How can an athlete increase their energy? An athlete's energy comes from their desire or libido. Without it an athlete cannot succeed. Our forum members have put together some great information to help athletes raise there energy levels. Check it out!

By: Athletes Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: How Can An Athlete Increase Their Energy?

The Question:

An athlete's energy comes from their desire or libido. Without it an athlete cannot succeed. Any small edge an athlete can get to raise there energy will make a difference in their performance.

How can an athlete increase their energy with non-banned substances?

Is there any diet that could help?

Have you ever been, or felt lethargic? If so, how did you beat it?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - BurningHeart
Contact This Author Here.

An athlete's energy comes from their desire or libido. Without it an athlete cannot succeed. Any small edge an athlete can get to raise there energy will make a difference in their performance.

Energy, it is the driving force that propels athletes to the top while the lack of it causes so many people to quit. It can bring people to peak physical performance at their sport, while the lack of it brings people to sit on the couch instead.

With energy being the primary factor in deciding if and how hard we train and if we strive to be the best, it is important to learn how to maximize our energy. The difference in a conditioned, energetic team versus an exhausted, weary team, no matter the amount of training done, the energetic team will always come out victorious.

Don't let the lack of energy hold you back from reaching your goals. This article will discuss how to keep your mind focused on progress, and your body full of energy.


Part 1:
How Can An Athlete Increase Their Energy With Non-Banned Substances?

There are different factors that contribute to your energy level. They are conditioning, supplements, rest, mood and caloric diet. The diet will be discussed later in the article.

Conditioning:

    Conditioning is your efficiency to move oxygen and blood to needed parts of the body. It includes:

    • Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration in order to better move oxygen in and out of the lungs.
    • Working the body's muscles which support healthy circulation and blood pressure.
    • Increases the number of red blood cells in the body, to better transport oxygen throughout the body.

    All of these factors contribute to your energy level, and how much you can exert yourself before exhaustion. This is why it is extremely important to condition your body through aerobic exercise. Aerobic means "with oxygen." Examples of aerobic exercises include distance running, boxing, cycling, and swimming. All of these exercises may be done for an extended period of time because of the use of oxygen.

    On the other side of the spectrum there is anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic means "without oxygen." Examples of anaerobic exercises include weightlifting and sprinting. These exercises cannot be done consecutively for an extended period of time because the muscles do not use oxygen during these workouts.

    This is why weightlifting consists of sets, because it is impossible to complete many simultaneous repetitions of an exercise with significant weight. It is also why marathon runners do not sprint, sprinting does not use oxygen and they will tire out fast from a burst of running with no oxygen being used.

    So the first goal when planning your training routine to enhance energy is to include cardiovascular exercise.

Supplements:

    Supplements are a key addition to any routine that can enhance energy and muscular performance, hence the name "supplement." There is a wide range of types of supplements, and even thousands of different brands. This is not because the companies all offer something different.

    Supplements are a huge industry, and many companies will put many types of supplements on the market for the sole purpose of making money. This is why research is imperative before investing your money in a new supplement. Such supplements that are widely known to be effective are:

    Creatine:

      Creatine supplementation can be helpful in both weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises. Creatine supplies energy to muscles that would not otherwise have been available to them, thus allowing for more work to be done by your muscles. In weightlifting this means the weight can be lifted more times, and in cardio it means lasting longer before muscular fatigue kicks in.

      It is important to note that creatine may not be beneficial in some sports that require more physical condition and less muscular condition. Creatine causes your body to store water, thus gaining weight. In sports that muscular exhaustion is not as much of a concern as physical exhaustion, creatine might be best not taken because of the added weight gain.

        View Top Selling Creatine Products Here.

    Caffeine And Its Derivatives:

      Caffeine is a well known stimulant. People have been drinking coffee for the stimulating effects for many hundreds of years. Caffeine has been proven to support mental alertness and delay muscle fatigue. When used properly, caffeine can give a great energy advantage to an athlete.

      While caffeine is a great stimulant, as with all stimulants, they should be taken at the correct time because of a "crash" period where the stimulant wears off and your body becomes weary due to the increased physical exertion done earlier. Therefore it is important to only take caffeine soon before the desired period of stimulation.

        View Top Selling Caffeine Products Here.

    Multivitamin:

      Multivitamins are a great and necessary staple to any person's supplement intake. It is near impossible to consume every vitamin and mineral beneficial to your body in a normal diet. A multivitamin helps fill any voids that may occur in your diet.

        View Top Selling Multivitamin Products Here.

    Nitric Oxide (NO):

      Nitric oxide supplementation is a fairly new method that is showing promise as a great energy enhancer. NO is a free form gas your body uses to transport nutrients to needed parts of the body. This is important for an energy enhancer because the faster nutrients can be delivered to needed muscles, the longer muscular burnout will be delayed.

        View Top Selling Nitric Oxide Products Here.

