How To Avoid Stomach Cramps

Ben Fraser

Stomach cramps can occur due to a number of reasons. Stomach cramps and side cramps or stitches are caused by shallow breathing. Oxygen is not filling the lung and the pain is the body giving a little alert. An imbalance of electrolytes (calcium, potassium and sodium) can also contribute to the pain. Stomach cramps can also be caused by something you may have drunk or eaten before your run. Muscle cramps are often caused by dehydration.


How to prevent:


  • Breathing deeply into your lungs can help alleviate the pain of a side cramp. Putting one of your hands on your stomach and breath in deeply. You will know if you are breathing from your lower lung as your stomach will rise and fall.


  • Eating and drinking before a run. It is advised to avoid eating or drinking between at least 1 hour before running, in particular big meals, to allow for the digestion to do its job, . If you’re feeling peckish have a banana at least one hour prior to the run.


  • Finding the right food fuel for your running by keeping a log. There is a general consensus in the running world that carbohydrates eaten before a run provide slow release energy and proteins are good at repairing muscle, post workout. Yet everyone reacts differently to different types of food, to find out what fuels your run right keep a food log of what you eat before and after to discover what works best.


  • When Mother Nature calls it’s not always viable to plan a route or loop close to a good loo or restroom, and it’s not uncommon for a surge of diarrhoea to force you scuttling to the nearest bush. Fear not, popping an Imodium tablet before your run will harden those deposits while avoiding any fibre rich food at least 2 hours before running will encourage your stomach tract to settle ready for exercise.


If you have any hints or tips to help with this let us know in the comments below!


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