Maybe you’ve heard about metabolic overtraining syndrome, more commonly known as ‘overtraining’, or maybe you didn’t want to know about it.  But it is a thing.  It means you have been working out too hard and too much, and your body is not able to recover properly.  And it will lead to a decline in health.  It’s important to know about it in case you may be experiencing it or in order to prevent it.  Yes you can prevent it.  And I’m not saying you have to stop working out. Keep reading…

How do you know if you are overtraining?

There are very specific signs and symptoms that will cue you in to metabolic overtraining syndrome.  These signs and symptoms will deal with performance, psychological, and other physical signs.

Performance

  • Inability to recover from workouts
  • Inability to complete workouts
  • Performance getting worse
  • Increased injuries

Psychological

  • Loss of motivation and enthusiasm
  • Loss of competitive drive
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Aggression for minor reasons

Physical

  • Weakened immune system
  • Loss of libido
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Increase or decrease in body weight
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Sleep disturbance

An example of someone overtraining would be full body soreness after an arm workout.  The body is having a difficult time clearing the inflammatory cytokines created by the workout.  Yes, a workout causes inflammation.  Someone who is healthy will be able to clear this inflammation more easily.  However, add another workout in too soon (over and over again), and you are never clearing the inflammation created.  As I have said before, inflammation is the beginning of all disease.  So you are creating inflammation and not letting your body deal with it, therefore constantly having inflammation.

This is why we see the symptoms above, because the inflammation starts to wear down the immune system (which helps in clearing inflammation).  We also see adrenal gland signs and symptoms (because the adrenals are constantly trying to produce cortisol to battle the inflammation).  In the long term, this will lead to decreased health in whatever way your body is susceptible genetically.

Some people are more susceptible to overtraining than others.

Those who already have strain on these systems talked about above, or who have chronic inflammation are more likely to experience metabolic overtraining syndrome.  These pre-existing conditions are listed below:

  • Elevated cortisol
  • Depressed cortisol
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Neurochemical imbalance
  • Immune weakness
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Obesity

This is one reason why it is important to know your health before starting an exercise program.  Or if you are already experiencing some of these signs and symptoms above, to see a qualified health care provider who can assess your bloodwork.  I recommend someone who practices (what we call) functional medicine.  All of these issues above can be seen in your bloodwork.

How can I prevent Metabolic Overtraining Syndrome?

Step numero uno, have your blood work checked.  Make sure you are all tuned up.

Numero dos.  Even in a healthy state, we can give ourselves the support our bodies need with proper supplementation.  I strongly recommend this support in those participating in high intensity training, competitions or endurance athletes, such as Crossfit, marathoners, and triathletes.

[left]Pre Workout

Support for nitric oxide isomer expression (which supports peripheral blood flow, metabolic endurance, and proper experssion of the nitric oxide system).

Electrolytes & nutrients for pH support[/left]
[right]Post Workout

support for immune system

support for inflammation (or curcumin)

Electrolytes & nutrients for pH support[/right]

With this combination of nutritional support, and the knowledge to be more efficient with your exercise, you can prevent or overcome overtraining syndrome and become your best fit self.

I believe that education is the best tool to equip yourself with.  If you understand what things can happen, then you can spot them before they become a problem.  Which is exactly what you want to do with metabolic overtraining syndrome, spot it before it is a health problem!

Tell your friends about the website, and let’s help everyone get stronger and more FIT together!

My love,

Dr. Kristin