For Results in the Gym, This Works Like Crazy†
Do you find yourself losing steam in the gym? Or maybe you end workouts feeling beat instead of better?
If so, your pre-workout may be to blame.
Turns out, what you eat BEFORE you hit the gym may be the most important driver of results AFTER.
I wouldn’t dare go on a long run or try to lift heavy in the gym without the proper FUEL beforehand.
And, along with a healthy diet, a pre-workout supplement plays a key role in my training regimen.†
But there’s a catch: All pre-workout supplements are not created equally. Some contain nasty synthetics and harsh stimulants.
If you want all-day energy in the gym AND faster recovery, you have to choose carefully.
Today, I’ll show you what to look for in a quality pre-workout foods and supplements.
Pre-Workout Supplements 101
Who doesn’t want to get the most of their workouts? Obviously, you want every squat, crunch and HIIT class to count.
You’re not spending hours in the gym just to see lackluster results.
That’s where pre-workout supplements can shine.
But before you devour the nearest pre-workout drink or bar, I want to show you exactly what to look for in a pre-workout supplement.
Here are a few things avoid and some to look for when it comes to choosing a pre-workout supplement.
Avoid the following 4 ingredients:
1. High-glycemic or simple carbs (which turn to sugar)
Many pre-workout shakes, bars or drinks lack real fuel.
Instead of real-food energy, you’ll find unhealthy carbs and processed white sugar.
While the “sugar rush” may make you feel a quick high, the crash is almost inevitable. As your blood sugar spikes and returns to normal, you can be left with a metabolism that’s all out of whack and muscles that are starving.
In other words, those ingredients are not just nutritionally sub-optimal, but they can also derail the results you want from your workouts.
2. Over-the-top-caffeine levels
One of the most common ingredients in pre-workout supplements is caffeine. Sometimes, you’ll find 100 milligrams, 200 milligrams or even 300 milligrams of caffeine (or more).
That’s a whopping three times the amount in a typical cup of coffee! While a small amount of caffeine can be helpful, too much can be a problem. It can lead to jitters, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), sleeplessness and more.
Dimethylamylamine is a stimulant that can increase the heart rate, and it’s shrouded in a host of WARNINGS and red flags. Unfortunately, it often makes its way into some pre-workout supplements.
4. NO processed sugar
This is an important one. You don’t need or want sugar in your pre-workout supplement. Period.
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of red-flag ingredients, but these are the key ones that should be on your radar.
This is important because pre-workout supplements can be one of the biggest levers for seeing results in the gym.† But with the wrong ingredients, your potential gains may be quickly erased.
Instead, you should look for natural energizers in a quality pre-workout that can fuel results.†
Check out these 5 natural energizers†:
1. Vitamin B12
Known as the “memory vitamin,” vitamin B12 is required in the brain for mental clarity. It can help you in the fight against stress and boost overall neurological function and health.†
Additionally, vitamin B12 helps create the sleep hormone melatonin, the “feel good” hormone serotonin, and is part of proper red blood cell formation.† It’s also water soluble, meaning it should be replenished regularly, if not daily.
You’ll also want to look for the methylcobalamin form of B12, which is the highly absorbable, active, natural form of B12 — like the B12 in the body.
2. Organic coffee berry (the fruit of the coffee plant) or organic green coffee
Both can be energizing, too.† And they can provide natural sources of caffeine at levels much lower than the heaped-on amounts often found in many other pre-workout supplements.
Generally, greens have a rich concentration of phytonutrients and chlorophyll, but they can also be energizing and provide healthy sources of amino acids, potassium, magnesium and calcium (electrolyte minerals) as well as vitamins A, D, E and K.
Electrolytes are minerals – such as potassium, magnesium and calcium – in the body that have an electric charge. Electrolytes are in the blood, body fluids and more, and keeping electrolytes balanced in the body help its muscle action, blood chemistry and other functions.
For example, potassium is a great electrolyte to have before exercising, especially if you sweat a lot. Some great sources of electrolytes include bone broth, coconut water, spinach and other greens.
5. Herbs such as ashwagandha†
Herbs can be a great addition to pre-workout supplements. Take ashwagandha, for instance. Not all ashwagandha is the same, of course, but generally, ashwagandha can boost muscle strength, endurance, stamina, overall athletic performance, muscle recovery rate, help with maintaining a healthy weight and so much more.† I believe it’s a great herb to look for when choosing a pre-workout supplement.
Final Thoughts on Pre-Workouts
I don’t know about you, but when I work out, I want to fuel my body with the right nutrition — the kind that is going to help me see the results I want after I leave the gym!
If you’re interested in what I choose for my pre-workout, make sure you check this out here.