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Headache After Workout? 4 Common Causes

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adidas Runtastic Blog: Running, Fitness & Health


Piercing pain at your temples, a throbbing ache in your forehead – we’ve all suffered the agony of headaches, and there are plenty of causes. Some of us are more likely to get them during or after exercise. 

Good to know:

Headaches are divided into two types: primary and secondary. Primary headaches are triggered by exertion, tension, or not enough sleep. Secondary headaches, however, are a symptom of another more serious underlying condition like high blood pressure, an infection, substance withdrawal, or a stroke. 

In this article we’ll identify 4 common causes of headaches after exercise and tell you how to treat them and prevent them. We’ll also tell you whether exercise can trigger migraines.

#1: Poor posture

Bad posture, stress, and poor form when you work out can cause tension, which can lead to headaches. Tension headaches are described as a constant ache that is usually felt on both sides of the head.(1)

Back of a woman

Headache prevention

Check your form during workouts and your posture throughout the day. Review these tips on proper running form and be aware of the most common mistakes made during bodyweight exercises

Try using heat, massage, or doing exercises to relieve neck pain to relax your muscles if you get a headache after workouts. 

#2: Dehydration

Whether it’s from exercise or just not drinking enough fluids, dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches. Calculate exactly how much water you should drink each day with our liquid requirement calculator. 

Man is watering himself after training because dehydration leads to headaches

Headache prevention

Make sure you are drinking enough throughout the day. To add variety, you can include special sports drinks that keep you hydrated and provide your body with important micronutrients. 

#3: Low blood sugar

It’s not just the headaches after exercise; you also feel weak, shaky, dizzy, and sometimes even nauseous? These symptoms indicate low blood sugar and depleted energy stores. Always ensure that your body has enough energy to work out.  

Chocolate and wine can be a common cause for headache

Headache prevention

If you notice the symptoms listed above when you’re exercising, you should take a break. You can refill your energy and increase your blood sugar by eating more carbohydrates

There are also a few foods that can trigger headaches and migraines or make them worse – usually in combination with other causes. Avoid these potential headache triggers (2)

  • alcohol (especially wine or beer) 
  • chocolate
  • caffein
  • aged cheese
  • foods high in
    • monosodium glutamate
    • artificial sweeteners
    • and preservatives like nitrates or nitrites 

#4: Exercise headaches

Primary headaches caused by strenuous physical activity are called exertional or exercise headaches. These are described as throbbing, migraine-like pain across the whole head (bilateral headaches) and last between 5 minutes and 48 hours. (3, 4) An extreme exercise headache can also cause vomiting and vision problems. It’s important to take exercise-induced headaches seriously. 

Close up of stretching hands

Headache prevention

Exercise headaches often develop if you skip your warm up, your workout is too strenuous, or it’s too hot. These might also occur when you are at high altitudes, like on a tough hike in the mountains. 

One way to prevent exercise headaches is to reduce the intensity of your workouts. These tips for running in the summer can help you cope with the heat and avoid dehydration. 

Important:

If headaches last for days or if there are more days in a month with headaches than without, you should consult a specialist. A medical professional can check whether you are suffering from primary or secondary headaches, which may be caused by an underlying condition. 

Can exercise trigger migraines?

First of all, research on the connection between migraines and exercise is not yet as extensive as it could be. However, there are studies which show that migraineurs (people who frequently suffer from migraines) can experience exercise-triggered migraines. It is believed that the exertional headaches and tension headaches mentioned above are more likely to lead to a migraine.(5) If you are at risk of migraines, it is even more important that you prevent the 4 causes of headaches after exercise. 

The good news: studies also show that regular exercise can help prevent migraines or at least reduce the intensity of the pain. This is thanks to the endorphins produced during sports. (6, 7)

Takeaway

Before you start working out, make sure you are hydrated and your energy stores are full. Pay attention to your form and good posture while exercising. If you have a bad headache combined with dizziness, nausea, shakiness and/or vomiting, take a break immediately and consult your physician. The same applies for headaches that last several days.

