Why Do I Get Nauseous When I Workout?

If you’re wondering why you sometimes feel nauseous when you work out, you’re not alone. Here’s what might be causing it and how you can avoid it.

Causes of Nausea During Exercise

Nausea during exercise can be incredibly uncomfortable and discouraging for your workout routine. The causes of nausea during exercise can range from something as simple as pushing yourself too hard during a workout to something more serious like an underlying condition. Let’s look into the different potential causes of nausea when exercising.


When athletes fail to stay adequately hydrated during exercise, especially in hot weather, it’s common for nausea to set in. Dehydration causes a decrease in blood pressure, reducing the amount of blood being delivered to the brain. This can cause feeling anxious, lightheadedness and dizziness – sometimes leading to nausea or vomiting. It is therefore important for athletes to stay well-hydrated before, during and after exercise by drinking the right amount of water and electrolyte beverages that are tailored to individual needs. Fluids should be consumed on an ongoing basis rather than gulping them down all at once.
Additionally, foods containing sugar should be avoided shortly before exercising as they can reduce hydration levels quicker compared with other foods. Athletes who are not used to exercising intensely may find that they are unable to drink quickly enough or take-in enough fluids while they exercise hard and this could lead them becoming dehydrated more quickly than something more accustomed athlete. This can then lead resulting in nausea associated with dehydration caused by an insufficient fluid intake during exercise.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is one of the more common causes of nausea experienced during exercise. When we exercise, fuel is pulled out of the bloodstream and used by our body to produce energy. When there is not enough glucose in the bloodstream for our body to use for energy, we become hypoglycemic. Low blood sugar can cause feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness as well as nausea. To prevent this from happening, be sure to have a small snack such as a piece of fruit or half a sandwich prior to exercise. This will provide extra fuel that your body can draw from during your exercise routine and will help maintain your blood sugar level. Additionally, take breaks throughout your workout session and remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water, which will help keep your levels even.

Intense Exercise

Intense exercise is the most common cause of nausea during workouts. Intense exercise is defined as running, swimming, biking, or any other type of exercise that requires a rapid heart rate and increased muscular effort. When the body is working hard and quickly, it needs more oxygen to fuel the muscles and can create a feeling of nausea if oxygen levels are too low. It is also important to make sure you are hydrated while undergoing intense physical activity. Dehydration can increase feelings of nausea because it increases the risk of heat-related illnesses like cramps and dizziness. Additionally, it’s important to pay attention to your diet; certain foods may trigger nausea when exercising vigorously for extended periods of time. Eating shortly before or after exercising can also cause difficulties with digestion that may lead to feelings of nausea. Finally, be aware of other symptoms associated with overexertion such as chest pain and be sure to take necessary precautions if these arise during physical activity.

Eating Too Much Before Exercise

Eating too much prior to exercise is oftentimes the underlying cause of nausea during or after physical activity. Consuming large meals that are high in fats, proteins and/or carbohydrates can lead to indigestion and put strain on the digestive system, resulting in stomach discomfort. Avoiding any type of solid foods, within an hour or so of participating in an exercise regimen can drastically decrease the chances of getting nauseous during workouts. Dehydration is also another common cause for a nauseated feeling. This is why drinking plenty of fluids prior to beginning physical activity is crucial for preventing bouts with dizziness, lightheadedness and even vomit-inducing nausea.

Apart from preparing well prior to beginning any sort of exercise program, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs that there could be something more serious at play than just pre-exercise food bloat; such as dehydration, hormone imbalances or low blood sugar levels if the feeling persists despite changing up before-workout meal plans.

Preventing Nausea During Exercise

Many people experience nausea when they exercise, which can be a discouraging experience. It is important to understand why you get nauseous when you workout in order to prevent it from happening. There are several possible causes, such as dehydration, overtraining, or eating too close to your workout. Let’s look at how to prevent these issues and how to manage nausea if it happens.

Stay Hydrated

Staying properly hydrated is key to helping prevent feeling nauseous during exercise. Make sure you’re drinking enough fluids before, during, and after a workout. Consider hydrating with sports drinks to help replenish electrolytes, as they can help prevent dehydration while exercising.

Aim to consume at least 16 ounces of fluid 1-3 hours before beginning your workout, and then continue to sip fluids frequently in small amounts (about 4 ounces at a time) throughout the duration of your workout, or every 15-20 minutes if possible. After your workouts, it’s important to rehydrate with about 16-24 ounces for every pound lost during exercise. Pay attention to the color of your urine – it should be light yellow in color – as this can indicate proper hydration levels.

In addition to drinking plenty of fluids during exercises, consider eating something light early enough prior to exercising which will allow for digestion prior to physical activity. Eating too close or immediately before vigorous exercise could lead to feeling nauseous throughout or after the activity. Try snacking on foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat such as yogurt, applesauce, cheese and crackers or energy bars an hour before exercising; avoid large meals that are heavy in fats or proteins which can slow down digestion and make you feel heavier when running and working out more intensely.

