Seeing as you all did such a great job with Laura’s question last week regarding buying cardio equipment for a home gym, I thought I’d throw a bit tougher question your way this week. (Yeah, yeah, you can take the teacher out of the classroom…) In this week’s installment of Help a Reader Out, the feature where you guys help answer questions that I don’t know the answer to, Sunny writes:
“Lately, after my runs, I have been getting these massive headaches, even though I drink a ton of water before and after. A colleague suggested I start drinking some Gatorade (G2, w/ less sugar) to replace lost electrolytes, but I am not a fan of drinking those dealios, even the less sugar variety. I have also read they aren’t all that great at replacing electrolytes anyway. Any suggestions? I don’t want to keep taking Advil after I run and nothing else seems to work. “
First, Sunny, I love that you used the word “dealios.” Since reading your e-mail I have resolved that I must find more occasions in my life to work that one in. (Although the only ones that come immediately to mind are naughty. Stop that!)
Second, my completely uneducated guess would be to wonder if you are suffering from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. You don’t say how long your runs are or what your pre- or post- workout nutrition is like but for me – and everything is about me, right? – I get the sugar shakes and a headache pretty easily if a) my workout is intense and goes longer than an hour or b) I didn’t eat beforehand.
If you’ve ruled out both dehydration and hypoglycemia, other common sources of headaches include hormones (seeing as this is the Internet and all, I will refrain from asking where you are in your girly cycle), neck/back strain, and stress.
Lastly, there is such a thing as exercise-induced headaches/migraines. I know about them because Gym Buddy Candice suffers from them and has had to severely curtail her workouts because of them. Unfortunately, that is pretty much all I know about them. But I’m guessing at least some of my readers know lots about headaches and exercise. What do you guys say? Anyone have some tips for Sunny?