How to Avoid Exercise Induced Migraines
Do you ever workout and about 15 minutes in your head starts pounding to the point that you want to end your workout? Or does this just happen to you in the middle of the day for what you think is no reason at all?
When I first started my fitness journey, I got migraines left and right. It came down to two things:
- Not drinking enough water
- Exercise induced migraine
The good thing is, they both have fairly simple fixes.
It’s no secret that dehydration causes terrible migraines, even if you don’t realize that’s what’s causing them. If you’re not drinking half of your body weight in water every day (for most people that’s 60-100oz of water daily), then you are probably getting headaches.
I highly recommend upping your water intake and drinking enough water.
BUT, if you really struggle with water intake- then you should try taking electrolytes. Electrolytes have saved me from many migraines on busy days, since dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance which then leads to a migraine and that feeling of exhaustion, low energy and even cramps.
Electrolytes are especially important if you are following a low carb diet like keto. Lower carb diets are diuretic in nature, meaning the kidneys shift from retaining water and sodium to flushing them. This excretion of excess fluid is normal but not completely harmless, as it also removes many of the electrolytes – or minerals – present in our bodies. Again, leading to the sluggish feeling and headaches.
Now if you workout while you are dehydrated, that just makes it even worse. So let’s talk about that.
Exercised Induced Migraines
A lot of people, myself included, also get exercise induced migraines. If you’re dehydrated AND working out- it’s going to be REALLY bad. So you want to make sure you read above first. Once you have that in order and out of the way, you can move on to these other things that may be causing issues.
Another thing that can cause migraines while working out are tight ponytails. Instead, try using a coil hair tie since they are painless. You can also just wear a headband made for exercise and just leave your hair down. The headband will stop it from getting in your way.
Also, make sure you are eating well before and after working out (unless you are doing early morning fasted cardio).
You’ll also want to try working out somewhere that isn’t super noisy and doesn’t have a strong scent, since both of those can trigger migraines as well.
So, all in all, you can avoid exercise induced migraines by making sure you are properly hydrated, that your electrolytes are balanced, wearing proper ponytails or headbands and also making sure you are eating well before and after your workout!
Hope this helps!