1 Month Without Coffee

Getting the Shivers

I don’t consider myself as a big coffee drinker. However, since I started working full time I’ve been having 1-2 coffees every day during the work week and maybe one during the weekend. I found that I would have slight shivers and a rather high pulse by the end of the workday. I also felt my skin getting very dry, particularly in my face. Moreover, felt that I was becoming more and more dependent on coffee to kick start my system in the morning and afternoon. Furthermore, my quality of sleep seemed somewhat reduced, but I didn’t think much into it. After all, everyone drinks coffee, right?

coffee4Before the Christmas holidays, one of my colleagues stopped his intake of caffeine for a bit. He would normally have 6-7 cups of coffee and a bottle or two of Pepsi Max per day. When he suddenly stopped feeding himself all the caffeine he claimed that he started having bad head aches, nausea and felt irritable. After staying away from it for a while he said the head aches and nausea faded away and his mood went back to normal. He also said he had better sleeps at night.

Hearing this, I thought I might try and hold off from coffee for a month and see if I could escape the shivers, high pulse and dryness at the end of my workdays. The first week I was really caving a big cup of coffee when getting in to work. I also felt very tired throughout the day. However, it slowly wore off, and by the second week I didn’t really think about coffee that much. Interestingly, I also felt that I had more restful sleeps every night.

Other Side Effects of Coffee

Most people have a lifestyle and diet that makes the body very acidic. With high levels of stress, the brain creates adrenaline and other chemicals that produce an acidic environment in the body. Unfortunately, the Western diet mainly consists of food and drinks that creates high acidic levels in the body. With a high intake of foods containing sugar, dairy, wheat, deep fried and other Fast foods, and then flushing it down with soft drinks, coffee or alcohol,  the pH levels develops way too far into the acidic side of the scale. As my main focus in this article is coffee, I will stick to the effect of this popular drink – I will be writing a post on the balance of alkaline and acidic levls in the body shortly, so stay tuned.

Coffee can result in:

  • More acidic body (leading to more inflammation)
  • Restless sleep
  • Leach precious minerals from our systems
  • Shivers and high pulse
  • Dehydrating the body
  • Caffeine dependence
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloring of the teeth

Alternatives to Coffee

coffee3I found that being in an office working in front of a computer the whole day makes you want to have little treats quite frequently – simply because it is stagnant work. I tend to want a snack or a drink because I’m actually a bit bored and want a distraction. Coffee is the most common drink to have, and makes you feel more awake and focused at the same time. However, as mentioned; after a while off the caffeine I didn’t reach the same levels of tiredness throughout the day. I found that drinking various types of tea (my favorites are green tea, chamomile tea and chai tea with organic soy milk), coffee alternatives such as Bambu Coffee Substitute (picture), and even water was just as good.

I found that reaching for the coffee is all a habit. When the body is dehydrated by 2% of normal levels, we can perform up to 20% poorer (read more about this in “Water“), so just by restoring those levels we automatically regain energy to continue on.


Results & Discoveries

As mentioned, during the month that I didn’t drink coffee I had no shivers or high pulse when leaving work. Neither did my face feel dry. Importantly, I also fell asleep faster and had better quality sleeps every night. Another side effect of this experiment that I did not expect was the feeling of cleanness. I actually felt that my body was somewhat more pure. I don’t know whether this was because of the acidity of my body going down or as a result of better sleep or even the absence of coffee itself. Either way it felt great! As much as I appreciate the taste, smell and feeling of coffee, I’ll be aiming at having it only occasionally and fully enjoy that treat.

Below is my first coffee after a month off; can’t remember last time I enjoyed it this much! ★



Right Motivation, Left Satisfied

The Beginning

Four years ago I spontaneously signed up for Run for a Reason, a 14 km run for charity. As I registered three days before the race took place I didn’t have much time to train for it. Furthermore, I had never ran more than 6 km in one go. I have done a lot of long distance cross country skiing, but long distance runs (read: more than 5km) were rather rare. I’m quite competitive towards myself and absolutely hammered my body during the event. I did the 14 kilometres in 1 hour and 10 minutes, and told myself I would never do that race again. The fright only lasted until the soreness of my muscles disappeared a few days after the run. It turned into a desire to pick up long distance running when I discovered the Nike+ app. This was the beginning of running being a big part of my everyday life.

