5 Pre-Workout Alternative Ideas to Energize Your Workout Naturally
It's impossible to expect yourself to turn up to the gym or a workout feeling revved up and ready to go every single time. Life is tiring enough without physical activity. With work, family, events, friends, and errands, it’s easy to frequently find ourselves lethargic, tired, and without the motivation needed to push through exercise.
But fortunately, that’s where pre-workout supplements like protein shakes and powders come in. Pre-workout supplements are formulated to enhance physical performance by increasing metabolism, energy, and power. Usually taken about half an hour before starting a workout or exercise routine, the benefits of pre-workout can include improved strength, lean gains, and endurance.
Pre-workout supplements have become a fitness staple that can be found in many forms from chews to a liquid in shaker bottles. All are designed to alleviate your training lull and get you to thrive throughout your workout.
However, not-so-fortunately, while pre-workout might be trendy and even effective at helping get you motivated and running effectively in the gym, this trend could be causing you more harm than good.
If you regularly chug down a pre-workout drink or supplement before heading to the gym or are considering trying out pre-workout to see what the hype is all about, you may want to reconsider your plan or routine.
Evidence has begun to emerge proving that while some pre-workouts are completely safe and have effective energy-boosting effects, many commercial synthetic pre-workouts are pointless or even dangerous.
Many commercial workout drinks are loaded with excessively high amounts of sweeteners and caffeine that might actually hinder your performance, both in the gym and after. Caffeine itself can actually be a great fat burner and energizer for your workouts, but how much is too much?
Plus, pre-workout powders and drinks which are supposed to only help push you harder in the gym, may also contain harmful ingredients that can be addictive, and up your blood pressure and heart rate in a way that can cause terrible side effects, including:
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Chest pains
- Tingling and numbness
- Kidney damage
Seems like pre-workout will eventually have the opposite effects of helping push your fitness in the gym. These nasty symptoms aren’t exactly going to motivate you to hit the gym. If you want to learn more details about the evidence from emerging studies revealing pre-workout effects and look at a couple of the main reasons why you should ditch commercial pre-workout. Click here to read: Spooky Reasons Why You Might Need to Ditch Pre-Workout.
Now hold up… before you freak out with dread, worrying about how on earth you’re going to keep up with your gym or workout routine without that nifty energy boost from pre-workout drinks and supplements, we want you to know it’s not all bad.
You don’t have to wreck your long-term results with artificial pre-workout drinks, just so you can find the fire to regularly motivate yourself to exercise and hit your fitness goals.
If you still want a boost of fitness efficiency without relying on pre-workouts that are loaded with harmful substances? Turns out nature has much cleaner and healthier pre-workout options. As usual, nature has got your back.
We’re going to explore 5 surprisingly amazing natural pre-workout ideas that work as natural substitutes for pre-workout, that’ll get you revving to go while at the gym, without all the nasty side effects. Artificial, sweetener, and chemical-free!!!
Yep, you can power your workout naturally, and if don’t believe us? Well, these squeaky-clean natural substitutes for pre-workout are backed by science. Let’s check it out:
Go bananas with your workout by eating a banana before you hit the gym!
Sorry for the cheesy pun, but seriously bananas are an incredible pre-workout snack choice and go-to for many athletes, and for good reason.
Bananas have a healthy dose of natural sugar and fast-acting carbs which provide an immediate hit of fuel. Research from Appalachian State University showed that the instant energy spike provided by bananas was just as effective as sipping a sports drink during a workout.
Plus, this spike is then balanced by the nutrients that bananas contain such as magnesium, vitamin B6, and most importantly fiber. The fiber slows the digestion of sugar and allows that energy to last the duration of your workout.
Another great thing about bananas is they’re also a great source of potassium. Why is potassium important for your workout?
Potassium is an important mineral and electrolyte that is depleted in muscles, through sweat, like when you exercise, and needs to be replaced after exercise. Low levels of potassium can contribute to muscle cramps and contractions.
For those who regularly workout moderately or intensely, consuming a banana can help them keep their potassium levels healthy and promote muscle function and prevent cramps.
Have you heard of green tea pre-workout? It’s amazing... drinking tea before a workout is incredible. Tea is literally the ultimate natural pre-workout drink.
Tea is full of antioxidants, contains no calories, has balanced caffeine content, and is super hydrating. Making for a powerful natural pre-workout. Tea has also been shown to rev up your metabolism, regulate blood sugar, and increase fat loss.
“Drinking tea can also fuel your workouts and act as an all-natural alternative to pre-workout, that’ll boost your hydration and prevent your muscles from tiring, as well as being tons healthier for your heart and nervous system.
Individuals who drink tea before their workouts have reported increased endurance, elevated mental focus, and had reduced aches and pains after exercise. To get the most out of your pre-workout tea, try drinking 1 - 2 cups 30 - 45 minutes before you hit the gym.” (1)
Take a deeper look at why tea makes an awesome pre-workout drink. Click here to read: Why Tea Is The Best All Natural Pre-Workout Drink.
