In this day and age where we’re working longer hours, have more commitments and try to pack in as much as possible into our daily routine, energy becomes so much more important in our daily lives. Getting more energy is vital to helping you tackle through daily tasks and besides getting more sleep and eating healthier, one of the best ways to get a quick boost of energy is through the use of energy supplements. Here we take a look at some of the most common forms of energy supplements and how it can help you.
Stimulants - Energy Supplements That Kick
These stimulant based energy supplements usually contain ingredients such as caffeine & synephrine (previously ephedrine before being banned) and have been praised for including the added benefit of supporting fat loss. Stimulant based supplements offer a great burst of energy and can also increase metabolism, thus causing the user to burn calories faster. Stimulants will keep you alert both physically and mentally and help you get the most out of your training session. When using stimulant based energy supplements it’s best to stick to the label’s recommended dosage, as higher doses can lead to negative side effects.
Carbohydrates for Energy - Fuel For Your Body
Composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, carbohydrates are one of the body’s three natural energy sources along with Proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are often cited as a natural source of physical energy, but they also provide mental energy for the brain. Their function does not stop here - many types of carbohydrates also contain fibre, which maintains healthy metabolism and bowel movements. A gruelling training session can burn through the body’s store of glycogen (one of our main energy stores), which is why it is normal to feel tired, or even exhausted after a workout. For people such as athletes and those training for strength who regularly participate in hard exercise, it is not always possible to consume enough carbohydrates in a day. This is why many turn to carbohydrate supplements to avoid poor performance and fatigue and increase energy.
Herbal Supplements for Energy - Natural Highs
Herbal energy supplements contain natural energy boosters such as the herb ginseng, green tea extract and cayenne. Most herbal energy supplements will increase metabolism rate as well as provide the user with a boost for their workout. Ginseng is typically the main ingredient in such supplements. Used as an herbal energy source for many years, ginseng has also been known to elevate mood, enhance endurance, improve immune functions and speed up recovery time after a workout. Recommended ginseng dosage is about 1 to 2 grams daily. It should not be taken by pregnant women or people with high blood pressure.
Energy Drinks for Energy & Rehydration
Energy Drinks not only help athletes hydrate after exercise but also provide electrolytes, sugar and other nutrients that can be depleted during physical exertion. As carbohydrates burn quickly during exercise they need to be replaced in order to keep up energy levels. Sports Drinks containing simple carbohydrates help to fuel the body with a rapid energy boost. Most if not all of them also contain electrolytes, which contain many of the essential minerals that are lost through sweat during exercise including Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Bicarbonate, Phosphate and Sulphate. There are three main types of sports drinks on the market; Isotonic, Hypertonic and Hypotonic. During exercise sports drinks are ideal for replacing lost fluids and increasing energy. After exercise sports drinks can increase the rate of rehydration and replenish essential minerals lost through sweating.
Endurance Enhancers - Train for Longer
Besides the above supplements, there are a range of ingredients commonly used in energy supplements which are known for their ability to support endurance and longer duration training. These include Energy Gels, Creatines or Creatine Monohydrate, Caffeine, Amino Acids, HMB and various Amino Acid's including BCAA's. Basically, these supplements ensure that oxygen consumption levels are at their best, thus providing a longer lasting and more successful workout to the user. Other benefits include lifting Nitric Oxide levels and reducing lactic acid levels within the body helping you to train for longer and with less fatigue.