Then a good meal after the workout. If I'm really spent, like after a 100km bike ride, I might have a pint of chocolate milk. Seems to have a mix of sugar, fat and protein very similar to the high dollar post workout drinks for a much lower cost.
Depends on what your body responds to. Do you feel the effects of NO? Do you stay away from stimulants? What product were you using previously?
Regarding Six Star, unless things have changed from when I was heavy in lifting. They're owned by Muscle Tech and are their "generic tier", typically they contain lower quality ingredients as compared to others. While they're cheaper than most others on the grocery aisle shelf, you're getting less for your money in terms of nutritional profile. I like to consider them as a Muscle Tech light brand. Lighter marketing, lighter ingredients, and lighter price - but still over hyped.
I was never a fan of dedicated pre-workouts but BSN NO-Xplode (pricey) and MAN Sports Scorch did give me a decent amount of energy. While not a dedicated pre-workout BSN Cellmass was always my go to and worked exceptionally well at increasing my endurance and reducing recovery time.
before Covid I was lifting 2x to 3x a week. I had a routine that really boosted me and I never did not progress in weights or reps. I did some research and did this, after a bit of trial and error:
Made my own shake:
1c almond milk
2/3 scoop (~40g) protein powder
1/3 of a frozen banana (pre-sliced before freezing)
rando handfull of other fruit on hand - blueberries, strawberries, whatever
flax seeds - tbsp maybe
Drink 1/2 pre-work out + eca stack
Drink other 1/2 as recovery.
Dramatic difference in performance/recovery with and without. Of course eca had a big roll, too, but both were important. eca =1 primatene, 1 baby aspirin, 1 c coffee.