Maximize Your Potential. Naturally.
No one gets to choose his or her genetics. Well, at least not yet. Some of us may have fared better than others, but that’s life, right?
What if someone told you that you weren’t performing at your optimal genetic capacity – be it in regards to fitness performance or cognitive ability? What if they told you that simple dietary changes could help you maximize your potential?
Take the “pre-workout” supplements, for example. Some people swear by their pre-workout so much that they will refuse to exercise without it. Why?
In many cases, pre-workout formulas market themselves for containing breakthrough ingredients and compounds that are responsible for proven increased performance and gains (check Creatine, Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, and Agmatine, amongst others). The aforementioned constituents are without-a-doubt performance boosters. So why is there an issue?
Well let’s see. Let’s take a look a popular pre-workout supplement that will go unnamed.
Supplement companies these days are beginning to take a turn for the better, using more and more science to develop their products. But that doesn't always mean the consumer is getting what they really need to optimize a workout. Proprietary blends and fillers are still a big topic among the supplement industry. They bundle their ingredients into a “proprietary blend,” and claim they do so to protect their "secret" formulas.
You don’t know how much of each ingredient you’re getting, and you’re getting an excess of caffeine to top it off. That’s before even going in to the fact that a lot of companies will use “fillers” to basically add some powdered nothing into their tub of product to increase profit margins. the thing is, cutting corners to maximize profit may work in the short term. but that doesn't build long term brand loyalty or customer retention.
With all that said, you are still feeling great when you throw that scoop in your drink 30 minutes before you go to the gym. I’d give partial credit of that to the heavy caffeine content. But…what about the rest of the day? How are you feeling then? What if you had no choice but to hit the gym without that “pre”? How would you feel? Could you do it?
Hopefully the answer is yes. It should be. But often it’s easier said than done. Take it from someone who’s been there personally. I wouldn’t dare step foot in the gym without downing that artificially fruity, delicious, stimulant-laden pre-workout.
As I continued learning in class and at home, something began to click. I shouldn’t have to rely on some powder to get me through the gym. At 20 years old, what was causing me to feel like I could not manage an hour of high-energy output without an artificial supplement? Luckily, this epiphany began during my schooling. I had the luxury of having the free time to be able to dedicate hours, days, and weeks researching this topic. A few of my closer friends at school were probably the only ones that knew how much of a closet nerd I was.
I began to learn that even though I thought I had a well-balanced diet, I wasn’t very nourished at the cellular level. My low energy levels were prime evidence for this. The pre-workout supplement industry knows this. Caffeine isn’t necessarily the enemy here – it has been proven to show increased performance. But again, none of these studies have looked into how nourished the person was prior to ingesting the supplement. The use of caffeine is a great way to mask the effect of undernourishment. The problem is that you deplete your stores of vital nutrients at higher rates when you exercise. So, with time, you become more and more dependent on that pre-workout to fuel your sessions because of how nutritionally deficient you become.
It was beginning to make more sense. I vowed in school to cut all pre-workout supplement ties until I was having workouts that could match the energy levels without it. I re-energized my body through a higher volume of plant-based whole foods and juicing. I was feeling better throughout the day, and even looking a little bit better (I thought). A rule of thumb I developed and adopted is pretty simple: if it receives its energy directly from the sun (aka anything green and grows out of the ground), eat it. For the most part, these foods contain the highest concentration of vitamins and trace minerals by weight. Along with that, they are pretty hard to get fat on.
I am by no means a genetic specimen. That is probably why this entire subject became so intriguing and obsessive to me. I wanted to reach my personal maximum potential. I began with bringing myself back to balance.
As goes with the whole spectrum of the human body, its physiology, its chemical makeup and processes within, there is still much more to learn. I vow to further my knowledge and create products derived from natural and whole foods that aid in the body’s ability to function at its maximum potential. Nothing offered at Cold off the Press will be something you don’t pat yourself on the back for consuming. Please, join me in this journey to reaching your maximum potential.
Amir Sadeghi, BS, Exercise Physiology
-Founder, Cold off the Press