Motion Sickness Go-Karting: Causes, Nausea Prevention, And Remedies

How does motion sickness go-karting occur

Are you dreading another bout of motion sickness go-karting as you hit the kart tracks with your friends? You’re not alone. 

People experience motion sickness during go-karting because of a mismatch between their perception of motion and the visuals around them. Factors like your posture, history of motion sickness on cars, or even dehydration can contribute too. 

Today, I’ll explain the ins and outs of what how motion sickness appears during go-karting. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to recognize the symptoms, identify their causes, and even learn coping strategies that will keep them at bay. 

Understanding Why You Feel Sick After Go-Karting

Motion sickness (or kinetosis) is a physical state where you feel nauseous, unwell, or dizzy because of the inconsistency between what your body’s balance system experiences and what your eyes see. 

In most instances, it happens when you can perceive motion without voluntary movement with your body. For example, remaining seated in a go-kart while your surroundings go whizzing past you. 

Your body experiences it when:

  • Your inner-ear senses and regulates the position of your head about the environment. When your surroundings move too quickly, there is a disruption in this balance that causes motion sickness. 
  • The vestibular system also gets triggered when there is a conflict between what you see and experience. For example, your legs remain still, but objects around you pass by like you’re running fast. 
  • Centrifugal forces during high speeds or sharp turns make it feel like your body is being pressed or pushed, which disturbs your cognitive senses. 
  • Dehydration or incorrect posture in the go-kart can also cause your body to perceive balance or motion in an unusual way leading to nausea. 

Recognizing The Symptoms

Symptoms of motion sickness during go-karting include:

  • Nausea that churns your stomach and makes you feel like you want to throw up
  • Dizziness causes a loss of balance or consciousness.
  • Sweating profusely 
  • A feeling of fatigue and lethargy
  • Headaches or pain around your temples
  • In extreme cases, you may vomit as a result of these other factors combined. 

Factors Contributing To Motion Sickness Susceptibility

The risk of experiencing motion sickness when go-karting will depend on person to person. Here are some common factors. 

  • Individual susceptibility to motion sickness during go-karting differs because our vestibular systems may have different sensitivities. A more sensitive vestibular system may induce motion sickness more frequently in that person. 
  • Your age also comes into play. For instance, children or younger passengers may experience more motion sickness because their inner-ear systems are still developing and are more sensitive. 
  • Drivers or passengers with a history of experiencing motion sickness in cars or amusement park rides also face a higher risk during go-karting. 
  • The heat and discomfort in a go-kart can also lead to nausea owing to the compact space, less legroom, and minimal seat padding. 
Also Read: Improve your race performance with strategic go-kart racing tips

Prevention Techniques For Motion Sickness

Don’t let the risk of motion sickness ruin your plans for the weekend. Understanding the right preventive actions and relief methods will ensure a good time on the go-kart, regardless of your susceptibility to the condition. 

Choosing The Right Go-Kart

Choose karts that offer strong lumbar support for your back and decent padding for overall seating comfort. Discomfort will increase the risk of motion sickness or aggravate the symptoms further if it happens. 

Make sure your cart provides enough ventilation. And avoid setups with leaking exhausts. Inhaling fumes and lack of fresh air will cause nausea and dizziness. 

Pacing And Rest 

Make time for breaks between laps and sessions on the kart track. Adequate rest will ensure recovery and rest for your body. A short pause between sessions allows your mind to refresh and your body to gather its balance and orientation. 

Avoid back-to-back go-karting sessions to prevent fatigue or excessive adrenaline. 

Visual Focus Techniques

Keep your attention on the track in front. Avoid looking at nearby objects whizzing by to prevent visual-sensory triggers. 

Do not fixate on other karts on the circuit or the ground whirling below you. These objects that appear like they’re hurtling past you may cause your visual-sensory system to trigger symptoms of motion sickness. 

Positioning And Posture

Remain seated upright with your neck and head on the seat support. The correct position will minimize inner-ear imbalances. 

Do not hunch or slouch your back as the ride progresses or when you spring through straight sections. 

Proper Food And Hydration

Do not indulge in heavy meals and snacks before go-karting. A full stomach may prove more likely to churn and stir, leading to motion sickness. 

Stay hydrated. Dehydration can impair motor and cognitive functions that help your body track motion and grab visual cues. But remember not to drink excessively before riding. 

