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Working out should improve your mood as well as your energy levels. But if you frequently feel tired after working out, it may be because you are not treating your body well or allowing sufficient rest.
Consistently low energy levels after exercise can indicate the need for mild lifestyle changes or severe health issues. The priority should be to figure out the root cause of your post-workout fatigue.
This guide will help you figure out why you might be tired after a workout and what you can do about it.
Many factors can make you feel exhausted after a workout, from hormonal problems to insufficient nutrients.
Here are some of the most common ones to help you figure out what’s making you tired after exercise.
You should monitor your sleeping schedule if you frequently struggle with exercise fatigue. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it’s likely putting loads of stress on your body.
Exercise also puts your body under stress, so if you cannot get enough sleep for whatever reason, know that your workout will become more demanding and tiring.
According to a study, improper sleep patterns can affect your athletic routine and turn your workout into a grinding task. Moreover, research claims that adequate sleep positively influences your exercise routine. If you’re trying to build a healthy habit for yourself, sleep deprivation needs to go.
One of the common fitness myths is consuming foods with low to no calories to lose weight fast, paired with high-intensity workouts. There are better paths to weight loss than this, and intense exercise only increases the need for food.
As a result, when you attempt to exercise with little or no fuel, you’ll feel tired, hungry, and annoyed.
Our muscles require a lot of nutrients during workouts that come from carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, bread, and cereals. Not getting enough nutrients while you exercise causes muscle fatigue, which can make you tired overall.
Are you feeling drained and weary after exercise? It may be because your water intake is deficient. If you don’t drink enough water before, during, and after your workout, you may feel tired and worn out.
Even a little dip in water levels can make your blood thick, making it difficult for your heart to pump. Also, when you sweat too much, your body loses more electrolytes than usual, making you tired.
Skipping rest days is the equivalent of walking down the road to mental and physical exhaustion. If you often feel tired in your muscles, your body is stressed and isn’t getting the rest it needs.
Oxidative stress is often caused by exercise, so you’re likely to get hurt if you don’t rest after a workout. Furthermore, studies show that overexerting, followed by no rest days, can lead to depression.
A strenuous exercise routine can exhaust your energy reserves (ATP). If you feel sluggish when you start a workout, one of the probable reasons is that you didn’t give your body enough time to heal.
If you always feel tired after working out, it could be because of an imbalance in your hormones. Also, if your body makes too much of the stress hormone “cortisol,” this could cause a hormonal imbalance.
During the start of the workout, the production of this hormone is low, though it may increase with the intensity and duration of your workout.
The intense workouts end up causing your body to make more cortisol, which causes you to feel tired afterwards.
Most of the time, you can get over being tired after a workout by changing the way you work out or your fitness routine. However, this doesn’t happen in all instances.
Diabetes, COPD, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep apnea, and other diseases can tire you. And low thyroid function can also be the culprit.
Hypothyroidism is when the gland in your neck doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, which causes you to have less energy, feel sad, and gain weight. Consequently, you may feel extra exhausted when you work out.
In addition to making you tired after a workout, not getting enough sleep may hurt your body rather than help it. Inadequate sleep will also prevent muscle recovery after an intense workout. The main factor that makes muscles tired is that your central nervous system can’t keep working your muscles.
Sleeping after a workout can support muscle recovery and help you rest well. When you fall asleep, the pituitary gland produces growth hormone, which is vital for muscle growth.
Try to get 6–8 hours of sleep daily and be consistent with bedtime and wake times. Lastly, reduce your screen time before bed and practice meditation for better sleep.
You can monitor your feelings during workouts and different parts of the day. The best you can do is to note how many hours of sleep you get before exercising, your eating routine, and your work schedule.
A well-balanced diet includes protein (meat, eggs, milk, chia seeds, quinoa, and soy if you are a vegetarian), carbohydrates, vegetables, healthy fats, and fruits. Aerobic athletes should consume 40–60% of their calories as carbohydrates, while anaerobic athletes must get 30–35%.
