These days many athletes are spending loads of money on supplements in hopes that these products will provide them with adequate energy during workouts and assist with optimal muscle recovery after workouts.
While not everyone has the luxury of spending mega dollars on supplements that may or may not help them achieve their fitness goals, the good news is that there are so many natural foods that can provide you with the same desired outcomes with more nutritional content as well.
Here are some natural substitutes to the expensive and highly processed supplements on the market these days.
SWAP: A protein shake.
FOR: A real food smoothie
Swapping a protein shake for something that contains real food is a much cheaper and more natural option.
A berry or banana smoothie containing 1 cup of low fat milk, 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt and a handful of fresh fruit can provide you with about 14g protein, more than enough for a healthy recovery post-training.
Not only are you providing your body with high quality protein thanks to the milk and yoghurt, but the fruit provides a natural flavouring and contains a whole heap of nutrients such as dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
SWAP: A protein bar.
FOR: Natural yoghurt topped with nuts
While many protein bars can contain approximately 15-20g protein, depending on the exact product, a 170-200g tub of natural yoghurt with a small handful of chopped almonds can also contain up to 20g of protein. This natural alternative will also nourish your body with probiotics from the yoghurt as well as fibre and healthy fats from the nuts.
Tip: Any nuts can be added on top of yoghurt, or even a mixture of many nuts and seeds. Try almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and many more.
SWAP: Caffeine-containing pre-workouts. FOR: Some zzz’s and fresh fruit.
Do you find that you won’t train at your best unless you take a “pre-workout” or a high sugar, high caffeine energy drink before training? There is a natural remedy to this issue, it is called sleep. Ensure you are getting your 8 hours of sleep each night so that while you are awake your body can function optimally. If your body is getting enough rest and adequate nutrition from a healthy well-balanced diet, then you shouldn’t need to rely on pre-workouts to prep you for a big training session.
If adequate sleep alone doesn’t prepare you for a tough workout, try having some natural sugars found in fresh fruit to provide you with an all-natural energy boost!
What’s your favourite real food pre or post workout snack?