Why Do I Taste Blood When I Workout?

You may be tasting blood during your workout for a few reasons. Find out why this happens and how to prevent it.


Working out is an important part of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. While you may expect to be breathing heavy or feeling aches and pains, one unexpected experience during exercise can be changes in taste. Many people report a metallic taste in their mouth during intense exercise, but why do some people taste blood?

The medical term for what is often described as a “bloody” taste during physical exertion is hematidrosis. This phenomenon occurs when capillaries break open inside the sweat glands and tiny amounts of blood can mix with sweat on your skin. In some cases, this can lead to a briny and metallic taste in your mouth which some people describe as tasting like pennies. Although the sensation may seem unappealing, it usually fades shortly after ceasing physical activity.

Causes of Blood Taste During Exercise

Have you ever noticed that you taste blood when you exercise? It’s a common sensation among athletes and can be caused by a variety of different factors. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of blood taste during exercise, as well as ways to prevent it. By understanding why this occurs, you’ll be able to limit your risk of experiencing this taste while exercising.

Exercise-induced Anemia

Exercise-induced anemia can be one of the causes of a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth during exercise. This condition is caused by decreased oxygen levels in the blood due to increased physical activity. As a result, red blood cells are unable to carry enough oxygen to meet the body’s demands and will break down. This can leave behind a small amount of iron in the saliva, leading to a metallic taste in the mouth. To prevent this, athletes should make sure to drink plenty of fluids before engaging in strenuous exercise and should be mindful of any signs that their body might be becoming dehydrated. Additionally, supplementing with iron may help increase red blood cell count and reduce occurrence of exercise-induced anemia.

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency, or anemia, is a condition characterized by low levels of iron in the body, usually caused by inadequate dietary intake of iron or because of poor absorption. Since hemoglobin contains iron, low hemoglobin levels result in less oxygen being carried to the cells and may result in a metallic taste as well as other symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Iron deficiency is a common cause for tasting blood during exercise, especially among athletes and those with an active lifestyle.
A diet rich in iron-rich foods can help address this kind of anemia. Foods such as red meats (such as beef or lamb), organ meats (such as liver), dark poultry (such as duck or chicken thighs), beans, lentils, and tofu are all examples of foods that are good sources of iron. It is also important to include vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, bell peppers and leafy greens to boost the absorption of iron from food sources. Iron supplements can also be taken if dietary interventions do not alleviate the symptoms.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, is a condition in which a person has a low level of glucose or sugar in their bloodstream. During exercise, your body’s demand for glucose grows significantly to provide the energy it needs to keep up with your activity. If glucose levels suddenly drop and become under what your body needs to keep performing, you may experience hypoglycemia. Symptoms of this condition can range from headaches and sweating to dizziness and nausea. People who experience sudden drops in blood sugar may even find that they taste blood – an unusual but not particularly dangerous phenomenon.

To address this issue and avoid the unpleasant taste of blood during exercise, it’s important that you maintain moderate levels of glucose while working out. Eating foods such as carbohydrates before exercising can help raise the glucose level in your body so that it is better equipped to handle the demands of physical activity without causing drastic fluctuations like hypoglycemia. Your body also needs post-workout meals with loads of protein and healthy fats so that it replenishes its stores of energy after heavy workouts.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding is a cause of blood taste during exercise and results from a condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of blood in the stomach or intestines. This can be caused by several medical problems, including ulcers, Crohn’s disease and malignant tumors. Physical symptoms associated with bleeding can include dark red or black vomit, small amounts of blood in the stool and fatigue. Treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding depends on the underlying cause and may involve medications, diet change or surgery to repair damaged areas. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any signs or symptoms of this condition to rule out any other potential illnesses that may be the underlying cause.

Treatment Options

Blood tasting in the mouth during or after exercise, known as exercise-induced gastrointestinal lacerations (EIGL), is a condition that can be very uncomfortable. While the cause of this condition is not known, there are several possible treatment options available to help decrease the symptoms. In this article, we’ll look at the different treatment options and discuss their effectiveness.

Diet and Nutrition

When you feel like you are tasting blood when you exercise, the first step should be to assess your diet and nutrition and make sure that it is sufficient to meet the demands of your current activity level. Poor nutrition can lead to deficiencies in iron, Vitamin B12, zinc, copper and other essential vitamins and minerals. If a deficiency is present, it needs to be addressed before further symptoms occur. You may benefit from increasing your intake of red meat, poultry, beans, eggs, nuts/seeds or taking a supplement if needed. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day as dehydration can also cause an iron deficiency. Eating a well-balanced diet is critical for physical performance and maintaining adequate nutrient levels.


Supplements are often used to alleviate symptoms of taste disturbances caused by vigorous exercise. The usual supplement regimen is a combination of antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. It may also include some natural remedies as well such as ginger or chamomile tea. Adding these supplements to your diet can help reduce the metallic taste in your mouth during exercise. Supplements are not considered a cure for taste disturbances associated with exercise, but rather a part of overall health and nutrition that can help improve an individual’s overall sensation when participating in physical activity. Additionally, it’s important to note that it is important to check with your physician before starting any supplement program as there can be side effects or contraindications when combining certain medications with dietary supplements.


