Why Does Working Out Make Me Nauseous?

Have you ever wondered why working out can sometimes make you feel nauseous? Here’s a look at some of the possible reasons why this happens and what you can do about it.


Exercising is an important part of maintaining health and wellness, but for some people, working out can result in feelings of nausea. For many individuals, the easy solution is simply to rest and wait for the sensation to pass. But if you have been feeling nauseous after exercising consistently, understanding the reasons and possible solutions can help you engage in physical activity without feeling ill. This article will discuss some possible causes of exercise-related nausea and ways to help prevent it from happening again.

Causes of Nausea After Exercise

Working out can be immensely beneficial for your overall mental, physical, and emotional well-being. However, it’s common to experience bouts of nausea after exercise. This can be unpleasant and even a bit confusing, as nausea isn’t usually associated with working out. Let’s explore the various causes of nausea after exercising, and how to manage it.


Dehydration is a common cause of nausea after exercise. When you exercise, you start to sweat, which in turn leads to body fluid loss. This can lead to dehydration if your body doesn’t get enough time to replace the lost fluids. As a result, muscles become fatigued, blood pressure drops and this can result in dizziness and nausea or even vomiting. It’s important to drink enough water during and after a workout session and replenish electrolytes lost through sweating with sports drinks or other sources of hydration. If possible, avoiding strenuous training when it’s hot outside will also help reduce the risk of dehydration-related nausea.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar is a common cause of nausea after exercise. This can occur when the body runs out of energy during physical activity. Low blood sugar is also known as hypoglycemia, and it occurs when blood glucose levels drop below normal. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, fatigue, confusion, headaches, sweating and in some cases, nausea.

To prevent low blood sugar from occurring during exercise, it is important to always fuel your body with enough carbohydrates before exercising. Eating complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help stave off nausea-inducing low blood sugar levels. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated throughout your workout as dehydration can contribute to low blood glucose levels as well. Additionally, make sure you are eating enough food after exercising in order to replenish lost energy stores and keep your glucose levels at healthy levels.


Overtraining, or exercising for too many consecutive days with no rest periods in between, is a common cause of nausea after exercise. Pushing your body too hard with no rest can lead to fatigue and exhaustion, making it more difficult to finish an activity. The body is also less efficient during physical activity when it is deprived of rest and recovery time. This can cause the onset of nausea because your muscles are unable to process the adrenaline produced during workout sessions. Additionally, pushing the body too hard can cause dehydration which may also be a contributing factor to post-exercise nausea. Overtraining can impair physical performance, reduce energy levels and thus make it difficult to complete a normal workout routine without feeling nauseous or dizzy. For these reasons, taking one or two days off per week from intense exercise sessions is recommended in order to allow your body time to rest and recover sufficiently before engaging in any more strenuous activities.

Intense Exercise

Working out intensively, either for short or extended periods, can cause nausea due to changes in your body’s chemistry. Intensive exercise increases the concentration of certain chemicals and hormones in your bloodstream that may trigger feelings of queasiness and stomach discomfort. Additionally, during intense physical activity your heart rate can increase accelerating blood flow away from digestive organs to your muscles, leading to a slowed digestion process and a buildup of waste products in the stomach that may cause nausea. Intense exercise activities such as sprints, weight lifting, interval training or any other activity that requires sudden bursts of energy have been linked to the development of post-exercise nausea often referred to as “runner’s stomach.”

To reduce the effects of nausea after exercising intensely it is important to properly hydrate before and during your workouts as dehydration decreases blood flow at rest and under strenuous conditions. Additionally try drinking sport drinks or electrolyte drinks, gum chewing or snacking on crackers before exercise sessions as these high carbohydrate snacks boost energy reserves allowing you to decrease intensity briefly when needed. Be sure not to overeat before exercising as well as this can lead to nausea caused by digestive problems such as gastroparesis. When feeling nauseous take breaks during exercise and focus on calming deep breathing which brings oxygen-rich air directly into your lungs helping rid the body of larger concentrations of metabolic waste while aiding in better digestion and absorption.

Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition before or during exercise can contribute to nausea after a workout. Commonly, people do not realize the importance of proper pre- and post-exercise nutrition. Eating a balanced meal with carbohydrates, proteins and fats prior to exercise provides the energy needed for exercise and helps ensure that blood sugar levels remain consistent throughout your workout. Eating the wrong types of food or eating too much just before running can cause nausea, especially when exercising at an intense level for more than an hour.

Drinking adequate amounts of water is also important. Dehydration can reduce the amount of blood and oxygen flowing to certain parts of your body – including your brain – resulting in nausea during exercise. Inadequate hydration also causes muscle fatigue and cramping which are other potential triggers for nausea after a workout. When consuming fluids during physical activity, you should focus on sipping small amounts of fluid rather than gulping it down all at once as this can contribute to nausea afterwards.