Rest:

    Rest has a huge impact on energy levels. An athlete can take all of the supplements the world has to offer and have the best diet; however with insufficient rest they will perform no better than the average person. The proper quality and quantity of sleep is important in order to fully replenish our body's energy supply and repair our muscles.

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    It is recommended that people get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep. While the number varies on the individual, often people "adapt" to lower amounts of sleep from a prolonged period of sleep deprivation. This adaptation is mainly mental, in a person's mind they may have enough energy yet the body still needs 7-to-8 hours of sleep for full recovery.

    Here are tips in order to get a better night's sleep for those people who have trouble falling and staying asleep.

    1. Do not take naps during the day. Studies show that naps can disrupt your nighttime sleep pattern.
    2. Eat a balanced diet. An improper diet could cause over or under sleeping due to the body not having the correct nutrition to fully recover itself.
    3. Do not consume beverages 2 hours before bed. Late night beverages often cause people to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
    4. Go to the bathroom right before bed in order to delay having to wake up in the middle of the night.
    5. Release any pressure on your bladder before going to sleep. This could be tight fitting pants or sleeping on your stomach.
    6. Keep the bedroom cool. People will often wake up due to the room temperature getting hotter. It is also harder to fall asleep in a hot room.
    7. Take supplements that support sleep patterns. Such supplements include ZMA and Melatonin.
      • View Top Selling ZMA Products Here.
        View Top Selling Melatonin Products Here.

Mood:

    Your mood affects how much energy you perceive yourself to have. Having a positive outlook on life will improve your energy and all around well-being. Pessimistic people will perceive themselves as slow and tired, and perceiving yourself in that manner will make you act in that manner. However being an optimistic person, who views yourself as fun and full of energy, will make you fun and full of energy.

    This is why music has such an impact on athletes. Music has been used for thousands of years for motivation. War drummers who go into combat with soldiers beating their drums will lift the soldiers' moods. Music that motivates you should be used often in your training and contests.


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    There is also another aspect of mood that involves the libido, or drive of the athlete. Libido is often referred to as sexual drive, but more technical definitions refer to a person's libido as being the energy they put toward personal development. A person's libido is a large source of energy.

    It can motivate people to go to extreme lengths in order for personal improvement. As long as these measures taken are safe, a person's libido can inspire them to do extraordinary things. This is why it is important to maintain your libido.

    A way to maximize the benefits of your libido is to refrain from any type of sexual activity for about 6 days before a competition. This makes you perform in a more intense state. Controlling your libido can have great benefits as an athlete, giving you an edge over opponents.


Part 2:
Is There Any Diet That Could Help?

A caloric diet is yet another important factor when considering energy levels. A diet can control all of the previous factors we've discussed, conditioning, supplements, rest and mood.

In terms of conditioning, without a good diet a person's conditioning will never reach its potential due to an improper balance of nutrients, thus the body not being able to effectively build muscle and reducing fat storage. A diet should consist of the proper balance of calories, which come from fats, carbohydrates, and protein.

While supplements are a great addition to fill in gaps in a diet, they should in no way be a substitute for a balanced diet. Your body needs balanced meals in order to correctly digest and transport calories to your muscles. Supplements aid in a diet, not overtake one.

Without a good diet, sleep patterns will not be consistent because of the lack of nutrients, thus your body not being able to fully repair itself from training and the day's other activities.

Mood is greatly affected by diet. An unhealthy diet will cause a person to feel unhealthy, which hugely diminishes mood and will lead to not training or doing well in competitions.

These are the reasons why a healthy diet is important to increase a person's energy level. The rundown of a proper diet is listed below:

Calorie Intake: Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat:

    There are three types of calories to consume: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates, along with protein, contain 4 kilocalories per gram. Fats contain 9 kilocalories per gram.

    What this means is that fats contain the most energy compared to protein and carbohydrates. So 10 grams of fat will contain 90 calories, and 10 grams of protein or carbohydrates will contain 40 calories. When planning your meals, it is best to try to get 40% of your calories from protein, 40% from carbohydrates and 20% from fats.

    Carbohydrates:

      There are two main classifications for carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are found in sugar, white bread and white rice. Complex carbohydrates are found in wheat bread, brown rice and whole grain cereals. You should consume as little simple carbohydrates as possible. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are broken down slowly and are better for the body.

    Protein:

      Protein can be classified as many different types, and even broken down further into individual amino acids. Fortunately it is not necessary to know what each of these types of amino acids do, to read more on each amino acid Bodybuilding.com has an in-depth article.

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      We will discuss only the two most popular categories of protein, whey and casein. Whey protein is mainly found in milk and is the fastest digesting protein, and because of that, it is the best protein to consume after a workout. Whey protein also has the highest value in BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids), which are used for building and retaining muscle.

      Casein protein is also found mainly in milk, and is an extremely slow digesting protein, and because of this, it is best used before bed when you will go through a long period without food.

    Fats:

      Fats are categorized in two main categories, saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are found in cooking oils and butter. It is important to eat as little saturated fat as possible. We do need fats in our diet however, and the "healthy fat" as most people refer to it, is called monounsaturated fat.

