Why Are My Abs Gone Right After Ab Workout? Answers Here

Why are my abs gone right after ab workout

Why Are My Abs Gone Right After Ab Workout? Answers Here

If your abs seem to be hiding right after you’ve done an ab workout, you’re not alone – it can feel incredibly frustrating when all the hard work doesn’t seem to pay off.

But don’t worry – there could be a perfectly normal explanation for why your abs disappear shortly afterwards.

In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the potential reasons behind this and what steps you can take to give your body – and those abs – the chance they need to show through!

Why are my abs gone right after ab workout?

Your abs may not be as “visible” right after a workout for a few reasons. The first could be water retention: when you’re working out, your body needs to hold on to extra fluids in order to help with the process of repairing any micro tears caused by the exercise. This fluid retention can cause your stomach to look slightly bloated, even though you may have lost fat in the area. Another potential reason might be your diet: if you’re consuming too much salt or sugar, this can lead to excess bloating and water retention, which will make those abs look less visible. Additionally, if your body isn’t processing food effectively due to a slow metabolism or lack of proper nutrients, then it could prevent your abs from showing. On top of that, the “pump” – the feeling you get when exercising – is a result of increased pressure within the blood vessels, supplying your muscles with additional oxygen for energy and allowing them to appear larger. This can make it seem like you’ve developed more muscular definition right after a workout, but the effect won’t last long. Additionally, if your body isn’t getting enough rest and recovery time in between workouts, then it won’t be able to properly repair any damage caused by exercise or build muscle. Stress can also cause you to retain excess plasma in your blood vessels, which can lead to bloating and make it difficult for your abs to show through. Finally, glycogen stores – the sugar stored in your muscles – may be depleted after ab workouts, causing them to appear smaller than usual. Overall, there are many factors that can affect why your abs disappear right after you’ve worked out. 

Let’s delve more deeply into some of the most frequent causes and explore potential solutions that might help you fix this problem.

Water retention

One of the most common causes why people may not be able to see their abs after a workout is due to water retention.

As mentioned before, when you exercise your body sucks up extra fluids in order to help with the process of repairing any micro tears caused by the exercise; this leads to bloating and can cause those abs to be hidden from view.

To combat this, it’s important to stay hydrated during and after your workout to help flush out any excess fluids and reduce the amount of water retention. 

It’s remarkable to consider that when you are not taking in enough fluids, your body will begin conserving what it has, resulting in bloating.

So, make sure to drink the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. You could also try adding electrolytes to your water in order to replenish any minerals you may have lost while sweating.

Water retention should decrease when your body has had the chance to rest and recover, so maybe take a longer break between your ab workouts and give your body a chance to flush out any excess fluids.


Another reason why your abs might not be visible right after a workout is inflammation. 

When you work out, the muscles in your abs are used and can become inflamed. This inflammation can cause swelling and may result in the area looking bloated or swollen even though you’ve lost fat in that area. 

To help reduce this inflammation, make sure you’re consuming anti-inflammatory foods like berries, fish, and nuts. Additionally, icing the area after working out may help reduce any swelling and pain that comes with inflammation. 

After the muscles have been worked for a prolonged period of time, they may be sore or tight and that could also contribute to an increase in inflammation. To reduce this, try stretching after the workout and incorporating foam rolling into your post-workout routine.

By reducing inflammation, you can help your muscles recover more quickly which will ultimately lead to visible abs when you work out again. 

Don’t forget that if you have pushed your abdominal muscles to the max, DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) may occur.

This is delayed onset muscle soreness and it can cause your abs to look a bit swollen right after the workout. But don’t worry, this will eventually fade away when you keep on training regularly. 

Why are my abs gone right after ab workout

Micro tears

Micro tears in the muscle caused by exercise can make it difficult to see your abs right after a workout. They are small tears in the muscle fibres which occur when the muscles are pushed to their limit.

These tiny tears need time to heal and can lead to bloating or swelling of the muscle, making it difficult for your abs to be visible after a workout.

These small tears can cause inflammation and swelling which makes it harder for you to see your abdominal muscles.

The key is to start small and build up over time. This will allow your abdominal muscles to become more resilient and better able to handle higher-intensity workouts, making it easier for you to see the results of all your hard work.

Let’s not forget, that the only way to build muscle and make them more visible is to make micro tears in the muscle fibres. So don’t worry too much if you don’t see your abs right after the workout. 

So, even if you don’t notice any results right away, have faith in the process and keep at it. You also need to make sure to get enough sleep each night, as well as eat balanced meals full of healthy fats and protein to aid in the process of repairing any micro tears.


You might feel bloated and look bloated after working out and this can make it harder for your abs to be visible. 

This bloating might be caused by consuming too much salt or sugar, as this can lead to excess bloating and water retention. 

