Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Be Done With Those Post-Run Headaches

You know those days when you feel like that run on the treadmill or elliptical could go on forever and you would be fine with it? Maybe you are running off stress or maybe you're just filled with a ton of energy. You feel great; not at all dizzy, or overheated, or hungry, or feeling any pain and then an hour or more later, a dull headache moves in. 

If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. Headaches can be caused from a couple reasons. One of them being that you are not consuming enough water throughout the day. Maybe not just drinking water, but incorporating water-filled fruits & vegetables like bananas or sweet potatoes. 

Once the actual run starts, if it's under an hour or when it's cool out, hydrating during your workout isn't necessary. If you're running longer than an hour, it's hot, or you're sweating buckets, mix an electrolyte package with your water. 

Something you may not realize is the time of day that you are running also matters. When you run early in the morning, stay hydrated the night before and sip 8 ounces of water 15 minutes before heading out. Later in the day, you should have a water bottle on you all day and drink from it frequently. 

Low blood sugar levels can also cause headaches. One to two hours before your workout, have something quick such as a fruit and nut bar, whole-wheat toast with nut butter, or a small bowl of cereal. After your run, you’re going to want a mix of carbohydrates and protein.

A tightness in the neck or shoulders can also contribute to causing the headache. Take time after your run to stretch out the neck, shoulders, and upper back then reward yourself by relaxing in a hot shower and give yourself a little well-deserved upper-body self-massage.

If none of these tips seem to be working for you, it's best to see a doctor to make sure there isn't a more serious underlying issue.