After a hard workout, we are all familiar with the feeling of shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. But have you ever felt nauseous after a workout? What causes nausea after working out? Nausea after exercise and dizziness is also called exercise-induced nausea.
This type of nausea is quite common, especially after heavy and intense training. According to a study published by Wilson, women who run very often report problems with the gastrointestinal tract, such as nausea, reflux and a feeling of a full stomach. As many as 60% of ultramarathoners record some form of stomach upset during the races in which they participate.
But doctors have found an explanation for these inconveniences.
Also read: How to overcome running fatigue
What causes nausea after working out?
It’s simple physiology: when your blood starts to pump harder during strenuous exercise, your digestive tract gets less blood because most of it goes to the muscles, where it transports oxygen and nutrients that are most needed there. But then the stomach and intestines get reduced amounts of blood which can often cause nausea and the urge to vomit.
Simply put, the gastrointestinal tract does not get enough blood because it is shipped where it is needed. Because of that, intensive training leads to a state of nausea and, sometimes, vomiting.
Doctors add that the reason for exercise-induced nausea and potential vomiting is the inability of the body to cope with the accumulated metabolic waste that accumulates during intense training. The stronger the muscles work, the more oxygen is needed. But after some time, the body cannot supply enough oxygen and metabolic waste such as hydrogen ions, carbon dioxide and lactic acid begins to form in the body.
This accumulation can create a toxic environment and increase acidity in the body, which can also cause nausea and weakness in individuals.
This feeling of nausea can occur in all exercisers, regardless of experience or fitness level, but is somewhat more common in beginners whose bodies are not accustomed to extreme exertion.
In fact, there are a number of factors that cause nausea after exercise. Here are some of them:
Differences in intracranial pressure causes nausea after working out
If a person is diagnosed with hypotension, then a drop in pressure during training is a completely normal occurrence. The pathology is manifested by fatigue, lethargy, hyperhidrosis, lack of oxygen in a closed room, darkening of the eyes, dizziness during sudden movements. The person should have their blood pressure readings measured regularly before and after training. In addition, it is recommended to monitor the pressure during the day, and then explain the situation to a specialist.
General weakness causes nausea after working out
When people feel bad in the morning, have increased weakness and headaches, feel nauseous during or after training, it may indicate a lack of sleep, colds, chronic fatigue. A similar symptom occurs only once and does not accompany the following workouts.
Lowering blood sugar causes nausea after working out
If nausea bothers you too often, then athletes are advised to visit a specialist and ask for a blood test for sugar and hemoglobin levels. The symptoms considered often indicate anemia. What should I do? If the diagnosis is confirmed, the person should eat a lot of apples, pomegranates, beef liver – foods rich in iron.
Overloaded stomack causes nausea after working out
All experts insist that eating is not necessary before the exercise itself, but a few hours before it starts. If your stomach is overloaded, then nausea is quite possible. But here we must take into account the fact that prolonged abstinence from food can also cause nausea. This is due to the fact that the body simply does not have the strength to exercise.
Overheating causes nausea after working out
It so happened that the load in the gym leads to a person consuming twenty times more energy than without training. If the body becomes uncomfortable, then it gives the following symptoms: fever, loss of strength, confused speech, nausea and urge to vomit, fainting and hypotension.
Violation of blood flow in the stomach causes nausea after working out
Physical activity during training leads to reduced blood flow in the intestines and liver, which causes a malfunction of the gastrointestinal tract. A similar phenomenon helps the stomach to try to expel the contents. In this case, diarrhea may be accompanied by nausea.
A person who works out in the gym should carefully monitor their health. When an athlete falls ill, he advises him to rest and drink clean water. Training can be resumed only when the condition returns to normal.
Intake of toxins and allergens causes nausea after working out
When the protective functions in the intestines and stomach are weakened, various toxic elements can enter the body. Such products can lead to inflammation and complications in the gastrointestinal tract: a person is sick, has gas and diarrhea with blood impurities.
If such symptoms occur after or during training, appropriate measures should be taken immediately. If a person does not know what to do, then you should consult a doctor immediately.
Dehydration causes nausea after working out
A similar phenomenon occurs due to hyperhidrosis and an increase in body temperature. A man loses up to 3% of his own weight after training. This is especially true in the hot season. Dehydration can occur when a moisture loss of 6% is observed. A person does not feel thirsty when the body is exposed to catecholamines that are formed during physical training. Dehydration can cause delayed digestion, and these are the main causes of nausea.
Lack of glucose and carbohydrates causes nausea after working out
Athletes must make their own diet rich in complex carbohydrates before starting training.
What happens if you over exercise?
