If You're Throwing Up After a Workout, It May Be Time to Bring It Down a Notch

Some people brag about throwing up after a workout. However, feeling nauseated or throwing up after exercise is not always a good thing. It could be the result of serious exercise problems, including overexertion, dehydration or poor eating before your workout.

You might need to increase your fluid intake if you throw up after workouts. (Image: filadendron/E+/GettyImages)

Since nausea can stop you from exercising, it's best to find out what's causing your post-workout vomiting so you can prevent the condition and continue to achieve your daily fitness goals.

Nausea After Workout

Along with vomiting at the end of a workout, you may experiences other symptoms as a precursor to nausea. You may also experience faintness or dizziness, both which can contribute to your nausea. The symptoms may manifest at the end of a long and particularly grueling workout.

If you've eaten a heavy meal before your workout or haven't eaten enough prior to working out, you may begin to feel like throwing up as soon as you start exercising — a sign that your reaction could be related to your blood sugar.

Causes of Throwing Up

Gastrointestinal upset can be related to intensity of exercise. In fact, nausea and vomiting are common complaints in endurance athletes. A case study published in 2013 by Gastroenterology Review followed a 21-year-old male runner who was experiencing exercise-induced vomiting and found that his ailment was related to dehydration. In these situations, your symptoms can be reversed with proper fluid intake prior to, and during, exercise.

Dehydration combined with exertion can make you feel like throwing up. When you push your body too hard without first warming up to the intensity, the exertion can make you feel sick, especially when combined with a lack of hydration.

Treatment for Nausea

If you begin to feel like throwing up while exercising, reduce your intensity slowly. Stopping exercise suddenly can worsen your symptoms. Instead, slow to a walk until you feel comfortable stopping altogether.

Ensure that you have water handy and take a short break, allowing your pulse to return to a resting rate. If you decide to begin exercising again in the same session, start at the lowest intensity possible until you feel comfortable enough to increase your speed or intensity.

Prevent Nausea After a Workout

The best way to deal with nausea and vomiting after exercise is to prevent it. Since both fasting and full meals can affect how your body reacts to a workout, it's best to have a small and nutritious snack before hitting the gym. An apple with peanut butter, a protein bar, or dried fruit and nuts can help power your body without making you feel full or sick.

Drink water frequently throughout the workout, at least 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, according to the American Council on Exercise. When attempting a new workout or increasing your intensity, do so slowly and with a competent spotter to acclimate your body to the exercise gradually.

See a Doctor

Although rare, throwing up after exercise can be a sign of a more serious issue such as heat stroke, acute renal failure or other medical conditions. See your doctor if you have pain with your vomiting or experience these symptoms frequently.

Nausea and vomiting can also occur with a heart attack. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest pain with these symptoms.

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