Have you ever felt bloated after a hard session? Then you've come to the right place.
Here's the truth. Getting bloated post-exercise doesn't inherently mean that there's something wrong with your gut. In fact, that’s pretty common, and there are plenty of things you can do about it!
In this article, we'll find out more about the causes of bloating after
Trigger Number 1 – Food Choices
Sure, your body needs fuel to function optimally. But, having it just before a workout can prove problematic.
Here’s why. Exercise pulls circulation away from your digestive system and to the working muscle. This disruption in blood flow slows down your digestion, leaving you feeling bloated.
Mind your pre-workout meal. Avoid high fiber vegetables and fruits in the hours before a workout. In fact, even healthy foods like lentils, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, and apples can all be triggers for some people.
Instead, stick to easily digestible carbs and protein that can provide the needed fuel without upsetting your stomach.
Some of the best pre-workout meal options include:
- Dried Fruit
- Trail Mix
- Greek yogurt
Timing also makes a difference. As a rule, give your digestive system plenty of time—two to three hours—to properly perform its job. This should be enough to reduce the risk if this is a trigger for you.
Working out for more than 90 minutes? Remember to fuel on the go. Use our Sport Belt to keep your snacks and gels at hand.
Trigger Number Two - Improper Hydration
Drinking too little water, or too much, can also contribute to post-exercise bloating.
When you're dehydrated, your body may react to the lack of fluids by retaining more water to overcompensate, which makes you feel bloated.
On the other hand, drink water too quickly (and too much), and you'll force your sodium levels to drop to dangerous levels. This is what's known as hyponatremia, and it's a dangerous condition with dire consequences.
How much water your body needs depends on many factors, but all in all, shooting for 16 to 24 ounces of water per day should be enough. Drink more during your heavy training days.
You should also aim to keep your fluid intake within the healthy norm. One way is to weigh yourself before and right after every workout.
The pounds you shed will mainly water. As a guideline, you'll want to ingest roughly three cups of water for every pound lost—give or take.
Don't forget your electrolytes, too.
Trigger Number 3 - Heavy Breathing
Exercise, whether it's weight-lifting, running, cycling, you name it, forces your body to use a lot oxygen to meet the demands placed on it. That's the main reason we breathe heavily during hard training.
Here's the little caveat.
During intense or long training, you might be swallowing up a lot of air too, which can leave you feeling gassy or bloated post-workout.
Even though heavy breathing might be behind the bloating, holding your breath while exercising isn't the solution.
Instead, work on improving your breathing technique. Focus on taking deep and full breaths from your nose, then exhaling fully through the nose and mouth. This should help you expel all the air out of your lung, setting the stage for deep breaths.
You should also exercise within your fitness level, especially when it comes to sports like running. Check this beginner running plan.
There you have it! If you chronically experience bloating post-workout, the guidelines above should be enough to help soothe what's ailing you. The rest is really up to you.
Stay safe and exercise hard, ShokzSquad!