Each and every one of us has our fitness goals and ways to achieve them. Are you the type to jog or run every day or twice a week for exercise? If your answer is yes, then I am certain you have experienced a few days of pain from either your legs or your stomach. Haven’t you?
I, for one, am a runner. I don’t do it professionally, but I do it to sweat all my sinful carbs and calories out. I feel healthier doing it, so I see to it that I run a few kilometers every morning. Or when it gets busy at work or home, I get a “quick fix” every other day.
I remember I outdid myself once, though. I did not mind running every day because my body has always felt the need for it. However, my stomach hurt so badly after I ran my first five kilometers.
At first, I thought maybe 5 km was too much, so I continued with only 2 km the following day. Again, it hurt right after my last 100 meters. I was terrified that it may be something wrong, so I went to the doctor and asked, “Why does my stomach hurt after I run?”
I was relieved knowing it was over fatigue. I mean at least I know I had to take a few steps back and rest. That incident got to me, and I wanted to know if there’s anything else that could have caused it.
So, I did a little bit of research, and I wanted to leave it right here to guide runners like me. I understand if you are reading this and already feeling all panicky while your stomach hurts, but, hey, calm down. Let us figure this all out together.
The Truth About Running
I’m pretty sure you already know that it is a must to hydrate before battling it out on the streets. Drinking water and warming up by stretching help avoid cramping of both the legs and stomach. You need both these organs to work at the same time to keep you up and alive.
However, running does pay little attention to the stomach, compared to other body organs. According to livestrong.com, the stomach receives little or no “fuel” when a person runs. This is because the body is concentrated on providing “fuel” or energy to the other muscles that perform during running.
The Possible Causes Of Stomach Cramps
Specifically for running, there could be some reasons why you experience sudden pain in your belly. It could be the lack of blood flow in your stomach or dehydration. Both are primarily caused by overworking the muscles while exercising.
Another possible cause is your method of breathing. Now you may be asking, “Breathing? Is that for real?” Indeed it is! There are different types of breathing exercises that are done differently.
There is a variety because there are different muscles and body parts to target. Nevertheless, the main idea is just to breathe deeply so you could catch up on the weight of your workout.
Another “culprit” that could be responsible for the cramp are your food and drink intake. Try and think about it. What have you eaten right before you ran? It’s not that we think you might be eating weird, but it’s really about the chemical composition of the food.
According to registered dietitian Jared Rice in Washingtonian.com, running involves the use of almost the entire body in motion. Because of this, there could be a “significant diversion of blood and resources.”
Another factor could be the amount of food and liquid you ingest. Like I said, it’s just proper to hydrate, but drink just the right amount for you not to get thirsty. Eating too much can also make you feel heavier than usual. It might also cause you to feel nauseous and make you vomit.
How to Avoid Stomach Cramps After Running
Primarily, what you can do is to follow a good diet plan to go with your running. Any exercise needs to be backed up by healthy eating anyway, right? Also, aside from picking out only the healthy food items make sure you take them in little amounts before running.
In the same article, Washintonian.com suggests that you do not take large meals two to three hours before running. Or, instead of eating, you can just gulp some sports drink for added energy. You might also want to pass on coffee, soda, and other drinks that contain too much sugar for a while.
The list of measures goes on, but the most significant thing here is that your discipline. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and you wouldn’t have to worry too much. And if you feel like getting sick, give yourself a break.