The best way to kickstart your workout isn’t found in a modern pre-workout powdered concoction – it’s found in the annals of history. Kratom tea is a natural pre-workout that’s been used for centuries. Laborers in Southeast Asia consumed kratom to enhance their productivity and keep them going through long, hot, and strenuous days of back-breaking work.
In addition to this long history of use for physical labor, there are numerous reasons why we believe kratom tea is a great natural pre-workout. But is using kratom as a pre-workout the right natural choice for you? Let’s get into it!
Should I Use a Natural Pre-Workout?
Exercising burns fuel. To get a good workout in, you need to have energy in your reserves. Nothing tops good nutrition when it comes to getting the best workouts with the best results. If you skimp on what food you’re consuming and how much, you might be seriously hindering your exercise efforts.
Of course, what you are eating varies depending on the goals of your workout. For example, if you want to lose weight, you’ll want to reduce your carbohydrate intake and get more of your calories from plant-based proteins.
And if you want to gain weight, increase your fat intake along with your carbohydrates. These extra calories are necessary to avoid tapping into your internal calorie reserves while exercising.
If you’re looking to find the energy for heavy weight lifting, sprints, circuit training or crossfit, have a small carb-based snack before working out for an extra glycogen boost to help you put on muscle and maintain energy.
Proper nutrition is a subject of a different discussion. Before you spend time investing in pre-workouts and ways to up the quality of your workouts, you need to nail down your nutrition. Once you’ve covered your bases on the nutrition side of things, then you can start seeking out ways to eke out a little more from your exercise routine.
What Does Pre-Workout Do?
A pre workout is something that you take before you exercise to help you get a longer and more focused workout. Its main goal is to energize you and slow down the rate at which you become fatigued.
As you may know, half of your workout is physical and the other half is mental. Having the gumption to hit the weights is a psychological battle – one that you can lose before even stepping foot in the gym.
The job of a pre workout is to get your mind in the right place to crush a workout. After helping you get the right attitude, it then needs to energize you for the rest of the workout.
To accomplish these tasks, most pre workouts use caffeine. Caffeine can certainly get the job done. The issue, however, is that most of us already have a tolerance to caffeine.
To be effective despite peoples’ caffeine tolerance, pre workouts will up the ante: it’s not uncommon to see pre workouts with an average of 200-400 mg of caffeine per serving (the amount found in 2-4 cups of coffee). That’s 50-100% of the daily maximum serving in one dose!
When to Take Pre-Workout?
The best time to take your pre workout is about 30 minutes before you start exercising. This gives your body enough time to process the pre workout, so that it has entered your bloodstream when you start your workout.
If you’re using a pre workout that includes caffeine, we recommend that you do not take it within six hours of your expected bedtime. Caffeine has a half-life of about five hours. Some people take even longer than this to metabolize it.
How caffeine will affect your sleep largely depends on your tolerance to it, but keep in mind that the average shot of espresso contains about 65 milligrams of caffeine in it. So when you take a pre workout with 400 mg of caffeine, after five hours you’ll still have the equivalent of about three shots of espresso in your body.
Getting high-quality sleep is crucial to recovering from a hard workout. Just like overlooking nutrition can negatively affect your fitness, so too can overlooking quality sleep. So while caffeine may work to your benefit while exercising, it may also be detrimental to your recovery afterwards.
This is one of the reasons why we recommend giving kratom tea a shot as your new natural pre workout. Kratom tea is less likely to disrupt your sleep than caffeine, and it has just as many benefits when paired with a good workout routine.
What is Kratom Tea?
Kratom tea is made by brewing the leaves of the kratom tree, Mitragyna speciosa. The trees grow naturally throughout Southeast Asia, and have been cultivated in other areas of the world. The tea is slightly bitter but can be made with added fruits and sweeteners like lemon juice or stevia for those who don’t like drinking plain tea.
Kratom has enjoyed a long history of use throughout Southeast Asia. In Thailand, kratom has long been used for the same reason we use coffee in the United States. Laborers drank tea daily to increase their productivity.
Many laborers swear by kratom’s ability to give them the strength to push through their difficult tasks and bear the heat of the sweltering Thai sun.
