Exercising keeps you fit and healthy if incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. However, some people may not believe so. Some athletes, especially runners often experience what is known as “runner’s trots,” which is when there is an urgent need for a bowel movement during the run.  Repeated shaking and movement of the abdominal area is a major contributor towards this but it is not the sole reason. During exercise about 80% of the digestive systems’ blood supply is diverted to help our muscles perform, therefore, leaving less blood available to absorb nutrients from the gut that are released in digestion. In turn, the nutrients that are not absorbed will attract more water into the guts, causing a quicker bowel movement, resulting in diarrhoea. A few tips below may reduce the chance of you experiencing “runner’s trots:”

  • Take anti-diarrhoeal medication i.e. Imodium  before you begin your run (follow instructions on the dosage)
  • Eliminate foods that cause you to have loose bowel movements
  • Reduce the intake of high fibre foods
  • Reduce drinks that contain caffeine and vitamin C as they may exacerbate diarrhoea
  • Stay hydrated
  • Go to the toilet before you start running
  • Remain calm – the gut is extremely sensitive to stress; when you’re nervous, your gut may become more sensitive

I hope the above has not but you off exercising! It’s all about letting your body get used to the strain and impact you put on it when you exercise.

Happy exercising and enjoy the Para Olympics!!