We’ve all found ourselves asking “who the heck signed me up for this” in the middle of a workout – speaking from experience over here. You are breathing heavily, your heart feels like it might jump out of your chest at any given moment. Look, there’s enough stacked up against you.
That’s why it’s really important that you bring the motivation and make sure you are fueled up for the grueling workouts you keep pushing yourself through. Are you taking all the steps you need to set yourself up for success? Here are a few tried and true tips.
Eat Enough Before the Workout
This is a given for most of us, yet, somehow we forget to take advantage of this low-hanging fruit. There’s no question that you need to eat enough before the workout. Sure, your best friend’s cousin Kevin may feel good going into a workout in a fasted state, but that’s not the majority.
Not sure what to eat before training? Start with something small to prevent any stomach aches during your workout. That’s the last thing anyone wants to deal with. Have a sensitive stomach or early morning workouts? Start by eating a banana and half a scoop of protein mixed with water before training.
The Society of Sports Nutrition recommends aiming for around 20-40 grams of protein every 3-4 hours for the best results when it comes to your performance and body composition (1). This could be a protein shake or 3-5 ounces of a quality source of protein.
Hydration is one of the keys to success when it comes to your performance during a workout. Studies have shown that losing as little as 2% of your weight can impact your performance and even your mental clarity (2). For someone that weighs 160 pounds, that’s as little as 3.2 pounds lost during a session.
Next time you are training, consider weighing before and after your training session to see where you are at.
Allowing yourself to become dehydrated during the day can set you up for failure. With dehydration, you might feel nauseous, have a higher heart rate, and struggle even more with the workout.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a fluid intake of around 15 cups a day for men and around 11 cups for women. Remember fluid isn’t just water and it’s not only from beverages, you can also consume foods with high water content like cucumbers, celery, and watermelon.
Take an Amino Acid Supplement
Think of amino acids as insurance for your muscles and performance. Branched-chain amino acids actually make up about 35 percent of the essential amino acids in the muscle and must be obtained through your diet (3).
Amino acid supplements can be beneficial in increasing or maintaining your muscle mass by promoting muscle protein synthesis, that’s why we call it insurance for your muscles.
You can easily add a scoop to your water and sip on it during training. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any sneaky artificial sweeteners or colors that could upset your stomach. Find a product that’s completely transparent with few ingredients like this essential amino acids supplement from Naked Nutrition.
Creatine is another one of the few supplements that provide benefits that are backed by studies over and over again. It’s not only for performance benefits during your workout but can also boost recovery after training as well as promoting recovery from an injury(4).
Not sure if you can incorporate creatine? Most studies have shown that healthy individuals can benefit from creatine supplementation of up to 30 grams per day. Not sure if it’s right for you? Ask your doctor if you have concerns.
Listen to Music that Pumps You Up
There’s nothing worse than forgetting your headphones at home or them dying in the middle of a heavy squat session. One of the fastest ways to talk yourself out of completing a tough workout is by listening to yourself breathe heavily.
So, next time make sure you find a playlist that will keep you motivated during your entire workout. Don’t have a go-to playlist? Try searching for something on Spotify, Apple, Google, or Prime and build off of that.
Here’s the Scoop
Look, you have big goals, and contrary to popular belief on social media, you need to be fueled by more than just caffeine and a dream. So, start by making sure you are setting yourself up for success during your training session.
Make sure you are fueled going into your workout. Not used to eating before training? Try something simple like a banana and half a scoop of protein mixed with water.
Need something besides water to drink during training or are not interested in mixing protein during your session, start incorporating an amino acid supplement. Remember, it’s muscle insurance.
Stay hydrated and motivated for your next workout. After all, you are the only one that can show up day in and day out to put in the work – keep pushing!