heart palpitations, weakness during running?

Hi, I’m Julie. I just started a high raw vegan diet a week ago today. Everything has been going awesome up until this morning. Today was my first time at the gym in a few months, and I started slow, just running a slow mile on the treadmil. I didn’t feel so hot during the run, but I brushed that off. When I went to get off the treadmil, however, I felt like I was going to either vomit, faint, or both. I got to the locker room and sat down, and found that I was too weak and shaky to do anything else, so I went home and took a nap before work. Just a few minutes ago, I was getting out of my car after my lunch break, and my heart had several strong palpitations in a row. It freaked me out. Has anybody else had this problem when they first started veganism/vegitarianism? Do you think this is normal? I do not want to have to give up working out, since that is my second goal besides succeeding with this diet. I have heard of plenty of people being involved in sports on a vegan diet. I just wonder if I’m doing something wrong, or if it’s my body still detoxifying and getting used to all the changes that it’s going through. Any advise or help would be much much appreciated. I just want to be able to stick to it this time, I’m so tired of living sick constantly, and I don’t want to go back to doing that to myself.

By the way, if this info helps, my diet now consists of fresh organic fruit and veggie juices, fruit porridges, veggie salads, carrots, broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, bananas, apples, oranges, onions, avacado, tomatos, some potatoes (mostly sweet), collard greens, lettuces, mangos, coconut, papaya, figs, peppers, squashes, cucumbers, and many many other fruits and veggies, plus sunflower seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts, and almonds. And before this diet, I was eating fast food at least once a day, I was drinking several cans of soda daily, I drank almost no water at all, I ate no veggies or fruits, and everything in my diet was processed. I was very sedentary. I could also probably lose 30-40 pounds at the moment. I basically went cold turkey onto this diet because my body was basically screaming at me to stop it now (big suprise, right? lol). I’m doing fine with the cravings and everything else, but man I don’t want to have to give up exercise. Maybe I need some kind of supplement or something? Thank you so much for your help!!!

I am not a health professional, but I do a fair amount of exercise and have a few thoughts :slight_smile:

You may be feeling tired, weak and sick because your body is used to the sugar in your processed food and soda. You are currently eating very few carbohydrates, and you need carbs to fuel your exercise. (I get low blood-sugar too if I exercise after eating too few carbs.) Your diet is great, but you should definitely consider eating more complex carbs: I would recommend potatoes, rice and bread, but I’m not sure how this fits in with a raw vegan diet. When I was working out a lot I used to drink a complex-carb isotonic drink - you can get powders from sports stores.

Your body will also be shocked if you went from sedentary to exercising a lot - it only takes a week or two to lose your fitness! Try talking to one of the assisstants at the gym about working up gradually.

Heart palpitations could be pretty serious, and I would strongly recommend seeing a doctor for a check up. If your diet was really bad you may have high blood pressure or cholestorol which needs monitoring?

Finally, congratulations on making such a positive change :slight_smile: and good luck!

Hi Julie,

It is awesome you are making so many positive changes. But you need to give your body time to adjust. When you significantly change your diet, especially to a much healthier one, you body will begin a detox phase that usually lasts a few weeks. A lot of this has to do with your gut flora. This is why a lot of people get loose bowels when they eat a lot of fruit. Their bodies just aren’t used to all the fiber and simple sugars.

Your diet is excellent and I would stick with what you are eating. If you are getting enough calories, then you are getting plenty of nutrients. Make sure you are getting enough calories though. Plant foods are bulky and you might think you are eating enough, when in fact, you are very deficient in calories. This is usually not a problem, but you might want to track your calories on a website like fitday for a week just to make sure you are eating as much as you think you are.

I have to disagree with Becka on the complex carbs. Unless you are an ultra athlete, I cannot recommend pasta or bread as they are both highly refined carbohydrates even if they are complex. Rice and Potatoes are better if you need more energy, but all three of these foods are not nutritionally dense. This means they don’t have a lot of nutrients compared to the amount of calories they contain. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes get you many more nutrients for the amount of calories.

If you were sedentary and tried to start with a run, you probably pushed it a little too hard, especially since your body is already trying to adjust to your new diet. I would start off with some moderate walking for a couple miles a day for a couple weeks. Then slowly work up to running or other aerobics. Once your body has stopped trying to repair the damage from your previous diet, your energy will return.

BTW, I went through just about everything you are experiencing when I first went 100% raw. The raw vegan diet lowered my blood pressure and resting heart rate significantly, so my body needed to adjust to the changes. Every once in a while when I am sitting and laying and I get up, I feel two or three “POM POM POM” in my chest as my heart is just adjusting to the blood pressure drop from standing. I have read up on this and it is perfectly normal.