There is no secret formula that will prevent you from getting tired after a tough workout. It takes energy to complete exercises, and the use of energy and fatigue go hand in hand. However, there are precautions you can take before, after and during a workout that will help prevent extreme fatigue.

Workout fatigue includes general body weariness, muscle soreness and physiological and psychological aspects that may not be able to be detected immediately.

Pre-Workout

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Drink Water

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Water is so important to the preparation of any type of workout. Water makes up about 98% of your blood plasma which in turn makes up about 55% of your actual blood. Obviously, blood is a main part of your cardiovascular system, which is vital to any type of exercise.

The main purpose of the cardiovascular system is to ensure adequate blood flow throughout the body to meet the metabolic demands of the tissues. Blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues, which the muscles need to complete aerobic metabolism, as well as regulate body temperature through sweat.

Since water makes up about half of your blood, staying hydrated is key to maintain sufficient blood flow, which allows your muscles to work at their maximal capacity longer than if you were dehydrated. Dehydration decreases plasma volume, which decreases blood volume, which causes the blood vessels to constrict and therefore not be able to transport the same amount of nutrients and oxygen than if you were hydrated.

Depending on what type of workout you are completing, you should drink anywhere between 200 to 600 milliliters of water about 1-2 hours before you exercise to prepare your body for the water loss you will experience through sweat. Having the right amount of water in your system for a workout prepares your body and causes less fatigue than if you start the workout dehydrated.

Proper Nutrition

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Along with water, having the proper nutrition is also very important. Just like water, food supplies your body with what it needs to function at maximal capacity. If your body doesn’t have the correct stores of carbohydrates, fats or proteins, then it will fatigue quicker, and that fatigue will last longer if you don’t replenish.

For intense short duration exercises such as sprints, the body relies mostly on carbs. For longer less intense exercises, the body relies on the breakdown of both carbs and fats for energy. If your body doesn’t have the correct amount of these nutrients, it cannot function properly, especially in an exercise setting.

Using the same concept as water, if your body has the correct amount of energy to complete the work out, it will also reduce fatigue during and after. A correct personal diet can be the difference between complete exhaustion after a workout and minor fatigue.

Proper Warm Up

No matter what kind of workout you are attempting, a warmup is a must. This gets blood flowing to your muscles and gets them loosened up which helps prevent injuries and soreness when they are being used.

A proper warm up could include a slow jog for a minute or two, and some active or dynamic stretching such as jumping jacks, high knees, or side shuffles. Ideally, the warmup mimics your actual workout action but with much less intensity.

Mid-Workout

No Over Training

Even for elite athletes, there is a maximal amount of exercise that the body can take before the strain becomes harmful. This is the main aspect of working out to keep in mind when trying to combat post-workout fatigue. As I previously stated, no matter what type of workout you complete, you will be tired, but over training will result in much more fatigue than normal but can be remedied.

How do you know if you are over training? Here are some ways to tell.

  1. Decline in performance.
  2. Sense of loss in muscular strength
  3. Appetite changes.
  4. Weight loss
  5. Sleep disturbances, or chronic fatigue
  6. Irritability or restlessness
  7. Loss of motivation

To prevent against overtraining, allow your body enough time to rest in between intense bouts of exercises. When lifting weights, 24-48 hours should be in between each time you hit the same muscle group. When training aerobically or anaerobically with running, make sure your diet is what it should be; giving your body enough energy to complete the task, as well as recover before your next run.

Proper Form

Having the proper form while exercising can help prevent against injury. Impropor form causes teh body to adapt to the wrong conditions, resulting in pain later on down the road or even immediately after a workout. If you do not know the proper form for your exercise, ask somebody for help and don’t just continue doing it incorrectly.

NOTE: It is just as important to replenish water during as it is before and after. During a workout, an average of 100 ml should be drank every ten minutes or so to decrease plasma volume fluctuations.

Post-Workout

Drink Water

After a workout, it is important to replenish water lost through sweating. The big idea is to have water intake equal water output. After exercise, it is recommended to drink 20-24 fluid ounces of water for every pound lost.

Surprisingly, a few pounds can be lost during a workout from just water weight. It is very important to replenish this to reduce fatigue and illness. To figure out how much water weight you lost, simply weigh yourself before and after a workout!

Replenish Nutrients

As well as making sure to be nutritionally prepared for a workout, food consumption after a workout is very important as well. For instance, protein after a workout will repair muscles and help them be ready quicker for another workload. The sooner your muscles heal, the less soreness you will experience.

Replenishing carbohydrate stores after workouts can also improve glycogen resynthesize rates which can help with post-workout fatigue as well. To do this, 100-200 grams of carbs need to be ingested within the first fifteen minutes of post-workout or about 1.2 g/kg/hr every 15-30 minutes. This aids in recovery of the muscles which in turn, prevents long lasting soreness and fatigue.

Proper Cool Down

Completing a proper cool down goes hand in hand with a correct warmup. Your muscles need to know when they are finished working as well as when they are about to start.

According to ACSM, there isn’t too much of a correlation between a cool down and less soreness after a workout. However, a proper cool down will prevent blood from pooling in the extremities that could lead to dizziness or feinting. Also keep in mind that the study that was with active individuals and athletes, whereas the general population may be just starting to exercise or have undiagnosed heart issues that would make an active cool down a great thing to incorporate into the post-workout.

Don’t enable yourself

Workouts are tough! If you don’t feel tired at all during and after your workout, you aren’t pushing yourself enough! Trying to decrease post-work fatigue is an ongoing process that needs your mental cooperation as well as physical cooperation.

Staying on track with workouts and continuing to push through will help your body adapt to your new lifestyle, and after a few weeks, you will notice that the workouts aren’t putting nearly as much strain on your body as they once did.

Mental toughness is accepting the fact that you will feel tired, but not letting that rule your post-workout. Do everything listed in this article, and continue to do it, and post-workout fatigue will not be a lasting problem.

 

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