      This fat is found mainly in olive oil, sesame oil, nuts, avocados, and fish oil. Another type of healthy fats is the EFA's (Essential fatty acids). These are found mainly in flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, fish, shellfish, and walnuts. Fats should always be a part of your diet and are the only way your body can absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Healthy Diet:

    Thus from this information, a healthy diet could look like this:

    An Example Of A Healthy Diet:

      Breakfast 8 a.m.:
      3 Egg whites, 2 turkey hotdogs in a whole wheat bun with a glass of milk

      Mid morning meal 10 a.m.:
      Can of tuna with light seasoning and a glass of water

      Lunch 12 p.m:
      Roasted chicken breast with brown rice and vegetables with a glass of water

      Mid afternoon meal 2 p.m.:
      Protein bar with a glass of water

      Pre-workout meal 5 p.m.:
      Ultra-Lean Pocket with a glass of milk

      Post workout shake 8 p.m.:
      Protein powder mixed in milk

      Dinner 9 p.m.:
      Lean beef and vegetables with water


Part 3:
Have You Ever Been, Or Felt Lethargic? If So, How Did You Beat It?

Yes, there are times when I have felt lethargic before I had started eating and training correctly. Back then I would eat high calorie foods and did not feel like training much, as of which I gained a lot of fat during that period. People who do not have the right diet combined with every other factor mentioned above will feel unmotivated to do anything.

lethargic
Click Image To Enlarge.
Without The Right Diet You Won't Be Motivated.

Then there are some people who may train a lot, have the right diet, and have a positive mood but still feel unmotivated. In this case the problem may lie with overtraining. Overtraining is a whole article in itself, and great articles on overtraining can be found at this link. Basically we all need a break from training, without one our body will fall into an overtraining state.

The way I beat my lethargy was totally changing my lifestyle. I first cleaned up my diet. I went from eating frozen pizzas everyday to eating fish and lean meats, from snacks containing chocolate to snacks containing protein. The change in diet alone beat most of the lethargy because when you eat healthy, you think and feel healthy.

The next step was cleaning up my training routine. In the past I would just weightlift. While weightlifting is great, I still did not feel healthy. So I researched cardiovascular training and incorporated some cardio in my routine. I had a heavy bag I had gotten a few years ago, but never really used it. That seemed to be the perfect way to start my cardio routine.

I then started jogging and riding a stationary bike including boxing on the heavy bag. Once I started my full cardio routine, I noticed I felt better after cardio than before, even though cardio really took it out of me. I was hooked; cardio became a treat, not a chore.

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So any lethargy I had was gone, I felt great and most importantly, healthy. It has been about 5 months since I've changed my life and I've lost 35 pounds of frozen pizzas. If you are feeling unmotivated and worn-out, I urge you to first take a look at your diet and training habits and change any problems with them. Next go over your supplements, rest and mood. You will find the problem will almost always be in one of the factors mentioned above.

So kick the bad habits, and start feeling energetic and great about yourself. It will show in the way you carry yourself throughout the day.

References:

  1. en.wikipedia.org
  2. en.wikipedia.org
  3. www.bodybuilding.com/store/caffeine.html


2nd Place - Blink41
Contact This Author Here.

In 1993, brilliant scientists brought both bodybuilders and athletes the birth of creatine. Creatine has proven extremely beneficial for bodybuilders around the world in terms of mass, strength and endurance; but what about athletes? Well, the same can be said about athletes.


Increasing Energy

The Importance Of Creatine:

    ATP or Adenosine triphosphate, is the main energy source within the human body. However, studies have shown that ATP levels can be depleted within minutes. This is where creatine comes in. When consumed, creatine transforms into a molecule known as phosphocreatine or PC.

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    Phosphocreatine quickly replenishes the ATP levels, giving you additional energy. Therefore, sprinters can achieve quick bursts of energy and can recover faster after spending lots of energy during a race or a game.

      View Top Selling Creatine Products Here.

The Importance Of Nitric Oxide Stimulators:

    Nitric Oxide Stimulators aids creatine and together achieve something magnificent. Creatine does not fully absorb into the blood stream without the aid of dextrose or sugar. Athletes were forced to consume high levels of sugar in order to achieve the full benefits of creatine. However, most people did not want to load their bodies with THAT much sugar.

    In 2002, scientists brought athletes nitric oxide stimulators which got the remaining creatine into the blood stream. Creatine taken with Nitric Oxide Stimulators is the ultimate stack for any athlete looking to improve muscle endurance.

      View Top Selling NO Products Here.

The Importance Of Multivitamins:

    Multivitamins are the most underrated supplement out there. Athletes overrate creatine and nitric oxide when they should be taking their multivitamins. Since we are athletes, we need more nutrients than the average person. Therefore, we must consume three multivitamins; one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one after dinner.

      View Top Selling Multivitamins Here.