When taste of blood occurs due to an underlying health problem, medications may be necessary to treat it. These may include antibiotics if the problem is caused by a bacterial infection, anti-fungal medications if the problem is caused by a fungal infection, cough suppressants or decongestants if the cause is due to allergies or a cold, pain medicines if muscle strain or sinus pressure are involved, and antacids for stomach problems. In some cases, medical procedures such as surgery may be necessary to determine an underlying condition and its treatment.

Medications are primarily used for treating conditions that cause blood taste through reducing any inflammation associated with it and providing relief from symptoms like coughing and sneezing. Other than this, lifestyle changes should also be made in order to facilitate efficient treatment of the condition. This includes avoiding triggering factors like exposure to smoke and pollen in case of allergies, abstaining from specific foods in case of food intolerance or acidity etc., limiting consumption of caffeine and alcohol in order to reduce renal problems etc.


If you ever experience an unusual taste of blood when you exercise, it may be a sign of overexertion. This can cause the tiny blood vessels in your tongue and mouth to burst and that usually causes the blood or metallic taste in the mouth. Managing your exercise routine and following a few simple tips can help prevent this from happening. Let’s explore these tips and find out how you can prevent a metallic or blood taste when you work out.

Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition plays a major role in helping to prevent the taste and sensation of blood in your mouth during physical activity. Eating a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help boost immunity and optimize health. This can reduce the risk of infections or ulcers forming in the mouth that may contribute to this unpleasant sensation. Additionally, staying hydrated is key for preventing feelings of dryness or dehydration that may lead to bleeding gums or sore areas in the mouth.

Including nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and dairy products like milk can improve digestion and supply adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. Also important is consuming enough iron — iron deficiency anemia has been linked to bruising or bleeding easily including within oral tissues of the mouth. Therefore it’s often suggested that individuals who are active consume iron-rich foods such as fish, poultry, legumes or iron-fortified cereals on a daily basis when engaging in prolonged exercise or exercise intense workouts such as CrossFit or weight lifting training regularly for best performance.

Proper Hydration

Proper hydration is important for health and performance when exercising. When you’re working out and do not drink enough fluids, the tongue can become dry, leading to the sensation of a metallic taste in the mouth, which some people notice as tasting like blood. It is important to stay hydrated when exercising for both safety and performance reasons.

Dehydration has been linked to increased heart rate and decreased cardiovascular performance during exercise in hot weather. Symptoms of dehydration can range from thirst or tiredness to dizziness, confusion or heat stress. When serious, dehydration can cause shock, seizures or even death. Therefore, it is important that you stay properly hydrated while performing any type of physical activity.

In order to properly hydrate before and during your workout, experts recommend drinking 16-20 ounces of fluid 2-3 hours prior or during your workout session. After exercise rehydration should consist of 20-24 ounces per pound lost over a 2-4 hour period depending on the intensity and duration of exercise. During prolonged endurance events hydrating with specialized sports drinks rather than water can also be beneficial for providing electrolyte replacement in order to improve your overall performance.

Proper Warm-up and Cool-down

Before you dive right into your workout routine, it is important to warm up and cool down appropriately. Warming up will not only help to reduce your risk of injury, but also can prevent you from tasting blood while exercising.

A proper warm-up should include dynamic stretches (stretching while in motion) that target the muscles and joints you will be using in your workout. Start with a light jog or march in place for 5 minutes to get the heart rate elevated a bit before diving into dynamic stretching, which can include anything from arm circles and leg swings to lunges and knee-to-chest holds – all are great options for warming up the body before exercise!

Cooling down is similarly important for avoiding fatigue and injury as well as helping your body return to its pre-exercise resting state. Cooling down should start with light, low intensity aerobic activities (such as a slow jog) followed by static stretching – holding stretches at different positions targeting each muscle group that was used during your workout. This helps bring things back into balance both physically and mentally after vigorous physical activity. Doing this has been found to increase flexibility and improve overall muscle recovery so you can continue working out consistently over time.


The answer to the question of why you may be tasting blood when you exercise is elusive, but there are a few theories as to why this could occur. It is likely that it has nothing to do with any underlying medical problems and is most likely caused by physical exertion. While it’s still important to bring any unusual sensations or tastes up with your physician, there shouldn’t be any cause for alarm in regards to tasting blood while exercising.

In conclusion, the cause of tasting blood while exercising is not definitively known, but certain possibilities exist. It could be caused by physical exertion that may lead to micro-lesions in blood vessels in your mouth and tongue, leaving a metallic taste. It may also be a result of dry mouth or congestion due to allergies. Ultimately, consulting with a medical professional if the taste persists would help determine if anything more serious is underlying the taste phenomenon.

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