Why Does Working Out Hurt My Stomach?

Why Does Working Out Hurt My Stomach? – It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another. Read this blog post to find out the answer!


Physical exercise is important for staying healthy, both physically and mentally. But, sometimes exercising can cause pain and discomfort in the form of stomach aches. Understanding why this happens can help you make changes to your routine and possibly stop the pain. There are several possible causes for having stomach aches from working out and this guide will help you identify why your exercise could be causing problems for your digestive system. After reading through this guide, you will have a better understanding of what might be causing your stomach pain, how to prevent it from happening again, as well as tips for minimizing discomfort during physical activities.

Causes of Stomach Pain After Exercise

Stomach pain after exercise can be quite discomforting, and sometimes can even be a sign of a more serious medical condition. There are various causes which could explain why you experience this pain, ranging from dehydration to diet-related issues. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common causes of stomach pain after exercising and how to prevent it in the future.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramping is one of the most common causes of stomach pain after exercise. Cramping, also known as exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) is an intense, sharp pain that usually occurs during intense physical exertion, particularly with sports such as running or swimming. This type of muscle soreness can happen anywhere in the body but it is especially common in the abdomen and lower back due to the large muscles there being used for movement. Typically, muscle cramps occur due to overexertion: when your abdominal muscles are pushed beyond their capacity, they cannot contract and relax properly, resulting in a painful cramping sensation. To alleviate this type of stomach pain after exercise, it’s best to stretch the affected muscles gently before and after working out, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and reduce your intensity gradually when increasing training levels.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal problems are one of the most common causes of stomach pain after exercise. Exercise can increase the amount of acid in your stomach, which can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Some people also experience nausea, vomiting or bloating after physical activity. Other gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and diarrhea can also be triggered by exercise.

Dehydration is another potential cause of stomach upset following physical activity. If you do not drink enough water before, during, and after a workout, your body may not be able to properly circulate fluids needed for digestion leading to abdominal discomfort.

Muscle fatigue can trigger muscle spasm in the abdominal area that is aggravated by physical activity and can cause severe pain. Applying ice or heat on the area may help relieve the discomfort and reducing intensity of your workout may be advised if muscle spasms become a frequent issue.

In rare cases, exercise-induced anaphylaxis can occur when working out increases an individual’s heart rate too quickly causing an allergic reaction involving sudden abdominal pain. Symptoms like hives or difficulty breathing may also occur at this time requiring immediate medical attention; if you experience any concerning signs while exercising speak with a doctor right away.


Dehydration is one of the most common causes of stomach pain after exercise. Each time we exercise, our muscle fibers contract and can become damaged, leading to an increase in body temperature. To help cool down, the body sweats to dissipate heat. This process also helps to flush out toxins and other impurities. In order for this process to be effective, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes through hydration. If you drink too little water or sports drinks during or after a workout, your muscles won’t be able to repair themselves properly and can lead to cramping, nausea and other stomach issues. To avoid dehydration during physical activities and reduce the risk of stomach pain after exercise, make sure you drink plenty of fluids before working out and continue drinking throughout your workout session until it is finished.


Excessive or strenuous exercise can often lead to stomach pain and discomfort. This is typically referred to as over-exertion and happens when your body is unable to keep up with the intensity of your workout. Over-exertion may indicate that you should be exercising at a lower level of intensity or you are exercising too frequently without allowing your body enough time to recover between sessions.

Common symptoms of over-exertion include muscle aches, headache, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, vomiting and/or abdominal pain after exercise. It’s important to take breaks when needed so that you can avoid these types of post-exercise problems. You can also prevent over-exertion by following a structured plan that has rest days built in so that your body can fully recover and heal before embarking on the next session. Additionally, maintaining proper nutrition pre and post exercise will have an impact on how strenuous activity effects your body.

Preventing Stomach Pain After Exercise

Exercising is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it can cause uncomfortable abdominal pain. Stomach pain after a workout is a common complaint among athletes, and it can affect anyone regardless of their fitness level. There are simple strategies you can use to avoid stomach pain after exercising. In this article, we’ll explore why working out might be causing your stomach pain and how to prevent it.