The Importance Of Carbohydrate Loading:

    Carbohydrate Loading is a phrase well known among serious athletes. In order to achieve this phase, one must consume extra quantities of foods high in starch. The theory of carbohydrate loading is that the body can store additional glucose, or sugar, during high energy-expending events such as a marathon.

    This program calls for reduced intensity exercises and eating foods high in carbohydrates three days prior to the event. As a result, an athlete can increase their energy level during long events.

The Importance Of B-Vitamins:

    B Vitamins are essential for energy. By takign a multi-vitamin you already have 300% of B6, 300% of B12, 300% of B2, and 200% of B1. These also added ginseng and ginkgo into their formula for additional energy. If you are in fact taking a multi-vitamin, then you already have enough B Vitamins in your diet.

    However, some people would like more B Vitamins in their diet for that extra energy. If you are one of those people, purchase some B complex. You can purchase some B complex at Bodybuilding.com for an incredibly low price.

      View Top Selling Vitmamin B Products Here.

The Importance Of Eating Right:

    Make sure you get enough fruits, vegetables, proteins and complex carbohydrates in your everyday diet. Make sure you consume complex carbohydrates and not just simple carbohydrates. Examples of simple carbohydrates would be candy, soda, cake and table sugar. Examples of complex carbohydrates would be whole grain bread, whole grain rice or even apples.

    Simple carbohydrates create a short burst of energy that will simply wear off and leave you depressed. Don't feed your body junk. You'll simply get fat and become lazier than before. Continuously feed your body small amounts of complex carbohydrates to get the most out of your diet.

The Importance Of Motivation:

    Do you remember when you were a little kid on Christmas Eve? At 5:55 p.m., you would be anxious to open the long anticipated presents that were lying under the Christmas tree. Do you remember that spectacular feeling that nothing can stop you from getting to that tree and those presents?

    Well, that's the beautiful feeling of motivation. Get yourself pumped before you head into a game or event. Winning is partly determined by who wants it more? Do you want to win, or do you want to let your opponents win? That extra ounce of energy can be the difference between winning and losing in a game.


Diet:
Is There Any Diet That Could Help?

The diet should be the number one priority in any athlete's mind. Most athletes believe that training is the most important thing they can do to win. Wrong! Your body is like a car. How can it win a race if you didn't fuel it with gasoline?

Eating Right:

    Eating the wrong foods is just as bad as eating nothing, even worse actually. Using the car example again; how can a car win the race if it has been fueled up by soda? Your car would simply break down, just like you would if you were to continuously eat junk food. Take good care of your body because you only have one.

Healthy Snacks:

    Since we are athletes, we do not have enough time to sit down and cook a healthy and nutritious meal. Therefore, we must eat some healthy snacks here and there to keep our body fueled and ready to go. Eating a healthy snack before a race will provide us with those extra carbohydrates that we need during the game.

    Here's A List Of Some Healthy Snacks:

    • Whole grain crackers with some cheese.
    • Whole grain bagel/bread with some peanut butter.
    • A Granola Bar with 1 cup of low fat milk.
    • Cottage Cheese.
    • Low Fat Yogurt.
    • Whole Grain, low-fat muffins.
    • Dry cereal with some dry fruit.

    Here's a list of the top 10 unhealthy snacks that we should avoid (from askmen.com)

    1. Deep fried Mars Bar
    2. Potato Chips
    3. Ben and Jerry's Peanut Putter Ice Cream
    4. Big Mac
    5. Pork Skin (I know, disgusting)
    6. French Fries
    7. 1 chicken thigh from KFC
    8. Starbucks Frappuccino
    9. Nacho with cheese
    10. Krispy Kreme Doughnut
    11. For additional information, please visit www.askmen.com

    Eating healthy is important for your body. Healthy foods such as the snacks I mentioned above, provides your body with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Nutrients give us energy, helps our muscles work and keep our brain active. If you lack energy throughout the day, then you might consider changing your diet.


Personal Experience:
Have You Ever Been, Or Felt Lethargic?

Like everyone else, of course I have felt lethargic. I do not know a single human being who hasn't felt tired or lazy once in a while. We all live busy and stressful lives, but since we are athletes, we expend more energy than the normal human being. We constantly have to practice for games and go to the gym to stay in shape. It's only natural that we are lethargic once in a while. However, there are other factors involved besides our active lifestyle.

Emotional Reasons:

    Stress, stress and more stress. Facing a stressful situation can be exhausting, especially if your problems have no solution. If you cannot see the solution to your problems, you start to feel irritated and lethargic.

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Sleep:

    8 hours a day just isn't enough since we live such active lifestyles. We must make sure we get at least 9 hours of sleep daily. Our bodies need the extra rest since we push ourselves to the limit everyday, giving it one hundred and ten percent.

Again, Eating Right:

    I cannot stress how important it is to eat right. We are like a car, if you fuel us with a balanced and healthy diet (gasoline), then we will run smoothly and effectively. If you fuel us with junk food such as chips or pork skin (soda), then we will eventually break down.


Beating It:
How Did You Beat It?

