Do you sometimes feel a bit lethargic before going to the gym and simply just not feeling it? There’s many reasons as to why you’re feeling so sluggish and un-motivated…it can be hormonal changes, lack of recovery from previous workouts, lack of sleep, poor nutrition or hydration or even lifestyle habits. To make sure you’re ready to kick yourself into gear for every workout moving forward, here’s some simple steps you can take to increase your energy and performance.
1. 3-4 hours before a workout
Start pre-hydrating before your workout. The goal is roughly 20+ ounces of water (2-3+ cups of water or 3 litres daily) before working out.
2. 2-3 hours before a workout
Continue your water intake.
Eat a moderate sized meal that has a good carbohydrate and protein balance.
If you don’t have hours of prep time before working out, the general rule of thumb is, the closer to your workout, the lighter the meal should be.
3. 1 hour before a workout
If you need to eat again, make it only a bite sized snack.
Consume a pre-workout if you need it (or have a coffee/sugar free energy drink) roughly 30-45 minutes before the workout. Also note that caffeine can de-hydrate you, so hydration is important in the next step too.
4. During your workout
Stay hydrated throughout your workout.
If it’s an intense workout and you’re sweating, try replacing your lost salts with an electrolyte drink too.
5. After your workout
Top up any lost fluids fro sweating.
Harder workouts – eat a carb and protein meal within 1 hour. Follow a 3:1 (carb:protein) ratio to replenish glycogen (energy) stores.
Less intense workouts – A light snack should suffice with protein in / small amount of carbs.