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10 min read

How to Maintain Your Energy Like an Athlete

How do athletes keep up with such intense training schedules and competitions and still have energy for the fun parts of life? We asked professional athlete Koa Smith what the secret is to his endurance and energy. Being a pro-surfer is not easy. With all the training, traveling, and of course, surfing, he has to keep his routine in line with his goals so he doesn’t get wiped out from competing, being a tv personality, youtube content creator, environmental advocate, and wellness entrepreneur.

He’s got a lifestyle that supports his demanding schedule, and we’ve put together a list of how you too can keep your energy supply primed and your endurance at peak performance.

What Are Some Impacts of Everyday Low Energy

Feeling a little low? Low energy is a common occurrence for many people. While a little tiredness can be perfectly normal in our fast-paced lives, if you often feel fatigued, be sure to consult with a doctor to make sure you don’t have something more going on. Day-to-day energy can wax and wane depending on lifestyle, work schedule, or what you eat. Sometimes just getting into a good routine with exercise and eating right will help you maintain the energy to keep up with your athletic goals and retain enough stamina to enjoy other parts of your life.

How to Keep Your Energy Hy

You’ve gotta stay hy...drated that is! We all know hydration is important for a lot of things, but many people don’t realize how much keeping hydrated can affect your energy levels. Staying properly hydrated can make all the difference in how you feel, and a lot of everyday low energy, slight brain fog, or lack of get-up-and-go can be from your body not getting what it needs to fuel the cells and support so many functions in the body. The problem with so many electrolyte sports drinks out there is the loads of sugar found in most of them. Excess sugar can actually contribute to common, everyday dehydration, and it isn’t great for a lot of other reasons. So stick with something like Ee Hydration to hydrate effectively without the extra sugar. 

Essential elements Hydration products

Make sure you are hydrating throughout the day, even if you are at your day job or aren’t doing demanding activities. Drinking a bit of lemon water or another electrolyte replacement drink first thing in the morning is a good way to replenish from sleep when your body loses a lot of fluids. If you have a hard time remembering until it is too late, set the alarm on your phone to take hydration breaks every few hours and before and after workouts. Get Hy and Stay Hy all day long!

Harness the Power of the Sun

The sun is a powerful energy source. Of course, you don’t want to get too much, but getting enough sunlight helps out energy levels in several ways. Getting sunshine on your face first thing in the morning can help set your circadian rhythm. Light cycles significantly affect our sleep cycles, and getting natural light in the morning can help you feel more awake and alert and help you fall asleep easier at night. Sunlight is also vital for helping the body convert vitamin D to its active form. Vitamin D supports mitochondrial function, which is the powerhouse of the cell. These tiny organs (organelles) generate energy to fuel the cell and keep it healthy.

Getting early morning sun is great for balancing your circadian rhythm, and it is also safer than the sunlight later in the day, which will have more intense UVA/UVB rays. Protect yourself when you are in the sun for prolonged periods and between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It’s recommended to get 10-30 minutes of early morning light several days a week to get enough healthy sunshine to promote better energy. 

Manage Daily Stress

Don’t let life’s burdens weigh you down! There are some stressful things in life that are unavoidable, but some of the ways we respond to daily stress are in our control. Managing this common stress before you get to a breaking point will help keep you feeling in control and reduce overwhelming feelings. Typical stress can be distracting, and giving a lot of emotional energy to worrisome issues can leave you feeling drained. Apprehension can affect your athletic performance and make it difficult to focus. 

young man playing guitar and relaxing

Everyday stress can build up quickly if it isn’t released, and exercise is a great way to let it go. Sometimes taking a different approach to your workout and doing something fun or trying different types of physical activity can get you into a different state of mind and help you blow off steam. Yoga, rollerblading, taking your dog for a run, dancing (you don’t have to be a great dancer to enjoy this one), frisbee golf, kayaking, hiking, or pickleball are just a few ideas. 

Avoid Smoking

You are just so much better off without it. Smoking should be avoided for a lot of reasons, among them being that it can affect your energy levels and athletic performance. Smoking cigarettes can affect your lung capacity and can make you feel short-winded sooner. Nicotine can give your nervous system a quick jolt that might feel mildly energizing, but it is short-lived, and once the effects have passed, it can leave you feeling more tired than ever. Smokers tend to undertake less physical activity in their lives, which can increase your risk of many health problems down the road that can definitely slow you down.

ice water swimming

Cold Plunge/Ice Baths

Jumping into an ice bath or cold shower might not sound very appealing, but athletes use this trick to get their energy pumping and to help their muscles recover after training. There are a lot of health benefits that come from using cold strategically, and it certainly wakes you up from head to toe. A cold plunge and other cryotherapy work by promoting the release of noradrenaline, other hormones, and neurotransmitters and can also “shock” the nervous system awake. It contracts blood vessels and sends a cascade of effects through the body, which helps to support clear thinking and focus and enhances mood. 

Limit Alcohol

You don’t have to go without completely but practice a little restraint. If you tend to overindulge in alcohol, it should be no surprise that you can wake up feeling tired and grumpy the next day. Alcohol may feel relaxing but can have long-term effects on your energy levels. While a glass of wine or a beer a day does show some positive correlations, it also can lead to lowered sleep quality. It can be initially sedating, but alcohol can raise cortisol levels while you sleep, resulting in less time in the deep, restful phases of sleep. 

Get a Great Night’s Sleep

Obviously, this is a biggie. If you aren’t sleeping well, you aren’t going to wake bright-eyed and bursting with energy. Not only do you need enough sleep, but you also need high-quality sleep. Getting the deep rest provided by the different phases of the sleep cycles is important for the quality of how you feel as well as how your body naturally heals, balances hormones, and other vital processes of the body. Deep sleep, which is a phase of non-REM sleep, is where most of these kinds of functions take place and have the most rejuvenating effects.

a tidy bedroom for a good night sleep

Having a bedtime routine can encourage better quality sleep, and sticking to it will give you long-term benefits and help you maintain your energy. Starting by avoiding blue light and artificial light exposure a few hours before bedtime (or when the sun goes down would be best) to help your circadian rhythm stay in balance. Relaxing activities such as reading a book, meditating, or taking a walk can help you wind down at the end of the day and help promote a good night’s rest.

Eat a Balanced Diet

If you are what you eat, then certainly, the vitality of the food you consume will determine the foundation of your energy levels. Food becomes energy, and diets that don’t have enough of the right nutrients make it more difficult for your body to convert into efficient fuel that keeps you going. A diet high in sugar and processed foods can leave the body feeling drained and may be lacking in specific nutrients the body needs to keep you feeling good. Rich, heavy, or greasy foods can also make you feel sluggish and can put an extra burden on your system. Getting enough high-quality protein and healthy fats is essential to keeping energy up. Also, make sure you have an abundance of colorful nutrients that come from fruits and vegetables, which are important for cellular health and energy.

The Essential Element

Good energy is about so much more than just drinking a bunch of coffee or energy drinks to get through the day. To maintain it long-term, you’ve got to find a good balance in your lifestyle that will leave you feeling well-rested and pumped for what comes the next day. Looking up to professional athletes like Koa Smith can give you motivation and new ideas for maintaining and supporting your energy levels. Essential elements® is here to help you give it your all and retain good energy throughout your day and throughout your life.

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