8 Things To Do To Stop Puking After Squats

April 19th 2019

Let us discuss why you may feel like throwing up after squats. Squatting is a major compound lower body lift that challenges your mind and body. What subtlely goes undiscussed is that squats also may affect your stomach. Why do you feel like vomiting during and after squat? A lot of lifters feel very nauseous and sick when during squats; is there something wrong that they are doing.

Why do I feel like throwing up after squats?

To feel like throwing up after squats, one or a combination of the following reasons is causing you to feel this way:


  • Lack of conditioning
  • Bad breathing patterns
  • Eating too close to your workout
  • Eating too far away from your workout
  • Dehydration
  • Exhausted prior to going to the gym
  • Having acid reflux
  • Being overweight


You need to work on your conditioning

Squatting may look easy on paper; 3 sets of 5 reps today for three times a week. You continue this for the next few months for linear gains. However, what is not emphasized is that you should be conditioned to lift.

If you are getting winded from doing squats, you need to improve your work capacity. You probably know what a low work capacity feels like - feeling weak after climbing a few sets of stairs, not being able to run long distances, not being able to catch your breath quickly, etc. If you ever experience any of these symptoms, this is a tell-tale sign that you need to improve your conditioning. Conversely, this is one reason why you may feel lightheaded after squats and maybe even feel like throwing up.

Working on lower intensity, higher volume squat sets

One way to condition yourself is to work on being more efficient at squatting. This can be done during your accessory movements, which are done after your main sets. You can also try to do these by practicing a lot with your warm-up sets.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio

Another method to improve your conditioning is by doing high intensity cardio sets for a set duration. Whether this is for 20 seconds or even a minute, by training your body to pump out blood and increase oxygen flow to your muscles is a great way to increase your work capacity.

Breathing patterns are faulty

Learning how to breathe and brace for the squat is vital if you ever want to squat heavy weights. At lighter weights, form, and technique can be overlooked since the weight is light enough. However, you will notice how critical your breathing gets as you begin to squat heavier and heavier weights. What is the proper way to breathe during squatting? You may feel that holding in your breath is causing you to feel nauseous. For other lifters, panting and not having enough oxygen throughout the lift can do it.

First, before starting the lift, you must take in a deep breath. After you take in a deep breath, you must brace and tense up your abs. You just try to hold this abdominal pressure for the entire duration of your squat. You can let out a few puffs of air or grunts as you come out of the squat hole. But generally, you should remain as tight as possible. If you are doing high rep sets, it is best if you take your breaths at the top of the squat. You should have a good idea of how long you can hold your breath without passing out. A lack of body awareness can cause you to make poor breathing decisions, which will impact your form.

Eating too close to your workout

Eating meals too close to your workout can cause your stomach to become upset during squats. Unless you are eating a very small sugary snack, your belly will feel full when you are doing heavy squats. Unless you are able to squat with a belly full of food, this is a disaster waiting to happen. Try to eat at least 2-3 hours away from your next workout.

Eating too far away from your workout

On the flip side, eating too far away from your workout deprives you of amino acids and glucose needed to fuel your incoming workout. Whether you are fasting, skipped a meal or just decided to workout before eating your next meal, making sure your body is fueled up is important. It is not uncommon to feel that your body ran out of gas in the middle of a heavy squat session. Eating too far away from your workouts, such as more than 6 hours prior, would leave you feeling hungry and depleted.


How do you feel after a good night’s sleep? You may feel well-rested but you clearly do not feel very strong and lively. This is partly due to being dehydrated from your slumber. Now, imagine the same feeling throughout the day. It would not be a good idea to not drink enough water throughout the day. This can leave you feeling tired, anxious and overall not good.

You are exhausted even before the gym

Before you went to the gym, you felt kind of iffy. Something was off. Your body temperature feels warmer than usual. Work is piling up and you are a bit stressed out. You just do not feel pumped up as before. You feel kind of drained. Whatever though, right? You will still go to the gym and do your heavy squats. After the workout, you felt like throwing up.

There are too many variables to isolate to determine why you were exhausted before going to the gym. Stress, food intake, hydration, and age are just some reasons that could have influenced your day. In general, you should never feel exhausted and just make sure that you are sleeping and eating enough to maintain a great quality of life.

This also does not even include your workout program; if you programmed heavy deadlifts on the same day as your heavy squats, it will be a very fun session for you, especially if there is high volume to be done for both exercises. Your energy is finite and it can be depleted very quickly if you do complex barbell movements for many reps and sets prior to heavy squats.

You may have acid reflux

Another reason why you may feel like throwing up after squats is because you have acid reflux, where your lower esophageal sphincter does not close all the way or opens too often, allowing stomach acid to push up your esophagus. Have a medical professional assess whether or not you may have this condition.

Two common symptoms of acid reflux are heartburn and a sour tasting acid in your throat or mouth. It is generally a concern if you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week. Some causes for acid reflux include eating large meals, lying down after a meal, taking certain medications, being pregnant, drinking certain beverages, smoking, being overweight, or eating spicy or fatty foods.

Being overweight

If you are a newer lifter, this can be a reason why you are feeling terrible after squats. In addition to being deconditioned, being out of shape will generally limit your performance at the gym. The only true way to combat this issue is to make small improvements over time. Work on improving your squat form while making improvements in your work capacity.


You must know that throwing up after squats is not a normal symptom. Fortunately, there are many strategies in order to avoid this feeling which I have outlined above. Heavy squats are challenging and will demand a lot from your body, to be efficient and effective.

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