Top 8 Tips For Energized Workouts

Your gym bag is packed, your headphones are in the car, you have every intention of going to the gym and fitting in your workout. And then you leave work and you realize you are tired.
I get it. When I go to work, I am on my feet for a full 8 hours. And not just on my feet but moving, lifting, pushing and sometimes missing meals. I know what tired feels like. I also know, from experience, that when I do get to the gym, especially on those days that my couch is calling my name, I feel physically and mentally better than I would have had I simply skipped my workout.
Here’s the thing. When you work out, endorphins start pumping through your body. Endorphins are your body’s homegrown opiates. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals, that pump through your nervous system in response to things like sex, stress and yes, exercise. The result, is an oh-so-happy feeling that overrides that oh-so-tired feeling.
Some days, knowing that my body will give me that boost once I’m working out isn’t enough. Here are my top tips to stay energized throughout the day, feel ready for the gym and not have to fight that mental battle.
Top 8 Tips For Energized Workouts
1. Eat a Balanced Diet: Carbs, Protein, Fat
Complex carbs, lean proteins, healthy fats. Your body needs all of these macronutrients to work at its best.
Complex carbs like whole grains, vegetables and fruits provide your body with energy. That’s pretty straight-forward. Carbs = energy. So if you are following the very trendy low-carb diet, make sure that you don’t cut them out completely.
Proteins like fish, chicken and eggs provide the amino acids that your body needs to build and repair muscle and produce enzymes and hormones. Eating protein helps to keep you satisfied throughout the day.
Healthy fats, like avocados, nut butters and olive oil, aid metabolism, provide padding for your organs and bones and aid in growth and reproduction.
A well-balanced plate, one with all three macronutrients on it, will keep your blood sugars stable and your energy up throughout the day.
2. Eat Often: Have a Balanced Meal Every 3-4 Hours
There is a myth floating around that skipping meals is the way to a leaner self. Not true.
You need to eat every 3-4 hours to keep your energy stable, your metabolism kicking, to prevent muscle loss and to fend off between-meal-munchies.
Take a look at your schedule and make time to eat.
If you workout in the morning, eat something small an hour before you hit the gym. If you work out after work, make sure you midday snack is a healthy, balanced meal to give you energy to make it to the gym and through a workout!
3. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods contain fake sugars, unhealthy fats, extra sodium and loads of additives that your body just does not need. Don’t eat them. Processed foods lack the nutrients that you get from whole, unprocessed, clean foods. You might get a quick buzz from the sugar overload but you’ll crash soon after.
4. Get An Adequate Amount of Sleep
It’s few and far between that you find an adult who has gotten an adequate amount of sleep the night before. Your body uses sleep as a time to repair itself and grow. There are certain hormones, hormones that are vital to your health and muscle repair, that are only produced during your deepest sleep cycle. If you don’t hit it, your body won’t repair itself properly and that stress just adds to the simple fact that you only get 4 hours of sleep last night.
5. Water
As it turns out, water does not directly provide your body with energy. But it does directly influence every occurrence in your body that does.
The majority of you, you the person, you the body, is made up of water. Losing just 2% of that water can cause notable effects on focus, performance and energy. Dehydration is exhausting in itself. Add to that the fact that you require adequate amounts of water to digest those macronutrients I mentioned earlier and to move some of the micronutrients I bring up next, and water’s importance starts to grow.
Get at least 8 cups of water a day. More if you workout hard or live in a warm climate. I keep a full hydroflask on me at all times to make sure I constantly have a supply of cold water.
6. Eat The Rainbow: Vitamins and Minerals
Macronutrients are the fuel, micronutrients make the fuel work.
Vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) are both enormously important to keeping you energized.
You see, micronutrients help your body break down those carbs, fats and proteins into useful pieces of energy that your body recognizes. They keep your metabolism kicking, your hormones pumping and your cell production smooth.
7. Caffeine
In the right doses, caffeine can definitely be the key ingredient between a lack-luster workout and a kick-ass workout.
Research has shown that caffeine improves performance in endurance athletes, power lifters, sprinters, and weight lifters. The recommended dosage varies depending on whether your body is used to caffeine or not, but don’t feel guilty about grabbing some ice coffee pre-workout!
8. Music
The right music can make or break a workout. There are days that I hit the gym, start moving, the right song comes on and *boom* my energy level is through the roof and my workout intensity goes up a few notches.
Make a playlist or find a radio station that plays the songs that get you pumped up. Turn on music in the car on the way to the gym and sign your heart out. You’ll forget your tired. Put on your head phones and turn up the jams, start lifting, forget there is anyone else in the gym and I promise you, your energy level and fitness level will thank you.
Know what makes you tick, get your head right, lace up your kicks and kiss your excuses good-bye.

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