Grab your cheat sheet
Some days, you arrive at the gym bursting with energy, ready to attack the dumbbells and smash through your PBs.
Other days, you have to drag yourself off the couch, only to spend an hour feeling like you aren't achieving much at all. It’s a real case of push and pull.
While experiencing peaks and troughs in energy is totally normal, there are ways of getting pumped for your workouts. Tips and tricks that will have you going for those epic gains time after time.
So, what can you do to make sure you have enough energy for every workout? Or at least reduce the number of poor performance days. We’re going to tell you.
Let's take a look at the different things that can affect your energy levels.
Pumped? Great. Let’s go.
Why it’s a good idea to boost energy for a workout
If you’ve ever lacked energy during a workout you’ll know that going through the motions is a tough slog. You’ll also know that when you just go through the motions, you’re only getting about 80% from your workouts.
Armed with the right energy-boosting rituals, you’ll be smashing your PBs and accelerating your progress in no time.
How working out increases energy levels
This may sound a little odd—especially as this guide is all about how to boost your energy levels—but working out regularly will actually make you more spritely in general.
The point here is: Consistent training will actually boost your general energy levels in both the long term and the short term.
Exercising consistently (rather than doing a cluster of big workouts and then skipping gym days for a whole week, for example) will give you more energy by improving your blood and oxygen flow.
Regular training will also strengthen your cardiovascular system, making you fitter in the process.
Armed with a fitter, stronger physique, you’ll feel more spritely throughout the day. And, getting active can also improve your mental health, which in turn, will make you feel more motivated.
Did you know? Exercise releases more endorphins (the ‘happy hormone’), giving you an instant hit of ‘feel good’ energy right after your workouts.
How to get maximum energy for your workouts
Now that you’re up to speed with the link between energy and exercise, let’s look at how you can give yourself a boost before your workouts—starting with food.
Focus on a balanced diet
When it comes to energy, it all starts with what's on your plate. To operate at its peak, your body needs the right fuel. So, adding a balanced mix of protein and complex carbohydrates into your pre-workout and post-workout meals is key.
Carbs provide a sustained release of energy, giving you the endurance you need for an epic workout—while protein supports muscle growth and repair.
Go for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat bread. Pair them with lean protein sources like chicken, fish, greek yoghurt or tofu to keep your energy levels stable and your muscles fueled to the max.
A balanced diet is also important for cardiovascular health, maintaining good blood sugar levels—and it helps prevent a whole range of illnesses.
Finally, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and during your workouts. Being dehydrated can very quickly lead to a drop in energy levels and will make you feel sluggish.
Top top: Check out our taste bud-tingling mix of high protein lunches to give your muscles the boost they need to succeed.
Energy drinks…in moderation
Energy drinks—you know, those vibrant cans that promise a quick energy boost. Sounds good, right? But how do they work—and are they really effective?
Well, energy drinks usually contain caffeine—a central nervous system stimulant that provides a temporary boost in alertness and energy. They’re usually packed with sugar and other additives that can contribute to an immediate energy spike.
But, you must use energy drinks in moderation. The rapid energy surge they provide is often followed by a crash, leaving you feeling more fatigued than before. Plus, relying solely on energy drinks for pre-workout energy might not offer the balanced nutrients your body needs for sustained performance. Most of the time, water is the best liquid energy booster.
Crank up the tunes
Did you know? Listening to music before as well as during a workout is known to level up motivation levels, boost energy, and improve your performance.
So, you know what to do: crank up the tunes. Choose upbeat rhythmic music that you love (the kind that gets you going), and you’ll always go that extra mile.
Tip: Check out this motivational choice of energy-boosting workout playlists—and take your pick.
Getting enough quality sleep is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. If you get at least seven hours of quality sleep a night, you’ll feel rested, balanced—and have more energy during your waking hours.
Here are a few tip-top sleep hygiene tips to help you rest better:
- Try to go to bed at a similar time every night
- Aim to set your room temperature at around 18 degrees (that’s the sleeping sweet spot)
- Avoid your phone screen around an hour before bed
- Make sure your bedroom is dark and distraction-free
As mentioned, water is nature’s best energy source. Stay hydrated throughout the day and you’ll improve your mental focus.
Staying hydrated will also help you maintain steady energy levels while improving your digestion, making you feel less sluggish in the process.
Tip: Aim to drink between 11 and 15 standard cups of water a day to stay hydrated and keep those energy levels up.
How does coffee affect your energy levels?
For many, a cup of coffee is the morning ritual that kick starts the day and the caffeine can indeed provide an energy boost. It does this by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter responsible for promoting sleepiness. This effect enhances alertness and temporarily increases energy levels.
As a pre-workout option, coffee can boost endurance and performance. But, the key here is moderation. Too much can lead to jitters, anxiety, and disrupted sleep patterns. The post-coffee crash can have a negative impact on brain function.
Aim for about 200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the amount in a 12-ounce cup. And, ensure you consume it at least 30 minutes before your workout for optimal impact.
Blood pumping pre-workout? Yes, please
‘Pre-workout’ refers to a supplement that is designed to be taken before physical activity to:
- Give you more energy
- Help you get the most out of your workout
- Speed up recovery
These supplements usually come in the form of powders or drinks and they’re typically consumed 15 to 30 minutes before exercising. Common ingredients include nitrates, branched chain amino acids, β-alanine, and L-arginine—which are all big performance boosters.
The problem with pre-workout? Many are cheap, poorly made—and contain way too much caffeine. This will prevent you from getting enough sleep and lead to stomach issues and slumps in energy later in the day.
Fortunately, Crazy Nutrition’s Pre-Train Formula blends of 23 powerhouse ingredients to help athletes of all skill levels have the energy, focus, and drive they need to achieve their best performance—without the jitters, the stomach cramps, or the digestive issues. Bonus.
What effect does protein powder have on your energy?
Protein powder isn't just for post-workout muscle recovery. It can also play a role in your pre-workout routine. Adding protein to your pre-workout snack will help give you a steady release of energy. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, which means it provides sustained energy throughout your workout.
Crazy Nutrition’s TRI-PROTEIN formula is made with six natural non-GMO proteins that break down in three phases for more energy and strength than regular whey, hemp, or soy protein formulas. Our shakes give you extra fuel and help you stay energised throughout the day.
More energy for your workout: final thoughts
When it comes to making sure you have enough energy for your workouts, there's no one-size-fits-all solution.
It's about understanding your body, experimenting with different strategies—and finding what works best for you.
A balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates and protein underpins everything you do—so pay attention to your pre-workout foods. Also, drink water throughout the day and get plenty of sleep.
Remember, it's not just about that immediate jolt of energy. Instead, focus on looking after your health so that you have plenty of energy throughout the day.
But if you do need an extra boost of energy, make sure you choose a high-quality supplement such as Crazy Nutrition Pre-Train Formula. You’ve got this.