Why we suffer fatigue after running

Why fatigue is necessary and how to recover


Gillian McGhee
@AVogelUK


13 July 2017

What causes fatigue after running?

Trying to improve our progression rate before our body is ready

Pushing our body beyond its physical capacity can result in burnout and injury. As you train and push your body faster, further, and harder your body learns to adapt, but pushing through fatigue can result in damage. It is important to try to find a balance between making progress with your run and letting your body recover from fatigue.

Metabolic waste build-up
When we exercise the waste product lactic acid builds up in our muscles and can cause fatigue. Having a balanced body pH will help to handle the excessive waste products that can get stored up in the muscles, an alkaline body will be much less fatigued than an acidic body.

Inflammation
Inflammation is an important immune system function and is a natural occurrence among runners. Our body needs time to recover properly and address any aches and pains caused from running. Apply our Arnica gel to soothe sore muscles and try consuming more antioxidant rich foods, like broccoli and ginger, which help to reduce excess inflammation in the body.

How to recover from post-run fatigue

Time to absorb and recover from the effects of your run
Take plenty of time to stretch and cool down. Leg massages and walking after a run helps improve circulation and kick-start muscle repair. Improved circulation helps to remove lactic acid and prevent build-up in the leg muscles. Depending on the speed, intensity, and distance of your run, it can take anywhere between 2 and 14 days to fully recover and absorb the benefits.1

Recovery is essential after a run – if we continually stress our body without rest our physiological performance becomes poorer and we become more prone to injury and illness. Rest days allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild. Good quality sleep is also essential to the recovery process. During REM sleep your body increases the production of the human growth hormone (HGH)2  which aids in the repairing and rebuilding of muscles post-run. 

Nutrition
Food gives us fuel for energy which is necessary for our overall body functions from metabolic processes to muscle recovery and repair.
 
Nutrition post-run is really important. As soon as you finish a run your body goes into repair mode and your blood sugar levels continue to plummet. Try to eat 30 minutes after your run to supply your body with the nutrients it needs, and to prevent the breakdown of the glycogen in your muscle tissues.

A snack containing carbohydrates, such as bananas, will help to refuel the body after a long run and protein will help to aid muscle repair. Check out our blog what to eat to recover after your run for lots of tasty snack ideas!



Stay hydrated
The amount of water in the human body ranges from between 50 to 75%, depending on age and gender, and we lose some of this water through sweat when we run. Drinking water helps to regulate body temperature, replenish our water levels, and it also helps to replace the vitamins and minerals lost in our sweat.

Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals and are essential for the normal functioning of our cells and organs. They are chemicals that form electrically charged particles called ions. These ions carry electrical energy necessary for bodily functions such as muscle contraction and transmission of nerve impulses. One study found that strenuous exercise and heat-exposed work can result in evident changes in the levels of chromium, copper, magnesium, zinc, and iron.3

Ever had twitchy legs when you’re trying to sleep? Chances are you are low on sodium and calcium, two electrolytes that are responsible for muscle relaxation. Don’t fear – our Balance Mineral Drink is here to help! It is great way to replace lost electrolytes because it is packed with zinc, potassium, calcium and magnesium – all in one tasty drink!



Balanced pH levels
Lack of exercise, over-exercise, and shallow breathing can contribute to a more acidic pH balance. Maintaining a normal pH balance helps to protect us from the inside out, an imbalance of acidity and alkalinity can allow unhealthy organisms to flourish, damage tissues, and prevent the immune system from functioning correctly.


If our body is acidic, it not only causes fatigue, but it can cause numerous health issues like inflammation, joint and muscle pain, colds, asthma, and headaches. Avoid acidic foods like dairy, sugar, alcohol, and coffee in favour of alkaline foods such as vegetables, nuts, and seeds. And as if replacing electrolytes wasn’t enough our lovely little Balance Mineral Drink combines all the mineral salts, trace elements and L+ lactic acid needed to contribute to a normal pH balance within the body too!

1https://runnersconnect.net/coach-corner/how-long-before-you-benefit-from-a-workout/
2http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/human-growth-hormone-hgh#1
3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4939859/

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