A common question I get asked is what do I recommend as a pre-workout option for those about to hit a training session? And my response is always the same. If you feel you need something before you exercise, keep it real and keep it simple.
Each and everyone one of us is different, so your need for something before you train will depend on who you are, your metabolism, your activity level, and your goals and lifestyle. For example some love the fat burning results that fasted cardio yields, whereas others like to have something satiating 30-45 minutes prior to a strength session so they perform to their best. Listening to your body is key for working out what is right for you.
I personally prefer to do high intensity interval training on an empty stomach, allowing my body to tap into stored body fat as energy, whereas before weights I always perform better with something naturally energising for good brain function and for energy that keeps me going so I feel focussed and empowered throughout my entire session.
When it comes to pre-workouts, too often, store bought options are full of artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners, not to mention the ingredients that are listed as numbers or we cannot even pronounce. My golden rule with nutrition and supplements is to keep it real and keep it simple. If you don't recognise or can't pronounce some of the additives, chances are you're better with real food.
That is why today I want to touch on the benefits of four of my favourite pre-workout real food options. From Magnesium rich cacao, mind and body boosting MCT's, to blood pumping beetroot and energy boosting organic coffee. Try incorporating these simple and affordable performance boosters into your nutritional program before you train and see and feel the results speak for themselves. All of my Luke Hines 10 members have increased their energy, improved their results and feel great when using these.
MCT's (Medium Chain Triglycerides)
The medium chain triglycerides (MCT's) derived from my organic cold pressed coconut oil are absorbed and metabolised very rapidly. They are very efficiently converted into fuel for immediate use, instead of being stored as fat.
They are used as energy much faster than glucose and have over twice the calories per gram, making them an excellent energy source during intense exercise as their nutrient density keeps you going for longer.
Numerous research studies have shown the ability of MCT's to improve athletic performance and endurance.
MCT's also assist in preventing muscle breakdown in a number of ways. Firstly, they promote the production of ketones, which are used as an energy source in the muscles before amino acids (which become available through muscle breakdown), thereby delaying muscle catabolism (breakdown). And secondly, they are able to act as amino acid ‘carriers’, helping to assimilate proteins inside the muscle, which further aids in preventing muscle loss and breakdown.
My MCT Keto Tonic is nothing but pure MCT's, no fillers, just the fatty acid chains for optimal mind and body health. Using it to Power Up your coffee is a game changer for optimal mental and physical performance.
Whats the difference between MCT's and straight up coconut oil? Find out here.
Order your MCT Keto Tonic with free shipping here.
Organic Black Coffee
I can hear you cheering that coffee is in! The good news is coffee has a number of functional benefits if consumed pre-exercise, that are supported by science #winning!
A cup of black coffee before your workout can improve micro-circulation. Basically this means improved blood circulation, which typically equates to improved oxygenation of your tissues, which in turn can boost your exercise performance.
A 2005 study concluded that caffeine can reduce your perceived level of exertion, effectively making your exercise feel "easier." Moreover, caffeine is said to improve overall exercise performance making it a win win!
Get your caffeine from clean organic coffee, rather than potions or powders full of other things.
As mentioned above, you can become an unstoppable force when you combine your coffee with MCT Keto Tonic, trust me, it is a game changer!
Find out how to pair both with my Power Up Mind and Body Brew Recipe here!
It's no secret I love my chocolate and I'm sure many of you are excited to see it make the cut! Cacao is packed full of Theobromine. Theobromine is a naturally occurring alkaloid that is a close chemical relative of caffeine. In the world of bodybuilding, it can help to improve workout intensity as well as being a natural diuretic.
In some respects, theobromine has similar effects to that of caffeine. However, it does not stimulate the nervous system to the same degree - meaning its less taxing on our adrenals. Instead, it is effective in being able to dilate blood vessels which leads to increased blood flow. Some studies have also found that cacao has an effect on increasing nitric oxide (NO) synthesis within the body, giving better pump if ingested pre workout.
Beetroot Juice and Beetroot Tablets
Drinking beetroot juice before a workout can improve blood and oxygen flow in your muscles, enhancing your performance and increasing your endurance. You've probably noticed a pattern here - it's all about increasing blood flow in order to increase performance, because increase blood flow means more oxygen and more nutrients are supplied to our muscle so they can work harder with less damage.
Beetroot is the perfect all-natural, stimulant-free pre-workout supplement that helps you crush your exercise goals. Beets are rich in nitrates. Dietary nitrates (found in veggies like celery, spinach, arugula, lettuces, and beets) convert in the body to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels, which again is said to increase blood flow to working muscles. This leads to less fatigue, more endurance, and enhanced performance. Win, win, win!