Bloating After Your Exercise Routine and New Diet?
You’ve started bloating and retaining water, and now feel more uncomfortable and larger than ever! What is this – you’ve been on your diet and exercise plan for two weeks and now this?
To answer this question, one must realize that bloating is a completely natural response to sudden changes in your body. With a Exercise Routine, especially if you haven’t had a regular routine in place, and are suddenly working out with high intensity, it can actually throw your body into a bit of a state of shock – your body interprets the extra stress as a physical emergency, and beings to try to stockpile necessary nutrients (which would also explain protein cravings directly after a workout as well!) and water. Another aspect is quite simple: you’ve worked your muscles hard, and now they’ve become inflamed. One thing to really keep in mind is that when you’re starting your Exercise Routine, you’re moving muscles in ways that they’re not used to. This causes minor rips and tears, which causes the muscle to inflame to try to stabilize itself while it heals.
Solutions to exercise-related swelling:
Drink at least 64 oz of water per day, and make sure to drink before and after a workout. I’ve found that if I try to drink water during a workout, I get nauseated. So, what I do to combat this is take a mouthful of water and swish it around in my mouth before swallowing. It’s refreshing enough to keep me going, and also keeps me from barfing.
Make sure to eat a small snack before a workout. My Wii Fit is constantly recommending bananas – not only are they a great source of easily-burned carbs, but they’ve got potassium, which can help reduce swelling and cramping.
Make sure to eat protein after a workout as well, such as two ounces of lean meat, ½ a cup of cottage cheese, etc. This will help your body with muscle repair after a workout. My Fitness Coach always recommends this to me, and I’ve find that it’s helped!
Gentle stretching. Don’t ream on your muscles, but some gentle cool-down stretches after a workout, and again after a night’s rest to start your “morning after,” will help to increase pliability and reduce long-term soreness.
Hot and cold applications – take a hot (not intolerable, but comfortable) shower, and alternate with lukewarm water, or hot and cold compresses can be alternated every 5 minutes for a half hour for relief.
If all else fails – go for an Ibuprofen if you think your body can tolerate it. It has anti-inflammatory properties. As a licensed Massage Therapist, I did recommend this to my clients who absolutely refused to stretch, as an absolute last resort. The only downside to this is that ibuprofen will dehydrate, so it’s key to take this with plenty of water.
Conversely, when switching your Diet, if you’ve been consuming fast food, high fat meals, high fat and high sugar snacks, and then suddenly switch to lean proteins and more fruits and vegetables, you will probably have a relatively unpleasant reaction as your body adjusts to increased fiber and starts to become less tolerant to fats.
Solutions to this:
Increase fruits and vegetables in your Diet gradually – add ½ to 1 cup every few days until you’re up to your recommended daily allowance.
Keep track of what fruits and veggies you’re adding! Veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower and fruits such as Prunes, Raisins, and peaches have larger amounts of fructose, which can cause an increase in flatulence (and conversely, abdominal bloating).
Drink LOTS of water (at the very least 64 oz a day! This cannot be emphasized enough!) to help flush out the fats and food that have accumulated over the last few days – the increase in fruits and veggies will help to flush these out as well
Monitor Salt Intake – excess sodium = excess swelling.
Talk to your Doctor about possible food allergies if this continues.
Another thing to keep in mind – if the swelling continues for more than a day, or pits (when pressure is applied, an indentation will remain), to contact your Doctor – this may be a sign of a more serious condition.