruity flavors, all containing fruit juice powder, and Sucralose. Sucralose is the artificial sweetener added to many fitness products to mask the bitterness of concentrated nutrients.
However, what sets Pre-train apart from other products is Fruit Juice powder. This is a blend of fruit extracts, maltodextrin, and Gum Acacia.
Maltodextrin works synergistically with Sucralose, adding a sweet flavor. Gum Acacia powder adds a mildly sweet taste but mainly acts as a taste modifier, reducing the bitterness of the pre-workout ingredients.
Last but not least, fruit extracts come from Raspberry in Blue Raspberry Flavor, from Lemon, Orange, Pineapple, Raspberry in Fruit Punch flavor, and from Apple in Green Apple flavor.
But you don’t take pre-workout only for good taste. So, let’s analyze what the Pre Train ingredient list has for improving your gym performance.
- Citrulline Malate; Activates Growth factors in skeletal muscles, promoting lean growth.
- Beta-Alanine; delays muscle fatigue and makes them stronger.
- Betaine Anhydrous; Increases physical stamina and power output
- L-Tyrosine; Improves heat endurance and delays muscle degradation.
- Caffeine Anhydrous; Gives you a punch of energy and motivation.
You can get this tasty pre-workout from the Crazy Nutrition website just for $39.99 on a one-time purchase and $31.99 with a subscription.
BULK is a pre-workout designed to speed up lean muscle growth. It is produced by the famous fitness brand Transparent Labs.
With 11 flavor options, it ranks among the products having the most flavors in the market. But what makes it different than most competitors is that none of its flavors come from artificial additives.
Instead, the bitterness of amino acids is cut by stevia and beetroot extracts. And flavors are created using natural fruit extracts like Grapefruit powder.
Also, its efficacy as a workout supplement is affirmed by numerous positive customer reviews, and the ingredient list indicates why this is so;
- Citrulline Malate; Prevent muscle injury and helps in muscle fiber growth.
- Beta-alanine; Stimulate lean mass growth
- Betaine anhydrous; Enable you to perform hard exercises by increasing muscle endurance.
- Taurine; increases muscle output and prevents cramping
You can purchase it at the TL website for $49.99. However, if you opt for a subscription, you can save on retail price and get it shipped to your home for free.
3. Gorilla Mode
Next on my list of delicious pre-workouts is Gorilla Mode. It has the widest range of flavors available and is so delectable to taste.
This pre-workout tastes good because, besides Sucralose, natural and artificial flavoring, one of its main ingredients also contributes to its wetness. That ingredient is Glycerol Powder which is a glucose derivative.
As it contains 1500 mg of Glycerol powder (GlycerPump) in each scoop, you will find this pre-workout a delicious dessert.
Taking a look at its nutritional content, we find;
- Creatine monohydrate; increases muscles’ protein synthesis and energy output
- L-citrulline; Promotes growth and provides pump and vascularity
- GlycerPump (Glycerol powder); Improves physical endurance and aerobic output
- Malic acid; enhances energy production and reduces muscle fatigue
Like other products on this list, its price is also $49.99 per tub. Jump on its official website to order it.
What does pre-workout taste like?
Most pre-workouts have a slightly bland or bitter taste and a metallic aftertaste. Those having artificial flavoring and sweeteners taste a bit better, though some may get too sweet.
Supplements that contain citric acid, malic acid, or citrate salts taste sour. Unflavored pre-workouts are usually quite bitter.
Also, there are others that include natural sweeteners and taste modifiers like gums and fruit extracts, making them delicious.
Why does C4 taste bad?
C4 pre-workout does not taste bad. Only a few people find its taste a little tangy because it includes citric acid.
Otherwise, it is one of the supplement user praise for their taste, and the credit goes to Sucralose, natural and artificial flavoring added to its formulation.
What is the best way to drink pre-workout?
The best way to drink pre-workout is to blend it with milk and add some fruits and nuts. This way, you will make your pre-workout taste better and also increase its nutritional content.
What can I mix my pre-workout with?
You can mix your pre-workout with plain water, coconut or infused water, milk, fresh juices, and even with your coffee.
(Details and recipes above in the article)
Pre-workouts are great to help you perform better and longer at the gym, but it can be a hard task to chug them down your throat because they taste so bad!
These powders are a mixture of refined nutrients having a slightly bitter taste. However, their taste can become quite strong when mixed together, forcing you to make faces as you drink your pre-workout shake.
You can escape this unpleasant pre-workout taste by blending your supplement with a yummy base liquid like milk, yogurt, low-fat ice cream, or juice. Also, you can enhance your drink with delicious additives like fruits, honey, and vanilla essence.