How to Avoid Exercise Induced Nausea & Vomiting

When you push your body during exercise or exercise without the proper nutrition, a wave of nausea could interrupt your workout. Exercise-induced sickness and vomiting often cut a workout short, since you then have to attend to your symptoms.

Drink plenty of water to help prevent nausea after a workout. (Image: Obradovic/E+/GettyImages)

The sensation you experience during exercise is likely more closely related to your habits than the actual exercise in which you're participating. Prepare for and finish exercise properly so the physical exertion doesn't make you feel sick.

Foods That Help with Nausea

According to Precision Nutrition, you should consume a small meal one to two hours before you exercise. Ideally this meal includes a combination of protein, carbohydrate and fat, such as lean meat, veggies drizzled with oil and some fruit.

Exercising on a completely empty stomach could lead to nausea because of low blood sugar, whereas exercising on a full stomach means moving around before your food is completely digested.

Avoid the Heat

Exercising in hot weather can lead to exercise-induced nausea. Consider exercising in a temperature-controlled environment when it's hot outdoors — particularly if you are not accustomed to working out in the heat. Working out in the heat impairs your body's ability to regulate it's temperature, particularly if there is also high humidity.

Exercising in extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion — warning signs that your body is beginning to overheat, and heat stroke, both which make you feel nauseated. A core temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit is the main sign of heatstroke, according to Mayo Clinic. This condition is a medical emergency and can lead to death.

In addition to nausea, heatstroke can cause rapid, shallow breathing, increased heart rate, confusion, slurred speech and headache. Seek immediate medical attention if you have these symptoms.

Progress Exercise Slowly

Exercise-induced nausea can result from working out too hard, too fast. Exercise to your ability and increase your intensity in increments. While pushing yourself certainly burns calories, it doesn't bode well for your body.

Exercising too strenuously when your body isn't in condition could lead to overexertion, which results in nausea, lightheadedness and even fainting. Build your strength over time rather than throwing yourself into intense exercise before your body is completely ready.

Drink Your Water

Drink water to stay hydrated throughout your workout. Dehydration often manifests as nausea. As you exercise, you lose water through sweat. That water must be replenished to head off dehydration. The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking during your workout at least 7 to 10 ounces of water for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise. You usually don't need sports drinks to replace potassium and sodium unless you're exercising at high intensity for more than 45 to 60 minutes.

Cool Yourself Down

A proper cool down can help prevent nausea after a workout. When you stop exercise abruptly, your heart continues pumping blood to your working extremities, leaving less for your brain. By stopping exercise gradually, you will regulate your heart rate and redirect blood flow more evenly throughout your body so you feel better after your workout.

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