Ugly-looking acne flare-ups, anyone?
It’s no secret that a good pre-workout drink can do wonders for your strength, endurance, and muscle recovery.
You're here, though, which tells me you're already familiar with the unpleasant aspects of taking these supplements.
Maybe it’s time to put down those overly processed and often artificial ingredients and turn to nature for solutions.
If that sounds like an idea worth exploring, keep on reading — I have a few tips in store for you!
Why Do Some Pre-Workout Drinks Cause Acne?
It's hard to make definite statements on a topic like this because hormonal changes aside, pinpointing acne's exact cause is tricky business.
Pre-workout supplements might mess with acne-prone skin, though — evidence, although mostly anecdotal, is there.
But how can something that does so much for your fitness goals do so little for your acne-prone skin?
Well, for starters, they often include at least one of the following ingredients:
- Mass gainers (high-calorie supplements that contain protein, carbohydrates, and fats)
- BCAA (branched-chain amino acids)
It’s usually the high carbohydrate levels and
However, any food with a high glycemic index can be linked to acne, as they cause blood sugar and insulin spikes. Insulin is as big of an enemy to your clear skin as IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) or any of the previously mentioned ingredients.
You’re probably worried that your fitness goals and clear skin will cancel each other out — but there is a solution:
Rather than giving up your pre-workout drinks altogether, you can still have them in a more natural, homemade version that focuses on plant-based protein sources!
Top 5 Natural Pre-Workout Drink Alternatives That Won’t Mess With Your Acne-Prone Skin
Why risk it with the pre-made stuff when there are so many DIY plant-based recipes that you can mix up at home?
Here are some of my favorites that can still boost your energy levels and workout performance without contributing to acne flare-ups!
Coconut & Spirulina
The recipe is as simple as mixing coconut water with half a teaspoon of Spirulina powder. Coconut water is nature’s best isotonic, Potassium-rich drink that balances electrolyte levels in the body. Add a protein-rich alga, like Spirulina, and you’re getting essential amino acids, energy-boosting vitamin B, including B1, B2, and B6, and magnesium.
Beetroot gained tons of popularity among endurance athletes. It’s packed with nitrate, which your body converts into nitric oxide to help with vasodilation, improve blood flow, and increase muscle contraction. Even if you don’t like the taste, a tablespoon of lime juice and a pinch of Himalayan salt should take care of it.
Apple Cider Drink
Drinking apple cider vinegar isn’t what you had in mind, huh? Still, it contains magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B. Plus, when you mix two teaspoons of it with 16 ounces of cold water — and two teaspoons of natural sweetener of choice — you won’t even notice the flavor!
Cold-Brewed Green Tea
Why not make your version of a caffeine-packed pre-workout drink with health benefits to boot? Let loose-leaf tea sit in a pitcher for 12 or so hours, strain, and transfer into your water bottle. You now have a source of balanced caffeine levels that will help you power through your workout.
If you’d like to keep things as simple as possible, why not go with
Wrapping Things Up
Sure, the added whey proteins and sugars may help fuel your next session at the gym, but as you already know from first-hand experience, they can also wreak havoc on your complexion.
Is it worth it when there are so many fantastic — and 100 percent natural — plant-based alternatives?
Maybe it’s time to put that water bottle of yours to good use and mix up one of the recipes mentioned earlier. Why not come up with one yourself while you’re at it?
I’m sure your body — and especially your skin — will be more than grateful!