Between stress and work, there are energy zappers all around us. Instead of reaching for one of those so-called energy shots (which are mostly sugar and caffeine), we have compiled a list of all-natural ways to max your energy so you can not only make it through a busy day but crush your workout too.
- Magnesium. If you find yourself feeling low on energy, it could be a magnesium deficiency. The recommended daily intake is 300 milligrams for women and 350 mg for men. You can also find magnesium in almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, fish (especially halibut), and whole grain or bran cereals. You can also soak in a 20-minute bath with Epsom salts as a way to absorb magnesium, with the added benefit of softer skin, reduced inflammation and relief for sore muscles.
- Try a power nap. If the cause is information overload, sometimes it’s best to give your brain a half-hour rest. It can be like hitting the reset button and will do your whole body good.
- Take a walk. It sounds counterintuitive to move when you don’t feel like it. However, an experiment at California State University showed that a brisk, 10-minute walk not only increased energy, but the effect lasted up to two hours. When the walks continued over a three-week period, it improved overall energy and provided a nice mood lift too.
- Deal with stress – especially anger. Let’s face it, it’s exhausting trying to contain feelings of unexpressed anger. You can’t always stop it from happening, but you can find constructive ways to express it. Try writing it down (on paper, not online!), talking it out with a neutral third-party, meditation, or channeling it into your next workout.
- Music can have a great effect on your energy level. It can make workouts feel a bit easier, even as you work harder. It’s a powerful motivator and a welcome distraction when you need it. And when your workout is over or you want to de-stress, you can create a playlist to help you chill too.
- The high-energy atmosphere at X-Force Body. It helps to be around the positive people and attentive coaches who respect your fitness level and give you a kick when you need it.
- Be sure to hydrate! Even the slightest bit of dehydration can leave you feeling tired. As you know, X-Force Body is a firm believer in the power of superhydration – one gallon per day to keep you going. Here’s Illy to tell you why it helps.
- Don’t skip breakfast. A study in the Nutritional Health Journal found that missing a meal can lead to a greater feeling of fatigue by the end of the day.
- Eat for energy. It’s really the key, so we divided it into before and after your workout:
Before your workout
Hydrate with at least two cups of water and fuel your body with some easy-to-digest carbs, protein and fat, such as…
- Almond butter on apple slices or celery. Almond butter delivers calcium, protein, Vitamin E, iron and the good kind of fat. You can also try adding a spoonful in a smoothie.
- A handful of blueberries. It can help satisfy a sweet tooth as well as enhance focus and boost memory.
- Greek yogurt. The carbs will provide extra energy along with muscle-building protein, calcium, Vitamin D and some probiotics. Add some fruit, such as a banana, on top for extra fiber too.
- Oatmeal. This breakfast classic is filled with complex carbs for slow-release energy. It’s also a very economical choice.
Post-workout recovery eating
What you eat after your workout can help your muscles repair themselves and even help alleviate any soreness or inflammation.
- Drink a glass of chocolate milk to get some protein and carbs to replenish the energy stored in your muscles. Greek yogurt is a good substitute if you don’t like milk.
- A glass of fruit juice can help replace electrolytes. Tart cherry juice is believed to have some amazing, anti-inflammatory benefits in relieving joint pain, especially for those with knee osteoarthritis, according to Oregon Health & Science University. And Louisiana State University found it provided sweet dreams too. Study participants who drank two glasses a day averaged 84 more minutes of sleep at night. (As a side note, tart cherry juice also has a good deal of sugar and calories so you may need to adjust your diet.)
- As an alternative to fruit juice, try a spoonful of honey. In addition to glucose and fructose, it contains antioxidants and vitamins.
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"I feel stronger. I sleep better. My eating habits have completely changed. I have a lot of energy. I was also taking thyroid medications when I started. Since then, I'm down to half of the medications I was taking." *Maria Torri, Palm Harbor
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