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Ever wondered why you feel sick on leg day?
Well fear not, we have you covered.
In this article, we cover the reasons why you feel sick on leg day, how to avoid feeling sick on leg day, and more!
Let’s get going.
4 Reasons Why You Feel Sick On Leg Day
You Take Pre Workout Before Your Leg Workout
Many gym goers take pre workout on leg day thanks to its ability to improve focus, energy and fat loss.
But unfortunately, pre workout can make you feel sick thanks to the high amounts of creatine, caffeine and l-citrulline.
Let’s see what the science says on these popular pre workout ingredients.
In one study, 175 ALS patients took either 10g of creatine or a placebo over an average period of 310 days.
According to the results, 23% of the creatine takers experienced nausea.
In one study, 12 participants consumed a placebo, 250mg of caffeine, and 500mg of caffeine at different intervals.
(To keep the study fair, the participants weren’t aware of what they were taking at each interval.)
The results showed that nausea, anxiety and irritability were much more common after the participants took the 500mg dose.
A study of 41 asthmatics looked at the effects of l-citrulline on asthma control.
The results showed that 41% of the participants experienced mild nausea.
You Eat A Big Meal Before Your Leg Workout
Many people like to eat a massive carb-heavy meal before training legs.
Logically, this makes sense as your legs are the largest muscle group, and so you need a lot of energy (i.e. calories) to fuel your workout.
But this is a big mistake.
Well, after a heavy meal, a lot of your body’s energy goes towards digestion.
And then when you start training, your body’s energy shifts towards fuelling workout.
This means you have little energy to digest your food, which can make you feel nauseous, especially with a stomach full of food!
You Drink A Ton Of Water During Your Leg Workout
We all know the feeling…
You’ve just finished your second, intense set of squats, and the first thing you do is crawl to the water machine for your 3rd litre of water.
It tastes great, it helps keep you cool, and it quenches your short-term thirst.
When you drink so much water in such a short space of time, it can cause the brain to swell.
And when there are any changes to the brain, one of the first signs is nausea.
You Have More Blood Flow To Your Legs
When you exercise, blood is diverted from different areas of your body (e.g. your stomach) to your active muscles.
Now, since the legs are the largest muscle group in the body…
…When you train your legs, even more blood is required to provide enough nutrients and oxygen for them to exercise.
In some people, this shortage of blood flow in the stomach can lead you to feel sick.
How To Avoid Feeling Sick On Leg Day
Avoid Taking Pre Workout Before Training
If you do take pre workout on leg day, then it’s possible that it is the culprit for making you feel sick.
So an obvious solution is to just stop taking pre workout.
Alternatively, there are many caffeine-free pre workouts out there which are much less likely to make you feel nauseous.
My favourite is Genius Pre Workout Powder.
It’s a highly rated caffeine-free pre workout that’s naturally sweetened with Stevia.
It even includes Rhodiola Rosea to help improve mental and physical performance.
Avoid Eating A Heavy Meal Before Training
If you’re one to carb load a few hours before training legs, then that may be the reason why you’re feeling nauseous on leg day.
So it’s a sensible idea to lay off the pasta within the few hours before you train.
Instead, you should be carb loading the day before so that your glycogen stores are full, and you have plenty of energy to hit the squat rack with.
Then, once you’ve finished your leg session, you can load up on the rice like never before!
Hydrate Before You Exercise
If you’re one of those who goes through 5 litres of water each leg session, then that could be the cause of your nausea.
And so it would make sense to hydrate properly before training, so that you don’t need as much water during your leg session.
Which Leg Exercises Are The Worst For Making You Feel Sick?
I would class squats, leg press and lunges as the culprits for making you feel sick.
Well, these are all compound exercises.
In other words, not only do they train your legs, but they train other muscles too.
(Such as your back and abs.)
As a result, the maximum amount of blood is flown through your stomach which as covered earlier, can lead you to feeling nauseous.
Whether it’s taking pre workout, drinking too much water, eating a heavy meal beforehand or increased blood flow to the legs, leg day can make you feel sick for many different reasons.
If you’re reading this article because you personally feel sick on leg day, I’d recommend you finding the source of your nausea and address it.
For example, if you take pre workout, then stop taking it on leg day, or perhaps swap it for a caffeine-free alternative.
Well, that’s all I have for today’s article folks!
I hope it’s been an enjoyable read, and that you’ve learned a ton.
If you do have any questions that I haven’t addressed, then please leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you in a flash.