Weird Running Tip – Post Run Headache Cure

Headache CureYou know, there are a lot of weird running tips out there.  Tips that work.

Like if you’re having trouble getting your KT Tape to stick (though this is less of an issue with the new, awesome KT Tape Pro), you can use a hair dryer to heat up the tape after applying.  It definitely enhances the staying power.

But this tip isn’t about tape.  It’s about headaches.

A few years ago, I was getting crushing headaches after running.  Not immediately, but later in the afternoon on the days of a long run.  I thought it might be dehydration, but no matter how much water I consumed, nothing helped.  My blood pressure was fine, so no concerns there.  Advil didn’t really kick it either.

Then one day, after my run, I chowed down on some salty pretzels.  I don’t typically keep pretzels in the house because they are one of those things where in my brain, every bag is a single serving, even the giant party-size bags.  I can’t keep my hands off of them.  But for whatever reason, this day I had pretzels and they seemed like an awesome post run snack.

And guess what?  No headache!

So I started doing some research.  Could it be sodium, or in broader terms, electrolytes?  I do sweat a ton, and I’m a salty sweater, so it wouldn’t be a surprise.

(Interesting fact – discounting the pretzels, I eat a relatively low sodium diet, so salty sweating doesn’t only happen to people who pound down the salt.)

Ultimately, I picked up some SaltStick Caps in the running store.  Contrary to their name, they have potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium in them.  Two caps after a run? No more headache!  (No sponsorship here, just a product I use.)   And no additional calories, unlike those tasty pretzels.

I’ve discovered that I can also thwart the headache by adding salt to my post-run meal, something I never do.  Only while eating a delicious post-run breakfast will you find me reaching for the salt shaker.  But it helps.

Now, I’m not a scientist, I’m not a dietitian, and I’m certainly not a doctor.  But if, like me, you find yourself with post-run headaches, maybe reach for the salt shaker just this once and see if it helps.


8 thoughts on “Weird Running Tip – Post Run Headache Cure

  1. I’ve had the same problem and made the same discovery. Found this while looking for confirmation that it was indeed the salt that made the differences. I discovered it by eating fries after a run, which I always pour a lot of salt on 🙂

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