How Come When I Workout My Head Hurts?

How come when I workout my head hurts? This is a question that many people have. In this blog post, we will explore the possible causes for this phenomenon.

Causes of Headache

Exercising can be a great way to stay fit and healthy, but for some it can also leave them with an unpleasant headache. There are a variety of potential causes for this type of headache – from dehydration to stress. This article will explore the potential causes for experiencing headache after exercise and how to treat it.

Poor Hydration

Without hydration, your body can’t be in its peak performance form. This can cause a variety of issues including headaches. When you are low on fluids, your brain is unable to receive the oxygen it needs and relies on its other sources of energy which can contribute to a dull headache. Poorly hydrated muscles can further add to the strain that the head might feel while working out.

To avoid dehydration and headaches it is important to practice proper hydration before, during, and after working out. Proper hydration before beginning any type of physical activity includes drinking 16-20 ounces approximately 2 hours before exercise and another 8-10 ounces about 15 minutes prior. Drinking frequently throughout exercise will maintain proper hydration with 5-9 ounces every 15-20 minutes during exercise depending on body size and intensity level of activity. During activities that last more than one hour electrolyte replacement are recommended (like Gatorade or Powerade). After leisure activity it is critical to replenish lost fluids since it could take up to 24 hours for rehydration to occur. It is important to drink 16-24 ounces of fluid for each pound lost while exercising.


Headaches are a common side effect of exercise, and they can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration. Dehydration occurs when water loss exceeds water intake, and it can cause headaches due to the effect it has on brain functions and blood vessels. When you become dehydrated, your brain shrinks away from your skull, which causes pressure on nearby nerves and blood vessels. In addition, low fluid levels lead to decreased oxygen delivery throughout the body, leading to fatigue and headaches.

To prevent dehydration-related headaches during workout sessions it is important to stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after exercise. It is recommended that at least one hour before an intense workout session you should drink 17–20 ounces (about 500-600 milliliters) of water or a sports drink containing electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. During exercise workouts last for up to three hours or more should include drinking about 7–10 ounces (200–300 milliliters) every 15–20 minutes. Post-workout hydration is also important; aim for 16–24 ounces (500-750 ml) within two hours after exercising.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is a common cause of headaches after physical activity. When you exercise, your body’s glucose levels can decrease as your muscles use up their stores of energy. This can lead to a feeling of lightheadedness and nausea, as well as a headache. Eating something sugary before exercising can help you to fuel your muscles with glucose and prevent low blood sugar headaches. Additionally, consuming appropriate amounts of carbohydrates and other healthy snacks throughout the day will also ensure that your body’s glucose levels remain stable during exercise.


Stress can cause headaches in many different ways. Psychological and emotional stress can lead to tension headaches, which usually start at the forehead or temples and often feel like a band tightening around the head. Activating the body’s “fight or flight” response triggers an adrenaline rush that pumps up blood pressure and leads to constriction in blood vessels throughout the body, including the head. The resulting constriction in your blood vessels can cause lasting pain that varies from mild to severe.

In addition, when people are under great stress their bodies activate physiological responses such as increased cardiac activity, changes in respiration rate and temperature, muscle tension, and even changes in posture that can lead to chronic upper back and neck pain as well as throbbing headaches. To reduce or prevent these types of headache-inducing stress it is important to keep a regular exercise regimen; practicing mindfulness techniques; getting plenty of restful sleep; eating a healthy diet; making time for leisure activities; engaging with supportive friends and family members; learning healthy coping strategies for dealing with stressor’s life throws your way.; amd seeking professional help when needed.

Prevention Strategies

Working out can be great for improving physical health, but sometimes it can bring on unexpected pain in the form of headaches. Understanding why this happens and how to prevent it can help keep your workout routine comfortable. Here, we will discuss why headaches can come with working out and some strategies to help you prevent them.

Hydrate before, during, and after exercise

In order to prevent headaches while exercising, it is essential to stay properly hydrated before, during, and after exercise. It is important to start drinking water several hours prior to exercise and keep a water bottle nearby when exercising. During physical activity it is key to take in small amounts of fluids at regular intervals to maintain a healthy hydration status. When heading outside for extended periods of time or for strenuous activities like running or high-intensity workouts, you may need to drink an ounce or two of water or sports drinks every 15-20 minutes during the workout.

It is also important not to overhydrate as this can create its own set of complications such as hyponatremia which can be serious and sometimes fatal. Furthermore, try replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat with sports drinks rather than drinking large amounts of plain water quickly — this will help refresh your body and replace electrolytes in order to avoid any dehydration from occurring and causing serious headaches. Lastly, it’s beneficial for athletes not only recover lost fluids but also gently stretch out post‑exercise as this may help reduce muscle tension which can occur after a workout and cause headaches afterwards.

