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Nausea during exercise. What are some possible causes?(27 posts)

Nausea during exercise. What are some possible causes?Kristin
Nov 14, 2001 8:07 AM
I get this sometimes while doing strength training. Currently, I'm only working on smaller muscle groups (stabalizers) and am doing the entire affair with a blue theraband. As my balance has increased, I've also increased the intensity of the workouts -- testing the limits of the blue band and increasing my heart rate. The nausea only began after I intensified and usually begins about 20 minutes into the workout. No other symptoms--I just feel sick to my stomach. I used to get the same thing during vocal training (which was intense too.) So what can cause nausea during exercise?

re: Nausea during exercise. What are some possible causes?DINOSAUR
Nov 14, 2001 8:23 AM
Overexertion could be the main culprit. I get nausea whenever I have to do yard work, actually just thinking about any type of work gives me nausea. On a serious note, do you have something in your stomach before you start your routine? You might need to back off a bit on intensity and make sure that you are warmed up..
Nov 14, 2001 8:36 AM
I suppose that one is obvious.

This is what does it to me:

*Too full - eating and drinking faster than it can empty from my stomach


*Riding extremely hard

*Wrong food - too much sugar, usually

*Just need to puke - sometimes, you just need to puke and the nausea will go away

Try eating some crackers or something like that, bread, cake, etc. Try drinking more water, too, unless you are full of water.

Don't go there!Kristin
Nov 14, 2001 9:17 AM
Yeah...I read the "puke files" on that ultasite you like so much. I wasn't sure that would apply to lil' ol' me and my 45 minute exercises. I was well hydrated yesterday. Could be sugar (whoppers yesterday), but that would just suck!
Same thing happened to me during weight training.... here's whatNewRoadBiker
Nov 14, 2001 8:36 AM
I did. I found that when I would weight train at the gym I would always get sick to my stomach when the workout was pretty intense (for me). I started wearing my heart rate monitor during workouts and found that my heart rate was getting pretty darn high and staying there as I went to the next set. I experimented a few times and found that if I let my heart rate drop to 150 BPM before going on to the next set I wouldn't get sick to my stomach. I've read that as your body adapts to the higher intensity you'll not experience the nausea, but I'm no exercise physiologist. I always wear my heart rate monitor to the gym these days. Works for me! :o)

Not enough fuelbikedodger
Nov 14, 2001 8:45 AM

I see that in a post below that you are taking in only 1000 Calories a day. It is possible that you are exhausting your body's fuel during the exercise and the nausea is a response to this. I recommend eating a little more and seeing if the nausea goes away.

Nov 14, 2001 9:21 AM
I haven't actually stuck to that yet, and I'll work into it slowly, like I did in 1999. I just don't want you guys to think I'm annorexic or anything.
Hey Kristin: Quick and easy diet regimenscottfree
Nov 14, 2001 10:16 AM
Decide how many pounds you want to weigh. Multiply that number by 13. Eat that many calories a day, more or less (if you go a little over one day, go a little under the next). Over time, you will creep down to your goal weight. And if you continue eating that number of calories, you will stay there.

By the way, if you want to know how many calories a day you're eating on average now, multiply your current weight by 13.

This is based on the average number of calories per pound per day that an adult female burns. For men, the magic number is 15.
Its an interesting trick but...Kristin
Nov 14, 2001 10:55 AM doesn't take into consideration the amount of calories burned which varies WIDELY from person to person. For instance, if I multiply my target weight (134) by 13. I get a total of 1740 calories per day. This would not be enough calories to sustain me while riding 100 miles a week. I can gaurentee that I would gain weight if I consumed 1700 calories and wasn't exercising.
Nov 14, 2001 11:36 AM
"Over time, you will creep down to your goal weight. And if you continue eating that number of calories, you will stay there."

Wouldn't you have to run a deficit of calories to lose weight, but burn the same used as eaten to maintain?

I'll be clearer. I've lived this so long I forget it's not obvious.scottfree
Nov 14, 2001 1:02 PM
Exactly. What we're doing is, eat the number of calories that would maintain ideal weight. In the beginning, since you weigh more than ideal weight, you will lose weight. As you approach your goal weight, weight loss will slow. When you reach it -- well, you'll lose no more because you've reached an equilibrium between calories eaten/calories burned.

Say you weigh 200 pounds, and want to weigh 150. Right now, at 15 calories per pound per day for a male, you are eating ON AVERAGE about 3000 calories per day. But you want to weigh 150, which would require only only 2250 calories a day. SO, if you start eating 2250 calories a day, you will run a deficit and lose weight until you reach the weight that 2250 calories will maintain -- 150.

