How to Stop Feeling Nauseous After Running

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

Are you tired of feeling like your stomach is doing somersaults after a run? Well, buckle up because I’ve got some tips that will help you conquer that post-run nausea once and for all.

But before we dive into the juicy details, let me share a little anecdote that might sound all too familiar.

Picture this: it was just yesterday when I embarked on one of my most exhilarating long runs in ages.

The wind was at my back, the sun was shining, and my legs felt like they were made of pure steel. I was unstoppable, cruising through the miles with an unstoppable energy. It was a runner’s high like no other.

But as soon as I walked through my front door, it hit me like a ton of bricks. A wave of nausea washed over me, threatening to ruin the euphoria of my triumphant run. Instead of relishing in my post-run glow, I found myself doubled over the toilet, desperately hoping that my stomach would settle down

In that moment, I knew something was off. I needed answers. So, like any modern-day detective, I turned to my trusty companion, Google, to solve the mystery. And there it was, the culprit behind my stomach’s revolt: a lethal combination of ill-advised pre-run sushi, the stifling humidity, and a long run that pushed me to my limits.

Now, I don’t want you to go through the same gut-wrenching experience that I did. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to create this comprehensive guide on how to prevent the dreaded nausea during and after your runs. Consider it your secret weapon to keep those stomach demons at bay.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the guidelines that will save you from the turmoil of tossing your cookies mid-run. Trust me, your stomach will thank you for it.

Nausea When Running Explained

Running-induced nausea can rear its ugly head for a variety of reasons. It might be a sign of fatigue, a result of eating the wrong foods before your run, or even an indication of an underlying health issue. The causes are as diverse as the runners themselves, making it crucial to pinpoint the specific factors at play.

But here’s the thing: you don’t have to suffer in silence. Countless studies and research papers have delved into the intricacies of running-induced nausea, uncovering valuable insights and strategies to combat this unpleasant phenomenon.

In the upcoming sections, we’ll explore the various factors that can contribute to running-induced nausea. We’ll dive deep into the science, uncovering the connections between fatigue, nutrition, and our body’s response to exercise. No stone will be left unturned as we seek to understand the underlying causes of this nauseating dilemma.

Why Do I Feel Like Throwing up After Running

Picture this: you’re out on the road, pounding the pavement, giving it your all. Your blood is pumping, your muscles are working, and your body is in full-on exercise mode. But amidst all the hustle and bustle, something unsettling happens—nausea strikes.

You see, when we engage in physical activity, a significant chunk of our blood flow gets redirected from our gastrointestinal (GI) tract to our hardworking muscles and skin. Up to 80 percent, to be exact. Now, while this diversion of resources is essential for optimal performance, it can have some unintended side effects.

When blood flow is shunted away from our GI tract, digestion takes a hit. It slows down significantly, leading to discomfort and potentially triggering the dreaded nausea or vomiting response. Think of it as your body saying, “Hey, we’ve got more important things to do right now than digest that burrito you had for lunch!”

But that’s not the only culprit at play. Enter the mechanical response—the jostling and bouncing motion that occurs while we run. As our bodies move up and down, our bowels and intestines get a bit of a rough ride. They’re pushed and prodded, which can trigger that all-too-familiar sensation of queasiness. It’s like a roller coaster ride for our insides, and not always a pleasant one.

Now, let’s uncover some other potential culprits in this nauseating saga. Low blood sugar, for instance, can wreak havoc on our bodies during exercise. If we haven’t properly fueled up before our run, our blood sugar levels may plummet, leaving us feeling lightheaded, nauseous, and downright unwell.

And we can’t forget about the intensity factor. Pushing ourselves too hard, exceeding our limits, can send our bodies into overdrive and trigger an unpleasant bout of nausea. It’s like revving the engine of a car to its absolute maximum—it’s bound to have some consequences.

Certain conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can also make us more susceptible to exercise-induced nausea. Our sensitive GI systems may respond with discomfort and queasiness when put under the stress of a workout.

