Nutrition and exercise expert Amy Gianotti explains the condition suffered by
many athletes, known as “runner’s trots”.
o you suffer from stomach cramps,
bloating or a need to rush to the
“loo” during your runs? Loose bowels and
the sense of urgency to find a bathroom
can ruin a good run, and is a common
complaint among runners and triathletes.
So much so, the condition is also known as
There are multiple factors that can play a
role in this bowel discomfort. These
include (but are not limited to):
• Gender, where females and those with
high levels of nervous anxiety are more
• Dehydration. If you lose more than two
per cent of body weight you’ll increase
the risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
and other gastro-intestinal problems
• Drinks that have a very high
• Prolonged, high intensity exercise (e.g.
marathon or triathlon endurance
events) can cause body temperature to
increase to as high as 41°C. And when
accompanied with substantial
dehydration, the decreased blood
volume results in further reducing
blood flow to the gut.
Dietary factors can also play a part in
bowel discomfort during running. For
example, caffeine intake, alcohol or
vitamin C supplementation, or consuming
a high fibre, high fat and protein-packed
meals before exercise have been shown to
cause an increase in gastrointestinal tract
Additionally, Coeliac disease – a genetic
medical condition that results in
permanent intestinal intolerance to dietary
gluten – can cause GIT symptoms if
undiagnosed or if poorly managed.
confidence and performance with running,
then consider the factors mentioned above
and make changes to your diet and
exercise routine to accommodate.
Once you unders