T Nation

Lacking Afternoon Energy

Besides drinking alot of water, and eating my complex carbs early and throughout the day; what can i do for more energy? I’m not too big on supps. Any certain foods or any other ideas?

Sleep

[quote]Phill wrote:
Sleep
[/quote]

Agreed. Also, I find that an apple with lunch usually wakes me up for the afternoon. After that, some coffee works well. I mostly do that on lifting days though.

This is what I do…but not something I’m saying is “good” for me, or you…

A steady stream of Monster Khaos throughout the day. It doesn’t thrill me how much sugar is in there, but I can rationalize drinking it since it’s “70% Juice”

Otherwise, I literally start falling asleep at work and they generally frown upon that sort of thing :slight_smile:

see what a P+F meal does for your energy levels. make sure you have at least the same weight of veggies as the protein source. pay attention to how you feel in the few hours after the meal. if you are feeling tired and sleep is not the cause, most likely your body is telling you that whatever you just ate is not optimal.

i have seen many people be able to handle carbs at breakfast, but not after, regardless of unprocessed and low GI/GL unless they do a training session. check out some Berardi articles and try some combinations.

write down what you eat and when (exact amount not important) and record how you feel after. after a week or two, you should be able to see a pattern. make adjustments based on what works and remove what doesn’t. keep recording observations and intake. you will have much better data to base desicions on than even most pros have to work with and it doesn’t take more than a couple minutes a day.

here is an example entry from yesterday for me (note this is a perfect day, usually i miss a couple supp opportunities and a feeding):

06:30
2 HRX (HOT-ROX Extreme), 4.8g BCAA (4 Biotest caps), 2 BETA-7
7:00
6 omega-3 eggs, 100g kale, 100g tomato, 50g radaccio, 25g parsley, 10g red onion, 5g chives, 5g dill, 15ml EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), 3000mg 30% fish oil

09:00
4.8g BCAA, 1 Se7en, 150g apple
10:00
200g new zealand grass fed striploin, 100g spinach, 50g redleaf lettuce, 100g avocado, 3000mg fish oil
12:00
4.8g BCAA, 80g apricots

12:30
2 HRX (sometimes i wait until 14:30 to take these, depends on workout and how i feel)
13:00
200g boneless/skinless chicken thighs, 100g romaine lettuce, 100g broccoli, 50g carrots, 50g bell peppers (orange, red, yellow mix), 3000mg fish oil

14:00
50g of Surge mix, 2 servings of XTEND in water, consumed over next 45min
15:00
100g Surge mix, 1 scoop Biotest Grow! Whey, 1 serving of XTEND, banana 5g creatine, 2 BETA-7

15:30
50g Surge mix (100g if workout intense, 0 if lighter, or will consume 15:00 dose over half hour)
16:00
250g lean ground buffalo, 50g of quinoa, 100g spinach, 100g red chard, 5000mg fish oil, 15mL EVOO, 30g nuts (walnut, almond, macadamia, pistachio mix, unsalted)
18:00
4.8g BCAA, banana

19:00
200g pork sirloin, 50g brown rice, 100g broccoli, 30g carrots, 30g peppers, 10g red onion, 15mL EVOO, 5000mg fish oil, 100g raspberries
21:00
4.8g BCAA, 2 BETA-7, 1 Se7en, 150g blueberries

22:00
300g plain organic 3.5% yogurt, 2 scoops low-carb Metabolic Drive, 1 serving greens+, 3000mg fish oil, 80g avocado

i omitted the how i feel part as this represents an optimized regimen for me. i arrived at this exactly as described above by applying JB’s principles from the 7 habits article:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459493

as for fluid intake, i usually drink 500ml-1L with each meal and 250-500mL with the BCAA. sometimes this intake is from teas, but mostly water.

there are 14 servings of veggies, 7 servings of fruit, and 11 servings of animal protein. in addition i have added 45g of BCAA (pills and XTEND - 55g if you include Surge), 2 full servings of Surge, 2 scoops of Metabolic Drive, 1 greens+ (worth a couple of veggie servings), 5g creatine, and 22g of 30% fish oil.

now, i am not suggesting anyone follow this, but this is what i have come up with for myself as optimal. when i eat like this, i feel absolutely lit. listen to your body, it will tell you a lot.

[quote]WeaponX wrote:
Besides drinking alot of water, and eating my complex carbs early and throughout the day; what can i do for more energy? I’m not too big on supps. Any certain foods or any other ideas?[/quote]

Hey Weapon.
I’ve always found that fats give me a great deal of immediate energy.

A handful or two of almonds, walnuts, etc.
They’ll also curb hunger pretty well.

Fats have also been known to boost testosterone levels, so of course that will definitely affect your energy levels.

A trick i use sometimes if i’m feeling a bit sluggish and/or a little hungry right before a workout is a tablespoon of olive oil.

Almost has a “rocket fuel” effect.
At least that’s been my personal experience…

if you feel like you just want to lay down all the time, or that it seems like an extreme effort to even to situp from a chair, then it could be low muscle glycogen levels.

when your muscles run out, it really hits your body hard. the more active your life outside of the gym is, the more carbs your gonna need, and the amount of complex carbs from a bodybuilding diet may not be enough.

try mixing together some complex and simple carbs around lunchtime, like brown rice and chicken with teriyaki sauce.

On a different note, if it isn’t nutrition and sleep issues, consider just doing something physical and goal oriented.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I often end up with a lot more energy after having gone to the gym.

Spend half an hour cutting the grass and you’ll probably kick into “energy” mode instead of “sedentary” mode… and you’ll end up feeling like you have a lot of energy.

Anyway, the idea behind goal oriented (games, chores, etc) is to keep you directed towards a goal without forcing you to work all that hard. You just have to get the blood flowing to the right places and your body will react.

Thanks everyone for all the replies. I changed jobs this past spring and i have noticed the effects on my energy level. i used to have to walk alot during my job, now i really just sit in a chair.

Nutrional intake has been the same, but i think the steady slow pace of moving around kept my body from relaxing, therefore i was ready to workout right after work. Starring at at the screen all day makes me feel sleepy no matter what so that definitly is not helping.

I will keep a log and see if any patterns arise. I will use the other suggestions and see how they make me feel as well.

[quote]Phill wrote:
Sleep
[/quote]

Yes. Even if you are getting 8-9 hours a night, 2-4 pm is siesta time. This is part of our body’s natural rhythms, so there is probably nothing wrong with you. If you aren’t doing physical work, your body will want to sleep.