For those looking for that extra boost right before an intense training session, pre-workout powders are a common go-to due to the promise of enhanced performance that comes with its consumption. However, most if not all of such products come loaded with stimulants in concentrated doses. Frequent and regular use not only encourages reliance but can affect your body’s ability to regulate its own energy. Instead, try turning to more wholesome sources for your pre-workout needs to keep your body functioning normally in the long run.
1. All-natural juice
Cold-pressed juices are healthier than the normal packaged examples you find in the chiller at the supermarket. Aside from the absence of added sugar and other additives, the lack of fibre allows your body to break down and process the liquid carbohydrates at a quicker rate. Certain juices also afford specific health benefits. For example, beetroot juice reduces blood pressure, improves blood flow, and increases the volume of oxygen your body can utilise for exercise.
2. Cup of joe
Many people love coffee and if you’re one of them, consider yourself lucky! Studies have shown that coffee can be a great pre-workout beverage due to its caffeine content. It also promotes fat oxidisation while improving mental focus. As a result, working out feels easier and possibly more enjoyable too. While caffeine content is an issue with energy drinks and the like, the amount found in your average cup of americano is less than what you’d find in a single of serving of pre-workout, yet still being enough to give you that kick.
3. Fruity snack
If juices aren’t a feasible choice, try reaching for a piece of fruit like bananas, watermelons or grapes instead. They provide natural sugar for the body and raise your energy levels. Going for low-fibre fruits also shortens the time need to digest them, providing quicker access energy. If you’re thinking of packing dried fruits like figs or apricots, be conscious of the amount as the drying process concentrates the sugars. In other words, the carbohydrate content will differ significantly between 100g of fresh apricots and 100g of dried ones.
It is important to remember that pre-workout formulas aren’t wholly necessary. Sure – they can help on days when you feel sluggish, but you’d be better off taking steps to ensure that your energy levels remain optimal throughout the day instead of looking to powders and bars as an immediate solution. Remember that prepping the body and the mind is also an important aspect in fitness. As the saying goes, “if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”