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Why Do You Get Sick to Your Stomach After Running?

By Kay Ireland

After a long and grueling run, sometimes you find that you're sick to your stomach, feeling nauseous and often dizzy. Depending on the length and difficulty of the route you've chosen, running can have a profound effect on your body. While running is nearly always associated with a healthy lifestyle, you can have too much of a good thing when your body is not properly conditioned for a certain run. By understanding the causes of post-running nausea, you'll know how to better prevent the sensation for a more positive experience.


When you push your body to its limits, you can overexert yourself, which often leads to nausea. Overexertion occurs when your body is suddenly thrown into exercise without the proper hydration and nutrition necessary to complete healthy exercise. Overexertion can be the result of temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit to simply not stretching before you run. Warming up beforehand can help you avoid nausea from overexertion, so ensure that you walk or jog before you begin serious running.


Dehydration can occur on its own without other signs of overexertion. Especially common in warmer months, dehydration means that your body does not have enough water to function properly. When it comes to exercise, you lose water through sweat, which is a mixture of water and salt. When you swig water while running, you replace the water in your body but not the salt. While it's fine for shorter runs, you may want to switch to a sports drink for longer runs. Sports drinks contain both sodium and potassium to help you avoid dehydration and sodium deficiencies, which can make you feel dizzy, tired and nauseous.

Blood Sugar

If you tend to run early in the morning due to scheduling, avoiding the heat or simply because you prefer to, you may be tempted to start your run without proper nutrition. In the morning, your body has sustained a period of fasting and therefore has a naturally lower blood sugar level than normal. Low blood sugar can make you feel dizzy, tired and nauseous and can ruin your run. Rather than running on an empty stomach, eat a light snack to raise your blood sugar levels before you exercise -- peanut butter on crackers, a piece of fruit or a protein bar can all help start your workout properly.

Motion Sickness

If you prefer to run on a treadmill or use an elliptical machine for training, you may feel nauseous when you stop using the machine. This is likely due to the perpetual motion of the treadmill belt. When your body is sustaining a constant motion, such as running, and you attempt to participate in other activities, like watching television or reading magazines, your eyes have trouble focusing. This leads to a sensation akin to feeling sick after being in the car for too long. Try listening to music or books on tape to avoid focusing on a fixed point.

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