Have you ever had a bad headache after working out? I know I have and although mine fades quickly, post-workout headaches are common for many people, and they can dissuade them from working out at all. Since a post-workout headache often lasts all day after working out, they can be very detrimental to your social life and interfere with any other activities you have planned for the day. Not all post-workout headaches have one simple cause, but most can be prevented with proper hydration and getting electrolytes.
When your body becomes dehydrated during a workout due to depletion of its limited electrolyte stores, it can result in you getting a nasty headache. In order to prevent this, you’ll want to drink plenty of electrolyte-containing fluids such as Gatorade and Powerade before and during the workout. Many people who have suffered from post-workout headaches have eventually traced them back to excess caffeine and alcohol intake – it doesn’t have to be before a person’s daily work out, but just drinking caffeine and alcohol in general can set a person up to become dehydrated easily.
Caffeine and alcohol both act as diuretics, which cause you to urinate more frequently and thus lose electrolytes through your urine more frequently, leaving you with a scant supply for workouts, which ultimately results in a nasty headache that occurs during your workout. If you cut back on caffeine and alcohol – both of which can interfere with your gains from workouts anyway so it’s a good idea for fitness buffs in general – and drink plenty of hydrating drinks containing electrolytes, you can drastically reduce your chances for a post-workout headache.
If you change your lifestyle, and you still get post-workout headaches, you should probably go see your doctor since it may indicate migraines or certain neurological problems. In either case, your doctor can provide you with medicine to counteract the headaches and allow you to work out pain-free.