Physical exercise and completing a workout, should leave you feeling accomplished and ready to take on whatever comes your way.
Sure, your body will need some time to recover after an intense training session, but for the most part, the rush of endorphins will have you feeling positive and motivated.
However, if you're leaving your workouts feeling overly exhausted, sluggish, and less than your best, you may need some help getting back on track.
If your workouts are leaving you feeling depleted and tired, it could also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, poor eating habits, and a lack of sleep to name a few.
Let's go over some tips to keep you healthy, optimized, and energized...even after your workouts!
Your body is made up of 80% water. The recommended water intake for a healthy adult is 6-8 glasses per day. Why?
All internal organ functions require water for optimal function. Your red blood cells carry water, oxygen, and other nutrients throughout your system to keep you alive. Less water in your body causes low blood volume.
Water is important for digestion. Your body breaks down food, takes the nutrients it needs, and discards the rest as waste. When you’re dehydrated, these processes are slowed down, causing fatigue.
You lose so much water through sweat. During your workout, you burn a lot of energy. The burning process increases your body temperature. Sweating is your body's cooling mechanism to protect your organs from overheating.
Drinking water causes frequent urination. That’s the body’s mechanism for expelling toxins and improving kidney function. When you’re dehydrated, you increase your body’s toxin build-up, exposing yourself to other risk factors.
The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 17-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before exercise. Add another 8 ounces, 20-30 minutes just before your workout, and 7-10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes while exercising to replenish what you lose through sweat.
The energy that fuels you during extreme workouts is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is stored in the muscles and released when you work out. Depletion of your muscle ATP reserves leaves you feeling worn out after a workout with muscle and joint pain.
Slight pain is normal, and that’s why your body induces fatigue to help the muscles heal. Staying hydrated will prevent muscle wear, pain and help you get the most out of your workout.
EAT A BALANCED DIET, HIGH IN FIBER
If you’re tired all the time after working out, take a look at your diet. What are you eating more of? How frequent are your meals? Are you skipping any meals?
Fatigue is often characterized by low metabolism. Your body needs carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins in balanced amounts. Deficiency in either one causes nutritional illnesses. Foods rich in fiber aid in digestion, increasing your metabolic rate, keeping you energized.
Proteins help with muscle building. Bigger muscles increase your ATP stores. When your body has more ATP, it reduces the chances of muscle wear out and aches. Your body will need less time to recover post-workout,
Carbohydrates are easiest to break down to provide fuel for your body during a workout. Feeling tired after a workout is due to a lack of energy. Having enough fuel to burn keeps you energized and helps your body in the recovery process after working out, relieving fatigue.
Iron-rich foods help improve thyroid hormone function, increasing your body’s metabolic rate.
When you eat is as important as what you eat.
Skipping meals lowers your body’s metabolism, causing you to feel tired. Your body needs to maintain a balance to function at its best. During long starvation periods, your body hoards food causing you to gain weight when you eat your usual amount.
Overeating is also bad for you. Overeating causes your stomach to push against other organs, causing discomfort. The discomfort induces fatigue. If you’re feeling tired all the time, try eating smaller portions throughout the day.
Here are easy, balanced recipes you can try. Click on the links for the full recipes.
GET ADEQUATE AND QUALITY SLEEP
If you're feeling sluggish, exhausted, or unmotivated during your workouts, you may not be getting enough sleep.
What happens to your body when you sleep?
During sleep, your brain repairs worn-out cells and tissues, restoring the energy you spent throughout the day. The repair process allows your brain to replenish itself and rid your body of toxins.
Since your brain controls most functions in your body, proper sleep hygiene will improve your brain’s function. As a result, all other organ functions will improve. That’s why a good quality sleep will have you feeling well-rested when you wake up.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 continuous hours of sleep for adults each night for a solid night’s sleep. Other factors that can affect your sleep quality, causing you to feel tired include:
- Sleep disorders
- Caffeine intake
- Chronic stress
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep and the inability to stay asleep. Insomnia will make you tired all the time since your body didn’t get enough rest. To alleviate the symptoms, practice proper sleep hygiene.
Other serious sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy cause difficulty sleeping and sleep interruptions. The most common symptom is excessive daytime fatigue. Diagnosis and treatment is required by a medical expert.
Excessive caffeine intake can also affect your sleep pattern. Caffeine is a drug that’s present in tea and coffee. When it metabolizes and reaches your brain, it causes you to feel alert. Taking caffeine late in the evening keeps you awake at night, causing fatigue the next day.
Research suggests that chronic stress affects brain function in multiple ways. Impaired brain function causes decreased energy levels, sleep issues, resulting in fatigue. It’s important to see a mental health professional to help you manage stress levels.
TAKE NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS
As much as food is fuel for your body, sometimes it’s just not enough on its own. As you grow older, your thyroid hormone production reduces, and with it, your natural metabolism slows down. Your body doesn’t absorb nutrients as well as it did before. That’s okay.
It’s also natural to feel worn out after working out, especially during the first week. Working out causes physical stress to the body. Your body needs time to adjust to the stress. Before that happens, you’ll feel tired.
Taking supplements will help your body adjust much quicker to the physical stress, keeping you energized after your workout.
The burnout you feel is a result of ATP depletion from your muscles.
Supplements increase your ATP reserves, boosting your energy levels when you work out. The increase in energy levels allows you to train even harder without feeling worn out.
The more you train, the stronger you become. You grow more muscle and increase your natural ATP reserves, boosting your athletic performance.
Physical activity helps your body break down supplement ingredients for maximum utilization. Always stretching before and after a workout is important to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension.
WHAT COULD YOUR FATIGUE MEAN?
If you're eating right and staying hydrated but still suffer from excessive tiredness, a medical condition could be the underlying cause.
Fatigue is the most common symptom of underlying heart disease. Heart conditions impair the supply of blood and oxygen to the rest of your body.
When your organs don’t receive enough oxygen, you experience exhaustion. Exhaustion in this case, appears as heavy breathing, dizziness, or headaches. That’s why sometimes people faint when they're tired.
If you have chronic fatigue accompanied by pain, seek medical attention. Your doctor will carry out a physical exam and a blood test to confirm a diagnosis.
Underactive thyroid is one of the major causes of fatigue.
Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate, controlling different organ functions that contribute to energy levels. An underactive thyroid is a condition of the thyroid gland that affects how it produces hormones.
Diagnosis of an underactive thyroid is through analysis of your fatigue symptoms and a simple blood test.
Talk to your doctor if your fatigue symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Slowed cognitive function
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Prolonged difficulty concentrating
- Chronic pain
- Impaired judgment and decision-making
- Memory problems