Beta Blockers and Exercise Fatigue, Here’s How It Works

Posted March 13, 2023 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines(Last Updated On: March 13, 2023)

For those who love their exercise routines, but find themselves now taking beta-blockers, beta blockers and exercise fatigue may be an issue you would want to understand more about.

There’s no reason to stop exercising altogether, provided you obtain your doctor’s advice beforehand on the level at which you can get your daily exercise. But you would naturally want to make sure there aren’t likely to be any issues if you do. And you might be wondering what beta blockers actually do while you’re exercising?

We’re going to provide the guide on beta blockers and exercise fatigue, with a recap on how beta-blockers work and what impact they have on your exercise routine. Starting with a quick overview.

Beta-blockers and exercise fatigue? Beta-blockers are a mechanism that aims to lower your heart rate in order to treat fast heart rate conditions. You should not exercise to reach an expected heart rate while on beta-blockers. Results may vary, but doing so may cause overexertion and cause fatigue

With that summary in mind, we should say that the results of beta-blockers and exercise fatigue can vary per person.

This variation roots in the severity of your health condition for which you take beta-blockers. Below is a breakdown of beta-blockers and exercise fatigue, how it happens, and what you should do.

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Beta blocker types

So that we understand which drugs we are discussing, here’;s a list of beta blocker mecications that may be included in this scenario

If you’re currently using any of the medications on this list, then this article should be of interest to you. And also, be sure to check that you qualify for these meds at just $50 per medication per month.

Beta blockers and exercise fatigue – How Beta-blockers work

Beta-blockers are medications used for the treatment of heart conditions such as heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, angina, and heart failure among others. Beta-blockers are also used for treating hypertension (high blood pressure).

The common mechanism of how beta-blockers work to treat conditions it’s prescribed for is aimed at reducing your heart rate.

Beta-blockers also called “Adrenergic blocking agents” which block the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline in certain parts of the body.

What this looks to achieve is to reduce the force at which your blood is pumped in the body.

The net result is that this mechanism lowers your heartbeat, enabling you to better manage and take better control of heart conditions and high blood pressure.

It’s this mechanism that primarily affects how beta-blockers and exercise fatigue come about. There are other heart medications that make you tired.

Fatigue is a side effect of Beta-blockers without exercise

For those unaware of the side effects of beta-blockers, fatigue is one.

Meaning even if you don’t exercise you may still feel fatigued when you have beta-blockers.

Fatigue, in simple terms, is extreme tiredness that results from mental or physical exertion or illness. The reason for this is its anti-adrenaline mechanism of action.

Beta-blockers have anti-adrenaline effects to make them effective for the treatment of heart conditions.

However, it’s this same anti-adrenaline effect that makes you feel fatigued after having them.

Adrenaline in simple terms is something that helps your body react more quickly. It’s what helps your heart to beat faster, increase blood flow to the brain and muscles and helping them perform better.

Above all, it’s this adrenaline that stimulates your body to make use of the sugar in your body for energy.

So naturally when you don’t have enough adrenaline, your body’s capacity to make energy reduces.

In addition to this, the low heart rate and low blood pressure, all supported by anti-adrenaline effects from beta-blockers, are likely to make you feel naturally fatigued.

So if you think it’s the exercising while on beta-blockers that are causing fatigue,, then there’s a good chance that is incorrect. If you take small doses of beta-blockers these fatigue effects may be less apparent and can increase with exercising.

However, if you take a high dose of beta-blockers, then take time to observe how it brings about fatigue.

One best way to do this is to sit back and observe the effects beta-blockers have you before exercising. You’ll realize you probably feel fatigued – even before exercising begins while on beta-blockers.

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How beta-blockers cause fatigue while exercising

We all know that when we exercise our heart rate increases. This increase in the heart rate is one way in which we know we’re reaching our targets. 

Heart rate is the number of beats per minute you achieve to make sure you’re exercising hard enough. Another indication of course is when you start to sweat.

However, one main mechanism of beta-blockers, is that they lower your heart rate. This is done to treat the conditions they are prescribed for.

So this naturally means, no matter how much you exercise while on beta-blockers, you are unlikely to reach the targeted heart rate, because beta-blockers don’t allow your heart rate to increase. 

What happens when you experience this kind of a situation when exercising on beta-blockers, is you’ll simply force yourself to exercise more.

Although you do this intending to reach your targeted heartbeat rate for the perfect workout session, what you overlook is that you’re simply exhausting yourself. In truth, this is what results in beta-blockers and exercise fatigue.

How to experiment with beta-blockers and exercise fatigue

First of all, here are 6 practical tips to keep your heart healthy. You should probably read those first.

Concerning beta-blockers and exercise fatigue, in theory, you could experiment to find the right level of exercise is achievable while on beta-blockers.

On one particular day, try to take your workout or daily exercise before you take your daily dose of beta-blockers.

Then check within how much time you’re reaching your targeted heart rate. On another day, take the same exercise routine, or series of workouts as the previous occasion while on beta-blockers.

So on the previous day (while working out without a beta-blocker) if you reached your heart rate target in say 1 hour, check your heart rate after 1 hour on the day you exercise while on beta-blockers.

You will notice that despite following the same workout steps or exercise pattern, you will not be able to reach the desired target.

This is purely down to the effects of beta-blockers in reducing your heart rate and preventing it from reaching your target.

How to avoid exercise fatigue while on beta-blockers

One key tip to remember is that exercise fatigue while on beta-blockers occurs only because of overexertion i.e. doing too much exercise.

A simple way to realize this is to notice your breath. The harder it is for you to talk while you’re exercising, the greater the risk of exertion.

The next is to make use of an exercise stress test. This tests the blood flow through your heart rate and can measure how hard your heart pumps while you’re exercising on beta-blockers.

This is possible only if you have access to an exercise stress test.

If you don’t have access to exercise stress tests, make use of the Borg scale (Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion, or RPE).

This scale gives numbers from 6-20 and matches how hard you feel while working out. The higher the number on the scale the harder you’re exercising.

Whatever you manage to achieve, exercise is an important aspect of life. It helps us to avoid stress and other conditions such as depression. And direct health threats that can lead to more medications. Find out more about how exercise helps depression.

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Further help

Hopefully, this has provided some insight on using Beta-blockers and exercise fatigue. As always, consult your doctor before adopting any exercise routine while taking beta-blockers in order to get professional medical advice.

But also, if you’re currently taking Beta-blockers, or for any medications you’re currently taking, Prescription Hope may be able to help further.

If you’re having trouble affording any of your medications, enroll with us and see if you qualify to pay only $50 a month for each of your medications.

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