Have you been feeling more tired than usual during your workouts lately? Muscle fatigue can hinder your progress at the gym by decreasing your performance. It is a normal side effect of exercise, but can sometimes be a sign of an underlying deficiency or condition. Muscle weakness, leg twitching, a weak grip, and soreness are some muscle fatigue symptoms that affect your physical condition, and finding ways to control them can help you improve your athletic performance .
What Causes Muscle Fatigue?
Muscle fatigue can be defined as a decrease in maximal force after muscle contraction. There are two types of muscle fatigue depending on the duration of your symptoms. Acute fatigue mostly occurs after a workout and is often resolved in a couple of days. On the other hand, chronic fatigue can last several weeks and months and is often the result of a deficiency or disease.
Acute muscle fatigue is usually the result of strenuous exercise. There have been many theories trying to explain what leads the muscle to enter this state, but the truth is there's not just one explanation. One of the main causes is a decrease in blood flow to the muscle due to the occlusion of its blood vessels during contraction. This reduces the input of oxygen to the muscles and compromises the production of energy. When exercising, your muscle cells are working extra hard to produce enough energy, and this increase in metabolism leads to the production of many byproducts such as inorganic phosphate, lactic acid, and free radicals. These substances are what cause muscle fatigue, interacting with your muscle fibers, and affecting their functions .
How To Treat Muscle Fatigue?
There are many different ways of treating muscle fatigue and weakness, but before resorting to specific therapies, you should assess some of your daily habits. The most important part of your daily life that can reduce muscle fatigue is your nutrition. Be sure that you are getting enough calories in your diet, and that these calories are distributed appropriately between proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Also, if you practice a particularly strenuous activity such as heavy weightlifting, swimming or long-distance running, you should amp up your carbohydrate intake since this macronutrient will be your primary source of fuel. Another great way to let your muscles refuel and repair is to have a meal within the next hour after working out. Make sure you stay hydrated before, during, and after your workouts, and if you exercise for longer than an hour, try a sports drink to replenish your electrolytes .
Other effective ways of reducing muscle fatigue and improving athletic performance include drinking coffee before exercising. Caffeine is a stimulant that has been proven to promote resistance to muscle fatigue. Researchers also recommend increasing your intake of garlic and trying certain supplements such as Ginseng, fish oil, and vitamin D . In recent years, research has been put into infrared saunas for their many health benefits and the effect it has on muscle fatigue and endurance.
Infrared Sauna And Fatigue
Infrared saunas are a great tool for people who do not want muscle fatigue to get in the way of their fitness goals. A study in Finland determined the effects of infrared therapy on recovery from endurance training in 10 healthy, physically active men. The researchers concluded that infrared saunas were favorable for the neuromuscular system and provided improved recovery. They also highlighted how comfortable and relaxing the experience was for the volunteers 
Brazilian researchers also demonstrated the benefits of infrared therapy when administered before a workout. These infrared waves appear to prevent muscle damage, which results in less fatigue .
How infrared saunas work to prevent muscle fatigue is not quite understood, but a study in 2016 shed some light on this subject. It reported that people who underwent infrared therapy after a workout had significantly lower levels of inflammatory mediators when compared to a control group. This led researchers to believe that one of the benefits of infrared saunas is their ability to reduce inflammation, and as a result, decrease muscle soreness .
Coupling infrared saunas along with all the other tips found in this article will help you prevent muscle fatigue. However, if these recommendations are not enough to reduce fatigue symptoms, consider visiting a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions. You should also always consult a medical professional when attempting to add a new healthcare routine to your life, such as infrared therapy through an infrared sauna.
If you have been contemplated on whether to add a personal infrared sauna to your home, speak with one of our sauna specialists via our online chat or by calling (800) 528-3110. You can also reach out to us on all major social media platforms!
 Denise Stern. "Signs & Symptoms of Muscle Fatigue." Livestrong.com, Livestrong, https://www.livestrong.com/article/189718-signs-symptoms-of-muscle-fatigue/.
 Jing-jing Wan, Zhen Qin, Peng-yuan Wang, Yang Sun, Xia Liu. (2017). "Muscle fatigue: general understanding and treatment." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, 6 October 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5668469/.
 Marla Ranieri. (2012). "Tips for Avoiding Muscle Fatigue When Exercising." Hss.edu, Hospital for Special Surgery, 16 April 2012, https://www.hss.edu/conditions_avoiding-muscle-fatigue-exercising-tips.asp.
 Jessica Caporuscio. (2019). "What to know about muscle fatigue." Medicalnewstoday.com, Medical News Today, 11 September 2019, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326315#when-to-see-a-doctor.
 Antii Mero, Jaakko Tornberg, Mari Mantykoski, Risto Puurtinen. (2015). "Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, 7 July 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493260/.
 Rossato M, Dellagrana RA, Sakugawa RL, Lazzari CD, Baroni BM, Diefenthaeler F. (2018). "Time Response to Photobiomodulation Therapy on Muscular Fatigue in Humans." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, November 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29385005.
 Loturco I, Abad CCC, Nakamura FY, Ramos SP, Kobal R, Gil S, Pereira LA, Burini FHP, Roschel H, Ugrinowitsch C, Tricoli V. (2016). "Effects of far infrared rays emitting clothing on recovery after an intense plyometric exercise bout applied to elite soccer players: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, July 2, 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4993144/.