Why Do I Feel Nauseous After Running
Why Do I Feel Nauseous After Running? Running isn’t just fun — it can be downright therapeutic if you know how to manage your nausea. If you have a history of motion sickness or are prone to feeling nauseated by things like airplanes, car rides or even shopping at the mall, running may not be for you. But for those who are willing to give it a try, there are some simple tactics that can help relieve post-run nausea.
First off, what exactly causes us to feel queasy? It’s actually pretty simple: When we run, we don’t need food as much because our bodies are producing more energy than they normally would on an empty stomach. As a result, blood is diverted from our digestive system and sent to our muscles instead. This means less blood in our gut (the area where many of us experience uncomfortable bloating) which makes us feel bloated, full and nauseous.
If you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon while eating after a long lunch, chances are good you’ll feel awful within minutes of getting up and walking around. The same thing will happen when you go for a quick jog. Some people call it “runner’s trots,” but regardless of what you call them, here are a few tips to make sure they never turn into a big deal.
Don’t Eat Before You Run
The first rule of thumb is to avoid eating before you run. While it might seem counterintuitive to take something out of your diet right before you start moving faster than normal, doing so can upset your stomach and lead to nausea. In fact, one study found that runners who consumed foods high in fiber prior to their runs were more likely to report feelings of nausea compared with those who didn’t eat anything beforehand [sources: Cohen, Hochman]. And why does this happen? Our body has evolved over time to expect certain foods every day; when these foods aren’t available, we get anxious and uncomfortable. So if you do decide to eat before your next run, keep it light and easy on your tummy. A piece of toast with peanut butter, a banana or a yogurt parfait should work fine.
Hydration is key to preventing nausea, especially in hot weather. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider adding a sports drink to your routine. These products contain salt and sugar, both of which help restore fluids lost through sweat. They also provide electrolytes (which replace fluid loss), minerals and vitamins. Sports drinks will often include caffeine and other stimulants designed to boost endurance and performance.
Avoid Alcoholic Drinks
Alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, which can further irritate your stomach. Drinking alcohol can affect your saliva production, making you lose moisture more quickly. Also, most alcoholic beverages increase gastric acid secretion, which can aggravate indigestion symptoms.
Take Medication Properly
Some medications, particularly prescription drugs, interact badly with aspirin, antacids and heartburn treatments such as Tums, Maalox and Pepcid AC. Therefore, before you hit the road, let your doctor know about any medications you are currently taking and ask him/her for advice about whether you should continue using them while running. He or she may recommend switching to another medication or adjusting the dosage to lessen side effects.
Get Plenty Of Rest
Getting enough sleep each night helps prevent nausea, as well as fatigue, muscle cramps and headaches. Sleep deprivation disrupts hormone levels, including melatonin, cortisol and growth hormones, all of which impact our ability to digest food properly. During sleep, your body restores itself and gets ready for the following day, when it will function better.
One way to reduce the likelihood of nausea is to become active regularly. According to research published in the journal Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, exercising three times per week reduces risk factors associated with nausea. Specifically, researchers noted that regular exercisers had lower resting metabolic rates, resulting in a decreased amount of calories burned.
There’s no magic trick to avoiding runner’s trots — and if you think you’re immune to them based on your athletic background, you probably won’t escape unscathed. But knowing how to treat the condition once it appears can save you from having to retreat indoors until your appetite returns.
It turns out that not everyone experiences nausea after running. Researchers believe that variations in the size of our guts and the length of our colons determine whether or not we’ll feel sick. People with larger guts tend to suffer more from post-workout discomfort due to slower transit times. On the other hand, shorter-colon runners tend to develop bloating rather than nausea because their colon absorbs fewer nutrients.
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