We all exercise to improve our health. Some of us may experience “runners highs” following a workout however, a lot of us quit the gym feeling nauseated. While this is typically temporary, it may cause discomfort.

There are some reasons that this might be happening – in case this happens to you , there’s most likely nothing to worry about.

While exercising, we see an increased flow of blood to muscles that are working, the lung, brain, and the heart.

This rise of blood circulation is caused by the sympathetic component that is part of the autonomic nerve system (which regulates all our body’s involuntary responses like blood pressure, heart rate as well as digestion). This happens by expanding the arteries to transport more blood to these tissues.

However, our sympathetic nervous system that normally controls our “fight or fight” mechanism, also narrows the blood vessels leading to the gastrointestinal systems (such such as the stomach) in the course of a vigorous workout by as much as 80 percent.

This is due to the fact that there’s a finite amount of blood present in the body. The more oxygen-demanding tissues is only satisfied by altering the amount of blood that is pumped to other tissues.

This means that the blood supply could be decreased in regions that don’t require the same amount of oxygen at this moment. This could be regardless of whether you’ve eaten recently.

However, let’s suppose you’ve consumed a meal prior to heading into the fitness center or for an exercise. The moment we eat the food, it stretches our stomachs, which results in releases of acids as well as enzymes required for digestion of the meal.

The stomach muscles are also larger during digesting, which results in more oxygen demand in the stomach and increased blood flow as well as other tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. Another part that is part of the system known as the autonomic nerve triggers the flow of blood to the gastrointestinal structures whenever they are required to be in active.

The major conflict that is brewing within the body between different tissues that are all in need of oxygen may be one of the reasons why you feel nausea in the course of or following a workout. The body must adapt the flow of blood to tissues in order to meet the demands.

When we exercise the blood has to travel to the heart, muscles, lungs , and the brain, which means that blood flow decreases in tissues that are less active, for instance, the gastrointestinal tract, even if we’re in the process of digesting our meal. When blood flow decreases in this region this triggers the intestinal nerves, which in turn induces nausea.

Additionally the stomach and abdominal organs may also become stretched in exercise, which could increase the feeling of nausea. This is especially a problem when squatting, since your heart beat and the demand for oxygen in tissues increase, and the body is able to draw larger amounts of air into the lungs.

The diaphragm (under your ribs) to press more heavily on abdominal organs. Other muscles, like the abdominal wall assist, further pressing on abdominal organs with each breath. This could cause significant nausea or vomiting even on a stomach that is empty.

A few studies suggest that exercise, specifically long distance running, as well as other endurance events, may cause damage to the stomach lining likely because of the decline in oxygen flow and blood flow accessible to the stomach. It can also lead to nausea.

In the worst case, this may cause bleeding to the stomach lining in endurance and long-distance athletes.

What time of the day to eat

If you exercise right away or for more than an hour after eating it is more likely that you will feel nausea, regardless of your exercise level or the intensity of your workout.

It can take up to two hours for food items to be broken down by stomach before it enters the small intestines. Therefore, should you experience nausea following exercises, it’s recommended to avoid eating for minimum of two hours following your meal.

The food you eat prior to training can determine whether you feel nausea. Foods with high levels of fiber, fat and even high protein foods can all contribute to a higher risk of feeling nausea following a workout.

Supplemental proteinsources, such as shakes and whey are also digested slowly. This can lead to nausea after an exercise session as the stomach attempts to process it.

Certain fats, especially saturated, can cause nausea in different ways and in animal models, they can cause irritation and damage to intestinal tract’s lining and activate nerves within the stomach’s lining which connect with the center of vomiting (located inside the medulla Oblongata) located in the brain.

Drinking sports drinks, or other drinks that are high in carbs (such as energy drinks, juices and sodas) can lead to nausea following the workout. It could be due to the fact that they are digested slowly and remain in the stomach for longer than other drinks could.

Are you someone who regularly feels nausea following a workout There are several options you could consider. The first is to alter or decrease the intensity of your workout. Then, increase the intensity gradually. It is due to the more time you spend exercising the greater the amount of blood is constantly drained from the stomach.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before and after your exercise, since both excessive and insufficient can trigger nausea due to different reasons.

When it comes to eating, limit it to 2 hours prior to taking a bath, and make sure you choose the best food items – for instance, high-quality carbohydrates (such like bananas and sweet potato) as well as protein and unsaturated fats (such as nuts). They will not only provide energy to your body, but will also not be so difficult to digest like other foods when you plan to workout.

Adam Taylor, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, Lancaster University.

This article has been republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Go to this original story.