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Feeling sleepy after your morning workout? Tips to beat fatigue  

People say that the best way to beat fatigue is to stay active when your sedentary lifestyle is the culprit. But what if you feel extremely tired and sleepy after a strenuous morning workout session? As they say, exercising increases your energy, but you’re actually feeling the opposite. Why is that? 

Well, first things first, if you are self-doubting and overthinking, let’s just say that it isn’t necessary that you are doing something wrong. And if it is any consolation, there are several people who feel lethargic when they work out in the morning than those who work out in the evening. 

So, does that mean you shouldn’t work out in the morning? No. You should. But you can follow these tips that can help you beat the all-day-long fatigue after your morning workout sessions. 

But first, let’s just understand why you feel exhausted after a morning workout. 

Why do you feel exhausted after a morning workout session? 

First things first, it is absolutely normal to feel exhausted and sleepy after a morning workout session. It’s your body’s way of telling you that it needs rest. 

It’s important that you know that your muscles also store energy, in the form of glycogen. This stored energy needs to be converted into a usable form called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which the body uses as fuel. When your body undergoes a strenuous workout, your muscles contract, depleting the supply of glycogen (the stored energy gets used up because you had no pre-workout meal). This leads to muscle exhaustion and sleepiness. In addition, these feelings can also result because of lactic acid, which is a byproduct of energy utilisation. This muscle fatigue is transient in nature. However, if the muscle fatigue persists throughout the day, and makes you sleepy, here are other reasons why it may be happening. 

Nutritional gap 

It is a no-brainer that if you are not feeding your body right even after a demanding workout, you are going to feel exhausted and sleepy. You must ensure that you eat a balanced diet, including protein, carbs and fibre to keep your energy levels up during the day. It’s best to have a pre-workout snack such as a banana to ensure you don’t end up dead tired after your morning workout session. 

Your stamina levels

Everybody’s stamina levels differ. If your friend doesn’t feel tired and sleepy after a workout, it doesn’t mean you won’t too. Stamina takes time to build. If you are just a beginner, or you don’t usually work out in the evenings, your body will take some time to adapt itself to the exercise and to the timing. Have patience because stamina and endurance take time to build. 

Also, you must know that endurance depends on your energy reserves and your body’s ability to utilise these reserves effectively.

So, does that mean you shouldn’t work out in the morning? 

Not really, working out in the morning is good as your body is in a fasted state, and it uses the stored energy (fat) to fuel your workout. Not to mention, when you work out in the morning, you cross off the first task of the day. This doesn’t only feel like an achievement but also doesn’t impact your workout sessions if your evenings become occupied with some or other task. 

How to perk up your energy levels after a morning workout session? 

  • Take a short nap. The emphasis is on the word, “short”. By short, we mean a 15-20 minute nap, not more than that. Taking a longer nap may disturb your sleep at night. 
  • Do not depend on coffee. Yes, coffee may give you an energy boost, but it can also cause anxiety, sleepiness and digestive issues, especially if you are not a coffee person. 
  • Stretch. It is a must because it helps your muscles recover from the workout. You will also be able to prevent muscle injuries if you have a warm-up and cool-down session. 
  • Do not aim for longer workouts. Quality over quantity. The quality of your workout matters more than the duration. Not to mention, workouts longer than an hour can make your body resort to muscles for energy. Hence, you will only be depleting muscles when your goal is to build some. 
  • Don’t push yourself too much. Yes, listen to your body. Going slow and only pushing to the limit you can doesn’t only prevent injuries but also maintains the quality of your future workouts. 
  • Have a pre-workout snack. Having a banana a few minutes before your workout is a good way to fuel your body for the workout, improve performance and prevent exhaustion and sleepiness. 
  • Power up with a protein-rich post-workout meal. Protein doesn’t only build muscles but also helps your body recover from muscle tears. You will feel better later in the day if you prioritise protein in your post-workout meal. 

Closing thoughts

Next time you hit the gym in the morning and feel like nodding off afterwards, don’t worry! Try out these easy-peasy tips to shake off that post-workout fatigue and keep your energy soaring. Just remember, a little rest, some hydration, and a snack or two can make all the difference in how you feel. So, sweat it out, then bounce back and tackle the day with gusto!

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