Raise Your Energy Levels, Raise Your Gains

By Eva
8 September 2015

You’ve set your goals: be fitter, faster, stronger or slimmer.  However you’ve found you’re too tired, fatigued or restless to succeed. Tiredness doesn’t only affect your motivation to complete your training, it can also hinder your ability to complete daily tasks at home or work.

Here are the top culprits causing your tiredness along with some hacks on how to best combat these:

1.    Sleep

Do you feel sluggish throughout the day? If you’re waking up still tired and without energy you may need to work on your sleep. The length you sleep can vary depending on your personal needs; some people function perfectly with 6 hours, whereas others need at least 8. What’s important is keeping your sleeping regular, creating a pattern or ‘body clock’ so your body realises when it’s time to rest.

It's during sleep when your muscles repair and regenerate so it’s crucial to your training to ensure you’re getting enough shuteye.  

Ensure you’re relaxed and winding down well before you get into bed:

- Turn your devices off: screens like your phone & TV have proven to disrupt your sleep if used excessively before sleep
- Wind your body and mind down with some herbal tea; Chamomile is known to alleviate stress and assist in a good night’s sleep
- Take a warm, soothing bath or shower; add some Epsom salts or muscle relaxing tonic to release tension
- Avoid caffeine for the afternoon/ evening

2.    Diet

We eat in order to have energy and fuel for our daily activities, for training and even to sleep. A poor diet will undoubtedly cause you to feel tired and lack energy. Studies have shown that diets high in sugar are associated with low energy levels; excessive sugar and fat will cause fatigue whilst a lack of magnesium, serotonin or melatonin can lead to sleep deprivation and reduced energy levels.

What should you be eating:

- Breakfast; crucial to kick-start your metabolism, fires up your energy for the day and studies show, that eating a healthy breakfast will stop unhealthy food decisions later in the day
- Foods with fibre, to maintain a healthy functioning digestive system
- Fresh fruits and vegetables; healthy sugars and packed full of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
- Fish, such as salmon; full of great Omega 3 fats
- Nuts, great fats also
- Whole grains; low GI which mean slow releasing energy to fuel the brain

Try to limit your intake of sugary carbohydrates and refined or processed grains such as white bread and pasta which can spike blood sugar levels. Remember to also drink plenty of water as dehydration can lead to insomnia.

3.    Medical

There are a variety of medical conditions that could be contributing to your suffering energy levels including a slow functioning thyroid, anaemia (low blood iron levels), diabetes (irregular blood sugar) or even food intolerances/ allergies. If your energy levels are truly low and nothing seems to be assisting their increase, it may be best visit your GP/ medical practitioner. Many of the aforementioned can be diagnosed through a blood test and are easily treatable.

Remember, energy is created through the fuel we consume. This fuel for energy allows us to function, however it is also required for when we rest.

Ultimate muscle repair and restoration occurs whilst we are asleep, so:

- ensure you are fuelling your body with the right foods
- regulate your sleep, try unwind before you rest;

to maximise your energy use and in turn, succeed in reaching your training goals!

 

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