Almost passed out after working out

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Exterous, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Exterous

    Exterous Lifer

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    Weird thing happened today. I had just finished 30min on the elliptical and had gone through 2 ab machines, a triceps machine and was at the rowing machine. I did two sets there and started feeling a bit nauseous so I stopped. I waited a bit to see if it would go away but it didn't. I decided it was best to cut my routine short and go sit down and wait for my wife to finish her workout

    I walked over and told her I was going to sit down. We talked for about a minute. As I was walking over to a chair I started feeling light headed. I sat down and stayed there for about another minute or two - still starting to feel worse. I the decided it would probably be best if I lay down. I found a spot and lay there for a couple more minutes until I felt fine.

    I got up to go to where my wife was sitting - maybe 30 feet away. By the time I got there I was feeling really light headed. (It wasn't a 'stood up to quickly thing either) I got there and told her I needed to go lay down again as things were getting really fuzzy really quickly. She told me I was pale and looked slightly green.

    At this point I, apparently, started swaying and wobbily made my way back to where I had been laying. I don't remember that or banging my shin on an obstacle. Actually I dont remember much of that time period at all. I lay there for 3 minutes and then felt completely fine. No further issues

    I can't quite figure out why this happened. If it was right after a set I could understand it. But, after feeling a bit nauseous I stopped, felt no light headedness until 3-5 minutes later. Laid down for a couple of minutes and then felt fine. Got up and it got sooo much worse.

    A couple of possible relevant items:
    -I didn't eat breakfast. I've gone to the gym countless times before without eating breakfast but that could be a factor
    -Being on the elliptical for 30 minutes makes my feet feel a little numb. Not the first time this has happened either but could be a factor

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. MrA79

    MrA79 Member

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    Sounds like it could be one of several things - overexertion, low blood sugar (if you didn't eat beforehand), maybe poor circulation (re: the feet numbness), or a combination of those.

    Just a wild-ass guess tho.
     
  3. jman19

    jman19 Lifer

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    I am absolutely not an expert, but I've had this happen to me before and all I can say is... listen to your body. If you start feeling sick, cut your workout short. Usually I am fine after a tough workout, but sometimes I don't respond as well. Some of the factors MrA79 mentioned could very well be the cause of what you experienced. When I eat - and what I eat - in relation to a workout seems to have a big impact for me.
     
  4. Exterous

    Exterous Lifer

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    Thanks guys. Never had a problem not eating before hand but maybe thats just one of those 'getting older' things
     
  5. deadken

    deadken Diamond Member

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    I did pass out once after doing a bunch of things wrong (not eating, running 9 miles, falling asleep in a hot bath, etc...). It was suggested here that I eat 100 calories for every ten minutes I exercise after 45minutes (http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2227261&highlight=passed) IOW: Now, if I run for more than 45 minutes, I eat a little something and then go back to running. Ten minutes later, I eat another little something, etc...

    It took me a little while to figure things out, but now I like having a ziploc bag of raisins and almonds in my car so that I don't have to worry about refrigeration or if they sit out in the sun. I like knowing I can leave them there for weeks on end and not worry about them going bad.

    After 45 minutes of running (around 3 'loops'), I reach into my car, grab a handful, eat, wash them down with some water and go out for another loop (1.8 miles). I'll repeat that as long as I keep running. I also like the balance of sugars, fat, and protein that the mixture gives me.

    I don't like running with food in my stomach. I typically will run on an empty stomach if possible (IOW: Morning runs). Cereal bars are something else to consider. I don't like how sugary sweet most of them are.
     
  6. brandonb

    brandonb Diamond Member

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    It sounds like low blood sugar.

    (this is what I know based on a book so don't shoot the messenger here guys)

    Typically the blood has a certain amount of sugar available for exercise at all times to be used immediately. For the fight or flight response in animals, so its always there and quickily replenished. It typically has enough for 10-15 minutes. When the blood sugar runs out, it starts pulling energy from the muscles (which also stores energy). That lasts about an hour. After that is used, it has to wait for the liver to start producing energy from fat cells.

    The liver is the last line of defense to get energy when the blood and muscles run out.

    At this point the liver is working on using body fat and converting it to sugar. This process is slower. If you work too high intensity, it can't keep up, and you get light headed as you have run out of low blood sugar. This is typically the "pain in your side" feeling as the liver gets inflamed during the conversion process (the light headed feeling might not happen if you keep the intensity down). Which might explain the feeling sick. It could have been the liver in overdrive.

    The amount of sugar in the blood and muscles also depends on what you've eaten during the day. The body usually always replenishes the blood sugar first, then the muscles 2nd, and then the liver (to be converted to fat cells last).

    My guess is that you ran out of your 15 minutes of blood sugar and your muscles didn't have enough storage available due to skipping breakfast and your liver started and you worked too intense.

    Just reduce your intensity. That or make sure you eat a meal several hours before working out to make sure your muscles have absorbed a full amount of energy.

    -Edit, the amount of times where energy is available may vary based on fitness level of the person. My guess is that unfit people the muscle might not store as much energy because it typically hasn't needed it in the past. Not sure. I can't remember if the book listed the times based on an unfit or fit person or it might have said it changes in general from person to person.
     
    #6 brandonb, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  7. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    i almost pass out quite a few times after heavy lifts. Being this was mostly cardio, I'd go see a doctor.

    edit: it's not anywhere close to regular before the drama brigade chime in. I have been lifting since middle school.
     
  8. adlep

    adlep Diamond Member

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    I almost passed out after rowing for 30 minutes (around 500 kcal burned)...
    Careful about the intensity
     
  9. Exterous

    Exterous Lifer

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    Thanks for the insights. I've done cardio for longer by itself with no ill effects so I don't know if a doctor visit is warranted. I will pay much closer attention to how and what I eat the next time I go and workout in the morning
     
  10. TechHead87

    TechHead87 Senior member

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    I've had slight "faint" type feeling after doing squats.
     
  11. soccerballtux

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    I've had this twice. I don't know what it is. Definitely felt light headed though.
     
  12. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    In squats and leg presses it's sort of normal. You are putting all your body's oxygen supply to your legs. Your head gets cheated, you survive though and grow bigger.
     
  13. blackdogdeek

    blackdogdeek Lifer

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    i'm just going to leave this excerpt here:

    original: http://deadspin.com/5937561/i-may-h...mental-education-of-a-harvard-football-player