In 2012 I did the HBF Run for a Reason again and raised money for Cystic Fibrosis. Again I ran it in 1 hour and 10 minutes, and again I was wondering why I would put myself through the pain of it. I found strength in thinking of all the people suffering from CF and how strong they are to cope with their condition every day.

Milestone Reached Today

Today I reached 1,000 km on my Nike+ GPS app! So I’m giving myself a big tap on the shoulder and celebrating with a massive green smoothie. Well, I suppose I’ve done more kilometers as I have travelled and used other phones when going for runs. But these are my first recorded 1000 kilometers.  I have developed a great appreciation for running and try and go for 4-5 runs per week. It is like meditation to me. I clear my head of all stress generated throughout the day and enjoy having quality me-time. If I’m ever angry or upset I’d go for a run, and by the time I’ve done the first 3km I have generally changed my mindset and come up with a solution. I don’t even feel that I’m running – its like my legs are on autopilot and my mind is unleashed and flies off wherever it desires to. This is also my most creative time. I enjoy painting, creating things as well as developing business ideas, and I always get my best insights when I’m out running.


Retired: Mr Right Motivation and Miss Left Satisfied

I have to admit I feel extra encouraged to go for a run when I’ve got nice and colourful apparel. My shoes, Mr Right Motivation and Miss Left Satisfied, have served me well in that respect.  However, after more than 1,000 km around the world in all kinds of weather and conditions it’s time to trade them in for a pair of newies. I’m so grateful for getting into running and encourage everyone to give it a chance! Even if you start with short distances and keep a slow pace – something is far better than nothing! ★

I’m so thankful for all the great times I’ve had out running, and can’t wait to hit up the 2,000 km mark!


Vitiligo Cure

I found a vitiligo cure and I hope I’ll reach as many people with the condition as possible before their skin condition develops too far. I can’t say it is the cure for it, but I’ve had a good experience with it and my skin went back to normal after 6 months of taking the supplement.

White Dots and Patches on the Skin

When I was around 16 I started noticing white spots on my skin. I get quite tan so they were rather prominent, and I started getting a bit concerned about what this was. My mum suggested it might be Vitiligo, which my doctor could confirm. He said there wasn’t any real cure for the condition, but proscribed a cream to apply to the affected areas. However, it didn’t seem to make a difference.

vitiligoWhat is Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a disorder where white patches appear on the skin. The reason for this is that the cells making pigment (color) in the skin are destroyed. These cells are called melanocytes. Vitiligo can also affect the mucous membranes (such as the tissue inside the mouth and nose) and the eye. White patches on the skin are the main sign of this condition. The patches can appear anywhere on the body and can often result in hair that turns gray or white early.

About 0.5 to 1 percent of the world’s population have vitiligo, and most people with the condition develop it before the age of 40. The disorder affects all races and both sexes equally.

Vitiligo Cure

Mum then got me an appointment with a naturopath. The practitioner told me that there was a supplement called bromelain that had shown good results in the treatment of Viteligo.  Bromelain is a general name for a family of sulfhydryl-containing proteolytic enzymes obtained from the pineapple plant. Bromelain has healing properties such as interactions with inflammatory, immune, cell signaling, and coagulation moleculesand pathways. Bromelain also appears to have effects on cell surface antigens. Furthermore, bromelain is considered to have very low toxicity. Bromelain has significant positive effects in terms of

  • anti-inflammatory
  • wound healing
  • injury healing
  • blood thinner
  • antibiotic
  • protects against diarrhea
  • anti-cancer activity
  • antimicrobial
  • good for circulation
  • cardiovascular and angina
  • prostatitis
  • arthritis
  • digestion
  • renal
  • kidney
  • sinusitis

As shown above, bromelain has several health benefits. However, in regards to the Vitiligo it is important to take the supplement as advised over a longer period of time. The body is assisted in healing itself, and the natural process takes longer as it doesn’t just fix the symptoms but heals the underlying cause. For me it took just over 6 months before they were disappearing. I had another breakout about two years after that, but as I started taking bromelain again it vanished. Now, another 5 years later it has come back, so I have just started taking the supplement again. According to the naturopath it is just a deficiency I have that needs assistance every now and then. There is no need to constantly keep taking it, but rather get on it whenever the symptoms reappear. The practitioner also said that there are better chances of getting rid of the white patches if it’s in the early stages.

