Nausea and vomiting during a race: the causes

Barbara Fedrigo

Many athletes, during training or races, can suffer to such an extent from nausea or vomit that this jeopardizes their performance. Understanding the causes, as taught by the medicine of signals, can help us effectively resolve these problems.

Nausea is an important signal that protect us from taking in more food when we are intoxicated by something in our stomach or intestine. It is not to be underestimated. The causes can be many and a short summary of the most common causes can help us, seen as they can also overlap in different ways.

1) nausea because of intense exhaustion or very intense exercise

2) nausea caused by breakfast or lunch not completely having been digested (starting with a full stomach)

3) nausea because of a blocked digestive system due to cold temperatures

4) nausea linked to a drop in blood pressure and / or dehydration

5) nausea linked to neurological problems

6) nausea linked to low levels of iron

7) nausea liked to drugs or toxic substances

As you can see, the causes can be many but have one element in common: it is a way through which the body tries to get rid of something that is intoxicating it. This also explains the sequence of: nausea, vomit, and diarrhea, when the problem is not quickly resolved.

It often happens that the athlete pushes the body beyond its level of training and its biological capacity. This can happen, for example, on a hill with a steep incline, during a breakaway, or when launching an attack. In these situations, the body can be pushed beyond its limits, generating a breakdown of some of its biochemical blocking systems and cause the accumulation in a few seconds or minutes of metabolic toxins that the body needs to get rid of. The body is affected by this the same way as it would from an intoxication by venom. In such cases, the body defends itself with nausea (that prevents us taking in more food) and vomit to eliminate certain toxins. The use of doping can be another cause, that is known to overstimulate only one of the bodily functions (such as the transportation of oxygen) while the other bodily functions are not able to follow the level of the first, provoking a collapse of the system.

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