Do You Get A Headache Post Workout? Know 5 Possible Reasons Behind It

Headaches are quite common after heavy workout, check out 5 possible reasons behind these headaches and symptoms to prevent it. 

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Apr 29, 2022Updated at: Apr 29, 2022
Do You Get A Headache Post Workout? Know 5 Possible Reasons Behind It

Exercising is beneficial for our health and it is said that a person must do at least half an hour of workout in a day. But what if this exercise leads you to headache? Don’t worry it is not the fault of the exercise but actually a byproduct of exercise that get affected on your body. Sometimes you might have got aa headache after heavy workout or felt like someone is banging your head from inside. It is not actually healthy and you must visit a doctor, if it happens more than a couple of times. Headaches post workout or exercise could be because of several reasons. In order to lower the risk, today we will discuss about potential reasons and types of headaches that occur. 

Why do you have headache post workout? 

This is one of the common questions that we often get around headaches. Therefore, we spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician at Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to understand reason behind it. He told that in majority of conditions, it is because of dehydration or extreme heat inside the body. But that is not all, you might get headache because of high altitudes, or muscle tensions and other several reasons. This might be a sign of some underlying condition that is getting worse. Hence in order to understand the situation, let us look at the possible causes of headaches. 


Causes of Headaches after Exercise 

1. Exertional Headache 

This is a typical headache that people solely get because of exercising and there is no underlying cause attached to it. Exertional headaches, as you may have understood, is because of exertion on the body. This means that you have over worked your body, and thus it needs rest. Here are some symptoms that could be evident in this type of headache- 

  • Pain on both sides of the head 
  • Sensation of pulse in head 

Exertional pain could last for around 5 minutes to even 48 hours. It might give you a feeling that is similar to migraine. This could also happen because of exercising under hot weather or high altitude. 

2. Dehydration Headache 

Another common cause of headaches after or even during workout is due to dehydration in the body. If you are not replacing your fluids after workout, then dehydration headache is meant to occur. Water and electrolytes help the body remain hydrated. However, when you sweat, you lose these electrolytes. Some symptoms can include- 

  • Feeling thirsty 
  • Dark yellow urine 
  • Producing less urine than usual 
  • Feeling tired or lethargic at most times 
  • Dizziness and irritation 

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3. Tension Headaches 

It is not that mental tension, but a physical one. Tension headache is when your muscles get tension because of excessive exercise or incorrect posture. This could impact your health and result to painful headaches. Stress could actually make your situation worse in this case. Here are some symptoms of this headache- 

  • Having mild or moderate pain 
  • Gradual pain in head 
  • Pain in back of the neck and head 
  • Constant throbbing pain that might accelerate 


4. Low Blood Sugar 

If you do not eat anything before exercise, then there is possibility of getting low blood sugar levels in the body. This can cause headaches due to lack of calories which makes the blood sugar levels drop. During exercise you burn a lot of calories, therefore you must have sufficient carbohydrates in advance so that blood glucose levels can be maintained. This can prevent you from getting painful headaches and other complications. 

Symptoms of low blood sugar can include- 

  • Feeling dizzy or fainting 
  • Nausea 
  • Confusion 
  • Instant sweating 
  • Hunger and shivering 

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5. Migraine 

Migraine could be a disastrous cause of having headaches post workout. Migraine attack or pain could be overwhelming at times and lead to situations such as throbbing pain in the head and even fainting. Doctor advice patients with migraine to do moderate or mid exercise regularly in order to prevent migraines. Excessive exercise could trigger some people with migraine and result to- 

  • Vomiting 
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea 
  • Increased sensitivity to sound or light 
  • Throbbing pain in the head 

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