Eat a balanced diet

In order to prevent workout headache, it is essential to have a balanced diet that includes healthy nutrients in the right proportions. Eating a well-rounded diet can help reduce low blood sugar levels, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies which can contribute to headaches during or after a workout. Eating a balanced diet may also prevent exercise-induced headache by providing your body with fuel necessary to exercise and keep up with your fitness goals.

For active individuals looking to prevent headaches while exercising, important dietary components include carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals and fluids. Foods high in carbohydrates such as grains (e.g., pastas, oats) and fruits are important energy sources that help you perform during intense aerobic exercises like long distance running or cycling; protein found in dairy products (yogurt), beans and nuts helps build muscle; dietary fiber from vegetables helps regulate digestion; vitamins (C, B complex) and minerals (magnesium) boost immunity; and fluids (e.g., water) replace lost hydration caused by sweat during workouts.

In addition to eating a balanced diet that meets all of your body’s nutritional needs it is important to eat at regular intervals throughout the day without skipping meals as this will help provide continuous energy supply while preventing low blood sugar levels that can contribute to headaches before or after physical activities.

Avoid excessive caffeine

Excessive caffeine intake can cause your body to become dehydrated, which can lead to a headache. Caffeine is naturally found in beverages such as coffee, tea and sodas. Most energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine which can be dangerous if consumed in excess. Caffeine is also present in chocolate, some medications and dietary supplements. Therefore, it’s important to read labels carefully and avoid taking more than the recommended dosage.

When your body becomes dehydrated while you are exercising, it’s best to take in fluids such as water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes to help restore balance and hydration levels that were lost during physical activity. It’s also a good idea to ease into exercise gradually so that your body isn’t over-taxed too quickly or drastically. Too much physical exertion without proper hydration will increase the risk of dehydration and headaches associated with exercise.

Monitor your heart rate

Effective exercise is about working smarter, not harder. To maximize the benefits of your workout and to avoid headache-inducing fatigue, it is important to keep an eye on your heart rate as you exercise. When your heart rate reaches a target number that is specific to you and your fitness level, it is key to back off a bit in order to allow for proper recovery time between exercises. Knowing your target heart rate and monitoring it throughout your workout will help reduce fatigue as well as give you a clearer understanding of how much effort you are putting in.

Furthermore, when beginning an exercise routine for the first time or when switching up the type of routine that you are doing, the biggest cause of post-exercise headaches could be due to extreme changes in intensity. Consistently intense aerobic exercise can result in dehydration which may lead to headaches afterwards. It is recommended that individuals gradually increase their level of exercise starting with low intensity activities then gradually increasing their level over a period of weeks. Overdoing it can cause tiredness and headaches, which can be avoided by starting slowly and increasing intensity gradually over time.

Treatment Options

Headaches caused by exercise can be frustrating, but knowing what is causing the headache and how to treat it can help keep you from avoiding exercise. In this section we will discuss the various treatment options for headaches caused by exercise. We will explore the common causes of exercise-induced headaches, as well as possible treatments and preventative measures.

Rest and relaxation

Rest and relaxation is the best form of treatment for headaches associated with exercise. A gentle cool-down after physical activity can drastically reduce the risk of getting a post-exercise headache. During a cool-down period, the heart rate should be allowed to gradually return to its normal level by gradually slowing down instead of abruptly stopping physical activity. Sports drinks, deep breathing and stretching may also help reduce your chance of experiencing a headache after exercising.

If your headaches are persistent, speak to your physician about any underlying conditions that may be causing them. Medical professionals could check for calcium deficiency or dehydration as potential causes for getting post-exercise headaches. Nutritionists can also provide valuable advice on how certain foods may increase your risk level or offer potential preventative measures such as increasing electrolyte intake before exercise.

You don’t have to abandon exercise entirely if you suffer from post-exercice headaches; paying close attention to your diet and scheduled workouts could allow you to continue active lifestyles without any recurring pain or discomfort associated with exercise. It’s important to note that regardless of how much rest is taken, if you experience severe pain in the head following physical activity, it’s best consult a healthcare professional immediately.

Over-the-counter medication

For mild to moderate headaches, over-the-counter medications can be a timely, cost-effective option. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are typically your first choice for relieving headaches. In addition, aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine can help you manage the pain without a prescription. It’s important to note that all of these medications come with potential side effects and should not be misused. If any of these symptoms are experienced such as dizziness, fatigue or an upset stomach it is recommended to stop taking the medication right away and speak with a doctor before resuming use.

Ice or heat therapy

Ice or heat therapy is frequently recommended as a form of treatment for those who experience head pain after exercising. In most cases, ice should be used to reduce swelling and inflammation and to dull pain, while heat can be used to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation in the area. Ice therapy is often preferred immediately after exercise as it helps reduce acute pain quickly. Heat can be used before exercise as a way to loosen up muscles and increase circulation, but should not be used after exercise until the swelling has gone away.

