Alleviate Runners Digestive Symptoms - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 3

Published on:

23rd Apr 2020

Avoiding Digestive Issues as a Runner

Alleviate Runners Digestive Symptoms

Do you find you suffer from digestive symptoms during training and competition e.g. flatulence, diarrhoea, nausea? Delve into digestive distress and the risk factors for its development. There are some well-known causes including: reduced blood flow to the digestive tract, anxiety, food sensitivity and much more…. Find out what may be causing YOUR digestive symptoms and learn how they could be alleviated to ensure you can attain and maintain peak running performance. 

Show Notes


Discover the risk factors for digestive distress in runners.


Why does reduced blood flow in the GI tract during running lead to digestive distress.


Fertility and stress connections regarding endurance sports


The impact of pre race anxiety on digestive function.


How mechanical risks (bouncing effects of being a runner) may impact on digestive distress.


A deeper look into the effects of mechanical effects (bouncing) or running on our digestive system.


A look at the foods and drinks commonly thought to trigger digestive distress for runners


What runners may do to minimise the potential effects of particular foods on digestive distress.


The impact of common “over the counter” medications on digestion.


More risk factors, such as intensive exercise or endurance running and dehydration,


The importance of resolving day to day digestive issues and looking at common gastrointestinal symptoms.


Key Takeaways from this episode:

  • Introduce small amounts of protein/CHO pre-training and build up
  • Minimise or remove fat/fibre pre/during training
  • Limit carbohydrate intake during training (30g and 60g/h) - practice during training to work out how much you need. Practice with different CHO food sources to find out which causes no or least digestive side effects
  • Ensure any drinks/gels contain less than 10% carbohydrate concentration – remember most contain only 6% - but check!
  • Remain hydrated - before and after as well as during. Guidelines suggest drinking every mile. Important to find out what works for you.
  • Train in the environment in which you will be competing
  • Remove or limit medications/supplements pre training
  • Limit caffeine intake pre/during training

A final thought is that having an optimal digestive system is foundational and if it’s not then our advice would be to see a nutritional therapist or other health professional to resolve issues as running and racing and all that entails will exacerbate symptoms you may experience on training runs and race days.

Related Episodes:

Hydration and Running Performance

Nutrient Timing for Running Performance

Energy Bars, Gels and Protein Powders


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you'll join us again. If you'd like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

If you're ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.

As a THANK YOU to you as one of our valued listeners, we have a special offer for you use COUPON CODE POD to get 33% discount off the full price which brings the price to £199.

If you’d like help from Karen and Aileen to design a personalised sports nutrition plan for your running - please contact them at

Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen 


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About the Podcast

She Runs Eats Performs
for mid-life female runners of all abilities
Are you confused about the science around nutrition for runners? Listen in to learn about the WHY, HOW, WHAT, and WHEN of eating to fuel your running performance.

We are here to help you translate sports nutritional science, into easy to apply tips and plans, helping you enjoy peak running performance. We focus on the FEMALE FACTORS every mid-life woman needs to know to be a healthy runner.

About your host

Profile picture for Aileen Smith

Aileen Smith

Nutritionists, Educators, Podcasters, Runners and Friends

We have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living. She Runs Eats Performs for female runners of all abilities who are looking for simple ways to improve their running performance and their health with nutrition and lifestyle.
We enjoy sharing our nutritional expertise, reviewing the latest sports science and most of all helping you to take easy action so you can enjoy your running life to the full.
We are here to help you achieve great health and good shape whilst staying injury-free with easy-to-understand sports nutritional concepts and easy-to-implement tips and plans.

Aileen and Karen are BANT and CNHC Registered Nutritional Therapists.