The real beauty of this is, over the entire time of the 'diet,' you are learning to live on the number of daily calories you're going to have to live on always, for the rest of your life, if you want to maintain ideal weight. The problem with more strenuous diets -- cutting WAY back on calories to accelerate weight loss -- is that when the diet is 'over,' you have no idea how much (or little) you have to eat to keep your weight. You say 'Yay, I can eat again!' and go right back to your old habits -- and gain weight.

The calories-per-pound-per-day number is an approximation, of course. If you ride big miles, your number will certainly be higher. But 15 for men/13 for women is a good benchmark to start with. Make adjustments as you go along, based on how your body responds.
It's pounds-per-LEAN mass...dsc
Nov 14, 2001 9:47 PM
Are you talking about the generalized method that Gold's Gym (and others) use to calculate calories-per-meal?
If so, you take weight(lbs) x percentage body fat(%) = lbs. of fat. Then lean mass = total weight(lb) - bodyfat(lbs.)
To calculate calories-per-day, and this is where I suspect you got that number 13 from, the formula says for a sedentary woman - defined as one who performs less than 1 hour of exercise per day, you would consume 13 calories /lb. lean. For sedentary men, the number given is 14-16/lb. lean.
The calories/lb. lean increase slightly with activity levels.
As noted, this is VERY generalized, and does not take into account individual metabolisms, etc. You also need to take into account how many meals you eat a day (5-6, usually), how far apart they're spaced(2-3 hrs)nutrient ratios, etc. All pretty standard bodybuilding fare.
I've followed a similar method during periods of reducing body fat, and it does work, coupled with intense cardio and weight training. I would probably not recommend this methodology during serious on-the-bike training, as your nutrient ratios differ and you are eating for endurance, not reduction of bodyfat.

re: Don't lift weights on an empty stomach.dzrider
Nov 14, 2001 8:59 AM
I need to eat b4 strength training. I can run or ride b4 breakfast, but need to keep my blood sugar up to do the strength training. Don't know why and don't want to come up with a "male answer syndrome" theory, but it has always been that way for me. Next time it happens see if a gel or energy bar quickly fixes the problem, if it does, you can conclude with little risk that it's true for you as well.
Nausea is a classic sign of overexertion. Your body is stressedbill
Nov 14, 2001 11:06 AM
to where it starts telling itself to get rid of everything that's not absolutely needed, including what's in your tummy. It's a primitive reaction, designed to be invoked when the tiger is chasing you, and you either can run or become dinner (sort of like the Taliban leaving Kabul -- you jettison everything not absolutely necessary to flee; the next step is to get rid of what's in the rest of your GI system, if you catch my drift. Every ounce counts!). You've got to work up to the stress level slowly, so that (a) your body is more used to the stress and (b) it's less stressful all around, because your body is more fit. Of course, if you're Doug Sloan, you puke and move on. For most humans, though, it's a sign to lighten up.
Kristin, in absolutely record time, you have experienced every calamity known to cycling, maybe every calamity known to man (or woman). How do you do it?
Every calamity? Lets not exaggerate or anthing...Kristin
Nov 14, 2001 12:39 PM
ca·lam·i·ty (ka -lam-it-ee)
An event that brings terrible loss, lasting distress, or severe affliction; a disaster.

Hmmmm. Haven't had many of those in my lifetime. Cycling calamities? Well, I've never flipped over, crashed badly, been hit by a car (came close once), had more than 3 flats on a ride (doomed now), ended up in traction, an emergency room, stranded in the rain or otherwise lost. So... What calamities are you speaking of?

The only two things that I consider calamities this summer:
1) Being sold an ill fitting bike

I appreciated your post and found it to be accurate right up until the point where you made me feel small.
Oh, now you're making me feel bad. I was just teasing; Ibill
Nov 14, 2001 1:44 PM
was hoping you'd take it in the spirit with which it was offered. Which is, I continue to admire your gumption and spirit and all that in the face of the many, shall we say, small calamities you have described on this board. And, I like you across the cyber-space. And I want to help you as I can. And, I'm just constantly amazed at what you get yourself into; every post from Kristin is a new chapter, a new experience well-explored. This is all good.
I wish no emergency rooms on you. I think of you as interesting, not small.
After reading all of the posts here, I still think you are having a problem because you are working too hard, too soon, and overstressing. Not warmed up enough, not conditioned to what you are trying to do. I can't believe that a lack of food or even a lack of water would hit you in twenty minutes. Lack of food and water leave me listless, and nausea comes on slowly, if it comes. A tough hill and a pounding heart, particularly before I'm warmed up, can make me feel ready to boot pretty quick.
re: a little physiology...guido
Nov 14, 2001 12:41 PM
Did you eat something that didn't go down yet, even a sugary drink, and did your stomach have a "stitch" in it? You feel like your trunk muscles are really tight, and your digestive system is on hold. Whatever is in your stomach is just sitting there, being squished by the trunk muscles. You want to throw up.

