Most energy or “pre-workout” products on the market are packed full of caffeine, sugar or excessive levels of B vitamins. Many also contain one or more stimulants that likely haven’t been tested in terms of their long-term safety. For that reason, at Puori, we always like to use tried-and-tested natural alternatives to give us that extra boost before heading for the gym.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, pre-workout drink that you can try is coffee. Whilst too much caffeine is not good for anyone, studies have shown that those of us who drink up to three cups of coffee a day, may, in fact, live longer (1). Coffee, you see, is packed full of potentially life-extending antioxidants. And as a bonus the caffeine that you will absorb from your coffee will give you the necessary motivation to go to the gym.
Researchers from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry recently found that a daily glass of beet (aka beetroot) juice can significantly reduce your blood pressure (2). The reason is that beetroot contains inorganic nitrate, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. Of course, not only does this make beetroot juice a wonderful supplement for those suffering from high blood pressure, but it’s also a fantastic aid for athletes of all levels since it improves blood and oxygen flow to your muscles, including your all-important heart muscle.
In a similar way to coffee, green tea contains both caffeine and an array of beneficial antioxidants. Those characteristics also make it a great pre-workout drink. Furthermore, it may be especially useful to drink green tea before your workout since, in one study, green tea extract helped (male) participants burn a whopping 17 percent more fat during a 30-minute, moderate-intensity cardio workout than those who didn’t take the supplement (3).
The humble banana should also be in your exercise armory. It’s little wonder that this tropical fruit has been dubbed “nature’s snack bar”. Why? Well, it’s chock-full rich of vitamins including A, B, C and E, as well as minerals, like potassium, iron and zinc. In addition, a banana has a good amount of natural sugar, so eating one prior to a workout will give you a quick burst of energy without being too heavy on your stomach. One more thing: a banana doesn’t contain caffeine so it’s a perfect snack before a late evening workout.
Something that those of us who exercise regularly often don’t fully appreciate is the importance of getting enough high-quality sleep. Sleep will improve your body’s (and your mind’s) recovery from a hard workout. Get a good night’s sleep and you will find you have more energy and focus the following day. And, importantly, after a good night’s sleep you will be much more inclined to work out again. Not only that but your nervous system, including your reaction times, will be adequately primed which means that you’re much less likely to get injured. Read this for more information on how to improve your sleep quality.
Puori C3 / CX3 – Nature’s own energizers
As mentioned earlier, most energy or “pre-workout” products on the market have excessive amounts of caffeine, sugar or B vitamins. Unlike those products, Puori C3 (in Europe) and CX3 (available in the USA) are effervescent drinks which combines natural plant extracts of ginkgo biloba and yerba mate, a south American green tea, along with zinc to help you maintain mental focus. In addition, both C3 and CX3 contain vitamin C, sourced from acerola, goji berry and rosehips, to aid your immune system. In addition, because of the synergistic effects of the ingredients, Puori C3 and CX3 will keep you energized and help reduce any feelings of tiredness or fatigue. All in all, we think it’s the perfect way for you to start the day as a refreshing change from your normal cup of coffee or tea. Alternatively, you can try the products as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Both C3 and CX3 is made from natural ingredients with natural fillers such as inulin. The sweetener is natural stevia and there is no added sugar.
- Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. Poole, R et al. (2017).
- “Dietary Nitrate Provides Sustained Blood Pressure Lowering in Hypertensive Patients A Randomized, Phase 2, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.” Kapil, Vikas, et al. (2015)
- Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Venables, M.C et al. (2008)