Eat a Balanced Meal Before Exercise

Prior to exercising, it is important to eat a well-balanced meal that includes carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Eating this type of meal two to three hours before exercise can help improve performance and prevent nausea during physical activity. Carbohydrates provide both the energy and fuel for the muscles during exercise which can help reduce nausea by providing a consistent release of energy. Additionally, protein helps to sustain physical performance. Incorporating enough healthy fats into your pre-exercise meal helps to sustain satiety which may further reduce post-exercise nausea due to decreased hunger pangs during activity.

It is also important to stay hydrated prior, during and after exercise as dehydration can cause feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness which can contribute to nausea. Everyone’s water needs are different but generally drinking 17-20 ounces of water two hours before physical activity is recommended. During exercise, it is recommended that women drink 9 ounces of water every 20 minutes while men should drink 12 ounces every 20 minutes; however, individual sweat rates may vary so please be sure to adjust your fluid intake accordingly depending on factors such as the intensity and duration of your workout as well as environmental temperature.

Take Breaks During Exercise

The feeling of nausea during exercise can be uncomfortable and cause you to cut your workout short. To prevent it from happening, it is important to understand the major causes. Most often, nausea is caused by exercising too intensely for too long. This can happen when you increase your intensity or duration of your workouts faster than your body can adjust. Therefore, if you are feeling nauseous during exercise, it is best to take regular breaks so that the activity remains within a safe intensity level and duration range for your body.

Another common cause of nausea while working out is dehydration. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids (especially water) before and during exercise and reduce the amount of fluids with caffeine, such as coffee and energy drinks, as they can irritate the stomach leading to nausea even in smaller amounts. Eating a snack before starting a workout can also help reduce the risk of exercise-induced nausea as it helps slow down digestion during exercise and prevents rapid shifts in blood sugar levels.

Lastly, improper breathing techniques may exacerbate symptoms of nausea during physical activity. Focusing on taking slow deep breaths throughout your workouts will help stabilize respiration patterns and oxygen intake which allows for better performance without getting sick from overexertion or becoming light headed/nauseous due to insufficient oxygen levels in your body’s movement apparatuses like muscles used when running or cycling at high exertion levels ).

Warm Up and Cool Down

It’s important to warm up and cool down properly when exercising to avoid nausea and disorientation. The purpose of a warm-up is to gradually increase your heart rate and body temperature, which helps you to get the most out of your workout. During the course of your warm-up, you should be doing some dynamic stretching exercises like arm circles, shoulder rolls, etc., as well as some light cardiovascular activities.

The cool down period after intense exercise is just as important in helping your body adjust back to its normal state. This helps lower your heart rate, stretch out any tightened muscles and reduce the risk of injury or nausea. It should include things like slow jogging for a few minutes, or a low-intensity activity such as walking or cycling for around 10 minutes. You should then end with static stretching exercises like overhead arm pull or calf stretches. Taking brief breaks throughout an intense workout session can also help reduce the risk of nausea when exercising.

When to See a Doctor

Feeling nauseous when you’re working out can be a sign of something serious, so it’s important to pay attention to your body and know when to see a doctor. In some cases, you may be able to identify the cause of your nausea and make some changes to reduce or even eliminate it. In this article, we’ll discuss when to see a doctor and what causes nausea when working out.

Uncontrollable Nausea

Uncontrollable nausea that persists during or after intensive physical activity may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. This type of nausea, accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness or shortness of breath, is never normal and should prompt you to seek medical attention. Other symptoms you shouldn’t ignore include vomiting before or after workouts and persistent weakness.

Although uncomfortable and unpleasant, mild nausea that occurs during intense physical activity is usually caused by a sudden increase in temperature or low blood sugar. In some cases, pre-existing conditions such as dehydration may worsen the feeling of nausea. It’s important to replenish fluids throughout your workout and take short breaks when necessary. If the symptoms are persistent, you should see a doctor for evaluation and treatment recommendations.

An underlying heart condition could be to blame if you experience regular bouts of severe and/or irregular heart rate during exercise coupled with lightheadedness and nausea. Your doctor can twice use an electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure electrical activity in your heart in order to detect any abnormalities. He or she may also recommend an echocardiogram to obtain detailed imaging of your internal organs if needed – this procedure uses sound waves rather than X-rays to produce images which reveal signs associated with common cardiac conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD).


Vomiting or excessive nausea is a sign that you have pushed your body too hard during exercise. If you are vomiting after working out, you should stop exercising immediately, as continuing may result in dehydration or even cause further complications. Be sure to rehydrate with clear fluids and allow yourself time to rest and recover.

If the vomiting continues for more than a couple of days, it is important to consult a doctor. They will be able to determine whether there are any underlying health problems that could be causing the vomiting and will be able to provide appropriate advice and treatment plan. The doctor may recommend further tests such as blood tests or scans in order to rule out any potential causes of the nausea, such as an infection or food intolerance. If no medical cause can be found, your doctor may be able to offer advice on how best to manage your symptoms with lifestyle changes such as changes in your diet, physical activity levels and rest times between workouts.

