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What is muscle fatigue? Know the causes and how to avoid it

¿Qué es la fatiga muscular? Conoce las causas y cómo evitarla

You, who put your all into each training session, surely you know how frustrating it is not being able to maintain the expected level of performance when you feel that your body simply does not respond. This circumstance takes its toll on you and not only on a physical level: it is a hard blow on an emotional level. We are talking about one of the phenomena that most affect athletes: muscle fatigue.

Do you already know what muscle fatigue is and why it occurs? In Sizen we love sport as much as you and we like to work every day to help you reach the highest level. We investigated this phenomenon to find the solution you were looking for: let's see what is muscle fatigue and how can you avoid it.

What is muscle fatigue?

Athletes often live with the feeling of tiredness as part of training. And, as long as there is no mismatch between a certain level of fatigue and the intensity of the sessions, there is nothing to fear.

The scenario is radically different when the perception of muscle fatigue is excessive and not only that: even the first lesions begin to appear, myofibril ruptures that result in progressive muscle damage. The direct consequence of this phenomenon is then a decrease in sports performance (in strength, peak power or speed), as well as psychological discouragement after training.

In these situations it is important to listen to our body and know what to do to recover the important balance between training and recovery. Let's see what causes this alteration and how to cure muscle fatigue effectively.

muscle fatigue symptoms

Does muscle fatigue have symptoms? Yes, and in most cases there are several signs that warn us that our body is not capable of withstanding the level of training to which we are subjecting it, including:

  • A progressive fatigue in different muscle groups.
  • Appearance of joint discomfort, muscle stiffness, severe stiffness and cramps.
  • Loss of strength and decreased muscle tone.
  • Increased blood pressure and basal pulse.
  • Fast breathing and hyperventilation.
  • Decreased hemoglobin levels.
  • Worse coordination and motor precision.
  • Higher level of urea.
  • Loss of attention and concentration and perception problems.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Decreased appetite.

Given this clinical picture, it seems clear what our body is trying to tell us: we need to know how to cure muscle fatigue and regain control over our workouts. Since Sizen We will examine the relationship between muscle fatigue and the tiredness so characteristic of this condition, examining its causes and the best method of recovery step by step.

Causes of muscle fatigue

A deficiency in the athlete's diet, in which the carbohydrates that the body stores in the form of glycogen drastically decrease, causes severe dehydration that may be behind muscle fatigue.

For this reason, it is so important that at least 60% of the athlete's calories come from carbohydrates, which must be included at breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an adequate variety, in addition to maintaining, throughout the day, optimal levels of hydration.

Nevertheless, muscle fatigue It is often multifactorial and its origin is found in other issues beyond diet. Let's see some of them:

  • Overtraining: a poor match between effort and recovery in the training plan and lack of sleep.
  • Erroneous strategies for the recovery of energy deposits. As we have just seen, glycogen stores are essential in this regard.
  • Sudden changes in training. It is important to plan it with an adequate progression, adapted to the objectives and the physical form, contemplating a necessary period of adaptation by the organism.
  • High intensity loads. Linked to the previous point, an excess of high-intensity loads could prevent the body from adapting correctly to the sporting demand, releasing large amounts of cortisol in the blood.
  • Absence of competitions. Training more intensely and competing less can take its toll on our body, which does not find periods of reduced effort on a regular basis (as it does before competitions, when they are frequent on the calendar).
  • Changes in training circumstances. Training in circumstances that are strange to our bodies (as happens, for example, when athletes move to a country with a different time zone) can throw the circadian rhythm out of sync and affect athletic performance.
  • Genetic causes. Not all muscle types respond the same to physical exertion. Type I muscles, with a large proportion of fibers, are more resistant to fatigue than type II muscles, with lactic metabolism and prone to muscle acidification. In these cases, the origin of muscle fatigue would be in metabolic factors and in aspects related to the alteration of muscle pH, body temperature, blood flow or oxidative stress.

At this point, we already know why we can suffer from muscle fatigue, but the most important thing in this case remains: to discover how to recover fast from muscle fatigue that is compromising our training pace.

In Sizen We are going to help you take care of yourself so that you give your maximum.

How to avoid muscle fatigue

Following in the wake of the symptoms described, we already have great clues on how to eliminate muscle fatigue whenever this phenomenon threatens to limit our sports performance. A good adjustment of training and optimal care in recovery times are the two best kept secrets of those who reach the finish line in the best possible way.

hydrate well

Hydration is key to avoiding injuries and the appearance of muscle fatigue. Ideally, before a highly demanding sports training, we should drink about 150 milliliters of water every twenty minutes. If the periods of effort last for more than an hour, isotonic drinks will help us replenish mineral salts and carbohydrates.

eat carbohydrates

We have already highlighted the crucial importance of a sports diet and, in it, carbohydrates play a leading role. When we subject the body to prolonged and high-intensity exercise, carbohydrates are ideal for avoid muscle fatigue, due to its ability to prevent the decrease in blood glucose levels.

Rest and sleep

Between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night is what the body needs to recover. In turn, it is advisable to have two rest days per week during the training stage.

In addition, when we are dealing with high-level sports training, it is necessary to have methods of proven clinical efficacy to accelerate muscle recovery. This is the case of pressotherapy, which, with its revolutionary system of intermittent positive pressure on the legs, favors blood flow, drainage of the lymphatic system and, with it, the reduction of muscle fatigue.

avoid overtraining

A good training plan must plan, in a balanced way, the rest times and the periods of muscular adaptation before moving on to the next phase.

Warm up before and after training

Warming up prepares the muscles for the intensity of the exercise and consequently prevents extreme exhaustion of the muscle fibers.

Now that you know the keys to combat the muscle fatigue, get ready with Sizen to take your training to the next level. Go for it!

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