Loss of appetite with increase in training/nausea

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  • #42163

    As my training for races increases (both in trail runs and ski races), I find my appetite drastically decreases and I get nausea thinking about food after a workout. Even after a 7 hr trail run with a couple of gels the thought of food makes me sick. I start my workouts in the morning without eating or with 2 1/2 hrs since my last meal because of nausea while exercising. I know I should fuel after long workouts and would like to. Wondering if anyone else has this problem or knows why?

Posted In: Nutrition

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    Rebecca Dent on #42188

    Hi Shannon, Thanks for your question.

    Loss of appetite is common following long races/events/training session and exercise induced gastrointestinal issues such as nausea are common in ultra distances due to the physiological consequences that occur whilst in motion over an extended period of time. And research shows a greater percentage of women to men experience these issues. However there are some neat nutrition strategies that can help you start to resolve your specific issue. A couple of things that can contribute to nausea (in addition to exercising for a long period of time) are;

    – Exercising for long periods without eating
    – Under or over hydration
    – Water alone or too much electrolyte/salt intake
    – Too much carbohydrate intake (but this does not sound like it relates to yourself)
    – Caffeine intake on an empty stomach

    Studies have shown that you can actually train your gut and get it used to eating on the go and helping to relieve potentially your nauseas.

    If you are struggle to eat any solids following training/long duration exercise then you could try to consume a liquid food such as a meal replacement shake, protein shake, recovery shake, glass of milk, home made smoothie (as preferred) and try to just take small sips regularly. Aim to start drinking this within 30mins of finishing your session. But you can drink this drink over a 1hr period.

    It may also help to eat more during your longer sessions, again this takes practice over continuous training sessions (even if you are not feeling hungry) for a minimum of 2weeks to start to feel a difference. Choose a couple of your training sessions in the week to trial eating / drinking e.g. a sports drink during this session, then slow right down to eat/drink during this session until you are used to eating more on the go. Another tip is to eat a small meal or snack then go straight out to training (again a low intensity is required). Then eat on a regular basis during training, small amounts.

    GI issues in training/races/long events are all individual and require some problem solving. If you would like to chat this over in more detail you are welcome to sign up to a phone consult below.

    Phone Consult with High Performance Dietitian Rebecca Dent – $50/30min – PAY AFTER YOUR CALL

    I hope that provides you with some insight.

    Rebecca (Uphill Athlete Dietitian)

    shannonlouisedouglas on #42340

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I’d love to chat more with you over the phone about this and have booked a call.

    Thanks much & looking forward to it!

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