Nothing feels better than completing a grueling workout. That sense of accomplishment paired with the endorphins of exercise can make you feel like you’re on top of the world! Just the same, not having the stamina to make it through your workout routine can be super frustrating and enough to put you off of exercise for the day. This is where pre workout drinks come in.
Most pre workout drinks are full of caffeine, which is honestly the last thing you need to prepare for a workout. That quick jolt of energy won’t last, and it’s more of a central nervous system stimulant than a sustainable source of energy.
What you need for a good workout is a drink full of healthy carbs, protein, and fat. Keep in mind that pre workout supplements are also an option to give yourself a boost before exercising, but many of them also have hidden ingredients (such as sugars and caffeine) that won’t do your body any good during a workout.
What Does a Pre Workout Do?
If chosen correctly, a pre workout drink or supplement can really enhance a workout routine. Full of nutrients, vitamins, and electrolytes, a natural and caffeine-free pre workout drink can provide your body with sustainable energy, mental focus, endurance, and help keep you from getting dehydrated. Steady blood sugar is also important during aerobic exercise, and many pre workout mixtures can help with that.
Who Uses Them?
Pre workout products have gotten the reputation of being used only by athletes who do intense training everyday, but virtually anyone who does regular exercise can benefit from a pre workout regimine. It’s all about finding the right one to suit your health and exercise needs.
Whether you’re trying to take your usual routine up a notch, starting a new workout plan, or want more focused energy in the gym, caffeine-free pre workout products can definitely help.
Anyone who has been in the market for pre workout mixes can vouch that it can be daunting when trying to decipher the ingredients of a pre workout supplement or drink. But, there are some great tips and tricks out there that you can use to make sure that your caffeine-free pre workout product is actually healthy and not full of unnatural, stimulating garbage.
How to Tell Between the Good and the Bad
It seems like anything marketed for exercise enthusiasts would be healthy, right? Wrong. In fact, many pre workout mixes are actually far more harmful than helpful, thanks to their artificially flavored, sugar-packed ingredients.
There are a few familiar phrases that different products will place on their labels, many of which are arbitrary and should be avoided. This brings us to tip #1:
- Be informed on ingredients: If you’ve ever looked at pre workout blends side-by-side, you may have noticed the term “proprietary blend.” That sounds nice and all, but what is it, exactly? It’s a valid question, and there’s really no answer. A company’s “proprietary blend” could include so many different ingredients, good or bad. Make sure that you look for caffeine-free pre workout blends that are transparent about labeling their ingredients.
- Don’t rely on stimulants: People often complain about a lack of energy when it comes to exercise, which is why caffeine is relied upon so heavily in the exercise community. While we know that caffeine before a workout can lead to dehydration and muscle aches, there are other stimulants out there that can be even worse than caffeine. Steer clear of anything that contains DMAA, which was banned from the FDA for dangerous side effects such as brain bleeding, heart attacks, and even death. Other dangerous stimulants include yohimbe and synephrine, which were also banned. Some pre workout mixtures still contain these harmful ingredients, so be extra cautious while shopping.
- Keyword: Natural: Just like you would want your food to be natural, you should aim to have your caffeine-free pre workout mixtures be natural and organic. It’s common for pre workout drink mixtures to include added refined sugars and artificial coloring, which definitely won’t help you through your HIIT.
As for incorporating pre workout mixtures to your diet, it’s best to try and blend it up in a smoothie full of other nutritious ingredients, such as fruits, nut milk, and coconut water for electrolytes.
Our personal favorite? Tossing some SUTRA Gold or Black into the blender for an extra boost of energy pre workout. The superfood powders in the mixture can help with fatigue, muscle strength, and get the detox process rolling so you can sweat it all out.
Just remember, if you’re looking for a great pre workout mix, make sure it’s caffeine-free and only uses natural ingredients and safe stimulants. Over stimulation in pre workout mixes can result in some less-than-desirable symptoms, such as vomiting, jitters, cramps, headaches, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
Also, remember to stay hydrated with water, and to not push yourself too hard just because you’ve adopted a new pre workout mix. With so many delicious recipes out there to kick start your exercise routine, getting to your healthier, fitter goal has never been easier or more enjoyable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - LINDSAY WARE