It’s been ten weeks since I’ve had a cup of coffee! I would love to tell you I’m loving my new freedom from the crutch or that I feel super fabulous after giving it up, but the reality is that it’s been super tough. The last two months have been filled with lots of changes, and I miss the comfort and extra boost from my tasty beverage. Although I’m not loving my new coffee-free lifestyle just yet, I do know that in the long run this is going to help support a healthy thyroid and healthy hormonal levels, so I’m pushing through!
The first week of giving up coffee was the worst, since I used to use caffeine as a little boost before workouts. So I decided to make my own homemade pre-workout drink! I get asked a lot about packaged pre-workouts! Do I take them? Are they harmful? For the most part, pre-workout drinks are little containers of chemicals that your body becomes super dependent on. Now there are some exceptions out there, like Vega’s pre-workout, which is sweetened with natural sugars, but my theory is skip the packaged items if you can and make your own!
Cherry Juice Pre-Workout Drink
The antioxidants in cherries, namely the flavanoids and anthyocyanins, can alleviate inflammation and swelling post-workout. A study from the U.K. found that runners who regularly drank cherry juice before and after a workout had faster muscle recovery. So when I decided to put together a pre-workout drink, it made sense to me to include cherry juice. I also added green tea for the extra caffeine boost and for amino acids, which increase brain function. The amino acids in green tea also increase the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA which has an anti-anxiety effect. (Coffee, in contrast, increases anxiety.) I added a pinch of sea salt to deliver essential minerals and keep the body balanced. Sea salt also levels out blood pressure and reduces muscle tension, and the high levels of iodine in sea salt keep the thyroid gland healthy. Sea salt also prevents dehydration, so when you’re sweating it out in spin class you can be confident that your body is getting what it needs. And last but not least, I put in two tablespoons of lemon juice. Drinking lemon juice has a crazy amount of benefits! A few that are key for training are:
- Boosts your immune system
- Balances PH levels
- Energizes you and enhances your mood
- Promotes healing and anti-inflammation in your muscles
1 cup organic cherry juice
1 cups water (You can also use coconut water.)
1 cup of cooled green tea
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pinch sea salt