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Old 05-07-2003, 07:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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rsl12's Avatar
Location: northern va
Throwing up after working out

It doesn't happen to me all the time, but when it does, I really hate it.

I was swimming laps and doing well. I started doing a couple laps of butterfly, which I hadn't done for years, and it killed me! after a few lengths i decided to call it quits. i got out of the water, sat on the bleachers for a while, laid down on the bleachers for a longer while, and then ran out of the pool room and (luckily) into a nearby bathroom. I retched and retched till only watery mucus came out.

The thing is, I had *no idea* that I was feeling so bad while I was swimming. I knew I was pushing myself, maybe I even knew I was pushing myself more than usual, but I didn't feel anything other than exaustion.

What can I do to keep this from happening?
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Old 05-07-2003, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
It happens when you take too much load on body and the body isn't conditioned.

I never actually threw up, but have seen guys/gals do it. Also, I have felt a little faint sometimes after a "hard" session.

The only advice here is:

Increase load gradually.
Take balanced nutritious diet.
Take good sleep.
Avoid substances like alcohol, tobacco, etc.
(Some trainers say you must also avoid all sexual activity during periods of training, but that's upto you).
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Steel Town, Ontario
My two cents

I've had that happen during various sports but mostly cycling while attacking a steep climb. Each instance is preceeded by uncontrolled breathing, gasping for air.
My doc explained that this is caused by either too much or too little oxygen in the blood. Oddly the symptoms are very similar for both cases.
Advice, lay off the butterfly for a little bit, concentrate on aerobic activities to train you lungs and practice breathing techniques to make better use of your air.
Keep working and enjoy.
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
Location: Belgium
I threw up a few times, but only when going to the limits of your body ... with some anaerobic training. When we did some pre-season drills I threw a few times after the sprint training ...

it's not because you are not conditioned ... It's just when you go to to your limits.. it is pretty normal I guess
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Old 05-26-2003, 09:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
two types

I have experienced two types of the post workout launch. One feels bad and one is almost a good feeling. The bad one is when I'm just plain out of shape and push my limits, first training of the season for example, usually happens during training. This can be avoided by getting in better shape for the activity.

The good one happens when I am in great shape, play a great match, and push myself to the next level. If it happens it is 10 minutes after the match when I have started to settle. Fells pretty cleansing actually and afterwards I feel like a champ! Its rewarding cause you know you raised the bar for yourself.
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Old 05-26-2003, 09:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
Location: Republic of Panama
I get this very occasionally, again when attacking steep climbs while mountain biking. All about hitting the limit! The strange thing is every time I have experienced this I have felt fine, even better, within 10 minutes.

The solution I have is just to take deep breaths and get some oxygen in to my system, if I start to feel light headed. You can work through it without vomiting with work on your breathing.

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Old 05-29-2003, 02:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
I threw up like nobody's business after my first rugby practice, coach ran our asses off. I think, in my case, it had something to do with the amount of time that had passed since I ate... maybe lengthen the time after you eat before you workout?
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Old 05-29-2003, 07:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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u need to DRINK MORE WATER durring your work out. that might solve the problem, it could be something else but probly not
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Old 05-30-2003, 08:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
Location: South of the border
I hope this helps:

- Dont eat food that is hard to digest before you swim.
- Before you start, do some dryland exercises. Just to get your blood flowing, for about 15 mins.
- DONT warm-up doing butterfly. It is one of the hardest strokes, and if you haven't done it for years, then you're gonna end up all sore. Try warming up with freestyle.

I agree with Cuball, and I think you probably threw up because you started working out anaerobically, or you had a heavy meal before working out.

and here's another question:
- did you swallow pool water? Sometimes that can make u wanna throw up.
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Old 05-30-2003, 11:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
Location: Chi-Town
I've almost thrown up many times after just lifting wieghts. And I'm pretty weak. Actually, almost every time I have lifted, I almost throw up afterwards. It's not a fun feeling. :-\
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Old 05-30-2003, 11:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Near Raleigh, NC
Don't eat for a while, couple of hours, before you work out, especially hard. The most I'll do if I'm losing energy is sip a gatorade during my workout.

