Why Do I Taste Blood in My Mouth When I Workout?

If you’ve ever tasted blood in your mouth while working out, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a relatively common problem that can have a few different causes. Read on to learn more about why this happens and what you can do about it.

Causes of Blood Taste During Exercise

Working out is great for your health, but when you experience a sudden taste of blood while exercising, it can be alarming and quite off-putting. This occurrence is quite normal and there are a few reasons why this might be happening. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of blood taste during exercise.

Exercise-induced anemia

Exercise-induced anemia is a condition caused by a decrease in red blood cells due to intense activities. The reduction in red blood cells can actually lead to an increased presence of iron in the bloodstream. This iron can sometimes be tasted as a metallic taste, or sometimes like the taste of blood during exercise. If this symptom persists, it is important to contact your physician as it could be related to other underlying health issues or the need for iron supplementation.

Low iron levels

One of the most common causes for a metallic taste in your mouth during exercise is low iron levels. Iron is an essential mineral that helps carry oxygen from cell to cell and is depleted with strenuous physical activity which can lead to feelings of tiredness, fatigue and even illness. Low levels can also contribute to development of an unpleasant taste in the mouth, as well as nausea and dizziness. If you have been feeling exhausted after exercise or noticing a metallic taste in your mouth, it’s important to talk with your doctor about possible iron deficiency or anemia before attempting any strenuous activities. Other tests may need to be done to check for other possible causes such as low blood sugar, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance or infection.

Vitamin deficiencies

Vitamin deficiencies can cause a metallic taste in the mouth, including during exercise. Consuming a balanced diet is important to ensuring proper levels of vitamins and minerals needed for both energy and recovery. Deficiencies in vitamins such as B12, iron and zinc can result in fatigue, irritability, muscle cramps or weakness, poor concentration and a metallic or sour taste. It’s best to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of vitamin deficiency to discuss taking a supplement and incorporating more nutrient-rich foods into your diet. Foods that contain vitamin B12 include shellfish, tuna, salmon, beef liver and egg yolks while red meat, fish, beans and fortified cereal are good sources of iron. Nuts like almonds or sunflower seeds are also high in zinc content as well as oysters and sesame seeds.


Tasting blood in your mouth while working out can be concerning and it can be caused by a variety of reasons. It is important to identify the underlying cause in order to determine the best treatment options. There are several potential causes of this symptom, such as mechanical trauma from breathing heavily, low oxygen levels, or a condition known as gastrointestinal bleeding. Let’s take a look at some of the possible diagnoses and treatments for this symptom.

Blood tests

If your doctor suspects you might have an underlying condition that’s causing the metallic taste in your mouth, they’ll likely recommend having some blood tests done to determine if something else is going on.

The types of blood tests you might take include:

-Complete Blood Count (CBC): This looks at the amount of red and white blood cells, as well as platelets and hemoglobin levels. It can help to determine if you have an infection or inflammation that could be causing the taste in your mouth.
-Chemistry Panel: This looks at the levels of electrolytes and other chemicals in your bloodstream that may have been impacted by exercise or related to another underlying condition.
-Vitamin B12 and Folate Level Test: An inadequate intake of B vitamins can sometimes lead to symptoms such as a metallic taste in the mouth, so this test may be considered to rule out vitamin deficiency as a possible cause.
-Liver Function Tests (LFTs): These look at enzymes produced by your liver which can give an indication of whether or not something else is going on.
-Kidney Function Tests (KFTs): If there are signs of kidney disease or damage present, this will be reflected in your results from this type of testing.
-Thyroid Test: If your doctor suspects hypothyroidism could be related to the taste in your mouth when you work out, this test will help them come to a diagnosis by looking for any signs of being under- or overactive thyroid activity.
By undergoing these diagnostic tests, it can help narrow down the potential cause for why you’re experiencing a metallic taste when working out so appropriate treatment can then be given.

Physical exam

If an individual is tasting blood in their mouth while they are exercising, it is important to consult a medical professional and undergo a physical exam. The healthcare provider will conduct this exam to get a better understanding of the patient’s overall health. During the physical examination, vital signs and other general information, such as age and weight, will be gathered. The exam also includes checking any concerning symptoms, such as whether the person has had a fever or vomiting recently. Depending upon the individual situation and symptoms experienced, certain pieces of diagnostic equipment may also be used for further evaluation. These include scans that measure indicators of internal bleeding and/or organ damage, an electrocardiogram (ECG), lumbar puncture test or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. In some cases, samples taken from the mouth during an oral exam may be examined under a microscope to determine the cause of taste disturbances. After careful evaluation of all results gathered from testing, the healthcare provider can make an accurate diagnosis about why an individual might taste blood in their mouth when exercising.

