What causes nausea while running, even just a short distance?
A number of reasons exist that could cause nausea during or shortly after running. They include pushing the body harder than usual, inadequate warm up or cool down and not optimizing pre and post workout meals.
Running itself is a challenging activity that puts a great physical demand on the body. Even if you are in “good shape” and can lift weights and do other activities without any ill effects, it is still common to feel sick during or after a run. Even if your client stays in good physical shape year round, he or she may experience difficulty when running for the first time in awhile. It is important to start with just a little bit of running and gradually increase the time and intensity as your body adjusts to the running workouts. This could mean running five minutes at first and then walking 10 minutes the first week. The following week you could run 10 minutes and walk 10 and continue building slowly until you reach the desired length and intensity.
Proper warm up and cool down time is an aspect that is often overlooked by runners. Naturally, if you start running at a fast pace right away or stop abruptly after a run, you will most likely feel like throwing up. An adequate warm up should include at least five or 10 minutes of walking or very light jogging before you reach a normal pace. Similarly, at least five to 10 minutes of walking or light jogging and stretching should be performed after a run to cool the muscles down and return the heart rate back to normal.
The third possible reason for nausea while running could be the result of not eating or eating the wrong foods before and after a run. Running on an empty stomach will often cause nausea because the body doesn’t have the necessary fuel for the run. Eating heavy foods too close to running can cause gastric discomfort and lead to nausea while running. Generally, one should have a substantial meal with complex carbohydrates (such as spaghetti or oatmeal and a banana) three to four hours before a run. You can also have a light snack (such as a bagel with honey or a little peanut butter) one to one and a half hours before running. Some people perform better on different foods, so experimentation is needed to find what works for you. Make sure the body is adequately hydrated as well since dehydration can cause stomach cramps or nausea. It is important to have a healthy snack with carbohydrates and protein within 90 minutes after a workout and a nutritious meal shortly after.