Healthier Pre-Workout Alternatives for Your Next Workout

Are you trying to work out, but it doesn’t seem to work out? Or you probably flagged mid-workout. The frustration of diminishing energy, too-little stamina, and woeful endurance is real; it kills your mood and your overall workout performance. If you have through the above, then the chances are that you are familiar with the disappointments of caffeine jitters that are supplement-fueled and crash-and-burns common aftermath of some popular pre-workout supplements, including the popular ones. It is just fair that you at least get what you put in, Right? Most of these pre-workout supplements on the market lately have artificial sweeteners, plenty of other chemical ingredients, artificial flavors, and color put in them, pre-workout supplements such as these should have no place in your workouts.

What are pre-workouts?

A pre-workout is a supplement that helps in bodybuilding, containing ingredients that boost your energy instantly. These over the counter supplements are mainly used by athletes to help boost their performance and recovery. The active ingredients of pre-workout include; creatine, L-Citrulline, beta-alanine, an amino acid that help in muscle recovery after your workout. Many supplement brands on the market promote pre-workout that contain ingredients that have not been proven safe for consumption or have a scientifically benefit health-wise. Quite many supplements advertised on the market have little or no benefit at all and can cause side effects.

Did you know?

  • Before commercial pre-workout supplements, in the 1960s to the early 1980s, bodybuilders would drink a cup of coffee before each workout session.
  • Ultimate Orange was the first-ever pre-workout created in Venice, California, in 1982 and formulated by Dan Duchaine.

Ingredients/supplements

These supplements can be ingested in different forms. It can be taken as capsules, tablets, powders, bars, and liquids.

  • Caffeine: it is one of the most common types of supplements or ingredients, especially with the way it went down in history. It possesses a neutral effect that moves up to the central nervous system (CNS) to activate hormones and beta-endorphins that, in turn, increase alertness, energy, and mental agility. Side effects of caffeine are insomnia, dizziness, arrhythmias, and anxiety.
  • Creatine: This is a natural supplement that is stored in the skeletal muscle cells and mainly produced in the liver and kidney. Creatine is a source of energy that is known to act alone as a supplement and can draw water to the cells of a muscle creating muscle hypertrophy. The creation of muscle trophy is as a result of it being stored in the muscle cells and phosphorylated to produce phosphocreatine (PCr). Creatine comes in four forms; Creatine phosphate, creatine esters, creatine monohydrate, and creatine citrine.
  • Taurine: This is a prevalent ingredient used in energy drinks; it can also be used as a supplement when taken alone. Taurine and creatine share similar similarities in helping create hypertrophy that increases strength, reduced muscle damage, increased endurance, and promotes faster recovery.
  • Beta-alanine: This is an ingredient or supplement produced in the liver; it slows down fatigue and improves the ability to buffer protons when the muscles are experiencing severe contractions. As you exercise, it increases power output, performance, aerobic, and anaerobic endurance.
  • Methylhexanamine: Its also known as DMAA, is derived from amphetamine and a vasoconstrictor that can be promoted as a supplement or alternative to caffeine since it improves mental concentration, energy, and perception. It also reduces fatigue. According to the FDA, DMAA can elevate blood pressure due to its ability to narrow the blood vessels and arteries and may bring about some cardiovascular events ranging from tightening of the chest to shortness of breath or worse, heart attack.

Recommended dosages:

IngredientHow much per day.
Caffeine200 mg (It is equal to 2 cups of coffee)
Creatine5 grams
Beta-alanine5 grams
Taurine500 – 2,000 mg
Citrulline6 – 8 grams
BCAATen grams before and 10 grams after a workout.
Betaine1.25 – 2.5 grams

Benefits of pre-workout:

  • It improves physical performance
  • It boosts adrenaline to help emulsify fat cells faster.
  • It improves the flow of blood and spreads up muscle recovery.
  • It gives intense amounts of energy (Adenosine Triphosphate) ATP to improve work capacity.
  • It draws fluid to muscles to make them look great.
  • It boosts power to allow a harder and longer workout.
  • It enhances mood, attention, and focus.
  • Promotes muscle loss
  • Promotes lipid oxidation.

Possible side effects:

  • Bitterness and over-stimulation
  • Overexertion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Acute liver toxicity
  • Paresthesia
  • Niacin flush, it is a temporary skin irritation
  • Gastrointestinal upset

It’s time to switch it up and go natural, here are a few pre-workout supplements we recommend for better performance.

Brand: Legion Pulse
Description: It is a sturdy powder that boosts your workout performance, you don’t get the jitters, doesn’t make you crash after workouts or cause a stomach ache. It does not come with these uncomfortable side effects that you’d rather do without. It boosts your energy, so you don’t burn out. Legion pulse is made from 6 ingredients that enhance your physical performance, energy levels, and mood. They include betaine, citrulline, ornithine, beta alamine, anhydrous caffeine, and theanine. Legion Pulse is a 100% natural supplement. It tastes like blue raspberry.

Benefits:

  • Enhances your overall performance
  • The boosts energy level and mood
  • 100% natural ingredients

Price: $39.97

Brand: Powher
Description: This pre-workout has been designed totally to work for women. This product provides long-lasting and safer energy than the competition. It gets the best of cardio results by putting together a natural blend of antioxidants with energy boosters that are stim-free, minerals, and vitamins. It is made from 13 natural ingredients that have been scientifically proven to boost increased energy, increased fat burning process on the track or in the gym, and strength. PowHer also contains 500mg Coconut Water Powder, which has proven to be a brilliant thirst quencher and can outperform regular sports drinks consistently, especially when it comes to hydration. One 10gm serving of PowHer pre-workout supplement is very useful before any kind of exercise.

Benefits:

  • It stimulates free energy
  • Optimizes fat burning
  • Contains Coconut Water Powder for enhanced hydration and other premium ingredients like EnXtra, Rednite, and Oxyjun
  • Tastes like pink lemonade

Price: $45

Brand: Garden of Life
Description: This supplement is USDA organic and NSF certified with 85mg of organic coffee berries you’ll love. It helps enhance mental focus during a workout, and also contains 220mcg of whole food vitamin B12. It offers a tasty blend of nitrate-rich organic vegetables like me, spinach, and beets to build muscle mass and fuels the body with oxygen. It tastes like Blackberry.

Benefits:

  • Boosts energy
  • Improves focus
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Delays the onset of muscle soreness
  • Provides solid nutrition

Price: $27

Brand: Do Vitamins
Description: Again, no uncomfortable side effects. This supplement has all its contents to be FDA registered and verified as drug-free; it is also certified vegan and natural. It has no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservation. It provides your body with energy and increased muscle strength.

Benefits:

  • Boosts Mental focus
  • Weight management
  • Controlled muscle fatigue

Price: $39.99

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