Why Does Working Out Cause Nausea?

You’re probably wondering why working out causes nausea. Well, there are a few reasons why this might happen. Check out this blog post to find out more!


There are many possible explanations for why some individuals experience nausea after exercise. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview to help you better understand the causes of exercise-induced nausea and what you can do to prevent it or treat it should you experience it during or after a workout.

Exercise-induced nausea is defined as nausea and vomiting related to physical exertion which can manifest in the form of stomach pain, hunger pangs, dizziness, head rush and excessive sweating. Physically strenuous activity and intense physical activity can increase cardiac output by increasing the heart rate and blood flow; this could lead to increased gastrointestinal motility which may trigger nausea. Furthermore, dehydration caused by sweating during intense physical activity may result in electrolyte imbalance in the body leading to gastrointestinal discomfort. Additionally, psychological factors such as fear of failure or performance anxiety could possibly be linked with exercise-induced nausea. Finally, extreme body temperatures due to external heat or cold when combined with vigorous exercise could contribute to elevated levels of perceived stress resulting in gastrointestinal distresss.

Possible Causes

Nausea while working out is an unpleasant experience that can prevent you from reaching your fitness goals. While it is sometimes caused by eating the wrong food or drinking too much water, there are also other potential causes of this symptom. In this article, we will discuss some of the possible causes of nausea while working out.

Intense Exercise

Intense exercise can cause increased intestinal gas, which can contribute to a feeling of nausea during or immediately after your workout. Intensity is relative to the individual and depends on factors such as fitness level, but generally speaking it means working out strenuously for 10 minutes or more. If you are engaging in intense exercise and feel nauseous afterwards, make sure you take adequate rest between sets or between workouts and ensure that your nutrition is balanced.

In addition to intestinal gas, intense exercise can also cause a reaction known as “central governor fatigue”. This occurs when the body is pushed beyond its capacity and the central nervous system intervenes by reducing brain activity and inhibiting the physical performance capabilities of muscles. Symptoms include lightheadedness, fainting and dizziness — all signs that it’s time to stop.

It is also possible that nausea during or after intense exercise can be caused by dehydration or low blood sugar levels, both of which also surface during longer endurance activities such as marathons and other road races. Be sure to drink water before and throughout your workout — this will help maintain blood sugar levels while preventing dehydration —and have a snack available in case energy levels start dropping off halfway through a long session.


One of the most common causes of nausea when working out is dehydration. When exercising, we sweat as our body works to cool down, but in doing so, we can deplete our bodies’ water reserves. Without proper hydration during exercise, you may experience a range of symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps and nausea. Dehydration can also be caused by not drinking enough fluids before or after a workout session. To ensure that you stay properly hydrated while working out it’s important to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Additionally, you should try to sip on an electrolyte beverage such as sports drinks throughout your exercise session to replenish lost liquids.

Low Blood Sugar

Working out may cause you to experience nausea due to a number of possible causes, one of them being low blood sugar levels. This can happen when your body burns through the available glucose or sugar in your bloodstream faster than it can be replaced. As a result, the lack of sugar entering your cells can lead to feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness and even nausea. Eating a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal before working out can help to ensure that your body has sufficient energy reserves. Additionally, hydration is key during physical activity as it helps your body maintain vital electrolyte balances that are necessary for proper functioning. Low sodium levels or dehydration can also contribute to nausea after exercise.

Poor Diet

One of the most common causes of nausea after exercise is poor diet. Consuming an inadequate amount or type of food or fluids prior to or during exercise can significantly contribute to an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach. Eating heavy, greasy, or high-fat foods close to exercising can especially predispose you to nausea and other gastric disturbances. Poor timing of meals and dehydration may also increase the likelihood for post-exercise nausea.

It’s important that you pay special attention to your pre- and post-workout meals, paying close attention to matters such as optimal combination of carbohydrates and protein (including adequate hydration with water) so that your digestive system can keep up with the increased demand placed on it by exercise. Eating too much before working out can also lead to abdominal cramping and nausea.

Your body needs different types of nutrients depending on your activity level, fitness goals, body composition, etc., so it’s also essential that you speak with a certified nutritionist or dietician who specializes in sports nutrition in order to create an individualized diet plan tailored towards your specific needs and goals.


One of the possible causes of nausea after exercise is stress. Stress can have a profound effect on both physical and mental performance, and it has been linked to a number of health issues, including nausea. The rise in heart rate during exercise activates the body’s stress response system, which can cause nausea as a result.

