Some fitness pros see muscle shaking after a high-intensity workout; this is a sign of a workout done well. It can, however, also mean that you’ve taken things a bit too far. In this article, understand why do you feel shaky after a high-intensity workout. How it can be dangerous, and how to stop that twitchy feeling.
Reason #1: Muscle fatigue
Your muscles get tired. During the workout, your body moves when the fibers in your muscles contract and relax. Think of these fibers as strings on a puppet. Some of those strings tire faster. And a few of them snap during an intense workout. As a result, your muscles contract asynchronously, leading to shaking or trembling.
This is the most common cause for shaking after a high-intensity workout. It means your muscles are not accustomed to that level of intensity.
Although working to the point of exhaustion will lead to muscle development. And new and stronger strings will develop. But working through exhaustion could lead to injury, and you may need longer rest periods to recover. And these rest periods can range from days to weeks to months, depending upon the level of injury.
If you want your muscles to grow stronger so that you can tolerate the intensity of the workout, then exercise at less than 100 percent of your capacity. In this way, gradually, you’ll develop stronger muscle fiber that won’t shake.
Reason #2: Low blood sugar
Remember those Snicker commercials, “You are not you when you are hungry,” where a young athlete turns into an old woman. That’s exactly what happens when your blood sugar drops. Your muscles need glucose to work.
If you’re on an empty stomach at the start of the workout, your muscles will not be well-fueled. And then, by the end of your workout, your body cells will be starving and in a fight-or-flight response.
The easiest way to counter this cause is to grab a pre-workout snack like a banana, some peanut butter, or an energy bar at least an hour before your workout. This will ensure your muscles are prepared to sustain you through the high-intensity workout.
Reason #3: Dehydration
When we are dehydrated, we tired faster. Our muscles are not able to communicate effectively, which then leads to shaking after the high-intensity workout. Unfortunately, our bodies can’t adapt to low body fluid conditions. Even half a percent of body water loss can put our hearts under strain. And we usually do not notice our thirst until we have lost about 1% to 2% of our body water.
Although hydration requirements depend on many factors like climate, age, frequency, and intensity of the workout, but a general rule of thumb is to consume 0.5-1 liter (2-4 cups) of water during the activity. After the workout, consume 0.5-1liter (2-4 cups) of water. Lastly, consume 0.25-0.5 liter (1-2 cups) of water at each meal. Remember not to chug, but sip.
During a high-intensity workout, you may also try sports drinks that contain glucose and electrolytes to help you replenish and recover faster.
Reason #4: lack of sleep
During sleep, our bodies heal and regrow.
When you exercise, you break the muscle tissue. When you sleep, you regrow them back. But to make them stronger, you have to give your body a chance to fully recover. If you continue to break your muscle tissue without healing them back, you experience that shaky feeling.
In that case, I would recommend you skip the workout session and engage in a rejuvenating sleep session.
Reason #5: Trying to be the best in the gym
In the gym, you may have seen people trying to compete with others. Many people think that they need to push better than others to make progress. They’ll load more plates, shake violently, and worse of all – push with a bad form. They are inviting trouble. Stop. Relax.
I would advise you to compete with yourself if you want to get into a better shape. And back off when you begin to shake.
Bottom line: With high-intensity workouts becoming mainstream, most people either push themselves too far until injury or are scared to push without any gains. Remember that to grow your strength; it is important to push your limits. But to continuously push through them without taking time off for recovery isn’t going to help you.