Do you have days when you feel too tired from work to gather enough motivation for a workout? What about days when you are so low on energy that you barely drag yourself through your favorite physical activities?

Like a vehicle, the human body needs good quality fuel to perform optimally. This is why many athletes and fitness enthusiasts rely on pre-workout supplements for an extra boost of energy ahead of tough workout sessions.

What Exactly Are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Typically in the form of a powder, a pre-workout is a performance-enhancing supplement that you can take before a workout to boost your energy levels during the session and achieve better long-term results with consistent usage. While formulations differ, most popular pre-workouts like Legion Plus contain relatively similar ingredients, including beta-alanine, creatine, nitric oxide agents, amino acids, and caffeine.

Caffeine, for instance, is a highly potent stimulant. According to Legion Athletics, “caffeine also boosts metabolism, improves strength, promotes muscle endurance, and enhances anaerobic performance.” That said, the research on pre-workout supplements’ potential benefits is rather inconclusive. So, while many fitness enthusiasts might swear by its effectiveness based on anecdotal evidence, you might instead want to try a natural pre-workout.

What To Have Instead Of Pre-Workout

1.    Banana

In case you were not aware, bananas are nature’s energy bar. Bananas are a staple pre-workout meal for many fitness aficionados, and rightly so. According to researchers from Appalachian State University, bananas can provide instant energy spikes with the same intensity as energy drinks.

Moreover, bananas contain other nutrients such as potassium, vitamin B6, fiber, and magnesium. The healthy blend of potassium and natural sugars, for instance, helps support proper nerve and muscle function.

2.    Apple

You might be familiar with the adage an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know eating an apple or two before exercise can energize you as well? Apples are jam-packed with calories to keep you going when you feel low.

In fact, apples contain so much natural sugar that their energy boosts rival anything coffee has to offer. This alone makes them a healthier pre-workout alternative to coffee. Factor in all the vitamins, fiber, and minerals apples provide, and this food might as well be a top-five natural pre-workout.

3.    Oatmeal

Most people know that oats are rich in fiber, and as such, take longer to digest. With slow digestion comes a steady, gradual release of blood sugar which keeps you energetic longer than usual. To make the most of this highly nutritious pre-workout meal, consume it an hour or two ahead of your workout to stay energetic enough without the discomfort of a full belly.

4.    Peanut Butter Sandwich

Assuming you are not gluten sensitive, a peanut butter sandwich could make for a tasty yet healthy pre-workout meal. Peanut butter is calorie-dense and rich in healthy fats and proteins, while the wheat in your bread contains plenty of carbohydrates for a near-instant energy spike. Like oatmeal, eat your peanut butter sandwich ahead of time – ideally 20 to 30 minutes before a workout.

Pre-workout supplements are popular among fitness circles for their proven effectiveness on energy levels and performance. However, some natural alternatives might offer similar benefits, be slightly cheaper, and help you spice up your diet.