Here’s why you might feel sick after a workout – and what you can do to avoid it | Life

  • Do you often feel nauseous after training? Although it is common and does not last long, it can still be uncomfortable.
  • There are several reasons why this would happen – so if this is happening to you, there’s probably no cause for alarm.
  • There are also some things you can do to reduce or prevent this feeling, especially when eating your food.

Many of us exercise to feel better. While some of us get “runners high” after a workout, sadly some of us leave the gym feeling nauseous. Although it’s usually only temporary, it can still be uncomfortable.

Luckily, there are a few good explanations for why this can happen – so if it’s happening to you, there’s probably no cause for alarm.

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When we exercise, blood flow to the muscles, brain, lungs and heart increases. This increased blood flow is driven by the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system (which helps regulate all of our involuntary bodily responses, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion).

It does this by widening the arteries so that they can carry more blood to these tissues.

But the sympathetic nervous system, which normally drives our “fight or flight” mechanism, simultaneously shrinks the blood vessels entering our gastrointestinal system (like our stomach) during intense training by up to 80%.

It does this because there is a limited amount of blood in the body and the increased oxygen demand of certain tissues can only be met by changing the amount of blood going to other tissues.

This means that the blood supply may be reduced in areas that currently do not need as much oxygen at the time. This may be the case whether you have recently eaten or not.

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But let’s say you recently ate a meal before hitting the gym or going for a run. When we eat, the food stretches our stomach causing the release of acid and enzymes needed to digest the food.

The stomach muscles also become more active during digestion, leading to greater oxygen demand and blood flow to the stomach and other gastrointestinal tissues. Another part of the autonomic nervous system causes increased blood flow to the gastrointestinal structures when they need to be active.

The significant conflict in the body from different tissues which all demand oxygen can be one of the reasons why nausea occurs during or after a workout. The body must adapt blood flow to the tissues as demand changes.

So when we exercise, blood has to go to the muscles, heart, lungs and brain, which means blood flow is reduced in less active tissues, such as the gastrointestinal tract, even if he is currently digesting our dinner.

When blood flow is reduced in this area, it triggers our intestinal nerves, which subsequently causes feelings of nausea.

In addition to this, the stomach and other abdominal organs can also be compressed during exercise, which can further contribute to feelings of nausea. This is particularly a problem in the squatting position, as heart rate and tissue oxygen demand increase, so the body draws greater volumes of air into the lungs.

This then causes the diaphragm (under your ribs) to push harder on the abdominal organs. Other muscles – such as those in the abdominal wall – also help, squeezing the abdominal organs further with each breath. This can lead to significant nausea and even vomiting, even on an empty stomach.

Some evidence even suggests that exercise, especially long-distance running and other endurance events, can damage the stomach lining, possibly due to decreased blood flow and oxygen available to it. the organ.

It would also cause nausea. In extreme circumstances this can lead to bleeding from the stomach lining, especially in endurance and long distance athletes.

when to eat

If you exercise immediately or up to an hour after eating, you are more likely to experience nausea, regardless of exercise level or workout intensity. It takes about two hours for solid food to be broken down by the stomach and enter the small intestine. Therefore, if you experience post-workout nausea, it may be best to wait at least two hours after a meal.

What you eat before a workout can also determine whether you experience nausea. High-fiber, fatty, and even high-protein foods are all linked to a higher likelihood of post-workout nausea. Additional protein, especially whey or shakes, is also digested more slowly.

This is likely to contribute to nausea during a workout as the stomach tries to digest it.

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Certain fats, particularly saturated fats, can induce nausea differently – with animal models showing they irritate and damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which activates the nerves in the stomach lining that connect to the center of the stomach. vomiting (located in the medulla oblongata) in the brain.

Consumption of sports drinks or other carbohydrate-rich beverages (such as juice, energy drinks, and soda) is also linked to nausea during and after a workout. This may be because these drinks are digested very slowly and stay in the stomach longer than other drinks.

If you’re someone who often feels nauseous after a workout, there are several things you can do. First, modify or reduce your usual training and slowly increase the intensity.

Indeed, the longer the training, the more blood is constantly evacuated from the stomach. Make sure you drink enough water before and after a workout, as too little and too much can cause nausea for different reasons.

In terms of diet, avoid it two hours before and choose the right foods – such as high-quality carbs (like bananas or sweet potatoes) and protein, as well as unsaturated fats (like nuts).

These will not only fuel the body, but they won’t be as hard to digest as other foods if you plan on working out.The conversation

Adam TaylorProfessor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Center, Lancaster University

This article is republished from The conversation under Creative Commons license. Read it original article.

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