It’s a pretty simple equation – exercise equals expending energy. If you’re low on energy, you won’t be able to train at your best.
Do a quick self-assessment, then find out how you can boost your energy levels and hit your running goals.
Are you low on energy?
Do you find yourself hitting snooze on the alarm instead of jumping out of bed for that early morning run?
Or collapsing on the couch after work instead of sticking to your training plan?
Take this quick quiz and see if your energy levels are to blame.
How to get more energy
1. Eat to run
Carbohydrates are the key to energy, but it’s important to eat the right carbs at the right time.
Low GI, high fibre carbohydrates – your ‘slow’ carbs, should be the foundation of your diet. They are a source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and slowly digested to deliver energy over a longer sustained period of time.
For these carbs think whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit.
‘Fast’ carbs like bread, pasta and white rice are okay before you run as they are digested more quickly and provide a quick energy hit.
They’re also good after a run to replenish your glycogen stores and aid recovery.
Just don’t overdo it! If you load up too much your body won’t have time to break them down and you’ll feel sluggish and bloated .
You should also include protein post-run to help with muscle repair.
Throughout the day, aim to eat roughly a palm-sized piece of lean protein at each meal and add in protein-rich snacks like nuts or yoghurt.
These energy-boosting recipes
are a great way to fuel your next training session.
Hydration is key to energy levels, so make sure you’re taking in enough fluids every day, especially if you’re training.
You should be drinking at least two litres of water each day and more if you’re training hard or the weather is hot .
You can also add in things like electrolyte drinks and fresh juice.
You’ll need to stay hydrated while running too – take a look at this video
from sports nutritionist Kira Sutherland to work out how much you should be drinking.
3. Get enough sleep
You might have the perfect diet – but you can’t out-eat a lack of sleep!
Your body needs this down time to rest and repair, and a lack of sleep can affect everything from your energy levels to your immune system, co-ordination, agility, endurance and appetite .
Many adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep
a night, so set yourself a reasonable bedtime, put down your phone and try to avoid stimulants in the evening.
4. Consider a supplement
If you’re training and exercising regularly, a vitamin supplement may help to assist general wellbeing.
Blackmores Mega B Complex
is a specific combination of B vitamins to support daily cellular energy production and assists in times of strenuous physical activity.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist talk to your health professional. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.
What not to do
It’s important to fuel your body, but it's just as important to stay away from things that can drain your reserves.
Smoking is the obvious thing to avoid, and alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum, particularly if you have a big race coming up.
Stress can sap your energy, as can overstimulation from too much time on your devices, so give yourself a few hours of downtime each day.