We’ve all been there: after a long day’s work we struggle to find the energy for the gym. Even if you drag yourself there, your workout isn’t one you leave feeling accomplished. Let’s face it, a lack of energy can be a huge setback in reaching your fitness goals!
There are an enormous amount of options for pre workout solutions to combat your low energy. Unfortunately many of the pre workouts on the market today aren’t by any means “healthy,” especially after prolonged use. These supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, leaving you wondering what you are actually putting into your body. Furthermore, extended use of these supplements can lessen the effect they have on your body to produce the needed energy to rock your fitness session. Don’t get me wrong, I love and use pre workout drinks myself. I use them to obtain the energy needed to produce my desired results. However, I use them in moderation to avoid developing a tolerance to the product, as well as to avoid any health complications that can be associated with excessive use of some pre workout formulas.
Are there healthy alternatives to pre workouts? Yes!
In fact, these options for pre workout solutions not only produce enough energy for any gym session, but also offer other health benefits as well! These are healthy options you can use intermittently or in place of store bought pre workout formulas.
- Beet Root Juice:Surprisingly, a growing trend within the fitness industry is to drink beet root juice before a workout. It’s believed to improve blood and oxygen flow into your muscles, therefore enhancing your performance and endurance during a workout. Beets are high in nitrates, which convert through digestion into nitric oxide, which is said to increase your performance, limit fatigue, and help with that overall pump at the gym.There are two ways you can add beetroot juice to your pre workout routine: as a powder or homemade juice. If you have a juicer at home you can grind up some beets after preparing them and enjoy a refreshing juice before the gym. Or you can buy powdered beetroot juice. This is how I drink beetroot juice, solely for convenience (juicing can be so time consuming to prepare and can be messy, taking a ton of time to clean).The benefits of beetroot juice are impressive. Some of the many benefits include detoxification, lower blood pressure, protection against certain cancers, reduced inflammation, and even improvements to your sex drive. This pre workout drink isn’t going to give you the energy you would find with a caffeine or stimulant drink, but it certainly will give you increased performance for your workout along with other health benefits.
- Matcha Tea:Where do I start with this mega tea? The benefits of this stuff are endless! It’s packed with powerful antioxidants, boosts metabolism which burns more calories, detoxifies the body, and revitalizes your energy. It’s claimed that 1 cup of mocha tea is equal to 10 cups of green tea. That’s insane! I buy mocha tea in powdered form. Simply add water or even another pre workout to gain the additional health benefits as well as the energy boost. Give this stuff a try, your body will thank you!
- Coffee:It’s no surprise that coffee can give you a boost of energy for your day. Especially to keep you going on a long day at the office. However, few people utilize it as an effective energy producer for the gym.
If calories and health are a concern, you can drink it black. Black coffee isn’t calorie free, but it’s close. This is just too difficult for me so I usually use almond milk or a similar alternative. I am always careful when I use coffee as a stimulant for my work out. Too much can cause my stomach to be upset and hinder my focus. The caffeine, however, helps to stimulate your brain by blocking the effects of fatigue (your adenosine receptors). This energy is more a mental alertness, rather than powerful energy one might get from their digested food. However, coffee can still give you the focus and energy you need to meet your fitness goals for the day.
- Fruit or small carb snack:We gain our energy from the food we eat; therefore eating the right foods can help best prepare us for a workout. This is a another blog topic I will cover at a later time. However, for a pre workout food you want a small carb snack. Fruit or even fruit juice will provide you with the readily available sugar in your body to metabolize for energy. You want to take this an hour before your workout so it’s readily available when you need it.
- Water:Yes that’s right, water! Often time the main cause of fatigue is dehydration. A simple glass of water can help rehydrate you and replenish your energy. Keep the the glass small as too much water in your stomach can hinder your workout.
There are many options available for your at your local vitamin shop for pre workout solutions. I utilize a variety of store bought pre workout formulas and see great results from them. If you are, however, looking for healthier options to replace or alternate with your current pre workout formulas then any of these five alternatives are a great solution.