Nothing is worse than leaving the gym worse than when you came in. Something I have noticed is that exercise can trigger symptoms rather than relieve them. A lot of people recommend exercise to reduce bloating, but what if it causes it? Understanding bloating and gas after exercising can help you achieve your fitness goals!
Bloating is usually a feeling of pressure around the stomach. A lot of people joke that it is a “food baby” because they look pregnant from the bloat! Wild right? And you can guess what comes along with the bloating? You guessed right, “gas”. Which can be just as embarrassing.
Remedies for bloating and gas after exercising
There can be numerous different things contributing to this digestive issue. However, the tips below can help you exercise without bloating and gas!
Eating Too Close to Your Workout
But I thought eating before a workout was important? I’m not telling you to not eat before a workout. I personally need a little something otherwise I’m not doing much. However, it is important to leave 30-60-minutes before working out.
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 the energy to your muscles.
This can cause the food to sit in your stomach causing bloating, gas, and discomfort. The bloating and gas after exercising can start anytime during the workout.
Eating During Your Workout
Okay, I can understand a powerlifter who is lifting for 3-hours having a snack midway. However, I bet those of you reading this aren’t training for 3-hours. 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! Aim for a small snack within 30-60-minutes after (my fav is half an apple with nut butter or energy bites) and then a balanced meal within 2-hours. A balanced meal that contains some type of protein, healthy fats, and a mix of starchy and non-starchy veggies.
The timing of meals really is dependent on how intense and how long the workout is. I always recommend listening to your body as you know your body best.
Consuming Preworkout/BCAA Drinks
These types of beverages I have seen used a lot in the gym setting. Preworkout is a caffeinated beverage to give you energy throughout your workout. BCAAs, on the other hand, are often used during and/or after for recovery.
BCAAs stand for branch chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) that contain amino acids the 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. The benefits sound great, but you do not need supplements for results!
Often times these supplements contain artificial/natural flavors, gums, dyes, and other inflammatory ingredients. Instead, I’d stick to that coconut water for recovery and green tea/coffee for energy! Source: Here
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 sympathetic state, we aren’t able to digest, recovery properly, and so on. This can cause bloating due to the systemic inflammation throughout the body. Especially for women, this can influence our sex hormones.
I recommend tailoring your exercise routine back. If you’re resistance training, going 3-4 days a week for 30-45-minutes is plenty. It may even be too much. As for cardio, stick to walking (especially if you can get outside). If you still aren’t feeling enough relief, only focus on stretching, yoga, and light walking.
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 cause bloating and gas.
As you sleep it is the prime time for your body to recover and repair (especially those muscles). 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 throughout the body.
I recommend crafting your own nightly routine. I personally love adding Serenity to my diffusor, doing a guided meditation, and reading until I fall asleep. It works every time!
You have Some Type of Gut Dysbiosis
If you have tried everything above and still don’t have relief. You most likely have some type of gut dysbiosis. The most common causes of the bloat are SIBO, leaky gut, Candida, Parasite(s), and other co-infections.
The most common symptom for all these infections are bloating, gas, food sensitivities, fatigue, and inflammation. Exercising can be breaking the camel’s back. I recommend reaching out to a practitioner to get a comprehensive stool test done and possibly a breath test.
As you heal, I recommend only doing 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 your bloating and gas after exercising concerns! I’d love it if you’d send this to any also struggling with bloat. Thank youu so much for reading!
**This information is not meant as medical or nutritional advice. Always check with your qualified healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements or nutritional changes into your routine. A Primal Health Coach (PHC) is trained to evaluate nutritional needs and make recommendations for dietary changes and nutritional supplements. A PHC is unable to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition. I cannot guarantee any specific result from recommendations as we are all bio-individually different. If you are under the care of a healthcare provider, it is important that you contact them and alert them to any changes in your lifestyle in regards to nutrition and supplements. A health coach may be a beneficial addition to more traditional care, and it may also alter your need for medication, so it is important you always keep your physician informed of changes in your nutritional program.