Your stomach needs a lot of blood circulating around it while you are digesting, if you demand the blood be elsewhere, like your muscles, then you won't be digesting well. Make sure your stomach is empty or close to it before you work out....

Of course if you're hypoglycemic......
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Old 05-30-2003, 12:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
throwing up happens all the time at the beginning of a new sports season for athletes or in say, the army.

At least no one can say you don't push hard.
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Old 05-31-2003, 02:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
Location: Down Under
One other thing is that you may have overheated your body. Sounds strange but you got out of the cool water and then stopped moving. The body tends to get hotter rather than cooler initially(just like when you turn the engine off in a car).

I've seen it happen in the gym lots of times. All you want to do is sit down and stop moving but it actually helps to keep moving(just walk around for a while).
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Old 06-26-2003, 09:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Galveston, TX
This almost happened to me when I decided to work out on an empty stomach. I was doing my regular routine and I had to stop because it felt like I got too hot. I went in the bathroom and had to sit for like 15 mins and try to cool off. I'll never work out on an empty stomach again, just make sure u eat something even if it's like a Snickers bar or an apple. Also, drink a lot of water and hydrolites like Powerade or Gatorade.
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Old 06-27-2003, 08:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
When you eat has a lot to do with it, but everyone has their own schedule. I have known guys that would throw up before every game whether they ate or not, so they ate just so they wouldn't have to dry heave. I've also known guys that eat McDonalds before playing and have no problem. Me, I can't eat within a 5 hour window before a match or else I lose it, no matter what shape I'm in.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: northern va
I did a little research on the topic--nausea from a workout seems to be caused by two things:

1. hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Increased muscle use makes the body send out more insulin, which in turn transports all that blood sugar to the muscles, leaving you with low blood sugar. The solution for this apparently is to avoid simple sugars prior to a workout--maybe eat a bagel or some other complex carbohydrate instead.

2. Lactic acid buildup. Lactic acid is a byproduct of muscle use. Not only is it responsible for the 'burn' sensation after a workout; high levels may lead to nausea. The solution seems to be drinking lots of water to help dilute the acid, as suggested by MacGnG and RemyLebeau.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Lion City
Personally I find that eating carbs before a workout really helps.

I also find that after periods of general non-activity and then getting back into working out my body goes into shock and I get closer to the barf zone.

Now that I am getting regular workouts I rarely hit that wall.
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Old 12-21-2005, 01:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hmm. It's only happened to me once. But that was because the asshole of a coach decided that it would be a fun idea to run in the pouring rain. In our shorts and t's.

Maybe I haven't been training hard enough, because i've never thrown up. I've been so tired that I literally needed help standing up, but i've never had much of an urge to throw up. Or maybe I discounted those times as burps
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hey this sounds right.

I've often experienced severe nausea after a workou. Although it is still only a minority of cases percentage wise - it sure happenned a shitload of times. I've never actually thrown up.

(To give context, when fit, I usually do a mainly weights oriented workout. 2-3hrs with maybe 30-40min aerobics. I do slightly easier workouts after a layoff).

My experience has been that

1) I experience nausea more often when I'm "in shape"
2) I usually only notice nausea afterwards - while getting changed
3) It seems to happen more often in hot weather - and while changing in
facilities that are either warm (no aircon) or shared with indoor
swimming pools

Based on that... it really does look to be a case of overheating. For me...
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
Location: Melbourne, Australia
This is interesting also. Do you have any good links?

I reckon that I've experienced low GI a heap of times during workouts - based on the way my thinking/focus deteriorates.

But yeah. I don't think there's been a correlation to me between low GI and nausea.

But lactic acid build-up makes sense.

Don't know about lactic acid relating to "burn" though. It's been over a decade since I went for a "burn" activity-wise. But... my recollection is that not only does the muscle feel hot mentally, but it is actually extremely hot to touch. Much more than during a "pump" experience or normal training set.

Based on that - it seemed to me more that the "burn" most likely arisese from the energy consumption (exothermic reactions) during activity itself, not so much from the by-products.
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