Feeling lethargic is usually just a temporary feeling. We will get over it with some simple changes such as:

Getting Over Emotional Reasons:

    Just relax and take a deep breath, it's not the end of the world (hopefully). Go hang out with some friends and catch a movie, you'll forget all about your problems. Tell others your situation, maybe they can help.

    Go Outside & Enjoy Nature:

      Going outside is an astonishing way to relieve some stress. It can help you take a step back from the stress you're experiencing. Look at how big and simple life is and let your stress simply melt away.

    Talk To Yourself:

    It sounds a little weird, but it's very effective in a stressful situation.

    • "I'm okay, I'm okay, it's not the end of the world."
    • "It's cool, It's cool, I'm in control."
    • "This is bad, but I'm going to get through it."

    Breathing Skills:

      Correct breathing skills is very beneficial during a stressful time.

      When taking a deep breath, it is best to breathe through your nose and not your mouth. By doing so, the tiny hairs and mucous membranes filter out all the dirt in the air.

      When breathing, make sure your chest and abdomen move together. If only your chest expands, you are not breathing to your full potential. It is important to make sure that you breathe in a smooth and comfortable manner. As you exhale, your abdomen should come back in like a balloon releasing air.

Some Tips To Help You Sleep Better:

    A good quality night's rest is very important for the body. It can mean the difference between feeling sluggish and feeling active throughout the day.

    • Try to have dinner earlier than usual.
    • Don't have too much caffeine/alcohol throughout the day.
    • Write down your troubles/problems in a journal so you won't have too much going through your head.
    • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
    • Create a peaceful and calm bedroom environment made just for sleeping.
    • Don't try to force sleep, just let it happen.
    • Make sure you exercise in the morning. Exercise gives us natural adrenaline, making it difficult to sleep at night. Studies also show that daily exercise allows us to sleep better.
    • If you are tired, nap for 10 minutes. It can help you stay sharp throughout the day. However, do not sleep for more than 15 minutes because you will enter deep sleep and feel even worse when you wake up.
    • If you still have sleeping problems, see a doctor. It is possible that you might have a sleeping disorder.
    • For more tips, visit www.helpguide.org

Some Tips To Help You Eat Better:

    If You Are Underweight:

    • Increase your protein intake to 1.5-2 grams of protein per lb
        Example: You are 100 pounds, eat 150-200 grams of protein
    • Increase you calorie intake until you hit 25 times you bodyweight
        Example: You are 100 pounds, eat 2500 calories
    • Increase your number of meals
        Example: If you eat 3 meals a day, up it to 5 meals a day
    • The Key is to Eat, Eat, Eat.

UNDERWEIGHT PROTEIN & CALORIES CALCULATOR
Weight
Results
Protein
Calories

    If You Are Overweight:

    • Decrease your calorie intake
        Example: If you consume 4000 calories, down it to 3000 calories and gradually cut back until 2500 calories
    • Maintain a ratio of 1 gram of protein per bodyweight
        Example: If you weight 200lbs, consume 200 high quality grams of protein
    • Make sure you get 30-60 minutes of cardio/exercise daily
        Whether it's basketball, hiking, or lifting. Just do it
    • Make sure your diet is in check
        Avoid unhealthy foods/snacks. Eat healthy foods/snacks.
    • For more information, visit www.fda.gov

OVERWEIGHT PROTEIN CALCULATOR
Weight
Results
Protein

    Some Additional Tips:

    • Increase the amount of B Vitamins and vitamin C in your diet. Since we are athletes, we require at least 25mg of B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and some folic acid. Make sure you also consume 1000mg of Vitamin C.
    • The importance of B Vitamins is that it helps supply our body with the energy that we desperately need.
    • The importance of Vitamin C is that it helps us with recovery. So grab an orange and start eating
    • Start consuming more "natural stimulants" instead of caffeine. If you still need a little push in the morning, grab some fruit and eat it on the way to work/school. The natural carbohydrate in it helps give us a natural lift.


In Conclusion

If you want more energy, you must change your lifestyle for the better. Eat right, sleep right and exercise right. Supplements such as nitric oxide and creatine will help you achieve additional energy, but it can do nothing for you if you refuse to give up your unhealthy habits; habits such as smoking, drinking, continuously consuming junk food. If you take my advice, you will start to feel more energetic and have a new perception of life. After all, you only live once.

Reference:

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbohydrate_loading
  2. www.hotlib.com
  3. www.helpguide.org
  4. www.fda.gov
  5. www.askmen.com
  6. www.americanheart.org
  7. www.firedoglake.com
  8. www.getupanddosomething.org
  9. www.focusas.com


3rd Place - LJ57
Contact This Author Here.

An athlete's energy comes from their desire or libido. Without it an athlete cannot succeed. Any small edge an athlete can get to raise there energy will make a difference in their performance.


Increasing Energy:
How Can An Athlete Increase Their Energy With Non-Banned Substances?

