T Nation

Post Workout Nausea


I work out first thing in the morning after getting up. When I wake, I never feel hungry, and the thought of food does NOT sound good. I hit the gym, drink plenty of water.

Today, after a hard leg routine, I started to puke once I got out of my car from getting home from the gym.

So, I continued on with my protien shake shortly after, but I always feel nauseated in the morning, and now with working out, feel the same.

Any suggestions? I am following a low carb diet routine, and for the past few years have always been the type to not have a morning appetite.


You're raping yourself is what.

First off, according to what I've read the central nervous system doesn't even wake up until 3 hours after you do. And lifting heavy is a bad idea, IMO, when you're starving. Even if you don't feel it, your body has been fasting for 6-10 hours (depending on your sleeping pattern). Cortisol is up, insulin is down.

If I were you I'd limit my morning workouts to cardio.

If you have to do this, force yourself to eat. Eat some good carb and protein.

From personal experience, the time I wake up and when I workout has a definite affect on ability.

If I wake up after lunch, as I do sometimes, and workout around 6-7, I'm useless..

I mean, the difference for me is 44lbs in the deadlift at my usual 6x5 routine.


Puking after a heavy leg work out is normal.

Doing a heavy leg workout fasted is not.

Everyone who doesn't usually eat breakfast in the morning will feel ill at first when trying to force it down. This is why 'listening to your body' isn't appropriate until you know some basics about how to correctly take care of it.

You have to eat before you lift. If not your performance will be severely reduced and catabolism is likely to set in.

You have to eat in the first 40 minutes after you wake up. If not your body gets set into 'fat accumulation mode' for the rest of the day.

Don't shoot yourself in the foot.


Well, I get up at 4:45, and usually starting mild cardio for 30 mins by 5:15 - 5:25. Lifting starts around 5:45. I have to do this because of my schedule and the gym is packed when I get off work, but not in the morning.

If I get up and force down some almonds and a protien shake prior to working out, would that be enough?

What would you guys suggest? If I am up at 4:45, it will still be 1 hour before I lift because I have to get ready, eat a bite, drive to the gym, and do some lite steady state cardio first.

Any suggestions on something easy to eat? The amount?


Very interesting claim. Where did you find this? I'd really like to hear more about it.


I experience the same symptoms frequently. In fact, I'm pretty nauseous right now after my workout. I too have to force food down in the morning. It sucks.


I'm almost certain its from Dr. Berardi. The rationale being that you are already fasted (and highly catabolic) from the previous night's sleep.

When you don't give yourself at least a moderate amount of protein within the first 40-60 minutes of being awake, your body's response is to go into 'starvation mode'. This is where excess calories for the rest of the day are predominantly stored as fat.

Your body does this in order to ward off what it perceives as starvation. Due to the high cost of synthesising protein into muscle, your body does what is most efficient in order to keep itself alive (i.e. store calories as fat).

To the OP: in my personal experience (and that of a few others that I've read on this board) having a protein shake first thing in the morning can lead to stomach problems. If this is what you are used to having, try switching it out for yoghurt or milk. If you're going to be working out straight after, you could go for chocolate milk (poor man's Surge). I also always take BCAA's pretty much the instant I wake up.

Hope this helps.


Makes sense-- thanks.