Exhausted after exercise classes, take Huel to see if will help


Lovely to hear from you as no one I ever speak to has the same problem but
this is maybe as I usually speak only to people at the gym and people would
probably not still be going if they felt the same!

It only fits my routine to go in the morning as I have bags of energy in
the morning, and also its a social thing for me not having a regular job!
Today I included a banana with 2 scoops of huel and its was OK although,
having no appetite in the mornings (I wonder why not as curious that some
people do and whether my body needs something - I know that like everything
else diet related its all contentious). Anyway, was keen not to over tax
myself physically - even though this really goes against the received
wisdom not to do so - as I’m always experimenting - and I didn’t get the
tiredness. Although after eating a healthy meal at 1 I did go sleepy and
tired but I recovered after about an hour. I’m sure its all to do with
insulin resistance. But its what to do about it. I already eat
healthily! And the orthodox advice is to exercise to avoid developing
diabetes etc. - so I ‘can’t win’!!!


Adrenal fatigue maybe?


Thanks for replying. Actually I’ve looked into this as far as reading
about it, getting the book. Because when I start researching on the www
quite a lot of leads go to adrenal fatigure. Found the book a bit
annoying as it really doesn’t say what to do about it. There’s a saliva
test you can get (but rather than do the test I thought I’d just assume I
had it ffor now) but then there’s nothing from there i.e. says take the
stress out of your life but I’ve already done that as much as possible and
I definitely haven’t been particularly stressed for a good few years.
Possibly I have it as a result of what happened many years ago but then it
doesn’t say what you can do about it now even if you have got it. And the
questionnaire they have in the book leads one round in circles and most of
the things in the questionnaire didn’t apply to me. So…I
might have adrenal fatigue …Leant the book to someone else now. I
think it might also say to take exercise…!!


Muscle tiredness can be attributed to poor absorbency of magnesium. You may want to explore 100 Mg magnesium 3 times a day plus a B vitamin supplement.


Hi I have the same reaction to exercise and have had ME for about 10 years. I think of ME as just a cover all term for a bunch of unexplained symptoms such as fatigue after exercise. If I eat a high carb breakfast and don’t exercise I am desperate to sleep by 11 am but alternately if I eat a high carb breakfast after exercise it does help with the complete and utter exhaustion which you are right in saying feels completely different to DOMS. I tend to structure my exercise so that I can eat straight after and if necessary lay down for a bit or exercise in the evening and then you are winding down anyway. Definitely high carb and quickly after the exercise and having a break after rather than trying to go straight on to the next thing. I find swimming has a worse reaction than HIIT and longer runs worse than short hill training. Plus the recommendation for higher carbs the night before may help. I am definitely going to ask for the blood glucose test though as your result seems to confirm my conclusion that it’s definitely a response to carbs.

You can have ME but also have a glass ceiling of activity that when you push through it it triggers the exhaustion. I teach exercise classes in the evening so I can rest after but it also means I can’t be rushing around all day - I have to save my energy. Hope this helps and I’m really interested in anything you try that seems to help and don’t give up on the classes if you enjoy them keep going!


PS. post exercise I have kind of Overnight oats 3 scoops huel 1/3 cup oats, banana, almond milk, blended, then raspberries on the top - pop it in the fridge before exercise and eat straight after. Yum


Never been a fan of of early exercise, not sure your body is in its best state to work hard after a long period of not consuming food or water - just my un-learned opinion. How do you feel after say a later afternoon, early evening workout?


Some great comments here that relate to timing, nutrition, volumes etc.

One thing worth adding is that if the problem is lack of fuel at the right time, then I note that many athletes are turning to beets as a good fuel source to supplement what is already a healthy diet. Dr Greger (https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/beets/) has a few articles on this topic.


Yes I’m pleased that my original post has got so many responses. Must be
that many many others use Huel before and after exercise so it was a good
place to put my post


Hi I’m full of energy in the morning and as I said, I have Huel now
with a banana liquidized in. If something is eaten 1 1/2 hours before
exercise it should be fully assimilated. I haven’t been able to do any
classes for a few days now due to other commitments which is unusual so
haven’t been able to test how I feel with banana with 2 scoops Huel taken
gradually from about 7.30am, and really missing the workout which, as said,
I enjoy at the time. The classes which I like are only held mornings and
evenings. Evening the completely wrong time for me . Speaking to
people at the gym most seem to prefer morings if they can. People who work
full time go in the evenings as they can’t go any other time often but it
interferes with things like cooking and eating …


@hbmcd if you get chance, please do keep us up to date with the outcomes of your experimenting.

