Are you suffering from the runs while on the run?
The irony is not lost on us. If you used to be an avid runner, but now you find that the only running you’re doing is towards the bathroom, you may be suffering from an unfortunate exercise side effect called runners’ trots.
Although it differs from chronic irritable bowel syndrome, it’s believed that up to 60% of runners are suffering from stomach problems that are holding them back from training and exercising properly. There’s definitely a link between exercise and exacerbated digestive distress, and it can be a frustrating experience for many athletes.
It’s such a common phenomenon, in fact, that the running community has given it a name. Exercise-induced IBS has been deemed by many as the “runners’ trots.”
If you’re not feeling so hot-to-trot, you’re probably looking for a helpful solution to get you back on track and exercising again. At Fody, we’re big believers in the low FODMAP diet, a breakthrough in IBS-relief founded by Monash University.
New research from Science Daily suggests that the low FODMAP diet can be especially helpful to runners suffering from IBS. The study, conducted in 2019, divided healthy people who regularly exercise into two separate control groups. Both groups followed set eating plans, with the key difference being the FODMAP content. Each group completed surveys at the beginning and end of each eating plan to rate the gastrointestinal issues they experienced, and reported on how they felt each diet affected their ability to exercise.
At the end of the study, the research found that out of the group that followed a low FODMAP diet plan, 69% saw an improvement and reported being able to exercise with more frequency and intensity than before. Symptoms like bloating and gastrointestinal pain were also perceived as lower than at the start.
Scientists and nutritionists have been pleased with the results of this study, and excited at the prospect of finding a solution to runner’s IBS. Although more research still needs to be conducted prior to jumping to any conclusions, this is a promising start.
Hopping on and sticking with the low FODMAP diet isn’t hard, but it’s a big commitment with a few rules to follow. If it works for you, you’ll be back on the open road (or basement treadmill) once again.