Joggers trots is a common and unfortunate problem most runners suffer with at some point in their running career. For most its a “blip” and goes as quickly as it arrives but for others, it can be a much more frequent and embarrassing problem. However, there are lots of ways it can be treated and eliminated.
When you’re running, the movement reduces blood flow to your intestines as more is sent to the exercising muscles. The jostling of the intestines also causes changes in intestinal hormones which can speed up transit time and alters absorption rates.
The first thing is to make sure you are well hydrated. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. By water, we’re talking plain water and if you really can’t drink it, a dash of quality cordial to flavour it. Squash is not ideal because of the sugar or sweeteners added to it. Fruit juice, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks don’t count towards your water intake. Being adequately hydrated helps make opening your bowels easier. If you poo regularly, especially in the morning, you are less likely to suffer because you have a healthy and happy digestive system.
The second area to look at is what you eat. Whilst you may not be allergic to a particular food, a slight intolerance combined with high intensity exercise can be enough to trigger an episode. If this seems to be happening regularly, keep a food diary for a professional to look at and record any problems when exercising. There are four main food groups/ ingredients which can cause issues for runners:
As with any aspect of nutrition, it is advisable to eliminate foods under the supervision of a qualified sports nutritionist. Eliminating whole food groups can cause deficiencies and is often not necessary. If you have a nutrition query, you can email me on [email protected]
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