View Full Version : keeping energy level up for class and seminars

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tim evans
04-18-2010, 05:59 PM
How do you keep energy up for class or seminars seems like lately my jobs got more strenuious and my energy is gone by days end.:)

David Maidment
04-18-2010, 06:28 PM

04-18-2010, 06:35 PM
Assuming your conditioning is generally adequate, probably the most important things are getting adequate sleep, doing good muscle recovery after class, and (a distant third) eating properly. Eating properly means no junk, no heavy meals, something light that will give you a good "slow burn" around midafternoon (assuming an early evening class). I'm not going to get into the religious war about what is the right stuff to eat; different people find that different things work for them, so really there's no point in debating it. My choice is a couple of rye crackers with natural-type peanut butter, but a lot of things will work. Just find something that works for you and stick with it.

As for muscle recovery, a lot of day-after fatigue is due to poor muscle recovery after a workout. This isn't so much muscle pain, but a sense of muscle fatigue -- it can be hard to identify if you're not used to it. It may be very noticeable in the morning, or it may not be something you're consciously aware of -- but as the day goes on you'll start to notice it, and as you go through day after day of working out without proper recovery, there's definitely a cumulative effect. Fortunately, the fix is pretty simple. The important thing is to have a snack within about 45 minutes after class that will assist in rebuilding muscle protein, fixing any muscle damage, and replacing fluid, electrolytes and glycogen stores. Tou can get really scientific about this, and there are about a gazillion commercial products out there now that claim to serve this purpose, but the most important thing is to get some carbs and protein in approximately a 4:1 ratio -- which you can get from plain ol' chocolate milk. No doubt there are products out there that have additional stuff that could be very beneficial, but you might just try the chocolate milk for a couple weeks and see how it works for you. And don't forget about adequate sleep. The bottom line is that if you ask a lot from your body, there's a pricetag attached. The dollars you spend at GNC can't cover much of that price -- the main currency is disciplined living.

Chris Li
04-18-2010, 07:28 PM
Assuming your conditioning is generally adequate

In my experience, that's quite often a mistaken assumption :)

For straight up endurance it's pretty hard to beat running, but whatever you can do consistently over a long period of time is usually best.

I'm a big fan of body weight squats, too, for a number of reasons.



04-18-2010, 08:17 PM

Aye! Snicker bars for me. (its really an excuse)

Marie Noelle Fequiere
04-18-2010, 08:34 PM
Aye! Snicker bars for me. (its really an excuse)

For me, nothing beats dark chocolate. Not only do I find it more tasty, it has more iron than milk chocolate.
Just don't forget, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

04-18-2010, 08:49 PM
Plenty of sleep would be my number one. Its something I make sure never to neglect anyway. Our bodies do the best and most healing when we are sleeping.

Plenty of fluids. Plain water will do for most times. Of course there are other useful options out there for heavy works that do, at least for me, help. I like Gator aide type things right after or in the middle of a work if I'm sweating hard. The carbs give me just enough boost to keep it up and I'm keeping hydrated at the same time.

For muscle recovery a high protein snack within an hour after a heavy workout. What I use changes depending on how heavy the workout was and what I'm feeling like. I can definitely tell a difference between times I make sure to do this and times I don't.

And finding the right fueling schedule for your body. I pretty much know, now, how to get myself through a 3 day seminar without crashing before the end. But what works for one might be totally wrong for someone else. Chocolate, high sugar items, and so on would actually cause me to nosedive right in the middle of a class. My body processes it way to quick for it to be useful in a long slow burn situation.

Janet Rosen
04-18-2010, 11:13 PM
Another vote for enough sleep. Most folks don't get enough.

04-19-2010, 05:48 AM
IMHO, energy follows intent.
Stay mindful and positive during training.

04-19-2010, 09:49 AM
Diet, exercise, and rest.

04-19-2010, 11:03 AM
Well, 'food' and 'sleep' (exercise too) tend to get the short shrift, so how about some details on that?

Food: what, when & how much for optimal performance (http://books.google.com.au/books?id=9e3-_LRwcKwC&lpg=PP1&dq=gold%20medal%20nutrition&pg=PT86#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Sleep: why is it important? (http://www.supermemo.com/articles/sleep.htm)

Genetic reprogramming? Easy. Have barbell, will travel (http://www.ultimate-exercise.com/fountainofyouth.html)

04-19-2010, 11:39 AM
For a while I was running way below empty by the time class was over. It got to the point that sensei stopped using me as uke because I just had no energy what so ever. I was sleeping constantly when I wasn't working or fighting my way through class. I was eating moderately healthy. I finally decided to go to the doctor. My sensei was convinced I was low in Iron and perhaps a few other things. Turns out that everything was fine EXCEPT I had an underactive thyroid. Once I started the meds, everything changed. Literally, the next day my energy was ten times better. Now, I have to make sure to take my medicine and I am learning to listen to my body. My point is, your health is also important. There may be another cause for your lack of energy other then what was mentioned previously.