***

 



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What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice

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What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice



Kevin turned to food for comfort as he dealt with the death of his father. He chose a healthier path when his sister was diagnosed with cancer.

The post What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa

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Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa



Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa

Easy veggie burgers with a delicious hint of smoky spice. Greek yogurt boosts protein to 10g, but add a fried egg for more!

The post Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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Magnesium for Athletes – Get the Facts

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adidas Runtastic Blog: Running, Fitness & Health


Magnesium is probably one of the first minerals that comes to mind when you think of fitness. But, hardly anyone knows how essential magnesium truly is and how it can improve your physical performance. We have the facts for you!

Magnesium performs numerous functions

Magnesium is a vital mineral: it is present in nearly every cell of your body. Approximately 30% of the magnesium in your body is stored in the muscles. The mineral performs numerous functions: it is needed for aerobic (= with oxygen) and anaerobic (= without oxygen) energy production. Magnesium is also required to form endogenous protein (protein of body origin, rather than dietary origin) and plays an important role in muscle contraction and relaxation. The mineral is also essential to the formation of bone and teeth. In addition, it is involved in the activation of hundreds of enzymes.

How important is magnesium for athletes?

Studies show that the more active you are, the more magnesium you need.(1) Scientists have linked a high level of magnesium in blood to improved muscle performance, such as greater leg strength. This means that you can improve your performance by ensuring an adequate supply of this important mineral. What happens in your body? According to studies, magnesium appears to lower lactate levels in your blood.(2) Lactate (lactic acid) is a metabolite that is primarily produced by intense physical exercise. If it builds up, it can limit muscle performance and you will fatigue faster. Plus, exercising without sufficient magnesium will lead to increased oxygen consumption and heart rate. The mineral also plays a major role in strengthening your immune system. It works similar to an antioxidant by strengthening your defenses and protecting you from diseases.

magnesium for athletes

Increased magnesium intake can be helpful

According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), healthy adult females should get 310-320 mg per day and healthy adult males 400-420 mg per day.(3) A balanced diet is usually enough to satisfy this daily requirement. But, if you like to exercise or work a physically demanding job, your diet probably won’t cover your daily needs because you can lose a lot of magnesium through sweat. This loss has to be replaced, but the amount of magnesium required varies depending on the individual and should be discussed with a sports physician.

You also need to consume more magnesium in the case of stress.(4)

How can I tell if I’m getting enough magnesium?

Pay attention to Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

  • Leg cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Headaches

Consult your doctor if you experience the magnesium deficiency symptoms listed above.

Top 9 Magnesium Rich Foods

The general rule is that getting nutrients through your food is the healthier option – as opposed to taking dietary supplements. The same holds true when it comes to magnesium for athletes. A balanced diet gives us (almost) all the nutrients we need. So which foods are highest in magnesium? Here are the 11 best sources of magnesium:

  • Sunflower seeds (395 mg/100 g)
  • Pumpkin seeds (402 mg/100 g)
  • Sesame (347 mg/100 g)
  • Flax seeds (350 mg/100 g)
  • Cashews (270 mg/100 g)
  • White kidney beans (140 mg/100 g)
  • Chickpeas (115 mg/100 g)
  • Oats (139 mg/100 g)
  • Swiss chard (81 mg/100 g)

oatmeal with blueberries and almonds

Good to know:

Mineral water also contains varying amounts of magnesium. You can find the nutrition facts on the label of the bottle.

Magnesium Supplements – Good or Bad?

If your doctor recommends magnesium supplements to treat a magnesium deficiency, it’s important to be careful about the dosage. You shouldn’t take more than 250 mg of supplemental magnesium per day.(5) Magnesium can act as a natural laxative; if you take too much, it may cause diarrhea.

Takeaway:

The more you workout, the more magnesium you need in your diet. Don’t underestimate the importance of magnesium for athletes and focus on meeting your daily requirements with a balanced healthy diet including magnesium rich foods. If you do experience magnesium deficiency symptoms, consult your doctor. Supplements could be a helpful solution. Keep in mind: if you are preparing for a race or competition, make sure to start integrating the supplements into your diet several weeks beforehand to give your body time to adjust.

***



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