Maintaining Your Energy

The other day I was working out and felt weak.  I had a hard time finishing my sets and felt drained throughout my workout.  I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before and I really didn’t exert a lot of energy that day, so I should have been rested enough.  After my workout, I came home and had a protein shake and made dinner.  I instantly felt better after eating; I had more energy and was more focused.  So what was the problem?

Low blood sugar.  I had work that day and I didn’t eat anything during my shift.  I went about 5 or 6 hours without anything in my system.  My body resorted to taking glycogen (which gets converted into glucose) from my muscles to sustain energy.  When this happens, you feel tired, weak and you are not as focused.  Because a good amount of my glucose stores had been used to keep me going at work, my workout suffered since there was no glucose left to supply energy to my muscles.

Consuming small meals throughout the day helps maintain your sugar levels.  A good interval between meals is usually around 2 – 3 hours.  Now, keep in mind, this doesn’t mean having lunch every 3 hours.  You could have a salad and then a sandwich a few hours later.  Avoiding sugary foods also helps maintain a constant amount of sugar for your body and you will avoid those “crashes”.

As I stated in my post workout nutrition article, these sugars are essential after a workout as well.  Technically, they are considered carbs because of the chemical makeup.  This does not mean you can eat junk food and drink a Coke after training.  The right sugars are found in sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade.  Drinking a little bit of these within 15 minutes of training will help replenish the glucose in your body.  A good idea I heard recently is to get the Gatorade powder and put a little bit of it in your post workout drink.  That way, you get your protein and necessary carbs to keep you from “crashing”.

Posted on Dec 29 2009, under Nutrition | No Comments »

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