Physical exertion during exercise can also create or increase the amount of acid within the stomach, which may lead to feelings of nausea. Other causes may include dehydration, a disruption in normal blood sugar levels, early fatigue associated with overexertion, poor nutrition before or after working out, poor ventilation in hot environments, and lack of rest between sessions. It is important to ensure that you are adequately hydrated and properly fueled before exercising in order to lessen the chances of experiencing post-workout nausea.

Prevention Strategies

While nausea during or after exercise is a common experience for many people, there are strategies you can use to prevent it from happening. There are a few basic things you can do to reduce the chances of feeling nauseated after your workout. These strategies include proper hydration, fueling your body, and warming up before exercising. Keep reading to learn more about how to prevent nausea during and after exercise.

Hydrate Properly

Hydrating properly is essential before, during, and after exercise to prevent nausea. Ensuring that you drink enough fluids helps to maintain blood flow to the muscles, reducing fatigue and allowing you to exercise longer at a higher intensity. During exercise, drinking fluids helps to regulate body temperature and reduce strain on the cardiovascular system.

It is important to drink fluids several hours before beginning an exercise session as well as during and after strenuous activity. First, ensure that the water or sports beverage is cold or at room temperature; drinking iced water can help prevent cramping when exercising in hot weather. Second, drink small amounts of fluid at frequent intervals throughout your workout rather than all at once; this will help more effectively absorb the liquids into your body over time. Finally, make sure that your drink contains electrolytes such as sodium and potassium which can help improve the balance of electrolytes in your body after excessive sweating. Taking these steps will go a long way towards warding off nausea during your workout!

Eat a Balanced Diet

Having a balanced diet is essential for your overall health and fitness, and this advice holds true when it comes to reducing nausea after workouts. Eating a variety of foods and avoiding overeating before working out will help to minimize the risk of feeling nauseous after exercise.

Make sure to incorporate complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice and quinoa into your diet. Opt for lean proteins such as fish, poultry and tofu which can help you build muscle without overloading on fat. Nausea can be caused by consuming too much fat shortly before working out, so it’s best to keep your meals lean.

Include plenty of heart-healthy fats from nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocado in moderation into your diet. This will help you maintain healthy levels of energy during longer workouts that would otherwise leave you feeling drained or sick afterward. Don’t forget about fruits and vegetables which will provide loads of antioxidants that may help relieve nausea symptoms later on. Consuming smaller meals every few hours instead of larger meals every day can ensure that your body stays nourished enough all day long to prevent nausea with exercise sessions.

Warm Up and Cool Down Properly

In order to avoid nausea when working out, it is important to warm up and cool down properly. It is especially important to make sure that the warm up involves gradually increasing your physical activity level. This will help to reduce the chances of feeling ill during your workout. When cooling down, you should also focus on reducing your activity intensity gradually.

In addition to warming up and cooling down properly, it is also important to drink plenty of fluids during a workout session. Staying hydrated helps prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion that can lead to nausea. If you are doing a more intense workout, you might want to consider drinking an electrolyte-enhanced beverage, such as a sports drink or other rehydrating beverage. This will help keep your body functioning at its best while exercising and reduce the risk of feeling dizzy or nauseous afterwards.

Monitor Your Stress Levels

Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life, but it can have a striking effect on your physical health. Whether psychological or physical, stress can impact your body in various ways, including causing nausea while working out. Managing your stress levels by taking regular breaks and engaging in calming activities like yoga or meditation may help alleviate feelings of nausea during exercise. Additionally, talking to a therapist or counselor can be beneficial when developing coping and relaxation skills specific to stress management and prevention of nausea associated with exercise.


In conclusion, exercise-related nausea involves a complex interaction between the brain’s hormones, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. Eating too close to exercising or exercising for too long can cause nausea due to stretching the abdominal wall and increasing blood flow away from digestive organs towards the muscles. Dehydration can be a major contributor to nausea caused by exercise, as can low levels of glycogen in the bloodstream. Finally, attempting an unfamiliar or excessive exercise routine can also cause nausea.

To prevent exercising-induced nausea, it is important to ensure that you are properly hydrated before and after exercising. Eating before an exercise routine should generally be done at least 90 minutes prior to starting a workout with lighter meals consumed up to two hours before putting your body through rigorous activity. It is always advised that when starting a new exercise regime that you gradually build your endurance rather than immediately jumping into high intensity training routines. As with all forms of physical activity, it is important to consult with your doctor first and receive advice on proper form and nutrition requirements in order to reduce your chances of experiencing discomfort from working out related nausea.

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