What Is Muscle Fatigue?
When muscles are unable to generate force over an extended period of activity or for some pathological issues, it is called muscle fatigue.
The body muscles need oxygen to produce energy. But, when the muscles use up all the stored energy and oxygen, they start generating energy through a process that makes a waste product called lactic acid. As an amount of this acid increases in your muscle, you feel fatigue and experience pain.
Muscle fatigue is associated with some potential causes such as ion imbalance in muscles, impaired blood flow, nervous fatigue, and an accumulation of lactic acid in muscles. It is a common problem in most of the people especially who are associated with sports.
What Are The Symptoms Of Muscle Fatigue?
Muscle fatigue is associated with a number of signs and symptoms. You should understand the factors so that you can be careful while performing exercising activities:
- Muscle weakness: A common symptom of muscle fatigue is the weakness in muscles. This symptom can give you feeling like your legs are made of spaghetti, and they are not able to handle your weight.
- Leg twitching: Your leg muscles can experience a twitching feeling due to the muscle weakness; this condition is known as myoclonic jerks. It is also a common symptom for a person who is diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The brain sends the impulse signals and instructs the twitching muscle to relax and contract as early as possible.
- Reduced activity: A person can experience a lack of energy or he/she is unable to do regular physical activities. This particular type of muscle weakness can be a result of insufficient blood flow to the muscles. Patients, who are suffering from various cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure, may experience this type of a symptom.
- Weak grips: During the weight lifting, an athlete may feel that he/she is not able to get an enough grip of a dumbbell or a barbell. Sometimes, it can be experienced with uncontrolled trembling. These are the apparent symptoms of muscle fatigue. These conditions are known as exercise-induced muscle fatigue. A weak grip along with trembling feeling indicates that a person ends up his/her activity limit. By these symptoms, the muscles protect themselves from further injury.
What Are The Causes Of Muscle Fatigue?
While exercising, the muscles can feel weak, tired, and painful. This happens due to the muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue is associated with a number of physical, nutritional, biochemical, and environmental factors. These factors are as follows:
Anaerobic Respiration: Muscles require energy in order to move and contract our body parts, and the body cells have to produce oxygen to create an essential energy. When the sufficient amount of oxygen has been supplied, then the associated cell respiration procedure is called aerobic respiration. But, when the oxygen is not enough, the cells bound to respire in an anaerobic process, and as a result, lactic acid is generated. Lactic acid is basically a waste element that causes fatigue and muscle pain.
Mineral Deficiencies: Certain electrolytes and minerals are essential for proper muscle functioning. When these important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium get reduced, then a person may experience sudden muscle cramps and fatigue.
Aging: With ageing, our muscles start to lose their strength and become weaker. Exercise can improve the muscle strength and power. But, you should be very careful with your exercise routine.
Infections: Infections associated with illness are one of the general causes of temporary muscle weakness and fatigue.
Pregnancy: During or after pregnancy, the level of steroids gets increased in the blood, and as a result, anaemia can be developed (lacking in iron). It can cause a muscle fatigue.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Muscle Fatigue?
You should do the following things if you are experiencing muscle fatigue:
- Try different relaxation techniques: Various relaxation techniques help in fighting the fatigue and weakness associated symptoms as well as give relief from the stress involved with chronic fatigue syndrome. Some of the relaxation techniques are meditation, deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation procedure, biofeedback, and yoga.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Muscle Fatigue?
You should not do the following things if you are experiencing muscle fatigue:
- Don’t do the wrong exercise: Don’t exercise without consulting a fitness expert as different people need different exercises for their body.
- Don’t sleep during the day: Try to avoid sleeping during the day as it can increase the muscle fatigue problem.
What Are The Best Foods For Muscle Fatigue?
Healthy diets and foods can overcome the painful muscle cramps and fatigue. You should eat the following foods in sufficient quantity upon your doctor’s recommendations:
- Fish oils: Fatty acids found in fish oils are beneficial for healing process and inflammation. These are also beneficial for nerve pain and muscle soreness.
- Vegetable oils: Vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, soybean oil, olive oil, etc. are rich in fatty acids, so they are useful in muscle pain.
- Green leafy vegetables such as kale: Green leafy vegetables are rich sources of magnesium that helps calcium to absorb in bones properly. Magnesium also helps in relaxing the muscles.
- Oats: Daily consumption of oatmeal can give you relief from muscle spasms and its associated weakness.
- Figs: Figs are very useful for regulating muscle functions as well as preventing muscle cramps.
- Wholegrain products: Whole grain products are beneficial for sore muscles and joints.
- Kidney beans: They help in relaxing the muscles.
- Fruits like pineapple, papaya, guava, and mango: These fruits are beneficial in muscle pain relief.
- Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds: They are helpful in sore joints.
- Moreover, your daily food intake should be associated with the following nutrients:
- Sodium: Sodium is an essential nutrient in order to maintain a balance of normal body fluid and control a healthy blood pressure. Sodium along with other nutrients helps to generate nerve impulses as well as muscle contraction. So, you can take your sodium intake from the Himalayan rock salt, natural sea, or unprocessed foods. Cheese (feta, cottage, cheddar, blue, etc.), pickled foods, carrot, beetroot, celery, pesto, olives, sauerkraut, smoked fish, and meat contain a good amount of sodium. But, you should consume sodium in a limited margin.
- Potassium: Potassium is a major electrolyte and is essential for proper muscular function along with nervous system function. So, you should take potassium rich foods such as banana, avocado, citrus, melon, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, fish, and dairy.
- Calcium: Calcium is a crucial nutrient for smooth and skeletal muscle contraction. It is important in generating a nerve impulse. Calcium deficiency can result in impaired muscle contraction. So, don’t forget to consume calcium rich foods such as dairy, edible bones (pink salmon, anchovies, and sardines), canned fish, nuts, seeds, dark, leafy greens and fortified tofu.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is useful for muscle relaxation and contraction. So, you should take foods like soybeans and legumes, avocado, nuts, bananas, mackerel, whole grains (cereal and brown rice), dark chocolate, seeds, natural yoghurt, leafy greens, dried fruits, etc.
- Drink plenty of water as your body need to be hydrated in order to overcome the muscle pain.
What Are The Worst Foods For Muscle Fatigue?
You should not eat the following foods if you are experiencing muscle fatigue:
Egg: Egg yolk contains arachidonic acid, and according to some studies, it is one of the main fatty acids that are associated with inflammation.
Processed foods: Processed foods (such as bacon, granola bars, flavoured nuts, fruit snacks, margarine, microwave popcorn, ketchup, etc.) are related to high-glycemic starches and processed sugars, and they are mostly responsible for muscle pain.
White flour: White flour can enhance the muscle pain.
Salt: Too much salt intake can develop muscle cramps.
Citrus fruits: Citric acid can increase your muscle pain, so try to consume less citrus fruits such as lemon, tangerine, pomelo, bitter orange, etc.
You should quit the following foods as they encourage muscle fatigue:
Sugar: As per the research, sugar can increase the pain associated with muscle fatigue.
Less caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can increase the symptoms related to muscle fatigue.
What Are The Medicines For Muscle Fatigue?
What Are The Tips To Manage Muscle Fatigue?
Some valuable quick tips regarding muscle fatigue are as follows:
- Apply an ice pack for treating the muscle fatigue.
- Increase fluid intake.
- Try natural remedies such as Epsom salt, essential oil like Eucalyptus.
- Take amino acid rich foods.
- Take a hot and cold shower.
- Go for swimming.
- Try to have an uninterrupted sleep.