Some people don’t have this issue, and if you are one of those amazingly lucky people, you can just keep on scrolling.
But for those of us who are plagued with stomachaches and having to plan running around restrooms, etc. then maybe something here can help you!
What causes our stomachs to hurt while running?
Well, there’s not a totally clear answer The Mayo Clinic states,
“The cause of runner’s diarrhea isn’t clear. Contributing factors likely include the physical jostling of the organs, decreased blood flow to the intestines, changes in intestinal hormone secretion, increased amount or introduction of a new food, and pre-race anxiety and stress. What is clear is that food moves more quickly through the bowels of athletes in training.”
Some common foods that can cause stomach issues while running: fake sugars, fatty foods, caffeine, overeating, and lack of hydration (this may seem counterintuitive, but dehydration can actually lead to diarrhea).
What can you do to help avoid stomach issues during and after running?
The answer to this question can definitely be different for different people but here are a few things that can help.
- Avoid foods that commonly cause stomach issues (see above).
- Drink plenty of water. Remember, dehydration can cause diarrhea.
- Keep a food diary that includes every single thing you eat and drink. You should also include a stress level on each day, because both emotional and physical stress can cause stomach pain. And then each day, rate how you feel and stick to the foods that make you feel well.
- You have to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. My husband will never again eat Chinese food before a race or a long run, and I won’t ever eat popcorn before a race. On the flip side of that, a stuffed sweet potato typically sits well on my stomach.
A few things to keep in mind are that a lot of runners deal with this, we just don’t necessarily talk about it, so don’t be embarrassed! Don’t not stop if you have the urge to go. Chances are, it isn’t going to go away, and you could end up feeling worse if you don’t stop. Do your best to find routes that have restrooms and don’t be afraid to pop into a fast food restaurant, gas station, or grocery store. If running near restrooms isn’t an option, you can always carry a wipe with you. Always makes single wrapped wipes that are made to take with you on the go. https://always.com/en-us/shop-products/always-wipes