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The Causes of Early Onset Fatigue in Athletes

Young Athlete Experiencing Fatigue Due to Anemia

Being an athlete of any kind and at any level requires stamina, power, and resilience. Whether athletes are competing professionally, as amateurs, or just against a personal best, having enough energy to get through workouts and performances is essential.

Unfortunately, many athletes are plagued by early onset fatigue that hinders their performance and stunts their potential. Research shows that fatigue is a natural response when the body becomes depleted of resources or accumulates too many unhealthy substances. Many different things can cause fatigue, such as poor nutrition, bodily changes, environmental factors, and underlying medical conditions.

This article will discuss early onset fatigue in athletes and its various causes, including anemia.

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1. Dehydration

The body requires an adequate amount of water to function properly throughout the day. But proper hydration is even more essential for hardworking athletes. When the body doesn’t replenish the fluids it depletes through sweat, it cannot perform at its optimal level.

2. Hormones

Hormones also play an important role in how much energy athletes feel during their workouts and competitions. For example, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that gradually with exercise and can make an athlete feel tired and lethargic. Hardworking muscles also release an amino acid called tryptophan that causes an increase in the production of serotonin. The pro-inflammatory hormone, cortisol, is related to another hormonal reaction that can result in feelings of fatigue.

3. Anemia

One of the most common causes of early onset fatigue among both male and female athletes is anemia. Anemia represents a lack of iron in the blood because this mineral is closely connected to the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the body. When the body doesn’t have an adequate supply of iron, athletic performance is negatively affected because oxygen can’t be delivered to working muscles. Other potential symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, and contracting more infections than usual.

Powerful and scientifically proven iron supplements like Fergon are regularly recommended for athletes who have an iron deficiency. Some trainers also have discovered that iron supplements can improve physical performance, stamina, and recovery for endurance athletes, whether they are anemic or not.

4. Glycogen

Another possible cause of athlete fatigue is glycogen depletion. Glycogen results when the muscles store carbohydrates for later use. But when glycogen is depleted, fatigue is often the result. Many athletes consume sugary foods or beverages to keep their glycogen levels up; however, these products can contain unwanted calories and a “sugar crash” that takes its toll on the body.

5. Temperature

Environmental factors like the outside temperature, humidity, and the amount of pollution in the air can also contribute to athlete fatigue. These external factors stand to influence internal mechanisms that control the functioning of the cardiovascular system and muscle strength. Cold beverages and temperature-controlled environments may help to regular internal body temperature so that athletes can perform at more optimally.

6. Mental Health

The body and mind are incredibly interconnected, and it is impossible to perform physically without sustaining mental stamina as well. There are psychological components that can impact an athlete’s performance, even when no visible physical symptoms are present. Especially during periods of emotional distress, it is important for athletes to seek counseling or a psychological evaluation to determine whether their mental health is causing feelings of fatigue.

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