Dehydration is another sneaky culprit. When we don’t properly hydrate before, during, and after our runs, our bodies can rebel, leaving us feeling nauseous and drained

Skipping the ever-important cool-down phase after a run can also contribute to post-exercise nausea. It’s like abruptly slamming the brakes after speeding along a highway—it’s a shock to our system, and our bodies may not appreciate the sudden halt.

And let’s not forget about our dear friend GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). If you have a history of GERD, the acid reflux and heartburn symptoms can be exacerbated during exercise, leading to that all-too-familiar feeling of nausea.

Lastly, climate conditions play a role too. Exercising in extreme heat or humidity can tax our bodies and push them to their limits. And when our bodies are pushed to extremes, nausea can become an unwelcome companion.

How to Stop Feeling Nauseous After Running

The blustery feeling in your stomach is preventable if you take the right precautions.

Take the following measures to help prevent throwing up after running.

Nausea When Running Fix – 1. Mind Your Pre-Run Meal

First and foremost, let’s talk about the all-important pre-run meal. Picture this: you’re lacing up your shoes, ready to hit the pavement. But before you do, it’s crucial to mind what goes into your belly. Trust me, it can make all the difference.

To avoid that sluggish, nauseating sensation during your run, I strongly recommend planning your session for two to three hours after a regular meal. This gives your body enough time to digest the food properly. If you’re prone to nausea, you may even want to extend that time frame a bit longer.

Now, if you’re an early bird who loves to seize the day with a morning run, don’t fret. I’ve got a solution for you too. Just make sure to have a small pre-run snack, but remember the golden rule—don’t eat within an hour of starting your session. This will help prevent any unwanted stomach turmoil while you’re out there conquering the miles.

But what should you snack on, you ask? Opt for sources of complex carbs and healthy proteins that are quick to digest. Think of them as your running fuel. Bananas, oranges, eggs, and fish are all fantastic options to consider. Experiment with different types of food and the timing of your meals before running to find the winning combination that works best for you.

Now that we’ve covered the pre-run essentials, let’s move on to another crucial aspect—running intensity. It’s essential to listen to your body and find a pace that works for you. Pushing yourself too hard, running at an intense level that your body isn’t quite ready for, can increase the likelihood of feeling nauseous. Remember, it’s not a race against the clock, but rather a journey towards your personal goals.

But wait, there’s more! A little something called timing and consistency. Incorporating a regular running routine into your life can help minimize the chances of nausea.

Your body craves consistency and thrives on it. So, try to stick to a schedule that works for you and gradually build up your mileage. This will allow your body to adapt and reduce the risk of that unwelcome feeling creeping in.

Additional resource – Probiotics For Runners 

Nausea When Running Fix – 2. Stay Within Your Fitness Level

Picture this: you’re on a quest to conquer new fitness heights. You lace up your shoes, ready to push your limits and unleash your inner superhero. But here’s the thing, my friend: there’s a delicate balance between reaching for the stars and overextending yourself into a nauseating predicament.

Let me explain. When you push your body beyond its current fitness level, something fascinating happens. Your body responds by boosting blood flow to your vital organs and skeletal muscles, allowing you to keep pushing forward. It’s like a symphony of endurance orchestrated by your inner warrior.

But here’s the twist. When that blood rush happens, your poor stomach gets the short end of the stick. Blood is diverted away from your belly and sent rushing to your extremities. And guess what? That’s when the nausea creeps in, making you feel like you’re riding a turbulent rollercoaster instead of enjoying your workout.

So, how do we tackle this nauseating dilemma? The key lies in exercising within your fitness level. It’s like finding that sweet spot where your body can thrive without losing its lunch. If your body isn’t accustomed to a certain training intensity—let’s say, running eight miles at a blistering 6:30-minute pace—going full throttle is a recipe for disaster. You’ll only end up running yourself into the ground, quite literally.

Instead, let’s embrace the art of incremental progress. Think of it as building a sturdy foundation for your fitness kingdom.

