We’ve all been there. You’re halfway through your day, you’re feeling kind of run down and tired, and you don’t really have the initiative to jump into the second half of your work day. Or maybe you just got home, you’re supposed to get a workout in, but holy crap you’re wiped out from the stressful day you had.
“What do, video game guy?” you ask?
“Think like Mario!” I say. It’s time to grab a power up!
When I say power up, I’m referring to anything that can give you that boost you need to get done what needs doing. Let’s look at a few options!
One of the best natural highs you can get is from music that gets your blood pumping. Different people have different genre, style, and pace preferences, but the most important thing is that it’s something that gets you hyped! Here’s some awesome music hookups and suggestions from the Workout Tunes thread on the forums:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzX1Y9s91yQ – The Pacific Rim soundtrack, from alexander_four
http://themegas.bandcamp.com – The Megas, rock music written to the tune of, and in tribute to, soundtracks from the Mega Man games!
http://metroidmetal.bandcamp.com/ Metroid Metal. Pretty self explanatory. Awesome stuff =D
Music is great for getting that inner fire going, but sometimes you need a bit more. Let’s talk about…
So, energy drinks have kind of EXPLODED in recent years. Red Bull, Monster, Five Hour Energy, and a whole host of other brands, types, and flavors have flooded convenience stores everywhere. These have various ingredients stuffed into them, the most common of which include caffeine, ephedrine derivatives, vitamin B, and taurine. Sugar used to be a big one, too, but you’ll find quite a few now that have artificial sweeteners instead. Let’s look at the pros and cons of energy drinks!
- Great for a boost of energy.
- Easy to find and consume.
- Immediate results, every time (assuming you don’t drink them all the time and build up a resistance)
- Liquid calories are baaaad. The new diet versions of course have less calories, but then you enter into the “artificial sweetener vs. real sugar” debate
- It’s a temporary boost, and it will wear off, and you will feel more tired afterwards.
- Caffeine can dehydrate you, so if you drink one right before a workout, you’re going to need to focus more on staying properly hydrated, and your performance can suffer for it.
- The long term effects of these drinks have not been properly studied yet, so they should not be consumed in excess, and it’s recommended that children and pregnant women not drink them at all.
So, we’ve got some ups and downs going on here. The bottom line, in my opinion, is that moderation is key. I have the occasional Red Bull and I enjoy them, but if you find yourself requiring them every day, just to function, it’s time to take a look at why you might be needing so much of a boost all the time, and try to wean yourself off a bit (coffee addicts take heed, you may want to take this advice, too!)
Energy drinks not your thing? Still looking for a boost? Well it’s time for us to being out the heavy hitter. The most powerful of personal power ups. The legendary…
Seriously. Napping may not sound all that glamorous, but it’s an astoundingly good thing for your body, and one of the best sources for a physical AND mental pick-me-up. Western society has stigmatized naps for quite a while unless you’re a little kid, or very old, but all studies done point to a midday nap to be very, very good for you. This is especially important since the vast majority of people in today’s society (myself included) do NOT get enough sleep every night. Naps can help make up for that sleep deficit.
So, some simple guidelines to stick to for a successful power nap:
- Shorter is better. Stick to a 20 minute time limit for your nap. If you don’t, you run the risk of slipping into a deeper level of sleep, and waking up feeling lethargic and disoriented (this is known as “sleep inertia.”)
- Dark is good. Try to find a way to cover your eyes if you can’t be in a dark room for your nap.
- You don’t have to sleep the whole time. Lying in the dark for the first ten minutes, and dozing off for the second is still going to have a huge effect on your physical and mental functions.
- Don’t nap less than five or six hours before bed. So, if you’re planning on going to sleep for the night around ten o’clock, you don’t want to nap any later than five, otherwise you’re going to throw off your normal night sleep patterns.
Now, yes, some of you may work normal jobs and napping in the daytime may be difficult. However, even the most taxing of jobs usually (I hope) gives you a solid half hour or hour long lunch break. Pack a light lunch, eat it for the first part of your break, and then nap for the second. You’ll wake up feeling fantastic.
If you need a superhuman boost, have some sort of caffeine right before you start your power nap. Your body will be metabolizing the caffeine right as you come out of your nap, so you’ll get the punch of two different power ups at the same time!
That’s it for today! Sorry I didn’t get the post up yesterday, I was tinkering around with stuff on the back end of the site, as well as tweaking the archives a bit, and I just ran out of time for writing. A new character will be up tomorrow, as usual. Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace