Have you ever thought, “I really need to work out today,” but just couldn’t muster the physical energy to actually do it?
If you’re feeling sluggish before or during your workout routine, here are some tips to get your “oomph” back:
1) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Be sure to drink plenty of water and other liquids, such as seltzer, throughout the day. Our body is made up of over 70% water, and it’s medically proven just a 5% drop in body fluids will case a 25-30% loss of energy. If you drink coffee all day and hope to exercise after work, you won’t feel very good physically or mentally.
As you get going with your workout, your core temperature slowly rise, and within about 5-7 minutes, you’ll start to sweat. You can drip close to a gallon of sweat per hour on hot, humid days, so take time to drink water. The carbohydrates and protein your body uses as fuel during exercise are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. Without water your energy levels would certainly suffer.
2) Take a Multivitamin/B-Vitamin supplement
The B-vitamins have a reputation as the energy vitamin! They play an essential part in reactions that transfer energy from food to the body. Along with vitamin B, your body also uses numerous other vitamins and minerals when exercising. Lacking these can lead to feeling fatigued and not perform to the best of your ability.
3) Consider Caffeine
The body’s circadian rhythm naturally drops mid-afternoon. As long as you’ve properly hydrated, pouring yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea, is an extremely effective way to increase your energy before a workout.
Caffeine increases your mental alertness; however, a word of caution, caffeine only offers a temporary boost of energy. Some may feel a crash after the effect of the caffeine wears off.
4) Energy Supplements
I love blends, such as Uckele Physio-Lean, which is formulated to give you a boost by supporting energy production, metabolic function, fat metabolism, and lean muscle mass. A sidenote worth mentioning is some professional athletes currently in the NFL and NHL use Uckele products to support their training.
5) Fuel Properly During Exercise
If your race lasts longer than an hour, down a high-glucose gel or sports drink. Keep in mind, working muscles take top priority in your body, and blood is moved away from your gut. This means digestion slows to a turtle’s pace, but if you don’t refuel, you’ll start to lag. Experiment with what you eat while you exercise. Bars are hard to break down and can lead to stomach cramping.
This isn’t nutrition related, but a new, gettin’ sweaty playlist can do wonders for your energy levels! Music definitely helps make time fly, so put together a collection of songs that motivate you to work your body. And no one can hear what you’re listening to, so no need to worry about anyone judging you. Really.
A lot of energy and motivation can occur even just 1-2 hours pre-workout. If you change your mindset and have proper diet, supplementation, and sleep (that's another blog in itself!), you can really gain a ton of energy preworkout and be ready for your day in the gym.
One final thought...Still Fatigued?
If you continue to feel fatigued, make it an off day. Getting some rest is probably the best thing you can do at that point, and then get going full strength the next day.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods