Why Are You Bloated After A Workout?

If you've ever felt bloated after working out, you're not alone. As it turns out, bloating is quite common, and many people experience it after hitting the gym. However, the causes of post-workout bloating are largely unrelated to exercise. In fact, they have more to do with diet, breathing, and your body's physical response to emotions. According to Byrdie, one common cause of bloating after a workout is drinking too much water. While staying hydrated is important and essential, downing too many fluids before or after your exercise routine can cause your sodium levels to drop, which can encourage your body to retain water — this can lead to bloating.

Eating too close to a workout can also have a similar effect. That's because exercise redirects blood flow away from your stomach and toward your muscles, causing your digestion to slow, leaving you feeling bloated. Another common cause of bloating is breathing too heavily during a workout. Believe it or not, heavy and fast breathing can cause you to swallow air, which can get trapped in your digestive tract and lead to bloating. Furthermore, your body's stress response can slow down your gastrointestinal system and cause bloating by flooding your body with cortisol during intense exercise. Increasing your cortisol levels can elevate your blood pressure and boost fluid retention, which can create bloating.

How to treat and prevent post-workout bloating

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help treat and prevent post-workout bloating. According to Healthline, you can relieve bloating by eating well. While eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is always recommended, eating foods that are good for you and easy to digest before and after a workout can help reduce the risk of bloating. "Stick with simple carbs and proteins that are easier to digest," Josh Schlottman, a certified trainer and nutritionist, told Healthline.

It's also important to hydrate properly both before and after your workout routine. Although drinking too much water can negatively impact your body and lead to bloating, not drinking enough water can have similar consequences. That's because sweating can cause you to lose sodium and electrolytes, which need to be replenished with water. In addition, you should try to avoid eating and drinking alcohol, sugary foods, and carbonated beverages after a workout. Since they can all sustain or even worsen bloating, it's best to steer clear of these types of foods and beverages if you're concerned about post-workout bloating.