Why Swimming Makes You Feel Fatigued

Why Swimming Makes You Feel Fatigued

Whether you swim competitively or casually, it’s not unusual or unexpected to feel tired after you get out of the pool. As for why this tends to happen, the answers come from a combination of research on the topic and theories that have been discussed over the years. To give you a clearer idea of why you might feel a bit fatigued after taking a dip or doing laps, we go through some of the possible reasons below.

The Colder Water Temperature

According to Sciencing.com, there’s evidence of a link between colder temperatures and feeling tired. This is one of the more commonly accepted reasons you may feel sleepy after swimming. As you’re immersed in the colder pool water while swimming, your body temperature is lowered. This, in turn, requires more effort to generate the internal energy your body needs, which could contribute to fatigue.

Swimming Is a Form of Exercise

Any kind of exercise-related activity can make you feel tired. You’re more likely to experience post-swim fatigue if you’re a more vigorous swimmer or if you use your pool for water-based exercises. Plus, all four of the main swimming strokes use practically all your main muscle groups. Working this many muscles at once requires more energy, and this is what can contribute to the fatigue that sometimes sets in after swimming.


This may seem unexpected when you consider swimming involves water. However, the reason you may become dehydrated while swimming is because it’s easy not to realize how much energy you’re using as you swim. If you’re dehydrated following a long or especially strenuous swim, the resulting loss of electrolytes and minerals could leave you fatigued.

Swimming on an Empty Stomach

Some competitive swimmers prefer to swim earlier in the day, which often means swimming on a practically empty stomach. If you’re getting in a good swim without too much food in your body, you could feel noticeably tired. This also applies if you casually swim before eating. On a side note, despite what’s widely believed, eating before you swim usually doesn’t present any serious health risks.

The Color Blue & Sunshine

Verywell Mind points out the color blue is associated with calmness or serenity, which could contribute to post-swim sleepiness. Sleep.org also cites research suggesting a connection between spending time in the sun and being tired. Since a swimming pool contains blue-hued water and you’re often swimming below a sun-filled sky, this could be why you get tired after getting out of the pool.

Quick Tips for Minimizing Swimming-Related Fatigue

• Do a brief warm-up on dry land before you swim for exercise
• Avoid swimming on an empty stomach
• Time your swimming for when you don’t mind being a bit sleepy (e.g., later in the day or evening)
• Keep a water bottle nearby to avoid dehydration

If you’re looking for the perfect way to boost your physical fitness levels, a pool can be exactly what you need. As an award-winning swimming pool contractor San Diego families and businesses have trusted for more than four decades, San Diego Pools can create a custom pool for you that offers a great way to exercise as well as a place to relax and get away from it all. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786.

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