Daily Nutrition Blog
Natural Alternatives to Pre-Workout Supplements
Pre-workout supplements are used by an ever growing number of athletes, gym enthusiasts, and those simply hoping to jump start their new exercise routine alike. But how safe are these pre-workout supplements? While many products available today are nothing more than complex chemical cocktails without any long term studies to understand their side effects and a rapidly growing list of banned ingredients, it can be hard to confidently find a safe option for healthy stimulation before a good work out. The safest way to avoid voluntary experimentation with synthetic pre-workout supplements is to simply opt for truly natural ways of stimulating the body.
The healthiest way to condition the body is naturally over time by customizing your diet and exercise to your specific goals. One basic and easy to include dietary standard is to make sure you receive enough essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids, or EFA's, are not only crucial for healthy cells and cell communication but are also able to yield large quantities of ATP. ATP is the main energy source for the majority of cellular functions and is responsible for transporting chemical energy within cells for metabolism. EFA's also serve as fuel for muscle contraction, which can allow for generally healthy muscles. Plus, EFA's may help reduce inflammation as well as positively influence our mood. Good sources of essential fatty acids include fish oil and coconut oil.
Green tea is another widely known and well documented remedy for increased naturally energy. Green tea has an extensive and quite impressive laundry list of health benefits and as far as pre-workout supplements go, green tea does not let us down. Green tea contains high amounts of EGCG, the most active form of catechins responsible for green tea's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and metabolic properties. In addition to EGCG, the naturally occurring caffeine in green tea works synergistically to further assist the metabolism. In one study, it was found that green tea combined with exercise enabled more efficient use of oxygen by the muscles, improved antioxidant function within the muscles and increased the rate of fat burning by the muscle.
One more important thing to remember is the power of our thoughts! Mind over body control is essential for a person to push to his or her maximum output, so be sure to set realistic short term goals. Setting goals allow us to truly push our boundaries and make each moment an opportunity to become stronger, faster, and over all healthier individuals.