Getting a taste of blood in your mouth while working out could happen from putting too much pressure on your body and lungs. When your lungs experience too much air pressure, it can cause RBCs to burst in tiny air sacs of the lungs, causing this taste. It’s temporary and isn’t something to worry over. This taste could also be triggered if you breathe through your mouth, inhaling large amounts of air and drying out your throat, which can be harsh on your lungs. Re-evaluate, take a break, and don’t do intense exercise if you’re a beginner. If the taste persists for days, there could be other reasons such as having bad oral hygiene, pregnancy, allergy, change in medication or supplement, pine nut syndrome, or a neurological condition to name a few.
Getting this taste in your mouth isn’t common, and when it happens after exercising, it can make you wonder about possible causes. While it’s not common, it isn’t rare either.
While there’s no visible blood, this taste could develop due to different factors but are mainly related to exercising. Are you doing something wrong? Should you stop exercising? What should you do to prevent it?
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Reason for bloody taste after a workout
Breathing through your mouth
When climbing, trekking, or doing home workouts, notice how you breathe in oxygen and exhale it.
If you’re breathing hard through your mouth, here’s a possible explanation for having a metallic taste in your mouth.
When breathing through our nose, the air is already heated up way in, and it also goes in smaller quantities to finally reach our lungs, which is easier for us to tolerate.
When breathed through our mouths, the same air is in larger quantities and is comparatively colder, irritating our lungs and throat. You would also notice a dry throat when breathing through the mouth.
The cold air can irritate the delicate mucosal linings of the airway and cause irritation or inflammation. Especially if you’re in elevated areas like mountains or trekking.
You might even feel tight chested, or it can cause minor tears in the lining, allowing small amounts of blood to enter the airways.
High-intensity workout and air pressure
When you suddenly start exercising out of the blue and dive into the exercises that aren’t for beginners, you can expect to taste a metallic taste in your mouth.
It’s caused by immense air pressure created on the lungs, and it can cause red blood cell leakage in parts of the lungs responsible for air and gas exchange.
It then gets picked up by your taste buds which indicates you’ve blood in your mouth that you don’t actually have.
The leakage can be caused RBCs to burst in the lungs’ alveoli (tiny air sacs) and cause a blood-like taste.
Though this is common amongst athletes, it’s not something we should be concerned about.
It can happen to anyone who suddenly dived into exercising, and even someone who exercises regularly can experience a similar taste when they do a high-intensity workout (HIIT).
Preventing bloody taste in the mouth
When you’re pushing your body past the threshold, it’s common to experience something like this. Though it doesn’t mean you stop exercising. You should rest for a bit, check to see if everything is fine and continue your exercises.
If you’re new to exercising after being in rest mode for a long time, your body needs time to get used to exercising first. It’s best to go slow and gradually increase your intensity.
When you’re not generally active or do workouts on a higher intensity note increases the air pressure more on your lungs, making you breathe harder and switch to breathing in through the mouth.
Take a break for 10-15 minutes if you’ve been exercising continuously or when you detect a bloody taste.
Going slow can help you persist for longer. Don’t wholly stop exercising, and if you think you pushed yourself too much, you can take it down a notch.
Remember to breathe in through your nose whenever you’re working out or trekking to avoid this taste.
You can breathe out through your mouth, and it certainly helps when doing an intense workout to breathe in and out this way.
Other possible reasons for bloody taste
While a series of intense exercise schedules can create an air pressure on your lungs, causing a bloody taste in your mouth, there could be other possible reasons behind this sudden taste.
1. Dental hygiene
Take notice of your dental hygiene if you have this taste often in your mouth. If you’re exercising moderately, poor dental hygiene could be the reason.
Blood flow to our mouth during workouts can increase. You could be bleeding through your gums because you don’t take proper care of them.
It could be due to any possible dental issue like tooth decay, gingivitis, or periodontitis.
If you recently had an oral procedure done, there’s a possibility of blood rushing to it due to intense workouts.
