Stop the Headaches after working out.
June 17, 2008 12:20 AM   Subscribe

How do I stop getting headaches after working out when I'm out of shape?

I don't work out that often, but I often end up doing an intense work out after having not worked out for a while. And then I get headaches. How do I stop that?
posted by philosophistry to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It sounds like an exertion headache, which can often be avoided or alleviated by consuming a simple-sugar before exercising (e.g. a piece of fruit, a glass of fruit juice, even sucking on a small piece of candy).

For more info and additional ideas, try looking at articles about exercised-induced headache or consulting your doctor.
posted by amyms at 12:31 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not to state the obvious, but you could google exercise headache.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:52 AM on June 17, 2008

Depending on how out of shape you are and depending on how old you are, you should be a little careful, just in case. Go check with a cardiologist (or your Primary Care doc) who should rule out any pathologic cause of the headache. Keep a headache log: date, time, activities, pain, location, radiation, other symptoms, duration, etc... Depending on your age, you'll probabaly get an Echo, which is not a bad idea.
posted by ruwan at 4:01 AM on June 17, 2008

An intense workout after not having worked out for a while is just generally a bad idea. You need to gradually ease yourself into doing it regularly (the Hacker's Diet's "fitness ladder" works wonders) instead of going overboard every once in a while.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:44 AM on June 17, 2008

3rding easing into it.

When I get a headache after a workout, it usually seems to be that drinking water helps alleviate it.
posted by activitystory at 5:50 AM on June 17, 2008

I'm not an expert, but you could be working out so long that your blood sugar gets way low. I always get headaches when that happens to me. Are you careful to eat a nice, balanced, proteiny meal a couple hours before you exercise?
posted by GardenGal at 5:59 AM on June 17, 2008

And oh yeah, make sure you're drinking enough water.
posted by GardenGal at 6:00 AM on June 17, 2008

When I started my workout regimen, I really did not drink enough water and I had the worst headaches of my life. Getting into a regular exercise habit and drinking more water helped a lot. People keep telling me that iced coffee is not a sports drink, alas.
posted by pointystick at 6:15 AM on June 17, 2008

I've also read recently that, if the sugar and water don't help, taking an analgesic before you exercise can help.
posted by amtho at 7:32 AM on June 17, 2008

You're bonking. Or dehydrated. Or both. Drink lots of water before working out, perhaps a little bit during, and a lot after. You burn blood sugar during your workout, so replace that with some fruit juice, or my favorite, a tablespoon of honey.
posted by zardoz at 8:42 PM on June 18, 2008

For me, one Excedrin will stop an exertion headache from coming on after a bike race. (The caffeine is key.)
posted by mingshan at 7:11 PM on June 20, 2008

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