There are a variety of non-banned substances that can increase an athlete's energy. They work through a variety of mechanisms and effectively enhance performance by increasing energy, helping the body to cope with stress, and improving overall feeling of well-being. You should always double check to ensure that any supplement you decide to use is not banned. None of those which are described below are currently banned by any organization.

B-Complex:

    Although probably not a top seller among athletes, B-Complex vitamins well should be. B-vitamin deficiency is a common culprit when it comes to low energy levels. Several B vitamins play a crucial role in the breakdown of fats and blood sugar to generate energy. In order to avoid an imbalance, it is best to take a B-Complex formula rather than individual B vitamins.

      View Top Selling Vitamin B Products Here.

Ashwagandha:

    Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used in India for several thousand years. Also known as Indian ginseng, this herb is an adaptogen that increase tolerance to stress and increases energy. In addition, some studies indicate that it may strengthen the cardiovascular system and improve immune function.

      View Top Selling Ashwagandha Products Here.

Ginseng (Panax Ginseng):

    Although there are a variety of different ginseng products available, such as American, Korean, and Siberian, the most popular and effective variety is Panax ginseng. Also commonly referred to as Asian ginseng, it has adaptogenic properties which help the body deal with stress. It can increase energy and overall feeling of well-being. Ginseng is one of the most well researched herbs and is a demonstrated energy enhancer.

      View Top Selling Ginseng Products Here.

Rhodiola Rosea:

    Rhodiola, although used as a traditional medicine in Asia for centuries, is relatively new as a marketable energy enhancer. It increases energy levels, improves endurance during intense activity and assists the body in coping with stress. Like ginseng, it is a potent adaptogenic and in addition can reduce anxiety and may improve other stress related disorders.

    View Top Selling Rhodiola Rosea Products Here.

Caffeine:

    Caffeine can be obtained from coffee and tea as well as herbs such as Guarana. Caffeine anhydrous, however, has become known as the most potent and effective form of this substance in recent years. Caffeine has long been used to increase energy and mental alertness. It is unquestionably the most popular and frequently used energy enhancer in the world.

      View Top Selling Caffeine Products Here.

Citrulline Malate:

    Composed of Citrulline, a nonessential amino acid and Malate, an organic salt, this might be one of the top new energy enhancers for athletes. It increases energy by decreasing lactic acid and ammonia, and by increasing ATP. (adenosine triphosphate) Citrulline Malate also increases levels of creatine phosphate which can lead to greater anaerobic endurance and improved muscle recovery.

      View Top Selling Citrulline Malate Products Here.

L-Tyrosine:

    A non-essential amino acid, L-Tyrosine may help athletes offset fatigue, increase mental alertness, and prevent overtraining. Synthesized by the body from phenylalanine, L-Tyrosine is a precursor to many neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. This amino acid has been researched by the United States military for its ability to keep energy levels up under stressful situations.

    It should be noted that several of the supplements described above do not work instantly. Many adaptogenic herb such as Rhodiola, ginseng and Ashwagandha have an accumulative effect that may require several weeks of continuous use before results are seen. Rhodiola generally works faster than other adaptogenic herbs, possibly between a few days to a couple of weeks. The adaptogenic supplements are a great choice for those who are sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

      View Top Selling L-Tyrosine Products Here.


Diet:
Is There Any Diet That Could Help?

Diet is by far the most important aspect of increasing energy for any athlete. If your diet is not optimized then energy levels will most likely stay low. The meals you eat throughout the day will fuel your training and performance.

There are many diets making the round right now in books, magazines and Internet discussion forums aimed at performance enhancement, fat loss and muscle gain. Most of these should be avoided by performance athletes who require ample amounts of energy. The important thing for an athlete, however, is to consume a sufficient amount of calories and to obtain the right macronutrients for keeping energy levels high.

Low carbohydrate dieting may be great for those trying to lose fat and transform their physique but it should be avoided at all costs by athletes whose primary focus is performance. A low carbohydrate diet does not provide the necessary energy for athletes. Athletes who require as much energy as humanly possible should consume more carbohydrates than someone seeking to lose fat and get lean.

The best diet for athletes whose seek to maximize their energy levels is, I believe, one that is composed of a 40/30/30 ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This helps keep energy levels high, controls insulin, and lowers cortisol.

Carbohydrates, while free game for most all athletes, should be chosen wisely. When not training, it is best to consume 40% of your calories from good carbohydrates. Choose your carbohydrates from healthy sources such as brown rice, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables. While you should try to avoid simple sugars, such as those found in sodas and candy, fast-acting carbohydrates should certainly be permissible in times of intense activity.

Athletes should consume 30% of their calories from high quality protein sources such as chicken, fish, eggs and whey. While whole food sources of protein are best, it is recommended that a whey protein supplement be included as part of your diet, especially for use after training.

Fats should make up 30% of your diet and should come exclusively from healthy sources such as fish, flaxseed and olive oil. If needed, you can supplement your diet with fish oil or flaxseed oil capsules.


Personal Experience:
Have You Ever Been, Or Felt Lethargic? If So, How Did You Beat It?

