Outdoor Federation

Does White Water Rafting Cause Motion Sickness?

Some people experience motion sickness when they participate in white water rafting. This is because the raft moves up and down quickly as it travels down the river, which can cause some people to feel sick. While not everyone experiences this feeling, it is important to be aware of the possibility if you are planning on going white water rafting.

does white water rafting cause motion sickness

What Causes Motion Sickness?

When you’re rafting down a river and it suddenly turns white, you may feel motion sickness. This is caused by the difference between what your eyes see and what your body feels.

When your raft makes a quick turn, for example, your eyes see one thing (the new direction of the river) while your body feels something else (the momentum of the raft continuing in the old direction). This conflict between visual cues and physical sensations can upset your balance and cause motion sickness.

What to Do when You Feel Motion Sickness

If you’re feeling motion sickness while rafting, the first step is to relax. Don’t tense up – that will only make you feel worse. Try to focus on your breathing and keep it slow and steady. You may also want to close your eyes and take some deep breaths. If you’re feeling really sick, consider lying down in the boat until it passes.

If you’re able to, try to move around a bit in the boat. This can help ease the nausea. Another suggestion is to drink plenty of fluids before and during your trip – dehydration can often make motion sickness worse. And finally, if possible, avoid looking at the water directly if it’s making you feel ill.

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How Can You Prevent Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness can be a real bummer, especially if you’re looking forward to a fun day of white water rafting. Here are some tips for preventing motion sickness:

Stay Well-Hydrated

Rafting is a popular summer activity, but it can also be a stomach-churning experience if you’re not well-hydrated. When you’re on the river, your body is working hard and generating a lot of heat. If you don’t drink enough water, you could wind up feeling sick to your stomach.

To prevent motion sickness, drink plenty of fluids before and during your trip. Water is best, but sports drinks or other non-carbonated drinks can help too. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you.

Eat Light and Healthy Snacks

Your stomach is responsible for more than just digesting food. It also plays a role in balance and motion sickness. When your stomach senses motion, it sends messages to the brain that can make you feel sick. Eating light before participating in activities that could cause motion sickness can help reduce those feelings.

Foods that are easy to digest are best before embarking on activities like white water rafting. That means snacks like bananas, apples, or dry toast are ideal. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help keep you hydrated and reduce the chances of feeling ill.

Sit in The Middle of The Raft

If you’re prone to motion sickness, sitting in the middle of the raft is the best way to prevent it while white water rafting. This will help keep you as stable as possible and minimize the amount of movement you feel.

Additionally, keeping your eyes on one focal point will also help. If you start feeling sick, tell your guide right away so they can help remedy the situation.

Keep Your Eyes on The Horizon and Relax as Much as Possible

There is no need to be alarmed if you feel a bit queasy the first time you go white water rafting. It’s a common experience for many people, especially if they are not used to being on the water. The best way to prevent or lessen motion sickness is to keep your eyes on the horizon and relax. Don’t focus on the fast-moving water or rapids.


In conclusion, white water rafting can cause motion sickness for some people. If you are affected by motion sickness, it is best to take medication or other precautions before embarking on a rafting trip. Be sure to listen to your guide and stay safe while enjoying this thrilling outdoor activity.

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