Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » Runners: Let’s Talk Gastric Distress

Runners: Let’s Talk Gastric Distress

Diet and Nutrition News & Advice, Featured, Fitness News & Advice, Mobile Slider Featured, Your Health

I say that it’s time for an honest talk about a slight running embarrassment that we’ve all suffered. If you run regularly, you already know what I’m talking about. You run. I run. Sometimes we all get the runs when we run. There I said it.

Gastric distress is common during runs and races. Oftentimes, the digestive upset, stomach cramps, and urge to go has us clenching and high-tailing it for a public washroom, port-o-john, or a secluded spot in the woods if we’re really desperate. But why do runners suffer these intestinal embarrassments, and more importantly, how can they be avoided…

 

1. What Causes Gastric Upset?

Let’s start with a simple question—what do you eat before you run? I never really gave this much thought. I’d scarf an apple with some almond butter, lace up my sneakers, and away I’d go. However, the trouble was my recently masticated meal was still breaking down in my stomach and small intestine.

While some carbohydrate- or fat-rich snacks are broken down quickly—my nut butter was lingering in my digestive tract. Blood flow and digestive enzymes circulating and swirling were called to aid the movement of food through my intestines. Nutrients were absorbed, but all of that undigested fiber needed somewhere to go and the gravity of my running steps ensure it was expelled with a rather explosive bowel movement. Oops!

Next »
ADVERTISEMENT

More on ActiveBeat

  • Running vs. Walking: Which is Better?
    When it comes to walking vs. running the need for speed doesn’t always equate to the best workout.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Stay Safe Running Outside All Winter
    I run outside all year long and I live in South Western, Ontario. Yes, that's in Canada and no I'm not crazy.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Preventing the Dreaded Runner's Side Stitch
    Imagine this, you’re half way through a neighborhood run you’ve done a dozen times when all of a sudden—a familiar dreaded, dull pain hits you and grows into a sharp stitch...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 2014's Most Fun Themed Races
    Running has never been so fun! You no longer have to race through a regular park or along the road in your regular 5K.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Crucial Criteria for Running Shoes
    When you slip on your running shoes to go for a quick 2-mile jog, do you reach for a pair of high performance, light weight sneakers or “runners” that offer more of a fashion...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Foods All Runners Should Avoid
    Running is one of the most demanding and difficult forms of exercise to stick with on a regular basis for an extended period of time.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Steps to De-stress your Runs
    I often use my runs to burn off daily stress. However, if your runs don't provide a perfect distraction and energy boost during stressful times—they could actually be the source...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Hematuria: 10 Causes of Blood in the Urine
    Blood in the urine is medically referred to as hematuria.  There are two main types of hematuria: gross and microscopic.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • A Refreshing Look at 8 Dehydration Myths
    If you're an athlete, chances are you've been told it's crucial that you stay hydrated, even when you're not actively training or performing.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Healthy Ways to Condition Yourself for Athletic Competition
    Whether you've decided to take on a marathon, or you're training for a big soccer or rugby match, you need to turn your body and mind into finely tuned machines to get the edge out...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Hot Exercise Tips for a Cold Winter
    Perhaps you've made a New Year's Resolution to get yourself in better shape—now there's only one barrier: doing it.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Get into the Game with 8 Sports that Burn Through Calories
    Not all sports are created equal—some are more individual-based than team-based, and while some provide a great workout, we can't say they're the "healthiest" because they may...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Ways to Stay Positive While Fighting Cancer
    Cancer is a formidable foe, and it sometimes can make the brightest personalities feel dark.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Tips To Balance Parenting and Work for the Stay-at-Home Dad
    These days, more and more dads are taking on a bigger role in child rearing out of necessity or desire, while often also working from home or from an office.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Moving Facts about Dystonia Disorder
    For people with dystonia, a neurological disorder, involuntary muscle contractions are part of everyday life.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice