You simply completed a workout and the feel-good endorphins are flowing. Then, bam! An enormous headache takes over and you’re on the sofa for the remainder of the day.
Is it an indication of one thing critical? Playing the odds, no. But likelihood is you’re getting them for certainly one of 4 causes: you’re dehydrated; your blood sugar is just too low; the muscle mass of your chest, neck and shoulders are too tight; or you’ve gotten hypertension.
Are you doomed to cope with the pounding after each workout for the remainder of your life? Not essentially.
What’s Normal With Workout Headaches — and What’s Not
Doctors usually classify complications with one in every of two classes: main exertion and secondary exertion complications. Primary exertion complications have an effect on roughly 10 % of the inhabitants and are extra widespread in males, in accordance to the American Migraine Foundation. Secondary exertion complications are extra critical and are brought on by weightier underlying health issues, like tumors or decreased blood move to the guts.
Most workout complications will solely offer you a pounding, throbbing head and ought to solely final a number of hours. Secondary exertion complications impose the identical throbbing ache however final a minimum of a day, if not a number of, and exhibit further signs which might be trigger for concern.
What Causes Workout Headaches?
Doctors aren’t sure about what causes main exertion complications, however among the many widespread culprits there most frequently have a tendency to be two particularly: dehydration and/or low blood sugar, in accordance to Sarajean Rudman, a licensed private coach and nutritionist with an M.S. in medical vitamin.
“You probably sweat more than usual during a workout, so it’s important to rehydrate with approximately 20 to 32 extra ounces of water for every hour you exercise,” says Rudman. “Especially during the winter months in colder climates. Heat is blasting all day in the home and the workplace, creating a very dry environment, dehydrating you even more.”
Low blood sugar
Skipping a meal or a pre-workout snack can convey on the top pounding, too.
“The brain uses more blood sugar than any other part of the body,” says Carolyn Dean, M.D., a Hawaii-based physician specializing in vitamin and naturopathic drugs. “Low blood sugar occurs when you are malnourished or even when you skip meals. It also occurs in individuals whose adrenal glands are depleted and can’t mount the necessary adrenaline response to raise blood sugar when it gets too low.”
Increased strain in your head
But what if you recognize you’re hydrated and nicely fueled on your exercises? Intense or extended cardio or weightlifting exercises might be to blame. Though the precise cause for it’s debatable, the Mayo Clinic suggests these complications might develop when strenuous train expands blood vessels within the mind over a protracted interval, main to the pounding ache you are feeling afterward — which might final for as little as 5 minutes on up to 48 hours, in accordance to AMF.
Upper physique pressure
Your mind’s anatomical neighbors could possibly be what are plaguing it.
“One of the reasons why exercisers get a headache after working out is because the muscles of the neck and upper back tighten up, pulling on the muscles of the head,” says Robert Herbst, power coach and world champion powerlifter.
Finally, a much less acknowledged explanation for workout complications might be the air high quality of your workout area. Dust, air fresheners, perfumes, and cleansing chemical compounds can all set off complications in these delicate to the smells.
How to Prevent Workout Headaches
There are a variety of actions you possibly can take to determine the reason for your mind ache and/or resolve it.
1. Hydrate maniacally
Make positive you’re consuming sufficient water all through the day. A great common rule is to drink your physique weight, divided by two, in ounces. Be positive that features hydrating throughout your workout to replenish what you’re sweating out.
“Pay consideration to indicators of dehydration all through the day, akin to dry pores and skin in your palms, dry lips, dry mouth, dangerous breath, dry eyes, or dry hair,” provides Rudman. “When you notice you’re dehydrated make sure to reach for room temperature water and rehydrate your body.”
Studies have discovered that it requires eight energy to heat a cup of ice water to physique temperature, which might imply up to 80 further energy burned over the course of a day. That’s equal to one cup of Manhattan clam chowder or roughly 15 minutes on a stair machine.
2. Eat responsibly
If you believe you studied that your pre-workout habits are to blame, gasoline with a meal a number of hours earlier than your workout. If that’s not potential, noshing on simply digested carbohydrates (like a banana) or juice earlier than you begin will help provide the power to push by way of.
Also, do a weight loss plan verify to ensure you’re getting the really helpful quantity of magnesium every day.
“Magnesium is responsible for balancing blood sugar. With sufficient magnesium and balanced meals to prevent low blood sugar,” you possibly can decrease your danger of a headache, provides Dr. Dean.
Magnesium is present in various good-for-you meals, together with spinach, almonds, black beans, avocados, and peanut butter, in accordance to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Strive to get the beneficial quantity every day — up to 420 mg for males and up to 320 mg for women. Pregnant and lactating women ought to get between 350 and 360 mg a day.
three. Moderate your workout
If your complications have a tendency to be delicate or construct slowly, AMF suggests warming up beforehand and/or following an train program that begins slowly and will increase in size and depth over a interval of months to head off the elevated strain that brings on complications.
four. Stretch your neck
Proper workout warm-ups and posture — particularly common neck stretching — maintain muscular tissues from getting too tense throughout train. One good technique: “Stretch the neck by pulling gently against the head to the front and to each side before working out,” advises Herbst. Also, concentrate to the way you sit and stand throughout your regular every day actions. Texting, sitting in entrance of a pc, and even laying in mattress can contort your physique’s alignment, placing additional stress in your muscle tissue, tendons, and nerves.
5. Clear the air
Ensure your workout area is freed from mud and smells that would probably set off a headache. That means you need to completely clear your at-home workout area regularly. Consider switching gyms for those who assume the odors — of cleansing chemical compounds, the perfumes or colognes from different patrons, or mud — is triggering your headache ache.
What to Do When You Feel an Workout Headache Coming On
Sometimes workout complications occur regardless of what number of precautions you’re taking. In these situations, you possibly can choose to take an over-the-counter ache reliever, like ibuprofen, to scale back irritation and (hopefully) the strain, in accordance to Herbst, although AMF warns that dosing greater than two or 3 times every week may cause precisely what you’re making an attempt to relieve: a headache. (In this case, a treatment overuse headache.)
Another choice is to down a drink with loads of electrolytes, like coconut water, or higher nonetheless, Beachbody Performance Hydrate, as quickly because the signs begin. And if the ache is actually dangerous, minimize your workout brief and relaxation till it subsides.
Seek medical consideration in case your headache causes vomiting, fainting, double imaginative and prescient, or a inflexible neck. These are indicators of different issues, like infections, bleeding on the mind, tumors, or skeletal abnormalities.
Workout complications can put an actual damper in your routine, however recognizing the triggers — and stopping them — can get you again on the workout wagon, headache free.