Seven Of The Best Natural Pre-Workout Foods

Seven Of The Best Natural Pre-Workout Foods

We’ve all had that feeling before. It’s right before your workout and after a long day at work or a restless night’s sleep, the last thing we feel we have energy for is a workout. Names That Mean Death

You glance with longing at your workout kit wondering what in the world will motivate you enough to go into your workout and wish there was a magic potion to give you that motivation to get up and move. As a long-time gym rat, I’ve had plenty of friends who use pre-workout supplements and on occasion, I’ve partaken in the use of these.

However, I’ve never really been a supplement type of person and prefer all-natural and organic ingredients to pills and powders. Not to mention that some pre-workout supplements can have dangerous side effects and make you feel jittery – not a good feeling for me at all.

If like me, you’re in the quest for an all-natural way to get a much-needed pre-workout boost, then you needn’t look any further. Below are seven of the best natural workout supplements that will give you energy without the chemical jitters.

1. Honey
Recent research suggests that carb blends (foods containing fructose and glucose) may be superior to straight glucose for boosting energy during endurance activities. Honey, like sugar, has equal parts fructose and glucose. Additionally, it also contains a handful of antioxidants and vitamins, and usually the darker the honey, the more disease-fighting compounds it contains.

2. Bananas
Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates (read: fuel) and are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function. The body doesn’t store potassium for very long, so a medium banana before a workout will help keep nutrient levels high. This is especially important if you’re an early morning exerciser. Eat a banana about 30 minutes before you hit the gym and you will be set to go.

3. Oats
Oats are full of fiber, which means they gradually release carbohydrates into your bloodstream. This steady stream keeps your energy levels consistent during your workout. Oats also contain B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy. Help yourself to one cup at least 30 minutes before you begin exercising.

4. Apples
If it comes down to picking out of the candy dish or an apple for some pre-workout sugar, go for the apple. You’ll avoid a sugar crash mid-lunge while stocking up on vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To keep your stomach from growling, spread a tablespoon of almond butter on your slices. It squashes hunger and amps energy levels up.

5. Greek yogurt
A little yogurt will be light for your stomach, yet will give you that boost of energy that you need without weighing you down. Add some fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey and you have the perfect, light, and nutritious pre-workout snack.

6. Super Food Shake
Feeling like a bigger boost of energy? Combine some of the foods on this list to make a superfood shake that will leave you feeling incredibly energized! Blend 1 cup of greek yogurt (or soy yogurt for vegans!) with 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk. Add a tablespoon of honey, 1/4 cup of oats, and a banana. Voila! Super pre-workout shake is all ready to go.

7. Chocolate Milk
This one’s a bonus for after your workout: A small 2006 study (partially funded by the dairy industry) found that chocolate milk might help tired athletes refuel as well or better than popular sports drinks. In the study, nine cyclists rode until exhaustion, rested for four hours, then biked again. During the rest period, they drank either low-fat chocolate milk, Gatorade (a fluid/electrolyte-replacement drink), or Endurox (a carbohydrate-replacement drink). The cyclists who refueled with chocolate milk were able to bike about 50 percent longer during the second bout of exercise than those who drank Endurox and about as long as those who drank Gatorade. So channel your inner kid and refuel on chocolate milk.

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