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Headaches After Swimming

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Basically what the title says. After about 20 minutes of swimming I always seem to get a terrible headache. Is there anyone else who gets this? If so, would someone know the cause and/or a way to prevent such from occurring?

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More info would be nice..

such as what's your usual fitness routine, what is your diet like, and have there been any changes recently in either...

I find that if I haven't had enough water during hte day, or the days prior to swimming, I am more likely toget a headache. I think the chlorine has somethign to do with it but I really don't know.

Hm… As far as fitness goes: I'm usually so busy that I rarely do what I should as far as weight training, and mainly only do cardio-type things.  On average, daily I do about 20-30 minutes of walking in the early morning, and then in the afternoon I have a decently vigorous swim for about 15-20 minutes.


Diet-wise: I consume about 900 calories on higher physically-active days, and on more chill days about 700-800. I realize that sounds like a crazy-low number, but I have a spinal cord injury and am paralyzed from the waist-down, therefore I’m unable to be quite as physically active as someone who was otherwise.


Not only that, but I’m overall quite petite in build and whatnot. I’m only about 4’11”-5’0”, and weigh at 75-80 LBS. (keep in mind that although my lower half is considerably toned for my condition, there still isn’t as much muscle-mass; muscle is heavier then fat, so yeah… I’m going to weigh less than normal).


I keep pretty well balanced in my nutrition, but I could do better. It consists of mainly complex carbs, with lots of veggies and fruits accompanying. When it comes to protein, I slack; I need to up it a bit more. That might be what’s doing it actually.

Yes, chlorine I'm sure would contribute.

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You don't breathe enough.

Work on breathing regularly with your strokes - taking deeper breaths and don't allow yourself to hold your breath for an extended period of time.  My best guess is that this will clear up your headache issues.


I also wondered what stroke you are using? If you are swimming breast srtoke with your head out of the water it might be causing tension behind your neck creating headaches?

Take a water bottle with you!  Drink every few laps. 

And yes... certain strokes where your head is out of the water will strain your back neck and shoulders and can cause headaches. The breast stroke does that to me if I'm not paying attention to my form and swimming hard.    

The smell of cholrine could be the cause too.  Make some calls and see if there is a pool around that has the saline solution.  It's more like salt water.  Won't dry your hair or skin out, tastes like the ocean, and is crystal clear water :) 

As a college swimmer, I can tell you I usually get headaches after the warmup. One factor may be your cap and goggles may be too tight. I find that taking off my goggles for a few minutes and drinking some water does wonders for my headaches. Also, I believe it is a lack of oxygen that also contributes to the headaches, and taking a few minutes just to breathe and take my goggles off really helps me.

So, in short, water, more breathing, and loosen your goggles!

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