There are two reasons for disease; deficiency and toxicity – Charlotte Gerson

I really hope this can assist people out there in getting rid of their white patches. You can find more information on the topic under ‘Resources’ below if you are interested in this. Please leave a comment if you’ve had good experiences with other types of treatments!  ★

Please read the disclaimer here.

How to Get Rid of Vitiligo with Bromelain


Thai Red Curry

Oh let it snow, let it snow, let it snow… well, it does not snow where I live but certainly a cold winter. I like to sit next to the fireplace, cuddled inside a blanket and sip some hot tea. Who wouldn’t like that comfort? Winter also calls in for healthy eating for me since not eating healthy is an easy choice considering the fact that its so cold outside and less walk in the parks etc unless I am committed in going to the gym, which surely am not. And winter is also a season of festivities and parties – potlucks, wines, beer and so much fun. Every year I host christmas party at my place and call family over. It really feels festive to have people around rather than being alone. Kids look forward to this party you know why, the presents. The unwrapping of each and every present gives them so much excitement and watching them unwrap brings me chills. That smile on those innocent faces is worth a million bucks!
Ok, coming back to food, now I wanted to make something quick and easy yet flavorful and healthy and kids and adults will like it. Parties should be fun and not be stressful for me so I was thinking what to make and after giving considerable thought I narrowed it down to Red Curry. It’s spicy, tasty, has tofu, tons of chunks of vegetables in a savory coconut sauce. I am so glad I made it because everyone loved it. Here is the recipe to a easy breezy recipe.


Ingredients: (For about 12 people)

– 1 Big red bell peper
– 2 Cups broccoli florets
– 2 medium size carrots
– 1/2 extra firm tofu
– 2 medium size zucchini
– 1 8oz. can baby corn
– 10 String beans
– Thai Red Curry paste (Mae Ploy or Thai Kitchen brand)
– 14 oz light coconut milk
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil
– Salt per taste
– 4 cups rice



Wash and chop all vegetable in big chunks, say about 2 inch pieces. In a wok, heat oil, then add the vegetables except zucchini. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add about 1 tbsp of red curry paste, sauté for about 2 minutes. Now add the coconut milk, bring it to a boil, simmer, cover and let it cook until 3/4th done. Now add the zucchini, let it cook. Add salt, taste and add more curry paste as per your taste. Before turning off the stove, add tofu, mix and cover it with a lid. Just before your guests arrive, turn on your rice in the rice cooker so that you can serve it hot with the scrumptious thai red curry.



Eat, Fast and Live Longer!

Dr Michael Mosley, the medical journalist for the BBC Horizon program, has been trying to find ways to keep his brain from aging and to maintain good health. After meeting with experts and undertaking a wide range of tests, he was told that continuing on with his current  lifestyle would almost certainly result in chronic disease. Mr Mosley then tried to find out how some people live a longer life and how they manage to maintain their health better than others.

How to Lose Weight Fast in a Healthy Way

After a lot of research Michael found that fasting actually does a whole lot of good for the body. As the blood goes to the tummy to digest the food when we eat, our energy is put into the metabolism. Conversely, when the body is given rest from the constant digestion, our energy is allowed to go other places and starts repairing and healing the body. There has been numerous studies on fasting with amazing results. Through the Eat, Fast, Live Longer documentary, Mr Mosley introduce the concept of the 5:2 diet. This diet involves eating 5 days per week and ‘fasting’ on two nonconsecutive days. On the fasting days women are to eat only 300-400 calories per day and male are to have 600 calories. After fasting, Michael had his tests done again and was amazed by the improvement of his halth condition.

