Pick Your Antidote: Our Top Workout Pick-Me-Ups + Audio

Pre-workout drink selection.

You wake up tired and early, with the plan to get a beastly training session in. You contemplate another 30 minutes of sleep but you know the gains won’t come by bench-pressing your pillow. We all go through it, so if you’re just starting your fitness lifestyle journey, welcome to the Zoo and it’s time to leave the cage.

We all need a pick-me-up from time to time, that juice that has you jumping off the walls like the gummy bears. We’re going to review 3 drinks you can consume to get a killer workout session in, be it in the gym, on the road or at home. These 3 antidotes to wake up your system will go in order of how close they are to nature, free of any additives, preservatives and pesticides and generally more healthy.

But before we get into it let me introduce myself. My name is Hanif, I’m a Fitness Instructor and Nutritional Advisor for CriterionFit.com where I help Men in the U.K., Europe and around the world tip the balance of fitness and good health in their favour. I don’t make bold claims, how I work is based on authentic Islamic knowledge, Sunnah and the lifestyle of the Salaf as well as established proofs found with modern health & science. Helping Men with health issues including mental health, depression and obesity is what we have passion for; I can go on and on, so let’s talk about these drinks! Oh, and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share this post with that friend or family member getting into their fitness lifestyle.


We’ll start with the healthiest of pre-workout drinks and work our way to the mad hatter concoctions that have you up all night. So, first up is Beetroot Juice. Beetroot Juice is from the beetroot vegetable. You may be thinking hows a vegetable going to get me charged up for my training session but no, no, no, no, don’t look down on the creation of Allah ta’ala for a minute my friend. Beetroot and its raw juice are high in nitrates, which become nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide has the effect of relaxing blood vessels which helps the flow of blood around your body so you get that rush to your muscles; increasing your stamina, which is ideal for cycling or running sessions.

Healthline.com released an online article that reported that a study took place that found that, trained cyclists who drank 2 cups of beetroot juice daily improved their 10K time trial by approximately 12 seconds. So it seems that you can’t beat beetroot when you need that extra kick for performance. Try drinking beetroot juice 15 – 30 minutes before your session to give time for the drink to reach your bloodstream.

Espresso Coffee as a pre-workout drink.


If you’ve never experienced the almost instant effect of coffee, come join the roastery! Coffee has a deep history and connection to the Muslim world but is now found all around the world. Arabica and Robusta are the two main types and popular varieties in the western world. It’s the Coffee beans Caffeine content that gives it that amazing kick, blocking adenosine in the brain to make you feel alert and about to jump out the window! It really does give you that level of fight-or-flight response as it also triggers off the release of adrenaline. The more consistently you drink the roasted wonder drink the less its effects have on you so it’s advisable to drink coffee infrequently and when you really need that boost like today.

You should drink Coffee 30 minutes or more before your training session as recommended by registered dietician Katey Davidson for Healthline.


Here comes the next Caffeine hookup mixed in with a bunch of other ingredients depending on your source. Pre-workout powders come in all varieties so what you buy will vary, even varying between the country you purchase the product in. Caffeine is often a key ingredient in pre-workout powders because of the benefits gained that we previously discussed.

Another key ingredient you’ll likely find is L-Citrulline, a popular non-essential amino acid. When consumed some Citrulline will be turned into Arginine which is another amino acid, arginine is then converted into nitric oxide which widens blood vessels just like what occurs with Beetroot Juice.

Endurance and strength training sessions both benefit from Pre-workout powders but there are downsides to these powders and drinks such as jitters, dry mouth, dehydration, headaches, stomach issues and itchiness. Doses of pre-workouts shouldn’t be played around with. You’re unlikely to have issues with anything more than you will with powders so stick to the instructions and recommendations on your pre-workout product. Drinking your pre-workout 30 minutes before your session should be sufficient time to get the most out of the beverage.

If you ask me it is hard to pick one of these drinks over the others, I use them all and like them all but I’d probably say Coffee wins them over due to its social factor. You’re not going to fall ill drinking Beetroot Juice (I hope), it also contains antioxidants but I love me an Americano and I don’t mean anything to do with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Whatever you chose to drink lean towards moderation and tip the balance of good health and fitness in your favour.

Pick Your Antidote Audio

Published by Hanif

Husband and Father helping Men in the U.K. and worldwide get into amazing shape with coaching and lifestyle change underpinned by authentic Islamic knowledge, current fitness techniques and the advancement of modern health discoveries.

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