This is a common complaint when starting a new workout plan. You know the feeling, your stomach begins to turn, your skin gets clammy, and your mouth begins to salivate as bile tingles on your teeth. You are about to puke, and there is a reason for wanting to puke when working out.
Reasons Why You Puke When Working Out
You are not alone. Kids in school gyms, contestants on reality shows, and well-trained athletes in competitions all suffer from the urge to purge. Here’s why you want to puke.
- You are dehydrated
If you are wearing bulky clothing, or you are not hydrated before a run, your gut ceases to absorb liquids adequately. When you participate in strenuous exercise, you also lose moisture and salt from your body, both of which are essential for maintaining electrolyte balance. If you are off balance or not absorbing liquids adequately, you will become nauseous and ill.
- You are over-heated
Running can cause you to become overheated. Heat exhaustion can occur when running in-doors where circulation is poor, when it hot and dry outside, and when the humidity is on the rise. When you suffer from heat exhaustion, dehydration follows, and as we just learned, nausea, and throwing up are not too far behind.
- You ate too much
There are a few issues at play here: you ate too quickly, you ate too much, or you ate the wrong foods. You may have even done all three. Before a strenuous workout, keep these tips in mind when preparing a nutritious meal: keep it light, keep it healthy, and eat it sooner. If you enjoy a morning workout, avoid coffee right before you lace up your sneakers. Enjoy it sooner to avoid nausea, and don’t make it the only thing in your stomach. Some people have the same effect with juice. When in doubt, stick to water with your meal.
One thing you must never do is avoid the meal altogether. Cutting out your meals prior to working out can inhibit your performance and deplete your energy levels.
- You suffer from GERD
GERD is not a sudden bout of heartburn or acid reflux. If you constantly suffer from heartburn and acid reflux, you might be suffering from GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD is a common disorder that reveals itself in a number of ways, one of which is chronic heartburn. Additional symptoms of GERD include: severe heartburn at night, difficulty swallowing, and pain or symptoms that interrupt daily activities. Only a physician can diagnose GERD. If you have frequent heartburn or pain, talk to your doctor.
- Your digestive system is shutting down
During a strenuous exercise, your body redirects oxygenated blood away from the stomach. The blood goes to the organs, such as your lungs, muscles, and heart, that aid you in completing strenuous activity. As a result, your stomach can’t digest your food properly so it threatens to deliver back up instead.
- You did not cool down properly
The cool down is critical. If you push it to the limits and then stop suddenly, your body doesn’t get the benefit of cooling down. Not only does your body avoid the nauseating crash, but the cool down aids in muscle recovery and injury prevention as well. Give your body the chance to cool down so you don’t overwhelm it. Cooling down helps your body readjust and recover without tossing your stomach.
- You are susceptible to Vasovagal Syncope
Some people just become nauseated and dizzy. This is caused by a vasovagal response, or Vasovagal Syncope. This condition occurs when your body reacts to strenuous exercise or other triggers such as the sight of blood, getting up too quickly, and standing in a medical office. Blood flows away from your brain, your heart rate drops, and your blood pressure plummets. If you don’t sit down, you will pass out or puke. To rule out any other conditions, talk to your physician about frequent fainting spells or bouts of nausea.
- It’s the acid, man
When you work out hard, it’s tough on your body. Intense workouts produce hydrogen in the body, which causes an acid-based disturbance in the body. The increased presence of hydrogen ions in the body can lead to discomfort in the body.
You are not the only person suffering from the threat of vomiting after working out. Chances are a handful of people around you are feeling the exact same way. Remember to stay hydrated, eat well, listen to your body, and keep working out. Once you are properly conditioned, and have stopped overtraining, you will notice that the puking feeling doesn’t occur as often.