With all the marketing campaigns out there touting the benefits of each new energy drink, you might think that there’s no way to get energized without buying some expensive energy drink.

But pry your eyes away from the hype for a second and think about the target market of most energy drinks… it’s usually overworked adults who eat junk food and don’t get enough sleep, or teenagers who stay out all night and then need a big rush to keep them going the next day.

If that describes you, you could keep downing the energy drinks like there’s no tomorrow. Or, you could make a few little lifestyle changes that result in an abundance of energy, naturally!

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be getting energized for free:

1) Get enough sleep, whether it’s 4 hours, 8 hours, or more.



Have you heard that recovery is the most important part of your training? Well, sleep is the most important part of your recovery.

There are certain bodily processes that only occur during sleep, and there are just so many health benefits from getting enough sleep. For example, your body repairs damaged cells while you sleep, and being asleep naturally reduces stress.

Add that up and you have the recipe for more energy!


First, figure out how much sleep you need.

Most nights I need eight hours of sleep, although on easy days I do fine with seven, while crazy circumstances (like numerous six hour training rides) call for twelve hours of sleep or more.

On the other hand, I know a few people who sleep about four hours per night and wouldn’t dare sleep any more than that! Some people are wired to be fully rested by sleeping for four hours per night.

Now, block out that much time every night.

Let’s say you’re like most people and need eight hours of sleep per night. If you have to get up by 7:00 AM to get to work on time, be absolutely certain to be in bed at 11:00 PM.

Yeah, that’s easier said than done, but it’s your health that’s at stake, so make the wise decision.

2) Exercise regularly… as in, 6 days per week.



To paraphrase Newton’s first law of motion, “An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion…”

So by actually exercising, you’re getting into motion. Once in motion, it will be much easier to stay in motion. And if you think about it, staying in motion is a lot like having a constant supply of energy.

With regular exercise (from 30 minutes to 8 hours per day, six days per week, depending on your goals,) you keep your body ready to go and feeling great all the time.

Plus, exercise releases endorphins, which will keep your spirits elevated, creating a constant mental energy boost!


You don’t have to do a lot, but do it regularly.

So schedule exercise like you would with any other important activity. You could schedule it on your appointment calendar or just pick a certain time of the day when you will exercise no matter what. (This is when it pays to have a coach or training plan to guide you.)

And don’t make excuses to get out of exercising. I’ve read numerous articles (here’s one about CEOs and one about the president) about busy people, usually CEOs or other businessmen that fit in their exercise despite 12-16 hour days in the office, global travel, and/or families.

They make it a priority and stick with it, instead of saying “oh I’m busy today” or “I have too many projects going on” or “I’m at work all day, there’s just no time for exercise.”


3) Eat healthy foods… you know, like green, leafy vegetables.

health food


The last saying for today is “you are what you eat.” While that shouldn’t be taken literally, I have found that “if you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap.”

By that I mean, when I eat junk food like French fries or chips and snacks all day, I feel great for a very short period of time, but the next day I feel lethargic and run down.

However, if I eat natural, unprocessed foods (especially fruits and vegetables full of nutrients like antioxidants), I just plain feel good.

That’s because your body needs those nutrients to function properly. You usually don’t get those nutrients with fast food, so instead of feeling energetic, your body shuts down until you feed it what it needs.

Also, if you binge eat or fill your body with sugar, you’re going to deal with blood sugar and insulin spikes, which will eventually result in a sugar crash. So… a complete lack of energy!


To get a variety of healthy foods in your diet, the plan is pretty straight-forward: buy healthy foods.

Make a list of healthy foods, and when you go shopping (at the supermarket and local farmer’s markets), buy the health food instead of the junk food. Or at least make the junk food a small portion of the overall amount.

If you have the healthy food in your house, you’ll eat it. If you don’t have junk food in your house, you won’t eat it.

Once that becomes routine, it’s not all that hard to eat healthy. Really.

It’s illustrated by Newton’s first law of healthy eating – “If you get used to eating healthy foods, you will continue to choose healthy foods over junk food.”

And once you realize how much more energy you have, you’ll be eating healthy, exercising, and sleeping sound, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived differently!

Photo credits: Sleeping by Annie Mole | Push-up by Joe Shlabotnik | Vegetables by mckaysavage

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  1. That is absolutly sound advice Levi…

    Along with your Newton reference…the hardst parts is usually just getting started

  2. Yes, it’s truly amazing sometimes how easy things become after just trying them for a couple days!

  3. I get start to bicycling about 3 mounts, while I’ve 42 years old. I’ve got a little thin! so I do try to eat variety foods, but, that have a little effect.

  4. Hi
    Thank you for your reply. Certainly I’ll use this food. But, I eat complete breakfast after sport.Are you agree with this or I should eat breakfast before sport.


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