Why Does My Stomach Hurt After I Workout?

If you’re someone who experiences stomach pain after working out, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a pretty common issue. Here’s what you need to know about why it happens and how to prevent it.

Causes of Stomach Pain After Exercise

Stomach pain after exercise is a common issue that many people experience. It can be caused by things such as dehydration, muscle strain, or digestion issues. Understanding the cause of your stomach pain can help you determine the best way to treat it and prevent it from happening in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the potential causes of abdominal discomfort after workouts.

Eating Too Soon Before Exercise

Eating too soon before exercise is a common cause of stomach pain after physical activity. It doesn’t take much for the stomach to become upset, either; even consuming fluids or small meals containing carbohydrates and proteins one to two hours before working out can create digestive issues. To reduce the risk of this kind of post-exercise pain, individuals should wait at least one hour before eating a meal after exercising and make sure that meals consumed prior to exercise are light and easy to digest. Additionally, building up gradually to harder workouts can lessen the chances of strain on the digestive system.

Intense Exercise

Intense exercise is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain and discomfort after working out. This is due to increased pressure on the abdominal organs from hard exertion, which can lead to pre-existing problems like indigestion, heartburn, and gastric ulcers becoming aggravated. Additionally, intense exercise can cause soreness in the stomach muscles due to lactic acid build-up as a result of strenuous physical activity. To minimize this type of discomfort, it is important to drink enough water during exercise and avoid eating meals or snacks right before or after working out.


Dehydration can be a major cause of stomach pain after exercise. Any type of strenuous physical activity requires an increase in fluid intake to prevent dehydration. When your body is short on fluids, gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal cramping and pain, nausea, and constipation can occur. To prevent dehydration and problems such as stomach pain after exercise, it is important to drink enough water throughout the day, especially on days when you are exercising or involved in other physical activities. A general guideline for water consumption is eight 8-ounce glasses per day for adults; more if you are active. Other sources of fluids, like sports drinks or juices of fruits and vegetables may also be helpful in preventing dehydration and related stomach discomfort after exercise.

Lactic Acid Build Up

Stomach pain after exercise can be caused by an increase in lactic acid production in the body. Lactic acid is a product of the breakdown of glycogen, stored fuel that helps the body generate energy during exercise. As your muscles work harder, they require more energy, which is generated when glycogen is broken down into lactic acid. Lactic acid build-up in the muscles causes a feeling of fatigue and can lead to discomfort and stomach pain.

It may help to gradually increase the intensity of your work-outs over time so your body becomes used to handling increased levels of lactic acid production. To offset high lactic acid levels and reduce stomach pain after exercise, also consider:
– Proper hydration – Dehydration can increase your body temperature and raise lactic acid levels. Staying adequately hydrated before, during and after workouts will help keep your body functioning optimally and reduce strain on the muscles.
– Optimal nutrition – A balanced diet full of nutrient-rich foods with an adequate amount of carbohydrates is essential for fueling the muscles and helping them recover once exercise is done
– Stretching or massage – Gentle stretching or massaging targeted areas before or after a workout can help relieve muscle tension caused by lactic acid build up.

Diagnosing the Cause of Stomach Pain

If you find yourself experiencing stomach pain after a workout, it can be alarming. Luckily, there are many possible causes of stomach pain after a workout. It’s important to identify the cause of the pain in order to take the appropriate steps to alleviate it. In this article, we’ll be discussing the different causes of stomach pain after working out, as well as the steps you can take to solve the problem.

Determine the Severity of the Pain

When you experience stomach pain after a workout, it is important to accurately assess the severity of the pain you are experiencing. Is it a sharp, sudden burn that starts quickly and doesn’t last long? Or do you have a dull ache that lasts for hours after your workout?

By recognizing severity in your stomach pain associated with exercise, you can better target the cause and find appropriate solutions. Generally speaking, sharp and sudden pain is caused by an acute problem that may require medical attention whereas longer lasting and more dull aches are often due to chronic issues such as overuse or muscle strain.

It’s also helpful to determine whether the pain is localized or generalized. A localized issue affects only one specific area of your abdomen while generalized pain affects multiple areas such as both your lower abdomen and back. Localized acute pains could be indicative of something such as an ulcer or hernia while generalized chronic pains are likely caused by muscular overuse or spasms.

