7 Ways to Boost Energy [Without Drinking Coffee]
By Rachel O'Conner
I recently just got into running and boy - was it one of the most difficult but rewarding sports I have ever tried! Besides forcing my legs to keep moving forward despite my heart exploding out of my chest, or convincing myself I can make one more mile, I actually found that keeping my energy from depleting on and off the track had to be the most difficult feat of all. Because without energy, you can’t do anything in the first place!
Since I found the City Fit Girls community, I wanted to share my experiences to help other ladies in the same place as me or the veterans who could use an extra few reminders for their next run!
Through my personal trials and errors, I found these fantastic seven ways to boost energy levels. I hope they help you out too!
1. Eat an appropriately carb-heavy meal at the right time
Fueling your body with the right kind of foods is always a given, but something that can be neglected from time to time! I’m guilty of eating only a granola bar or two before a run, thinking it’s going to actually keep me energized and focused - I was wrong. Word of advice and from personal experience: without a proper meal, you’ll be more prone to fainting and fatigue once you really get into a long workout.
Take care to prepare a meal an hour before a run so that it can completely process in your body and wholeheartedly fuel you.
2. Pump yourself up with a fast-paced, uplifting song
We all got that epic song or playlist we blast when we need a serious pick-me-up during a training session. For me, I personally enjoy looping anything from The Weeknd or Royal Blood because I can’t help but add some swagger to my fast-paced steps and bob my head without shame. According to this study, music possesses the ability to diminish the attention we have on our exhaustion during exercise and direct it towards optimizing our physical output instead, thus allowing us to work harder and run faster.
3. Take a walk in the sunshine
It’s nice to slow down from intense training sessions and the craziness of life by simply taking a stroll under the sun. After you slow down, then you can speed up again! Running keeps endorphin levels on a constant high, while exposure to the sun regulates serotonin in the brain so we can stay uplifted and happy. Overall, a little Vitamin D never hurt anybody! But of course, don’t forget the sunscreen if you have the day dedicated to running outside. We all know the mark of a runner’s tan.
4. Power nap for a short amount of time
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes don’t get enough sleep! Therefore, resorting to power naps allows my body a much-needed rest and kick-starts a spike of energy and a productivity so I can immediately jump into a workout. Opt for a 20 to 30-minute nap before the late afternoon. Sleeping for too many hours or after a certain time will disrupt your natural circadian rhythm.
5. Utilize invigorating essential oils
If there’s one of the five senses you should tap into, it’s definitely smell! Essential oils serve a variety of purposes from relaxing, focusing, and of course, invigorating energy! Some of the best essential oils for energy, just to name a few are: lemon, peppermint, and geranium. These therapeutic scents are not only fantastic to diminish stress, but they also encourage and aide you to center yourself and easing tension.
6. Hydrate throughout the day
"Stay hydrated" is said a million times in articles all over the web because it’s vital to not just our energy, but well-being! Drinking water is necessary for our bodies because it helps speed up metabolism, increase oxygen intake, encourage normal organ function - especially in the liver and brain, and prevents you from developing any unwanted headaches.
7. Increase amino acid intake
Ever since juices, protein-rich meals, and acai bowls hit the healthy food scene, I couldn’t help but research why amino acids developed such an importance and garnered attention. Since we burn so much fat running long distances at great speeds, we need to have a sufficient amount of protein in our bodies to continuously develop and rebuild muscles and keep the strength we have cultivated throughout time. Amino acids also repair tissue and bones that have taken a beating from running’s high-impact tendencies, so be sure to add extra sources of protein to the list during the next grocery run!