Pre-workout supplements are very popular with gym-going monsters chasing the next pump, the next gym session muscle murder, the next muscle growth spurt. Getting your monies worth out of your gym membership is a must and so purchasing pre-workout supplements makes sense when growing muscle is the goal but are there alternatives that will get you the same amped-up feeling?
Yes, there are alternatives to the supplement ingredient combinations found in most pre-workouts. The natural way is in my view the best way to go, long term, although I will sometimes employ pre-workouts to get the blood flowing and to get into the zone during a workout session because sometimes you need more kick.
So what Pre-workouts and what are and the core ingredients found within them? Pre-workouts are a combination of ingredients that when combined help to boost performance and alertness while exercising, helping you to better previous personal achievements, reduce feelings of perceived exertion, increase muscle endurance and increase training volume. As the name suggests, they are usually taken before the exercise session (30 – 45 mins before in most cases) added to water or a juice, they usually come in powder form.
From the key ingredients found in pre-workouts are Creatine, Beta-alanine, Caffeine which all have research backing up their benefits to performance when training. However, using such supplements too often could be harmful since overusing caffeine, for example, will increase the tolerance the body has towards it, this would mean you’d need to consume more to get the same level of effect over time so in this case, taking a week off of the pre-workout may be a good decision.
The processes used in production, the combination of the ingredient formula and your bodily reaction to the pre-workout are all factors that should be taken into consideration when buying and using pre-workouts. It’s important to know that they can increase your heart rate and affect your quality of sleep (rest is important for muscle growth).
Some of the natural pre-workouts I’d suggest you try to avoid or reduce your use of formula made pre-workouts includes:
Ginger juice shots taste great and warm you up to the point you’ll be fired up for your exercise session. It also reduces pain, nausea, improves digestion and reduces inflammation.
Beetroot juice shots increase body’s nitric oxide levels and improve cardiovascular performance. Increasing blood flow around the body reduces stress on your heart.
Coffee (espresso, americano, cold brew) – helpful in Fat loss, improved focus, increased performance, antioxidant properties and decreased muscle pain coffee and caffeine, in particular, are well known to aid fitness. Coffee is from the most consumed drinks around the world and its ability to bring alertness to a person is well known, helping to ensure a great workout session.
I love a pre-workout whether it be a formula or natural juice or coffee. they set the stage for the work about to be done. I don’t recommend formula pre-workouts to beginner exercisers or those with preexisting health issues, these supplements can be dangerous so before you consume them to seek the advice of your GP.