The Surprising Reason You’re Bloating After Exercise

Sara B
Sara B

IBS Expert | 6D Energy Healer

Being bloated after exercising isn't normal nor should you have to deal with it to reach your goals.

Nothing is worse than leaving the gym worse than when you came in. I bet you had no idea how common bloating after exercise is!

A lot of people recommend exercise to reduce bloating, but what if it causes it? Understanding bloating after a workout can help you achieve your fitness goals!

Bloating is usually a feeling of pressure around the stomach. And you can guess what comes along with the bloating? You guessed right, “gas,” which can be just as embarrassing.

bloating and exercise sara b wellness

Understanding Why You’re Bloating After Exercise

These tips below can help you avoid the post-workout bloat.

Eating Too Close to Your Workout

It is essential to leave 30-60-minutes before working out. This will help reduce feeling bloated post-workout as the food won’t be sitting in your stomach.

Once we start eating, our bodies are getting ready to start digesting it. However, jumping right into exercising diverts the body’s attention. Instead of digesting your food, your body is giving energy to your muscles. This means less blood flow is going to your digestive system as a whole.

The bloating after exercising can start anytime during the workout.

Eating During Your Workout

I recommend not eating at all and only drinking water or coconut water during a workout.

The coconut water will provide electrolytes just like a Gatorade or Powerade would. Keep your meals/snacks for after your workouts! 

When it comes to drinking any beverage make sure not to drink too much water too fast. Just like swallowing too much air can cause bloating. 

Aim for a small snack within 30-60-minutes and then a meal within 2-hours. 

The timing of meals is dependent on how intense the workout is. I always recommend listening to your body as you know your body best.

Consuming Pre-Workout/BCAA Drinks

Preworkout is a caffeinated beverage to give you energy throughout your workout. BCAAs, on the other hand, are often used during and/or after recovery.

BCAAs stand for branch chain amino acids that contain amino acids we can’t produce. Their benefits are to reduce muscle soreness, help repair the muscles, and help with energy. 

The amino acids can easily be ingested by eating enough animal proteins. Drinking the right amount of water for you is important especially when taking supplements like these to keep your electrolytes in check. 

Oftentimes these supplements contain artificial/natural flavors, artificial sweeteners, gums, dyes, and other inflammatory ingredients. These are all ingredients that can leave you feeling bloated. 


Even though exercise is a good form of stress on the body, it is still a form of stress. Your brain can’t tell the difference between you doing a HIIT workout and running from a tiger. The brain sees it as the same, in which it stimulates our fight-or-flight response.

Being in this state, we cannot digest or recover. This can cause bloating due to systemic inflammation throughout the body. Especially for women, this can influence our sex hormones.

When we continuously overstress our bodies we can get frozen in this response. What this means is your body is continuously pumping out stress hormones.

I recommend tailoring your exercise routine back. 

Not Getting Enough Sleep

The golden rule when it comes to sleeping is getting at least 8-hours of good sleep. This means getting into that deep state of REM sleep. When you are burning the candle at both ends, this can lead to bloating.

It is the prime time for your body to recover and repair as you sleep. However, when you consistently don’t get enough sleep, your body is in that fight-or-flight state. This will disrupt your digestion but also trigger inflammation.

I recommend crafting your nightly routine such as dimming the lights, getting off the screens, meditation, etc.

You have Some Type of Gut Dysbiosis.

Suppose you have tried everything above and still don’t have relief. You most likely have some gut dysbiosis. The bloat’s most common causes are SIBO, leaky gut, Candida, Parasites, etc.

Exercising can be breaking the camel’s back. As you heal, I recommend only gentle forms of exercise such as yoga, tai chi, and walking. You want very little stress on your body as you heal!

I hope this helps you get to the bottom of feeling bloated after exercise! Thank youu so much for reading!

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