Eating well will help your body heal faster and support muscle repair and growth. So, it would help if you gave your body protein and carbs as soon as you finished your workout.
Many people feel too hungry after working out, while some don’t. If you feel less hungry after exercising, 10 to 20 grams of protein will be enough for you; one serving of Greek yogurt contains 17 grams without getting your stomach full.
For maximum recovery, you can enjoy low-fat chocolate milk, hard-boiled eggs, and whole-grain crackers. And, for people who find it hard to consume solid food after a workout, chocolate milk can be a good option. However, ensure it’s sugar-free or has little to no sugar.
Hydration is the most critical part of the workout. If you are not used to drinking water throughout the day, it’s time to start. Regardless of how you remind yourself to drink water, it is the best and easiest benefit you can give your body.
Dehydration can significantly reduce your energy levels. If you work out when you’re not drinking enough water, your muscles will hurt before you lift weights, and the tiredness may last even after you’re done. Furthermore, it can also damage cognitive function along with muscle contraction. Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercising.
Also, if you usually work out at night, you need to drink a lot of water during the day so that your muscles stay hydrated while you work out. However, if you work out early in the morning, take as much water as possible between waking up and working out.
In general, it is recommended to consume 2 to 3 liters of water throughout the day. Otherwise, you can drink water according to your weight.
Calculate your half-weight in ounces, and that’s how much water you should drink daily. You can also get a sports drink for added electrolytes and carbohydrates, especially if your workout lasts more than an hour.
Post-workout exhaustion may be directly related to the timing of your workout. While some people feel their best after working out early in the morning, others might not, especially those who work more productively in the afternoon.
Working out during the daytime is preferable to exercising at night, and research has found that working out at night can disturb your sleeping patterns. If you struggle with sleep, consider changing your workout schedule.
The ideal time to work out differs from individual to individual, depending on the person’s circadian rhythm. Simply put, one has to go through trial and error to find the ideal time to work out.
Complete a warm-up session every time before starting your exercise. Start with a slow pace and gradually increase the intensity of your workout to let your muscles get used to it.
Your body can get ready for training with mobility exercises, foam rolling, a dynamic warm-up, and stretching. Make sure you’re getting adequate rest between your workout sessions and repetitions.
Execute the same process of light exercise as soon as you finish your workout. Relaxing your muscles after exercising is as important as before working out. As per the American Heart Association, just after a workout or physical activity, our hearts are still beating rapidly, our body temperature is higher, and our blood vessels are widened.
Before a workout, you should do light exercises to loosen up your muscles and prevent cramps, this is called a warm-up. After a workout, you should cool down slowly after a workout to lower your heart rate, which is also vital for muscle recovery.
Exercise is vital for good health, and we must do it daily to get the most out of it. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat right and healthily, and take care of your mental health while exercising to avoid feeling tired.
You can also reach out to a personal trainer for improved workout sessions.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are a great way to burn fat and improve cardiovascular health, but they can also be tiring.
HIIT workouts involve bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short rest periods or lower-intensity activity. They can be a great way to burn more calories in less time.
However, because HIIT workouts are so challenging, they can leave you tired and drained afterwards. If you’re looking to maximize the benefits of your HIIT workout without feeling wiped out later, mix up your routine regularly and take plenty of breaks throughout your session.
You may also want to consider interval training on non-consecutive days so that you have time to recover between workouts.
When it comes to why someone may be feeling particularly tired after an ab workout, several factors could be at play.
First, the abdominal muscles can be extremely sensitive and require a lot of energy to work correctly, so fatigue is common after a session.
Second, depending on the intensity of the workout, the body may have burned through its glycogen stores quickly, leading to further exhaustion.
Thirdly, if your posture and technique aren’t perfect during the exercises, you could end up straining or over-exerting these muscles, which can cause added fatigue in the hours and days following your workout.