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Let’s face it; it isn’t the easiest to convince yourself to do a workout. So when you realize you’re bloated after working out — it seems like it is the universe giving you a sign. Aren’t we supposed to feel healthy and lose a few kgs after exercise, maybe not on the first day, but gradually?

Sweating, endorphins flowing, and even tiredness can make us feel energized and pumped. Hence, feeling bloated and full after exercising does not seem to fit the picture. However, it’s not as uncommon as one might expect. Multiple people experience post-workout bloat for different reasons. Among the many reasons for abdominal bloating, some workout-related factors make a list.

Is it Normal to Be Bloated After Working Out?

You might wonder, “Why is my stomach bigger after working out?”

Even though it doesn’t seem like it, bloating after a workout is normal. This could be because you were breathing too hard. Or, perhaps, you were drinking too much water – both of which may result in you swallowing air. Your doctor can help you learn how to minimize bloating.

Reasons why you are bloated after working out, are:

1. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Dehydration could be why you have a big stomach after exercise. Lack of fluids could make your stomach retain more water to compensate for the dehydration, which leads to prominent swelling. This can lead to a bloated belly after working out. You can get rid of bloating due to dehydration by drinking more water.

2. You’re Drinking Too Much Water

Drinking insufficient amounts of water leads to bloating. But did you know drinking a lot of water might lead to bloating as well? This is because when you drink too much water too soon, your body might dilute its sodium content. As a result, the cells retain the water due to hyponatremia. So if you gulp down a lot of water when working out, it could be why your stomach looks big.

3. Eating Too Close to Working Out

It’s good to have a nutritious snack or fuel your body before working out. This is especially crucial if you plan on doing a long-distance ride, run, or another high-intensity activity. Nevertheless, if you grab a fiber, protein, or fatty meal close to your gym session, your stomach might look big. The reason behind this is that your body struggles to digest food and send blood to the working muscles simultaneously. Consequently, digestion becomes sluggish, causing the microbes in the digestive tract to release some gas. This gas can make you look bloated after a workout.

4. You are Working Out in the Heat

Working out when it’s hot outside or in a warm area can lead to abdominal swelling and bloating. This is because the heat expands the blood vessels, and the fluid accumulates in the space between tissues. You can try working out in breathable and lightweight gear. Furthermore, don’t forget to work in an air-conditioned environment. Therefore, your bloating might be heat-induced.

5. You are Breathing Heavily

When we work out, our breathing rate increases; this is because physical activity requires your body to use more oxygen. At the same time, your body produces more carbon dioxide. Hence, you might suck in a lot of air when breathing heavily. However, the air would travel to your digestive system instead of making its way into the lungs.

What Should I Do?

If you notice you’re bloated after working out, it is completely normal. Factors Like dehydration, overhydration, nutrition, heat, and heavy breathing can lead to a big stomach after exercise. Our Gastroenterology experts can help you get rid of your bloating and other issues. Schedule an appointment with us at (281) 357-1977. You can also visit us at 421 School St., Suite 110, Tomball, TX 77375, a walking distance from the left of the Cardiovascular Institute.

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