Proper Warm-Up

It’s essential to do a proper warm-up before any strenuous exercise. This means gradually increasing your activity and giving yourself time to adjust your body’s temperature and heart rate, as well as loosen up your joints and muscles. A good warm-up should include stretching, dynamic movements and light aerobic exercise. This will allow your body to become more efficient in preparing for additional physical exertion.

In addition to decreasing your risk of injury, warming up slowly may also help reduce the severity or frequency of stomach pain caused by exercise. Going from resting to full intensity without allowing your body to slowly adjust can be hard on the digestive system. Gradually increasing the intensity of activity over a period of several minutes allows the blood to flow steadily through all parts of your body, including the digestive tract, reducing stress on this system and leading fewer incidents of abdominal pain post-exercise.

Proper Hydration

Proper hydration can help to prevent stomach pain after exercise. It is important to maintain an adequate level of hydration before, during and after physical activity. The lungs and muscles take in water to help them function properly, and sweating results in the body losing water and electrolytes – if these are not replenished, your body can enter a state of dehydration. Drinking an appropriate level of fluids also helps your digestive system move food efficiently through the body, reducing potential cramping related issues.

In general, it is recommended that athletes consume 16-20 ounces of fluid two hours before any physical activity. During exercise sessions lasting for more than one hour or during hot weather conditions, it is advised that athletes drink 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes. After completing the exercise session, athletes should rehydrate with at least 16-24 ounces of liquid for every pound lost due to sweat. It is also advisable to avoid beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine before or during an exercise program as they tend to further deplete electrolytes and fluids from the body. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy balance within the body’s processes and preventing stomach pain after physical activity – make sure you drink up!

Proper Nutrition

Consuming properly balanced meals before and after working out can help to support your body through an intense workout and prevent post-exercise stomach pain. Pre-workout meals should be high in protein and carbohydrates, as this will provide efficient energy during the workout. A post-workout meal should contain a combination of protein and carbohydrates, as this will help to rebuild your muscle and replenish lost electrolytes.

In order to get the most from your workout nutrition, you should eat at least two hours before a long workout or thirty minutes before a short one. A good pre-workout snack might include whole wheat toast with nut butter or high protein yogurt with granola. After exercise, choose proteins like chicken or fish that provide essential amino acids for recovery along with complex carbohydrates like quinoa or sweet potatoes for sustained energy stores. Eating whole foods that are low on the glycemic index can also help you stay full longer. Including healthy fats such as olive oil in your post-workout meal can also help reduce inflammation in the body thereby preventing stomach pain after exercise.

Slow and Steady

Exercising too intensely, too quickly or for too long can lead to uncomfortable and potentially dangerous stomach pain after exercise. While it is important to push yourself during your workouts, make sure that you practice proper pacing and form in order to minimize the risk of post-exercise discomfort.

Slowly increase the intensity and duration of your activity over time, allowing your body to adjust as you go. Begin with a manageable number of sets and reps before increasing them slightly each week. If you are engaging in a full body workout format, increase your rest periods between exercises as necessary, and allow an extra day or two between workouts if you begin to feel overwhelmed or fatigued.

Work at a level that challenging yet comfortable; if this means reducing the weight or resistance being used or decreasing the total time fought, then do so. Remember that progress takes time; keep focused on longer term health and fitness goals rather than short-term gains!


In conclusion, the discomfort associated with exercise-induced abdominal pain is multifactorial and can be caused by a variety of factors. It is important to understand the underlying causes of this pain so that it can be managed appropriately. Pain can be addressed through proper nutrition, hydration, breathing techniques and stretching before and after physical activity. For some people, medications or other treatments may need to be used to reduce pain and discomfort. It is recommended that you discuss any persistent abdominal pain with your healthcare provider to help rule out other medical issues which may also cause abdominal discomfort.

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