Struggling to eat right - need some help.

Hi guys,

I hope someone is able to help me with this one. I am a budding triathlete and ultra runner, but I have for a long time suffered with my digestion (nothing new there right?). Without going into too much detail about it, my symptoms range from constipation to diarrhoea and serious urgency either during or after running - which can be a bit embarrassing as well as simply inconvenient. I have been cutting out food stuffs gradually to see what might be the culprit, but so far giving up alcohol, caffeine, dairy and wheat have not yielded much in the way of results. I am now on a strict yeast free diet (including all refined sugar, alcohol, bread, fruits etc.) and I am seeing a bit of an improvement. Yet I am faced with another problem, how to get enough carbs to stop my weight loss. As all bread products, most wheat produccts, and all sugary stuff (including gels, energy drinks and energy bars) are off limits I am struggling a bit. This poses a serious problem on longer runs and rides as all of the portable food tends to be off limits. I have read the book by Scott Jurek (eat and run) but also lots of his ingredients are not allowed at the moment.

So if anyone has experience with similar issues, and further more can help me reach a solution, please let me know. So idea will be overlooked and all feedback will be appreciated.


  • Lots and lots of peppermint tea to start with, at least 5 cups a day.  This has helped lots of folks I know with easily upset stomachs.  It's easy to do (and addicitivly tasty) so worth at try.

    I am sure you already do this - but make sure you have absolutley no artificial sweetners of any kind.


    How about sweet potatoes - they are great made into oven chips with a little bit of olive oil and black pepper.   Can you cope with veg - mashed potato and swede?   Could you up your fat content to keep the weight on as well as give you some energy to run off - coconut oil is a great source of Medium Chain Triglycerides which your body can easily use to fuel your muscles.  If you are forced into low carb then high fat and turning down the intensity on your workouts might be something to try.  I follow a guy on twitter who is a pro ironman - eats a high fat diet and will take out things like Cocochia bars on a bike ride - (google - you can get them in the uk).  

  • Have you tried excluding gluten?  That's what's worked for me after years of doing all the exclusion diets.  The yeast free one works probably because you're excluding all gluten by doing it! Gluten free is really easy to follow now as there are tons of on the market image

  • Just had a look at one of this guys books - other things he takes on a long ride, 


    carob cashew bars: cashew butter (1 cup), 3 tbsp honey, 1.5 cup protine power, 1 cup oats and 1 tbsp caob powder - mixed and refridgerated then cut up and tin foiled for the bento box.

    chocolate almond butter rollies:  1 tblsp almond butter, 1 teaspon honey, 2 tblspn carob chips into a wrap (maybe you can get a yeast free one?) - rolled up and chopped into bite sized pieces.  


    This guy still take electorlyte drinks and gels on a long distance race though.


    Have you heard of the 'GAPS' diet - stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet - I don't know much about it but have heard bloggers rave about it as a means to a healthier gut when in trouble with GI issues like yours. Might be worth a google.

  • GAPS is def gluten free and high in EFA's.

  • I would be surprised if it was a food allergy / intollerance issueif you only have problems during and after running.  I would have thought that you would be suffering all the time if it was in something you were eating.  But hey, I'm not an expert

  • Not a gluten problem if it only happens during or after runs. After many decades of living with a coeliac person your symptons do not match up.
    My own experiences of such problems has resulted in a low fibre diet. But in general I eat everything in moderation, trial and error will find what you can and cannot eat and what to avoid prior to a run.

  • hi guys,

    thanks for all the input, it's all much appreciated. just to clarify, the problem is present to a certain extent whether I am running or not, it appears that the running just makes me explode (sorry for the vivid mental image). I have been to see doctors and been through the diagnosis of IBS etc. but unfortunately there is nothing really wrong with me as far as the medical profession are concerned. I say unfortunately, as I would simply like an answer and a solution, yet so far nothing is forth coming from that side.

    GymAddict, thanks for the great suggestions, I will research those a bit more and try them out.


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