Why Do I Feel My Heartbeat In My Head While Cycling: 5 Causes & 4 Factors

Heartbeat in My Head While Cycling

Heartbeats felt in the head can be caused by an irregular heart rhythm or hypertension. It’s advisable to consult your cardiologist for an evaluation as they know your condition.

Feeling your heartbeat in your head while cycling likely comes from blood flowing to your muscles during intense exercise. It could also be linked to benign positional vertigo or dehydration/fatigue. Some medical conditions or stress may contribute to this sensation.

In this post, we’ll explore the possible causes of this and offer some tips for managing it.

Key Takeaways

➢ Increased blood flow from vigorous cycling supplies oxygen-rich blood to muscles and organs.

Blood vessels near the head and neck expand, making the pulse noticeable.

➢ Intense cycling amplifies the pulse in your head.

➢ The carotid artery and jugular vein contribute to this sensation.

Pulsatile tinnitus causes a whooshing or pulsing sound near your ears.

➢ Awareness during intense cycling heightens the perception of these sounds.

➢ Causes include benign positional vertigo, anxiety, dehydration, fever, and certain drugs.

Stay hydrated and manage anxiety with relaxation techniques.

Why Do I Feel My Heartbeat In My Head While Cycling: 4 Physiological Factors

Physiological explanations for cycling heartbeats

Understanding why you feel your heartbeat in your head when cycling involves looking at several key physiological factors. Let’s explore the physiological reasons behind this phenomenon.

Increased Blood Flow

When you cycle, your body works harder to supply oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and organs. As a result, your heart pumps more vigorously, leading to:

  • Blood Vessel Dilation: The blood vessels near your head and neck expand, allowing more blood to flow through. This can make the pulse in these areas more noticeable.
  • Stronger Pulse Sensation: As the blood rushes through these dilated vessels, you might feel a stronger pulse in your head, especially during intense cycling sessions.

Arteries and Veins

The arteries and veins in your head and neck play a significant role in transmitting these pulsations.

  • Carotid Artery: The carotid artery supplies blood to your brain on each side of your neck. When it pulses strongly, you can often feel it in your head.
  • Jugular Vein: This vein runs alongside the carotid artery, and returns deoxygenated blood from your brain to your heart. Its proximity to the carotid artery can contribute to the sensation of hearing your heartbeat.

Pulsatile Tinnitus

Pulsatile tinnitus is the hearing of a rhythmic sound, often in time, with your heartbeat. It’s another reason you might feel or hear your heartbeat while cycling.

  • Audible Blood Flow: The blood flow in vessels near your ears sometimes becomes audible, creating a whooshing or pulsing sound. This can happen because of the increased blood flow during exercise.
  • Sensation Awareness: Being more aware of your body’s sensations during intense cycling can also heighten your perception of these sounds and feelings.

Heartbeat in Head While Cycling: 5 Common Cause

Common Causes of Heartbeat in Head While Cycling

There are several reasons why you might hear your heartbeat while cycling. Let’s explore some of the most common causes.

Benign Positional Vertigo

Your inner ear can sometimes become dislodged by calcium crystals. This can make you feel like your head is spinning or pulsing.

  • You can get calcium crystals in your inner ear that move out of place.
  • This causes dizziness and a sense of hearing your heartbeat.

Anxiety and Panic

Feeling anxious or having a panic attack can make your heart race. This can cause you to feel your heartbeat in unusual places.

  • Anxiety raises your heart rate.
  • Panic attacks can mimic symptoms of heart problems.
  • This stronger pulse can be felt in your head.


You can lose your body’s balance if you don’t drink enough water. This makes your heart work harder to pump blood.

  • Dehydration affects your electrolyte balance.
  • Your heart beats faster to compensate.
  • This increased heart rate is noticeable in your brain.


When you’re sick or exercising hard, your body temperature increases, which can make your heartbeat feel more intense.

  • Elevated body temperature boosts your heart rate.
  • You may feel this stronger pulse in your head.
  • Fever during illness or heavy exercise can intensify this sensation.

Certain Drugs

Some substances can speed up your heart rate. This includes things like caffeine and nicotine.

  • Caffeine and nicotine can cause your heart to beat faster.
  • This rapid heartbeat causes your head to throb.
  • Other drugs may also have similar effects.

Feeling My Heartbeat While Cycling: Prevention and Management

Prevention For Heartbeat When Cycling

There are several ways to prevent and manage the feeling of a heartbeat while cycling. Let’s look at some effective strategies.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is very important for keeping your body balanced and healthy.

  • Drink water before, during, and after cycling.
  • You should avoid drinks that dehydrate you, like those with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Staying hydrated helps keep your heart rate regular.

Manage Anxiety

Feeling anxious can make your heart beat faster. Learning to relax can help control this.

  • Practice deep breathing exercises to calm yourself.
  • Try mindfulness or meditation to reduce stress.
  • Keeping anxiety in check can stop your heart from racing.

Avoid Triggers

Some things, like caffeine and nicotine, speed up your heartbeat. It’s good to limit these.

  • Reduce or avoid drinks with caffeine, like coffee and energy drinks.
  • Avoid smoking or using nicotine products.
  • Keeping away from these triggers can help your heart stay steady.

Consult a Doctor

If you’re worried about hearing your heartbeat in your head, it’s best to talk to a healthcare professional.

  • A doctor can help find out if there’s a severe problem.
  • They can advise on what to do next.
  • Getting professional help can give you peace of mind.

My Head Feels Raced While Cycling: When to Seek Medical Attention

Most of the time, the sense of the heartbeat is not severe. But sometimes you should see a doctor.

Reassurance for Most Cases

Hearing their heartbeat is harmless for most people and goes away on its own.

  • It’s usually caused by minor issues like dehydration or anxiety.
  • Simple changes in hydration and lifestyle can often fix the problem.
  • There’s no need to panic if it only happens occasionally.

Severe or Persistent Sensation

If the sensation is severe or doesn’t go away, getting medical advice is essential.

  • A solid or constant heartbeat in your head should be checked out.
  • This could be a sign of a more serious issue that needs attention.
  • Don’t ignore it if it keeps happening.

Accompanied by Other Symptoms

Sometimes, experiencing a heartbeat can come with other worrying symptoms.

  • Watch out for chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath.
  • These symptoms together could signal a heart or health problem.
  • Seeing a doctor can reveal what’s going on.


To wrap up, heartbeat sensation while cycling is typically harmless and can stem from factors like increased blood flow, anxiety, or even dehydration. The key is to stay hydrated, manage stress effectively, and steer clear of known triggers such as caffeine and nicotine.

Consult a healthcare provider if this sensation ever seems severe or persistent. You shouldn’t let a little head thumping keep you from enjoying your rides. Listen to your body and enjoy your rides.


It is usual for the brain to pulsate slightly during systole in response to increased intracranial blood volume, resulting in a slight rise in intracranial pressure.

This typically leads to a minor intracranial pulse wave with a typical amplitude of around 1 mm Hg at normal intracranial pressure levels.

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