Why Does Nausea Occur During Exercise?

It's important to know the causes of nausea when it comes to physical exercise. Read along to find out more about the possible triggers.
Why Does Nausea Occur During Exercise?

Last update: 15 November, 2020

If nausea occurs while training, it could indicate that something is wrong. In most cases, it’s caused by either a rejection of something or a physiological imbalance.

No one is exempt from nausea, you’ve probably felt it a few times as well? Have you ever experienced it while training? Did you consult your doctor or a trusted professional? Don’t let the fear of nausea prevent you from exercising.

Although being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, it shouldn’t be accompanied by nausea.

Nausea while training

Nausea while training is more common than you may think. Even Lionel Messi admitted that he suffered from it during a few Spanish league games. As you can imagine, it isn’t healthy and it can also affect performance.

Nausea is often accompanied by headaches, increased blood pressure, and sudden fainting spells. Before finding a solution to this problem, we must first identify the possible triggers. The following are possible triggers.


Food is fundamental and it should always be taken into account before training. Both a lack and excess of food can lead to nausea while training according to a study published in the scientific journal, Appetite.

woman with flat stomach

A lack of food can cause dizziness which leads to nausea. In this case, low glucose levels are to blame for the dizziness. In other words, the body doesn’t have sufficient sources of energy.

On the other hand, excess before training can lead to digestive issues. While working out the body diverts blood flow from the digestive tract to the muscles. This can also lead to the appearance of nausea.

In summary, it’s important to eat a healthy amount before exercising. It’s also important to allow the body to complete the digestion process before starting your routine.

Excessive demand

While exercising, there are certain intense routines that call for sudden movements which can lead to dizziness and nausea.

Over-exercising can also lead to nausea and it should be avoided at all costs. Over-exercising can significantly increase the risk of muscle injury.


Hydration is extremely important when it comes to exercising. Experts recommend continued hydration before, during, and after exercise.

Water should be replaced since it’s lost during physical activity. This will help to prevent dehydration which can also cause dizziness and nausea.

woman with nausea

Stressful situations

Some people are more likely to be stressed in predetermined situations including exercise routines. During most exercise routines and sports, stressful situations may occur and we should adapt to them.

Overtraining can also cause the body to secrete more stress hormones which can cause these symptoms.

Pay attention to your body while exercising

If you suffer from nausea caused by exercising, it’s important to analyze your specific situation to find the possible cause.

If you are unable to find a cause, consult your trusted health practitioner in order to clear up the situation. Your doctor may recommend various tests to find the root cause. In any case, it’s important to pay attention to this symptom and to listen to your body.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.