Personal Experience with the 5:2 Diet

I have tried the 5:2 diet for a little while myself and am impressed by the effectiveness of it. I also have friends that have been on the 5:2 diet for 5 months and experiencing massive improvements on their health.

Please note that this is for people that have consulted with their doctor first and is NOT for people that have a low BMI (Body Mass Index).

Juice Fasting

My Morning Routine

Lemon Water & Snack

I like the mornings. It’s like the night has cleaned the air and left it fresh for a new day. A good morning makes such a big difference for the rest of the day – for me anyway. I start by having a glass of lemon water and a little snack like berries or figs before heading to work. Lemon is a great kick start of the day as it alkalises your body. I usually go 1/2 lemon in two glasses of water – one for me and one for my man. Lemon water helps breaking the fast-mode that your body went into while you were asleep. For those who didn’t know, breakfast comes from “braking the fast” – makes sense:)

lemon water


Walk the Walk

Although I have a car, I try to catch the train most days – for several reasons. One of the reasons is of course that it’s better for the environment. But also because I really enjoy a walk in the morning. Going from the train station to where I work gives me a solid 20 minutes walk. In that time I get to wake up, think about what I want to achieve for the day and simply enjoy just breathing in the fresh air. I’m very lucky to be working close to the ocean and get to smell the salt water every day.

Smoothie Time

When I get to work it’s time for a big smoothie full of nutrients and goodness. I normally put pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and chia seeds in together with chunks of fruit like banana and strawberry so that I have something to chew on. For some reason I don’t feel that it fills me up properly when I don’t chew – it’s more of a meal if I don’t just drink it. I’ll be uploading some smoothie recipes soon, so hopefully that will give you some inspiration for a healthy start to your day!


What is your morning routine?

The Truth About Exercise

Dr Michael Mosley discovers that what we thought we knew about exercise is not the full story. It’s not necessarily the longest and most intense training sessions that gives you the greatest results. This documentary shows that minimal efforts can, in fact, make a huge difference for your health. Research has found that people respond very differently to exercise. There are 11 genes that predict this, which can be identified through blood tests.

In my opinion, these tests should be undertaken in school. The students should make a physical education program based on their results and get marked on how well they can tailor it to their body type and as a result increase their fitness. This would be very beneficial for their health and be a great motivation to stay fit and healthy – a fantastic investment for the rest of their life.

Exercise and Diabetes

Dr Michael Mosley found that only as little as 3 times 20 seconds per day resulted in massive health benefits in terms of fat levels in the blood and how well the insulin could process sugar. This is awesome news for people with diabetes! The documentary also goes through how movement throughout the day switches on genes that burns fat and increase metabolic rate.

John Eales Medal 2013


Arriving in Sydney at 6:00am and realizing there were no dry cleaners able to sort out a suit by 4:00pm was a rather stressful start to the day. Luckily I remembered from my retail days that we always had to steam the clothing we received before placing them on the racks. We ended up finding someone kind enough to battle the creases for us. After that we chilled out at the beach for most of the day before getting back to the hotel to get dressed. I think the other girls were way more organized than me in getting ready. I used an old dress, did my own hair and didn’t even have time to fix my nails, hopefully no one noticed.

Gold Carpet & Media

As we entered the function we had to walk up the gold carpet. Nick had already told me what to say if they asked who I thought would win the John Eales Medal (as this was what I was asked last year). It didn’t quite go that way. The interviewer asked “Did you feel that the invitation to the John Eales Medal was something you simply could not turn down?” “Err…I don’t know anything about rugby, but I thought I’d do my best”, I managed to squeeze out. It would probably have been better if I said something along the lines of: “I’m from the Northern hemisphere, more accurately a few clicks from the North Pole, and don’t think I understand how big this is. But I’m very honored to be here”. Oh well,better luck next time haha. Luckily they didn’t include my answer on national TV.

The Dinner

After the somewhat awkward experience entering the function, Nick and I went inside to be seated. We were served delicious crab and caviar for starters. However, Nick managed to dip his tie in the crab meat and I launched my fork with black caviar into my lap (note: white dress) first thing sitting down. Can’t take us anywhere… I tried to not do too many clumsy stunts as most of the dinner was broadcasted live. Nick didn’t seem to care a great deal, but was rather focusing on getting as much food as possible while listening to the speeches.

