When going into a workout, you want to have the most energy possible to give it your maximum effort. Pre-workout isn’t for everyone, so we’ll be discussing alternatives to pre-workout in today’s article.
Everyone has heard of supplements before; some believe in the research, others rather stick to natural occurring nutrients/vitamins. Pre-workout is a popular stimulant taken before a workout, as the name states, in order to jolt the user for maximum strength.
Many people, like myself at one point, didn’t really feel comfortable taking pre-workout for energy. This article is for those who want to keep their diets completely supplement-less.
What Is Pre-Workout Made Of?
It should be noted that the main ingredient that provides energy in pre-workout is much more common than you think. It isn’t some special substance that only high-end supplement companies can get their hands on. It’s quite commonplace, especially in households.
So, what’s the main secret ingredient in pre-workout? It’s caffeine. Your pre-workout supplements use mainly caffeine to give you energy for the coming workout you are about to hit. With that, the “truth” is out.
You’re probably thinking, “I can name a handful of things in my household that have caffeine. What’s so special about pre-workout?” There’s nothing all that special about pre-workout besides the sweet taste some of them have. People prefer having sweeter flavors than some of the options we’ll have listed below this section.
However, other products can mimic that same energy surge caffeine provides you with other ingredients.
Many products/foods can provide the same effects a pre-workout supplement provides that you can find even in your own household. Here’s a list of products that mimic the effects of pre-workout.
The simple yellow fruit that most of us have lying around in our kitchen has been proven to provide just as much energy as pre-workout. The natural sugars from the banana, like fructose, “attenuates fatty acid utilization and oxidation” in the body. (1✔) (2✔)
The consumption of a banana helped the performance of cyclers in a study in 2015. The males in the experiment cycled 75 km and improved their cycling by eating a banana. The study also concludes that pears can also be useful due to the same contents of natural sugars. (1✔)
There’s been tons of research on the effects of caffeine on exercise and resistance training. We know that caffeine makes up the main energy source for pre-workout, so coffee, another drink made of pure caffeine, should do a lot of the same.
Studies would like to see if coffee could affect resistance exercise performances. One study showed that the total weight lifted by a person (bench press) on caffeine was higher than a person, not on caffeine. (3✔) (4✔)
Beverages, like coffee, can improve performance in exercise. As a matter of fact, back in the day of the golden era of bodybuilding, coffee was pre-workout before pre-workout. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilders used coffee before working out to get most out of their workouts.
As for the utilization of carbs, the use of “carb loading” is utilized to provide one person energy for an up and coming workout. Carb loading is when you consume a decent amount of carbs days before a high-intensity exercise session. (5✔)
If you know you’re going to hit a workout in a couple of days, it would be smart to carb load if you’re going to need more energy that day. Rice is a starchy carbohydrate that is perfect for carb loading. The more energy you have for a workout, the more strength you’ll have on reps.
I know a majority of people reading this would rather go natural without supplements, but however, creatine is a good source of pre-workout. Creatine is an amino acid that provides your muscles with more energy in ATP, adenosine triphosphate. (6✔)
The increase in energy for your muscles allows for better strength expenditure during a workout. The heavier you go on your lifts, the more potential for muscle growth a person has after muscle tissue recovers. (7✔)
Suppose you’re concerned about the safety of creatine supplements. In that case, there’s no need to worry. Creatine is the safest supplement on the market. It’s been the supplement with the most studies and experiments proving that it shows no side effects. (8✔) (9✔)
Natural vs. Supplements
When debating between going natural or going with supplements, the debate is red hot. People either side with supplements being completely safe or side with supplements being completely unsafe.
There’s no definitive answer on which side is better. However, most supplements on the market are relatively safe. This isn’t to say that everyone should be on supplements, but that supplements aren’t as dangerous as people think. They’re well tested and experimented on before hitting the shelves.
Some individuals prefer to go completely natural, which is completely fine. The exclusion of supplements doesn’t hurt anyone’s diets since they supplement one’s diet.
In conclusion, these are the alternatives to pre-workout. Everyone doesn’t have the luxury of supplements like pre-workout, so natural alternatives are a person’s next best option in order to maximize their workouts.
You have the likes of fruits, like bananas and pears, coffee, caffeinated beverages, rice, carbohydrates, and creatine. All these can be utilized before a workout in order to get the most of it and get those gains!
Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments you may have!
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