Kratom leaves, and thus kratom tea, contains a myriad of different alkaloids. The primary alkaloid is mitragynine. These alkaloids, and the various other phytochemicals – chemicals produced by plants – such as terpenes and saponins have proven to be effective and safe natural energizers for centuries, if not millennia.
That’s a much longer period of safe use to look to than we have for all of the plastic jugs filled with berry-flavored, body-tingling pre workout powders. That’s why we’re looking for natural pre workouts in the first place.
What’s the Best Type of Kratom Pre-Workout?
Many people have success using kratom as pre workout. Of course, if you’re looking to use kratom for working out, you should be aware that there are different types of kratom, and not all are equal. Let’s get into how the different kratom pre-workouts compare when it comes to finding a natural exercise boost.
Kratom Powder as a Pre-Workout
While kratom powder is the most popular kratom product in the US, it’s not necessarily the easiest, most convenient—or most tasty—method of consuming kratom. It’s not a traditional method of consumption either, but rather, originated as a cost saving way to ship kratom to the US.
Not only is kratom powder messy, but it’s tricky to find the right serving size. As the densities of different kratom powders can vary, you might have to use a kitchen scale to weigh out your serving size. When you’re in a rush to head to the gym, this gets pretty inconvenient.
Furthermore, even if you mix kratom powder with water à la “toss and wash” method, you’ll not only be gulping down an unpleasant slurry of gritty sludge, but you also run the risk of swallowing air and getting trapped gas or an upset stomach.
These little discomforts can easily ruin a workout or prevent you from giving your best effort. It’s easy to imagine how having a more homogenous type of kratom liquid could save you a lot of time and hassle.
Liquid Kratom as a Pre-Workout
For gym-goers, using liquid kratom for working out sounds more convenient than using powder.
However, even when it comes to using liquid kratom for working out, not all types of kratom liquid are equal. Some types, such as liquid kratom extracts and kratom shots, can be highly concentrated.
These types of kratom are not beginner-friendly; it’s often hard to tell just how strong kratom extracts are, and, furthermore, they can contain other ingredients that can upset your stomach or hinder your workout. The last thing you want before a workout is to end up feeling queasy because of a strong extract.
Lastly, pre-bottled forms of liquid kratom are known for their high price tag; if you’re trying to save money by going natural and using kratom as a pre-workout, you’ll quickly find that the cost of pre-made kratom liquids adds up quickly; it’s an expensive, economically unsustainable habit to keep.
Kratom Tea as a Pre-Workout
Ultimately, we recommend kratom tea as the best type of kratom to consume before exercise. Compared to other forms, the tea form is the best kratom to use as a pre-workout for the following reasons:
- It’s easy to take kratom tea with you in a tea thermos or tumbler.
- Kratom tea is easier on the stomach than powder.
- You can re-brew the tea bags for another boost later if desired.
- Kratom tea is one of the oldest methods of consumption with the longest history of long-term use.
- Drinking kratom tea normalizes kratom as a pre-workout and as a beverage.
When it comes to finding the best kratom pre-workout, kratom tea can’t be beaten. Compared to the toss-and-wash method, using kratom tea before working out is much easier all around. Just remember to find a decent tea thermos or tumbler to bring your kratom tea, as well as a normal water bottle for staying hydrated.
Kratom Tea. vs Kratom Capsules as a Pre-Workout
So, how does kratom tea compare to kratom capsules before a workout? After all, kratom capsules are a much cleaner, easier method of consuming kratom than powder or extracts. That being said, in addition to all of the other benefits of kratom tea over other forms, keep in mind the digestion time.
Kratom capsules contain kratom powder contained in a harder outer capsule. Whether it’s a gelatin or cellulose capsule, it takes time for the capsule to break down and release the kratom powder within. Then, you have to digest the kratom powder itself.
So, compared to kratom capsules, kratom tea is a bit more instantaneous, though not as sudden on your stomach as kratom powder. So, if you’re someone who tends to be a perfectionist about how your body feels during exercise, kratom tea is your best bet for feeling physically ready for a workout.
How Does Kratom Tea Help Your Workout?
About 30 minutes after you finish your kratom tea, you’ll notice an energizing effect and focusing of your thoughts.
