Increase Your Energy
by Lucy Miller
A Fitness and Nutrition Expert
Upgrade Your Energy
When I feel flakey, usually the main culprit is lack of sleep, caused by either stress at work, too much partying (very unlikely!) or over-training. Sleep is so important for everyday functionality and if this isn’t quite right, then everything else flies out the window.
Yes you would think that over-training would make you sleep well but it in fact it does quite the opposite.
Too much training with not enough rest can disrupt sleep due to altered protein and hormone levels. Therefore, it is giving you the opposite effect of what training should really do to you; boost your energy and make you feel alive. So what do you do if you feel this way? Rest is the obvious one but you can also take a magnesium supplement before bed to help you relax (always speak with your GP before taking supplements) and tailor your training so you’re training in the mornings when your cortisol levels are already at their highest. Make sure you’re recovering properly after training and refueling with good quality carbs and a source of protein like a jacket potato and tuna. If these options doesn't work (which I’m sure they will) then why not change your training up - getting into a training rut and not having any exciting goals to work towards can really zap your energy levels and leave you feeling flat!
Making sure you drink enough too is also vital. Up to 60 per cent of the human body is water and losses in excess of five per cent of body weight can decrease the capacity for work by about 30 per cent, making you feel sluggish and tired. My best advice is not to wait until you are thirsty but top up your fluid levels regularly by carrying a large bottle of water around with you and most importantly drinking it! Peppermint is also proven to pick up dragging energy levels and boost alertness so perhaps a peppermint tea mid-morning or an hour before training. It will hydrate you too... talk about killing two birds with one stone!
There are so many ways to boost your energy levels but I truly believe these are the most important ones to start with. If you follow my advice and get quality sleep every night, eat quality fresh food before and after training and drink plenty of water then you will be well on the way to cranking up your energy levels and getting that spring back in your step.
Lucy MillerLucy Miller is a fitness and nutrition advisor, and Fitness Editor at Health & Fitness Magazine (www.womensfitness.co.uk). She holds fitness qualifications from NASM Training and Premier Training International.
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