I have felt lethargic in the past due to various factors including sleep problems, lack of exercise, and poor diet. In the case of sleep, I had to discipline myself to get into a normal pattern of waking and sleeping. At the time I was going to sleep at 2 or 3 AM in the morning and waking up at around 12 p.m.

Every morning I felt mentally and physically sluggish and it seemed like it took hours for me to get that feeling of being completely awake. I almost never awoke feeling refreshed. Although I couldn't ever manage to get to sleep before 2AM, I began forcing myself to wake up each morning at 7 a.m. With only 3 or 4 hours of sleep, it was pure misery climbing out of bed.

After a few days, however, I started going to sleep earlier and earlier until eventually I was able to fall asleep at 10 p.m. each night. It was simply, though not easily, a matter of resetting my internal clock. As a result of the change of sleep habits, I began waking up feeling refreshed and had plenty of energy to get through the day.

Another factor that has led to feelings of lethargy is poor diet and lack of exercise. At one point in my life I ceased exercising altogether and ate pretty much whatever I wanted. I never prepared meals at home. Instead, I would drive to one of the local fast food restaurants and pick up an oversized and greasy meal at least once, sometimes three times, per day.

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In the kitchen I kept a drawer full of candy bars and fridge full of sodas. (I used to drink 6-8 cans per day) I had no energy and I was at least 30 pounds overweight. Eventually I started improving my diet and walking 3-4 times per week. I replaced sodas with water and consumed at least one gallon per day.

I ate six meals everyday which consisted of a protein source, health carbs, and healthy fats from olive oil or flaxseed oil. The difference in how I felt was noticeable almost immediately. Although I had to endure about two days of sugar withdrawals because I had been consuming such a massive amount, my energy levels began to skyrocket as a result of proper eating and sufficient exercise.


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Introduction

Energy is very important factor in an athletes performance. It motivates and makes things happen. Without being energized an athletes will perform under his best. Even though they might be skilled, a lack of energy will minimize their performance.

In order to have optimum energy an athletes must train and condition themselves. Rest is also important and by sleeping 8 hours per night you will make sure that your body is well rested and rebuild from the training that you put it through. Aside from proper training and rest nutrition and supplements can play a big role for regulating the energy level of an athlete.


Increasing Energy:
How Can An Athlete Increase Their Energy With Non-Banned Substances?

Non-banned substances, or legal supplements are everywhere. Advertising tells our athletes that without them they won't do good in their sport. It is somewhat true. Supplements are a billion dollar industry. Obviously they work and obviously they are used by millions of athletes.

Looking at supplements for energy is a smart choice by any competitive athlete. With proper rest and nutrition they can play a big role in winning or loosing. They give you a boost that can be very useful in time of close calls.

If you go to any nutrition store, or store website such as Athletes.com you can see that there are many supplements that can be used. Protein powders, weight gainers and different forms of vitamins and minerals. How can someone know what all of these things do? Which supplements are best for gaining weight, cutting body fat, or what we're looking for: raise energy. Here are the top 5 supplements that will help you increase your energy. Guaranteed.

1. Caffeine:

    You can't mention energy supplements without thinking about caffeine. It is probably the most popular drug on the planet. It stimulates the central nervous system. It's found in coffee, tea and various soda products. You can find it in many products but I believe that caffeine pills are the best because they are easy to take, and absorb fast in your system. I recommend taking 100mg-300mg 30-to-50 minutes before an event. Make sure to test it and see which is the right dose for you.

      View Top Selling Caffeine Products Here.

2. B-Vitamins:

    Some athletes might not react well with stimulant products such as caffeine. If that is you, you can greatly benefit from other energy supplements that can help you shake things up without having to take products with stimulants in them. B vitamins play an important role in the metabolism. The B-vitamins help with energy and are naturally found in meat products.

      View Top Selling Vitamin B Products Here.

3. Creatine:

    Not a lot of people think of creatine as a energy enhancer but that's exactly what it does. It increases the ATP energy stores. That means that athletes that rely on short and explosive movements can greatly benefit from this product. As you take it it's loaded into the fast twitch muscles and it plays a great role in giving muscles the energy and endurance that you need.

      View Top Selling Creatine Products Here.

4. Nitric Oxide:

    Nitric Oxide is a free form gas that's in the body which works as a communicator in the body for cells. In other words it makes your bodies nutrients get faster to the muscle cells. It can be beneficial in short explosive movements.

    Just like creatine you will feel the energy and endurance in the muscle. Being able to get a few extra reps in the gym, or shave off some time on the track. NO products can be a very beneficial product for athletes looking for energy.

      View Top Selling Nitric Oxide Products Here.

5. Herbal Enhancers:

    Some people prefer herbal energy boosters. If that's you, then ginseng and tribulus are the way to go. Having used both I can attest to their claims. Tribulus raises your libido and natural testosterone. Ginseng gives you natural energy and more stamina. If I had a competitive event, I would defiantly take advantage of these two great herbal supplements.