I’d love to switch from an evening to a morning session, as it would be so much easier to start work around 10:00 and work through to 18:00 than it is to do 08:00-16:00…

Getting away at 16:00 is usually ‘obstructed’ by those who arrived at the office 1-2 hours later than me :angry:


I’ve reluctanty come to the conclusion i must have m.e. . It’s so frustrating. I want to exercise and feel good for about 1 1/2 hours but then my energy goes really down. Yesterday and the day before I did a pilates class (‘non aerobic’) 9 - 10am but after 1/2 hours spent rest of day lying down and went to bed early and slept a lot and still don’t feel 100% next day. It’s now 9.30 next morning. My body no longer aches but yesterday it did. So I don’t feel I’m getting anywhere


Hey @hbmcd,

I see you’ve already got so much help and answers but I wanna reply to this thread anyway because I think I know exactly how you feel.

Several years ago (long before I started Huel) I had the same thing. I would workout and afterwards I would totally crash and be unable to do anything for the rest of the day and I would feel awful.

When I asked my gym instructor about this he said it was a blood sugar thing. In my diet I didn’t always ate every meal so food intake was irregular and therefore my energy levels went up and down throughout the day. They also advised me not to go all out on a workout but put 75% of my energy in the workout and use the rest for recovery. Drinking a lot of water can help with the muscles aching. And also taking carbs and sugar helps me recover after a workout and preventing a crash.

I don’t know if this helps you in anyway but I wanted to show my support because I know it really sucks! I hope it gets resolved for you soon.


Hi DvdVgt

Thanks for your reply. I’m still getting the same problem that’s why I have the 3 scoops before workout at 9.15am - 10. Enjoy unflavoured huel and hope its making the problem little big less. I never put even 75% into exercise because of the crash I always get about an hour or so afterwards which always gets worse as the day wears on. But because have been advised to try and have a low glycaemic diet even though I crave at these times sugar I try and resist but do not recover. At times when I do give in and have what my body/mind is telling me to eat - sugary foods in big quantity - the workout must be doing me more harm than good and I’m actually putting weight on as so inactive for the rest of the day - and even the day afterwards as the next morning never feel completely recovered. So its a vicious circle. And if I do not exercise at all or just walking I do not crave sugary foods at all, well my urges are minimal and I can resist but I do like sweet food espeially after a meal. So I know it must be to do with blood sugar but then the answer is supposed to be to drop sugar and eat a low glycaemic diet. When I do go to a class I actually try to do less which actually goes against the grain of what I want to do and what we are being urged to do which is exercise to full capacity. Really frustrating especially as I really like the classes. Also frustrating as all the tv programmes about the exercise sort of assume people don’t want to do it but need to push themselves!

Please reply anyone who has similar…thanks


Hi @hbmcd this is an old thread now, but by chance you havent yet figured out what the problem is, and are still getting unusual tiredness and muscle soreness after exercise, I am wondering if you are taking any medications.
I also get extreme fatigue and pain after exercise, but only when I’m taking certain medications. I have recently found out that there are quite a few medications (over the counter and prescription) that negatively affect the body’s natural ability to recover after strenuous exercise.
Basically, immediately after intense exercise ie running, cycling fast, doing weights etc as opposed to walking or gentle exercise, the muscles need protein and carbs to rebuild and recover.
Most people, as long as they sufficiently refuel (preferably within 30mins of finishing exercising for optimal recovery) with protein and carbs, their muscles will heal and become stronger. Compression wear can increase circulation and reduce lactic acid build-up and even further aid recovery.

However, some medications stop this natural immune response of the body, and hence recovery after exercise will take considerably longer, and no amount of exercise will increase muscle size or efficiency. Most of these medications are ones that in some way affect the immune response: anti-histamines (sprays, tablets, over-the-counter remedies as well as prescription medications).
Personally I have found fexofenadine, promethazine (phenergan), and beconaise, all affect my recovery after exercise.
Other medications that can also have this response are some anti-depressant, anti-psychotic and insomnia (sleeping-aid) medications.

If you are on any antihistamines or anti-depressant medications, it would be worth doing some research into this. Obviously speak to your doctor before thinking about stopping any medications, but be aware that the studies done into this are very very recent, and most GPs are not yet aware of these side-effects, and most of these medications do not have these side-effects printed on the safety information.
Interestingly, I was advised to avoid taking my medications (by my GP) just before exercise, but this made no difference whatsoever, and whilst I was taking them on a regular basis, my body was simply unable to cope with any form of intensive exercise and I needed to stick to walking, cycling, and very gentle stretching, and tai-chi.
When I haven’t taken any of these types of medications for at least 3 days, my body is able to handle intensive exercise again and recover as normal - I still get ‘normal’ muscle soreness and tiredness, but I recover as normal, and become stronger each time I repeat that exercise.

This may not be relevant to your situation at all. But maybe will help someone!


