What Causes Nausea After Exercising?

Do you experience nausea after you work out? This is a fairly common symptom. Here’s why it may be occurring.

You’ve just finished a tough workout at the gym and instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment, you feel nauseous instead. Nausea after exercising is not an uncommon symptom and can occur for a variety of reasons. When you exercise hard, your body diverts nutrients and blood flow to the hard working muscles and conserves energy by signaling the brain to slow down digestion. The result is delayed digestion and, in some cases, nausea, especially if you’ve eaten recently.

Other Reasons for Nausea After Exercising

One common reason for nausea after exercise is poor meal timing in relation to exercise. Exercising on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to drop resulting in lightheadedness, weakness, and nausea, particularly if you do an intense workout. On the other hand, exercising within an hour or two after a meal can cause intestinal distress in some people. It’s ideal to wait at least two hours, preferably three after eating a meal before heading to the gym, and keep the meal light if you’ll be doing a tough workout. Some people make the mistake of snacking between exercise sets which can cause excess air to be swallowed, leading to nausea. To keep blood sugar levels from dropping, add a quality source of protein to your pre-workout meal and avoid simple sugars and soft drinks.

Dehydration Can Cause Nausea

Another reason for nausea after exercise is dehydration. Dehydration not only causes nausea, but dizziness and lightheadedness as well. With an intense workout in a warm environment, mild dehydration is not uncommon. Always drink sixteen ounces of fluid two hours before a workout and another sixteen ounces afterwards. Avoid fluids that have sugar or caffeine. Keep a water bottle nearby and take small sips of water every ten minutes during a workout, particularly if it’s warm. Avoid drinking large quantities of water since it can slosh around in your stomach and make you feel heavier.

Are You Overdoing It?

Nausea after exercise can be a sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard. Try lightening up on your workout and see if the symptoms resolve. Give your body a chance to adapt to a new routine before jumping in full force. If you’re exercising in a warm environment, make sure you’re wearing lighter clothing that allows sweat to evaporate. Overheating can cause to nausea related to heat exhaustion.

If you continue to experience nausea after exercise despite making these changes, check with your doctor as a variety of medical conditions ranging from anemia to pregnancy can cause nausea after exercising

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