Does your workout give you the yawns? If you've been exercising for months and still feel extreme fatigue after each workout, it might be time to consider an underlying issue. Anything from inadequate eating habits to breathing difficulties can leave you tired after workout sessions.
Several factors may leave you feeling tired after you work out, including lack of sufficient food or hydration, overworking yourself or what used to be known as exercise-induced asthma.
Eat or Feel Beat
When blood sugar levels drop too low, you may find yourself feeling extreme fatigue. Preworkout meals help prevent this by stabilizing blood sugar levels. If you're tired after workout sessions, try eating a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein and low-fat snack one to two hours before the next time you work out.
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Healthy snack options include a banana, oatmeal, juice or low-fat yogurt. It's also a smart idea to eat after working out. Try to refuel with carbohydrates and protein 20 to 60 minutes after exercising. This will restore glycogen and replenish tired muscles. Good post-workout snacks include trail mix, yogurt with granola, and chocolate milk.
While packing your gym bag, make sure to include a few high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein snacks to have on hand when eating a meal before exercise is not an option.
Not Drinking Enough Fluids
Not drinking enough fluids is another thing that can make you tired after exercise. If you're dehydrated, you may experience muscle fatigue, heat exhaustion and diminished energy levels. To monitor hydration levels, weigh yourself before and after each workout, and make sure the color of your urine is clear or light yellow.
Drink eight to 12 ounces of fluid 15 minutes before working out. Then drink at least 3 ounces of water every 15 minutes during your workout. If you're exercising longer than one hour, try to include a sports drink with your water. And when you're finished with your sweat session, keep drinking fluids.
Read more: Importance of Drinking Water During Exercise
Outpacing the Body
Being sleepy after exercise may simply be a case of "too much, too soon." The body needs rest not only to repair itself but also to grow stronger. Not allowing for sufficient rest between workouts may lead to fatigue and future injury. In addition to fatigue, overtraining causes moodiness, confusion and impaired immune reactions.
Read more: Do You Really Need a Recovery Week From Working Out?
Heavy Breathing May Be a Sign
While not as common as the other reasons for being tired after workout sessions, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can impact how you feel after workout sessions. Symptoms of this affliction, which was once popularly known as exercise-induced asthma, include shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness.
It may also result in fatigue and the feeling of being out of shape after exercise. If you experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, you should warm up between five and 10 minutes before exercise. Your physician may have other ways to help minimize the symptoms of this condition.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Timing Your Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition
- American Council on Exercise: Top 10 Signs You're Overtraining
- American Family Physician; Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction: Diagnosis and Management
- American College of Sports Medicine: Overreaching/Overtraining: More Is Not Always Better
- American College of Allergy, Athsma & Immunology: Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB)