It's only fair to share…

Most times getting a headache after a workout means a quick fix, aspirin. But does aspirin address the cause? Since everyone’s an individual, it’s never just one thing that can cause headaches. What’s needed is to explore all avenues, culprits, and toxic exposures.

Here are five things that can cause a headache after a workout and what you can do about it.


1. Check the air quality in your gym!

There may not be enough ventilation in your gym. Ventilation is more than just how the air-conditioning functions. I’m talking about compromising the indoor air quality with spray chemicals used to wipe down equipment after working out, and exposures to plug-in air-fresheners. These VOCs are toxic and can cause headaches.(1)

VOCs are also used in the maintenance products to clean the vinyl flooring.(2) In my gym, janitors are there in the afternoon cleaning floors, while we work out. (not a good idea) We can all be exposed to these chemicals that cause headaches by inhalation.

Additionally, after the hurricane, the local Recreation Center found mold in the ceiling when the shingles blew off. It had taken 6 to 8 months before a new roof was in place. Meanwhile, they had a bucket on the floor collecting rain water, right by the weight lifting equipment.

Mold is a toxin, and releases toxic gasses and spores in the air we breathe. Mold can cause headaches. Solutions to air quality include: taking your concerns to management so they can call in mold management, replace vinyl flooring, use white vinegar and baking soda to clean equipment and tile floors, or switch gyms.

2. Fluorescent lighting fixtures

PCBs from fluorescent lighting fixtures (3) can disrupt thyroid hormones and cause headaches. Fluorescent lighting also disrupts mitochondria health, vision, is causal in free radial damage and increases our risk for oxidative stress.

3. Exertion headaches

Most bodybuilders usually do some form of movement daily. The question is, whether it’s riding a bike, playing basketball, weight lifting or running, how many of us take care of our body off the court? If we are stressed and feel we’re not performing our best, that’s when exertion plays a causative role in headaches.

Solutions can include an appointment with your favorite chiropractor to make sure your neck is in alignment and take time out to lower your intensity levels until you feel better.

4. Balance nutrients and hydration levels

What you are eating can be as important as what you’re not eating? Low magnesium, dehydration and a high sugar diet is a recipe for headaches, especially after a workout.

Magnesium is found in all our bodily tissues, bones, muscles and our brain. Stress, constipation, and addictions to caffeinated drinks, gluten and sugary products can cause dehydration and low magnesium levels. Calories from refined, processed foods before a workout doesn’t provide the body and brain with nutrients, are extremely difficult to digest, compromises energy levels, causes bowel distress and blood sugar highs and lows. For proper fitness, it’s critical to check for blood sugar imbalances.

Fluoride has been artificially added to city water and some bottled drinking waters. “Christopher Bryson’s widely acclaimed book “The Fluoride Deception includes dozens of studies showing that sodium fluoride is a deadly neurotoxin that attacks the central nervous system and leads to a multitude of serious health problems.”

Find better ways to fuel your body with energy by drinking more pure, clean water instead of drinking from your gym’s water fountain. Ditch the fiberless, fat-free rice cake snacks and eat magnesium rich foods before your workouts such as organic almond butter and apples, a handful of raw walnuts, avocados and garlic, or greens such as spinach and wheatgrass.

5. Low Blood Pressure

Some people like myself have low blood pressure, normally. However, thyroid disorders, diuretics, and antidepressants can lower blood pressure even more. Solutions include purchasing a heart monitor, eat smaller meals, drink plenty of pure, clean water and know your conditioning level. If you are consistently having headaches after a workout check your recovery time and speak to your doctor about adjusting your medication.