Lack of energy is a common reason why many people start to neglect regular exercise. It’s also a popular excuse among busy employees — especially if the only time they can squeeze in a workout is after their workday ends.
However, there are ways to beat this energy problem and gain enough energy to work up a sweat — from eating fruits and hydrating with workout energy drinks to listening to energetic music.
Try these five tips to increase your energy before a workout session and keep it up throughout.
Eat for Energy
The biggest source of energy for our body comes from the food we eat and the nutrients they give. Having pre-workout snacks and meals is one of the most effective ways to boost our energy.
Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, and calories are the best. Remember that the more calories we eat, the more energy our body retains.
For snacks just before going to the gym, food with quick carbs or fast-digesting carbohydrates and low fiber content are preferable.
Recommended pre-workout snacks for a quick energy boost:
- Fruits, especially bananas and apples
- Nut butter, especially when paired with fruit
- Cornflakes and shredded wheat
- Greek yogurt with granola and berries
- Hard-boiled egg, especially the white part
- Protein shake
However, if you have time for a full meal, go for carbs that have more fiber content.
Time Your Meals and Snacks
Simply eating energy-boosting foods isn’t enough on its own. It is also important to time our pre-workout meals and snacks. The food needs ample time to digest for us to benefit from its nutrients.
When having meals or snacks, it is generally best to eat around 45 to 90 minutes (or an hour and 30 minutes) before working out. Eating an energy-boosting banana or any other snack at least four hours before exercising is unlikely to help improve our energy levels.
Avoid eating big and heavy meals, such as burgers and fries, right before working out. This will pull more of our blood and oxygen towards the digestive system and away from our muscles, which can lead to less energy, muscle cramps, and more.
Water and Workout Energy Drinks
Water is essential for our body’s cellular function. It may not have any calories to give us energy, but without water, our body will not be able to derive energy from the food we eat. This is because water not only facilitates the transport of nutrients and minerals but also helps regulate our temperature, which is necessary for energy production.
Coffee, fruit juice, and workout energy drinks help supplement our liquid intake. Still, make sure to drink enough regular water.
Many people drink coffee for the extra energy boost from caffeine. However, workout energy drinks are generally better, as these not only have caffeine but also have added nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Taking multivitamins before going to the gym can help increase our energy. The vitamins we get from multivitamin supplements can help with breaking down the food we eat to produce more energy. Two good examples of this are vitamins B6 and B12.
Multivitamins can also help prevent muscle breakdown during workouts, especially when doing long, endurance exercises.
We can’t disregard the effectiveness of media motivation to get us energized. Listening to upbeat, energetic music can go a long way in helping us forget our tiredness.
Fast music with strong and loud beats is often the best, such as hip-hop, house, garage, and rock music. Songs with fast tempos can also help get our heartbeat up, which means more blood and more energy pumping through our bodies.
Move More With a Healthy Body
Taking good care of our body is essential to stay energized. A healthy body naturally has more energy to spare for workouts and other activities.
Getting enough sleep, having a balanced diet, and moderating our alcohol intake is necessary to keep our energy up. A strong and healthy body serves as a solid foundation that will help make all the energy-boosting tips we gave more effective.