Treating Athlete Overtraining Syndrome

by Dr. Jason Barker January 31, 2017

Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome

A key feature of overtraining syndrome is the inability to sustain intense exercise and recover for the next session. This leads to the many different symptoms of overtraining syndrome.

Training Symptoms

  • Easy workouts are more challenging
  • Early fatigue during workouts
  • Higher heart rate with less effort
  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased coordination
  • Decreased performance on speed, strength, or endurance testing

Physical Symptoms

  • Persistent fatigue
  • Ongoing muscle soreness, aches and pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overuse injuries
  • Frequent colds and other infections

Non-Physical Symptoms

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feelings of irritation or anger
  • Feelings of depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Fear of competition
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased sensitivity to emotional stress

Treatment For Athlete Overtraining Syndrome

  • Initially, a period of rest is needed. The amount of rest taken should be related to how long symptoms have been present.
  • Some light cross training is acceptable; yoga is a great way to stay flexible while giving your body a rest.
  • Adjusting the diet and massage are helpful.
  • Testing hormone levels and addressing imbalances is key; Saliva Testing is a convenient way to assess hormone balance at home. Hormones such as DHEA, Testosterone and Cortisol become unbalanced in Overtraining Syndrome.
  • Adrenal fatigue is a component of overtraining. You can support your adrenals by taking care of it with Rhodiola, Adrenal B Complex and DHEA.
  • L-Carnitine, CoEnzyme Q10 and Corvalen help the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cells) create more ATP, or energy.

Prevention Of Overtraining Syndrome

  • You can prevent overtraining by giving yourself enough rest and recovery time.
  • A hard week of training should be followed by a few days of light training with a day off completely.
  • Heavy weeks and months of training should include time for recovery so that you are well rested before important races.
  • A training log is a good way to track progress and to watch for symptoms of overtraining.

Not everyone has the same symptoms with overtraining. It can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Also, many symptoms of overtraining may be caused by other conditions. If you are in doubt, get evaluated by a physician who is knowledgeable in the area. Giving your body and mind the proper support and enough time are keys to success in overcoming many health conditions.

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker



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