Question about nausea and headaches post event

Luke's question

Hi Lee.

I have run 5 marathons over the last 5 years. In 4/5 of them I have experienced extreme nausea immediately post race (within 30 mins). This maybe also accompanied by a headache. Each time I have struggled back to my hotel and climbed into bed for usually 1-2 hours sleep. Once I wake up I am back to normal.

I hydrate as much as possible throughout the race and train with the same energy gels I use in the race. I never experience this during my long runs in training. Any suggestions on what I could  try to avoid this? Thanks.


Lee response

Hi Luke,

It is difficult for me to diagnose exactly what is going on as it could be one of a number of things and the most common could include dehydration, low blood sugar, overexertion and depending on the weather it could be heat exhaustion.

I know you said that you hydrate as much as possible and take gels but dehydration is when you lose more fluid than you take in and the body does not having enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal role. It is possible that even though you think you are getting enough fluids, you are not. Water is considered the best for hydrating but sports drinks containing electrolytes and carbohydrates for someone like you running marathons would be more beneficial. Make sure you are consuming fluids before, during and after your marathon.

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