Types of workouts that cause nausea after working out range from HIIT, sprints, to long-lasting monotonous cardio. The only thing that matters is that these are workouts that take you out of your comfort zone and break your boundaries, both mental and physical.
Also, the position you are in during training can increase the risk of nausea. Gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, are more common in positions where abdominal pressure is created. For example, in cyclists, the more the exerciser leans toward the steering wheel, the greater the chance of nausea.
In addition, some strength training exercises are worse than others. feeling sick after lifting something heavy like weights is very common. So, nausea will occur more often during heavy leg training than during isolation exercises for the arm muscles. The reason is both in the size of the muscles, but also in the total volume of training that can be done during leg training. So you will most commonly feel an upset stomach after ab workout, nausea when lifting heavy objects. But, for example, heavy training of the whole body, which will create a demand for oxygen in all muscle groups, will cause the greatest risk of nausea and feeling unwell after exercise.
You may feel confusion, nausea and dizziness during exercise, hours after exercise or feeling sick may appear the day after working out, either for the first time or after a few days of exercising.
What are signs of over exercising?
It is very important that you move a lot, but you should not cross the line in training either. Experts recommend 30 to 50 minutes five times a week. In fact, anyone can set a limit that suits them, and we bring you signs that indicate you have violated.
Constant muscle fiber means that with daily hard training you do not leave the body enough time to recover. Consequently, if the muscle does not recover, it does not become stronger.
If your heart rate increased from 65 to 80 during rest, it means that your body is under stress from too much exercise. Constant fatigue with a normal sleep schedule means you are mentally and physically exhausted. Yawning during the day indicates excessive exercise.
A common question is can you get sick from over-exercising? It is true that you can get sick after working out. You can feel sick and flu-ish after exercise, and often, after working out too much you can get a cold. But why do you get a cold after working out? The recurrence of the common cold occurs when we force the body and do not allow it to rest. It first affects the immune system and then diseases follow.
Have you lost the will to exercise and you feel awful after working out? Sometimes everyone gets tired and they don’t want to go to a coach anymore, they want to change sports or they get bored of running the same route alone, but if you suddenly can’t do any activity anymore, then it means that you haven’t had any breaks and distances from it. You may feel overexertion sickness, also known as fitness or workout hangover, for which the best cure is just recovering from overexertion.
Over exercising without eating
Keep in mind that food is fuel for the body. Just as a car could not drive without fuel, so our body cannot do without food. About 20 to 30 minutes before training, experts advise taking a handful of nuts, some fruit, and bananas are an excellent source of energy.
In the other hand, too much food can be the reason why do you feel sick after working out. If you wondered why do you feel like puking when exercising, and you experience burping and nausea during exercise, remember that food can be the culprit for it.
It is good to come to training well hydrated and not on an empty stomach, but overeating and too much drink before activities can have negative consequences. Namely, with a lack of circulation in the digestive tract, it is difficult to digest excessive food and this can also cause nausea. For this reason, it is advisable to eat a quality and quantitatively moderate meal 1-3 hours before training. Also, in this pre-workout meal, it is advised to avoid fats as fats need more time to digest.
As for water, it is recommended to drink a little, both before and during training, and not to drink too much fluid at once which can also cause nausea.
What to expect when you first start working out?
The body needs time to adjust to the workout. I will not lie and say how easy it will be. It will be difficult at first. Expect severe muscle inflammation, expect you won’t be able to do all the exercises to the end, maybe even endure an hour, expect a shock to the body abd even feeling unwell after exercise. Feeling sick and dizzy during exercise is also possible. All this is completely normal. Whether you enrolled in yoga, workout any spine program. Each is difficult in its own way. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth all the effort.
Every beginning in life is difficult, even if it leads to better. The point is not to give up after the first time because it’s hard or not to give up after the first month because you don’t see results. Results cannot come overnight and it takes time and perseverance. It takes a strong will, motivation, and desire.
Should you stop working out if you feel dizzy, nauseous, and feel like throwing up?
If you feel nauseous and urge to vomit, slow down with your workout. You shouldn’t be working out when nauseous. Slow down and wait for your pulse to drop, it will be enough to calm down and eliminate the nausea. If that doesn’t work, lie down and raise your legs above your stomach, helping to get the blood back into your stomach and intestines.
If you feel unwell and nauseous during each workout, and exercise makes you feel terrible, take this as a sign that you are overtraining and slowing down. You will achieve results with a slightly slower pace and without constant nausea and discomfort, after each workout.
Is it OK to throw up after a workout?
Gastrointestinal disorders after strenuous physical exertion are quite widespread among the population, and are also observed in 60% of athletes who engage in competitive sports.
