Lacking Energy? Skip Coffee and Try These Foods

The Motivating Diet

Balancing work and personal lives can be exhausting. After a long day at work, school or a family gathering, finding the energy to go to the gym can be tough. Luckily there are many lifestyle choices that can naturally increase your energy for hard work in and out of the gym.

Nutritional choices are a big factor here. The better you eat, the better you feel. Practicing proper nutritionand tracking the timing of what you eat can do wonders to make you feel alert and powerful, says Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian and Health magazine’s nutrition and weight loss blogger. Sass explains that correctly combining natural foods will provide you with energy, without crashing later.[1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/eat-foods-boost-more-energy_n_3014581.html]

Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, a sports nutrition expert, counselor and registered dietitian recommends foods that include B-vitamins. Small portions of eggs and other healthy proteins will provide you with a good amount of energizing nutrients.

“B-complex vitamins work to break down carbohydrates we consume into glucose for fuel,” says Moskovitz. “At the same time they help transport oxygen throughout the body.” [2. http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/10-energy-foods]

It’s important to watch the amount of sugars and refined carbohydrates you are eating since that serving can affect your levels of energy. Try moderate portions of beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables and (if following the Core Plan) moderate-glycemic grains for energy. Processed grains like bread, white rice, most crackers, cookies, muffins, cakes, bagels, pastas do not contain fiber. Although they provide carbohydrates that can be used for energy, they are quickly released into your bloodstream due to lack of fiber, causing sudden jumps in blood sugar levels. It’s important to choose high-quality grains (brown rice, millet, etc.) as opposed to processed grains to avoid crashing once it hits your bloodstream.[3. http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/how-to-eat-for-energy-you-might-not-even-need-caffeine.html]

False Energy

Coffee reigns as the most commonly looked-to source of energy. While some experts tout coffee’s ability to boost fatty acid oxidation, utilization of carbohydrates, intensity level and focus during a traditional cardio session, there are two problems with that idea. First, coffee dehydrates the body. Second, coffee is one of the most overused “drugs” out there and using it to boost your workout performance can lead to dependence.[4. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/caffeine-good-bad-risks-benefits]

The reason that we say “drug” is because drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee becomes addictive. Soon the normal cup of coffee doesn’t have any effect on the consumer, so the benefits gradually increase as one develops tolerance to the drug. Commonly, addicts will consume larger amounts of caffeine and not even be affected at all, or they will crash about 20 minutes post consumption.

An alternative to coffee is Maximized Living’s Max Fit. A dietary supplement made up of green coffee extract. The pill supports healthy blood glucose levels, weight/stress management and cortisol regulation. The supplement also provides glutamine, carnitine and creatine, supportive amino acids found in healthy foods. This pill will increase your energy levels without the sluggish crash and side effects of coffee.[5. http://livingwellchiro.net/health-essentials/health-products/]

Other Workout Boosters

Sleep

Without proper sleep, your energy levels and workout intensity droop. Try to get about eight hours of sleep per night, every night. Your body needs that down time to produce growth hormone and utilize protein to repair and maintain lean muscle. Insufficient sleep can throw off your entire routine, increasing hormonal stress levels, which will hurt your fitness regimen.[6. http://www.military.com/military-fitness/health/importance-of-sleep]

Surge Training

Once you are in the gym, it’s important to keep variety in your workout. The last thing you want is a boring routine that you don’t look forward to every day. In order to keep your workout exciting and time-efficient, we recommend high-intensity interval training.

Interval training–also known as surge training–can drastically increase energy levels and helps your body tolerate the build-up of lactic acid (a natural response of a challenging workout).

Surge training also offers the ability to add variety to your fitness routine, so you never grow too comfortable or bored with a workout. Overall, surge training results in improved performance, greater speed and better endurance.[7. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/tipsandtricks/a/Intervals.htm]

By combining proper nutritional planning, sufficient sleep, moderate levels of caffeine and proper fitness selections, your energy will soar.

Next Steps

For more tips to improve your workout results or increase your energy levels, sign up for the Maximized Living newsletter.

To try the energy-boosting, fat-burning Max Fit, check out our online store today.