As others have said, conditioning, proper diet, hydration (before and after training) and sleep are all important. As Mary said, I love the whole chocolate milk thing after class. Sweet and it seems to be just what I need. Before class, I always make an effort to hydrate myself and eat a snack. Figure out what makes your body happy. I usually go for wheat toast. Make sure to eat something after class. Eating after class is the big issue with me. I only have 30 minutes from the time I get home from work till I leave for class, so I don't have time to eat dinner. Since I get home around 8:30 or 9:30 at night, I am often hungry and have little to no patience to fix something healthy.... so I eat bad for you yummyness.

Really analyze your lifestyle and see if there is a cause. Keep a food/drink diary to see if you are actually eating enough to compensate for the calories you are burning off in class. Make sure you have a balanced diet. Maybe take a few supplements if needed. Sleep, sleep, sleep! Do some more cardio on the side if you feel like your lack of energy is because you aren't quite as cardiovascularly fit as you need to be.

On another note, I was told (by a personal trainer) and learned through playing tennis that in most circumstances, if you are working out an hour or less, plain water is enough to hydrate. If, on the other hand, you are taking multiple classes and are sweating constantly, an electrolyte drink such as gatorade (I prefer the G2 gatorade because it has fewer calories and less sugar) or one you make on your own will help. Eating salty snacks before your work out (a handful of pretzels) will also help you retain some water and electrolytes as well. If you aren't sure how much fluids to drink, weigh yourself before you train and again after. Then drink enough fluids to gain the weight you lost.

Keith Larman
04-19-2010, 11:58 AM
I'll dig them up if folk want them, but there have actually been studies of improving recovery time comparing water, sports drinks, protein shakes, protein bars, Power Bar stuff, etc. And the thing that seems to work about the best is... As Mary said

Chocolate Milk.

I make myself a small Thermos of the stuff for my long class day and it seems to help. Once I've changed, folded the hakama, and ready to go I have a small bit of it and it seems to really help me. Protein, a bit of sugar, a bit of fat, a little sodium and more fluids. Everything a tired body needs to refill those stores especially if you've worked a bit too hard.

I also find that a small bit of protein along with something like a banana an hour or two before I start in the dojo goes a *long* way.

Russ Q
04-19-2010, 02:18 PM
I would echo Lynn's statement: energy follows intent.

You may think you're tired (your mind is telling you that you are....) but once in class the energy comes......pay attention the next time you go and you're tired. It's an amazing thing.

Walter Martindale
04-19-2010, 03:05 PM
Mary's and Keith's comments about the benefits of chocolate milk are actually supported by research. As a member of Coaches of Canada I regularly receive updates about various sports sciences/coaching issues from SIRC (Sport Information Resources Centre), the most recent of which refers to post-exercise nutrition/recovery nutrition/sports drinks. The best post-exercise quick snack is indeed chocolate milk.
A small amount, best consumed within the first 15 minutes after exercise. A ham or cheese and tomato sandwich on white bread, while not the most inviting, also contains about the right mix of starches and proteins to provide pretty good recovery nutrition, and is a lot cheaper than fancy prepared "bars". Bananas work well, too.

As much as Lynn and Russ are accurate that a lot of fatigue is psychological, muscle glycogen stores are not psychological, and a long session of work at depletes these, and performance deteriorates. I work around people training as much as 10 times per week in an endurance sport - if they don't keep hydration and energy stores up, they crash, get sick, show "overtraining syndrome", and we lose them for a few weeks. MOST of the symptoms of "overtraining" are brought about by glycogen depletion...

I advise the kids to be on a "see food" diet - see it, and eat it. Conditions being that it's good food - high carb, including lots of fruit and vegetable.

Russ Q
04-19-2010, 07:50 PM
Will defer to Walter:-) I usually plan on having a good lunch and drinking a decent amount of water on training days....so it's mostly psychological....for me.



Amir Krause
04-21-2010, 06:01 AM
Drink enough water

Make sure you eat,drink and sleep properly the few days before the seminar .