A pre-workout is a drink, usually consumed before a weight-training session or other intensive sports activity, which is designed to improve performance, increase energy and concentration, and reduce muscle fatigue.
Although there are ready-made preparations on the market, more and more people are now creating their own homemade pre-workouts.
A pre-workout will usually include the following ingredients:
Vegans will obviously need to exclude whey, which comes from cow’s milk, from their pre-workouts, but pea and rice protein are both excellent alternatives.
To create your pre-workout, you’ll need to mix the various recipe ingredients in a blender, to produce a single, consumable drink. Blend till you have a drink with a smooth consistency, but don’t use a juice extractor as you want to make sure you preserve any fibre.
For a guaranteed vitamin and energy boost, blend 1 peeled beetroot, 2 carrots, 2 cored apples, 2cm-3cm of peeled ginger root and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (3).
Blend 100mg-200mg of caffeine, 5g of arginine, 5g of creatine and 2g of beta-alanine. Perfect for fully energising your body and helping you go the distance during a long training session!
Blend 20g-25g of whey (about one dose), 5g of creatine, and half a cup each of blueberries and Greek yogurt – an ideal combination for helping you gain muscle.
Blend one banana(high in carbs and thus energy), a few stoned dates, a small glass of skimmed milk and half a teaspoon of honey (for taste!). Pour into a bottle and chill until the froth settles, then garnish with a few almond slivers before consuming.
Blend 200mg of caffeine, 5g of creatine monohydrate, 2 grams of tyrosine and 8 grams of citrulline malate, with a flavoured water. A classic pre-workout, highly effective for getting fit and accomplishing your exercise objectives.
Some supplements can be taken in the form of powder, while others come as capsules (which in principle can be taken with your drink rather than blended into it). In the case of certain plants, you can also directly infuse or steep the plant.
If you’re in any doubt about your choice of supplements, or your personal situation, be sure to seek advice from a health professional.
A homemade pre-workout is an important element of your training programme but it should not replace a varied, balanced diet. A diet with a good intake of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats is essential for supporting physical performance and recovery. The time you eat can also play a role in maximising your performance.
It should be remembered that even though these recipes are natural, they contain stimulants and may therefore cause side-effects such as nervous tension, heart palpitations or sleep problems. What’s more, some people may be allergic to or intolerant of certain ingredients. If in doubt, always consult a health professional.
To conclude, making your own homemade pre-workout allows you to control the quality of the ingredients and adapt the recipe to your particular needs. At the same time, remember that these preparations do not replace a varied, balanced diet.
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