Gradually increase your running distance and intensity, giving your body time to adapt and grow stronger. One fantastic rule of thumb to follow is the renowned 10 percent rule. Start by running comfortably for an hour at a conversational pace. Once you’ve conquered that milestone, add a speedwork session to your weekly routine. This way, you’re challenging yourself without overstepping the boundaries of your fitness capacity.

Tired athlete runner man exhausted leaning on wall of fatigue breathing hard after difficult exercise. Fitness person sweating of sun stroke, migraine, heat exhaustion muscle back pain or cramps.

Nausea When Running Fix – 3. Hydrate

Imagine yourself on a sweltering summer day, ready to embark on a glorious run. The sun is blazing, and the heat is relentless.

As you start to move, your body naturally starts to sweat, a testament to your hard work and dedication. But here’s the catch: with every droplet of sweat that drips from your brow, you’re bidding farewell to precious fluids that your body needs to stay in top form.

Hydration, my friend, is the secret ingredient to keep those nauseating demons at bay. When you sweat, your body loses water, and if you don’t replenish those fluid levels promptly, trouble awaits.

Dehydration sneaks in like a mischievous trickster, disrupting the delicate balance your body craves. And you guessed it—nausea can be one of its cunning side effects.

So, how do we outsmart this devious foe? It’s simple: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The key is to provide your body with a steady stream of water before, during, and after your run. Think of it as a refreshing oasis amidst the desert of dehydration. Sip on the elixir of life to fuel your body’s engine and keep it running smoothly.

Nausea When Running Fix – 4. Cool Down

When you abruptly halt your running motion, your heart keeps pumping, sending blood surging towards your extremities. It’s as if your heart is playing a game of tug-of-war, pulling blood away from your brain and leaving it a bit deprived. And let me tell you, a brain deprived of its due can lead to a rollercoaster of sensations, including the unwelcome guest known as nausea.

Now, here’s where the cooldown swoops in like a superhero to save the day. Taking the time to wind down after your run is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s like hitting the pause button on a wild dance party, allowing the rhythm to settle and the beat to fade into tranquility.

During your cooldown, blood flow is redirected more evenly throughout your body, helping to restore a harmonious balance, ensuring that every organ—the heart, the brain, and all the vital organs—receives its fair share of attention.

But don’t just take my word for it. Research papers have delved into the benefits of a proper cooldown after exercise.

They’ve shown that it can aid in reducing post-exercise hypotension (a sudden drop in blood pressure), prevent blood pooling in the extremities, and help your body gradually transition back to its normal state. It’s like a gentle lullaby that eases your body from a state of intense activity to a state of calm.

Here’s my favorite cool-down sequence.

Nausea When Running Fix – 5. Seek Medical help

Listen up, my friend. I’ve covered some effective strategies to combat that pesky post-run nausea, and I hope they work like magic for you.

But let’s be real for a moment. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things don’t go according to plan.

That’s when it’s time to seek some expert guidance—yes, I’m talking about reaching out to the white-coat heroes who have devoted their lives to understanding the intricate workings of our bodies.

If you’ve tried all the tips and tricks we’ve discussed, but your nausea symptoms are persisting and even intensifying, it’s essential to seek medical attention without delay. I’m not trying to scare you, my friend, but sometimes there might be underlying issues lurking beneath the surface that require professional evaluation.

Think of it as calling for reinforcements when you’re facing an unknown adversary. Your doctor is like a wise wizard armed with a magical wand—a wand that can perform tests, ask the right questions, and uncover any hidden dragons that might be causing your nausea.

By seeking medical help, you can rule out any underlying health conditions that might be contributing to your discomfort. It’s like conducting a thorough investigation to get to the root of the problem and ensure you receive the proper care and treatment you deserve.

Stop feeling nauseous after running – The Conclusion

Here you have it. The above guidelines are exactly what you need to prevent throwing up while running and exercising. Just make sure to take action on what you’ve just learned. The rest is just detail.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section if you still have any questions or concerns.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

Keep Running Strong

David D.

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