Additionally, note any other symptoms that occur alongside stomach pain after exercise such as nausea or vomiting, sweating, feverishness, paleness in complexion, etc. Different combinations of symptoms can help narrow down potential causes to better help diagnose the source causing your discomfort.

Consider the Timing of the Pain

One of the most important pieces of information to consider when diagnosing the cause of stomach pain is when the pain occurs. Stomach pains that occur just after working out can stem from different sources than those that occur days or weeks later and understanding the timing aspect of the pain is key to accurately diagnosing it.

Immediately after a workout, intense abdominal pains could be caused by muscle strain or dehydration. This type of pain should be managed by slowing down your activity level, drinking plenty of fluids and giving yourself time to rest and recover. However, if persistent and sharp abdominal pain occurs during or shortly after intense exercise, it could indicate an underlying medical condition such as appendicitis or diverticulitis, which require medical attention immediately.

It’s also important to take note if you experience abdominal discomfort days later after a workout—it may be a sign of infection (i.e., urinary tract infection) or even food poisoning caused by contaminated food ingested before or after working out. These conditions often require treatment from a healthcare professional and thus should not be ignored if accompanied with other symptoms such as fever and vomiting.
Therefore, knowing when your stomach pain occurs can give you valuable insight into what’s causing it so that you can seek timely medical care if necessary.

Keep a Log of Your Exercise and Eating Habits

Exercising too much or too intensely can lead to stomach pain, as can eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis. Keeping a log of your exercise and eating habits over the week can help you identify any potential causes of your stomach discomfort.

When tracking your exercise habits, record the type and intensity of the activity you did. List the time it took and any other relevant information (such as weather). If you had stomach pain later in the day after your workout, be sure to include any details about where it was located and how intense it was.

With your eating habits, track what food items you ate before or after working out (or both), plus time frames when available. Identifying which items may trigger upset stomach can help explain some of your irregularities in health and better explain why it is happening in the first place.

Making note of other aspects such as stress levels, sleep patterns, medication intake or food allergies can assist with further understanding how these external variables affect your body’s overall health. By combining this information with physical signs such as excessive sweating or nausea, you can get an accurate picture of what’s occurring inside your body and how best address it moving forward.

Treating Stomach Pain After Exercise

Stomach pain after exercise can be uncomfortable and can sometimes even be a sign of a more serious health issue. Luckily, there are some specific treatments and steps that you can take to help reduce the discomfort and get back to feeling your best. In this article, we will discuss some common causes of stomach pain after exercise and how to treat them.

Increase Your Water Intake

Staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise is essential to keeping your body healthy and free from stomach pain after exercise. When exercising, it is recommended that you drink at least 9–13 fluid oz. of water or other fluids for every 20 minutes of activity. This is especially important if you are participating in strenuous activities that cause you to sweat heavily or for longer periods of time; drinking an appropriate amount of water helps your body temperature remain stable and may prevent digestive issues from occurring.

If you already experience stomach discomfort during or after a workout, it’s important to increase the amount of water that you are consuming in order to help alleviate the pain. You should also decrease the intensity and duration of your exercise session until the pain subsides, as it can be caused by exercising too hard or too long while dehydrated. Proper hydration can make all the difference when it comes to achieving optimal workout results without experiencing any stomach pain afterwards.

Eat a Balanced Meal Before Exercise

Before engaging in physical activity, it is extremely important to make sure you are properly fueled. Eating a balanced meal before your workout can give your body the nutrition and energy it needs to perform optimally. A balanced meal should include foods rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Aim for a pre-workout meal that is high in nutrient dense carbohydrates such as whole grain toast, oats or quinoa; and protein like fish, eggs or peanut butter. Additionally, try including healthy fats such as nuts or avocados for slower digestion and sustained energy during your workout. Strategic snacking before physical activity can also help minimize stomach pain after exercise by giving your body the nourishment it needs to perform optimally on its own.

Take Time to Warm Up and Cool Down

Properly warming up and cooling down after exercise can help to avoid stomach pain. Before starting any exercise regimen, it is important to take time to properly warm up the body by doing light stretching and exercises. This helps to prepare your muscles for more strenuous activities, allowing them to become more flexible and able to better absorb the impact of movements. Cooling down after exercise is just as important as warming up because it allows your body the opportunity to slowly recover from intense physical activity, restoring heart rate and breathing levels to normal while loosening tight muscles before they become sore. Taking time to warm up and cool down can help reduce potential abdominal discomfort associated with strenuous workouts.

