Upset stomach when running

I was wondering if anybody could recommend anything to help prevent an upset stomach when running? I suffer badly from stomach cramps and regularly have to stop to go to the loo when I'm out. I am running the Frankfurt Marathon in October and would really like to get the problem under control as it will obviously damage my time if I have to stop during the race. I'm not too sure whether this can be controlled through diet or taking something before I run. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks.


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I try not to eat too much or close to going out for a run, try to avoid too much fibre or spicy food before a run. Caffeine sometimes affects me too.

    It's all about experimenting and finding out what works for you.
  • Agree about the caffeine- watch what your gels contain! Immodium instants are your friend!  only for race day, really, if you use them on all your traing runs, you'll end up very constipated.
  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Apparently (according to Tim Noakes in his excellent book, Lore of Running), its very common with over 60% of runners getting it and more men than women. He reckons its generally due to a mild lactose intolerance, so stay of the milk before you run.

    Its probably a good idea to avoid the spicy stuff and anything else that could upset your stomach.

  • Thank you for the above replies. The great news is that I ran the Frankfurt Marathon without having to stop. I stuck to dry toast in the morning but it did the job. I also managed to identify that eating a banana before I run does me no good at all. Thank you for the tips about milk because I do often have a cup of tea before I run in the morning and this may not be helping. 

    Thanks for the advice!

  • No problem.


    I had a bad case of this yesterday on my long (20 mile) run, but was just about able to get to a petrol station (with a loo !) before the world fell out of my bottom.


    I think it was because I'd had a big bowl of porridge about an hour before. I normally just have toast.


  • I find toast is always the best option!!! Keep it dry! 

  • Go easy on the fibre...I have a small portion of fruit with probiotic yoghurt and a couple of slices of toast.  

    Also you need to allow enough time to digest or as I have found I have to stop for a loo break on runs.

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