Ask yourself what your goals are for the workout. Are you aiming for more strength, better power, or an increase in your endurance? Or are you just going for a run to clear your head? If that’s the case, you may not want to take anything first. Most of the time, I’m aiming for benefits from my workout and I like to use some type of supplement. Different supplements yield different results! Something to keep in mind – many of these are already in our bodies, but adding a bit more will still help us as we reach for our goals.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Creatine (naturally in our cells) – adding this helps with strength and power. When you’re able to use more power consistently you build more muscle and get stronger faster.
Beta-Alanine (an amino acid) – helps to fight muscle fatigue and increase performance during quick intense bursts in your workout.
Citrulline (an amino acid) – increases blood flow to body tissues. More blood means more oxygen – helpful for our endurance.
BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) – help with endurance and also with muscle recovery after a good workout.
Nitrate – found in some vegetables (think beetroot juice) and is also produced naturally in the body. Nitrate is converted in the body to nitric oxide, which increases blood flow. We know that this is good for endurance.
Caffeine – increase alertness and makes you feel less tired. Sometimes it’s as simple as grabbing half a cup of coffee before my short morning run.
I’ve also been using an Adaptogenic Herb Elixir blend as a pre-workout pick-me-up, and I love it! It has Rhodiola for physical and mental stress, Schisandra to fight physical fatigue, Ashwagandha for stress and cortisol support, and a few other great herbs to help with focus and immune system support. I am finding that when I drink this elixir (it’s mixed with a shot of kombucha), my workouts are focused and I can push myself farther, faster. If I’m doing a super intense workout I’ll add another of my favorite pre-workout supplements too. I always have my BCAAs with my recovery drink.
Give it some thought. Are you working out just for fun, or do you have fitness goals? What you drink before your workout may help you more than you think!