The food was fantastic. The main, hereford beef tenderloin with chive-spiced goats curd mousseline, truffle potato galette and root vegetables looked very nice. However, I went for the vegetarian option as I’m not a huge fan of red meat. It was an asparagus, green pea and mint risotto with lemon mascarpone. The dessert was also really tasty; chocolate tart with raspberry cream, lemon meringue pie with raspberries, apple and sultana crumble square and vanilla & mango brulée. I tried all the different bits, so good! Nick also cleaned up, but in spite of having a starter, main and dessert, he still remained hungry.


Despite a few awkward moments, and me not knowing half of what the speeches were about, the night was really good, with awesome food and nice people  ★


What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and southern India. The main part of the tree used commercially is the dried bark. Processed cinnamon bark products include Ceylon-type cinnamon bark oil, liquid extract, tincture, various aqueous or aqueous-alcoholic dried extracts, and supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) soft extracts. Cinnamon leaf oil is also used, but to a lesser extent.

Part of cinnamon’s commercial popularity lies in its ability to both enhance and suppress flavor. When added to foods containing sugar, cinnamon exerts a synergistic effect and its aroma enhances the sweetness. Alternatively, cinnamon can help mask undesirable flavors and odors in foods and drugs.

Benefits & Medical Uses of Cinnamon

medicinalCinnamon bark and its oil is used in the pharmaceutical industry as an ingredient in products used for:


  • Asthma
  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Diabetes
  • Fever-reducing
  • Expectorant properties
  • Treating bad breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Gastric distress
  • Impotence
  • Typhoid fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

Cinnamon bark oil is:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antimicrobial
  • An antioxidant
  • Antiviral
  • Larvicidal

Cinnamon has been employed for several millennia in traditional Eastern and Western medicine for:

  • Anorexia
  • Bloating
  • Dyspepsia with nausea
  • Flatulent colic
  • Spastic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract

Cinnamon is commonly used in Western Medicine to aid the blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.  It is used specifically in improving metabolic measures. It also has a glucose-lowering and blood sugar regulating effect.

Cinnamon displays numerous beneficial effects (and no toxicity), including promoting glycemic control, healthy fat parameters, reduction of insulin resistance, potentiation of the action of insulin, and amelioration of common complications associated with diabetes.

Some suggests that cinnamon has the ability to even out the caffeine absorption in the body. Instead of getting a high peak and a sudden drop from the caffeine, cinnamon is said to even it out to a longer and more balanced effect.

Cinnamon in Folk Remedy

This spice has been used in folk remedies for a wide range of conditions: “amenorrhea, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, cholera, coronary problems, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, fistula, lumbago, lungs, menorrhagia, nephritis, phthisis [pulmonary tuberculosis or other disease that causes wasting of the body], prolapse, proctosis, psoriasis, spasms, tumors, vaginitis, warts, and wens.  Additional folk medicine uses include dyspnoea (shortness of breath or labored breathing caused by serious disease of the airways, heart, or lungs), eye inflammation, “frigidity,” impotence, neuralgia, rheumatism, toothache, and wounds. It also has been used to alleviate tongue paralysis, as well as externally to relieve poisonous insect stings and acne.

Uses of Cinnamon in Other Cultures

Ayurvedic medicine use cinnamon bark oil as a single drug to treat flatulence, impaired digestion and metabolism, intestinal tract inflammation, peptic ulcer, vomiting, hemorrhoids, failure of penile erection, worm infestation, dryness of mouth, thirst, rhinitis/sinusitis, acute pain of nervine origin, blood disorders, tubercular ulcers, scorpion bite, and toothache. Cinnamon leaf oil has been used externally for rheumatism and inflammation.

Also in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, the powdered inner bark (tvak) is indicated for treating throat and mouth diseases, dryness of mouth, thirst, urinary bladder diseases, hemorrhoids, worm infestation, rhinitis/sinusitis, and heart disease.

