ENERGY… it’s the reason we all exist. Without light, heat energy, mechanical energy, gravitational energy, electrical energy, or even sound energy, our chances of survival are slim. As humans we are dependent on all forms of energy (and there are many), but one of the most prominent forms of energy we need to function is chemical energy which we get from our food. This chemical energy derived from food can then be used to generate kinetic and sound energy when in the gym lifting weights, grunting, and dropping, uuuhhuummm… I mean “lowering” the weights to the ground.
Food is critical to feeling fresh and energised, however large volumes of food (or even small volumes of the wrong foods) can leave you feeling drained and sapped in the short term. It isn’t always practical for the average person to get 5-6 meals down them every day, so there are innovative nutrition supplements that can make up for this. Some supplements deliver energy directly, whilst others provide nutritional components that are precursors to energy production.
So without further ado here are my supplement recommendations that make up the Energy Supplement Stack…
Didn’t expect to see protein at the top of the list? Well, protein is key to energising you either before and after exercise, or as a mid- morning/ mid- afternoon snack because it is ‘glycogen sparing’. This means that a drip flow of protein can actually preserve glycogen stores (your energy pool) because the glycogenic amino acids (amino acids used to produce glucose) can be used as a form of energy. Consume more protein than you need though, and the surplus will be stored as fat meaning it is prudent to be careful not to have more than say 2 shakes a day if your job is relatively sedentary. On top of proteins ‘glycogen sparing’ properties, it also makes for a refreshing and satiating snack which can give you a little pick me up when it’s needed.
With the summer months approaching you will start to notice your energy levels diminish as the heat begins to rise. For many people, heat is a precursor to low energy because it causes peripheral dilation, a cooling mechanism of the bodies that can actually reduce blood pressure. Generally this drop in blood pressure is a modest one, but it is enough to make us feel drowsy, so you may find that an isotonic beverage helps to pick you up for 2 reasons…1.) the fluid you consume can help to achieve osmoregulation, specifically increase blood pressure, and 2.) the carbohydrate present will act directly on carbohydrate receptors in the mouth which signals to the brain that energy is on its way resulting in a much needed PICK ME UP!
Recommendation – EZ Fuel Isotonic
You might notice that we generally recommend Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs here at Discount Supplements. BCAAs are highly beneficial to muscle growth and replenishment but aren’t generally used for energy (if BCAAs are used for energy then you need to increase your carb intake). However, a regular amino acid supplement that delivers the range of amino acids may be better suited for energy and vitality. Some of the main amino acids for energy include tyrosine, phenylalanine and taurine, all of which can provide energy, as well as acting as a neurotransmitter (improves brain alertness) which increases the efficiency of energy and leaves you feeling vitalised.
Find the right protein bar for you and you will have a readymade mid- meal snack that satiates hunger and boosts energy and vitality. An ideal protein bar is one that is low in sugar, high in protein and doesn’t fill you up too much. A protein bar’s ability to increase energy levels is similar to that of the whey protein shake above, but a protein bar can also deliver a more slow, sustained release of energy too. Protein provides 4kcal per gram, but the difference between a bar and a shake is that energy will be released more slowly because the bar is solid and requires more digestion.
Co- Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
This is similar to a vitamin and is found in every cell in your body. As the name implies, coenzymes work with enzymes to digest food and utilise the energy liberated form food. So although this nutritional component may not deliver energy directly like carbohydrate, protein or fat does, it can in fact help you to feel more energised by fully utilising the energy you have stored in your body.
Multi- vitamin and mineral
There is no substitute for a healthy balanced diet, this is how we should aim to get our vitamins and minerals in. However, not all of us eat enough of the right foods to get the full range of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, D or E. Vitamin D is a particularly troublesome fat soluble vitamin because its main food sources (eggs, oily fish, liver) aren’t eaten enough by the public, and people simply don’t get enough fresh air and sunlight (another prime source of vitamin D). All of the abovementioned vitamins have some part to play in energy metabolism, but one of the main energy producing vitamins are the B vitamins. B vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and riboflavin all contribute to better energy metabolism. Thiamine (vitamin B1) for example, is critical to the generation of energy from carbohydrates, whilst Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is needed for the metabolism of fatty acids in energy production.
If you are short on any of these nutritional components then you may find it hits you in the energy bank!
It is hoped that this supplement stack will work cumulatively together in order to deliver readily available energy, as well as help you to use the energy you have more effectively.