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5 Tips for digestive health in runners

5 Tips for digestive health in runners   

Joanne Hart, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Integrative Sports Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher and Coach. BSc(Hons), BWY Dip, CNHC, BANT, MAC shares her 5 tips for digestive health for runners. 

Joanne loves a run in the forest and has over a decade of experience supporting runners and fitness enthusiasts with their digestion, health, and performance. 

 1. Prioritise fibre intake. While some runners choose a bland diet to avoid digestive issues during training or races, it's essential to ensure sufficient fibre intake from vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, seeds, and pulses at other times. Incorporate nuts as snacks, add berries to breakfast, include beans and whole grains in salads, and sprinkle seeds on your meals. If you're training a lot then consider embracing nature's call, plan for a toilet stop on your training route, and don't skimp on the vegetables!

 2. Stay hydrated but choose wisely. We all know that we need to stay hydrated on a normal day. But when we are running and sweating, we need to replace more than just the liquid and we are more susceptible to constipation if we become dehydrated. Electrolytes and energy drinks are in abundance in the shops, and we can be seduced by interesting flavours and promises of improved performance. My tip is to look beyond the marketing, check the labels and choose the ones without artificial sweeteners and flavours. After a long run, a homemade drink from natural fruit juice with good quality electrolytes is likely to be better for your digestion than an artificial energy drink, and probably tastier too!

 3. Ginger is one of my favourite foods and known to soothe the digestive system, aid appetite and help with nausea. It’s something I recommend to many of my runners who say they feel queasy, have stomach discomfort or no appetite. Options include crystallised ginger, ginger tea and products such as Agua de Madre Remedio or Ginger and Turmeric shots. 

 4. Fermented foods support digestive health, variety could be important. It can be as simple as including yoghurt or water kefir in your daily diet. Blended with a banana, fresh pineapple or berries this makes a great post run snack providing protein and carbohydrate.

 5. Yoga is valuable for digestive health. The brain and digestive system are connected, and the digestive system is called ‘the second brain’. Yoga modulates the stress hormones and has been shown to increase levels of GABA our calming neurotransmitter. You can soothe your body and soothe your belly. It’s a perfect antidote to running!

You can find her at www.healthandhart.com

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