Pre-workouts have become a huge part of the fitness world! I always see lots of people on Instagram posting about what pre-workout supplements they use. But, sadly not all pre-workouts are created equal. Instead of artificial pre-workouts I would recommend you use natural down to earth pre-workouts! I will explain why  below :)

The idea behind pre-workouts are great – they boost your energy levels and blood flow, enabling you to work harder and for longer. In fact, research shows that a pre-workout can achieve just this. Of course, other studies show the opposite effect.

However, there is more to this than whether it works or not. In fact, research shows that artificial pre-workouts can be dangerous to your health. Common side effects include: 

  • Nausea. 
  • Chest pains – in rare cases caffeine can cause heart attacks due to the excessive strain you place on your heart. 

It should be noted that this is due to the high levels of caffeine included in artificial supplements. Some can have as many as 4 strong cups of coffee! 

  • Difficulty sleeping. 
  • Elevated blood pressure 
  • Headaches 

The carbohydrate boost provided by artificial pre-workout options can also dramatically increase your calorific intake, damaging your weight loss goals! 

If you’re contemplating using an artificial pre-workout supplement then you need to remember it is only supposed to be used in the short term. The following natural alternatives are far healthier for you and will give you the same results! 

Personally, I’d take a natural alternative every time; you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. 

Green Tea 

Green tea is a natural source of caffeine which will help to boost your energy levels when working out without inducing the potential side effects. 

It is also a powerful antioxidant and will boost your metabolic rate; allowing you to work harder and for longer while staying healthier. 


Eating a banana will boost your blood sugar levels allowing you to exercise harder. More importantly, although your banana will contain sugar, just like your energy boosting drink, it also contains fiber, potassium and vitamin C. 

Bananas give a larger range of benefits, research completed by the University of North Carolina shows a banana and water gives more energy and focus than an energy drink. [3] 

Apple Cider Vinegar 

You’ve probably got this in your cupboard but have never realized the health benefits it can offer. 

In fact, this vinegar has a host of different minerals and is known to help reduce muscle pain during your workout.  

Muscle pain is often caused by an electrolyte imbalance which is caused by a lack of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Apple cider vinegar actually replenishes the electrolyte levels; helping you to work out for longer without experiencing muscle cramps. 

Even better, apple cider vinegar will break down fat in your body, providing you with more energy for your workout and reducing your body fat content! 


This is actually a green algae found in fresh water. It is full of vitamins B, C and E, as well as iron and antioxidants. 

Studies have shown it will boost your endurance levels and, as a powerful antioxidant, it will help you to heal faster.  

The protein in these algae will help protein synthesis, the growth and repair of your muscles. It has even been linked with reduced muscle soreness! 


This is an ancient Chinese health remedy. It is made from sugar sweetened tea and a special culture. The result is a fizzy, tangy drink full of good bacteria and yeast. In fact, the bacteria are similar to those you find in probiotic drinks; great for your gut. 

Look for a kombucha with less than 5g of sugar. It will give you a boost, in the same way that a sugar drink does. 

This drink is acidic and will help to rebalance your PH levels after a workout, whilst also boosting your metabolism and absorption rates. This will ensure you get the most from each workout. 

Read this to hear bout my struggle with gut health and what I did about it !


This is a blue-green alga with very similar properties to chlorella. In fact this is often recommended as a great pre-workout and post-workout option. 

It is best to take this in powdered form to increase its absorption into your body. 


It is worth noting that food rich in carbs can boost the energy you’ll have available during your workout. This is because they are quickly turned into sugar by your body for energy. This energy can be used during your workout. 

If the food also has protein then you’ll be improving your body’s ability to repair itself after exercise. Good examples are: 

  • Fruit 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Greek yoghurt 
  • Granola bar 

You need to eat this approximately 30 minutes before your workout. This will ensure the food is digested but the calories are available for you to burn. 

Keep It Down To Earth 

It is possible to boost your performance and achieve your goals faster through the use of artificial supplements. However, these are likely to give you unpleasant side effects in the long term and can actually be detrimental to your health. 

There’s no need to spend a fortune on pre-workout supplements, the above natural alternatives can have the same effect while boosting your overall health at the same time. 

Give them a try and let me know what you think! xx 

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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