Once upon a time, an insane Christian book that claimed the devil created football as a tool to destroy humanity trended on the internet. I did the dirty work of actually reading and recapping it. The article was so popular that I decided to make my recaps into a weekly series named “So You Don’t Have To, where I find batshit crazy pieces of media (books, movies, etc.) and recap them for your pleasure.

Today, I’ll be telling the story of the time I tried pre-workout and almost sent myself to the great beyond.

I made a big mistake that day. And yes, I have ragrets.

Date: 11th of November 2021

Time: 7:50 a.m.

Location: Bedroom

Activity: Thinking

I’m lying in bed thinking about my fitfam journey. Ever since I fell off the rails in 2017, it’s been a mess. I think about how I registered at a gym in April 2021 and actually did the damn thing for a few months but fell off again. Now, three months later, I haven’t gone back because I’m always tired.

But that’s about to change. You see, I’ve recently encountered something that can turn my fitness journey around. The thing doesn’t belong to me, but I’m going to get my hands on it by any means necessary.

Summer body here I come.

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Location: Kitchen

Activity: Stealing

My partner has just bought a tub of pre-workout, and I am determined to try some of it without telling them.

I have no idea why I’m keeping this is a secret. I guess being fraudulent makes me feel alive. Anyway, I mix a scoop of the pre-workout powder in water. I expect it to have the same texture as a protein shake but it doesn’t and just looks like…powder in water. I’m like, “YOLO” and down it in one gulp. The high-pitched scream that escapes my lips immediately after swallowing would’ve made Ariana Grande say “Kilode?!”

The mixture tastes like citrus-flavoured battery acid.

Time: 11:26 a.m.

Location: On my way to the gym in a cab

Activity: Vibrating with energy

It’s been almost an hour since I drank the pre-workout and I feel excellent. I get to the gym and immediately start sprinting on the treadmill.

I spend 20 minutes on the treadmill, move straight to the elliptical machine, and start riding violently. I go from that to the weights section to work on my arms. When I’m done, I put my legs to work at the squat rack. I can feel the energy from the pre-workout coursing through my body like electricity and I feel ALIVE.

This must be what eating meth feels like.

Time: 12: 49 p.m.

Location: The gym floor

Activity: Trying not to die

One moment, I’m working the hell out of a stationary bike, and the next, I’m on the floor feeling faint. The room is spinning and my chest is doing gbim gbim.

I wonder what could be causing this and remember that I took the pre-workout on an empty stomach. Fuck. It’s the middle of the day so I’m alone in that section of the gym. I lie there for a few minutes, unable to get up. Then I think about what the headlines would be if I die on the top floor of Nigeria’s fastest-growing gym chain, surrounded by stationary bikes. That gives me the strength to stand.

“Lagos fat man slumps and dies while working out.”

Time: 1:15 p.m.

Location: Sandwich shop beside the gym

Activity: Wolfing down a disgustingly healthy sandwich

In the sandwich shop’s defence, selling anything but healthy food next to a gym would be plain evil. I made my way there and frantically demanded a sandwich, scaring the attendants so much, they hand me the sandwich before asking for money. As I sit there eating a sandwich filled with leaves, I remember the stock photos of white people laughing while eating salads and wonder what the fuck they’re laughing at because this shit tastes like grass.

Fuck those lying Caucasians.

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Gym toilet

Activity: Virtual work meeting

Turns out a client scheduled an important meeting for that time and I totally forgot about it. Fortunately, I had enough energy to “Hmmm” and “Yah” my way through it. Capitalism is the worst.

I picked the toilet because I needed a quiet place and the gym plays loud ass music 24/7.

Time: 3: 21 p.m.

Location: Home

Activity: Realising that I could’ve fucking died that day

I’m reading the instructions on the side of the pre-workout container and it says that beginners should first try half a scoop to see how their body reacts to it. It also says that pre-workout contains the caffeine equivalent of four cups of coffee and that people with hypertension should stay away from it. Guess who has two thumbs and blood pressure that’s high as shit?


I could’ve died of a heart attack. Girl, I…

Time: 4:39 a.m.

Location: Bedroom

Activity: Screaming in frustration

It’s been over 12 hours since I got home, and I’m exhausted but can’t sleep because the pre-workout electricity is still running through me. I scream, “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?!and fall to the floor in tears. My partner is stressed out and sitting in a chair, watching me display madness. I’ve refused to let them sleep because HOW DARE THEY SLEEP WHEN I’M IN DISTRESS?!


Time: 7:23 a.m.

Location: Kitchen floor

Activity: FINALLY sleeping

Never again will I attempt to use performance enhancers. Nah fat I fat. I no kill person.

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Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.