Last Updated on by San San

Don’t panic – your stomach hurting after exercising is not as bad as you think. There are quite some explanations you should consider as to why your stomach hurts before overthinking and jumping to conclusions.

Six Reasons Why Your Stomach Hurts After Exercise

Exercising daily is very helpful for your physical and mental wellbeing. People who exercise regularly are usually physically fit, have perfectly toned body and have good health conditions. But some people get skeptical about exercising when they notice that they develop stomach pain after working out.

If you’ve noticed that your stomach hurts after exercise, working out would become something dreadful and not something to look forward to.

Having stomach aches after exercise is a thing of concern especially if you’re just starting out your workout regimen. There are different reasons why your stomach hurts after you exercise. Some of these reasons are completely normal especially if you’re just starting out your work out journey.

Explanations Why Your Stomach Hurts

Eating Before Exercising

One of the commonest reasons why your stomach would hurt after exercise is because you probably ate too much food too close to your work out time. This can cause an uneasy feeling in your stomach. It isn’t a bad idea to eat before working out. You should ensure that you eat the right food and the right amount of food before exercising.

Eating fruits or light carbohydrates can help you have a better work out session. You must also ensure to wait for a couple of hours after eating before you exercise.

New Exercise Routine

If you’ve never tried to do sit ups before, there is a 100 percent chance that you would develop abdominal pains after your first trial. Doing new exercise routines can cause stomach pains and discomfort.

Exercise Intensity

Apart from trying out a new exercise routine, the number of times you do a regular routine could also affect your stomach and cause discomfort. If your body is used to 50 reps of a particular exercise, increasing the number to about 100 can be another reason why your stomach hurts after exercise.

Also, increasing the frequency, intensity or the speed of a workout routine can cause stomach pain after exercising.

Dehydration – Noticing You Have An Upset Stomach After Workout

One of the most important things to note when exercising is to always stay hydrated. While exercising, your body loses fluids through sweating; this can increase your need for water. You should drink water before, during and after exercising to avoid abdominal pains.

Dehydration is caused by exertion. Food moves slowly through the gastrointestinal tract and this enables water to be absorbed by the body. Dehydration means there would not be enough water for the body to absorb; this causes indigestion. Indigestion can cause upset stomach after workout.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux

You can develop stomach pain if you suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). GERD occurs when acidic content flows from the stomach to the esophagus. Some exercise routine can trigger the symptoms of GERD and make your stomach hurt.

People who do not suffer from GERD can also develop acid reflux because of the flow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus. Aerobic exercises can shake the stomach and cause heartburns. Exercises that involve the abdominal muscles twisting around or bending can also cause heartburn or stomach ache.

What Causes Pain in Lower Right Abdomen After Exercise?

What causes pain in lower right abdomen after exercise is called Exercise-related Transient Pain (ETAP). This is also called side stitches. It happens on both sides of the abdomen but majorly on the right side of the abdomen. ETAP is the sudden sharp pain you feel on your abdomen after long hours of exercise. Exercises that are likely to cause this side stitches include running, throwing balls or doing cardio.

There is no known cause of side stitches. But one theory that has been given by most experts is that side stitches occur when blood vessels pump excess blood into the liver and the spleen when you engage in vigorous cardio workout. This excess blood flow causes pain on either sides of your abdomen. Pain on the diaphragm because of heavy breathing can cause abdominal pain.

How To Take Care Of Side Stitches

There is no known cause of side stitches so it is difficult to know how to stop it. However there are some things you can do to help relieve this pain when it arises.

  1. When you run a distance and you begin to feel pains in your abdomen, slow down and rest for a while before you continue with your exercise.
  2. Control your breathing. When breathing in, take a deep breath and exhale your breath slowly when breathing out. It is never a good idea to hold your breath while you’re exercising. Holding your breath not only causes pain in your abdominal walls, it also affects your muscles and can lead to fatigue.
  3. Stretching is really good for exercises. Stretching before, during and after exercising really helps keep the body relaxed and flexible. When you feel pains on your sides, you can bend towards one side of the body with your arms over your head; like you are trying to form an r-shape with your body.
  4. Drink water. This cannot be emphasized enough. Water is very crucial when you’re exercising. Drink enough water before you begin to exercise, in between, and after your work out session. Stay away from carbonated drinks when exercising.
  5. Massage your sides. When you feel pains on the sides of your abdomen, you can help relieve the pain by massaging your sides with your fingers. If you have a coach, he or she can assist you to massage your sides gently.
  6. Perform routines carefully. A lot of people want to challenge themselves by doing tricky exercise routines with the aim of getting better result. You should be careful not to position your body in a way that you would get injured. Trying out a new routine should be done under supervision or done gradually until you become perfectly capable of executing it.

The Conclusion

Wondering why your stomach hurts after exercise? Most times, the cause of your stomach hurting could be because you’re just starting out your work out journey or you tried a new routine that your body isn’t used to yet. You can also develop stomach aches when you exercise immediately after you eat. Putting extra strain on your muscles by the intensity of your work out can also cause your stomach to hurt.

Pains that come from new routines or intense routines would eventually fade away after a few days. If you are used to exercising immediately after you eat, you should stop this. Wait for about two hours after eating before you exercise. Also, avoid eating heavy meals before exercising.


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