In Siddha medicine, the powdered inner stem bark is used for treating all types of poisons and toxins, dysentery, painful gastrointestinal disorders with indigestion, flatulence, and wheezing. In Unani medicine, the dried inner bark is used for complete suppression of urine formation and excretion, sexual debility, bad breath and asthma.

Foods With Cinnamon

Cinnamon is used in curry and tea blends, baked goods, beverages, canned fruit, confections, desserts, pickles, liqueurs, marinades, meats, sauces, soups, and chewing gum. In Spanish-speaking countries cinnamon (canela) is popular in chocolate. Cinnamon Is also used in making mulled wine which is often used as an apéritif to aid digestion. Furthermore, cinnamon bark essential oil is used in the food industry, and has replaced ground cinnamon in large part, as it can provide a uniform flavor to confectionery, meat, and other processed foods.


Cinnamon bark essential oil is used in the perfume, and pharmaceutical industries. Due to its irritant and skin-sensitizing properties, cinnamon bark oil is used minimally in the perfume industry to add a musky, woody undertone. It is also a fragrance ingredient in soaps, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. Cinnamon  leaf oil is also employed as a fragrance and germicidal ingredient in soaps.

Cinnamon Recipes

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

medicinal 2Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1% low fat milk (organic)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa (organic, hs note: rinse quinoa)
  • 2 cups blackberries (fresh, organic preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (toasted*)
  • 4 tsps agave nectar (organic, such as Madhava brand)
  • 1 cup quinoa (dry, yields approximately 3 cups cooked)
  • 13/4 cups water (or stock)
  • sea salt

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.

Serves 4.

*While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 175C degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.

cinnamon 3

Upside-Down Apple-Cinnamon Pie

medicinal 2Serves 8. If you don’t plan on serving this pie immediately, cool it in the skillet, then warm it for 10 minutes in a 175˚C oven before unmolding. This will keep the crust from getting soggy.

  • ¾ cup sugar – alternatively 5 drops of stevia extract / 1 tbs agave syrup / 1 tbs honey
  • 8 medium sweet-tart apples, such as Braeburn, peeled and cut into 12 wedges each (1.8kg)
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Refrigerated pastry for 1-crust pie, or 1 Perfect Every Time Piecrust
  1. Preheat oven to 175˚C. Spread sugar in even layer over bottom of 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet (not nonstick), and heat over medium-low heat. Cook 12 to 15 minutes, or until sugar has caramelized to a pale amber color, stirring often with wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
  2. Toss apple wedges with lemon juice and cinnamon in bowl. Arrange apple wedges flat-side down in concentric circles in skillet over caramel.
  3. Roll crust into 10-inch disc. Place dough over apples, folding edges inward to make a rim but covering apples completely. Make 2 to 3 small slits in dough to let steam escape while baking. Bake 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours, or until crust is golden brown.
  4. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Run knife around edges, then place large cake plate over skillet, and invert pie onto cake plate. Transfer any apples remaining in skillet into pie and smooth with knife
Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Nutritional Values in Cinnamon


Nutrient Value pr 100g
Energy 247 kcal
Protein 4 g
Fat 1.2 g
Carbohydrate 80.6 g
Fiber 53.1
Sugar 2.17
Calcium 1002 mg
Iron 8.3 mg
Magnesium 60 mg
Phosphorus 64 mg
Potassium 431 mg
Sodium 10 mg
Zinc 1.8 mg
Vitamin C 3.8 mg
Thiamin 0.02 mg
Riboflavin 0.04 mg
Niacin 1.3 mg
Vitamin B6 0.16 mg
Folate 6 µg
Vitamin A, RAE 15 µg
Vitamin A, IU 295 IU
Vitamin E 2.3 mg
Vitamin K 31.2 µg
Saturated fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated 0.07 g


sticks and powder

sticks and powder

Pre Workout Foods

Is a Pre Workout Meal Vital?

Food eaten throughout the training week as well as food and fluid consumed during exercise is just as important. Consuming food and fluid before exercise should be seen as an opportunity to fine-tune carbohydrate and fluid levels and to ensure you feel comfortable.