Working out can be an effective way to stay healthy, but sometimes it can also make you feel nauseous. Nausea is a common side effect of exercise for many people, and it can be discouraging and make it hard to stay motivated. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent feeling nauseous while working out. Let’s look at some of the potential causes and some ways to prevent nausea from your workouts.

Hydrate Adequately

Adequate hydration is essential for optimal performance during a workout. Not drinking enough fluids can lead to dehydration, which can lead to nausea and other symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, and headaches.

It is recommended that you aim to drink about 17-20 ounces of fluids about two hours before exercise and another 7-10 ounces about 10-15 minutes before starting your workout. Throughout exercise, it’s important to hydrate frequently – every 10-20 minutes – by sipping 4-8 ounces of fluid. After exercise, it’s important to replenish lost fluids with 16-24 ounces per pound of body weight lost during exercise.

Certain beverages may be beneficial before or during your workouts including sports drinks containing electrolytes and carbohydrate solutions (in small amounts) as well as water or unsweetened decaffeinated beverages like tea or coffee. Caffeine should be avoided as it could stimulate stomach discomfort/nausea. Additionally, drinking cool beverages during exercise also may help reduce the risk of associated nausea or vomiting. Make sure to avoid sugary beverages options--such as soda, energy drinks--as these can slow fluid absorption rates into the bloodstream leading to dehydration and possible nausea related symptoms after a workout session.

Eat Healthy Foods

If you are getting nauseous after exercise, it may be important to watch what foods you’re fueling your body with prior to working out. Eating large or heavy meals close to a workout can cause nausea and result in an unpleasant experience. To help you choose the best foods before exercising, it’s important to understand what happens during physical activity. During exercise, your body’s increased metabolic rate causes fuel to burn faster, particularly those from carbohydrates and fat stored in muscles. Thus, it is essential for athletes and active individuals to consume adequate amounts of carb-rich foods that are easy for their bodies to digest before working out.

Choose healthy foods before exercising so that your body has enough energy sources that can be easily metabolized and provide adequate nutrition. Eating complex carbohydrates such as whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa are ideal as they provide slow-burning energy over extended periods of time. Additionally, adding some lean proteins such as nuts, seeds or legumes provide additional fuel that support muscle growth and repair during exercise. Fruits and vegetables should also be included in this meticulous pre-workout meal since they supply essential antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals generated during exercise strenuous activities. Finally, avoiding high fiber and fatty food items help eliminate digestive issues while exercising so opt for something light like a banana smoothie or yogurt with granola instead of heavy burgers or fried food items that could make you nauseous Ultimately , with careful planning of your pre-workout meals you can maximize the benefits received after exercising without feeling any nausea!

Monitor Your Intensity

Monitoring your intensity level when you work out is important if you want to avoid nausea. Too much exertion can make the stomach acids churn, and robbing the necessary oxygen from other organs in your body can cause dizziness or light-headedness. Consider keeping a heart rate monitor on hand when you exercise so you can keep an eye on how hard your body is actually working during different activities. A normal resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute; depending on your age, it is reasonable for your target heart rate during exercise to reach up to 80–90 percent of this number. However, if your heart rate goes much higher, or if you experience excessive shortness of breath, it could be an indication that you are overexerting yourself and need to slow down or take a break to allow more oxygen into your blood stream before continuing.

Take Regular Breaks

One of the biggest benefits of taking breaks between sets or activities is that it can help minimize nausea associated with exercising. When exercising, your body’s natural response is to increase your breathing and heart rate and pump more blood to the muscles being used. This reaction sends a signal to your brain that you need to stop and rest. However, if you keep going without allowing yourself enough time for recovery, these reactions continue and can result in feelings of sickness.

Taking regular breaks throughout your exercise routine or activity will help keep this reaction under control and prevent nausea from setting in. It’s important to balance rest periods with exercise duration, since spending too much time resting between sets can reduce the intensity levels of your workout and impede you from reaching any fitness goals you may have. Regularly scheduled breaks throughout a workout help ensure that you are pushing yourself just enough while providing sufficient recovery time for your body to prepare for the next challenge.


In conclusion, there are many potential causes of nausea after a workout. These include muscle fatigue, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, intense exercise for too long, low blood sugar levels and using dietary supplements. To help prevent nausea after a workout, it’s important to stay hydrated and monitor your blood sugar levels by checking your blood regularly if you have diabetes or other metabolic conditions. Listen to your body and take it easy when starting out — increase intensity gradually over time to allow your body to build up its tolerance. It’s also important to stretch before any intense exercise and refuel after the workout with carbohydrates and protein to reduce the risk of nausea related to exercise.

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