There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of pre-workout supplements — many of which aren’t FDA approved and have been linked to serious health problems. If you’re reluctant to put rogue supplements into your body, don’t!
Here are four natural alternatives that are just as effective:
I know, it sounds too simple, but an apple is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants perfect for sustaining a strong workout. Apples also contain pectin fiber, which allows for a gradual sugar ingestion to keep you going throughout your workout. Also effective are bananas, which are packed with carbohydrates and potassium to keep you from cramping.
The “caf-fiends” out there will be smiling about this segment. Coffee has been known to have a bunch of fat-burning properties. Its high concentration of caffeine boosts metabolism and can cause fat cells to be used as an energy source rather than glycogen.
Smoothies are fantastic because you can blend one or more things from this list while exercising portion control. Add oats to a fruit-based smoothie for a carb energy boost without overdoing your fiber intake, which could otherwise lead to a gassy workout and mean looks from the person on the treadmill behind you.
A small bowl of whole-wheat spaghetti or a slice of whole-wheat toast is a great source of both simple and complex carbohydrates. Slap some peanut butter on a slice of toast for some protein and good fats — even a few banana slices for the potassium.