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A Little Story: Bloating can be caused by SOOO many things! One thing I bloat from is working out which sounds SO weird but it’s very common among people! I’ve talked about bloating A TON and what I’ve done to help with my bloating! One thing that has worked for me before I workout is chugging some lemon water before starting my workout! Bloating is Normal but can be so uncomfortable, just know that it’s common and something you can’t avoid! Mine happens when I work out when I haven’t used the restroom that day, and when I super stressed! Stress has been the main reason for bloating due to my body retaining water when I’m stressed about the little things! RELAX. Don’t over stress, when you stress your body FREAKS out! Take some time and relax, drink your water, and accept that sometimes bloating will happen!
One of the main things I noticed when working out and it seems to be the most common reasoning for bloating during or after a workout is that you might be gulping down air while you are trying to catch your breath during a workout or a cool down. That can trap air in the gastrointestinal tract and cause a puffy stomach. It’s very similar to what happens when you eat too fast and swallow gas-producing air.
Another thing that can cause bloating during or after a workout sesh is eating too close to your workout time especially if your meals contain fiber, protein, and fat which takes your body longer to digest. Blood flows away from your digestive tract and goes towards your muscles so, in turn, it slows your digestion down which may cause bloating.
The amount of sodium in your body has to be in the right proportion to the amount of blood plasma. If you are dehydrated, over-hydrated or otherwise have relatively low levels of sodium, your body starts to get out of balance and bloating can result. Dehydration is a common cause when exercising; with dehydration both the levels of sodium and water are low, and you will stop sweating to conserve water. Drinking too much water before, during and after exercise can lead to over-hydration, especially in endurance athletes, which leads to bloating because your body is saturated with fluids, and your sodium levels are relatively low. Many people who are just starting to work out retain water because the body is not used to it and is in a mild state of shock. In this case, the body conserves fluids to prepare for the possible future loss.
What and how much you eat can lead to bloating. When you begin an exercise program, your appetite increases. Many people easily resort to overeating when this happens, thinking that they will easily burn the calories off when exercising, and gain weight. Eating right before exercising can also lead to a bloated feeling. Intolerance to certain foods, especially milk products, can lead to digestive issues that cause bloating, and it can be exacerbated during exercise. Eating a small meal no sooner than 30 minutes before exercising can help avoid bloating from overeating. Eat large meals at least two hours before exercising. Monitor your eating habits to see if you have any reactions to certain foods.
- Inflammation: As your body repairs itself after intense exercise, it sends extra fluid to your tissues to help patch up micro muscle tears. This is a normal process, and actually important for recovery, but that excess fluid may make you feel heavier than you did before your workout.
- Heat: If you typically notice bloating after working out in hot weather or inside a stuffy gym, heat could be adding to the problem. Your body releases sodium and water as you sweat, but this can also cause it to retain water as a response to lost fluids. Try to work out in well-air-conditioned gyms and avoid wearing gear that’s too tight or that isn’t breathable.
- Your body isn’t used to intense activity: Whether you’ve just begun your fitness journey or you’re getting back into the swing of things, bloating may be a natural response to stress. Your body releases cortisol (the stress hormone) during exercise, which can impact your fluids and cause your body to retain water. But don’t worry — allow your body to adjust to your new workout regimen and the bloating should disappear after a couple weeks.