Why Do I Feel Nausea After Exercise?

Sep 12, 2022


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Exercising is a great way to celebrate all that your body can do. Still, sometimes people can push themselves too hard and end up feeling unwell either during or after a workout. Feeling nausea after exercise isn’t a good sign, nor does it signify a successful workout. Here’s what you need to do to prevent yourself from feeling nauseous after working out.

Possible Causes for Nausea After Exercise

Nausea might seem inevitable sometimes, no matter what measures you take to prevent it. You may be making a common mistake leading to nausea after exercise. You may see your issue reflected in one of these three circumstances.

1. Eating Right Before

As children, many people were told not to eat right before swimming because the activity may make them feel nauseous if the food hasn’t settled in their stomachs. The idea is the same with any other activity — while you may not need to wait an hour after you eat, it isn’t a good idea to start exercising right after you’ve had lunch. You can have a snack right before you start working out, but you should save larger meals for a few hours before so that your food has time to begin digesting and won’t be weighing you down.

2. Taking Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

If you have a minor injury that makes it difficult to work out, you may be tempted to take anti-inflammatory drugs to take some of the pain away. However, when used right before strenuous workouts, the drugs do more harm than good and can sometimes make a situation worse, even for healthy individuals. If you start to hurt or feel not quite yourself after a while of strenuous exercise, that could be the reason. 

3. Too Much Sugar

Eating too much sugar all at once can lead to an upset stomach even when you don’t plan to work out. People who exercise in the morning may be tempted by all the sugary options there are for breakfast. If you plan to work out early, make sure that you choose a balanced breakfast with little sugar. The best sugar to eat is always the natural kind, such as that gained from fruit.

How to Create the Best Workout for You

Everyone will have different needs when they work out. Some people may want to focus on building muscle, while others may want to lose fat. While you customize which exercises will work best for you, you can also think of other things to do to maximize the effectiveness of your workout without feeling nausea after exercise.

1. Stay Hydrated

When working out, ensure you have plenty of fresh, cold water. Take a break when you need it so that you can rehydrate. You lose many of your liquids through sweating, so you may need a way to replenish them during or after particularly intense workouts. People who are active need more water than those who aren’t. Opt for proper water over sugary sports drinks that might make you thirstier. Water is the best nourishment you can give your body during a workout.

2. Choose the Right Breakfast

To minimize any possibility of nausea, make sure to eat something around an hour before you start exercising. Many people start exercising in the morning, so they may opt to skip breakfast altogether. While exercising during a fast might provide you with some benefits, it generally isn’t recommended because you could make yourself sick or see your blood sugar level drop rapidly. Make sure to have something in your stomach before you get started.

You should also choose the right food. Before you exercise, make sure to have a balanced meal that will help you avoid nausea after exercise by including the main nutrients your body needs. Carbohydrates and healthy fats will keep you powering through a workout, while protein is excellent to eat both before and after exercise.

3. Work to Your Strengths

A proper workout should play off your strengths and challenge you but not push you beyond your limits. Examine your lifestyle and see what works best for you. For example, if you work out in the morning, it may take you longer to warm up, and pushing yourself too far too quickly might make you nauseous. Choose the time of day and the exercises that complement your lifestyle rather than agitate it, and you should find that your workouts are more rewarding.

Eliminate Nausea After Exercise

To have the best workout you can, you need to understand where you fall short. Eliminating nausea after exercise should be your primary goal, as you shouldn’t have to experience discomfort while celebrating what your body can do. Try to better your habits and change anything you’ve been doing wrong. Treat your body as it should be treated, and you should soon see your abilities improve — including feeling great after working out.

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Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.