7 Energy Boosters for Intense Workouts

Are you running out of energy before you can finish a tough, intense workout? Before you go and buy those energy drinks, look at better alternatives.

Don’t depend on supplements for energy or weight loss. Depend on whole, natural foods for your nutrition and energy. Whole, natural foods have one ingredient, the food itself.  So, fruits, nuts, vegetables and lean meats would fit this bill.  Avoid foods in a box or bag which are loaded with trans fats and calories.
If you use a pre-workout shake, use whole, natural ingredients.

Supplements are just that—supplements! Burn fat and lose weight primarily with regular exercise and a healthy meal plan. Its also been proven that you won’t be mentally sharp if your nutrition is lacking.

And, don’t become too caffeinated. Because it is a stimulant to the central nervous system, too much caffeine can make you tired.

Cheryl Forberg, a registered dietician says, “a once-a-day dose in the morning in tea or coffee is fine. But people can create a vicious cycle when they keep ingesting more caffeine to counteract the exhaustion they feel after the previous dose wears off.” And, she adds, “the cumulative effects of the day’s caffeine—such as increased heart rate and a rise in blood pressure—can also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.”

Here are 7 energy boosters for your workouts:

1) The timing of your exercise selection is important. High intensity exercise such as speed work, interval training (high intensity to low intensity rotation), one-legged exercises, etc. should be performed at the beginning of your workouts when you are fresh.  One-legged exercises are more intense than two-legged exercises.

Your body’s neuromuscular system is highly fatigue-prone at high intensities. Performing these exercises in a fatigued state will compromise what you are trying to accomplish.

2) Perform compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench press and bentover rows early in your workout. Compound exercises work multiple joints and major muscle groups. You need to be fresh to do them properly. Single joint, less demanding exercises such as bicep curls and calf raises should be done later in your workout.

3) Eat properly during the day and at least 1-2 hours before your workout so you’re not running on fumes.  This is especially true if you are doing a strength training workout.  

You might also be dehydrated. “Water serves as a medium for the body to perform its life-sustaining functions, such as regulating body temperature and eliminating waste,” says Toby Amidor, a registered dietician in New York City. “If you don’t ingest enough water to help these metabolic reactions occur, you’ll become tired or lightheaded.”

Drink about half your weight in water each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink about 75 ounces of water each day.

4) Get enough sleep. If you are sleep-deprived, you won’t be able to adequately complete a demanding workout.  And, your metabolism won’t work as it should.

5) Keep your workout time at 50 minutes or less. You don’t need marathon training sessions to have effective workouts.  You will get better fat burning results with
short burst circuit weight training workouts of 50 minutes or less and interval cardio sessions of about 20 minutes.

If you are pressed for time, try a bodyweight cardio workout to get dual strength/cardio benefits.  Just choose bodyweight exercises such as squats, pullups, pushups,
inverted rows, planks and mountain climbers.  A 30-minute bodyweight cardio workout will get the job done.

6) If you are diabetic, you may need to bring a snack to eat during and after your workout.

7) Don’t take on an advanced exercise before you are ready for it. For instance, you may have to “work up” to being able to do high intensity interval cardio sessions.

Energize your day and your workouts with these common sense tips!

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