Furthermore, a great way to boost your workout results using tea even more, is to opt for adaptogenic herbal teas. Adaptogens are herbs that can regulate the body’s stress response and may have the capability to boost your energy and work to protect your body from workout fatigue.
Not sure where to find great tasty and powerful adaptogenic herbal teas for pre-workout drink? Here at Wise Ape, all our tea blends are adaptogenic and have incredible calming and balancing effects. Specifically, our Chocolate Hustle tea blend is a unique elixir designed to heighten your focus, energy, and clarity. Click here to check out Wise Ape Chocolate Hustle tea blend.
And if you want to enhance your Chocolate Hustle tea even more then come learn a few ways to enhance the brain-boosting benefits of this tea blend over in our article: Nootropic Stack With Adaptogenic Tea.
This popular go-to on-the-run snack is more than just a quick and healthy gut-friendly snacking option.
Plain yogurt and plain Greek yogurt are light on your stomach and perfect for pre-workout snacking. Yogurt particularly Greek yogurt is packed with protein and contains easy-to-break-down natural sugars that provide an almost instant energy boost.
Plus, remember that all-in-important potassium we loved that bananas contained? Well, a cup of yogurt provides around 70 milligrams more potassium than a banana, making yogurt another great way to replenish depleted potassium levels.
4. Apple Cider
Apple cider vinegar has been on the health radar for a long time, being used as a health elixir for thousands of years. However, one uncommon and under-appreciated use of apple cider vinegar is using apple cider vinegar as a pre-workout.
If you're ready to take the plunge into the world of apple cider vinegar, we recommend trying Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. It's raw, unfiltered, and contains the 'mother'—basically the ACV equivalent of a superhero origin story. Give it a shot and see how it powers up your pre-workout routine.
When taken before your workout apple cider vinegar can help balance your pH levels. This balances and creates harmony in your body systems, reducing the acid build-up, and allowing for increased stamina, and minimizing muscle pain.
Additionally, ACV (apple cider vinegar) is a good source of nutrients and minerals such as many B vitamins and vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Take one to two tablespoons of ACV a day (maximum) with water, at least 30 minutes before your workout. Blend with 100% raw honey and fresh juice for added flavor. Be sure to make sure the ACV is diluted well because it is very acidic.
Research has found that MCT oil pre-workout consumed 30 to 45 minutes before physical activity can improve the intensity and total energy output during exercise.
For those looking to get a boost from MCT oil, we suggest giving Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil a try. This high-quality oil is sourced from 100% pure coconut oil, ensuring that you get the most concentrated dose of brain-boosting C8 MCTs. It's like strapping a rocket to your workout fuel, but without the actual flames.
Another study that was done using mice who were fed either regular food (70% carbohydrates) or a diet high in MCTs found that the mice who consumed a high-MCT diet saw a significant increase in physical performance in high-temperature conditions.
Not only does MCT oil provide energy and stamina, but it also provides mental fuel for the brain by increasing ketone energy in a healthy brain.
BONUS: Natural Pre-Workout Options
If you still want to opt for a traditional pre-workout powder or supplement, then we recommend looking for brands that list all their ingredients and their quantity per serving. Make sure the brand is transparent with every ingredient and research or make sure that you recognize every added ingredient on the label. Confirm that it also doesn’t contain: wheat, gluten, dairy, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or sugar.
Personally, our favorite natural pre-workout is adaptogenic tea because it combines two powerful workout-boosting components into one drink. Actually, here at Wise Ape Tea, we combine premium tea with adaptogenic herbs, crafted to create bright, flavorful organic wellness-driven tea combos. This is the evolution of tea.
Pre-Workout Alternative Ideas to Energize Your Workout Naturally
Hopefully, this information has given ya’ll a good idea of what to look for in a pre-workout and why you need to avoid many commercial synthetic pre-workout supplements and powders.
Hitting the gym with full force is extremely important so we can get the most out of our workouts and avoid extreme exhaustion. Pre-workouts promise to give us ‘the wings’ to do just this - work more effectively and have the energy to push through a hard workout. However, what many pre-workouts don’t tell us is that they can make us sick, unbalance our bodies, dramatically increase our heart rate and blood pressure, and we can even get addicted to them.
The good thing is that as you’ve learned today, after a tiring day, you can still get that boost of workout efficiency without relying on these chemical and harmful substances laden pre-workout. There are plenty of natural pre-workout options that can be just as and maybe even more effective than your basic over-the-counter pre-workout supplements and drinks.
These pre-workout alternative ideas will energize your workout all naturally and may even work better!
What Is Your Favorite Natural Pre-Workout?
This informative article is written, by Sophia McKenzie. Sophia is head content creator and writer, for several premium websites, where her expertise lies in health, nutrition, and wellness. Her content focuses on providing and sharing doable solutions to help people truly thrive and live their happiest, healthiest, fulfilled lives.
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