How to Get Through a Workout Without Crashing

March 21, 2010 · 6 comments

This is a guest post by Shaun Connell.

Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet is a prerequisite for any fitness routine. The body needs proper nutrition to meet the rigors of a good workout. Most of us have a difficult enough time fitting in an exercise routine with the bustle of daily work and life. There are some basic things that we often overlook that will help you to have the energy needed for your fitness routine.

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Probably among the most simple and overlooked thing is simply getting enough rest. Many people in today's society are burning the candle at both ends. Sleep is necessary to allow the body to repair itself and to build new muscle protein. The body has two major types of muscle fibers, a slow twitch fiber and a fast twitch muscle fiber. The proteins that comprise these fibers are built in substantial part while we sleep.

Proper Fluid Intake

The second major component to any healthy lifestyle is making sure you are getting enough fluids for the amount of activity in your daily routine. The average recommended intake is 6-8 glasses of water. In order to maintain fluids during heavy exercise you should drink at least half again this amount.

The body loses fluids rapidly during a workout through perspiration and exhaling water vapor. This can lead to muscle cramps and electrolyte imbalances when water loss due to exertion exceeds a critical threshold. Remember, if you are a man you are 60 percent water and if a female about 55 percent water. The muscle cells require the proper levels of water to maintain the right concentration gradients for the myriad biochemical processes that are involved in contracting a muscle.

Proper Nutrition

After water intake, proper nutrition is probably the next most vital constituent of your requirements for maintaining health. The energy requirements for a vigorous and useful workout can be extraordinary for an athlete. The energy involved in your workout is derived directly from the food you eat. The body is an electrochemical energy conversion factory, transforming nutrients to muscle work. Proper food that contains vital proteins and vitamins is needed for optimizing your body's ability to perform heavy work with less fatigue.

Eating fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates will allow better sustained energy than quick sugar fixes like ice cream and candies. Excessive simple sugars will provide only a short-lived boost and will be converted more readily into fat. A diet with plenty of protein is needed in any sustained fitness program. The proteins are broken down initially into their constituent amino acids, which the body later uses to construct new muscle fibers. Like the slogan says, "you are what you eat". Diet is vital to keep your system functioning efficiently and prevent excessive tiredness in your workout routines.

Energy Supplements

Lastly, to improve your energy levels you can try using an energy drink or supplement like FRS, a new energy product promoted by Lance Armstrong. This product does not use caffeine as a stimulant and doesn't have the jittery effects of some caffeine laced drinks. FRS is a healthy energy drink that uses quercetin to theoretically increase the number of mitochondria in the cells. Mitochondria are the energy factories of the cells, therefore increasing the number of them should provide an increase in available energy to your body.

The quercitin compound is also an anti-oxidant and is thought to be a valuable compound in boosting the immune system's ability to prevent some types of cell damage.

A complete workout should involve all of these components, many people focus entirely on the types of exercise and forget the essential underpinning of nutrition in their daily regimen.

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Mike March 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Great article and tips. I frequently run out of gas before I complete my workout. I’m going to look into energy supplements to aid me during my workout.

Jeremy Logsdon March 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Good advice. There are some days when I roar through my workout and other days when I’m watching the clock. It never really occurred to me that dehydration could be such a negative factor.

Frank Dobner March 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Thanks Shaun. I agree with the first three but do not feel supplement are necessary. I am 54 years old and I am in better shape than 99% of the guys my age. I think supplements are somebody’s way of making money on people’s belief that they need something external to help them lose weight.

Greg March 22, 2010 at 6:37 am

Always great to get back to basics. Sleep and nutrition are two of the keystones to good health and sustainable weight loss.

Hipps Help March 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Frank, supplements aren’t necessary, but they can certainly help. They’re just another tool in the fitness toolbox. :)

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