help me stop feeling nauseous after running
June 23, 2011 6:02 PM   Subscribe

I always feel nauseous towards the end and after a long run (~8+ miles). Will drinking gatorade or another sports drink during the run help with that? If not, what will?

I'm asking this instead of simply trying to drink a sports drink during the run because I absolutely hate drinking anything sweet, I feel like even when I am not working out drinking sweet things makes me feel not so great, so I don't want to take chances on a long run.

Some info:
- I've been training for this, and I run pretty slow, so it's not like a 10 mile run is hard for me, I am not overexerting myself or anything, I'm not even tired afterwards, just feeling pukey
- I eat 1.5-2 hours before the run, I run in the evenings
- I eat one of those Clif electrolyte chews every 30-40 minutes during the run. The package says to eat 3 every hour, but again, sweet things, especially when running, are so so gross to me. Would eating more of them help? I feel like I can choke them down and then flush with water, that might be less gross than drinking something sweet
- I eat almost immediately after the run, and the more I eat, the better I feel. It's as if I need more food in me, but if I eat more before the run, or don't let myself digest as long, I am too full to run

So, will forcing myself to drink gatorade help with the nausea? Is there a less sweet sports drink? Is there magical electrolyte water that isn't sweet at all? What are my other options?
posted by to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How much water are you drinking with the "electrolyte chew"?
posted by gjc at 6:06 PM on June 23, 2011

My trainer says to have 15-30g of carb within a half hour of your workout. This can be as little as a half a banana, and I've found it makes a Big difference. It has to do with ready muscle glycogen and allows for a stronger workout. He's also a big proponent of the post-workout nutrition, which it sounds like you have covered (and if it's making you feel better, it seems a likely culprit).

So, yes! If you're eating the electrolyte chews, yeah, you might try drinking just plain old water with them during the run. Usually electrolytes are only so important, but hydration is Key. And nausea is certainly a symptom of dehydration!
posted by ldthomps at 6:09 PM on June 23, 2011

Try eating a Clif or Power style bar and some form of a carb rich drink about 30 minutes before your run. Sounds like your bonking a bit. Peanut Butter Sandwiches and bananas are good too. You can also eat these (the bars) during your run, most people like the chews because they're bite sized but you could easily cut something like a Clif bar into little bite sized pieces and munch on those.

Nuts are another good snack.
posted by bitdamaged at 6:09 PM on June 23, 2011

Water, not Gatorade. Not a serious athlete myself, but those more serious than I who I train with say that Gatorade is too sweet period. Maybe try a gel pack instead of the chewables.
posted by idb at 6:09 PM on June 23, 2011

I would back off to just drinking water (no chews) on your next long run and see what happens. Unless you are on a low-carb diet, you've got a couple of hours worth of glycogen available in your body without resorting to gels, bars, or blocks. Personally, I don't bother with anything but water for races/training that is going to be shorter than 2 hours.

If you are training for a marathon or something where you will need some nutrition, I would suggest that if you can get through an 8 mile run on just water without feeling nauseous, you start experimenting with different products to find something that won't upset your stomach. Also, would suggest staying away from Gatorade, Heed and the like. In a race, your choice will be between water or some kind of energy drink where you'll have no control over the brand, concentration, or flavor. With gels or blocks, since you are bringing your own, you can control all of the variables and experiment with them in training.
posted by kovacs at 6:24 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

For me, I feel nauseous during/after a workout either because of dehydration or low blood sugar. If I were you, I would flood myself with water + electrolytes all day, eat something more substantial 2 hours before my run (I can't eat anything high-fat or dairy before a run, YMMV, but include more complex carbs - these tend not to be so heavy on your stomach, too, which might help with feeling too full to run), go for the run, then eat a good snack plus more water immediately when I get home. Since you hate Gatorade, you might try coconut water - not quite as good at sodium replenishment, but less sweet. You could also try diluting the Gatorade 1:1 with water.

