You get out what you put in. What we choose to consume before your workout affects what you get out of it. A pre-workout sip or snack can give us the energy and nutrients needed to challenge our limits or sabotage our best intentions.
So what’s good?
Sugar isn't allllll bad. Our bodies need fuel before exerting themselves, and much of this energy should come from glucose found in healthy carbohydrates like fruit and whole grains. Try consuming a small amount (15-30g) in the form of supplements or fruits about an hour to half an hour before your workout.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is fairly common, which is a shame because B vitamins like B6 and B12 are crucial in preventing fatigue, muscle weakness, and brain fog. Look for B vitamins in food-based sources (see: eggs, dairy, and fortified cereals) for good absorption that will help keep your muscles strong and mind clear.
Electrolytes like magnesium and potassium keep away muscle cramps and dehydration. But rather than turning to sugary sports drinks, try a banana smoothie or a glass of coconut water instead for the same benefits, minus all the additives.
Everything in moderation. A little caffeine never hurts, and pre-workout boost can improve motivation, mood, stamina, and power output, so you can get the most out of your workout. Some experts say that caffeine can even enhance fat burning and decrease muscle waste. Yes, we're going to plug PANATEA matcha here, because our matcha has the perfect amount of caffeine to kill it at the gym. It won't give you the jitters or crash of coffee. Plus, there's not enough caffeine in matcha to promote production and excretion of cortisol, the body’s stress and fat storage hormone.
Refined and added sugars
Some glucose is great and even necessary before a workout, but here, source is key. Avoid the processed and the refined (including most meal replacement bars and juices) to avoid a nasty energy crash during your workout. Stick to complex carbs and natural sources of sugar for a slower-acting and more effective energy boost.
Some caffeine is good; too much is not. In addition to the jitters and crash, too much caffeine can lead to a lack of focus and anxiety. Instead stick to natural, reliable caffeine sources rather than testing your luck with energy drinks and other “miracle” supplements.
(Missing the convenience of those on-the-go energy drinks? Our Instant Matcha packets are perfect at the gym: just pour into your water bottle and shake! But because we only use high quality matcha with loads of antioxidants in our Instant Matcha packets, you know it's one of the healthiest ways to get an energy boost.)