Consider Taking an Antacid

Exercising can often cause the body to produce more stomach acid, leading to an increased risk of indigestion and heartburn. Taking an antacid after a workout could be beneficial in reducing discomfort. Antacids are available in tablet form, liquids, or chewable gummies, and are typically taken after meals or when acid reflux symptoms occur.

Antacids work by neutralizing the acids produced in the stomach. Examples of antacids include calcium carbonate (Tums), magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia), aluminum hydroxide (aluminum phosphate) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Other forms may contain combinations of these different ingredients in order to create a more effective product.

It is important to note that antacids should not be taken on a regular basis without consulting your doctor – there can be side effects from taking them too frequently. Additionally, many antacid preparations now also contain alginates which work by forming a floating layer over the stomach contents and provide some protection for the esophagus. It is essential that you read all product labels carefully before taking any over-the-counter medication.

When to Seek Medical Attention

After a good workout, it’s normal to feel a little soreness in your muscles, but it’s important to be aware of any other pain that may be an indication of something more serious. Stomach pain after a workout could be a sign of a more serious medical condition and should not be taken lightly. In this article, we’ll discuss when you should seek medical attention for stomach pain after exercising.

Severe or Persistent Pain

If the stomach pains you’re experiencing after your workouts are severe or persistent, it’s important to seek medical attention. Severe pain can often be an indication of a more serious underlying condition and should not be ignored. Some signs that point to a more serious condition include:

-Abdominal pain for more than 24 hours
-Pain that becomes increasingly worse or radiates to other parts of your body
-Pain accompanied by a fever, vomiting, or rectal bleeding.

It is important to make sure you speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have. With their help, it may be possible to determine the cause of the pains and take appropriate steps to address them.

Abdominal Swelling

Abdominal swelling is when your belly feels tender or hard to the touch and can happen after any type of physical activity. This could be from anything from a blocked intestine or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to something as simple as drinking too quickly after workouts. It can also be a sign of something more serious, such as appendicitis or inflammation of the gall bladder. If you’re experiencing abdominal swelling, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to rule out any life-threatening condition.

In some cases, abdominal swelling may be caused by a bacterial infection or due to overeating. If this is the case, seeking medical attention is still advised so that your doctor can provide you with proper treatment. Additionally, if the cause of the abdominal swelling is related to an injury sustained during exercise, your doctor may recommend rest and ice therapy in order to reduce inflammation and promote healing. In rare cases, surgery may be required if there is an internal problem that cannot be treated conservatively with over-the-counter medications or rest and ice therapy.

It’s important to note that any time you feel abdominal pain accompanied by bloating after exercise, you should call your doctor right away for advice on how best to proceed with treatment options before consulting self-care websites or taking medications without a physician’s guidance.

Nausea, Vomiting, or Diarrhea

Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea while working out could be a sign of something serious. These symptoms can range from mild and annoying to sort of scary. If you are vomiting, have intense abdominal pain, or your stool is bloody or black then it is important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
Individuals who experience nausea and vomiting during exercise can become dehydrated due to the loss of fluids from vomiting. Diarrhea may also lead to dehydration causing weakness and dizziness.
If your symptoms are severe or last for more than 24 hours it is important to seek medical attention from your primary care provider or sports medicine specialist. Your doctor may need to run tests such as blood work or an imaging scan in order to determine the cause of your stomach discomfort after exercise. In some cases, medications may be prescribed and other lifestyle modifications recommended in order to prevent further episodes of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after exercising.

Fever or Chills

If you experience any type of fever or chills after a workout, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on and you should seek medical attention right away. Evaluation by a physician will help determine the cause of your discomfort, which may include viruses or other infections that could be spreading and need to be treated with medication. Other conditions such as dehydration and heat-related illnesses can also lead to fevers or chills, so it’s important to get accurate diagnosis in order to prevent any further complications from occurring. If you have persistent cramping, pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea in addition to fever/chills after exercise then talk with your doctor about further evaluation.

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