There's one thing everyone needs before a workout – energy. Having increased energy levels will help maximize your workouts to ensure you're putting in sufficient effort to get the results you want. The most common way gym-goers go about increasing their energy levels is by taking a pre-workout supplement. These supplements typically have energy and performance-boosting ingredients to help you have the best workout possible. However, some may want to take a break from it or want to avoid them for a more natural approach... whatever the case is, there are plenty of ways to boost your energy levels naturally!
By natural, we mean providing you with substantial energy without requiring a stimulant, like caffeine. However, if you want a more natural stimulant, we do suggest having a cup of coffee or green tea in place of your pre-workout! Or you can keep on reading and try out these 5 natural energy boosters...
Take a BCAA supplement
A supplement may not seem like a natural way to boost your energy, but BCAA's are! BCAA's (branched-chain amino acids) are comprised of three amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are essential amino acids that we obtain through diet, specifically from red meat and dairy. BCAA supplements typically only contain these three ingredients in their formula and may contain very few added sweeteners or natural flavors to make it taste better. And although you can eat meat or have yogurt before your workout to help supply your body with these amino acids, taking a supplement is much more effective because it provides BCAAs in an optimal dose.
So, how do BCAAs work and how can they boost your energy?
These three amino acids enter the bloodstream rapidly, bypass the liver, and are taken and broken down by active muscle tissue. Essentially, they are broken down in your muscles to help fuel them! During high-intensity exercise, the BCAA levels in your blood decrease, and tryptophan (another amino acid) rises. Tryptophan produces the feeling of relaxation and sleepiness, so taking a BCAA supplement before or even during your workout can prevent this from happening! It'll help you fight fatigue so that you're able to push yourself to do a few extra reps!
Another added benefit to taking BCAAs is that they can also help improve muscle recovery! It helps reduce the effects of muscle breakdown and helps lower the levels of certain enzymes responsible for muscle damage which in turn helps reduce the severity of muscle soreness!
Try Super Greens
Besides helping improve gut health, super green supplements can also be great for increasing energy levels without any stimulants, like caffeine! Super green supplements are essentially designed to give you a huge serving of fruits and veggies in one convenient scoop to help give your body the essential nutrients it might be lacking. They typically share common ingredients that are rich in antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. It's an all-natural blend of ingredients that help decrease inflammation, boost the immune system, and even help increase energy levels!
Common energy-boosting ingredients found in super greens are kale and spinach. These all-natural ingredients are rich in iron which helps prevent fatigue. Other super greens even contain green tea extract (which contains caffeine and L-theanine), or like ours contains a blend of adaptogenic mushrooms known as Peak O2. 373 Lab Super Greens, contains a Peak O2 blend, which is an organic-certified combination of six adaptogenic mushrooms that help increase power and endurance. It does this by helping improve oxygen utilization and work capacity while decreasing lactate. This helps to naturally increase your energy levels while improving your endurance so you can train harder, for longer!
Have a banana with almond butter
Boosting your energy before a workout is not always about taking a supplement - whole foods are also a great source of energy! Bananas, for example, are a delicious source of carbohydrates. You need carbs so that your body can turn them into glucose and use it for energy, so having some healthy carbs before your workout can help you get super pumped!
What makes bananas an excellent pre-workout snack is that they are a carb, but are also high in sugar. Having simple sugars before a workout is great for a quick energy boost. However, the sugar found in bananas is much different than regular table sugar! It's digested more slowly, plus it's packed with fiber and other essential nutrients. Therefore it takes more time for your body to get to the sugar in the banana and digest it, helping you avoid those sugar crashes associated with regular white sugar. Add some almond butter to your banana to make it even better!
Almond butter is a healthy fat that is rich in calcium and has a good amount of protein. Compared to peanut butter, it has higher amounts of vitamin E and iron! Pair a tablespoon or two with a banana for a delicious, energy-boosting pre-workout snack.
Have yogurt with blueberries
Another great whole food combination to have pre-workout is Greek yogurt with a few blueberries. Greek yogurt is not only rich in probiotics, vitamin D, and calcium, it's also packed with protein. Having a bit of protein pre-workout will deliver your muscles with essential nutrients that will promote less fatigue. Plus, yogurt also contains a good amount of carbs so that your body can use it for energy!
So, why add blueberries?
The right kind of sugar can help you excel in the gym. You've probably heard popular trends on social media like eating a Rice Krispy Treat before a workout due to the simple sugars providing your muscles with energy. But doing that can lead to a stomach ache and potentially even more cravings! Avoid that by having something sweet, natural, and packed with antioxidants - like blueberries! Aside from being nutrient-rich, blueberries are known for improving brain function and focus.
Take vitamin B-12
If you're constantly feeling fatigued and weak then it's worth looking into whether you're getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet! Vitamin B12 plays an important role in energy production, it helps turn the food that you eat into glucose, which as you know is used by your body as its energy fuel source. It doesn't act as a stimulant does, instead, it simply helps your body absorb and store energy.
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal sources, and even then, the amount in these sources is small. However, you may want to visit your doctor before taking vitamin B12 first to ensure there's a deficiency.
Have higher energy levels without needing pre-workout or energy drinks
As you can see, there are various ways to increase your energy levels naturally – no pre-workout powders or energy drinks! Those supplements aren't necessarily bad, but they shouldn't be heavily relied on all the time. So, whenever you need a break from high stimulating supplements, try one of the above methods to feel a natural, sustainable boost in energy that will maximize your workouts!
Need a BCAA or Super Greens Supplement that you can trust?
Look no further than 373 Lab Supplements! We create supplements that are designed to help you achieve your fitness goals by giving you only the nutrients you need – no unnecessary fillers or additives!
Find what your pantry is missing at 373 Lab.