Medical history

When trying to determine the cause of tasting blood in the mouth during workouts, your doctor will likely want to review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions regarding current and previous medical issues, and any medications you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have been exposed to any infectious diseases, have recently taken antibiotics, or have had any dental procedures done. After covering all relevant areas of your history and lifestyle, a physical examination may be conducted.

When considering whether tasting blood while working out is a sign of a more serious condition, it’s important to take into account other symptoms associated with the complaint. Pay attention to changes in diet or environmental factors that could potentially contribute to the taste. Additionally, there could be underlying medical conditions such as anemia or thyroiditis that may increase sensitivity in the mouth and throat when exercising. In certain cases a blood test may be needed for further diagnosis as it can detect disorders causing changes in taste sensation.


If you experience a metallic taste in your mouth while working out, you may be suffering from an underlying medical condition. It is important to seek medical advice from a physician to determine the cause and proper treatment. In this section, we will discuss the different treatments available for this condition and why it is important to consult a medical professional.

Iron supplements

Iron supplements can be used to help prevent the taste of blood in your mouth when you work out. Iron aids in the production of red blood cells, a major component of oxygen transportation around the body. Low iron levels will result in fewer red blood cells, leaving your body with less oxygen to sustain energy and causing fatigue. In extreme cases, low iron levels can lead to anemia and various other health concerns.

For athletes or those exerting themselves during intense physical activity may experience a metallic or coppery taste due to their body’s reduced ability to move oxygen from their lungs into their bloodstreams quickly enough. This is known as exercise-induced hypoxemia and is alleviated through either improving your body’s ability to transfer oxygen (through training) or supplementing with iron if your doctor has determined that you have low iron stores.

Taking an iron supplement may help reduce the taste of blood in your mouth when working out if it is determined that you have low iron stores. Iron supplements come in many forms such as iron gluconate, ferric citrate, ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate, and liquid iron supplements – speak with a doctor before taking any supplement as they will be able to recommend which type would be most beneficial while confirming whether or not it is safe for you take based on other medications or conditions you might have.

Vitamin supplements

Vitamin supplementation is one possible way to reduce the amount of iron in your mouth. This can help reduce the amount of blood-like taste in your mouth when exercising. Iron helps form the hemoglobin molecule, which transports oxygen through our bodies and is found in red blood cells. When you exercise, your body produces and uses more oxygen, which increases both hemoglobin production and breakdown. As your muscles work harder, they can become damaged or destroyed, leading to increased levels of iron being found in saliva. Taking vitamin supplements such as Vitamin C can help reduce this problem by increasing iron absorption and decreasing its excretion into saliva. Additionally, taking Vitamin B12 or folic acid supplements can also help with reducing the amount of iron present in your body and decrease the chances that you may experience a metallic taste during exercise.

Increase fluid intake

An important factor to consider is increasing your intake of fluids during and after your workout. When you are dehydrated, the volume of saliva in your mouth reduces, which can lead to feelings of dryness and burning sensations. It can even lead to the presence of a metallic taste in your mouth that some people find unpleasant. In addition, dehydration can diminish the oxygen-carrying capacity and electrolyte balance in blood cells and disrupt blood flow, which could give rise to a sensation of tasting blood. Therefore, it is important to drink enough water before and during an intense workout as well as after it has ended in order to avoid dehydration.


Working out can be an excellent way to improve your overall health and well-being, but sometimes you may find yourself tasting blood in your mouth. This is usually due to physical exertion that causes the capillaries in your mouth to burst, causing your taste buds to sense the iron in the blood. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening. Let’s explore what those are.