      View Top Selling Herbal Energy Boosters Here.


Diet:
Is There Any Diet That Could Help?

In order to have optimum energy, you need to eat the right foods. This means that your diet has to be in check. There should be no place for empty calories from fast food places or foods that are filled with simple sugars. In order to have your body working right you need the right fuel.

Diet can make or brake an athlete. Imagine eating fast food before the big game. You would feel sluggish and tired. From trial and error I've found that the perfect diet for maximized energy is 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% healthy fats. Also eating small meals throughout the day should make your metabolism faster, and it will make a constant delivery of nutrients to your muscles. So instead of the 3 main meals for the day try 4-6 meals and I guarantee that you will notice an energy increase just from that alone.

Carbohydrates:

    So I gave you the percentage of your diet. It goes deeper than that. Let's take carbohydrates for example. Not all of them are alike. You can't have your carbs coming from soda. That won't make you any stronger or more energized. Carbs are used for fuel in your body. You need to eat complex carbs through out the day for optimum energy.

    That means foods like rice, potatoes and oats are in and foods filled with sugar or empty calories have to go. I suggest eating brown rice, oats and 100% whole wheat bread. Also don't neglect your veggies and fruits as they are full with vitamins and minerals and fiber.

Protein:

    Protein is another factor of your diet that cannot be neglected. Protein is used for rebuilding your body. You can't be energized when your muscles are sore and not repaired. For best results you should be taking 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. That means that a 200lb male will get 200 grams of protein per day.

    You can find protein in meats - Lean beef and chicken are excellent source since they are high in protein and B-Vitamins and low on fats. Also tuna fish and other fish make excellent sources of lean protein. Milk and eggs (diary) can play an important role in getting all the protein you need without the added fat.

Fats:

    After talking about carbs and protein we have to mention fats. Most people overlook the power of fats. They break down slowly and provide the body with energy. They lube up the joints and prevent injuries. The are also used for your skin, hair and nails. Fats are important and if you are not getting the essential fatty acids (EFA's) that your body needs you will feel sluggish and low on energy. Nuts and olive oil are excellent sources of the good fats.

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This article will focus on fats, the recent health claims approved by the FDA regarding keeping your diet healthy with the right kinds of fats (the good fats), and how to apply this to a bodybuilding diet.
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Vitamins & Minerals:

    In order to have your body work right and process all the foods that you eat you should take multi-vitamins in order to create the best environment for your food. Vitamins provide the body with essential ways of rebuilding itself and they also give you energy so you perform at your best. I strongly suggest taking 1-2 multi-vitamins per day.

Putting It All Together...

    So we went through the main nutrients in the diet. Knowing about them is not enough. We will need an organized diet in order to see results of increased energy. By following what we know about each of the macronutrients and the percentile that they make up in a certain diet we can put together our very own diet that will bring energy and success to any athlete! We will use 6 meals as an example.

    Meal 1

    • 2 pieces of 100% whole wheat bread
    • 8 egg whites

    • 50 grams carbs
      30 grams protein

    Meal 2

    • 1 cup brown rice
    • 1 can tuna fish

    • 50 grams carbs
      30 grams protein

    Meal 3

    • 1 salad
    • 1 cup rice
    • 1 chicken breast

    • 50 grams carbs
      30 grams protein

    Meal 4

    • 2 steamed potatoes
    • 1 can tuna

    • 50 grams carbs
      30 grams protein

    Meal 5

    • 2 ounces nuts
    • 1 cup brown rice
    • 1 can tuna

    • 15-25 grams fat
      50 grams carbs
      30 grams protein

    Meal 6

    • 1 chicken breast
    • 1.5 spoons olive oil

    • 30 grams protein
      15-25 grams fat

      Total Calories: 2170
      250 Carbohydrates 50%
      180 Protein 30%
      50 Fats 20%


Personal Experience:
Have You Ever Been, Or Felt Lethargic? If So, How Did You Beat It?

I have felt tired and lethargic. I had a big and important wrestling match and I felt tired and unmotivated. The problem was that the winner of the match will advance to the regional championships while it was over for the loser. I couldn't lose! But at the same time I didn't feel like doing anything the morning of the match. Even warming up in the morning and getting mentally ready was a hassle for me.

In order to get ready I took a little nap. Then I made sure that I had all my meals in and since the weigh-ins were the night before I didn't have to worry about my weight. I had complex carbs and good sources of protein. About the 2 hours before the match I took some simple carbs and some more protein.

About 1 hour before the match I took a protein shake and my NO Explode. As I began warming up I felt energized. As the match started, I felt energized and beat my opponent. Even though I lost later on in regionals, I learned how to master the energy in my own body.

If your body is lethargic there is a reason. Make sure to have proper nutrition and proper supplementation. Also your training needs to be in check. If you have all of those factors and you are still tired, then maybe it's time to rest. Take a day off or make sure that you are rested the day of your event. If you follow all of those factors your body should perform at your maximum energy!


How Can An Athlete Increase Their Energy?
will@athletes.com

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