Do You Feel Sick After a Workout?

Get Fit With Kim


After a hard workout—or for some of you during the workout—do you ever feel nauseated or even vomit? Is this a regular occurrence for you? It can be frustrating, embarrassing, and a little scary especially if you don’t know what’s going on.

Feeling nauseated after an intense workout has happened to all of us at one time or another. We push ourselves beyond what we can do for many reasons—competition; getting sick and don’t realize it; working through anger; trying to get to the next level of fitness—however, more often we are experiencing an electrolyte imbalance when we get that nauseated feeling after exercise. Here are some reasons you may be feeling this way and how to fix them.

Feeling sick during or after exercise is not fun and will more than likely cause you to be discouraged and quit.

You are Dehydrated
Dehydration can lead to many issues that are exaggerated when you exercise. When your body is in state of dehydration your organs, brain, and muscles cannot function properly. And properly functioning muscles is key when exercising. Dehydration will cause nausea, fatigue, lethargy, and soreness during and after exercise. Be sure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day and during exercise. You should get at least half your body weight in ounces daily plus 8+ oz. more for every hour you exercise. (These numbers are just general guides. Some people need more or less depending on their diet, where they live, and the conditions in which they are exercising.)

You are Over Hydrated
This is rare, but some people actually drink too much water in efforts to be healthy. The “more is better” mentality is actually harmful and dangerous. When you drink too much water, you not only dilute your healthy gut bacteria but also deplete your electrolyte balance. Electrolytes are very important in keeping your muscles (including the heart!) working properly. Losing too many electrolytes or having them extremely out of balance can lead to serious repercussions and even heart attacks. A key symptom is nausea. Typically, those who suffer from over hydration are also eating a very low sodium diet. See the above guidelines for proper hydration.

Some of the key electrolytes are potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium. If you have ruled out the other culprits and electrolyte imbalance is the cause of your fatigue, muscle cramps, and nausea during and after exercise, there are a couple of things you can do to help replenish them.

Check Your Nutrition
You may need to add a little more sodium into your diet. You can do this easily with soups, pickles and pickle juice, or electrolyte replacement powders. I have used pickle juice after exercise in extreme conditions for many years with great success. I know that my sodium levels run low and deplete easily because I have done blood work and sweat tests in my training. (If you are interested in doing a sweat test, contact me.) If you are not sure what electrolytes you need, a replacement powder is the way to go. Make sure you are using one that is not full of chemicals and sugar. If you want to see what I use and recommend, you can see my video on the topic on my Facebook page under Get Fit With Kim and Kim Cates Clinkenbeard.

Remember to hydrate while working, not just after.
Remember to hydrate while working, not just after.

Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar can affect your workout and make you feel nauseous especially if you work out early in the morning. If you are exercising on an empty stomach, you may not have enough food (energy) to exercise. Eat something easily digestible (like apple slices) 30 minutes or so before your workout.

A Drop in Blood Pressure
This can also be the cause of lightheadedness and nausea. Blood pressure medications increase the risk of this happening during and after exercise. If you experience a drop in blood pressure; extend your cool down. Do not suddenly stop, sit, or lie down immediately after a vigorous workout or between exercises. Your age, fitness level, medications, and workout intensity will determine the length of the cool down needed.

Feeling sick during or after exercise is not fun and will more than likely cause you to be discouraged and quit. Therefore, figuring out the root cause and implementing the strategies suggested will not only help you not feel sick but will allow you to progress your fitness and better your health long term. Be sure to follow me on Facebook for short live videos on many topics every week.

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