Chest Pain

If you experience chest pain during or after exercise, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long they persist, you may need to be evaluated in an emergency setting. Chest pain can be an indication of a number of conditions, including angina, acid reflux, or even a heart attack.

If chest pain persists for more than a few minutes during exercise or does not go away after resting for several minutes after exercise, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis and advise on the best course of treatment for your condition.

Other signs that warrant medical attention include: tightness in the chest; radiating pain in one arm or shoulder; shortness of breath; dizziness; nausea or sweating; and difficulty breathing while lying down. If any of these symptoms occur during physical activity, you should see a healthcare provider right away to assess whether further medical care is necessary. Early intervention is key to reducing the risk of lasting damage or complications due to chest pain related to exercise.


In some cases, nausea or dizziness while exercising can be a sign of a serious health issue. Fainting after exercise is always something that needs to be evaluated by a physician. If you have fainted during or after physical activity, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Fainting can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including dehydration, low blood pressure, an abnormal heart rhythm, and neurological problems. Additionally, heat exhaustion or heat stroke can cause dizziness and lightheadedness which may lead to fainting or passing out during exercise. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and review your medical history in order to diagnose the cause of the episode. Common tests used to evaluate fainting include electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), echocardiogram (echo), and blood tests. Depending on the underlying cause of your fainting episodes, treatment may involve lifestyle modifications such as drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding extreme temperatures; medications; or surgery if necessary. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people can return to their regular activity level without any further complications from faint spells induced by exercise.


In conclusion, nausea when working out can be caused from a range of different factors. Some people may experience it due to low blood sugar, dehydration, or overexertion. More serious causes such as infections or hormone imbalances should also be considered. Knowing why you’re feeling nauseous during a workout can help you address the issue and make adjustments where needed.

Nausea During Exercise is Common

Nausea during exercise is surprisingly common. Many people experience mild to moderate nausea during intense activity, mainly due to an increase in the production of lactic acid during physical activity. Furthermore, those who are deconditioned and starting an exercise program often feel a heightened sense of nausea due to the body’s inability to adjust efficiently to new levels of activity.

Other causes of exercise-induced nausea can include physical exhaustion, dehydration and poor nutrition before/during a workout. These can make it hard for athletes to concentrate and perform at their peak level which can cause further unease in the body resulting in more pronounced feelings of sickness.

By addressing any underlying health conditions or deficiencies, making changes such as eating small meals prior to working out and properly hydrating during physical activity, it’s possible for athletes—both seasoned veterans and casual exercisers alike—to find relief from their workout-related nausea. Taking a short break between sets could also go far in providing relief from related symptoms as well as help improve performance levels overall.

Taking Precautionary Measures Can Help Reduce Nausea

If you experience nausea when you exercise, it’s important to take preventative measures that can help reduce symptoms. There are several things you can do to minimize the effects of nausea associated with exercise.

Start slowly: When you begin exercising, ease into it by starting off at a slower pace and gradually increasing your intensity. Doing this gives your body time to adjust and acclimate to the increased activity, which can help prevent nausea from occurring.

Stay hydrated: Keeping your body hydrated during exercise is key in preventing or minimizing feelings of nausea. Before starting an exercise routine, make sure to drink plenty of fluids beforehand and throughout your workouts in order to stay properly hydrated.

Allow for a rest period: If you feel nauseated during or after fitness activities, take a break for some rest and relaxation if possible. Allowing yourself some downtime allows for recovery from strenuous physical exertion, which can reduce symptoms of post-workout sickness.

Eat small meals or snacks: Eating a small meal or snack prior to working out can provide energy while also helping with digestion so that food doesn’t disrupt blood flow away from the stomach while exercising at higher intensities. Avoid eating high-fat items before engaging in frequent physical activity as this could potentially increase the risk of developing nausea more than other food options might. Taking these precautionary measures when engaging in physical fitness activities may help reduce the severity of any related illness experienced thereafter.

Seek Medical Attention if Symptoms Persist

If you find that your nausea symptoms have not subsided after making modifications to your exercise routine, it’s important to seek medical attention. Nausea, especially when associated with other symptoms such as pain or discomfort, could be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition.

If the cause of your nausea turns out to be an underlying illness or disorder such as hypoglycemia or autonomic dysfunction, prompt treatment is essential in order to reduce the risk of further complications. Additionally, reducing stress and eating well-balanced meals throughout the day can help combat feelings of nausea and ensure long-term relief from symptoms.

In some cases, medications may be necessary and can be prescribed by a doctor after conducting a thorough medical assessment. If necessary, focus on cardiovascular exercises instead of strenuous ones in order to prevent any further complications from developing. It’s always better to be safe than sorry so seek medical attention if you detect any worrisome changes in your physical condition whilst working out.

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