That happened to me the other day, as I was trying to "train up" to stronger riders. I had eaten cereal with yogurt. I wanted to burp but couldn't, you know the feeling? Instead of a nice belch, all I got was heartburn, "acid reflux," and the stitch got worse.

In earlier days of serious weightlifting, I had this problem much less, and it has always been related to food in the stomach. But here's something else: Lifter gurus all talk about the importance of toning and strengthening torso muscles, stomach, abs, sides, back, the suspension system which cradle the innerds, like stomach and intestines and keep them in place, supple, and working right.

It is also generally accepted that cycling doesn't work the stomach or abdominals very well. Anecdotal evidence on the next club ride should support that assertion. Pro cycling coaches, Chris Camichael for one, prescribe upper body weightlifting to maintain the integrity of muscles that don't get strong by riding alone. It is reasonable to conclude that some upper body training with weights might be just the thing your stomach, diaphragm, ribcage, and spine needs to avoid nausea brought on by exercise.
ab trainingDog
Nov 14, 2001 12:44 PM
"...Chris Camichael for one, prescribe upper body weightlifting to maintain the integrity of muscles that don't get strong by riding alone. It is reasonable to conclude that some upper body training with weights might be just the thing your stomach, diaphragm, ribcage, and spine needs to avoid nausea brought on by exercise."

My ultra coach has put me on a lot of upper body, abs, back, and stretching. You wouldn't think it would be necessary for long rides, but he knows more than I do. Maybe there is something to it.

Next time I'll be able to puke further, faster, and more often!

..furthur and faster..guido
Nov 14, 2001 1:05 PM
Laughing because I left out the last part of my tale: Eventually threw up, but didn't stop and get off the bike, nor double up in pain. I just kept riding, turned my head like I was going to blow snot, and had a single, firm contraction. It all came up like a big sneeze, and went above my bike, since I was doing at least 15mph, requiring no cleanup. I also felt much better, even if a little energy depeleted.
Faster PussycatJack S
Nov 14, 2001 1:10 PM
great band
Nov 14, 2001 1:31 PM
My last bike puke was a series of double over, shoes come out your mouth, tears in your eyes, repetitive waves of full body contortions - followed by immediate relief.

Took me a week to get the puke off my shoes.

Gotta work on the puke-on-the-fly trick. How do you practice that? That could save valuable seconds in a race.

it kind of blew me away too,guido
Nov 14, 2001 1:43 PM
You have to relax just before the contraction, like you'd do when eliminating other body waste.
undercooked meat?? (nm)Yu Hoo Bloe Chow
Nov 14, 2001 1:01 PM
Nausea during strength training.dsc
Nov 14, 2001 1:08 PM
Hey Kristin,

I've rarely had this problem while training small muscle groups, but it's actually quite common when training the large muscles (quads, glutes, etc.) The reason is because you are working those muscles so hard, the blood gets diverted away from your stomach and to the muscles under stress.
I've always found that just a small amount of food (couple spoonfuls of cottage cheese, a scoop of protein powder, perhaps half an energy bar) about 30 min. before hitting the weight room works OK for me- anything more and yuk.
However, if I go all out on legs (again, it's always that group that gets me) I may get somewhat nauseous anyhow.

Bottom line, it means that you're working hard!!

that's it!guido
Nov 14, 2001 2:22 PM
It's the large muscle groups, and there aren't any larger than the legs, that draw blood away from the trunk. That's just what it feels like.

But how can you alleviate it, or deal with it before it makes you nauseous? Back off hard effort, stretch on the bike, take a few deep breaths, sip a little water, relax a few moments? A fit trunk will help, it seems, to get the blood back into the internal organs efficiently. Upper body weight work will tone up the muscles, and long aerobic rides will train the internal organs, including metabolism and digestive functions, as well as the muscles.
that's it!dsc
Nov 14, 2001 3:12 PM
Yup, backing off momentarily definitely will alleviate the nausea, except if you have a nazi ;) trainer, like I did a few years back, or if you just love to push yourself (feel the burn!!!) to puking.
And I agree with you that a fit core (trunk) will help circulate the blood more efficiently. Just make sure that you work your back (upper & lower) as much as your abs, to avoid any muscular imbalances.


>But how can you alleviate it, or deal with it before it >makes you nauseous? Back off hard effort, stretch on the >bike, take a few deep breaths, sip a little water, relax a >few moments?
Nov 14, 2001 1:25 PM
from years of couch-potato-ness and fear of injury. See a shrink!