How to Avoid and Manage Dehydration and Exercise-Related Headaches

The weather’s getting warmer, which means you’re probably spending more time outside. And you may notice the extra time in the sun comes with more headaches. That’s because you may be dehydrated, which is one major factor of headaches, according to experts.

In a popular Reddit AMA, four experts answered questions from the community on behalf of the American Migraine Foundation. Many users complained of headaches during weather changes, and while there’s no magic solution, addressing lifestyle factors, like dehydration, can help.

“Unfortunately we cannot control the weather, though sometimes I wish we could,” the doctors write. “Sometimes it is best to try to be vigilant about other lifestyle behaviors and reducing other triggers (like lack of sleep, dehydration, stress, missing a meal, etc) to make your brain as resilient as possible to the weather change. It’s often the combination of triggers that can lead to a migraine; reducing others can help.”

If you experience migraines, the team says maintaining a consistent sleep schedule may help relieve the pain.

“Migraine brains seem to like routine – when routine is disrupted somehow, the brain can be more likely to go into the migraine pathway, so it is important to keep a consistent sleep schedule where possible,” they explain. Eating three meals a day, drinking plenty of water, and doing yoga can also minimize the number of migraines you experience.

For some people, exercise may trigger a severe headache similar to migraines.

“Some people experience something called Primary Exercise Headache, which is headache provoked by cardio. Many people who have migraine can experience this, and this headache often resembles migraine,” they explain. Taking a naproxen an hour before working out may help you avoid these.

Check out the entire AMA, which has more than 4,000 comments, for more information about headache prevention.

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