nosh magazine (issue 3) | Page 4

nosh magazine DO YOU SUFFER FROM RUNNER’S TROTS? 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 “runner’s trots”. D 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 commonly affected. • 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 during exercise. • Drinks that have a very high carbohydrate concentration. • 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 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 (GIT) symptoms. 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