We all know her: the one woman who can roll out of bed at 4:45 A.M. every morning to get a full workout in at the gym before work. She always gets in every rep, hits new PRs on the rowing machine every other week, and never complains that she’s too lethargic. Then there’s the rest of us. We consider it a personal triumph to get out of bed and to the gym in the morning. And we feel like we’re sleep walking through the entire set, not getting the most out of our workout
There are a thousand different brightly colored powders that promise to give you all the energy you need. But pre-workouts aren’t regulated and can have some sketchy ingredients in them. Don’t worry, though, there are many natural ways to get enough energy to perform at max. These quick solutions will give you enough energy to last you through your workout, without requiring you to surrender more than 5 minutes of sleep time to prepare.
Get back to basics with one of the simplest, healthiest, and most effective energy drinks on the planet. A cup of black coffee 30 minutes before your workout will deliver enough caffeine to stay focused and motivated through your routine. Make your own iced coffee if you want something quicker to drink.
Matcha is another quick and natural source of caffeine that will make you get out of bed and to the gym. In addition the caffeine, it is full of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine increases alpha brain waves, which relieve stress and promote relaxation. You don’t even need to boil water for matcha, you can just mix the powder with cold water if you are pressed for time.
Want to go to the gym before you eat breakfast, but don’t want to deal with a grumbling stomach? A banana is an ideal pre-workout snack. At 100 calories, it is enough to fill you up for an hour and delivers enough energy to push through. Bananas also help keep blood sugar levels stable during strenuous exercise.
With avocado toast, you really can have it all. Well, all of the macronutrients you need to get going for a workout. Avocado toast takes about 3 minutes to make and has a serving of fruit, healthy fat, protein, and carbs. Talk about the total package.
70% Dark Chocolate Bar
Dark chocolate might be too little rich first thing in the morning, but it totally works to give you a boost before an afternoon workout. Cocoa acts like a stimulant, as it contains caffeine and theobromine, two natural sources of energy. The antioxidants in dark chocolate also cause the arteries to relax and improve blood flow. So maybe those who are coo-coo for cacao might even want to eat a bit before their morning workout!
What is highly filling, has 6 grams of protein, Vitamin D, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and is smaller than your car key? A hardboiled egg! Make a batch of these bad boys before you go to bed and have a ready-to-go snack that will help keep you full during cardio without taking up too much room in your stomach.
Spice up your pre-workout with ginger tea or kombucha. Ginger increases bile secretion and stimulates the activity of pancreatic lipase. These two reactions cause an increase in metabolism and facilitate energy expenditure, making this a perfect pairing with one of the quick snacks to get your workout going.
The reason most of us feel so tired and groggy when we wake up is because we are dehydrated. Think about it: if you went 8 hours without water during the day you’d be dying of thirst! Same is true when you wake up. Drink a couple of glasses of water to revitalize yourself before you go to the gym. Make it lemon water for even more energizing and mood enhancing effects.
If you love the taste of coconut, then coconut water is another viable option to get you properly hydrated for your morning workout. Coconut water contains potassium, which will prevent muscle cramps and keep you from getting dehydrated. It also has electrolytes that work in the same way as a sports drink (but without the extra sugar).
Look at the ingredient label on any pre-workout and you will find a bunch of B Vitamins wedged in between chemicals and artificial sweeteners. Why not keep the good stuff and ditch the bad? B Vitamins, especially B12, are essential for breaking glucose found in food into ATP. Vitamin B supplements aren’t necessary if you eat a balanced diet, but can be helpful if you are still working out the kinks in your nutritional regiment.
At the end of the day (or the beginning, in this case), a cup of coffee, a couple hardboiled eggs, and a B12 vitamin will be more than enough to get you motivated and energized for your morning workout.