November 7, 2018
How do we get more energy in the gym?
If you’re anything like me, just getting to the gym in the colder months is a challenge. Especially morning workouts!
Ya, good luck with that.
This is going to be addressed according to my experience! Everyone follows a different diet & workout schedule meaning everyone will need something different to fuel their workout.
This has been a commonly asked question and today I want to break it down to three major areas:
Since most people wake up and immediately workout, it might be preferred to do your workout fasted. I don’t think this is a bad approach. It’s very individual to the person! I would do a fasted workout if I were doing HIIT in the morning. However, I find that with lifting sessions and evening sessions, I perform better with something in my system 1-2 hours prior to working out such as:
FRUIT: fresh or dried such as 1/2 banana, apple, or orange. Even a fresh juice is one of my favorite ways to energize!
CARBS: oatmeal, sweet potato, a slice of whole-grain bread, or if you’re paleo based like me, a slice of paleo bread! any complex carb will do.
PROTEIN: hard boiled egg whites, chicken or turkey, or jerky (I like the EPIC jerky brand) – legumes take longer to digest so if you are having legumes before your workout, wait a few more hours or you might get an upset stomach. I don’t like to have protein bars before working out, because I find them to be too heavy in my stomach. But after is a better option.
FATS: I tend to stay away from a lot of fat right before my workout and usually save my fat for afterward. That is a personal preference, I find that I get a stomach ache with too much fat beforehand. But sometimes a tablespoon of nut butter does the trick!
I also believe that having a cup of coffee or green tea one hour before can give you great energy! Try cutting back on the cream if you’re using this as a pre-workout. Black would be preferred in this situation but a little almond milk creamer never hurt anyone.
I do my HIIT sessions in the evening typically between 4-6 PM. Around 3 PM I will have my snack, usually containing an example from above.
To have energy in the gym, it’s all about FOOD! So, that’s the good news. 🙂
It’s important to eat. Food = Fuel. Don’t forget that!
Here are some of my fav energy snacks from the blog!
I personally love drinking BCAA’s during my workouts. BCAA’s stand for Brand Chain Amino Acids. To keep it simple, we lose those amino acids from our muscles when we workout. BCAA’s help to restore your muscles, speed up your recovery, keep you from experiencing muscle fatigue, and improve the use of fat for energy.
Shorter recovery time means you can get back to your workout quicker!
Remember that I workout for 30 minutes each day, so if you are working out for hours, for example playing a sport, or hiking, you might want to consider having an energy ball, dried fruit, a protein bar or even jerky along with BCAA’s to sustain that energy. That is for long periods of exercise.
There are people that believe you need to eat within a 30 minute period of your workout, and those who believe it doesn’t necessarily matter.
For me personally, eating within 30 minutes of my workout isn’t an option anymore. I used to be able to but I no longer have an appetite after my workouts. However, I do believe that you should refuel your body in some way following your workout. Ideally, I would eat a protein & carb source within the hour of my workout. Carbs are important after a workout as well especially if you lifted. Protein powder is great but just like BCAA’s, supplements like that aren’t necessary and you don’t need to spend your money on things like that if you don’t want to. It is a good option to have on hand on your drive home!
So, how do we sustain our energy in the gym?!
Fuel – Maintain – Recover
1-2 hours prior to your workout, eat something to FUEL your body. During your workout, MAINTAIN by drinking water and BCAA’s (optional) and after your workout REFUEL with a balance of carbs, protein & fats.
OTHER WAYS TO HAVE MORE ENERGY:
a good multivitamin
tons of water
6-8 hrs of sleep per night. make it a priority
less screen time
& of course eat well & workout!
I hope this answered some of your questions! If you have any more, leave them down below!
all my love,