Diarrhoea While Running

How do I prevent diarrhoea when I'm running?

Answer by Dominique:

Nothing like the runners' trots!
Plenty of runners have this issue at some point, so you are not alone. I once did a 10k race and had to quit because of it.

There are some theories about why it happens, having to do with blood flow or the effect running has on the digestive system. If this is true, then there would be relatively little you can do about it.

However, many runners can try to make some dietary changes to fight off diarrhoea while running:

  • Caffeine

  • Caffeine can be a catalyst, so try to avoid that the hours before exercise.

  • Lactose

  • You could be lactose intolerant. Lactose is also known as milk sugar and can be found in milk and dietary products. So avoid milk, yoghurt etc before your run. You could also get some pills at the pharmacy against lactose intolerancy.

  • Don't eat close to the run

  • Running on a full stomach is pretty much a recipe for disaster.

  • Medicinal help

  • There are over-the-counter medicines that can help. Talk to your chemist.

    Keep a journal of what you eat and when you have these diarrhoea-issues. You may find that there are certain foods that set it off, or a specific time between eating and running.

    Hope this helps.
    Best of luck.

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