Why does the body want to puke after really intense exercise?


I just ran a mile as hard as I possible could. I’m on the verge of puking. Why does the body respond this way? You’d think it would want to retain fluids after intense exercise.

In: Biology

Your heart rate and body temperature is much higher than normal, and you’re breathing harder/not getting enough oxygen. I’m not a doctor, but my guess is that your body thinks you’ve been poisoned and the most immediate way our body expels poison is through vomiting.

The involuntary actions your body does such as your heartbeat, digestion, etc fall under two systems: The sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The sympathetic system manages your fight or flight responses. Your parasympathetic manages your rest and digest activities. In general, when one becomes more active the other becomes less active. This allows your body to function more efficiently by shunting blood away from digestion to your muscles to better enable you to run away quickly. It also helps digestion if you’re not jostling your stomach contents around, so we typically feel like taking a nap after having a big meal.

Your jogging stimulated your sympathetic nervous system to take control and thus made voiding your stomach contents seem like a valid option, since your digestive system can’t work optimally. This is also why people get ‘butterflies in their stomach’ during stressful situations. The stress activates their sympathetic system and turns down their parasympathetic.