Preparing for a hard training session while being on a keto diet can be challenging. In this article I’ll break down everything you need to know about a successful keto pre workout strategy.
Pre Workout Keto Supplements
The traditional old stand by of pre workout supplementation, caffeine is a time tested and research proven nutrient to help you get through any tough training session. Some people,with pride, state that their “pre workout” is black coffee. Oh if they only knew what they were missing! After all, direct caffeine in The Physique Formula Keto Pre Workout has been shown decade after decade to increase pain tolerance during exercise so you can train harder for longer and burn fat. Yes, coffee will “get you up” for a workout but it won’t be as smooth and efficient as direct caffeine alone.
Caffeine can also increase maximal strength, power and endurance in both endurance and short duration high intensity activities. What if I told you when I was formulating a keto pre workout I put caffeine in the product for a completely different reason?
Caffeine has been shown to also reduce muscle soreness.
I love training hard in different environments from lifting to running to swimming to martial arts. I like training every day and as a result, I need to emphasize post workout recovery and that’s how caffeine helps.
I want this formula to improve you athletically but also optimize your cognitive performance as well. Caffeine checks that box since it improves reaction time, focus, concentration as well as being a mood booster.
But what about caffeine sensitivity that some people seem to have? I’m one of “you”, I understand it.That is less than the average 8 ounce cup of coffee and we added equal amounts of the relaxtion amino acid theanine (more on that shortly). I wanted there to be a slow and smooth rise in pre workout energy. The last thing I want is you to have a energy crash while you train.
Rhodiola Rosea is known as an adaptogenic herb that has potential as an anti-fatigue substance. When taken pre workout rhodiola improves endurance exercise performance and lowers heart rate during intense activities. By lowering your heart rate during training you can recover faster in between your sets and train at a higher level longer.
As a ketogenic pre workout aid, rhodiola also lowers the level of “perceived exertion” meaning that a stressful activity doesn’t seem nearly as difficult. Cognitively, rhodiola can reduce anxiety levels and improve cognitive function during stressful situations.
Rhodiola lowers cortisol. This is a big one. Hard training athletes will often consume large amount of coffee particularly on days that they don’t feel like training and on days that they are overtrained but trying to push through. Increased coffee use raises the stress hormone cortisol that leads to unstable blood sugar levels which increases body fat and reduce energy. Rhodiola may make you less reliant on coffee.
Acetyl L Carnitine is an under valued pre workout cognitive booster that acts a neuroprotecter by shielding your brain from the stress of exercise, toxins and aging. In animal studies, acetyl-l-carnitine can also improve mitochondrial function. Its benefits don’t just end there, acetyl-l-carnitine boosts blood flow to the brain and also seems to reduce muscle fatigue. Some research points to increased strength due to acetyl-l-carnitine removing blood lactate, that “heavy” feeling in your muscles that makes you stop your sets short.
B12 is often not included in many pre workout supplements and I don’t really understand why that is. B12 is involved in numerous different bodily systems including energy production. It’s irresponsible to tell people to just “eat more red meat” to increase their B12. Numerous issues including aging (we all do that) and leaky gut syndrome (we all likely have a degree of that) lead to B12 deficiency.
B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells which provide the muscles and brain with oxygen for sustained activity. While I’m not suggesting some large spike in red blood cell count, additional B12 should provide a bump in red blood cell count to help you power through your workouts.
I know personally, as a hard training athlete, I require more B12 than an average individual.Genetic testing has shown that my body uses B12 pretty rapidly. I really think that additional B12 pre workout can allow you to get more out of your training.
Alpha GPC is a stable form of the non-essential nutrient choline. Found primarily in meat and eggs, alpha GPC has become a nootropic, or brain aid, rockstar in recent years for its ability to increase cognitive function. Interesting enough, it seems to work better with caffeine than when taken alone. Alpha GPC was found in one study to significantly elevate growth hormone release and peak bench press power when taken 90 minutes before exercise. The key is to make sure you consume 600 mg’s. There also seems to be additional benefits with consistent use after six days.
So while I don’t really think there’s many growth hormone boosting benefits alone of Alpha GPC, I do think supplementing with it pre workout can boost the exercise induced GH increase which should lead to better workouts.
L Theanine is known as the “relaxtion” amino acid found in green tea so why does it make the list as a perfect pre workout keto supplementation? L Theanine reduces the impact of mental and physical stress and improves focus, attention and mental performance. When combining L theanine with caffeine there seems to be an enhanced effect where you get the rise in energy without the caffeine crash. Seems like a win win for me. I also love L theanine in any keto post workout options as well.
Creatine Monohydrate is often considered a muscle builder, and it is, but it also can boost workout performance when taken pre workout. Creatine increases ATP production, ATP is the energy currency for muscle cells. As little as 5 grams of creatine increases cognitive function specifically during low oxygen periods-ie intense endurance training or when your heart rate is elevated.
Creatine also pulls water to muscle tissue and acts as a super hydrator. Cell hydration is a key initiator of muscle protein synthesis, new muscle growth.
Citrulline Malate is simply just a amino acid combined with a salt compound but it does so much more for your training goals. When added to a ketogenic pre workout supplement, citrulline increases nitric oxide production which then boosts blood flow to muscles under stress. It doesn’t just stop with a pump, citrulline malate increases ammonia clearance and in one study, subjects were able to pump out 50 more reps when taking citrulline malate.
Citrulline malate has also been shown to help athletes fight “overtraining” syndrome by reducing or delaying immune system lowering mechanisms associated with hard training.
There’s just so many positive benefits to citrulline malate pre workout supplementation including elevated muscle protein synthesis, improved amino acid utilization and reduced muscle soreness.
Keto Pre Workout Supplementation
Using these key keto pre workout nutrients while on a keto diet can help give you a boost of energy that, when combined with, your natural energy levels due to keto will deliver a rock star workout.
Alpha GPC References
L Theanine References
Citrulline Malate References