Hi Christina

Very pleased to get your email, thanks. No I still have the same problem, very long standing. As I think I’ve said its only after reasonably strenuous aerobic exercise (not seen as strenuous by other people of similar age) such as a 45 minute zumba type class but also after a pilates class where I do something strenuous such as holding a plank for half a minute. Anything that works the muscles. But not gentle exercise such as walking. Can do 10 mile walk and feel fine. I really want to exercise and find this frustrating.

I only take 1 medication which is 20mg citalopram anti - depressant. But have stopped taking this in the for 9 months to a year approx and the problem has persisted. But do want to do further research but don’t know how to get the info, so would be grateful if you would send me a link. I certainly can’t consult my gp about it as when I have done in the past I am dismissed completely and told not to worry/not believed and its even been suggested its due to depression which I know is incorrect as the exhaustion is purely physical and as said only after exercise. The exhaustion is quite extreme such that I have to lie down and fall asleep and after say doing a class between 9.15 and 10am don’t recover at all for the rest of the day which is spent lying on the settee. Wait to go to bed to sleep it off, sleep longer and still not 100% the next day. I call it ‘ill exhausted’. I also get upset stomach and a lot of wind - I’ve worked out this is because my body too exhausted to digest food. I never get these symptoms otherwise.

Thanks again


I’m trying to find the link to the study itself, and will post it here once I find it. But this article here refers to the study in nice simple terms.

It refers only to anti-histamines, but my GP said to me that lots of anti-depressants have a similar immune response and I have found from my own personal experience that when I am on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, anti-psychotics or sleeping tablets, I do not experience any allergy symptoms (which at other times are so bad I have to take fexofenadine daily), and these psych drugs also have the same effect on my impaired ability to recover after exercising - it is exactly what you are describing.

I am wondering - were you on citalopram very long term (ie years?) in which case it can take the endocrine system a very long time to recover and go back to operating as it was prior to the medicine (and may never completely reverse back to how it was).
Also your answer isn’t very clear, you say ‘But have stopped taking this in the for 9 months to a year approx and the problem has persisted’ - do you mean you havent taken it for 9 months now?

The fatigue you are describing is very extreme and debilitating, if it is not due to any medications, I am wondering if you could have M.E / CFS? and if you have discussed this possibiliy with the GP?

I really empathise with you not gettting taken seriously by the GP - this happens a lot, especially if you have any history at all of mental health problems.
I have a similar issue that all my blood tests, scans, and other screenings show I am in perfect health, and yet I get severe pains and fatigue.
Its worth being really persistent and keep going back, keep insisting this is really life limiting and really debilitating and effecting your quality of life. See the same GP a number of times in a row, then go to see another GP a few times in a row - give each one a chance to take you seriously, then go to another and try again. And again. And again.
You will eventually get taken seriously.

You say you only get issues with exercise that is working your muscles - so it sounds like a problem specific to muscle repair. But how about if you do a whole day of walking slowly, or if you are simply ‘active’ all day - nothing aerobic or overly strenuous, but a lot of gentle exercise - does this also exhaust you? I’m wondering if anything over and above your normal level of daily exertion will fatigue you, or only short and strenuous bursts?

It’s worth researching on the web and then taking this information to your GP.
I know this can make you seem a hypochondriac, but not if you do it skilfully i.e. really research thoroughly, and if you can find what you think could be the cause or diagnosis, take real scientific articles to back-up your suspicions. Approach the GP with the attitude of ‘I’d really like your professional opinion on this please, as I know there is something wrong, this is a problem that has limited my quality of life for a significant period of time, and is not getting better - please look at this and see if this could possibly be the problem as it correlates exactly with my experience and my symptoms’. Don’t bombard them with lots and lots of theories and possibilities - just one - if you can find something that matches your symptoms that is! And be assertive about being referred to a specialist. GPs really don’t have very much detailed knowledge about any health conditions because they have to know a little about everything. Their job is to diagnose roughly what the issue could be, and then refer you onto a hosptial specialist who can actually help. Unfortunately this never happens nowadays unless you are particularly persistant, articulate and know enough about your own condition to know what you need to ask for i.e what department of medicine you want a referal to. GPs do seem to respond fairly well to direct requests. But they get fairly stumped by people going in with general complaints of being tired, or generally feeling ill all the time, or being in pain, when all the blood tests they do all show ‘normal’.

Keep me posted on any progress with the GP, I am rooting for you and hope this can be resolved, or at the very least diagnosed so you have a reason for your symptoms and can get help to manage it better.


Actually that article can’t be referring to the study I am thinking of, because the study the GP showed me was really recent (this year, or possibly in the last few months), and it was (I think) on an NHS or nursing website - perhaps this is why I can’t find it. These studies and articles are often subscription only, for medical professionals. I will keep looking though and see if I can find it as it was more definitive than the 2016 study than most of the articles I keep finding are relating to.