Could this also be heat-related? It always takes awhile for me to acclimate to running in the summer heat. Also, in the intense heat I often feel like I can barely keep up with my hydration needs when I go for a long run. I need to drink a lot more throughout the day than I think I do, and you also need to be careful about replacing electrolytes, which it sounds like you do. I sometimes use Emergen-C packets, which you dissolve in 4-6 ounces of water. They are sweet, but it's just a quick sip, so maybe that would work for you.
posted by LizzyBee at 6:29 PM on June 23, 2011

I and some of my friends find that watering down gatorade to half-ish strength makes it a lot more appetizing.
posted by auto-correct at 6:44 PM on June 23, 2011

I'm drinking a LOT of water, but I also sweat a LOT. I'm always thirsty and my face is always gritty from salt after a run, so yea, salt/electrolyte losses. Drinking more water might not be practical since I already run with a water bottle (20 oz) and stop by my car to re-fill it halfway through the run (so total = ~40 oz during a ~2 hr run).

It's not just the heat, because this happens on cool days too.

I actually LOVE coconut water! But it's so expensive. I actually bought powdered coconut water mix to try just this week, but that stuff is so salty and gross, not at all like the real thing.

I like the chopped up clif bar suggestion!

Nice suggestions everyone, thanks. If you have any more tips or pre-run routines to share then please do! Anything to avoid drinking toxic-colored sports drinks.
posted by at 7:16 PM on June 23, 2011

I'm not a big fan of sports drinks either, but when I'm feeling really woozy and have gotten dehydrated it's the quickest way to make me feel normal again. I'd probably mix it in with my water, at half or even a fourth strength, to make it taste better and to still get some electrolytes during your normal run. Plus, unlike cliff bars or electrolyte chews or a lot of other edibles, liquid doesn't get stuck in your throat and make you feel like you are about to choke.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 7:20 PM on June 23, 2011

Instead of Gatorade you can drink water and eat something salty instead.

Tonight I had some sort of citrus-y and non sugary sports drink from REI. I don't know what it was called, because I didn't see the label, but it very well could have been NUUN Active Hydration Tablets.
posted by oceano at 7:34 PM on June 23, 2011

my bet would be you're overdoing the chews. for an eight mile run, that takes, what like an hour twenty? I don't think they're necessary.

re: replenishing, perhaps try making one of the DIY electrolyte solutions (google for recipes) that you can tweak to your liking.
posted by wayward vagabond at 8:49 PM on June 23, 2011

I hate drinking Gatorade during long runs as well, so a couple months ago I got some Hammer Endurolytes. They're basically electrolyte pills. I take two at the start of the run and then two every hour. They really helped me with the final long runs of my marathon training, and they're pretty easy to carry. I also generally had a gel pack every 45 minutes on the long ones.

(Just finished my first marathon 12 days ago. It wasn't fast, but I had a smile on my face the whole time!)
posted by web-goddess at 10:06 PM on June 23, 2011

Also came in to suggest the endurolytes. You have to play around with how many you need to take (i.e., more when it's quite hot and humid), but once you get used to them, they are very convenient.

With the shot blok, first, make sure you are taking in water with it. But you might also want to play around with different types of nutrition. Even within a brand certain flavors might be more or less appealing.
posted by statsgirl at 4:19 AM on June 24, 2011

Nthing hammer electrolyte pills.

Also, I DO think you probably need the calories while running. But there are tastier things than shot bloks, even if you don't like sweet. Try Jelly Belly Sports Beans, or Sharkies chews, or even just real fruit juice gummy bears from the natural food section of the grocery store.
posted by kestrel251 at 8:05 AM on June 24, 2011

Try doing without the electrolytes for a few runs and see what happens. Different ones affect me differently and I've noticed that after three hours I can't handle any of them without feeling ill - perhaps you are experiencing something similar (and earlier). I don't know that they'll really be necessary on that short of a run (and if they are you can chow down after the run).

BTW - The gels/goos/blocks with caffeine in them are instant death to me. Caffeine is my third favorite molecule, but I can't handle it at all on a run.

While you are doing that, how about drinking less water? I may be a freak, but I typically don't drink water unless I'm running over 12 miles (which I haven't done for a long time) or it's extremely hot. Too much water definitely makes me feel ill. It's possible you are one of these people who just doesn't take water well during a run.

You aren't going to do yourself serious damage by major experimentation (although you may have a crappy run), so play around a little bit.

Post run, chocolate milk has always worked wonders for me. Followed by a beer in the bath.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:49 AM on June 24, 2011

« Older windows upgrade with a linux partition   |   How to work with this prima donna Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.