Medications And Remedies 

You can consider over-the-counter medication designed to prevent motion sickness. However, it is critical to consult your doctor or a medical professional to ensure the correct prescription and prevent negative reactions to medication. 

Natural remedies like Peppermint and ginger both work well in preventing nausea or minimizing motion-sickness symptoms. Some people may also find acupressure wristbands helpful if it suits them. 

Techniques For Reducing Motion Sickness Go-Karting

Smooth Driving

Learn to steer and maneuver your kart smoothly without abrupt movements or over-speeding. Educate yourself on safety measures and best practices. 

Remember to accelerate slowly and avoid impulsive stomps on the pedal. Practice the same caution when braking to avoid inducing motion sickness. 

Focus Points On The Track

Focus on consistent and anchoring points on the track line cones, protective barriers, or posts that appear consistently on the track. The smooth line at the center or edges of the track can also serve as a good focus point. 

Your mental state can induce nausea or prevent it as easily as your physiological factors. A healthy, positive state of mind can encourage smoother physical movements leading to better driving. 

Mental Conditioning

Why do I feel sick after go-karting?

Positive Visualization

Picture a smooth and enjoyable go-karting ride as you run your laps. Avoid thinking of spin-outs, collisions, or any speed impact. and imagine making smooth corners and seamless acceleration. 

Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises

Take deep breaths without huffing and puffing. Some good drivers sync their deep breathing with tricky corners for better coordination between mind and body. Stay in the moment and remain aware of the barriers passing by, the meandering lines along the track, and the fresh air going past your face. 

What To Do If Motion Sickness Strikes When Karting

Pull Over Immediately

Gently bring your kart to a stop the moment you experience any signs of motion sickness. Ensure that you do not run in or collide with other karts or barriers when braking

Avoid the impulse to continue to ride even as symptoms kick in. Even the smallest nausea or dizziness may cause you to mishandle your ride and cause injury to yourself and others. 

Stay Calm

Do not get alarmed or frightened when you notice the symptoms sprouting up. Remain calm, composed, and collected so that you can focus on gently stopping and gathering yourself. 

Panic or anxiety can cause your motion sickness to get worse. Remind yourself to stay at ease so that you can rest and let the distress pass. 

Recovery Tips

  • Step outside your kart, stand on your feet and breathe fresh air. 
  • Walk further away from the track to drown out other noisy karts or prevent inhaling the exhaust fumes. 
  • Drink fresh water to calm your stomach and hydrate your body. 
  • Take a ginger candy or order a ginger tea at the shop to counter nauseous symptoms.
  • Remember to breathe slowly and inhale deeply. Let your lungs get a fill of clean, fresh air. 
  • Avoid sudden movements as you continue recovering. Slow, mindful movements will allow your brain and inner ear to recalibrate for balance and coordination. 
  • Take time to fully recover from symptoms. Avoid rushing back to your kart out of adrenaline. Some people can take over an hour to get over motion sickness effects fully. 

When To Seek Medical Attention

You should seek medical intervention for motion sickness in extreme cases. Here are some instances where professional help will offer better recovery. 

  • Take note if your symptoms, like nausea, dizziness, or lethargy, are intense. Also, consult medical help if they continue to distress you even after resting and walking away from the kart. 
  • Sometimes heavy symptoms can continue long after you’ve left the kart track. This persistence of discomfort should be treated by a medical professional. 
  • Consult a doctor if your motion sickness acts up frequently across different rides and trips (Go-karting, amusement rides, etc.).
  • You can also get advice from a doctor if you have a family history of motion sickness. Correct prescription or consultation can help prevent adverse symptoms even if you are genetically predisposed to motion sickness. 


Go-karting offers a delightful and refreshing break from daily routines. But people inclined to motion sickness can risk illness and danger to themselves and fellow riders too. 

The physiological causes are sometimes natural and inevitable in some people. However, remembering the coping strategies, getting the correct medication, and practicing the recovery tips mentioned here can help counter the risks. 

Remember to stay mindful, prepare ahead, and ride responsibly to ensure that your sessions at the kart tracks remain enjoyable and risk-free.



Meet Charles, a passionate writer and avid go-kart enthusiast. With a background in motorsports, Charles brings a unique perspective to the world of go-karting and motorsports. When Charles is not behind the wheel, you can find him crafting compelling stories and informative articles on the latest trends and technology on the PK's Go-Karts blog here.