Pre-workout supplements have a good and a bad rep. How does that work?
Well, there is research that supports the (scary) idea that pre-workout supplements can have dangerous side effects.
Moreover, pre-workout supplements do create a buzz, but it’s really all down to one ingredient alone: Caffeine.
Which, you know, you can get just as well in a cup of Joe without those nasty side effects.
On the flip side, some athletes swear by supplements and will tell you they’ve never done them any harm.
That said, I personally don’t use them and wouldn’t recommend you do either. Instead, here’s what I suggest you should do pre-workout:
Coffee won’t do for everyone. Some of you will think I’m totally mad for even suggesting a hot drink before a workout! However, because coffee contains that magic ingredient caffeine, it’s totally worth drinking before a workout if it’s one of your favourite drinks.
I suggest that you chug a cup about 30 minutes before you hit the gym to get the most out of that caffeine high.
Okay, like pre-workout supplements, some energy drinks do have a bad rep. But they also give you a terrific buzz before you hit the gym and can work like a charm.
That said, you don’t often get a lot of bang for your buck from most energy drinks. What I mean by that is that most energy drinks are really under-dosed. If you need more of a caffeine kick than you’ll get from a cup of coffee but don’t want to spend too much, I suggest going for the sugar-free version of Monster (the white one).
Especially if you hit the gym in the morning, it’s a really good idea to get some breakfast down you first. Of course, if you are training at a low intensity - you can train fasted. But otherwise - for anything intense, explosive or that renders you feeling like you are going to die - you gotta eat!
What kind of food? That depends. There is no ‘right or wrong food’. Ignore all the marketing BS.
Eat something you enjoy, and not too close to your training. Nothing worse than indigestion during a workout. Eurgh.
The thing about a morning workout is that it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation. You wake up early, you’re still a bit dozy - are you really in the mood to go hard in the gym?
The easiest way to get your mind primed for an early morning workout session is to blast your fav music. Forget the pre-workout supplements - nothing gets you pumped like upbeat music!
Music releases endorphins in your brain and can put your adrenaline on turbocharge. So put together a lil ‘pre-workout music’ playlist on Shopify and put it on shuffle in the morning.
Pretty soon, you’ll start associating your fav music with working out and you will feel mighty good.
To sum up, you certainly don’t need pre-workout supplements. If you don’t like the idea of a hot drink before a gym session, go with an energy drink. But make sure to stock up on fuel first, and don’t forget your music playlist. It’s the crucial bit!