There is nothing more frustrating than looking forward to a brutal workout all day long to find that when you arrive at the gym your strength and energy levels are off. This is enough to drive any gym rat up the drain pipe!! Many times you can be left wondering ‘’why’’ this has happened – you haven’t cheated, you are mentally ready to kick some derrière yet your muscles are just unwilling to move the weight in front of them. Here could be the answer to your question.
Although you may not have cheated there is a good chance you may have changed some food around or maybe the timing at which you consumed it. There is a wide misconception that having a ‘’carb fest’’ as your pre-workout meal is the best way to energise yourself, however in reality this will generally lead to a sluggish workout due to the fact your digestive tract is trying to process all the food. This extracts energy away from your workouts.
Optimised strength comes from overall calories opposed to specific foods so make sure you are not under eating, even on a low carb diet having plenty of healthy fats is the answer. Think nuts, coconut, coconut oil and oily fish.
The food has been spot on, what about your water intake? Studies tell us that up to 80% of the western world lives in a state of dehydration of the most part which is indescribably worrying. If you are dehydrated then your strength levels can drop dramatically as well as your energy levels. Water helps transport nutrients around the body to their correct locations and detoxes the kidneys and liver. When dehydrated the efficiency of these processes are instantly affected leading to a lack in energy, and thereafter strength. As a general rule of thumb unless you are living in extreme conditions I would recommend 1 litre per 50lb of body weight as a minimum.
Science tells us that up to 50% of the western population have some kind of food intolerance which they are not aware about. Ever heard people say ‘’I don’t get on with X food’’ – this probably means they have an undiagnosed food intolerance. If you decide to switch your diet up or there are certain days where you are eating foods which you are intolerant to then this will potentially have a negative effect on your energy and strength levels. Food intolerances can cause inflammation of the digestive tract which in turn literally saps energy away from the body. The only real way to officially know if you have a food intolerance is to have a ‘’comprehensive metabolic test’’ which will reveal all.
If any of the above points ring true then take action, doing so will help ensure next time you train your energy and strength levels have not gone walkies on you!!