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No matter what type of athlete you are, there is one topic that everyone seems to agree upon and that is the need for pre-, intra-, and post-workout nutritional support. Paying attention to your nutritional needs in these three phases can help you maximize the benefits of a specific workout and avoid feeling depleted and “on edge” after the workout.

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Below are three herbal “recipes” that you can use during these three crucial time frames in order to enhance your fitness and well-being.

An Herbal Recipe for Pre-Workout

The goal for your pre-training herbal program should be to prepare the body for the stress it is about to go through during a training session. In this phase, it is important to “stimulate” the system in order to give you that “extra edge.” Some herbs you may want to consider using during this phase are cayenne, ginger, and cordyceps.

Cordyceps is a wonderful immune tonic and can help the body prepare itself for times of stress.

cayenneCayenne and ginger have a two-fold effect. These herbs help protect against inflammation, and they are also “stimulant herbs.” They help to support healthy blood flow/circulation throughout the body.

Use these herbs in a tincture as you want to get them in your system as fast as possible.

What You Will Need

  • 3 dropper fulls cordyceps
  • 1 dropper full cayenne
  • 1 dropper full ginger

Instructions

  1. Mix in a small bit of water and drink about 30 minutes prior to training.

An Herbal Recipe for Intra-Workout

The term intra-workout means during the workout. This is a very critical time to make sure you give your body the nourishment it needs to get you through the training session. This is when you need adoptogens.  Adaptogens are herbs which help the body to counteract the adverse effects of external stressors by generating nonspecific resistance.

The other category of herbs that would be of great benefit during this time of needed nourishment are the nutritive herbs. These are your true vitamins and minerals. They come from deep in the earth.

For this recipe I would suggest using powders as this has a slower release effect as your body will work as an extractor to take what it needs from the herb.

What You Will Need

  • 1 Tablespoon of maca root
  • 1 Tablespoon of siberian ginseng
  • 1 Tablespoon alfalfa
  • 1 Tablespoon hawthorn berry powder

Instructions

  1. Mix with 16 oz of distilled water and drink throughout the workout.

An Herbal Recipe for Post-Workout

Now that you have put yourself through a training session, your primary goal is to focus on what you can do to maximize your recovery. Often times your nervous systems takes a beating during a hard training session as it is being stimulated for an extended period of time. Now is the time to nourish that system with nervine herbs in order to calm your body down so it can begin to properly recover. I suggest either a hot or iced tea to drink with your post-workout meal.

What You Will Need

  • 1 Tablespoon skullcap
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon balm
  • 1 teaspoon passion flower
  • 1 teaspoon lemon verbena

Instructions

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add your herbs. Let the herbs sit in the covered pot for 20 min. Strain and drink 2 cups prior to training and then again 1-2 hours later.

Writer Mike Stuchiner is a Master Herbalist, a graduate of the School of Natural Healing, has written 2 booklets on herbal medicine, published articles, owned his own herb store, and currently does private consultation through his web site, eliteherbalist.com.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.