How Tired Should You Be After a Workout?

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If you are feeling completely spent after a workout, it could be from any of these reasons…

Lack of energy

When you exercise, you burn calories. After all isn’t that the reason most people work out – especially if trying to lose weight?

However if you have not eaten before working out, you might not have enough energy to get through a workout without feeling exhausted at the end.

Eat a small carbohydrate snack (like a bagel with cream cheese or toast with peanut butter) about an hour before working out.

This will ensure you have enough glycogen in your muscles to power through a workout.

Then about a half hour post-workout, eat again – something with carbohydrates and protein, like yogurt with fruit. The carbs help replace the energy your burned while working out and the protein helps get the process of repairing the microtears in your muscles going and making them bigger.


If not properly hydrated, you can feel lethargic and even dizzy after a workout.

To prevent dehydration, start by drinking 3 cups of water starting about three hours before working out up to the time right before you start working out.

Then, drink about a cup of water per 20 minutes of working out. Drink about 3 cups of water per pound of weight lost during your workout. Monitor your hydration level by watching the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow, drink more fluids.

Lack of sleep

You might be asking yourself what does sleep have to do with working out? The answer is a lot. You need around eight hours of sleep to give your muscles the time they need to repair and rebuild.

If you are not getting this amount, your muscles are in a degraded state even before you work out and you will feel exhausted.

Not warming up or cooling down

When exercising, a lot of things are happening in your body. Your muscles and organs being worked are calling for more oxygen.

This increases not only the flow of blood, but also the respiration rate in an effort to get in more air in so the blood can get it to the cells needing it.

But by warming up first, you are slowly increasing the level of respiration and blood flow instead of going from zero to full speed in a short amount of time.

During a cool down, blood flow gradually returns to a normal level instead of pooling as it can right after working out without a cool down.

Pooling can make you feel more tired than you should be. Your breathing also gradually returns to a normal state.

Pushing yourself too hard

If you are doing everything else right and you are still feeling more tired than you should, then maybe you are pushing yourself too hard for your fitness level.

Try backing off the intensity or duration (or both) and see if it makes a difference.

If so, then slowly work your way back up to a level you can maintain without feeling tired; listen to your body. It will give you clues if you are training at the right level or pushing too hard.

If none of this makes any difference, see your doctor to rule out any medical issues which could be causing your exhaustion.

Signs That You Are Suffering from Fatigue

Everyone has felt tired at one point or another, but not everyone has felt true fatigue.

Although the words fatigued and tired are often used interchangeably, they are a bit different.

Fatigue refers to a state wherein you actually experience a significant downgrade in your physical and cognitive functions.

People who are simply tired can still function relatively normally, they may be a bit cranky or slower, but they can still function.

This is generally not true of people who are really fatigued. If you are not sure whether you are simply tired or actually fatigued, here are some signs that you are suffering from fatigue.

You can’t stay awake

After a long day of work, it is completely normal to want to flop down on the couch and take a nap. But, if you find that physically cannot bring yourself to do anything but sleep, then you may be fatigued.

When you are fatigued, you simply cannot stay awake. You will likely fall asleep the moment your head is down.

So, if you find yourself constantly drifting off to sleep, then there is a chance that you may be seriously fatigued.

You cannot bring yourself to do physical activity

If you find that you do not have the energy to do physical activity, even simple things like walking, then you may be fatigued. When you are suffering from serious fatigue, even the simplest physical task feels impossible.

Even tasks that require very little physical activity are impossible, things like driving require very little in terms of energy expenditure and yet for a person suffering from fatigue, even driving to then store feels like a daunting task.

You cannot focus

When a person is tired, they may be more likely to get distracted, but they can at least still focus most of the time.

On the other hand, a fatigued person will simply be unable to focus on anything.

Have you ever sat down to some work and noticed that your mind is cloudy and that you are struggling to focus on the task at hand?

If so, it may be due to fatigue.

You have recurring aches and pains

A sure sign of fatigue is constant aches and pains. They can occur anywhere, but people with fatigue will often suffer from joint pain, headaches, and back pain.

No one is sure why fatigue is able to cause the pain, but it just does.

So, if you notice that you are constantly suffering from back pain or joint pain despite having no prior problems in those areas, then you may be fatigued.

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