Nausea and vomiting after physical exertion are common complaints. Vomiting is a reflex act, which is associated with the excitation of the appropriate center for vomiting in the brain, and can occur with changes in the internal environment of the body (intoxication, infection, diseases of the digestive tract, physical activity). So, to conclude, throwing up after exercise isn’t good. This is a sign from your body that something is wrong and it means that you should slow down.
If you rule out serious disorders such as traumatic brain injury, hypoglycemia, heat damage, or pregnancy in women, vomiting after exercise may be associated with normal overtraining. In this case, it is necessary to rest and rehydrate. It should be noted that rehydration is an important factor in maintaining endurance during training.
Nausea and subsequent vomiting after exercise may also be associated with food delays in the stomach. The rate of gastric discharge from the received portion of food depends on many factors, one of which is osmotic. Solutions with high osmotic pressure leave the stomach much more slowly during physical activity, which makes their use undesirable. During physical exertion, solid food stays in the stomach for a long time.
How to prevent vomiting after workout?
No body wants to experience vomiting on first day of gym. But it’s not only being sick and throwing up at the gym, vomiting after exertion on whatever place you are, isn something that is best to prevent.
To avoid nausea during intense strength training, you should know what causes nausea after working out. Remember the following tips:
- Rest enough between sets to maintain a continuous heartbeat. If your heart is beating fast then vomiting during training is very likely. After a strenuous series of squats or other complex exercises, a break of 5 minutes is extremely acceptable.
- Avoid bending to adjust the weight on the weights. Instead, it’s much easier to do it on a stand or table. In any case, avoid squeezing the stomach.
- Drink the minimum amount of water you feel the need for. Try not to do this just before a series of exercises. If you drank enough fluids before your workout, try to keep it to a minimum during it. You have probably noticed that boxers drink only enough water between rounds to make up for the level of fluid lost due to sweating or exhalation.
- Never consume carbonated beverages during training. Also, avoid shaking the water bottle while drinking from it. It is advisable to use a glass because any kind of air intake in the stomach will increase the gases in it during training.
- And finally, if a simple series of squats leaves you breathless when performing exercises, then you are not the best prepared and it would be better to slow down.
What to do if you feel like throwing up after working out?
There are pharmacological agents that help solve the problem of vomiting. In severe cases, antiemetic drugs such as metoclopramide, tropindol, trimethobenzamide, etc. are prescribed. However, attention should always be paid to the side effects of taking such drugs. For instance, diarrhea, dizziness, allergic reactions, poor coordination of movements, etc.
Non-pharmacological effects include adequate hydration, both before and during exercise.
How to prevent nausea after working out?
During exercise, it is important to monitor your condition and take action for any changes. Any complex is performed gradually with a moderate load so that the heart and other muscles can adjust.
A balanced role plays a big role. Fermented dairy products, nuts, fruits should be present in the diet.
It is important to drink purified water as much as possible because water normalizes blood pressure. Before training not less than 200 ml, and after training it is best to drink fluids after half an hour.
How to stop nausea after workout?
After everything being said you probably wonder how do you get rid of a nauseous feeling and how to stop nausea after working out.
Experienced coaches and athletes have developed a list of simple but at the same time effective recommendations on how to support the body and protect it from nausea. Among them are:
- Sleep must last at least 7-8 hours. Shorter duration directly leads to permanent overexertion and exhaustion.
- On school days, it is important to exclude thick meals and the use of heavy foods, which are difficult and long to digest.
- The last snack should be 2 hours before the expected workout.
- Nausea and dizziness are signs of hypersensitivity to hypoglycemia. Experts advise in such cases to eat a small piece of dark chocolate before training (an effective method for quickly getting enough carbohydrates).
- After training, it is recommended to use milk or protein shake. Such a treat exactly eliminates nausea.
- Warm up before any race. In the same way, stretching at the end of classes is important. Such procedures help the body prepare for the load and transfer it more easily. Nausea in this case will not occur.
- If you feel sick, it’s important to stop training and walk a little at a normal pace. It is useful to squat.
It has been proven that by implementing a well-planned schedule it is possible to achieve significant body strengthening. A well-organized organism fully functions, rejuvenates and regenerates faster.
If, in the background of the normal schedule and after the recommendation, the symptoms of nausea and dizziness do not disappear after running that is an alarming symptom that cannot be ignored. In that case, it is important to see a doctor immediately to have a thorough examination of the body.
Also read: How to avoid overtraining
Irena is a dentist from Croatia, working extensively in her field, but she also has a high interest in the fields of fitness, nutrition and medicine in general. She has been educating herself about how to lead a healthy lifestyle for years. She seeks to help people adopt healthy habits as well as healthy and positive thinking about life. In her spare time, she hikes, runs, plays saxophone and guitar, and develops her own websites – Salubrius Vita and GoalDigger. Her life motto is: When they expect a lot from you, you do even more.