Q: Whenever I work out and have anything in my stomach, even water, I get nauseated. Why is that, and what should I do? I’ve ended up just working out on an empty stomach, but I feel that I’m not getting the full benefit of the workout. – Brett B.
A: Feeling nauseated during intense activity is common. Nausea can be caused by overexertion, dehydration, low blood sugar levels or motion sickness. If you are consistently feeling nauseated during your workouts, you will want to first consult a physician to make sure there are no underlying medical problems.
When starting a workout program, make sure to progress slowly into more advanced lifts and circuits. Take your time getting comfortable performing exercise that fit with your fitness level and increase your level of exertion as you get in better and better shape. Personal Trainers should be aware of your fitness level and should make sure they don’t push you past the point of no return (or in other words, vomiting).
Stay hydrated throughout the day and even through the night if you are working out first thing in the morning. Gatorade is a good option before your workout to get simple carbs into your system to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Replenish your body with water as soon after your workout as possible. If you don’t eat before your workout make sure to eat or drink a protein shake immediately after your workout.
If you absolutely can’t eat before a workout, you need to make sure that you’re drinking a protein shake that contains a 1:1 carb to protein mix. Don’t be conservative here. You will need between 200 and 300 calories in your protein shake. The protein shake will provide the nutrients you need for recovery and will make sure that your body can rebuild the broken-down muscle.
If it’s motion sickness, that may need to be addressed with a physician. One strategy for decreasing the effects of motion sickness is to find a focal point. Keep your gaze focused on that one spot and don’t let your eyes wander.