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It's Not The Flu

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

If I run back-to-back strength programs long enough, I feel like I am coming down with the flu after my workouts. It is obviously directly related to training so I did a little homework and this is what I found out.

Flu-like symptoms after a workout can often be mistaken for getting sick, but are actually caused by the release of human growth hormone (HGH) during exercise. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and clammy skin can occur when HGH is released in excess. HGH is beneficial for muscle tissue growth, bodily growth, and collagen turnover, but its overproduction can lead to exercise-induced nausea. Other factors such as hormones, dehydration, poor nutrition, and high blood pressure can also contribute to this phenomenon.

To manage these symptoms, try alternating high-intensity exercise with more moderate activities, drinking 7 to 10 ounces of water for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, and eating a carbohydrate-rich snack before working out. Also, consider changing the timing of meals to improve digestion during intense exercise. Remember, the release of HGH is a natural and beneficial process, but it is important to learn how to manage the symptoms properly.

Personally, I was able to manage my exercise-induced nausea by increasing my water intake during the course of my training session. I also moved my post-workout banana to before my training session. I still eat my usual breakfast of cereal and fruit or whole oats and fruit, but the extra 100 calories I get from a banana make a big difference.


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