If you’re a fan of the Huberman Lab podcast, you might be interested in finding out more about Professor Andrew Huberman’s pre-workout routine.
Huberman has frequently discussed the importance of setting yourself up for a good workout before going to the gym.
He has pointed to mindset, supplements, and warm-ups as key components to a successful and productive workout session.
In this post, we will share the exact pre-workout supplements and warm-up protocols that Huberman personally uses prior to his exercise sessions.
Who is Andrew Huberman?
Professor Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist at Stanford School of Medicine.
He researches brain development, function, and neural plasticity.
In addition to his clinical work, Huberman hosts the Huberman Lab podcast, where he interviews subject matter experts and provides in-depth lectures on various health-related protocols and concepts.
Andrew Huberman Pre-Workout Supplements
Professor Huberman regularly goes to the gym for both strength training and cardio.
While he often discusses the benefits of supplementation, Huberman has developed his pre-workout routine through trial and error, as well as reviewing the scientific literature.
Huberman has cautioned against using pre-workout drinks or stimulants because they can potentially deplete your dopamine levels.
Let’s take a look at what exactly Huberman consumes prior to exercise.
I take 300mg Alpha GPC, 500mg L-Tyrosine and a strong cup of espresso 15min before about 1/3 of my morning weight workouts. It’s not for everyone but it works for me.— Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D. (@hubermanlab) September 8, 2022
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that can increase dopamine transmission in the brain and body, which can enhance concentration and focus.
L-Tyrosine can lead to fairly substantial increases in dopamine within about 15 to 45 minutes, lasting for about 30 minutes to two hours.
This can make you feel more motivated, alert, and able to lean into your workout.
Huberman personally uses L-Tyrosine in capsule form, typically taking 500 milligrams before a workout or a bout of concentrated mental work.
People vary in their sensitivity to supplementing L-Tyrosine. Some can take up to two grams, while others can barely take a hundred milligrams.
This is usually done early in the day, certainly not after 2 or 3 PM, to avoid disrupting sleep.
Huberman takes L-Tyrosine about four days per week.
Creatine, specifically creatine monohydrate, is a supplement that is potentially beneficial for muscle development and brain function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in concentration and focus.
Huberman typically ingests five grams daily, mixed with water or an electrolyte drink.
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As for pre-workout, the timing of creatine intake is generally irrelevant, according to Dr. Andy Galpin.
It can be taken at any time of the day, including pre-workout.
The dosage can vary based on physical size, with a standard dosage being around 5 grams per day.
Related: Best Supplements for Brain Fog
Alpha-GPC, or alpha glyceryl phosphorylcholine, is a compound that supports the release of a neuromodulator called acetylcholine.
Huberman takes 300 milligrams of Alpha-GPC to help tighten his focus.
However, it’s important to note that individual responses can vary.
Some people may find even the slightest bit of Alpha-GPC uncomfortable or not compatible with the kind of work they want to do.
In terms of pre-workout, Huberman finds that combining Alpha-GPC with caffeine, such as in a cup of coffee or yerba mate, can enhance workouts.
Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen that’s still being researched, but early studies suggest it may have several benefits for workouts.
Huberman has personally found that it benefits the quality of his workouts but acknowledges that it may not be for everyone.
- Supports mood and physical energy levels
- 3x salidrosides (active ingredient) vs. others
- 3rd party tested in the US
According to Dr. Layne Norton, who was a guest on Huberman’s podcast:
- Rhodiola Rosea may reduce physical fatigue, potentially enhancing your workout performance.
- It may also reduce the perception of fatigue, helping you push through tough workouts.
- There’s evidence that it may enhance memory and cognition, which could benefit complex physical activities.
One study found that Rhodiola Rosea may enhance explosive resistance training.
Another clinical trial saw limited adverse effects and interaction with other drugs while citing evidence of a reduction in fatigue and potentially supporting mood.
Huberman will consume caffeine shortly before (15 minutes) his weight-lifting workouts.
He prefers getting his caffeine intake from yerba mate but also regularly drinks an espresso.
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Caffeine can be beneficial to your dopamine system, making it more accessible to your brain and body during exercise.
It’s important to time the release of dopamine while you are working out so that you form a positive association with exercise.
However, too much caffeine can impact your body temperature regulation, limiting the amount of exercise you can complete in a session.
|Body Weight (lbs)||Recommended Caffeine Intake (mg)|
|100||45 – 135 mg|
|125||57 – 171 mg|
|150||68 – 204 mg|
|175||79 – 237 mg|
|200||91 – 273 mg|
|225||102 – 306 mg|
|250||113 – 339 mg|
Dr. Andy Galpin, a guest on the Huberman Lab podcast, recommends pre-hydrating prior to your workout.
You should aim for about half your body weight (in lbs) in ounces.
For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should try to drink 75 ounces of water – no small task!
Additionally, Huberman often mentions that he supplements his water intake with electrolyte powder to ensure he consumes an appropriate amount of sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
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Huberman Pre Workout Warm Up
Breathwork can be a powerful tool to prepare your body and mind for a workout.
The specific pattern of breathwork might not be as important as experiencing transitions between states based on deliberate breathwork.
This could involve varying the speeds and depths of inhales, exhales, and holds.
One practice you might explore is Wim Hof’s method.
This involves a pattern of breathing that can help you enter states of alertness but calm for the 10 or 20 minutes that follow that breathing.
Breathwork isn’t one size fits all.
It’s a simple practice that can be done for short periods, between five and 20 minutes, and can have a significant impact on your brain state.
The most powerful form of breathing is the one that takes into account the fundamental mechanisms that increase heart rate, decrease heart rate, and how carbon dioxide and oxygen relate to the bloodstream and the brain.
Once you better understand these components, you can create your own breathwork practices that best serve you.
Related: Somatic Breathwork (Explained)
Prior to working out, dynamic stretching is highly recommended.
This type of stretching is not about increasing the potential length of the muscle but more about preparing the muscle for performance and exploring the ends of its range of motion in a dynamic way.
Some examples of dynamic stretches include leg swings, butt kicks, walking lunges, toe touches, and lunging with rotations of the upper body.
These drills are both excitatory for the nervous system and helpful for warming up the body due to increased blood flow.
They also help you feel more alert and ready for your workout.
Related: Sauna Stretches Guide
In a conversation with Jocko Willink, Huberman discussed the benefits of an ice bath or cold plunge five minutes prior to working out.
He noted Craig Heller’s lab, which works on performance optimization with athletes at Stanford, particularly the football and cross-country teams, will use cold exposure before training because of the huge long-lasting increase in dopamine and adrenaline.
Related: Sauna Cold Plunge Routine
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- Simple set up
- Easy to drain and move
- Lid keeps water cold
- Fast draining design
- Easy to store away
Essentially, the cold exposure wakes you up or primes you for a productive training session.
Related: Sauna and Ice Bath: Complete Guide
What pre-workout does Andrew Huberman take?
Huberman takes a combination of L-Tyrosine (500 mg), Alpha-GPC (300 mg), Rhodiola rosea (500 mg), and caffeine (100-150 mg) prior to working out.
He has said that he does not take all of these supplements every day.
What supplement brand does Huberman use?
Huberman is an official partner of Momentous Supplements.
He partnered with the brand because they ship internationally, offer the highest quality supplements, and carry single-ingredient products for proper dosing.
What protein powder does Andrew Huberman take?
Huberman hasn’t discussed a specific protein powder that he takes on the show.
However, he does mention the importance of high-quality protein sources and strives to get 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Does Huberman take creatine?
Yes, he takes five grams of creatine primarily for its physical performance-enhancing effects.