- Inadequate sleep can make you feel exhausted after a workout.
- Your diet can affect your muscle recovery.
- Certain medical conditions can cause tiredness after exercise.
Exercise should make you feel energized, but it can also make you feel exhausted sometimes. Here’s what might be causing your tiredness and what you can do about it.
Why You Feel Tired After Exercise
Several factors can contribute to that burnout feeling you’re experiencing after working out, including:
Pushing Yourself Too Hard
The University of New Mexico explains that during exercise, the body uses the molecule adenosine triphosphate, which uses oxygen to keep you moving. A moderate workout intensity allows you to exercise while also recovering afterwards. But if your routine is too intense, you use up more ATP, depleting your energy reserves and making you feel exhausted.
Not Eating Correctly
Your diet directly affects your muscles’ ability to recover after a workout and your energy levels. The Mayo Clinic suggests eating a whole-food-based balance of carbs, healthy fats and protein, and eating a fast-digesting carb snack like bananas or oatmeal before a workout. After your workout, eat some protein and carbohydrates to help with muscle repair and rebuilding.
Not Drinking Enough Water
According to the University of Utah, too much sweating during exercise can cause dehydration that may result in tiredness or lethargy.
Having a Medical Condition
The Mayo Clinic says certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, COPD, multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea, and thyroid and heart issues, can also make workout recovery harder.
Why You Feel Sleepy After Exercise
If you feel sleepy after a workout, here are the possible reasons:
The Time of Day
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences explains that your body’s circadian rhythm, your internal clock, is influenced by light and darkness and plays a role in regulating your internal temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. In turn, these can affect how you complete and recover from a workout. If you are an early bird, you may feel exhausted by a late-night exercise.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, regular exercise can improve sleep quality and feelings of fatigue during the daytime, while inadequate sleep the night before a workout can make your usual amount of exercise more challenging. Getting enough sleep also replenishes your energy reserves.
Possible Medical Conditions
Certain conditions, like sleep apnea, can cause sleepiness, says the National Sleep Foundation, and exercising can worsen your fatigue and make you feel more sleepy. Certain supplements or medications can also cause sleepiness post-workout.
5 Ways to Reduce Tiredness After Exercise
These five tips can help improve or prevent fatigue and sleepiness after your workout:
1. Listen to Your Body
When you’re tired, your body needs rest and nutrients for muscle rebuilding and energy, says the National Sleep Foundation. While your workout might have caused the fatigue, you’ve likely been neglecting your body before you even start working out.
2. Eat Before and After Your Workout
Avoid eating too soon before your workout to prevent stomach discomfort. If your exercise is only less than an hour, eat carbohydrates that provide a quick burst of energy, like grapes or fruit juice. If you’re working out longer than that, a bowl of Greek yoghurt with granola can provide the energy you need for the routine. After your workout, eat something with protein and carbohydrates, like oatmeal with fruit and almond butter, to replenish the glycogen stores you used during exercise.
3. Hydrate Properly
Load up on fluids before, during and after your workout. The University of Colorado Hospital recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups of water two hours before exercise, one cup five to 10 minutes before your routine begins, and one cup for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation says to get at least seven hours of sleep every night for muscle recovery and rebuilding.
5. Consult Your Doctor
Fatigue or exhaustion may sometimes be the result of a medical condition. Contact your doctor if you experience any medical symptoms in addition to your exhaustion after exercising.
Source: Live Strong