There’s no doubt that the best way to start your day is by crushing a workout. It can pump up your energy levels for the entire day, eliminate your afternoon slump, boost productivity and mood from the lasting effect of endorphins, and let’s face it, make you feel accomplished all before breakfast. Maybe you already know all this and want to maximize your #gains, or maybe you have trouble feeling motivated to move at sunrise when you’d rather stay tucked under the covers. Consider these supplements to get the ball rolling and the body moving.
Japanese Matcha Green Tea
Good old caffeine usually does the trick, but sometimes black coffee first thing in the morning can leave you with the jitters or an upset stomach, which is not great for stamina or handling heavy weights. Matcha or green tea is the best form of caffeine to consume if you’re going that route, because it not only improves energy and focus, but also promotes fat loss. Real spoiler: green tea extract is usually the main ingredient in most of those pricey miracle diet pills. Why pop a mystery diet pill when you can be sipping on a delicious, earthy matcha latte first thing in the morning for the same—if not better—results?
Organic Ashwagandha Ayurvedic Adaptogen
Adaptogens like rhodiola and ashwagandha are typically considered herbs for chilling out, which is part true, but they are also fantastic for supporting physical stamina. Regular, accumulated use can reduce fatigue and aid in adrenal support so that the various types of stress (i.e. physical, mental, emotional, and oxidative) don’t wreak havoc on your body and mindset, preventing you from having the power and drive to get a workout in. It doesn’t work like caffeine, though, so you will rest easy at the end of the night. No risk, high reward.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is super effective pre-workout, and particularly for people who rely on fats for fuel. Hello keto fans! What it does is transport dietary fats to the mitochondria to be burned for cellular energy, which is why it’s so beneficial for people eating a high-fat, lower-carb diet. Acetyl-L-carnitine is also interesting because it is the only compound shown to raise carnitine levels in the brain, which means that it also keeps brain cells fueled with energy. Usually acetyl-L-carnitine is very difficult to absorb, so this liposomal encapsulation helps for maximum uptake.
A Plant-Based Pre-Workout
Pre-workout formulas can be a bit scary. While most are loaded with caffeine and other questionable chemicals, there are some trustworthy plant-based formulas out there that don’t taste like they were made in a lab by glove-and-gas-mask-donning white coats. Look for one that is vegan and certified organic, with natural sources of caffeine and nitric oxide-boosting fruits and veggies. This one also comes with an adaptogenic blend for your adrenal recovery. You’ll feel juiced up and ready to go within 15-20 minutes of drinking this powder mixed with water, so you won’t waste any precious morning light.
Branch chain amino acids are most important for muscle-building, which is the reason for all the hype around them when it comes to men’s fitness and bodybuilding. But don’t worry, you’re not going to bulk up hulk-style if you supplement with these a few workouts a week, and it may just help push your booty gains to the level you’ve been working toward. BCAAs can help limit fatigue so you can push your limits, reduce muscle soreness so you can jump back on the horse sooner, and sharpen mental focus during a workout so your head is in the game. Activating your muscles is 80% mental, after all.
Fish Oil Capsules
Most of us are supplementing with omega 3s anyway, so why not pop one in the morning, pre-workout? Similarly to the way that protein speeds up the body’s process of rebuilding muscle fibers after intense or heavy workouts, fish oil helps the body recover more quickly as well. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, which are especially important for high-intensity or weight training, including isometric exercises like heavy-weighted Pilates. Inflammation is responsible for that post-workout soreness, and is not a bad thing in this scenario. However, cutting down on the soreness and increasing recovery time means more effective training, and less time between sessions!
40,000 Volts Electrolyte Concentrate
We all know electrolytes are important, especially when you’re losing a lot of water through sweat and exertion. If an intense workout usually leaves you fatigued and with a headache, almost like a workout hangover, it’s electrolytes that you’re missing! (On that note, trace minerals and electrolytes are also incredible for an actual hangover, but that’s another story.) Taken pre-workout or added to your water bottle to sip on during the workout, they’ll help replenish any minerals and important salts you’re losing before you have any time to feel the effects. The results are improved stamina and a non-interrupted endorphin high.
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