What Causes Nausea After Running And How To Prevent It?

Nausea is a general symptom which is associated with a wide range of health conditions and is often indicative of some form of imbalance in the body. Nausea may be associated with gastrointestinal disturbance or some form of systemic disturbances. Some individuals may feel nauseated after or during running.

Some individuals may suffer from nausea after running and there are several factors that may contribute to it.

This article provides information about how to manage nausea after running and helps you identify when you should ideally seek medical help.

Causes Of Nausea After Running

Nausea while running can be caused due to a wide range of factors including dehydration, heat exhaustion, over exertion and malnutrition. There are certain simple precautionary measures that can help you manage the condition promptly, however if the condition continues to persist, it is prudent to seek medical attention.

Here are some causes that may contribute to nausea after running which are usually self-limiting and can be prevented,

  • Eating prior to a Run: Eating prior to a run can lead to nausea after running. Digestion is a process which requires a lot of energy; however when you start running after a meal, all the energy is directed towards running rather than towards digestion.
    This in turns slows down digestion and can make you feel nauseous. Avoid running for a couple of hours after having a meal.
  • Certain types of foods can also make you feel nauseous during running. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains have a low glycemic index which means that they require longer time to digest. The longer digestion time would tend to make you feel nauseous as these foods remain within your system for longer time.
  • Consuming beverages containing caffeine can also increase the risk of nausea during running. Certain prescription medications also contain caffeine.
  • Hyponatremia or low levels of sodium can also lead to nausea while running. This is attributed to electrolyte imbalance in the body, which can trigger nausea.
  • Dehydration, overexertion and heat stroke can also trigger nausea especially after running.

How To Prevent Nausea While Running?

There are certain measures that you can take to prevent nausea during running,

  • Keep yourself well hydrated. Drink a couple of glasses of water before starting the run and also continue to sip small quantities of water during the run. Consuming sports drinks can help maintain electrolyte balance and prevent nausea.
  • Hypoglycemia can also lead to nausea during running hence it is recommended to eat something light prior to running. Eat a smaller meal about 2-4 hours prior to run or eat a snack about 30 minutes before a run. This will help raise your blood sugar levels and fuel the run.
  • Pace yourself correctly. Overexertion can trigger nausea during a run. Running quickly can result in accumulation of lactic acid within the body making you feel nauseated.

If the symptoms persist or are accompanied with other symptoms like headache, irritability, fatigue, etc seek immediate medical attention. There is a possibility of some form of gastrointestinal disorder or heart disease which can be associated with these repeated episodes.

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