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5 Natural Pre-Workout Alternatives


Most people take pre-workout supplements or drinks to level up their energy levels and get the much-needed strength to go hard in the gym. There are mainly two types of supplements or drinks you’ll see people taking to boost their performance in the gym.

The first is pre-workouts, which give the head start for intense training sessions and the second is post-workouts, taken to help repair muscles and replenish the glycogen stores in the body.

However, most pre-workouts are made artificially and include a lot of chemicals. Although they are popular amongst gym-goers and athletes, a lot of people are trying to transition to more natural alternatives.

A lot of people who consume pre-workouts experience minimum side effects, but only if they are in good health already. However, some people may have some side effects that could put them off pre-workout supplements completely.

study conducted in 2019 on the use of pre-workouts concluded that around 54% of participants experienced skin reactions, heart abnormalities and nausea. These side effects are a result of large amounts of artificial flavors, caffeine, creatine, and other agents in the pre-workout supplements.

Therefore, people with underlying health problems or weak hearts have to either avoid the supplements altogether or opt for the more natural pre-workouts in the form of certain foods.

Need a quick burst of energy? Try these healthy snacks on-the-go!

 5 Natural Pre-Workout Alternatives  | Pre-Workout NutrientsKey Takeaways | FAQs

5 Natural Pre-workout Alternatives

There are many pre-workout alternatives you can consume that are completely natural and are packed with helpful nutrients.

Let’s explore five pre-workout alternatives:

1. Bananas


Bananas are rich in nutrients and are a favorite pre-workout alternative for millions of athletes and gym-goers across the globe.

A study suggests it is an excellent source of energy for people who engage in lift weights or intense cardio sessions.

Bananas contain carbohydrates and potassium making them a perfect fuel for your body. They also slow down the process of glucose getting released into your bloodstream which enhances your muscle functioning during workouts.

Try the chia seed pudding to feel energized before your workout!

2. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter


This combination is the winner of our pre-workout alternatives. Apples are a great energy booster, we’d go as far as to say that it gives a similar boost to that of coffee. The only difference is that it doesn’t give you the jitters as coffee does.

Now for a deathly combo, pair apple slices with peanut butter to hulk it out at the gym. This dynamic pre-workout combo is a perfect mix of nutrients required for a pre-workout.

If you want to amp it up, take a slice of multigrain toast, slather the peanut butter and place the apple slices on it. It will lift you and your spirits right before the gym.

Try these low fat desserts at home that you can snack on as a pre-workout as well!

3. Oatmeal


You can never really go wrong with an old-fashioned bowl of oatmeal. It is a great source of carbs and fiber. It gives you plenty of energy and keeps you going for much longer in the gym.

However, be sure to consume it a couple of hours before your workout. For added flavor add blueberries and your choice of nut butter.

Don’t want boring oatmeal? Try these baked or overnight oats!

4. Yogurt


Yogurt is a super gut-friendly option which is much lighter compared to a bowl of oatmeal. According to a study, it has enough protein and carbs to give you a much-needed energy boost immediately after consumption as well as boosting muscle protein synthesis.

You can have a bit of yogurt with some almonds half an hour before your training session.

Adding a bit of granola to your yogurt is another good option. It adds an interesting flavor profile and crunch to your plain ol’ yogurt.

Try to use Greek yogurt instead of sweetened or overly processed yogurt. One serving of Greek yogurt has over 15 grams of protein.

Try these 5 gluten-free snacks for better gut health!

5. Smoothies


Smoothies are one of the easiest pre-workout alternatives. The beauty is in their simplicity and quickness. Toss everything in the blender and you are done. They provide you with enough protein and carbs to help you power through your workouts.

You can do so much with the smoothies by playing around with different fruits, vegetables, nut butters, flavor profiles and other energy-boosting foods.

Try these 5 protein smoothies before or after your workouts!

Nutrients Required Before Workouts

Before diving into the pre-workout alternatives, let’s discuss the important nutrients your body requires before you decide to torture it at the gym! Ha! We kid!

We love a good robust workout session.

Think of your body as a vehicle. Before you take it for a ride you either need to fill in the gas or refuel it. You have to fuel yourself enough to not run out of gas in the middle of the road. Here is a breakdown of the important nutrients to fuel your body:



Most people avoid carbs like the plague, but they don’t realize how important they are for gym-goers and athletes. Carbs are what equip you to go the extra mile in the gym. They include glucose which not only fuels your body but your brain as well.

Explore the high carb low fat diet for weight loss!



Protein, while doesn’t provide energy for your workout sessions, does contain amino acids which are crucial for repairing your muscles broken down during your sessions. It is recommended to add a bit of protein to your pre-workout.

Grow your muscles with the Ideal Protein Diet!


10 Superfood Snacks that you need to be healthy

Micronutrients such as B12 and magnesium are essential for energy production, and nerve and muscle health. Try adding more salads to increase the vitamins and mineral intake in your daily routine for better functioning of your body.

Get your micronutrients fill with these 10 super food snacks!

Key Takeaways

There are many options in the market for pre-workout supplements. They may suit you; they may not suit you. However, you must use these supplements at your discretion, after consulting with your health care provider. If you feel like sticking to a more natural option then the above pre-workout alternatives may be the best for you.


What is the best natural pre-workout food?

The best natural pre-workout food are bananas. They’re loaded in carbs and potassium, which means that they’re an excellent source of energy to fuel all your workouts. They also support muscle function while you’re working out, making sure you’re performing at your best from the start to the end of your workout. This is why, bananas are a great alternative to pre-workout supplements. Not only are they nutritious, they are also quick to digest, which makes them a fav among gym-goers and athletes for constant energy to fuel their training sessions.

You can also go for the following pre-workout foods:

  1. Oats (they’re full of fiber and give you sustained energy)
  2. Apples (naturally loaded with sugar, which gives you an energy spike without a crash)
  3. Dates (a great source of fiber, potassium and sugar)
  4. Almonds (high in good fats and protein, almonds give you constant energy levels and help in muscle recovery)
  5. Sweet potatoes (a great source of complex carbs and fiber for consistent energy)
  6. Greek yogurt (provides a balance of carbs and proteins, and can be topped with granola or fruits for a snack)
  7. Whole grain bread (topped with natural peanut butter, this slice will give you quick energy)
  8. Beetroot (rich in nitrates, beetroot improves you blood flow, building your endurance for intense training)
  9. Spinach smoothie (a quick source of energy, covering a lot of micronutrients)
Is there a natural alternative to pre-workout?

Yes, there are many healthy and natural substitutes to pre-workout supplements. These alternatives include bananas, apples, yogurt, dates, peanut butter, protein smoothies and more. These alternatives are great because they provide you with the essential nutrients such as protein and carbs, giving you consistent energy without any preservatives or additives that may be in pre-workout formulas.

What is a good homemade pre workout drink?

A good pre-workout drink at home is a smoothie made up for berries, spinach, bananas, nut butter and protein powder. This smoothie gives you everything in a glass – carbs, protein and healthy fats, making this the perfect pre-workout drink. Not only is it refreshing, it also nourishes your body and gives you the fuel you need for any kind of gym or at-home training.

Is coffee good for pre-workout?

Yes, coffee is a great pre-workout option! It carries caffeine, which improves your focus and boosts your energy levels. All of this instantly improves your performance during workouts, allowing you to train like a pro. It is also easily accessible so you can have it in your smoothie, shake or just have a cup of plain black coffee. Just make sure to only consume the amount of caffeine that you can handle!

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