Eat a balanced diet

A balanced diet can help to reduce many of the side effects that come from intense exercise, such as a bitter taste in the mouth. Eating balanced meals that include go-to protein sources such as eggs, fish, and lean meats will provide your body with important macro and micronutrients needed for muscle recovery. Additionally, it’s important to include complex carbohydrates like oats, rice, and quinoa in your daily meals as these foods provide more sustained energy for workouts. Finally, don’t forget to take in adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals from nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables. Eating a balanced diet is essential for physical health and performance; it also helps prevent many of the adverse reactions associated with intense workouts.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water is one of the most important ways to prevent a metallic or blood-like taste in your mouth when exercising. Water helps create saliva, which is essential for keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. Consumption of water before, during, and after exercise will keep your mouth hydrated and ensure proper hydration levels throughout your body. By hydrating adequately before exercise, sufficient saliva production can help protect tooth enamel against damage due to increased acidity in the mouth caused by extra oxygen during aerobic activity. During exercise, water also acts as a coolant to reduce body temperature and thereby helps extend performance duration. And afterward, it can help replenish lost fluids as well as provide the electrolytes necessary to balance fluid levels in the body after an intense workout. Consuming between 6-8 glasses per day is generally recommended for optimal hydration levels.

Avoid overexertion

In order to avoid overexertion, it is important to monitor your heart rate and breathing levels during any type of physical activity. If these become too high, your body may be under excessive strain, which can cause an increased production of stress hormones that can result in a feeling of tasting blood in the mouth.

Also, be sure to wear well-fitting shoes or other appropriate workout gear when exercising. Shoes that do not offer proper support or cushioning can be a source of injury or discomfort during exercise. Taking regular breaks throughout intense activities helps ensure your body is prepared for the next part of the session. Lastly, if you do experience bleeding from the mouth after exercise, it may help to limit strenuous physical activities and lower intensity workouts until you are feeling better.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience a metallic taste in your mouth while working out, it could be a sign of something more serious than just dehydration. If this metallic taste continues after you’ve had a break from exercise and you find yourself feeling lightheaded or weak, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. In the meantime, lets explore some of the possible causes for this symptom.

If the taste of blood persists

If you consistently experience a taste of blood in your mouth after exercising, consult with your doctor. A medical professional will be able to pinpoint the exact cause behind the sensation and make recommendations for treatment if needed. Persistent metallic or bloody tastes can be signs of an underlying health problem, such as dental disease, diabetes, anemia or kidney failure. In addition to a taste of blood in the mouth after exercise, other symptoms may include fatigue and shortness of breath during exercise.

For instance, iron-deficiency anemia (a condition characterized by low hemoglobin levels) can present with a chronic metallic taste in the mouth when exerting oneself. In these cases, iron supplementation may be recommended to boost your iron levels. If diabetes is suspected as the source of your persistent metallic or bloody taste after workouts, lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise changes may help reduce associated symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help manage diabetes and its associated complications. Proper diagnosis is essential in managing any underlying health conditions that could be contributing to this symptom.

If you experience other symptoms

While tasting a metallic flavor in your mouth while working out is not typically a cause for alarm, it can be a sign of another underlying condition if you experience other symptoms. For example, if taste changes accompanied by symptoms like dizziness, high fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain or an irregular heartbeat, seek medical attention immediately. If you are experiencing any of those symptoms in addition to tasting blood in your mouth when exercising and don’t feel comfortable waiting to see a doctor at your own convenience or have significant concerns about the potential cause behind the symptom such as severe underlying heart or lung disease, you should seek emergency medical care as soon as possible.

In addition to attending regular physicals and check-ups with your primary care physician to stay abreast of any underlying medical conditions that may be affecting your overall health and well-being, use all of your senses while exercising: look for signs of distress such as flushed skin, check for rapid breathing or an abnormally rapid heartbeat and monitor any sudden decreases in energy levels. If there are any changes that concern you throughout this evaluation process or symptoms persist after exercising has concluded such as shortness of breath or weakness that persists beyond the exercise period then seek medical attention immediately.

If you have a history of anemia or other health conditions

If you have a history of anemia or other health conditions, such as diabetes, it is best to see a doctor if you experience any unusual taste of blood in your mouth during or after working out. Anemia is a condition that can cause extreme fatigue and can lead to other problems in some individuals. Your doctor will be able to evaluate the cause of your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment if needed.

In some cases, there is no underlying medical condition causing the taste of blood after exercise. That being said, it may still be beneficial to see a doctor for further evaluation. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, other tests may need to be performed or medications may need to be prescribed by a doctor in order to treat the issue properly. For example, if you are experiencing severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances due to increased sweat loss during physical activity (i.e., more than 16 ounces per hour), then it is especially important that you consult with your physician so they can monitor any changes in blood pressure and recommend further treatments if necessary.

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