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Get More Energy for Aerobic Workouts and BodyBuilding

Aerobic workouts help individuals keep their bodies healthy, lose weight and tone muscles. There are many levels of aerobic workouts ranging from beginner to expert. All exercise requires energy and keeping the needed amount of required energy helps to perform the aerobic exercise and reduce feeling sore the next day.

Foods That are Good Energy for Aerobic Workouts

Food digests at different rates and to have a good workout, food should be out of the stomach prior to exercising. Carbohydrates are easily and quickly digested, offering a good source of energy before a workout. Larger meals and proteins take longer to digest, about four to six hours, and should not be consumed prior to an aerobic workout.

For intense workouts and aerobic exercises, eating should be avoided two hours prior to engaging in the activity. Light snacks only take 30 minutes to one hour to digest and are a good source of energy prior to a heavy workout.

Light snacks providing good energy are:

  • Milk with crackers and peanut butter
  • A Banana and some yogurt
  • Juice and some pretzels
  • A Sports bar and glass of water
  • Fresh fruits
  • Clear soups and consommés
  • A Muffin and glass of milk

Energy Drinks to Have Before Your Aerobic Workout

Energy drinks often have lots of sugar and caffeine which gives a boost of energy but not long lasting energy. The first energy drink was released in 1962 in Japan. The drink was called Liptvitan D and its main ingredient was taurine, an ingredient found in energy drinks today.

Other common ingredients in energy drinks are:

  • Ephedrine: a stimulant
  • Taurine: natural amino acid regulating heart beat and muscle contractions
  • Ginseng: Reduces stress and increases energy
  • B-vitamins: converts sugar into energy
  • Guarana seed: a stimulant
  • Carnitine: metabolizes fatty acids
  • Creatine: gives energy for muscle contractions
  • Insitol: relays messages within cells of body
  • Ginkgo biloba: memory enhancer
Energy drinks claim to give long lasting energy and stamina but not all ingredients have medical data backing up these claims. Over use of energy drinks are potentially dangerous and even fatal in some cases. An 18-year-old athlete died in 2000 after he drank four cans of Red Bull before a game. As a result, France banned Red Bull while other countries put warnings on the products.

Taking Supplements For Energy When You Do Aerobic Workouts

Taking supplements before a workout is another way of gaining some energy and stamina. Like the energy drinks, there is not enough medical evidence to back up all the claims. Supplements come in pill, powder or liquid forms.

Stimulants are often found in supplements and offer a fast, quick boost of energy that is usually short – lived.

Increasing the oxygen supply at the cellular level helps the muscles avoid fatigue and pain. Some supplements are designed to provide extra oxygen to the cells, allowing a longer and more comfortable workout.

Another popular ingredient found in supplements is Creatine. Discovered in 1826, Creatine was finally recognized as a contributor in bodybuilding in 1926. The Journal of Biological Chemistry published the effects of creatine on muscle mass in their 1926 publication.

Drinks Lots of Water When Exercising

Staying hydrated during a workout will provide more energy, increase fat metabolism and offer cardiac support. Water also helps to turn adenosine triphosphate into adenosine diphosphate, which is essential for muscle contraction. Dehydration during a workout leads to muscle fatigue and cramps.

Intense Stretching Not Recommended Before Aerobic Workout

Stretching before a workout is no longer recommended and according to Maria Cheung, a medical writer for the Associated Press, injury may result when stretching prior to a workout. It is recommended to limber-up lightly before a workout by doing some easy jogging or kicking a soccer ball. Too much stretching can result in fatigue and cause muscles to tense up.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.


ESPN. "What to eat before and after exercise" (accessed September 29, 2010)

TLC. "How do energy drinks work?" (accessed September 29, 2010)

Body Building. "Energy Enhancing Supplements" (accessed September 29, 2010)

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. "The Fate of Creatine when Administered to Man" (accessed September 29, 2010)

Fitness Tips Online Articles. "Exercise and The Benefits of Proper Hydration" (accessed September 29, 2010)

Fitness MSNBC. "Want a better workout? Don’t stretch before" (accessed September 29, 2010)
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