why did i throw up after working out

I’ve seen some lifters and athletes throw up after working out.  It’s not pretty.

Most people have been led to believe that throwing up your lunch in the grass implies that your workout was one of the hardest workouts of all time.

That theory has merit if you are completely out of shape and are overdoing a new workout for the very first time.  Some people like to try to front like they are fit, but what they must realize is that it’s completely OK to be out of shape on day 1.

But in the vast majority of cases where I have coached athletes, bodybuilders, and regular fitness trainees who hack it up, it has absolutely nothing to do with the difficulty of the workout.

I have seen trainees hack it up after a basic warm up, and I have seen trainees get lightheaded after 1 set of limited action.

When the activity you are doing is not exceedingly hard, we have to look at your nutrition and specifically what you ate before you worked out.

Food selection, quality, and quantity is the key piece to the puzzle as to why you are throwing up during or after your workout.

Why You Are Throwing Up During Or After Workouts

I have performed the hardest workout of all time and I did not throw up.

I have also performed countless athletic and bodybuilding workouts that make you reconsider just why you are training.  The burn, the pain, and the despair can push you to the brink of sanity.  But I still never threw up after working out.

I am also not Superman, or Luke Cage, or Wolverine.  I do not possess invulnerability or a mutant healing factor.

The reason I have never thrown up after working out is because my nutrition is always dialed in before I train.  There are no exceptions to this.

You cannot afford to show up to a tough workout with garbage in your system.

At that point, your chances of having a great training session are about as great as me beating Jordan 1-on-1.

Having garbage food in your body will result in an absolute piss poor performance when it is time to train.

Let’s say it is 1:15pm and I have a scheduled workout at 2pm.

But let’s also say that I have not had enough food in the previous 1-2 hours to support the training.

If this is the case, I will postpone the training session to later that day instead of trying to force food down my throat in such a short window.

When your food has no time to digest, there is a high chance you are going to yak.

There is also a high chance that you will waste that workout.  There is no worse feeling than a wasted session.

In my 10 years as a strength coach, I have witnessed people try to get through training sessions with foods like cheesesteaks, water ice, and pizza in their system.

They always yak it up during or after working out, as these are horrendous choices for someone who is trying to seriously train.

Now that you know why you threw it up after working out, let’s talk about how to not throw up when you do workout.

How To Not Throw Up When Working Out

In order to not throw up when you are working out, you have to dial in your pre-workout nutrition.

This requires the right combination of quality and quantity when it comes to your food selections.

This list below are the typical foods that I have eaten before my workouts for the last 7 years:

Brown Rice
Jasmine Rice
Sweet Potatoes
Whole Grain Bread
Whole Grain Pasta
Pinto Beans

Lean Ground Turkey
Lean Ground Beef
Chicken Breast

Fats (Limited):
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Eggs (Yolk)
Fat that is a by-product of the lean meats

The list is short.  But the purpose of a pre-workout meal is not for you to be at a 5-star restaurant loading up on rich foods.

The purpose of your pre-workout meal is to prepare you for the training session that you are about to do.  You do this by eating high-quality foods.

You also want to make sure that the quantity of the foods you are eating is enough to get you through the workout.

While 50g of carbs, 35g of protein, and 12g of fat might work for me, it might be too much or too little for you.

Timing Matters

The timing of this meal is important too.  While some folks like myself can metabolize food at a ridiculous rate (my so-called “mutant” power), the vast majority of people cannot.

If you are training with food in your system that is not fully digested, it will only require of few short sets of hard work before it comes up.

Typically 1-3 hours before you train is a good time to eat.

It would behoove you to experiment with different quantity/time combinations until you find the ideal amount of food and the ideal time to eat that food that will allow you to train hard.


The moral of the story is that you want to eat clean, quality foods before you get into a live training session.

Not only will you perform better, you probably will not hack that food up in the dirt.

Every person who has thrown it up in the dirt after working out at The Center has had the wrong foods in their system before the workout.

Once they correct that issue, they never yak again.

You are what you eat.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,

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