You know that exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle — but when you're exhausted after a workout and unable to do anything else the rest of the day, you might consider quitting exercise all together.
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Don't give up on working out, though. Instead, make some necessary modifications to ensure your body has the energy it needs to perform well.
Dehydration and Muscle Fatigue
Dehydration can lead to muscle fatigue and general malaise, reminds the American Council on Exercise (ACE). A general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. When you're exercising regularly, however, ACE Fitness recommends you drink 17 to 20 ounces in the two to three hours before exercise, another 8 ounces roughly 30 minutes before exercise, and 7 to 10 ounces every 20 minutes or so during your workout. After you exercise, drink another 8 ounces.
Fuel Your Workout
When you exercise, your body uses carbohydrate or glycogen stores. Eating a balanced diet of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables will help banish those exercise fatigue symptoms. If you're working out for longer than 30 minutes, you might need some additional fuel. Eat a snack with carbohydrates and protein just after your workout.
Team USA advises eating in the morning before a workout. Consume up to 250 calories, along with 6 ounces of water. Within 30 to 60 minutes of your workout, eat a larger breakfast to refuel those depleted energy stores.
The carbs will replenish your glycogen, and the protein will help you build muscle tissue. A banana with almond butter, whole-grain crackers and cheese or a tuna sandwich are all good examples. If you need help determining how many calories you should eat and what proportions of protein, carbohydrates and fat you need on a daily basis, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist.
Slow It Down
The intensity at which you're exercising can leave you feeling drained after your workout, according to Len Kravitz writing for the University of New Mexico; you may even be sleepy after exercise in the morning. If you've just begun working out, your body is going to need time to adapt to the stresses you're putting upon it. You may have specific weight loss or strength goals in mind, but you may need to take it a little easier as you get started. Decrease the amount of time you work out or decrease your intensity level, but gradually add more time and intensity every one or two weeks.
Get Enough Rest
If you're already fit, your exhaustion may be the result of over-training, according to ACE Fitness. Training at a high level for a long period of time can result in chronic fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite and other negative symptoms. Rest is key for a person experiencing symptoms of over-training. Take some time off from exercise all together, and when you come back, try a more varied routine. Instead of going hard all the time, exercise at a lower intensity on some days and a higher intensity on other days.