Energy Crisis

I am finding I am running out of energy in the middle of the day (to the point where i need to sleep and/or comfort eat). I drag myself out for my run and come back feeling better but exhausted. Then the whole thing repeats itself the next day.
I am trying to lose wieght and I am trying to drink enough water.
Should I be investing in these energy drink or gels to keep myself going? If so when should I drink them before after or during?
I am running 4x3miles plus a long one of 5miles a week at the moment but planning to increase distances and speed.
Does anyone have any ideas?


  • Soozie, "energy" gels and "sports" drinks are about the last thing you need, even if you can keep the disgusting things down. They're fine for using during long runs to stave off "The Wall", but you're not there yet and for most of us these products are just empty calories. A sugar jag in that or any other form may make you feel a bit better briefly, but it will set off a string of metabolic events which will lead to worse tiredness.

    Two thoughts:

    - Do you get a good night's sleep, or are you getting to bed late, being disturbed by the rugrats climbing in beside you, and getting up early?

    - What do you have for breakfast? As a runner, even one with weight to lose, you ought to be aiming to take in at least 500 calories for breakfast, with some of it as protein (milk, yogurt, kippers, the leftovers from last night's spag bol...). Skipping breakfast, eating a scrawny lunch and "banking" calories for the evening, or trying to scrape by on less than 1,500 calories a day while exercising vigorously, almost guarantees a midday dip in energy.

    - How old and how numerous are your children? I remember - just - the grinding fatigue that accompanied my years of relentless childbearing (six pregnancies, four of them full-term, in less than eight years). I woke up around the time of the youngest child's third birthday.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Really - 500 cals for breakfast! I have been limiting only to 200 as per Rosemary Conely low fat diet. I love breakfast so this is very exciting. I do think that I am getting the whole eating times thing wrong - ie tending to have larger meal in the evenings.
    My sprogs are 3 and 18 months so I can relate to what you say about grinding tiredness. I just thought that exercise was suppose to give you more energy as it has done for me in the past. I should try and make up some of the sleep deficit.
    How much water should I be drinking?
    I really appreciate your help.
  • Soozie, I am impressed that you're exercising at all. Go and join RM and co. in the Supermum section!

    Exercise gives most people extra energy, but if you're already run down it can just be another drain on your system's resources so it is really important to get as much rest as your body needs, plenty of good-quality fresh food, and water...yes, enough fluid to stop you from feeling thirsty and then a little bit more, although there's no need to swallow the prevalent myth that half the population of the UK is permanently dehydrated.

    Enjoy those big breakfasts. It's a leap of faith to plough into half a tuna pizza, a pot of yogurt and a banana in the morning when the diet book suggests porridge made with 25g of oats and skimmed milk and half a grapefruit, but it really does leave you feeling better later in the day. I had a rubbish breakfast yesterday and my first afternoon chocolate splurge in weeks was the result (or maybe it was PMT...)

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Nice one, v-rap. I'm glad to hear someone backing up the idea of a decent breakfast. Two pieces of thickly cut toast (one marmite, one marmalade or peanut butter) & OJ generally do me nicely up to about 11. I then need a banana or summat unless an early 12.00 lunch is looming appealingly on the horizon.

    This allows for a light-ish lunch to prevent a heavy sleepy feeling afterwards, while still having kept up the calories needed for the day.

    Go for it, Soozie. I can thoroughly recommend trying home-made juices/smoothies for brekkie as well and as a bonus your sprogs will probably enjoy them as well.
  • My favourite weekend breakfast is a big crusty roll with a chunk of stinky stilton cheese and some olives and tomatoes. Weekdays during school term tend to involve grabbing what's available while trying to feed, groom, dress and pack lunchboxes for the little monsters - I've never been organised enough to get us all sitting round a scrubbed table with matching china and an endless supply of hot toast, grilled bacon and and cold milkshake at 7.30am, and anyway guess who would end up on toaster duty? Hotel breakfasts on holiday are my nirvana.
  • 3 and 18 months. Gosh, yes, I remember! What I remember, is saying to my sister-in-law, that I never want to be that tired ever again. Revised Milton's poem On His Blindness "...Doth God exact day labour night denied?..." I remember making it to about 5pm, when I played a game with the children, that I, draped in a blanket in the middle of the floor, was a mountain and they could drive their little cars all over me - anything so I could get horizontal and sleep!

    Any mileage you manage clearly counts double, and enjoy the breakfasts.


    PS, my youngest is in his last year of school. The days are long but the years are short.

  • Tuna pizza for breakfast???? yuck.

  • oh and the only ppl who do the big family get togethers for breakfast are in soap operas, and they do half a days work before breakfast. I reckon they must get up at 5am.
  • Actually I do get up at 5am, I don't have kids but 3 dogs instead, and they need exercise and food before I leave for work at 6.30am. So the morning ritual is get up, quick wash, put the coffee on, out with all 3 dogs for the 'necessary', bring the oldest one back home, out again with the other two for a run, back home to shower, give all 3 dogs their morning eats, and devour my cereal with joghurt and fruit, 2 cups of coffee (the only time I drink it), my vitamin tablets, and it's off to work. I eat more fruit around 9am and eat lunch at 1130, leaving me plenty of energy for later in the day. I train properly in the evening and eat a light meal afterwards. Works for me.
    Sheila Anne
  • I am so glad other people are in the same "boat?", I find myself hanging out the washing, doing homework, (mine and my daughter's), feeding the cat, writing the shopping list, mopping up my daughter's spilt breakfast and then to school. Only then do I jog back to the house and devour a couple of cerial bars whilst trying to miouver my bike in and out of the traffic jams on the way to work.

    I also agree that breakfast on holiday is heaven, but on busy mornings cerial bars, and multiples of are a god send. When I run out I find myself in the chocolate trap by mid morning and generally feel too knackered to go out for a run in the evening.

    Good luck're doing brilliantly,

  • Thanks for all the encouragement - i really appreciate it. This forum is such a good idea!
    The strange thing is we are the kellogs family. I do get everyone up and sit around sunlit breakfast table sipping orange juice. It is the only meal we get the share together during the week, so I am abit of a Nazi about it. Otherwise Mr would cycle the 10 miles to work and back on the sniff of an oily rag and fade away.
    It will get harder to do when there is school deadline to attend to (just got a preschooler at the mo).
    Anyway have just tucked into enormous breakfast of shreddies and toast and have got my water lined up for the day.

    Must go an shake my gingham table cloth
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