Visiting a dentist to get your dental hygiene checked out and taking a few basic steps at home can help prevent it.
Getting pregnant brings along a lot of changes we aren’t aware of, and one such would be changing taste and smell.
Pregnancy is one of the common causes of metallic taste in the mouth, and it could be due to hormone fluctuations.
Notice if this taste still persists when you’re not exercising.
If it does, you should find out if you’re pregnant and if you’re, then this change in taste issue resolves itself with time.
Allergies don’t always mean getting rashes, watery eyes, or sneezing non-stop, but they could also mean having a metallic taste in your mouth.
Some allergies cause a change in taste, and some allergy medications could also cause a metallic taste and dry sensation.
4. Change in medication or supplement
If you’ve recently started a new medication or changed your previous one, it could also be why this taste is in your mouth.
Starting a new supplement or vitamin could do the same. Sometimes medications don’t suit us or make our taste weird. Especially those which are rich in iron could leave this taste behind.
Consider switching it if this is affecting you in other ways.
5. Pine nut syndrome
If you recently had pine nuts or it was present as an ingredient in some dish, it could be why this taste persists.
Pine nuts can occasionally cause some people to experience a bitter or metallic taste lasting from a few days up to 2 weeks.
It’s known as pine nut syndrome, which only affects some people, not all who eat it. after a few days of eating it, people might experience this taste.
The taste should go away in a few days, and there’s no particular reason to worry.
6. Neurological condition
A metallic taste in the mouth could also result from a neurological condition such as Bell’s palsy and dementia.
When someone with a neurological condition experiences this taste, it results from weak signals from the underlying brain malfunction.
It could be considered a first sign of the illness still in its initial stage. But there’s no reason to panic about having a neurological condition solely based on one symptom.
There should be other signs or symptoms present which indicate a neurological problem.
Does Covid give you a metallic taste in your mouth?
You can get a metallic taste in your mouth after recovering from covid, and people tend to also go through a loss of taste and smell.
There’s no scientific explanation for this symptom, and there’s no sure way to treat it either.
People have tried various homemade solutions to get their taste and smell back or let it wait out until it becomes normal on its own.
How to get rid of the metallic taste in your mouth?
It could be for a brief moment, usually when doing a high-intensity workout. In such cases, the taste goes away, but sometimes the taste can persist.
To get rid of the immediate taste, you can brush your teeth, eat something minty or fresh, stay hydrated, avoid smoking or drinking alcohol, and try different foods or spices.
Can vitamin B12 deficiency cause a metallic taste in the mouth?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause various symptoms to appear, and one of them is having a metallic taste in the mouth.
Your nerves might not function properly, and you might develop tinnitus or a metallic taste.
You might also feel tired as your body stops producing adequate blood cells, leading to a lack of energy.
Can kidney failure lead to a metallic taste in the mouth?
When your kidney stops functioning correctly and isn’t able to remove the waste, a metallic taste and other symptoms can be felt, such as fatigue.
If the case is severe, you might also experience other symptoms such as shortness of breath, swollen ankles, weight loss, poor appetite, blood in urine, frequent urge to pee, muscle cramps, and headaches.
Can anxiety cause a metallic taste in the mouth?
For some people, anxiety might make them sweat a lot, lead to a faster heart beating, and even spike their blood pressure. For others, it can leave them with a metallic taste in their mouth.
Research says when someone is experiencing anxiety, they can become less sensitive to tastes, and their line between certain tastes might blur. There’s no concrete explanation, but it could stem from developing a dry mouth when experiencing anxiety.
Getting this bloody taste in your mouth can cause anyone to stop in the middle of their workout and check if there’s any actual blood. While it’s rare for that to happen, the sole reason behind this taste is that you’re pushing your body beyond its threshold.
It’s temporary if it’s because of exercising. The taste would go away in a few minutes, and you can take a pause or revaluate your workouts and maybe avoid intense exercise for a while.
If you’re experiencing a metallic taste or a sweet taste even when you’re not exercising, along with other symptoms, you should consult your doctor.