Drinking enough water before, during and after the workout may help reduce swelling, but also try reducing your sugar and salt intake in order to reduce bloating and see your abs. 

Another reason why you may look bloated is due to dehydration. When you are dehydrated, your body will hold on to water in order to retain as much fluid as possible.

When your body senses it’s in a state of survival, it will try to keep more water, which can make even the sleekest bellies appear bloated and puffy. Even with fat loss in that area!

To prevent dehydration, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day and keep a water bottle handy during workouts. This will help keep the body hydrated and reduce bloating, making it easier for your abs to show.

Related: Why can I only see my upper abs?

Excess body fat

If you are carrying excess body fat, this can make it difficult to see your abdominal muscles right after a workout.

Excess body fat is stored in the stomach area and can cause it to look bloated and puffy, even if you have worked out hard. This makes it harder for your abs to be visible. 

To reduce excess body fat, aim to increase your activity levels and make sure to include cardio in your routine. You should also focus on eating a healthy diet full of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, as well as complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal and quinoa.

We all naturally carry excess body fat for when we needed to survive in the wild. But if you want to reduce body fat and see your abs, focusing on reducing calories, increasing activity levels and eating a nutritious diet will help this process. 

By incorporating these changes into your lifestyle, you can reduce excess body fat around the stomach area which will make it easier for you to see your abs.

Processing of food

Your metabolism – how efficiently your body processes food – can also have an effect on why those abs may be hiding after a workout.

If your body is not breaking down food efficiently, it can lead to a slower metabolism which will cause you to hold onto fat and make it harder for you to see those abs. 

Ensuring that you are eating enough calories each day, as well as incorporating strength training into your routine will help boost your metabolism and make it easier for those abs to show. 

Incorporating healthy fats into your diet, as well as eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can also help support a faster metabolism and reduce bloating, making it easier for you to see your abs right after a workout. 

We all have varying levels of body fat and metabolism, so it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for everyone.

It can take time and patience to see the results you’re after, but by eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly, you will eventually reap the rewards. 

The pump

It is likely the prime explanation for why you can’t see your abs after a workout session. During exercise, your muscles become filled with oxygenated blood, body fluids and other things essential for them to perform at peak levels.

This causes an accumulation of fluids in muscle cells which leads to puffiness temporarily post-workout.

As this happens, the muscle tissue can expand slightly and cause temporary swelling that makes you appear larger than usual.

Also, when fluids accumulate between your skin and muscle tissue, this is called subcutaneous water retention. This can even make you appear temporarily bulkier in addition to feeling bloated.

Professional weightlifters and bodybuilders often pump themselves up with additional reps before competitions, granting them a more eye-catching presence when they step foot on the stage.

The short-term nature of the pump is undeniable. After you finish your workout and take a break from exercising, your body will likely revert back to its normal state eventually.

If you’re worried about how you look post-workout, try taking a cold shower afterwards or using a foam roller to help reduce swelling.

Why are my abs gone right after ab workout

Oxygen and Blood vessels

As you exercise, your body demands increased oxygen delivery to the muscles. This is essential for the muscle cells as they require oxygen for metabolism and energy production.

To help with this, your blood vessels become wider to allow more oxygen-rich blood to flow through them and reach the active muscles.

An increase in blood circulation can lead to puffy and swollen areas of your body, making you look bigger than usual. This effect is only temporary and should reduce once your blood vessels go back to their normal size.

This proves that the steps you are taking are effective and successful, as this heightened circulation ensures your muscles get ample oxygen to recuperate and expand.

Strength training sessions are especially important for this as they cause micro tears in the muscle fibres which then need to be repaired by oxygen-rich blood.

This repair process is what causes our muscles to increase in size and strength, so it’s important to do enough strength training if your goal is to build muscle.

Inadequate rest and recovery

Another reason why your abs may be disappearing right after an ab workout is that you’re not giving your body enough time to repair itself. 

Your muscles need adequate time to rebuild, heal and adjust to any stress they have been under during your workout. 

Without enough rest, your body won’t be able to heal the torn muscle fibres and recover from the exertion of exercise. This can also lead to fatigue, as well as a decrease in performance during future workouts. 

By doing so, you will be able to maximise the results of your ab workouts and maintain that lean, toned look for longer. 

Everyone is different, but you want to be having at least one full rest day between ab workouts to give your body enough time to recover.

Not only that but you want to make sure you have at least 7 hours of sleep each night and eat a diet that is balanced with complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats and plenty of fruits and vegetables. 

Related: Why do lying leg raises hurt my legs more than my abs?


Stress is also an important factor to consider when trying to figure out why your abs may be disappearing right after an ab workout.

When we are under a lot of stress, our bodies will produce hormones like cortisol which can cause us to retain water and store more fat in the abdominal area. 

