are adrenal fatigue and overtraining mutually exclusive?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 17, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Long story short, i'm 24 y.o. male 5'9 160 lbs. I've been eating strict paleo for a month with only 2 snacks of chips and salsa as my cheat. Also been LC between 50-75 carbs per day. I started paleo in hopes that it would fix chronic insomnia. The last 4 days are actually the first 4 days i've slept through the night in at least a year, so that is awesome. But, along the way i think i either really overtrained myself or have adrenal fatigue or maybe both? Without getting into why i didn't stop at the warning signs my training had gotten terrible. I always have the desire to go to the gym because i love it but recently i would barely be in condition to drive my car home mentally, emotionally and physically. I felt like i had been hit by a bus by the time i left. I train 3x a week with pretty strong intensity about 50-75 minutes but i do take 2-3 in between some of my hardest sets so its not crazy volume. Also, i don't deload like i should but i do take a week off for extra recovery every 12 or so weeks. Much of my training was done on little to no sleep with use of stimulant preworkouts and adderall (prescribed).

I took a week off training starting paleo, the trained chest once and was sore as hell for a week. that might have been because i was low on carbs however. I took that whole week off and trained after 9 days of rest with increased carbs pre/post. I only rode the exercise bike for 5 minutes, did 2 sets of upright rows, 3 sets not to failure of some chin ups and 2 sets OH presses on cables. So it was an extremely light workout but i still horribly depressed afterward, disconnected, my voice got weaker and i was pretty light headed.

I don't think undereating was a problem either. I was eating about 3,300 cals a day and about 4,000 on WO days. Protein was about 170-200 g/ day I pose my question in effort to try in fix this issue myself before i rack up anymore doctors bills (ACL surgery was $$$).

So far to try and get better quick, i've been resting alot, drinking tons of fluids,riding the bike outside, and getting a lot of sun. Also, i'm taking a good multi and fish oil, and last week i started taking DHEA, zinc, Mg, and ALA. Any further supplement recommendations?

My question is whether AF and Overtraining are related? I don't know if i have either (or want to believe they exist) but i feel i have both.

Could using too many stimulants during workout contribute? I used to use jac3d between 1.5-2 scoops and now have switched to musclepharm assault which should be a little better for you. I know they aren't paleo approved, but im good with my meals so they are my cheats i guess.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, this is a great site with some knowledgeable folks!

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3 Answers



on April 17, 2012
at 07:36 PM

I listened to one of Robb Wolf's podcasts yesterday and he did specifically mention overtraining and adrenal fatigue. I was very sleepy and didn't retain much, but here's some info: http://practicalpaleolithic.com/paleolithic-diet-blog/overtraining-adrenal-fatigue



on April 18, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Overtraining and low thyroid (T3) are definitely related. Sometimes the adrenals are overworked in trying to compensate.

As others have said, you might need more carbs to complete your workouts, at least temporarily. My experience has been that pre-exercise carbs aren't as helpful as maintaining glycogen stores by eating a moderate amount of carbs daily. The amount you need depends on your overall level of fitness, adaptation to burning fat, and level of activity. It's a trial and error process. I stay pretty active on ~100g carbs/day.



on April 17, 2012
at 05:54 PM

After 4 weeks of LC Paleo you should be pretty much fat-adapted. Continuing fatigue and depression indicate that you either need more carbs, shorter workouts, or both.

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