Help - Headaches/blurry vision after short intense exercise

Hoping some folks have some idea for things to research, I have been dealing with this issue for years.

Started out with cycling, 5 years ago, no matter how much water I woudl drink night before, morning before, and during a bike ride, I would get a migraine and super blurry/fuzzy vision. Only cure was a nap in a dark room. Went to a dumb Dr. about it and she told me I just wasnt drinking enough water, sometime later I discovered electrolytes no thanks to her.

Electrolytes for the most part have solved this problem for me on endurance efforts, like 2 to 3 hour bike rides that has a lot of steady effort. I should note here, I am definately an above-average sweat-er.

My problem remains however, that with interval training for example on a bike, like 4x5min hard efforts, or HIIT workouts in a gym, or Jiu Jitsu sparring rounds of 5min, I still get these symptoms. I’m a 215lb guy, that drinks baseline about 200oz of water a day, first 24oz of the day with an electrolyte scoop, and then before a class or workout I will pre-game an electrolyte serving and drink more electrolytes during the high-intensity activity and nada. I will also eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich 30mins before these workouts, thinking blood sugar might be a culprit here as well.

So I’m at a complete loss and I cant get anywhere with my google searches, thought I might try here. My symptoms seem similair to Orthostatic hypotension, I am also wary of maybe some sort of vitamin deficiency.

Anyways, if anyone has some ideas on possible topics for me to research and trial-and-error I would be hugely grateful.



Go talk to a doctor. Seriously. Headaches / blurry vision aren’t something to fool around with : try and have random people on the internet diagnose


Sounds like a medical issue that needs a doctor.


I have “Chronic Daily Persistent Headaches”. After hard cycling workouts I used to get bad migraines. What I discovered was that although I was taking in water, electrolytes and fuel, it wasn’t enough. Now I take 90g+ of carbs, 1200mg electrolytes (sodium citrate) and 1 liter of water per hour.

I had a Precision Hydration sweat test to find out my sweat loss. Also, I did multiple sweat tests to figure out my water loss. This may or may not be a solution to your headaches, but it’s worth experimenting while you’re seeking professional medical help.

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My advice is to go get a physical. They will do bloodwork, check your blood pressure, blood sugar, mineral levels, etc. Describe your symptoms and if you don’t feel like they’re addressing your concerns, find another doctor. We’re not going to be able to help you without proper tests, etc. The body combined with personal routines is too complex for a forum.

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Same here, I was experiencing headaches after any athletic exertion and discovered not only was water not enough but I actually needed more electrolytes than recommended. I use two scoops of scratch for every 750 ml water bottle and I make sure to drink at least one bottle an hour. No more headaches. But as others have said you should consult a doc as I never experienced blurry vision so that could be indicative of something else.

In my experience water by itself is useless for rehydration if you have been sweating.

Maybe a few ideas in this thread

To clarify… you are suffering a health problem and your strategy to deal with it after being unable to figure it out yourself, was to try googling it, then ask a bunch of random people on a biking forum?

Well thats the thing, I’ve been to a doctor about it and all she told me was drink more water.

Thank you!

Get a second opinion.


Muscle contraction headache? Do you tighten neck muscles during those short intense efforts? I used to have similar issue when started body weight training (pullups), luckily for couple weeks only and went away itself. But those were really intense headaches, passed after couple minutes of laying down.

I periodically get really bad migraines, and they’re preceded by blurry vision and even a bit of confusion or confused speech; classic migraine stuff, and not fun. If your headaches weren’t accompanied by these “auras”, they might not be migraines at all.

No one knows what triggers migraines, or what fixes them, but there plenty of things that help, and for a lot of people, stress and caffeine are biggies. It sounds like your trigger could very be the stress or intense exercise, if you they are migraines you’re having. Go to a different doctor.

This is not correct. Migraines don’t require “auras”. As a decade long migraine sufferer and seeing every doctor and trying every treatment, I’ve never had auras.

Did I say that?

Go see a doctor

200? Do you live outside in a desert? You know its not just sodium that gets low when you drink too much water. There are other things that get removed from your body with the excess water

Yeah I did schedule an appointment with another doctor now, it will be 4 weeks from now so wanted to ask around to see if other athletes had similair issues as me. Not as a substitute as it seems some folks took it.

Well what I’ve researched that seems appropriate. That being said I have considered over-hydrating being a problem with flushing things out like electrolytes, but I don’t think thats it. I don’t “push” myself to drink this amount of water, it is what is comfortable for me to do. Surpised this raised an eyebrow honest, I though most folks who exercise a lot were in the .75 to 1.0 oz per bodyweight pound range. I appreciate your thought on over-hydrating being a topic to look into though, these are the kind of things I made the post for.

As a general rule of thumb, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, it is recommended you drink 100 ounces of water if you are performing non-strenuous activities.,are%20performing%20non-strenuous%20activities.

Thank you for the idea, I will look into this topic. My neck is the first breaking point on bike discomfort on longer rides (vs. elbows/knees/back w/e is for whoever). So this could be a real possibility. Appreciate your input.

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