This is the pre-workout I drink six days a week after taking my glutamine and BCAA pills. I always work out in the morning. When I’m in the zone my morning routine is nothing short of militant and you’d think I was batshit crazy if I shared it. Which I eventually will, because it works.
I may have mentioned that I’ve been feeling quite under the weather since August. Then I moved to Europe and it got worse, then I came back and no one could figure out my issues aside from being slightly hypothyroid, anemic, and raging stress hormones (cortisol). Still no real clear explanations as to what’s going on, but after buying some herbs and doing some meditation and relaxation drills I have been feeling better. I’m not quite back to energizer bunny mode, but things are on the up-and-up. (Yay!) I read a lot about toxic levels accumulating in the body and decided to remove a bunch of products from my routine. For example, anti-perspirant has aluminum, and it can build up in your system. I switched to Tom’s. No more chemically make-up purchases. I bought a bunch of Tarte products, and if I like them, will use them exclusively. No more of those powdered water “flavor enhancers”. Natural hair products. I’m throwing every health upgrade against the wall and seeing what sticks.
This goes for pre-workout too. Mine is simple and natural. Been taking this for 3 weeks now and am very satisfied.
I’ll give you the recipe and then explain why I like each ingredient.
Total Time: 3 minutes | Serves: 1
8 oz hot water
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut oil (solid or liquid, the solid will dissolve)
1 teaspoon Manuka honey
1 dropper of trace minerals
1 caffeine pill (200 mg, I open the capsule and sprinkle it in because it’s tasteless)
3 grams of creatine
1. Add all the ingredients to hot water and stir well to combine.
3. Feel like a boss.
I used to take several name brand pre-workouts but there are so many chemicals I got scared off. Then, one of the pre-workouts I was particularly fond of was found to contain the ingredients of crystal meth, so I had to lose that. I don’t like the tingly feeling that comes from Beta-Alanine, so I want nothing to do with it. But here’s what’s in my morning bag of tricks.
BCAA – Branched-Chain Amino Acid : Leucine, isoleucine and valine are the most important aminos in aiding muscle growth. Your muscles use BCAAs as a fuel source and they also help in recovery (I take a BCAA supplement after my workout as well).
Glutamine : Working out depletes muscles of glutamine. This can compromise your muscle growth and effect immune function. Glutamine can blunt fatigue and increase endurance.
Liquids in My Drink
Hot Water : By drinking this pre-workout hot, your body literally warms up and things get moving. You know what I mean.
Lemon : Helps detoxify organs of elimination; the liver and kidneys. You want those functioning properly throughout the day or your body can start storing toxins, making you feel like a pile of rubbish.
Apple Cider Vinegar : Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is known to settle the stomach (mine likes to act up after I take any sort of pills) and improve the digestive tract. ACV also contains potassium, helping you build muscle and synthesize protein.
Coconut Oil : Medium-chain triglycerides can increase energy expenditure as compared to the same amount of longer chained fats. It also suppresses appetite.
Manuka Honey : I love this stuff. It ads a bit of natural sweetness, making the drink taste pretty good. But manuka honey also reduces gastrointestinal distress and has been shown to alleviate those who get frequent sinus infections (i.e. ME).
Trace Minerals : Why not? There is no diet or eating plan that provides you with every single thing you need. A dropper full of this tasteless liquid is a natural source of Boron, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iridium, Iron, Lithium, Magnesium, Silica, and more, all suspended in a balance of colloids and ionic electrolytes. “Ionic” – think back to chemistry class. A positive or negative charge on the molecular level means the element is unstable and can readily bond to water, making it absorbable by your body. Licking a copper pot doesn’t have the same effect!
Caffeine : Oh sweet nectar of life. I have drastically reduced my caffeine intake. I have this 200 mg pill in my drink and then post workout and post breakfast I have a single Nespresso pod. That’s it. Trust me, caffeine really messes with your sleep. I’ve even started buying the decaffeinated pods! I enjoy the ritual and flavor of coffee, so it’s not going anywhere. Caffeine is known to provide a pick me up and has been found to blunt muscle pain, allowing you to train beyond the pain barrier. Clinical studies suggest that powder/pill/capsule forms of caffeine are more effective in boosting performance.
Creatine : Not nearly as controversial an ingredient as in days past. Creatine enhances the body’s capacity for high intensity work, strengthens muscular contraction and enhances the volume of muscle fibers. There is a ton of research on creatine out there. I plan to cycle between 3 grams, 5 grams, and two week breaks and see how it effects my gains.
So there you have it. If you try it out, let me know what you think! After drinking this and a quick snack I sing this on the way to the gym: