Running and Digestive Health

I don’t know about you, but I imagine I’m not the only runner who has suffered from GI distress in the past. I rarely suffer with gut problems on the run, but lately I’ve been suffering from a lot of bloating, and I’m almost sure it’s related to marathon training and the stress that comes with it.

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So how does running affect our digestive health?

When running we are diverting blood flow away from the GI tract to the muscles, and the longer the run, the longer the GI tract is deprived of it’s usual blood flow. Dehydration and just the simple effect of gravity and bounding around can also impact our digestion. During this marathon training period, I have really been suffering from poor digestion, and a lot of bloating, with things just not feeling right, thankfully Viridian came to my rescue and sent me one of their new digestive health products the Synbiotic Procare.

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Synbiotic ProCare is a blend of four well known strains of probiotic Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, each strain was chosen through a unique process designed to identify the strongest and most clinically effective probiotic strains. It provides 12.5 billion viable good bacteria count per capsule and is dairy-free.

What are the benefits of probiotics?

Our gut is home to an immense population of bacteria. Some 100 trillion bacteria populate the human gut, a number that is 10 times greater than the number of cells in the human body. Are we more bacteria than human?! There are around 400 species of bacteria in the gut. It is critical to the maintenance of human health that a balance is preserved between these species, and this is where a probiotic can help, to reset the balance between good and bad bacteria. By addressing this balance, they can help with digestive health, and also boost the immune system, of which about 70% is housed within the gut.

I’ve taken probiotics before, and they have helped with my hayfever, and I like to take them for an immune boost during marathon training. The Synbiotic Procare and it’s specific strains are most suitable for those with IBS-type symptoms. It sorted out most of my digestive issues within a week or so of taking it, and I’ve already noticed a difference when I’ve stopped taking it. I took 2 capsules a day at night, so the supply lasted just over 2 weeks, although if you take 1 capsule a day it would last a month. I like this product because it doesn’t contain the prebiotic fructooligosaccharide (FOS) which can in some people exacerbate the digestive problems.

I think my digestive issues have been caused by marathon training stress, and as well as trying to get more restful sleep, and incorporating relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to help with healthy digestion, this product has certainly given me a boost. I will definitely look into using it in future training cycles, to ensure my digestion is in tip-top shape.

11 Responses to Running and Digestive Health

  1. Thankfully I’ve never had any digestive issues while running or afterwards. And I seem to be fine with most gels (though the temperature of the day can make me feel sick occasionally). Sounds like those probiotics are a good idea for you – glad they’re helping!

  2. They sound like a really good idea. I took probiotics after taking antibiotics, but then I stopped being able to find the vegetarian ones. I did look for some this winter as I had that cough and was run down for over a month- I shall have to check them out, thanks.

  3. My gosh that is a lot of bacteria!!! I don’t normally experience stomach issues when I run but that changed when I started training for the half and started putting in longer runs. By mile 6, my stomach would start churning badly. With trial and error I worked out that I needed to leave a gap of at least 2 hours between eating and running. If I ate or drank a smoothie after a long run, the stomach ache would return. I usually run 3-4 miles, so it’s amazing how a slightly longer distance had such an effect on my stomach. I’m really glad to be back running the shorter distances… it’s far more comfortable all round 😀

    • Yeah it’s really interesting, I’d like to read up a bit more on any studies between long distance running and digestion as I think there must be some link.

    • Hi Sharon,

      I’m interested in how you got over your running stomach issues – did you get to the bottom of what it was? My bf has the same issues is sounds like but we can’t figure it out!! Are you still running long distances?

      Louise @louliveswell

  4. Great info Lauren, thanks for sharing! Luckily I don’t run far enough at the moment to experience anything like this, but my boyfriend has some weird stomach issues when running that we can’t get to the bottom of yet and he’s training for a marathon.

  5. I like Viridian’s products and this one looks like one that I want to try in the future as I also have problems with bloating but I don’t know what is causing it. It may be that I don’t have enough good bacteria in my gut so taking probiotis could help. I will give it a try, thanks!

    Petra @ http://www.behealthynow.co.uk

    • Yeah I am a big fan of their range. I really noticed a difference with this probiotic compared to other brands, so it’s definitely worth a shot.

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