Have you ever had days where no matter how much you want to, you simply cannot find the energy to really push yourself and power through your workouts? If so, you’re most certainly not alone as everyday it is a constant battle for many of us simply forcing ourselves to get off the sofa and head to the gym. While at the gym, obviously we want to really benefit from our workouts, rather than simply going through the motions, otherwise the entire process is slightly pointless and non-beneficial. Of course the amount of sleep you had the night before, as well as how much physical activity you’ve already performed in the day will both influence how much energy you have in the gym, but one aspect that many people seem to be overlooking, is their meals, and more specifically, their meal timing.
Do your meals really play that big a role in deciding your energy levels for each particular day?
In a word, yes. The reason why we need to consume meals each day in the first place, is because we require energy to get our bodies through the day ahead. Think of eating a meal as refueling a vehicle. If you don’t put fuel into the vehicle, it won’t function, and it’s the same with our bodies. When it comes to energy production, it’s important that you not only consume the right foods, but that you also consume them in the right quantities, at the right time of the day. Some people make the mistake of gorging on as much food as possible, just before heading to the gym to workout. They may consume a huge bowl of oatmeal, a banana, a protein shake, and perhaps an energy bar and then immediately head to the gym. By the time they get to the gym, they aren’t energized and motivated, they feel full, bloated, and gassy, and would much rather sit down or lie down and let their food digest. Their metabolisms will have become bogged down with too much food, and as a result, they will be struggling to cope. On the flip side however, some people are worried about this happening and so will consume fast-digesting foods several hours before it’s time to work out, and by the time they get to the gym, their food will have already been digested, the energy extracted, and the energy, or a good percentage of it anyways, will now have been used already.
When is the ideal time to eat to Maximize your workouts?
This isn’t so much a question of when is the best time to eat, but rather what time do you workout? For example, if we were to say that it is best to eat at midday each day, despite the fact that you workout at 10am, you wouldn’t benefit. A sure fire way of making sure you start the day off right however, is to begin your day with a healthy and balanced breakfast. Opt for oatmeal if possible, because it is slow-digesting, which means you will get a steady stream of energy into your cells for several hours after consuming it. After breakfast, aim to eat every 2 and half to 3 hours, and make sure your meals are small, healthy, and balanced. Consuming food in this way will keep your metabolism ticking over making it more efficient, so not only will you burn more calories, you will also have more energy as a result, which makes your workouts more efficient, meaning you will benefit even further.