Thanks Christina.

I cannot go back to my gp basically as they say its because of depression and this is just to annoying and demeaning when I’m certain its not in any straightfoward way (i.e. unless I’ve somehow been phsically damaged over many years). Have had blood tests done on many occasions in the past - it goes back maybe 30 years - and they always say ‘nothing found/stop worrying’ they do not take it seriously. Then they refused a blood tests as already had one in the last 2 years. Even got a fasting blood glucose test done once (showed blood sugar went too low after glucose, so have been acting on this but still haven’t solved problem - as already eat something healthy 1 hour before class and within 1/2 of finishing and try and eat regular healthy small meals). I also got myself referred to endocrinology at the hospital - about 10 years ago - who were annoyed and dismissed me as I’m not not diabetic. Ir’s really difficult to persist with the medical people who constantly write me off and even say its psychological due to depression when its definitely not. Have considered ME but then there’s nothing I can do about it - must be degrees of ME but from what I’ve read I am sub-diagnosis as it states that this must be exhaustion NOT related to ‘strenuous’ exercise. In any event it does not give any help in what to do to solve the problem. I was seen by someone who ‘specialises’ in ME but I did not fit the criteria he said as not exhausted by everyday life.

Have you read the previous threads? Think these might be useful to you too - think you’ve probably read them.

Was a typing error in my reply which as caused a misundersanding. - I meant to say I have stopped taking the citalopram for periods of time in the past of about 9 months to 1 year duration. Yes I have taken citalopram off and on for a long time, even when I was a teenager and have cut down to 10mg for periods (supposed to be a so called sub-clinical dose) and stopped altogether. But in due course - maybe after 9 months to a year have had a bout of depression, quite severe so that’s why I’m a bit reluctant to stop again. Currently have been taking them for about a year, 20mg. Intending to go down to 10mg

Re your para beginning ‘you say’ - Yes it is to do with working my muscles and to do with muscle repair. Yes, if I spend whole day walking or are simply ‘active’ all day - it doesn’t exhaust me at all - feel perfectly well, or what I called ‘healthy tired’ which is completely different to what I call ‘ill tired’. Just related to ‘strenuous’ muscle work (aerobic or otherwise strenuous)

Thanks again and I will read the article.


How frustrating for you.
It seems like you’ve done all you can from a western medicine point of view and it does sound like you’ve been tested for all serious diseases and causes, so that can put your mind to rest to some degree.
The problem with western medicine, is they aren’t very good at looking at causes, they tend to just treat symptoms. And a lot of causes cannot be found using the non-wholistic blood tests and scans approach.

How has Huel been for you? I’m interested to know how and if you’ve been using it as a regular part of your diet and if this has in any way improved the issue.
I’d say, if you’ve been consuming Huel regularly, you probably aren’t deficient in any nutrients so that at least rules nutrition out as the cause.
Unless there’s something you are eating that you are intolerant to that is causing a histamine response.

There is one other approach you could consider (if you haven’t already), and that’s seeking advice from a holistic practitioner. Personally I would recommend the Ayurvedic diagnostic approach over and above any others, but the Chinese medicine system is also one that is well respected.

If you can find a highly qualified and well-respected Ayurvedic practitioner (really do your research and don’t go to someone who is not trained and qualified), you will find their approach holistic, sincere and refreshing in comparison to western medicine. They use observations such as the pulse, the colour and temperature of your skin, eyes, mouth, tongue, lifestyle, constitution, diet, and so much more, to look at your health as a whole, and make recommendations for positive change which often involves advice on some simple exercises, lifestyle changes, herbal supplements or teas, diet changes etc etc.

If nothing else, you will feel really heard and listened to, probably for the first time, and this is half the battle - to get a professional to really fully understand what is affecting you.
I’ve had really very positive results from seeing Ayurvedic doctors.

Chinese medicine is also highly rated, especially treatments such as acupuncture or acupressure.

Also, don’t dismiss the positive results you can get from many bodywork practices - massage, reflexology, lymphatic drainage treatments. Sometimes these treatments can help your body heal itself and they make you feel emotionally fantastic too - it’s a treat for your body and soul !

If you’ve given up on GPs, don’t give up on yourself. Explore the alternatives and find someone / something that resonates for you personally and don’t be afraid to try a few things until you find something that feels helpful.

Also, sometimes a skilled reflexologist or massage therapist can diagnose conditions that the GP hasn’t considered, by noticing blockages in your body.

I’m a great believer in alternative holistic medicine and my health was far better when I stuck to just this, and before I allowed the GPs to persuade me to take their pills, that just caused problem after problem.

Always do your research though - there are really good people out there, but far more who really don’t know what they are doing but talk a good talk…