This means that any progress you may have made with your abs will be reduced as a result of the stress. 

Therefore, it’s important to take steps to reduce any stress in your life, whether that means taking some time out for yourself or even just making an effort to get enough sleep each night. 

By doing so, you will be able to better manage your stress levels and maintain that lean, toned look for longer. 

By understanding the potential reasons why your abs may be gone right after an ab workout, you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure that you are getting the most out of your workouts and seeing the results you desire! 

Increased plasma volume

Your abs may not be as ‘visible’ right after a workout because of increased plasma volume. 

When you exercise, your body needs to increase its oxygen uptake in order to fuel the movement and repair any micro tears that occur with physical activity. 

This causes an increase in red blood cells, which then causes an increase in the amount of plasma (a component of blood) that your body produces. 

This increased plasma can lead to temporary bloating, which can make your abs look less ‘visible’ right after a workout. 

Fortunately, this is just a temporary effect and once you have allowed your body enough time to recover, your abs will become more visible again. 


It’s important to consider the effects of your diet on why your abs may be gone right after an ab workout. 

What you eat before and after a workout can affect how quickly you can recover and how visible your abs may be.

Before a workout, it’s important to fuel up with complex carbohydrates and lean protein that will provide you with enough energy to last throughout the session. 

Afterwards, a combination of protein for muscle repair and healthy fats for fat-burning is ideal for helping you get back to your pre-workout state.

Electrolyte drinks can also be beneficial for helping you stay hydrated, as dehydration can often cause bloating.

It’s important to note that having too much sugar or sodium in your diet can lead to water retention and temporary bloating, which could make it harder to see any kind of ab definition. 

It’s also important to keep an eye on how much salt and sugar you consume, as these can cause bloating, which will make it harder for you to see your abs right after a workout. 

By being mindful of what you eat before and after a workout, you’ll be able to maximise the results of your hard work and ensure that you are reaping all the benefits. 

Why are my abs gone right after ab workout

Glycogen Stores

Glycogen is the energy source that fuels our muscles during exercise and when our body runs out of it, we can experience fatigue and soreness. 

This depletion of glycogen stores can cause temporary bloating or water retention, which can make your abs look less ‘visible’. 

To prevent this from happening, you should always ensure that you are consuming enough carbohydrates before and after your workouts to replenish your glycogen stores. 

By eating a balanced diet and ensuring that you have adequate fuel for your body, you will be able to maintain your abs and keep them looking great! 

Having low glycemic carbohydrates such as oats, quinoa and sweet potatoes can also help to ensure that your body is getting the energy it needs without causing water retention. 

Time of day

This might sound a little strange but…

The time of day that you are exercising can also affect the visibility of your abs. 

Looking at your abs earlier in the day compared to later in the evening may appear different because our bodies tend to retain more water during the night. 

If you exercise during the afternoon or after eating a large meal, your body will be more likely to store water, which can make your abs look less visible. 

Therefore, it is best to exercise at least two hours after eating and in the morning or evening to ensure your abs stay visible. 

I personally prefer to work out in the morning, as it makes me feel more alert and energized for the day! However, as previously mentioned, we are all different so find what works best for you.

Lighting and camera angles

This might also sound a little random, but…lighting and camera angles can also play a role in how ‘visible’ your abs look. 

Different times of day might also be a key factor depending on natural lighting conditions, compared to a dark setting with bright down lights. The shadowing effect will be very different to the daytime.

Try to use natural light whenever possible, as this will enhance the definition of your muscles and make them appear more toned and defined. 

As for camera angles, try to take pictures from different angles and distances to show off the best parts of your body. 

For example, take a picture from above to emphasize your abdominal muscles or from the side to accentuate any curves. 

By playing around with different angles and lighting, you can make sure that your abs appear as ‘visible’ as possible! 

Don’t get too down if your abs seem to have disappeared after a workout, as there are many potential reasons why this could be occurring. 

Related: Why Do My Hip Flexors Hurt When I Do Ab workouts?

Final thoughts…

So, when you’re wondering why your abs are gone right after an ab workout, it could be due to several factors. 

Whether it’s water retention, glycogen stores, time of day or even camera angles, you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure that you are getting the most out of your workouts and that your abs stay visible for as long as possible.

Remember, it’s all about balance – find what works best for you and you will be able to keep those abs looking great! 

Have your abs gone after doing an ab workout and have these tips helped? Let us know in the comments below.

If you enjoy sports and use CBD to help with your recovery in between gruelling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout


Founder – Sport CBDs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Are Your Shoulders Supposed To Be Sore After Deadlifts? Answers Here

Are Your Shoulders Supposed To Be Sore After Deadlifts? Answers Here Are you trying to get your fitness routine back […]
Are your shoulders supposed to be sore after deadlifts?

You May Like