Experience Post-Workout Sluggishness? Try These Simple Tricks!
There is no need to tell you that exercising is good for your both physical and mental health. A good workout charges you with energy, boosts your immune system, fighting different diseases, controls weight, promotes a better sleep pattern, contributes to your sexual life and gives you a chance to develop your social skills. That’s why millions of people around the world do their best to squeeze in at least a moderate-intensity workout whenever possible – at 7 am, during a lunch break, or even several hours before bed.
And while in most cases this strategy brings nothing but satisfaction, and you leave a gym energized and powerful, there are days when you simply can’t give it your best and get exhausted when your workout is far from over. Any attempt to get rid of fatigue and sluggishness fails, and you feel there’s nothing you can do to change your body’s reaction.
Why You Struggle
There may be several reasons to explain your hardship – sickness, bad sleep, stress – but it’s most likely your body’s biochemistry that fights against you. The apathy that sabotages your training sessions is caused by the so-called muscle fatigue, which occurs if you haven’t provided your body with enough nutrients. If your muscles don’t receive the proper fuel, they won’t contract continually enough to let you pump out as many reps as you need.
Proper Pre-Workout Meal
Whether you’re a fan of step aerobics, salsa (of course it’s about dance), yoga or a good old gym, a smart nutritional strategy is your key to success. Proper foods and supplements, if needed, give your body a chance to work at its best. Never skip a pre-workout meal. Eaten two hours before training, it will be properly digested, and all the nutrients will be absorbed and sent to the appropriate tissues, with the glucose and insulin levels reaching the baseline before you actually start training. Moreover, don’t forget to drink 12-18 ounces of water, as you won’t be able to show a good result without proper hydration and optimal fluid balance.
Your pre-workout meal should include protein, carbohydrates and amino acids to ensure blood flows to muscles. There is no single answer to how many carbohydrates and how much protein you should consume. Their amount depends on the duration of training, its type, your overall physique and current diet. Following some experiments, you will figure out what works best for you, and if not, consult a qualified nutritionist.
When choosing a source of protein, avoid fat and opt for lean types of meat, like turkey or chicken. Egg whites, tuna, salmon, cottage cheese and seaweed will be a good option as well. Combined with whole-wheat bread, wheat pasta or any wild-rice blend, these foods will provide the necessary nutrients without bringing a calming effect.
Those new to the fitness lifestyle don’t necessarily need to spend money on nutrient pills as they work with moderate loads and simply teach their bodies to follow a new training routine. But if you have been into bodybuilding for a long time and work out hard for about two hours almost every day, you may consider enriching your diet with proper supplements.
Carefully selected multi-vitamins are what can maximize your potential gains. When building up a supplement intake program, carefully study the ingredients of multi-vitamins you want to buy and make sure you’re not allergic to any of them. Otherwise, you may end up suffering from indigestion, diarrhea, upset stomach and kidney disorder. Moreover, keep in mind that there are certain drugs that can’t be co-administered with multi-vitamins.
Another standard pick for athletes is Glutamine, which helps the body produce enough energy when subject to intense exercising. High glutamine level ensures greater protein synthesis and even contributes to the immune system. Whey protein, creatine, citrulline malate and ZMA also back up your body when needed, help you recover faster and prevent muscle wasting. However, even if you aren’t a stranger to sports nutrition, consult your coach or a professional nutritionist before starting to take in any supplement.
A Few More Tips
Many beginners are so determined to achieve a visible result after the first month they fall into Spartan-like training and go all in. However, embarking on a marathon program may bring more damage than use. If you have trouble with making it through a long workout, shorten your routine and don’t add any weight till you feel your body is ready for a new challenge.
Avoid going to extremes when it comes to fitness. Don’t neglect a rest day, especially after an extremely intense workout. If for any reason you must exercise, opt for light group classes like yoga, pilates or stretching. After, take a hot bath, shower, or sauna to help muscles relax, and make sure you get adequate nightly sleep.
Sometimes, doing one more set is so hard not because you’re tired, but because you’re bored. Don’t stick to the same routine every time you work out, mix up different exercises, experiment with periodization and number of sets and reps to involve as many muscles as possible and eventually avoid overtraining and sluggishness.