Throw up after exercise

Exercise affects the gastrointestinal tract, so people sometimes experience nausea and throw up after training.

Changing exercise and eating or drinking habits often helps solve it. Constant nausea after exercise may indicate an underlying health condition in some cases.

Is it normal?

According to a review from 2013, GI symptoms are common in sports players, with various studies estimating that they affect 20–70% of reliable sources for athletes.

Upper GI duct symptoms are more common among cyclists than runners. They may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • heartburn
  • gastroesophageal reflux
  • raping

Runners tend to experience lower GI channel symptoms, such as:

  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramps
  • GI bleeding
  • flatulence

Nausea is especially common in extreme endurance sports, such as ultramarathons. 90% may experience GI symptoms during endurance races.


Some of the leading causes of exercise-induced nausea and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms include:

  • reduced blood supply to the digestive tract and abdominal organs
  • delayed gastric emptying
  • dehydration
  • hyponatremia

Sometimes, exercise-induced nausea may be due to an underlying condition, for example:

  • renal failure
  • heatstroke
  • anaphylaxis after eating
  • gallbladder scar tissue
  • ischemic bowel disease, where there is not enough blood supply to the small intestine
  • pancreatitis
  • hemorrhagic gastritis

There can be a reduction of up to 80% in the blood flow to the abdominal organs when exercising. That’s because the body sends more blood to the muscles and skin.

Overeating before a workout can also cause nausea. A 2001 study of 12 healthy participants found that exercising immediately after eating generated higher levels of sickness than waiting 60 minutes before exercise.

The researchers also found that nausea levels are higher during high-intensity workouts than during low-intensity workouts. Moderate exercise has little effect on gastric emptying, while high intensity or periodic training may slow gastric emptying and cause nausea or other GI symptoms.

How to prevent nausea when exercising

After exercising, people may reduce nausea by drinking a sports drink with several transportable carbohydrates, such as glucose and fructose.

The authors note that it can also help take supplements that help the body make nitric oxide. Increasing the availability of this compound can help increase blood flow to the abdominal organs.

You can resolve your symptoms by strolling after a workout.


Reduce or prevent nausea when exercising:

  • Eat a diet high in fiber to maintain gut health, but avoid foods high in fiber before exercising.
  • Avoid slow-digesting foods, such as protein, fat, and dairy products, before exercising to ensure faster gastric emptying
  • please refrain from eating foods high in fructose, especially high fructose drinks, unless they also contain glucose
  • Stay well hydrated before and during exercise to avoid dehydration, which can worsen GI symptoms
  • intake of carbohydrate-rich foods with higher water content or drinks with a lower carbohydrate concentration
  • Determine which foods and beverages suit them best when they exercise and how much time they need between eating and exercising.

Starting with lower intensity workouts and gradually building up can prevent nausea.

Related articles:

What causes nausea when working out

How soon after eating can I exercise


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