Stokes announced his shock retirement from one-day internationals on Monday saying playing all three formats of the game had become "unsustainable" for him.
He elaborated further on his decision ahead of his 105th and final ODI which South Africa won by 62 runs. Read full story
"We are not cars," the 31-year-old told BBC Test Match Special.
"You can't just fill us up and we'll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again.
"We had a test series and then the one-day team had a series going on at the same time - that was a bit silly."
Stokes, who took over as England's test captain in April, has battled injuries in recent times and also took a break from the game last year to focus on his mental well-being.
"I just feel like there is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now. It is a lot harder than it used to be," said the England talisman.
"I look back to when I used to do all three and it didn't feel like it was as jam-packed and all that."
The governing International Cricket Council wants to stage one global event every year and the proliferation of franchise-based leagues have only added to the players' workload.
"The more cricket that is played, the better for the sport, but you want a product that is of the highest quality," said Stokes, who opted out of this year's Indian Premier League.
"You want the best players to be playing as much as you possibly can, all the time, and it isn't just me or us.
"You see it all around the world now where teams are having to rest some players in a certain series so they feel like they are getting a break."