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Why Do I Get A Headache After Bike Ride? And Feel Sick After Biking?

Feeling sick or getting a headache after you finish your normal mountain bike ride actually isn’t something that is not uncommon. A lot of mountain bikers particularly beginners say that they often feel very fatigued and nauseous even have a headache after their mountain bike ride.

This actually is a normal symptom when people have given everything they have during a ride. Otherwise, if the fatigued and nausea symptoms come before you have finished the mountain bike ride, it may require a visit to a doctor.

There are a few post-ride issues that usually affect bikers such as fatigue, headache, bloating, and stomach cramps. Even if this happens to some bikers, there are a few things to do beforehand and it takes a little effort to prevent it from occurring to you. All you need to do is do a good pre-planning before and during the mountain bike ride.

In this post, we will go through why bikers get a headache after the bike ride and feel sick after biking. Let’s get started!

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Why Do I Get A Headache And Feel Sick After Biking?

Nearly all cases of feeling sick after a mountain bike ride happens because of their eating and drinking habits before they go to ride. Dehydration, low blood sugar, food, and also overheating is the common cause that will lead to the sickness.

Among these factors, food has a significant impact. Here are the most common post-ride problems.

  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Bloating.
  • The Low Feeling.
  • Stomach Cramps.

What Can Cause A Headache?

The biggest cause of a headache after a good ride is dehydration. Especially after a tough ride in hotter weather, you need to drink and increase the amount of water or other fluids. Biking in hot, humid conditions or at high altitudes when your body isn’t used to can cause a headache.

Blood pressure fluctuations. Some people experience fairly extreme changes in blood pressure after exercise. This is usually short-lived but can produce a wide variety of symptoms, from pounding headaches to fatigue and fainting.

Another cause can be the sunlight. The intense sunlight when you are riding can be another significant factor causing your headache after the ride. One way to avoid this is to invest in better shades especially when you are riding on sunny days.

What Can Cause Fatigue?

A big cause of fatigue after a good ride is your blood sugar levels get too low. When you are biking, your body is using your muscles and as a result, needs more sugar to supply energy. If your blood sugar levels get too low, the body begins to burn fat and protein directly.

This causes the production of ketones (Ketones are an alternative fuel for the body that is made when glucose is in short supply) that gets released into the bloodstream. So this causes a tired sick feeling from nausea, fatigue, and lack of energy, you can recover after a few hours.


Another cause of fatigue is doing an intense biking trail, causing you to sweat out so much salt that the sodium levels in your body are not enough. This can result in fatigue and a lack of energy, and in very extreme cases can be life-threatening.

This can be mistaken for dehydration which has similar symptoms, instead, consider drinking a rehydration drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade which contain electrolytes, including sodium.

What Can Cause Bloating?

A big cause of bloating is that you didn’t eat a balanced diet between the amount of food you eat with the total water you drank. Bloating mostly happens because of the habits of bikers who eat more than they drink.

The right best way to prevent bloating is to manage the balance between the amount of food you eat by taking enough water to dilute the food. I advise you to drink plain water than sports drinks since sports drinks contain a high amount of electrolytes and sugar. Its contents cannot effectively dilute the food you eat.

black coffee

What Can Cause That Low Feeling?

That low feeling you get is also known as the runner’s high. For those that don’t know a runner’s high refers to the feeling of pure happiness and exhilaration plus reduced stress, and a decreased ability to feel pain due to a flood of endorphins released by exercise.

And, of course, when there is a high there will eventually be a comedown, and the result is a sort of withdrawal from the endorphins produced while exercising.

What Might Cause A Stomach Cramps?

The biggest cause of stomach cramps is overeating before you go mountain bike riding. Eating a lot before you go biking might seem like a good idea and you will feel energetic during your ride. This will not last until you finished your mountain bike ride.

The best solution to this problem is you have to try to eat the right amount of food before, during, and after your mountain bike ride. The amount depends highly on your body size and also your level of activity.

Mountain Biking Helmet with Glasses

During the ride, you may feel a cramp around your abdomen, or around the area of the lower ribs. The cause can not necessarily be eating be the ride there are other reasons that can include.

  • Abdomen muscles might be sore cause not used regularly.
  • Not warming up.

Wrapping Up

Finally, I hope this article covering why bikers feel sick after the bike ride was helpful. A lot of the issues as to why bikers feel sick after their bike ride are down to diet. Eating a balanced diet and drinking water regularly will prevent feeling sick.

If the problem persists you should really see a doctor just to make a regular checkup and describe your symptoms.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on why do I get a headache after the bike ride? And feeling sick after biking was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Headache After Bike Ride