Why Am I Tired?

By Debbie Olson

Being the coach in the early morning classes, this is a comment I hear more often than not.  “Coach, why am I feeling so tired today?” Understandably so, these members are waking up at a unreasonably early hour to make it to their gym session.  Long days at work, meetings, deadlines, stress from bosses, expectations and obligations to kids, family, and friends.  How do we get the energy to get all of these tasks done on a daily basis?  It can be very difficult managing time to get things done, and I hold such a high respect for those with kids and high stress jobs.  When I hear this comment, I wish I could give such a straightforward answer to help my athletes out.  Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer and the resolution to the problem can be more complex than we realize.  There are, however, a few culprits in our lives that may cause some extra fatigue on a daily basis; some cases are more severe than others, and I would encourage going to see a doctor to or get blood work done if this continues to happen more regularly than not.  With that being said, here are a few of my “go-to” causes for feeling tired on a daily basis plus some easy changes you can try to make to see if this helps solve the problem!

1.  Are you sleeping enough?  

Quality and quantity of sleep are both crucial to overall feeling throughout the day.  Getting enough sleep also aids in our recovery process; which is so important for those in the fitness world.  We train hard and need to allow our body time to decompress after all of the stress we put it through during workouts.

TIP: Try putting your phone away from your nightstand.  We tend to roll over during sleep hours and surf through Instagram, Facebook, or emails.  Unless it is urgent, try to wait to do your surfing during the day when you are up and alert!

2.  Are you drinking enough water?

One effect of dehydration is fatigue.  When we are dehydrated, we exhaust the body and cause m Your blood volume lowers, which means you don’t get as much blood to your brain and your heart has to pump harder.  When we train, we sweat and lose more water; it is crucial to replenish our bodies with water.  Start by drinking a full glass of water before every meal.

3.  Are you eating enough to support your daily energy expenditure?

When we do not get in enough calories to support our total daily needs, the fatigue can become more pronounced.  Getting in enough calories varies from person to person.  Total calories depend on your body type, your specific performance goal, your non-exercise activity level (moving a lot throughout the day vs. more sedentary lifestyle),etc.  

TIP:  If you are feeling fatigue and you are wondering if you are not getting enough in, please contact me and we can discuss with a consult.  Our lifestyle challenge is also coming up, which would be a great opportunity to gain more knowledge in nutrition!

4.  Are you eating too much of the wrong foods?

Our bodies process foods quite differently depending on the content of the ingredients. When we have highly processed foods that are very in sugar and sodium, they are more likely less nutrient dense and lower in fiber.  Our blood sugar spikes more rapidly which can give you that “boost”, however, it immediately follows with a crash; feeling lethargic and run down and craving more processed foods.  

TIP:  Try implementing more nutrient dense foods into your diet and cutting back on some packaged treats.  Swap put those protein bars for more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, potatoes, and beans.

5.  Consuming too much alcohol?

Alcohol is a part of our social lives.  Almost every party or event we go to supplies alcohol.  I am not saying to completely omit this from your life, but assess how much during the week/weekend you are consuming with alcohol beverages.  Our bodies process alcohol differently, it is a toxin to our bodies.  A side effect of consuming too much alcohol can be fatigue.  We feel sluggish the next morning, it dehydrates us, effects our sleep, and may cause frequent headaches.  

TIP:  Assess how much you are drinking.  If you are having alcohol 5x per week, try cutting it down to 2x-3x/week.  For others, try limiting it to only consuming 1x per week in moderation to see if this helps.

These are not the only causes to fatigue, but this is a starting point for some of us.  If you are feeling more tired than not, try using some of the tips above to see if this helps.  Do not hesitate to reach out to one of us as we are always looking to help you guys both inside and outside the gym.  To see improvements in performance, we have to try to take care of ourselves as best as possible outside of here.

See you at the gym!