When should I eat?

Food consumed before exercise is only useful once it has been digested and absorbed.  You therefore need to time your food intake so that the energy becomes available during the exercise period.  The time required for digestion depends on the type and quantity of food consumed.  Foods higher in fat, protein and fibre generally take longer to digest than other foods, and can cause stomach discomfort during exercise.  A general guide is to have a meal about 3-4 hours before exercise and/or a lighter snack about 1-2 hours before exercise.

What if I Exercise Early in the Morning?

If you do, try and opt for a light snack about an hour before exercise.  Examples are: Fruit or a museli bar on the way to training along with some fluid such as a glass of almond milk or juice.

What should I eat?

Food eaten before exercise should provide carbohydrate containing low GI complex carbohydrates, about 15-20 grams of protein and a combination of good fats (monounsaturated fats and omega 3′s). This combination of foods will break down slowly, keeping your energy levels consistent and provide the necessary nutrients to aid muscle growth. Most exercise sessions emphasizes on carbohydrate and fluid for the pre-event meal.

Some food suggestions suitable to eat 3-4 hours before exercise:

  • Salad with pumpkin and tofu
  • Tuna and salad sandwich (wholemeal) and an apple
  • pasta or rice with for example tomato, root vegetables and egg
  • Baked beans on toast (whole grain)
  • Quinoa and vegetables + banana
  • Fruit & vegetable smoothie
  • Fruit salad with nuts

Note: The main goal of pre workout meal is to keep your blood sugar levels consistent throughout your training session to prevent muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle for fuel). Therefore low GI carbohydrates should form the basis of this meal in combination with lean sources of protein.

Some food suggestions suitable to eat 1-2 hours before exercise:

  • Fruit and vegetable smoothie
  • Sports bars (check labels for carbohydrate and protein content)
  • Raw chia seeds almond milk porridge with berries
  • Organic rolled oats with almond milk
  • Coconut milk yogurt
  • Fruit

The ideal pre-workout snack is one that is quickly digested and predominately consists of water and carbohydrates. Examples include solid foods like an orange, banana or grapes. Liquid snacks might include fruit juice, a pre workout shake or a sports drink.

Are Foods With a Low Glycemic Index Better?

Carbohydrate-containing foods have different effects on blood glucose levels.  Foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) cause a slower, sustained release of glucose to the blood, whereas foods with a high GI cause a rapid, short-lived rise in blood glucose.  Research has shown that low GI foods could be useful in the pre-event meal as they would result in a slower and more sustained release of glucose during exercise maintaining blood glucose levels for a longer period.

Athletes: What if I am too Nervous to Eat?

You will perform better when you are well-fuelled and well hydrated, and the pre-event meal could play an important role.  Athletes need to experiment to find a routine that works, and foods that are safe and familiar.  Liquid meal supplements such as protein shakes provide an alternative for anyone who has difficulty tolerating solid foods pre-exercise. Muesli bars and sports bars can be eaten if you nibble them slowly over the hours leading up to your game or competition.

Avoiding Carbohydrate Pre Workout

In some cases, eating carbohydrates can improve the outcome of the session.  However, a small percentage of people experience a drop in blood glucose levels and symptoms such as fatigue, shakiness and dizziness after consuming carbohydrate immediately before exercise.  This is a response to the increase in carbohydrate use that occurs after the intake, associated with a rise in the levels of the hormone, insulin.  However, for most people, this is a temporary event which is quickly corrected by the body without any side-effects.

What if I am Trying to Lose Weight?

Exercising in a fasted state (around 8 hours since the last meal) results in a greater proportion of fat being used as energy compared to doing the same workload after a carbohydrate-containing meal or snack.  However, you may be able to exercise harder and for a longer period if you consume carbohydrate before exercise.  As an overall, this will result in increased energy use and a greater contribution to fat loss. If your primary goal is weight loss, (and do the same amount of exercise regardless of whether you eat or not), save your meal until after the session.

If your primary goal is weight loss, (and do the same amount of exercise regardless of whether you eat or not), save your meal until after the session.


nuts and raisins