Faith Fitness and Laughter

Connection between running and tummy issues

on September 17, 2012

Hey hey!  How was your Monday??  I had an early day today, so mine was pretty good.  🙂  When I got up this morning it was raining and had been all night.  I don’t know what it is about rain, but I just wanted to crawl back into bed and sleep the day away.  I really could have done that.  Really.  Guess what?  It’s still raining.

When I got home after work today, I was in a cleaning mood so I got my hands dirty with some scrubbing and mopping.  I love it when the house smells good!

It’s season premier week!!   Have any new shows that you are wanting to check out??  Revolution comes on tonight and I will probably be checking it out.




I wanted to give you an update on my running.  Still enjoying it!  I am so glad that I have finally found a comfort zone in running.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to improve and get better, it just means that I really like it a lot.  🙂  One thing that I have noticed lately is that I have had some tummy issues.  I really wasn’t sure what was causing it so I thought that I would look into other running pages to find out if they could be connected.  They are.


There can be many causes, but this is what I found on the Live Strong website:


Many runners experience varying degrees of nausea and  stomach upset during or after a run. Stomach issues can be caused by a variety  of reasons, however, many can be prevented. The key to avoiding and lessening  stomach upset while running is knowing what triggers stomach issues for you  individually and how to manage those triggers.



A main factor that contributes to stomach upset is the  redirection of blood flow during running. Blood flow is redirected to exercising  muscles and away from the gastrointestinal system based on need. This decrease  in the amount of blood available to the gastrointestinal system can inhibit the  body’s ability to absorb fluids and lead to cramping. Inability to absorb fluids  properly could result in dehydration, which could end a run or a race for  athletes.
Another contributing factor is the impact of force from the  action of running itself. Running jostles the gastrointestinal system and speeds  up the need for a bathroom break. Digestion time, stress levels, the amount of  bacteria in a person’s stomach and hormone levels can also impact  gastrointestinal distress. Individuals may have existing conditions such as  lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome that increase their chance of  stomach upset during a run.


Dietary Links

Many commonly consumed foods can lead to stomach upset.  Although these foods may not necessarily cause upset on a regular basis, the  impact of running can exacerbate discomfort. Dairy products may cause upset in  many individuals, especially those who suffer from lactose intolerance. In the  event that lactose intolerance is an issue, avoiding dairy products prior to a  run can help avoid possible discomfort. Vegetables such as broccoli and  cauliflower have also been linked to stomach pain because they are  gas-producing.
Individuals vary in the foods that they can and cannot  tolerate, thus pre-run diets need to be completely individualized. Some may be  able to handle dairy and foods high in fiber while others may not. Testing out  new food items is best on days that you are not running to determine how you  tolerate them without the added stress of running.


The biggest method of prevention for stomach upset  during a run is to choose foods that you know you tolerate well and avoid those  that tend to give you trouble. Another factor to consider is decreasing fiber  intake. Although high-fiber foods help regulate digestion and clean out the  gastrointestinal system, they can also increase the risk of stomach upset.  Timing of meals before a run is also important. Large meals should be eaten two  to three hours before you set out on a run to allow adequate time for digestion.
Maintaining adequate hydration can also help. This will help keep the  gastrointestinal system hydrated well and functioning normally, allowing the  body to absorb fluids easier. It is best to empty your system before a run.  Caffeine can help accelerate gastrointestinal movement, however, you should  limit your intake to a cup. Caffeine is a diuretic, thus more than one cup could  lead to more frequent pit stops along your route.


Taking preventative measures does not necessarily mean  you will avoid stomach upset completely on every run. When experiencing  gastrointestinal upset and pain during a run, a few steps can lessen the  discomfort before discontinuing your run completely. Decreasing your pace  slightly in order to maintain a steady breathing pattern can help ease your  pain. A three-step inhale, two-step exhale pattern will help you focus on deep  breathing and push through your discomfort. Decreasing your pace will also  lessen the force of your run and reduce the jostling of your gastrointestinal  system.
Drinking plenty of water during a run, especially long runs, is  essential to maintain hydration. This will help ease stomach cramps if they are  due to dehydration. These steps should help ease pain slightly, however, it may  be necessary to discontinue your run if discomfort persists or  worsens.




5.5 mile run!  Whew, it feels good to get my long run out of the way.  🙂  A little foam rolling when I got home….hurts so good!


Well, I am off to enjoy my dinner.  Chicken and sweet potatoe wedges.  Have a super night!




One response to “Connection between running and tummy issues

  1. Nice job with that run! way to go. stomach issues for me are not usually caused by running but running makes it worse sometimes. boooo

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