When using either ice or heat therapy, it is important to wrap the alternating temperature packs in some type of thin material such as thin towels or a t-shirt before using them on sensitive skin. Superficial application of cold or heat should take place for no longer than 15 minutes at a time, followed by at least 45 minutes of rest with no application at all. Moreover, it is best to consult with your doctor before applying either ice or heat therapy in order to determine which one would be most effective for your particular situation.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy is a popular treatment option for headache sufferers. It has been used for centuries to reduce headache pain, but in recent years its effectiveness has been scientifically proven. Massage therapy works by reducing muscle tension, relieving stress and improving circulation. This can be especially beneficial for those who suffer from tension headaches caused by stress or poor posture. While more research is needed to determine whether massage therapy is an effective long-term solution for chronic headache sufferers, some individuals may find relief through regular sessions with a massage therapist.

Some common types of massage therapies used to treat headaches include: Swedish massage, Shiatsu massage and trigger point therapy. Swedish massage is a full-body relaxation technique that uses long strokes to invigorate the circulatory system and promote restful physical states. Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese technique that focuses on pressure points and energy lines on your body. Trigger point therapy specifically targets knots in muscles which can cause throbbing pain when they’re tensed up or inflamed. Both techniques are gentle enough to be used even with severe migraines and frequent headaches; however, it’s important to speak with your doctor first before undergoing any type of therapeutic treatment plan.

When to See a Doctor

Working out can be a great way to stay healthy and fit, however, there are times when you may experience unexpected side effects such as a headache. Sometimes these headaches can be harmless and are caused by dehydration, but in other cases, it could be a sign of something more serious. It is important to be aware of when it’s time to see a doctor in order to get a proper diagnosis.

Severe or persistent headache

While feeling a bit of tension or pressure after a workout is normal, a severe or persistent headache may indicate something more serious. If the headache lasts more than two hours, becomes worse, keeps recurring after workouts, is accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting, or causes an altered level of consciousness (confusion, drowsiness), it is time to see a doctor.

Although experiencing pain during physical activity can be worrying, it does not always mean something is wrong; rather it could be a sign of muscle fatigue caused by exercise. It is natural for the body to feel some discomfort as it adjusts and adapts to new routines. However, if you experience unusually severe or lasting pain after any type of physical activity, seek medical advice immediately as this could be a sign of a more serious injury such as chronic exertional headaches or increased intracranial pressure from brain swelling.

It’s also important to consult your doctor if you have an existing medical condition that could increase the likelihood of having an adverse reaction during exercise such as high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, diabetes mellitus or intracerebral hemorrhage. Knowing your health history and alerting your healthcare provider will give them the information they need to ensure safe exercise guidelines are being followed based on your specific needs.

Headache accompanied by dizziness

Headaches accompanied by dizziness can be a sign of something more serious and should be evaluated by a medical professional. Possible causes of headache and dizziness include low blood sugar, dehydration, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, hypertension, diabetes, or even a brain tumor. Other symptoms to look out for are confusion, difficulty communicating or speaking, drowsiness or sudden fatigue and vision changes. If any of these symptoms develop while exercising get to a doctor right away as they could be signs of a stroke or seizure. It is also important to check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity to make sure it is safe for you and that you have the correct protective gear such as helmet if needed..

Headache accompanied by nausea

If you experience a headache accompanied by nausea, vomiting and/or visual disturbances, you should seek immediate medical care. This can be an indication of serious conditions such as stroke, meningitis, a brain tumor or increased intracranial pressure. Other signs or symptoms including fever or change in your level of consciousness may also accompany this type of headache. If your headache is accompanied by any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your health care provider right away to rule out any serious medical conditions.

Headache accompanied by vision changes

Headaches accompanied by vision changes can indicate a serious and potentially life-threatening condition and should be immediately evaluated by a medical professional. Symptoms such as sudden blurred or double vision, speech changes, coordination difficulty and loss of consciousness are considered to be a medical emergency and require immediate attention.

Certain activities or movements that could cause a stroke may also trigger a severe headache such as lifting heavy objects or engaging in physical activity after an extended period of rest. In these cases, it is important to seek urgent medical attention even if you are symptom free by the time you visit your doctor. Physical symptoms related to your workout should not be ignored.

If you notice any changes in your vision while working out, especially if it persists for more than fifteen minutes or is accompanied by numbness or weakness in any part of your body, seek medical attention right away. A prompt diagnosis can make all the difference in treating potential strokes. Other warning signs include facial drooping, one-sided weakness in the arms or legs and speech slurring—seek medical help immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

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