This week end I'm going to be sharing a few posts related to topics that my clients have brought up with me. One thing to keep in mind as you read these bold and disruptive messages is that my unique purpose is to make the world a healthier and fitter place. Remember I want you to be happy, be healthy, be at ease and at peace.
Starting with pre-workouts & other fitness training supplements:
Earlier this week I got a message from one of my clients down in Texas "Hey coach! OMG! The gym dude sold me this pre-workout stuff to boost my training, I don't feel great, my legs are shaking, should I stop or finish my session?" I immediately stopped what I was doing and jumped on the phone. Basically what had happened is the gym had just opened a "protein & energy bar", they hired a sales guy, got him dressed up as a trainer roaming around the gym with the sole purpose of selling their products...
MY LIVING NIGHTMARE.
These guys make me sick, they have ZERO knowledge or understanding of nutrition, sports science or even basic anatomy & bodily functions, they don't care about you and all they want is to SELL their CHEMICAL powders, their MYTHS and their myths are just as BAD as METH
Now first let's agree on the framework here, as a personal trainer, fitness professional and wellness coach my role is:
1)to facilitate your journey to a fitter and healthier you via physical & mental exercises as well as guiding you in making the right choices in regards to your food for fuel options;
2) my scope of practice is pretty clear: I don't diagnose prescribe and medicate, instead I assess educate motivate and inspire
3) and my purpose is to make the world a healthier & fitter place
Back to my client.
First I told her that if she really wasn't feeling well she should alert one of the gym supervisors and ask to call 911 for help. She reassured me that she wasn't feeling that bad but rather felt just as if she hadn't had anything to eat in days yet she'd had breakfast less than 2 hours before she started working out. She mentioned she'd got this special offer on a pre-workout supplement drink and had decided to try it out this morning. She took the exact dose suggested on the box, drank it before leaving the house, dashed to the gym feeling pumped and full of beans, started the workout and 30 minutes later boooom she crashed, felt like she needed more or needed to eat something, tried to keep going but no the jelly legs gave her the jitters...YOU GUESSED IT... SUGAR + CAFFEINE CRASH...
So here is my thought on pre-workout mixes and below I'll explain why & provide alternative suggestions/tips:
As you can see I'm not a huge fan...and neither should you be.
While the label on the tub will say they don't contain sugar they actually are made of far far worse and more dangerous substances than sugar. Indeed, most of the powders contain a lot of sucralose which is chlorinated sugar and tastes 600 times sweeter than sugar making your brain a total addict of the hit it gets from that taste which in turn messes up with your metabolism. Consequences of sucralose, aspartam and other artificial sweeteners pose a true health hazard:
1. they are a disease promoting substance, meaning the more you consume artificial sugar the greater your risk of developing diseases such as cancer, strokes etc.
2. as mentioned they mess up your metabolism and put your body in permanent sugar craving mode: you become completely addicted and your brain keeps sending you signals "get me more of that sweet taste, I need a hit!"
3. you start looking for more sweetener and you become ready to devour anything sweet, be it artificial or just plain sugar
4. in the long run you end up putting on weight and develop heart disease
5. that and the long list of associated risks to excessive sugar & artificial sugar consumption
Need I go further into the detail of those risks? I think not, right, you know what I'm talking about.
So I hear you think "right, so as long as my pre-workout does not contain artificial sugar/sweetener I'm safe as. Sweet" [no pun intended] Well actually no, there is one more thing: Taurine.
Taurine is an amino acid. In theory taurine in it's purest and natural form is good for you, it promotes tissue growth, lowers cortisol production and overall delivers a feel good vibe, taurine is rich in vitamin B12. BUT sadly a lot of the taurine found in energy drinks, pre-workout mixes and other supplements are a synthetic form of taurine that has been chemically processed. So again not really health promoting and can present further dangers and hazards to your health. The good news is however you can find B12 in FOOD! B12 can be found in leafy greens, fish and one of my big favourites of the moment nutritional yeast.
So instead of reaching out for the pre-workout powder consider one of these alternative options which are health promoting:
1. a shot of espresso 15 to 20 minutes prior your workout
2. a slice of fresh ginger + slice of fresh turmeric + slice of fresh lemon + crack of black pepper and chew all in one together, guaranteed to give you a Zing and a Zang wake up
3. same ingredients as in 2. but you could juice them all into a small shot or if you don't have fresh ingredients half a teaspoon of ground turmeric and 1/2 tsp of ground ginger + lemon juice and a drop of water work great too
4. add a hint of cayenne pepper to your food
5. raw acai and goji powder blended with lemon or lime juice and water
6. just a small handfull of goji berries can give you a quick power boost
don't forget to reach out for Vit B12 rich foods and most importantly to get plenty of sleep.
So to conclude this post, avoid pre-workout and artificial supplements which are disease promoting and instead reach out for health promoting ingredients.To quote Hippocrate "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".
Last but not least remember to always check in with your physician if you have questions regarding your health.
Have a beautiful evening,
ps: I just got a message from my client "Hi Coach, LOVE the ginger, turmeric, lemon and pepper shot, my hubby and I had one each before the gym today and we were on fire! Pre-workout junk is in the trash, never going anywhere near that again. Thank you so much for always looking out for us. And this is cheaper too!!"
Laugh Everyday, Sweat Everyday!
If you believe it you become FIT.
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