Why Do I Keep Getting Headaches When I Workout?

If you’re someone who often gets headaches after working out, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a pretty common issue. There are a few potential reasons why this might be happening to you. Keep reading to learn more about why you might get headaches after working out, and what you can do to prevent them.


Headaches that occur when you exercise can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, experiencing a headache during or after exercise is quite common, although the exact cause can be difficult to pinpoint. In this article, we’ll look at some of the potential causes of exercise-induced headaches, as well as possible treatments and preventative measures that can help reduce their occurrence.

Working out can leave you with a headache if you’re not careful. Exercise-induced headaches can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from dehydration to vitamin deficiencies and even the type of exercise you do. In this article, we’ll go over some of the possible causes of workout-related headaches so you can be better informed and take steps to avoid them in the future.


Dehydration is one of the most common causes of workout-related headaches. When your body becomes dehydrated and doesn’t have sufficient fluids to function, it can cause headaches and can even lead to long-term health problems. During an intense workout, your body produces more sweat, which in turn depletes your body’s natural stores of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. Without enough electrolytes, you may become dehydrated quickly; it is important to replace the fluids you are losing by drinking plenty of water during and after the workout. Additionally, consider eating foods that are high in electrolytes such as fruits and vegetables or sports drinks that contain replenishing electrolyte additives.


Caffeine is often thought of as a workout performance enhancer and is considered an effective ergogenic aid. However, excess consumption of caffeine can also be one of the leading causes of workout-related headaches. High levels of caffeine can lead to changes in blood pressure and constriction of blood vessels in some people, resulting in the development of a headache. It is recommended to limit the intake before or during a workout to no more than 200-300 milligrams, depending on your own response to caffeine and exercise. Additionally, it may also be wise to consume smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day rather than drinking large amounts at once.

Lack of Sleep

One potential cause of workout-related headaches is lack of sleep. This can be caused by many different factors, but is often linked to inadequate rest before and after a workout. Not getting enough sleep can lead to lower energy levels and increased physical strain on the body, triggering a headache. Additionally, inadequate rest can also interfere with your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, leading to “high” and “low” periods that in turn may cause headaches. To prevent this issue from occurring, make sure you get between 6 and 8 hours of quality sleep every night so that your body has the time it needs to recover from aerobic activities like running or cycling.

Poor Posture

Poor posture or improper body form when exercising can be a common cause of workout-related headaches. When we don’t have good posture during exercise we may be putting additional strain on our necks and heads, thereby leading to headaches. To prevent this, make sure you maintain proper form while lifting weights. When exercising, ensure that your head is in a neutral position and use an adequate cushioning between you and the floor mats or equipment to limit the amount of stress around your neck area. Also, be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed when possible as tension in muscles can add undue strain. Additionally, if you experience any dizziness or discomfort during training or after, take appropriate rest for all symptoms to clear before resuming physical activity.

Poor Breathing Technique

Poor breathing technique during physical activity is a common cause of workout-related headaches. It’s important to properly breathe while working out. Taking shallow breaths or holding your breath can decrease oxygen delivery to the brain, leading to headaches. Proper breathing also helps prevent muscle fatigue and regulates lactic acid levels in the muscles, which can reduce potential pains in the head.

To improve your breathing technique during physical activity, focus on taking deep breaths instead of shallow ones and counting each inhalation and exhalation to ensure optimal oxygen intake. Additionally, make sure that you are taking full breaths that fill the lungs completely with air; this will help the body get enough oxygen to fuel muscles during exercise and reduce workout-induced headaches.

Working out can often be uncomfortable in more ways than one. Occasional headaches are common among those who workout, especially for long periods of time. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of getting a workout-related headache. In this article we will cover some of the causes of workout-related headaches and how to prevent them.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is a crucial part of preventing workout-related headaches. Research suggests that dehydration may play an important role in the occurrence of exercise-related headaches. During physical activity, your body temperature rises and you lose water and electrolytes through sweat. It’s important to remain hydrated by drinking a sufficient amount of fluids before, during and after exercise.

When you’re dehydrated, it causes the concentration of substances in your blood to become concentrated — increasing hormones like antidiuretic hormones and renin. This can lead to fluid accumulation in tissue — including your brain — which can then lead to headaches.

In order to stay properly hydrated, drink at least 16–20 ounces (about two cups) of water 2–3 hours before exercising and another 8 ounces shortly before starting your workout. During exercise, aim to drink 5–10 ounces every 20 minutes or so as well as 8 more ounces within 30 minutes after finishing an activity session or workout routine. It’s also important to replenish electrolytes if working out for longer than an hour or if it’s particularly hot outside; try sports drinks that are low in sugar for the best possible results!

Limit Caffeine Intake

Caffeine can be a useful tool to fuel your workouts, and it can even help with headaches after you’ve pushed yourself to the limit. However, too much of this stimulant can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, leading to that dreaded post-workout headache. To prevent this from happening, limit your caffeine intake — generally no more than 400 milligrams (the equivalent of four 8-ounce cups of coffee) per day. Additionally, drink adequate amounts of water before, during and after workouts to keep your body hydrated. Also try consuming caffeine before exercise as opposed to during, when it may cause dehydration.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential when it comes to preventing and reducing the risk of workout-related headaches. A lack of sleep can lead to increased dehydration which can cause headaches. Sleep deprivation can also impair cognitive function, leading to muscle fatigue, tension in the head, neck and back muscles and possibly an increase in sensitivity to pain. To help prevent this type of headache, make sure you get between 7 and 8 hours of quality sleep each night--aim for around 10 PM or earlier if possible. Additionally, avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol close to going to bed as this can disrupt your sleep cycle.

Practice Good Posture

It is important to practice good posture while working out in order to prevent headache-related issues. Poor posture can put pressure on muscles in your neck and shoulders, resulting in an increase in tension that can cause headache. Make sure your spine is straight and move your arms and legs with 90 degree angles at the joints. Additionally, do not hunch your shoulders or tilt your head forward as this increased tension will impede circulation and cause headaches. Stretching before and after 50 minutes of exercise can help reduce muscular tension and prevent headaches from occurring. It is also important to pay attention to the intensity of your workout, as overexertion can make headaches more likely.

Focus on Breathing

When exercising, it’s important to pay attention to your breathing. When you take deep breaths in and out, it helps to regulate both oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your body. Both of these can contribute to workout-related headaches if there is an imbalance due to overexertion or incorrect breathing patterns.

Be sure that you are taking deep breaths throughout your workout, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Whenever possible, avoid holding your breath for extended periods of time during a strenuous activity such as weightlifting. If you get lightheaded or feel like you need some extra oxygen at any point, take a few moments to catch your breath. This can help prevent headaches before they start.

Also be aware of your mouth posture when working out; try not to lock your jaw or clench it tightly while exercising or else it can put excess pressure on the rest of the muscles in your face and add tension to the head and neck area which may cause headaches. Instead, focus on keeping a relaxed mouth which will make proper breathing easier as well as reduce headache potential later on.


In conclusion, there are several potential causes of headaches during or after exercise, such as low blood sugar, dehydration, overexertion and tension. If you experiencing frequent headaches when you work out, it is best to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider for medical advice and treatment. Depending on the cause of your headache, there are many preventive steps you can take to reduce their occurrence. These include drinking plenty of water before and after exercising, ensuring adequate rest periods between workouts, eating a nutritious snack before exercise and stretching or warming up properly before working out. Following these basic rules should help you enjoy exercise without resorting to headache medication.

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