5725727517_f8dfc7b214_zThe supplement market is filled with chemical-laden products meant for performance enhancement. One of the most popular categories is for pre-workout supplements. Many of these products are filled with caffeine and vitamins along with filler ingredients, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. I am training for a Spartan Race later this year, so I find myself doing strenuous HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Tabata workouts several times per week. I was looking for something to give me energy. However, I do not want to contaminate my body with weird chemicals. Why not fuel up with tea? I drink plenty of it every day anyways, I thought to myself, so maybe I can make my own pre-workout with tea!

Let me preface this by saying that the recipe I developed for myself is what I have found to work for me. It is most definitely not something to use if you’re trying to lose weight; it is meant for strength conditioning and endurance. This is a recipe I use to fuel myself for more cardio-intensive workouts. I don’t feel that I need the extra energy boost for yoga or rock climbing. On the contrary, I usually drink a cup of puerh before yoga or rock climbing as it seems to calm me.

The first thing I do is make a very strong cup of tea using Assam tea. I prefer to use Assam because it has a strong taste that I will still be able to taste after adding other ingredients. I like to use double the amount of tea that I would if I were to drink it plain. Next, after I have steeped the tea, I add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and mix it in until it has completely melted into the tea. I then sweeten the tea with 1 tablespoon of honey. Once everything is mixed, I like to drink this quickly 1 hour before my workout. The caffeine and honey give me a quick energy to start the workout¬†while the fats from the coconut oil kick in afterwards to give me sustained energy to finish the workout. Going by the nutrition labels on the products, I get about 9 grams of fat and 17 grams of sugar. I have seen variations on this type of beverage using butter as well, but I found that this variation upset my stomach to a point that I couldn’t workout. I find that this is a good mix for me;¬†however, I recommend trying different amounts before you have any event to make sure your body can tolerate it. The taste is not amazing, but I know exactly what ingredients are going into my body, and I have been able to see a difference in the quality of my workouts.

James’s HIIT Pre-Workout Tea

Consume 1 hour before workout.

12oz water
6-8 grams of black tea
2 teaspoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of honey

Brew tea for 5 minutes
Dissolve coconut oil into tea
Mix in honey
Drink quickly