Muscle fatigue; what is it and how to cure

  1. Fatigue is caused by oxygen deficit. A lack of oxygen in muscles causes them to become weak and unable to contract. This condition may be due either to inadequate supply of blood to the muscles causing a shortage of oxygen or to the accumulation of lactic acid within the muscles which prevents the release of oxygen from them.
    1. Fatigue is caused mainly by overtraining. The cause of overtraining is not well understood. It appears to have many factors, including psychological or emotional factors. There seems no doubt that some degree of overtraining exists in most athletes. Overtraining is generally recognized as occurring when training continues beyond the point at which the athlete's body adapts sufficiently to the training regime to produce improvements in performance. When this occurs, the athlete suffers from exhaustion, physical breakdown, and a deterioration in performance.
    2. Fatigue is caused due to a metabolic disturbance. Fatigue may result from changes in the rate of ATP production or consumption. The ATP-generating reactions of the citric acid cycle (TCA) are often altered by exercise leading to decreased efficiency of ATP synthesis. A decrease in ATP levels would lead to a decline in force generation resulting in muscular fatigue.
    3. Fatigue is caused primarily by depletion of glycogen stores. When a sufficient amount of carbohydrate is taken in during a period of intense exercise, then glycogen will begin to accumulate in the liver and muscle cells. The glycogen will provide fuel which can be released when the work load is reduced. However, if the carbohydrate intake is insufficient, then the glycogen will be rapidly exhausted, and the reserves will need to be replenished before any further activity can take place.
    4. Fatigue is caused when the heart beats faster than normal. As long as the muscle fiber has received adequate oxygen, it can function normally. As soon as the muscle fiber starts to run out of oxygen, however, it begins to lose its ability to generate force. After a certain level of activity, even though the muscle fiber still receives enough oxygen, it cannot do what it was designed to do--it fails completely.
    5. Fatigue is caused because of nervous system disturbances. The nervous system controls the actions of almost all muscles. If it does not receive proper stimulation, it will fail to function properly and thus prevent the muscles from being able to perform their tasks. For example, in cases of depression, fatigue frequently accompanies the depressed mood state.
    6. Fatigue is caused for mental reasons. It has been suggested that mental fatigue results from mental strain induced by anxiety, fear, worry, uncertainty, frustration, anger, or guilt. It has also been proposed that it may result from overwork of the brain and nerves. Finally, it has been postulated that fatigue may be related to the fact that working memory is impaired under conditions of mental effort.

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