Similar to other pre-workouts, taking kratom tea before working out won’t motivate you all by itself. But coupled with a desire for a good workout, kratom will get you to the gym with a strong kick in the butt to get some hard work done.
Along with mental motivation, kratom tea can help you to finish your workout as strongly as you started. It can help you push past physical walls that once slowed you down.
Plus, by using kratom as a pre-workout, you can avoid the excessive amounts of caffeine and other ingredients often found in pre-workout powders and energy drinks.
When to Take Kratom Tea Before a Workout
So, with most pre-workout drinks, it’s advised to take them about 15-30 minutes before regular gym training. When using kratom as a pre-workout, you may want to start off drinking your kratom tea about 30 minutes to an hour before a workout. Make sure to give your kratom tea bags enough time to brew before enjoying your drink and heading out to the gym.
If you need to kill a little time before your workout, or just want to treat yourself, you can make your kratom taste better by preparing a kratom tea recipe!
There are plenty of different kratom tea recipes online; some are more decadent, some are more fun, and some are better to drink before a workout than others. If you have used other pre-workout drinks in the past and enjoyed a particular flavor, you can always try to make a copycat recipe to mimic the flavor with your kratom tea pre-workout!
If you’re having a particularly busy day and find yourself in a crunch to grab a snack before your workout, you can always combine your kratom tea pre-workout with a smoothie for long-lasting energy!
For example, you can make a kratom tea recipe with banana, granola, or oats if desired! If you end up weight-lifting, doing other forms of strength training, or running, a kratom smoothie is a great way to help nourish your recovery after a workout as well.
Best Strain of Kratom Tea to Use as a Natural Pre-Workout
There are three general types of kratom tea. White vein teas, green vein teas, and red vein teas. Among these kratom types, there are sub-strains as well. Choosing the best kratom tea is a constantly evolving game because the batches and their effects may shift slightly over time, and each kratom vendor advertises a range of options.
Since kratom tea is a natural product, the flavor or the effect may change based on the season or by the weather conditions in which the leaves are harvested. Nutrients in the soil and the general climate can also impact the effects of different batches of kratom tea.
We can use some broad generalizations to narrow down the choices of kratom tea for a natural pre-workout drink. White vein teas are generally the kratom tea of choice for those who want to replace coffee in their day-to-day lives.
In general, white vein kratom strains are a great choice if you’re looking to clear your head before you hit the gym.
Green vein teas are also great for focusing during a workout but have a soothing quality as well. This can help chill you out if you’re feeling any gym-timidation.
Red veins teas tend to be more relaxing than teas made with the other vein colors, and they can provide relief from bodily discomfort. That’s why red vein teas are great after a hard workout.
If you put in a few too many reps or stretched a little too far, a red vein tea can keep you comfortable after your gym session instead of sore and immobile. That said, we do know a couple of kratom tea drinkers who swear by red veins for their pre-workout.
Kratom Tea Best Practices for Working Out
1. Stay hydrated!
When you drink kratom tea instead of eating kratom powder for your pre-workout, you’re getting in 1-2 cups of water. But like coffee, kratom is a diuretic, in other words, it will make you urinate more. As such, it’s good to drink lots of water in addition to your tea before and during your workout.
2. Stay hydrated!
If you’re already dehydrated or haven’t eaten anything when you drink your kratom tea, you may feel a little dizzy. This isn’t necessarily dangerous—unless you’re operating heavy machinery or are dangling heavy weight over your head. So please, make sure you’re drinking enough water!
3. You guessed it: Stay! Hydrated!
Even if you aren’t drinking kratom tea, being properly hydrated is never a bad decision.
Learn About Other Great Uses for Kratom Tea
There are so many great reasons to drink kratom tea beyond the pre-workout advantages it provides. From post-workout recovery to replacing alcohol or other herbal teas in your favorite drinks, there are so many benefits to explore. Browse through more kratom tea guides on the Better Brewing Blog to find out how you can go from drinking kratom as a pre-workout to drinking for support during other parts of your day.
It’s time to head to the gym – or the climbing wall, the track, the farm… Until next time, cheers to better brewing!